Originally Posted by nick_charles
Hello Monty, welcome to the dark side. In another thread I wondered if the intermodulation could be at the headphone end rather than in the DAC?
Have you tested any systems using single driver headphones where the test did not produce audible grunty ?
Try and stay away from the dedicated source forum, it will drive you nuts !
Oh, I've been on the dark side for a long time. People see the things I write and for some reason think I'm some kind of high-end audio hater. I love [especially] vintage equipment and headphones, I just try to avoid delusions.
If we're being pedantic, headphones will all introduce IM, it's unavoidable in a physical transducer, but it's also usually inaudible. The samples are useful partly because they test the whole system; they're limited because they don't identify where the problem is, only when there is a problem.
In any case, yes, I have combos that do not produce any audible IM over most of their range. Practically everything does if you push it hard enough. Output stages seem more likely to be a problem than transducers, or at least, when they go bad they go really bad. Transducer issues are usually subtle (and even when a transducer is misbehaving, it will still usually sound quite good). Amp issues will rip your head off.