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Headphones for my loudspeaker amplifier

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello

 

I am complete fresh in the world of head-fi.

 

To day I have a Audio Note DAC feeding an Audio Note P1 SE which again feeding my loudspeakers, and I discovered that there are headphones with very low sensitivity which needs to be drivven by an loudspeakeramplifier or something of similar caliber of headphone amp.

 

I first took a look at hifiman, they sell an adapter which let you do this, HE-Adapter http://hifiman.com/Products/?pid=104

 

It costs 99 usd which is fine for me but my total budget is about 330 usd, and with the cheapest alternative from hifiman, HE-4, it gets too expensive.

 

So my question is, is there any other alternatives?

post #2 of 17
Hi. You may want to look at

http://www.head-fi.org/t/649107/speaker-amps-for-headphones. Good luck.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the link.

 

They are discussing what I am requesting, but no noteworthy headsets in that thread is mentioned.

 

It just told what I allready know, I need a headset with very low sensitivity, which hifiman is the only manufacturer that is even close to my budget but still way too expensive.


Edited by Roberth1990 - 9/13/13 at 4:05pm
post #4 of 17
It is a long thread but there are people talking about using different brands and using different connections to their amps. Some people are using fairly sensitive headphones with speaker amps, like the hd 800 and the audeze. Those are more than you are looking for, but the concept should hold. I have not seen discussion for less expensive headphones for speaker amps.

You might be able to find he400 used if you are willing to do that.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

HE-x(HE-4 or HE-6), not HE-xyz.

post #6 of 17
With proper care, you can use a speaker amp on almost any headphone. You have to adjust for the load vs how much power is delivered and impedance match a transformer coupled tube amp but I've used the speaker adapter and have ran K701, all the HEs, HD-800, T-1, HD-650, RS-1 on SS amps. There are others that have used the LCDs, Denons, Grados, etc with varying results. This isn't for the inexperienced though as playing with more power provides risk to your headphones. They can be destroyed if a mistake is made.

If you read the thread for the HE-6, there are people that have ran them on 500w amps. Now mind you, you are only using a fraction of the potential of that amp but they do play headphones. The biggest issue is how much room there is on the volume control before it gets too loud. If you don't have any room, you can install a load resistor in line to burn off some power. I ran the 6s on a 400 watt MacIntosh with very good sound. Best I've heard the 6s though are through a Simaudio Moon Evolution I600. I can't afford it but it sure left an impression. For your amp, I'd suggest getting the HE-500s used if it meant saving.

Another thread you can check out is http://www.head-fi.org/t/629352/he-500-lcd2-d5000-dt770-sr80-on-a-speaker-amp-emotiva-mini-x-a-100-project
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well my amplifier has 10 watts and there is a low gain on my system. So blowing my headphones might not be the worst thing who could happen.

 

But then I'll rather buy HE-300 new and be within budget if I can use Hifimans adapter. But they specifically states that they are only for HE-x, headphones, is that just an insurance they put?

 

EDIT: just posting threads doesn't really help much, I just get overwelmed with information.


Edited by Roberth1990 - 9/13/13 at 7:23pm
post #8 of 17

Heya,

 

To use any headphone with a speaker amp, you either need an adapter or a cable that terminates to banana plugs. Your budget unfortunately doesn't allow for much, because the cable and/or adapter simply cost money and your left over budget doesn't leave you much room for a headphone that really takes advantage of any of this. Also, most headphones are just going to be too sensitive for a speaker amp, without a resistor inline to bring up the impedance to drop the current throughput.

 

If you have any modding skills, basic soldering skills, wiring skills, you can actually do this on a dime. Getting a headphone with a removeable cable is ideal here in case you mess up. But basically cut off the end of the cable, unsheath it, and re-terminate the wiring with banana plugs. Solder a 500ohm resistor on the positive of each channel. It will work flawless with most speaker amps rated for 50 watts at 8ohm. Or hire someone to do it for you. This is the least expensive method of getting what you want.

 

For my Hifimans, I simply had a cable made that terminates to XLR, then had an XLR adapter made, that is XLR (4 pin) to 4 banana plugs (speaker taps). I plug directly into my 50w@8ohm Emotiva speaker amp. Good to go.

