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post #9376 of 13915

The difference between volume and gain is that you can have adequate volume but not enough drive to power your earphones/headphones to a level that sounds good. Higher gain and lower volume has more potential to sound better than low gain and high volume. The decibel level is the same but the SQ may vary greatly depending on your phones.

 

The DX90 can drive most phones, even the HD800s but whether or not they sound as good as driven by an external amp is definitely another question. I don't think people will use the HD800 as portable headphones eh. 

post #9377 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by mejoshua View Post
 

The difference between volume and gain is that you can have adequate volume but not enough drive to power your earphones/headphones to a level that sounds good. Higher gain and lower volume has more potential to sound better than low gain and high volume. The decibel level is the same but the SQ may vary greatly depending on your phones.

 

The DX90 can drive most phones, even the HD800s but whether or not they sound as good as driven by an external amp is definitely another question. I don't think people will use the HD800 as portable headphones eh. 

 

Very Interesting.  Thank you for the reply.

 

I purchased the DX90, not as an end game unit (though you never know) and not necessarily for portable use (although it's a nice option), but because of the specs - mainly the dual mono DACs and black background, crosstalk, etc - as an experiment with what gives a more natural/musical sound, at a lesser price than some of the DACs at a much higher price-point.  The fact that it has some serious DAC chips in the unit is a big draw.  I might (probably) end up going bigger, pricier, grander...but I figured for $359, it would be an upgrade over the Aune T1 that I currently have, and to see if it makes that much of a difference with the HD800s, which I am in love with, even with a suspect DAC/Amp combo I'm using.

 

But now I find that I might be missing a step in getting an separate amp...and I don't even know where to start to give my cans much justice.  The only thing I found on pairing amps with the HD800s is from 2009, and a lot has changed since then.  It seems I might be in for spending to some more money.  It's just how much is the question. * sigh * 

post #9378 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by mejoshua View Post

Higher gain and lower volume has more potential to sound better than low gain and high volume. The decibel level is the same but the SQ may vary greatly depending on your phones.

That is not the case most of the time. Higher gain also raise noise level. In the case of DX90 you would want to set the volume as close to the highest level as possible to get the best dynamic range possible due the digital volume control. Analog pots are prone to channell imbalance at lower levels so you want it past 12 o'clock position which is challenging at higher gains.
post #9379 of 13915
That's true. I suppose my point was about power vs volume level
post #9380 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post


That is not the case most of the time. Higher gain also raise noise level. In the case of DX90 you would want to set the volume as close to the highest level as possible to get the best dynamic range possible due the digital volume control. Analog pots are prone to channell imbalance at lower levels so you want it past 12 o'clock position which is challenging at higher gains.

 

So, you haven't found any distortion out of the DX90 with high gain and high volumes? 

post #9381 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by mejoshua View Post

That's true. I suppose my point was about power vs volume level

I'd like to think that's the case as well. But then you were takling about gain and volume.

To illustrate, a 1x gain at 2vrms of input will sound louder than a 2x gain at 0.75Vrms of input.

Gain alone will not tell you how loud the volume will be or if the amp can properly drive a phone. You need the input level and max power the amp can supply given a specific load in ohms.

An amp may have plenty of power for a given phone. But if gain is not properly match, the headphone will sound underpowered or may clip.

But it's always true that higher gain has higher noise. Digital volume works best at higher volume level and analog pots are prone to channel imbalance at very low volume setting. Which in all cases you want to avoid a higher gain if possible.
Edited by headwhacker - 11/30/14 at 4:53am
post #9382 of 13915

I'm currently considering buying either the iBasso R10 or the DX90j. Anyone here knows how the DX90j compares to the DX90?

post #9383 of 13915

Iv'e ordered the DX90 and then someone told me it is a waste of money for my ATH-M40X. Is it true?

post #9384 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavMahler View Post

Iv'e ordered the DX90 and then someone told me it is a waste of money for my ATH-M40X. Is it true?

Has he heard them together? Will you never upgrade phones/iems? You had it ordered a long time, when you expect it to arrive?
post #9385 of 13915

It supposed to arrive in the next few days. The seller sayd he will ship in two bussiness days and he shipped it after two weeks.

I am planning on buying an open back headphones (HD598 probably as it seems until now). I have no idea if he heard them. Maybe he said that because of the low impedance of the ATH-M40X? I thought it will gain clarity with the DX90. 

post #9386 of 13915
It will greatly improve any headphones/iems you buy in the future all the way up to TOTL equipment IMHO. It sounds amazing and IMHO you won't need to upgrade your source unless you want the AK240 to be honest




Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavMahler View Post

Iv'e ordered the DX90 and then someone told me it is a waste of money for my ATH-M40X. Is it true?
post #9387 of 13915

Thanks a lot man, It calmed me down..

Other opinions will be appreciated! Btw will it increase the narrow soundstage of my ATH-M40X?

post #9388 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimChee View Post

It will greatly improve any headphones/iems you buy in the future all the way up to TOTL equipment IMHO. It sounds amazing and IMHO you won't need to upgrade your source unless you want the AK240 to be honest

It's barely able to drive many TOTL headphones. With some headphones you'll have to go max/near max volume/gain. They're great for IEMs, but it kind of struggles with hard to drive headphones.
Read any review you want if you don't believe me. The q701s mids sound recessed with the DX90
Edited by bobby12 - 11/30/14 at 3:52pm
post #9389 of 13915

Is it able to drive the HD600/650 etc.?

post #9390 of 13915
Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavMahler View Post

Is it able to drive the HD600/650 etc.?

It has enough volume(unless you listen at really loud volumes), but others will argue that you can get a better sound for less with a desktop amp.

Some people are more picky than others, and since you don't have much exposure to high end gear, therefore not as picky, you'll probably enjoy it through the DX90
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