Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Speaker amps for headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Speaker amps for headphones - Page 65

post #961 of 2960

Speaking of the influence other components can have on the MG3, a refurbished HM-801 arrived from China today.   Joy!

 

I have almost no interest in its headphone amp.  This evening, I'll be eagerly comparing its Line Out to that of the Sony PCM-M10 (currently my favorite portable source) - into the MG3 > SM45s  (I'm still waiting for the LCD-2 impedance match.)

 

The HM-801 has the venerable, no longer in production, PCM1074UK PCM1704UK DAC and is often described with adjectives such as "smooth" and "musical," yet very detailed and good at separating instruments in congested recordings.  So I can't wait to hear it with the MG3.  

 

Speaking of expensive DAPs, I recently learned that for $250, Red Wine Audio will replace the $1299 Astell & Kern AK120 volume control with a 3.5mm TRS Line Out (at a total cost of $1549).  If paying an extra $250 sounds appealing (for a feature that should have been included on the AK120 in the first place), RWA also offers a $595 mod (at a total cost of $1895), that includes the Line Out jack and upgrading the two WM8740 chips to WM8741, putting them into "hardware mode."

 

$1895?   I thought the Altmann Tera Player was expensive.  :blink:

 

http://redwineaudio.com/mods/rwak120-s

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 9/4/13 at 3:04pm
post #962 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

The HM-801 has the venerable, no longer in production, PCM1074UK DAC and is often described with adjectives such as "smooth" and "musical," yet very detailed and good at separating instruments in congested recordings.  So I can't wait to hear it with the MG3.  

 

 

Mike

It's PCM1704UK :tongue_smile:

 

They're actually still in production but are very expensive - around 50 bucks per piece.

post #963 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post
 

It's PCM1704UK :tongue_smile:

 

They're actually still in production but are very expensive - around 50 bucks per piece.

 

I keep doing that!  Arrrgh!   On another thread, I was calling it the PC1794UK!  Thanks for the correction!

 

Mike

post #964 of 2960

Um... Show of hands... how many of us would be afraid to take a $1900 portable DAP with us anywhere, making it, in effect, not portable? (For the record, both of my hands are raised). 

 

I use my Clip Zip for tunes while I'm doing yard work, and while I would like to have a nicer player with better sound, I could not imagine using a $1900 player while mowing the lawn.  I am looking for a cheap (<$250???) but capable DAC or DAP to feed the Millenia, though, so any ideas would be welcome...

post #965 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Um... Show of hands... how many of us would be afraid to take a $1900 portable DAP with us anywhere, making it, in effect, not portable? (For the record, both of my hands are raised). 

 

I use my Clip Zip for tunes while I'm doing yard work, and while I would like to have a nicer player with better sound, I could not imagine using a $1900 player while mowing the lawn.  I am looking for a cheap (<$250???) but capable DAC or DAP to feed the Millenia, though, so any ideas would be welcome...

Hmm, I know the ODAC is a common recommendation in that price range. Fiio X3 would be a great choice that is also a DAP. I'd spring for the X3 myself, it's quite versatile.

post #966 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Michael:

 

Your results are really interesting.  First, I also think break-in is a mystery, but, hey, FR curves don't lie.  Or if they do, they do it very convincingly. 

More of Gary's excellent post (Click to show)

Second, the fact that the Millenia can compete at all with the First Watt (5X the price) is pretty amazing.  Similar to what I found with the Odyssey equipment:  the TBI amp is not the best on the entire market, but it offers a great value... in addition to hours of entertainment trying to figure out battery combinations (I'm not even a battery addict, and probably won't even buy another battery because I like the sound well enough with the provided power supply... but I find myself searching the web anyway... I'm a SEARCHAHOLIC!)  ARGGGHHH!!!

 

Third, everything is relative:  The F1 sounds less bright to you than the MG3, but is there a way to know which one is "right"?  I find that to be one of the great conundrums of audio -- figuring out which pieces of hardware, or more accurately, which combinations of hardware, are actually representing the original sound produced by the musicians.  We each hear things differently, and we record/remember "reality" differently.  So which representation we think is "best" has to do with how well the equipment chain reproduces what we remember to be "right".  The high-freq bump you hear with the Millenia might represent the amp's performance... or it could be the source... or the headphones.. or it could represent the way the musicians and the sound engineers actually recorded the songs (they might have high-freq hearing loss themselves... or just really like high-freq, or boosted the high-frequencies assuming that most people are going to be listening through ear buds...).  I absolutely believe that the high-freq bump is there with your chain... but has your testing isolated it to the amp, as opposed to the source or cans? i.e., are you running freq sweeps of the amp in isolation?  If so, and you have the curves plotted, I would love to see the side-by-side with your other amps (I'm a GRAPHAHOLIC!  ARRGGGHHH!!!)