 

1000

 

For my very sensitive Denons, I use the same method, but I have an extra adapter, it's an XLR -> 500ohm resistor -> XLR, then I hook into my speaker amp with that and it works flawless.

 

 

If you already have good headphones, you can simply use your budget to mod up some cables and you're good to go. If you need headphones, well, focus on a good $200 pair, and use $130 to commission a cable with resistor adapter and speaker taps adapter so it's universal.

 

Brian at BTG Audio did all my work. Great professional.

 

I use all my headphones on a speaker amp at this point (the Emotiva). I've had all my permanent collection headphones reterminated to XLR so that I can use any of them on the same speaker tap adapter I had made.

 

 

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/13/13 at 7:35pm
post #9 of 17
Hi. Sorry about the 400. I have th he 6 and had the he500. Whatever, some tube amps need an adapter or some resistor set up to protect the amp. You might want to ask audio note (they always have responded quickly to questions)
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

Heya,

 

To use any headphone with a speaker amp, you either need an adapter or a cable that terminates to banana plugs. Your budget unfortunately doesn't allow for much, because the cable and/or adapter simply cost money and your left over budget doesn't leave you much room for a headphone that really takes advantage of any of this. Also, most headphones are just going to be too sensitive for a speaker amp, without a resistor inline to bring up the impedance to drop the current throughput.

 

If you have any modding skills, basic soldering skills, wiring skills, you can actually do this on a dime. Getting a headphone with a removeable cable is ideal here in case you mess up. But basically cut off the end of the cable, unsheath it, and re-terminate the wiring with banana plugs. Solder a 500ohm resistor on the positive of each channel. It will work flawless with most speaker amps rated for 50 watts at 8ohm. Or hire someone to do it for you. This is the least expensive method of getting what you want.

 

For my Hifimans, I simply had a cable made that terminates to XLR, then had an XLR adapter made, that is XLR (4 pin) to 4 banana plugs (speaker taps). I plug directly into my 50w@8ohm Emotiva speaker amp. Good to go.

 

1000

 

For my very sensitive Denons, I use the same method, but I have an extra adapter, it's an XLR -> 500ohm resistor -> XLR, then I hook into my speaker amp with that and it works flawless.

 

 

If you already have good headphones, you can simply use your budget to mod up some cables and you're good to go. If you need headphones, well, focus on a good $200 pair, and use $130 to commission a cable with resistor adapter and speaker taps adapter so it's universal.

 

Brian at BTG Audio did all my work. Great professional.

 

I use all my headphones on a speaker amp at this point (the Emotiva). I've had all my permanent collection headphones reterminated to XLR so that I can use any of them on the same speaker tap adapter I had made.

 

 

 

Very best,

 

Thanks for the great reply.

 

The question Isn't about taking advantages in the first round, right now I just want som proper headset so I dont have to bother my apartment neighbours after 11 o'clock, I dont care about hifi that much, it's the music im interested in.

As for my DIY-skills, they are nonexistent, I'm no practical person at all.

But why not use http://hifiman.com/Products/?pid=104 why is there such an reluctancy against it here? Would not buy it? And the HE-300 to test or will it not work at all in theory?

 

*Overwelmed*


Edited by Roberth1990 - 9/13/13 at 9:17pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberth1990 View Post
 

 

Thanks for the great reply.

 

The question Isn't about taking advantages in the first round, right now I just want som proper headset so I dont have to bother my apartment neighbours after 11 o'clock, I dont care about hifi that much, it's the music im interested in.

As for my DIY-skills, they are nonexistent, I'm no practical person at all.

But why not use http://hifiman.com/Products/?pid=104 why is there such an reluctancy against it here? Would not buy it? And the HE-300 to test or will it not work at all in theory?

 

*Overwelmed*

 

Heya,

 

You can get that adapter if you want. It will work. It's just that it costs about $50 more than it should cost honestly.

 

The HE-300 is efficient. It will be pretty loud, probably too loud, on a speaker amp without a resistor in place. Again, it will work, but you're plugging a very efficient headphone into a speaker amp; this HE300 is not like the HE4, HE6, HE500, that are inefficient and can take speaker amps, the HE300 barely needs an amp as it is, so feeding it a 10 watt amp could result in very hissy hummy sound due to gain if it doesn't melt the voice coils.

