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post #31 of 211

I'm new to headphones and high quality music, and I kinda leaped up to the Grado ps1000 headphones because they sounded best to me.  Ive been listening to them right out of the headphone jack of my asus essence stx soundcard for over a month now, and they sound excellent.  However, been trying all kinds of things out at a friends house.  Regrettably, he only has one amp (woo wa22) so I cant test this too much, but, I have listened to my headphones through the headphone jack (which will drive even lower efficiency), from the wa22 using the sound card as a dac and hooking it up rca analog to the wa22, and using the digital optical out of the computer to several different dac's, and I can tell the difference.  Although, admittedly the wa22 is a tube amp and the asus stx is solid state, and those were my only 2 options.  However, I definitely noticed a very distinct difference particularly going from amping from the stx and to the wa22.  I could also tell the difference between the dacs, but admittedly most were very small, mostly a difference in soundstage and bass were the only two characteristics that were the most distinguishable.  However, the quality of the bass was very easy to tell, especially as my new headphones are new, they have had a very bloomy bass right out of the stx, and it has been clearing up, but put it on the wa22, and its gone, and left with absolute precise bass, and I can tell when its deeper bass and when its mid bass as well.

 

Now...whether there is a difference from high dollar amps and mid grade, I do not know... but for my headphones, there was a very noticeable difference (and I can do  it blind, and from the next room, next day, whatever test you want to throw at it.

 

Now if my headphones break in with a tighter bass, then it might be a bit harder to tell, but the fact that there was a difference should be telling enough

post #32 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 

 

2V is more than enough to drive most headphone to ear bleeding levels. It's the wattage you need to worry about.

If an amp cannot supply enough current to reach 2V at the load impedance then 2 V will not be reached, clip clip clipping will result. The same applies for any voltage.

2 Volts at 300 Ohms will only yield 13.3 mW which is 118 dB SPL for an HD600, just below the threshold of pain, not ear bleeding if that's the top of peaks for headroom. The HD800 or HD650 (same sensitivity) is less sensitive than a HD600 and will require some more as at 2 V they will put out 108 db SPL at 2V, that's 10 dB less than the HD600 and may be less impressive (headroom).

If you don't meet headroom requirements, you will get clipping on peaks, this will of course not be welcome.

If you consider the HE-500's at 38 Ohms, the same 2 V will get you 105 mW and deliver 109 dB SPL. One will need a little more, perhaps just over 6V which will deliver around 10 times he power. Remember this is not linear it's logarithmic, so 10 times isn't as drastic as one might think.

Let's not even discuss the more demanding cans like the HE-6 and its power mongering brothers. Most mainstream cans are sensitive enough not to run into such problems but many of those out there in the world of Head-Fi have headphones of modest power demands as I pointed out. So owners must do their homework. One need not spend a fortune to drive these cans that I mentioned.

post #33 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by flailure View Post
 

I'm new to headphones and high quality music, and I kinda leaped up to the Grado ps1000 headphones because they sounded best to me.  Ive been listening to them right out of the headphone jack of my asus essence stx soundcard for over a month now, and they sound excellent.  However, been trying all kinds of things out at a friends house.  Regrettably, he only has one amp (woo wa22) so I cant test this too much, but, I have listened to my headphones through the headphone jack (which will drive even lower efficiency), from the wa22 using the sound card as a dac and hooking it up rca analog to the wa22, and using the digital optical out of the computer to several different dac's, and I can tell the difference.  Although, admittedly the wa22 is a tube amp and the asus stx is solid state, and those were my only 2 options.  However, I definitely noticed a very distinct difference particularly going from amping from the stx and to the wa22.  I could also tell the difference between the dacs, but admittedly most were very small, mostly a difference in soundstage and bass were the only two characteristics that were the most distinguishable.  However, the quality of the bass was very easy to tell, especially as my new headphones are new, they have had a very bloomy bass right out of the stx, and it has been clearing up, but put it on the wa22, and its gone, and left with absolute precise bass, and I can tell when its deeper bass and when its mid bass as well.

 

Now...whether there is a difference from high dollar amps and mid grade, I do not know... but for my headphones, there was a very noticeable difference (and I can do  it blind, and from the next room, next day, whatever test you want to throw at it.

 

Now if my headphones break in with a tighter bass, then it might be a bit harder to tell, but the fact that there was a difference should be telling enough

What you probably heard as the difference between tube sound (added even order harmonic distortion) and clear solid state. The HD of a good tube amp adds color that some people prefer and is not necessarily a bad thing if done right.

