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Bottlehead Amplifier Discussion / Comparison Thread: Crack, SEX & Mainline - Page 24

post #346 of 807
The Hifiman 500 and the HE6 Doc.
Too bright which is a sign of not enough power.
post #347 of 807

Not enough power would result in the amp clipping as it was forced past its designed output level. Brightness at higher volume levels could be a sign of the onset of clipping (easily verified by pushing the level a bit more and listening for clipping - better yet by actually looking for clipping on a scope), but it could also be due to an impedance mismatch between the source and the amp or the amp and the headphones. Did the amp you used have the original 120 ohm resistors in series with the headphone jack? Also was it the current version 2.1 with our own transformers, or a previous version with the Specos? That kind of info might help determine what it was about the combination that didn't work. The current version of S.E.X. with the impedance switch option is capable of higher voltage swing from the 32 ohm setting than previous versions that didn't have that option, and that might make a difference.

 

The one time I listened to HiFiMan cans on the S.E.X. it worked quite well. That was a couple of years ago and unfortunately I can't remember which model I heard, so it may be that I heard the more sensitive HE-400. It does strike me as curious that the current S.E.X. amp would run out of steam on HEs as I am sitting here listening to K1000s driven by a S.E.X. amp off the 32 ohm tap and having to turn it down on occasion, not because it is bright or distorting but simply because some track levels are too loud. Looking at the HiFiman website specs it appears that the HE-6/S.E.X. 2.1 combo might be marginal, but the HE-500/S.E.X. 2.1 combo with the S.E.X. set to 32 ohms should work well - at least on paper.

post #348 of 807
The SEX I have is probably at a lower setting than the 32 ohms. Loquah might know more as he helped build it.
Trouble with the HE series is that they are very demanding than your average ortho.
Mind you, the SEX sounds great with the rest of my cans including a STAX transformer. Very liquid and very musical.
post #349 of 807

A lower impedance tap will definitely make a difference in terms of lowering the output power into a given load. There is a matter of choosing your poison. If you use very sensitive 32 ohm headphones the use of the additional signal swing avaiable from the 32 ohm tap is not really necessary and the increased gain due to the lower turns ratio of the output transformer at the 32 ohm tap might actually introduce a little bit of noise floor. Using lower impedance taps will sound great and improve the signal to noise ratio. If you use very insensitive 38 or 50 ohm headphones like the HE-500/HE-6 the noise floor will not be an issue and the 32 ohm tap will be good to use to get more signal output level than the lower impedance taps. That's why we came up with the impedance switch kit, to allow one to adjust the output impedance easily to tailor the performance for different headphones. And different speakers for that matter.

post #350 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by gikigill View Post

The SEX I have is probably at a lower setting than the 32 ohms. Loquah might know more as he helped build it.
Trouble with the HE series is that they are very demanding than your average ortho.
Mind you, the SEX sounds great with the rest of my cans including a STAX transformer. Very liquid and very musical.

 

I really enjoy my SEX with via STAX output transformer.  I also have a Stereomour but its hard to say which is better suited for use with STAX headphones.  I find that the SEX with the impedance switches has a higher level of output allowing me to achieve listening levels at a lower volume setting.  

post #351 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gikigill View Post

The SEX I have is probably at a lower setting than the 32 ohms. Loquah might know more as he helped build it.
Trouble with the HE series is that they are very demanding than your average ortho.
Mind you, the SEX sounds great with the rest of my cans including a STAX transformer. Very liquid and very musical.

 

We wired ours for the 8 ohm tap originally I think. I've since lowered mine to 4 ohm. Are you using Billy's while he's away Gill?

 

I definitely wouldn't expect it to play nicely with the HE-6, but am interested to try the S.E.X. and Mainline with the HE-500 or maybe one of the new models coming soon...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc B. View Post

 

The current version of S.E.X. with the impedance switch option is capable of higher voltage swing from the 32 ohm setting than previous versions that didn't have that option, and that might make a difference.

 

Doc, are you saying that the impedance switch changes the amplifier's voltage swing or is it just about having the ability to easily access the 32 ohm winding when required?

post #352 of 807
Yup, Billy offered it so I took it. Sounds great and I hardly imagine what it will be after the upgrades and the impedance switch. Pairing it with a TH900 soon.
post #353 of 807
Try the newer Hifiman headphones Lachlan.
The 560 looks like a good one if you don't want to build your neck muscles with the HE6.
post #354 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gikigill View Post

Try the newer Hifiman headphones Lachlan.
The 560 looks like a good one if you don't want to build your neck muscles with the HE6.

 

That's what I'm thinking. I was going to go for HE-500s or LCD-2, but I think I might stretch for the HD800s now and HE-560s later in the year.

post #355 of 807
Vastly different sound there but should be interesting nonetheless with the Bottlehead amps. Too bad I have been bitten by the Fostex bug and can't justify another ortho since I find Audeze too dark for my taste.
post #356 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gikigill View Post

Vastly different sound there but should be interesting nonetheless with the Bottlehead amps. Too bad I have been bitten by the Fostex bug and can't justify another ortho since I find Audeze too dark for my taste.

 

I'm going to have to hear a pair of LCD-2s before I can decide once and for all. I think they'll be to dark for me too, especially from tube amps, but I am so torn between HE-500, HD800 and LCD 2 that auditioning is really the only option!

 

As for the Fostex, I still can't come around to them, but hopefully I will get a loan of a pair from the Fostex rep or someone so I can get to know them and do a full review...

post #357 of 807
Thread Starter 

T1 + Mainline + Gary Clark = :L3000:

 

The weight of notes from the Mainline brings this to life like I haven't heard it before...

 

post #358 of 807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loquah View Post
 

 

Although I expect there's enough power as well as gain, have you tried the ADs from anything else to see how the Mainline drives them compared to other amps? Volume alone isn't always an indicator of sufficient power, but I do expect the Mainline to be easily up to the task on all fronts.

 

I ordered my AD's with a balanced cable to go with the mainline, so I need to slap together a 4pin xlr -> trs adapter (parts already on hand) before I can try them with other amps.  That said, I'm quite pleased with the pairing and am not picking up on anything that suggests the mainline is in any way lacking the power necessary to drive these particular planars.  Many folks in the AD thread are reporting good results with a portable (the hifi m8), so I think power is really a non-issue with AD's.

post #359 of 807
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
 

 

I ordered my AD's with a balanced cable to go with the mainline, so I need to slap together a 4pin xlr -> trs adapter (parts already on hand) before I can try them with other amps.  That said, I'm quite pleased with the pairing and am not picking up on anything that suggests the mainline is in any way lacking the power necessary to drive these particular planars.  Many folks in the AD thread are reporting good results with a portable (the hifi m8), so I think power is really a non-issue with AD's.

 

Good to hear. Please keep us all informed as the library of experience with Mainline pairings is still very new...

post #360 of 807

How much power into a 300 ohm load (HD600) using the 8 ohm tap on the S.E.X?


I feel like there's something missing when moving from 32 ohm tap to 8 ohm tap.


does using 120 ohm resistors in series give similar result as wiring to a lower impedance tap?

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