 

Problem number 2: The adapter you linked has XLR output only. The headphones you buy will all have TRS. So you have to buy an adapter that is a 4 pin XLR (male) to female 1/4th inch TRS. More money to spend. Also, finding a 4 pin XLR to TRS isn't really going to happen (TRS is 3 pin, one ground) so they don't even match up. This means you need a new cable, or you have to reterminate the existing cable to XLR. That costs even more. This takes us back to my original post explaining the need to recable or reterminate to XLR. Even going this route you need it. You can buy a cable from hifiman that is already terminated to XLR, but if you look at their prices, you'll see why I suggest someone do it for you elsewhere. That adapter from Hifiman has some minor resistors in-line, but they're small load and still not enough to protect the HE300. Treat the HE300 like any normal headphone. It's not even a planar magnetic, it's a dynamic. It's not like the HE500/HE4/HE6 which are basically little speakers.

 

This is the kind of cable you would need, to use that adapter. This is why I suggested you had it done by a 3rd party professional for less, if you really want to go this route.

 

The reluctancy around here is because we are trying to help you make this work in your budget, but it takes a lot of know-how and a lot of experience and understanding of how these work, we don't want you to spend $300+ on an efficient headphone, an adapter, and a cable mod, and then plug it all into a speaker amp, turn it on, and it blows your headphones and melts the voice coils and then you wonder why we did you so dirty. It's not clicking, in these posts at least, so we're saying it all over again.

 

In the past, using a speaker amp with a headphone is what people had, they didn't have fancy headphone amps. They had dummy load adapters. Basically a little box that a headphone could plug into, that had speaker taps, that had some resistors in line to bring up the load and reduce current throughput. To use an efficient headphone like the HE300 or any other efficient headphone, you need to do something similar--use resistors. This requires you buy something already made, or have it made.

 

Overall, if you're buying an efficient headphone, you don't need an amplifier anyways. No need to get extravagant with this. At your budget and without knowing this stuff well enough to be safe, I really just recommend you keep it simple and get an efficient headphone and if you need a little source to plug into, get something simple and inexpensive. Like you said, you don't care about hi-fi, so there's no sense in getting $300+ headphones anyways.... right?

 

Possible last ditch solution:

 

** Warning ** This is an old method, not audiophile standard, and might sound like dookage. But it's an easy way to get a headphone out, inline with a speaker amp.

 

If you want another method to get the ability to use a headphone inline with a speaker amp, look into a phono pre-amp. You can get them inexpensive ($50~75). It will basically take RCA input that normally is going to your amp anyways, have RCA output, so you continue on to your amp, but this way it provides you a resistor inline stereo phono jack where you can "monitor" or just listen via headphones. Look on amazon for a "phono pre-amp" and just look at the inputs, outputs and looks for a 1/4th TRS (stereo phono) and you're likely good to go with that. Use a relatively efficient headphone and you're set. Example. Another example. This will work with an efficient headphone, but understand, it's not meant for audiophile level listening, it's just meant for monitoring (usually to see how a vinyl is sounding). It will let a headphone listen in to what's going on. It may not sound very good.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 9/14/13 at 5:42am
post #12 of 17

http://vinylflat.com/canopener.html

 

Was thinking about getting this but got speaker taps instead

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great info. Will certainly consider your input when I have researched this a bit more.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by spurxiii View Post
 

http://vinylflat.com/canopener.html

 

Was thinking about getting this but got speaker taps instead

 

Is this same as HE-adapter, or is it for more efficient headphones?

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberth1990 View Post
 

 

Is this same as HE-adapter, or is it for more efficient headphones?

 

Heya,

 

It's not the same as the HE adapter. The HE adapter has low impedance resistors in it, so it still allows a lot of current throughput to the headphone. It's designed to work for inefficient headphones.

 

The Can Opener (and the other phono pre-amps listed above) has higher impedance resistors inside, so that it brings the current throughput down so that it's suitable for efficient headphones.

 

Very best,

post #15 of 17
Malveaux is right. It depends on what cans you use
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