Originally Posted by uchihaitachi
Is the ODAC the NWAVGUY's dac made by JDs?
Uh, well, kinda.
NwAvGuy and Yoyodyne (the latter doing more with the digital / USB side I think) designed the ODAC. Yoyodyne gets large batches of ODAC boards manufactured through some SMT line and sells them to middlemen like JDSLabs and others, who sell to consumers—sometimes in bare board format, but usually with their own enclosures, adding cost and price. That's unlike O2, which uses all through-hole parts, and for which outfits like JDSLabs build by themselves.
Originally Posted by Greenleaf7
Yes i figured this question fell in a rather grey area, and i could have posted this in a regular thread, but i didn't want responses like "this amp is way more expensive than so it powers the HD800 much better". And thus i really appreciate your feedback which is somewhat math-based :)
How do we determine if an amp has sufficient power to drive a pair of headphones?
HD 800: 102 db, 300 ohm,
LCDs : 90 db, 60 ohm
Can we determine, by calculations if the O2 is able to power the headphones to normal listening levels. I've read nwavguy's blog on "more power", buy i unfortunately I fell short of understanding what the calculations meant.
Lets take for example the Violectric V200, which has more output power than the O2. I chose this amp as an example since it measures well and has pretty much all the specs published here http://www.violectric.de/Pages/en/technical-data.php How, and will the added power have any benefit towards SQ of the HD 800?
Thanks in advance
Well, all the information is there, and elsewhere, to do all the calculations and figure things out (sound quality notwithstanding, but that's more of a gray area, with a lot of argument there but not much evidence). Which part in particular don't you understand?
That said, the most fundamental and basic thing to understand is this:
The power delivered by the amp depends on the volume you set. The more power you deliver to the headphones, the louder they will sound. Thus, how much power you need depends on (1) the impedance and sensitivity of the headphones and (2) how loud you want to listen.
Most people aren't maxing out their amps. For the majority of people and majority of music, if you actually were maxing out say the O2 driving the HD 800 and LCDs, they would be uncomfortably loud, and you definitely wouldn't want them on your head. FiiO E9 would give you similar output levels but a bit more for lower-impedance headphones, and Schiit Magni at a similar cost is even more powerful, for reference.
edit: if you'll excuse some editorializing and guesswork in this forum ostensibly about science...
There are some differences in amps, places for improvements, sometimes significant changes that could be audible, definitely differences in build quality / aesthetics / features. And for some headphones, a cheap amp really isn't going to have enough distortion-free power for a satisfying listening experience.
But the notion of headphones scaling with more expensive amps is largely hogwash. I would guess that the "common knowledge" comes largely from two factors:
(1) Users' expectations and post-purchase rationalization scaling with the price tags
(2) Volume setting scaling up with expensive, high-output amps (which may have higher gain, more room in the volume rotation left); most causal A-B comparisons are not done with volumes carefully matched, so a powerful amp where you unintentionally set the volume higher (hey, it's only 10 o'clock) may sound better just because of the volume difference and would may not actually were the volume to be matched
Edited by mikeaj - 5/18/13 at 5:42pm