 

To my brain, in combination with the Emotiva XDA-1 and the LCD-3s, there was no high-frequency bump with the Millenia.  Which could mean the DAC and cans didn't reproduce it.  Or my hearing in the upper freqs isn't as good as yours -- though I know I am particularly sensitive to (i.e., don't like) too much high-end energy (bye-bye T1s).  I don't have testing equipment other than my brain, but I can say that while my brain thinks that the Cyclops provides more "realism" than the TBI amp when used in the same chain, the Millenia was significantly more "real" than the other amps I compared it to.  In the end, I considered the little guy good enough, cheap enough, and flexible enough in its portability, etc. that I decided to keep it, but I expect others' experiences to vary, and all I can ever recommend to folks is try it, you might like it, and it's pretty small, so if you don't like it, return shipping will be cheap (at least from CONUS). 

 

 

Gary...  Yes, the question of "which is truth" is always fundamental!  Unfortunately, I don't have the equipment (variety of equipment or sufficient test equipment) to definitively make such a determination.  All I need is more money and more time!

When I first started making frequency response graphs, I made the up-front decision that I wouldn't be publishing any of the curves.  I'm a graphaholic, too, but there is nothing worse than putting your eggs in a basket based on a curve that had some set-up problem causing a very large disparity between measurement and reality.  My test equipment would have to be much more well sorted out before I published curves!  They are useful to me in a limited fashion.  For a given configuration at a given time and for measurements taken in quick succession, they are probably good for direct comparison.  Beyond that, I'm suspicious of my own data.

 

One day I'll get to try a Cyclops... That will be a fun and interesting comparison, for sure!  But for now... Back to the music :)

post #967 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

...snip...

 

Okay, now it's time for me to put in my hearing aids and go listen to my "Unknown Heavy Metal Garage Bands of the 70s-80s" cassette tape at max volume on my Walkman knock-off feeding the MG3, into my Beats...:darthsmile:

Gary...

 

Glad to see you've finally found your Audio Nirvana!  

post #968 of 2960

Nirvana, Metallica, Beethoven... when you get old and deaf it's all just background noise anyway

post #969 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Nirvana, Metallica, Beethoven... when you get old and deaf it's all just background noise anyway

Oh dear god, please save that one up for the opening preamble to some Mesospheric Fi outrageously priced equipment review:beyersmile:

post #970 of 2960

Well, I have decided to go to the darkside and build a First Watt F5 clone for about $700! :veryevil:

 

It's 25 watts per channel, pure Class A, high current and damping, and no capacitors in the signal path. 

 

I wanted to go with the MG3 really bad, but this was too good to pass up IMO, but I am still interested in the HD-800 impedance box.

post #971 of 2960

Sweet!  :L3000:

post #972 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

Well, I have decided to go to the darkside and build a First Watt F5 clone for about $700! :veryevil:

 

It's 25 watts per channel, pure Class A, high current and damping, and no capacitors in the signal path. 

 

I wanted to go with the MG3 really bad, but this was too good to pass up IMO, but I am still interested in the HD-800 impedance box.

 

Excellent!  Look forward to Turn On Day!

post #973 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post
 

 

Excellent!  Look forward to Turn On Day!

 

Me too! Here's to minor troubles on that day! 

:beerchug:

post #974 of 2960

Mr. Brunk:

 

We salute your bravery, and hope that your skill with a soldering iron will make quick work of the beast.  Go forth!  Do battle!  Keep Head-fiers from unsubscribing from this thread out of boredom!

 

I myself find connecting banana jacks to speaker wires, plugging said jacks into binding posts, and plugging a three-pronged plug into the correct 3 holes in the outlet or power strip to be more than sufficiently challenging for my technical abilities... So I shall not be following your lead, but I shall follow your progress with great anticipation, in hopes that you will report to us of glorious sound, not large explosions...

post #975 of 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post
 

Mr. Brunk:

 

We salute your bravery, and hope that your skill with a soldering iron will make quick work of the beast.  Go forth!  Do battle!  Keep Head-fiers from unsubscribing from this thread out of boredom!

 

I myself find connecting banana jacks to speaker wires, plugging said jacks into binding posts, and plugging a three-pronged plug into the correct 3 holes in the outlet or power strip to be more than sufficiently challenging for my technical abilities... So I shall not be following your lead, but I shall follow your progress with great anticipation, in hopes that you will report to us of glorious sound, not large explosions...

 

Hehe thanks! I hope for glorious sound and no explosions too 

:basshead:

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Speaker amps for headphones