If you conducted a proper ABX text you might be shocked at the outcome. Getting further into ABX testing is best done at the sound science forums.

post #34 of 211

yeah,  unfortunately all my friend has is the wa22, and all I have is the asus stx.  So no way to test solid state vs another solid state, or vice versa with tubes.  

post #35 of 211

http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~gan/teaching/summer04/Lec6.pdf

http://www.physics.unlv.edu/~bill/PHYS483/op-amps.pdf

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~phylabs/bsc/PDFFiles/bsc6.pdf

 

Physics and stuff.

 

Unlike the cable argument, one can prove that amplifiers do in fact, amplify, and do in fact, have an affect on the output sound.

post #36 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by younglee200 View Post
 

http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~gan/teaching/summer04/Lec6.pdf

http://www.physics.unlv.edu/~bill/PHYS483/op-amps.pdf

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~phylabs/bsc/PDFFiles/bsc6.pdf

 

Physics and stuff.

 

Unlike the cable argument, one can prove that amplifiers do in fact, amplify, and do in fact, have an affect on the output sound.

I'm an EE, the links you posted do not have any bearing on the point of which that one cannot tell the differnce between amps of flat FR, low distortion and adequate driving capability operating in their linear ranges at equal volume using the same cans.

post #37 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by flailure View Post
 

yeah,  unfortunately all my friend has is the wa22, and all I have is the asus stx.  So no way to test solid state vs another solid state, or vice versa with tubes.  

If you take two amps, SS or tube that have very low distortion, below what humans can perceive (which is easy to accomplish) operating under the fair conditions I've outlined, one cannot tell the difference. When people get involved the dynamics include expectation bias and suggestion, etc. which are not real.

Well what I'm about to say......hold it, is she looking, OK, she's not around.

One is best spending the excess money buying a gift for your wife (or significant other, etc). You will get much more tangible results. ;) 


Edited by StanD - 2/22/14 at 1:06pm
post #38 of 211

Yeah, well, I'm new to the high quality music world, so you'll have to forgive me if I take neither side as gospel

 

fortunately for me I think my headphones sound good on both, although I am keeping an "open-mind" and listening to as much as I can

post #39 of 211
Thread Starter 
Yes I've heard tube amps color the sound in some way and I've never heard one I'll admit. but that raises the question of whether a $1000 tube amp sounds the same as a cheap tube amp, if there is such a thing as a cheap tube amp.
Edited by ag8908 - 2/22/14 at 1:15pm
post #40 of 211

I've been told that the little dot 1 is a great value for a tube amp, and if I could compare it versus the obviously way more expensive wa22 I would, but... I dont make a lot of money with my job so, therefore I dont buy stuff just for experiments

 

I was looking into building my own, but even the materials to build one oneself seems dramatically overpriced, and then of course, have to worry about whether something I did wrong was affecting the quality of the outcome

post #41 of 211

Read OP's main Question - he feels that headphone amplifiers are largely redundant scam products.  

 

All I'm trying to explain to OP is that there is physical proof that amplifiers do what they are inherently designed to do (amplify and alter output sounds).  As to whether having an external amplifier should sound necessarily better, that should be mostly subjective.  There are those who swear by their Beats from their ipod over the much more costlier headphone system that you and I own, but who are we to call them wrong?


Edited by younglee200 - 2/22/14 at 1:24pm
post #42 of 211
Thread Starter 
Younglee you're obviously trying very cheap "here are a bunch of technical links" argument, a very lame form of bsing. Please stop.
post #43 of 211
Thread Starter 
How is this tube amp? I wish I would have gotten it instead of the objective2 because at least this might have colored the sound in a pleasant way and it looks cool.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00ADR2DTG?cache=1f6311896fa5b9c3d93f75fb99a280b5#ref=mp_s_a_1_1&qid=1393104455&sr=8-1
Edited by ag8908 - 2/22/14 at 1:32pm
post #44 of 211

Okay i'll stop you win.

 

Enjoy your hobby and saving money since i actually love throwing my money away at cheap B.S. equipment such as audio amplifiers.

post #45 of 211
Thread Starter 
This report utterly refutes your point
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=AxgJU-jaGIP2oAS85oLwAQ&url=http://www.audiology.org/resources/documentlibrary/Documents/HAT_Guidelines_Supplement_A.pdf&cd=8&ved=0CDwQFjAH&usg=AFQjCNHeMu19nuySCQ8x1Uz01Fjt3cHiCQ

{Not meant to actually be read; just showing how randomly linking to a technical document doesn't prove anything}
Edited by ag8908 - 2/22/14 at 2:37pm
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