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post #91 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

Besides. Scientifically speaking, wouldn't cables make a difference in the sounds regardless of the source quality? I mean, even if the source is of bad quality, the cables would alter the sound just like they would alter the sound of a good quality source, no? It's not like the cable has the ability to know what kind of dac/bitrate you're playing.

 

Actually, scientifically speaking, there is no basis for cables making any kind of audible difference in sound quality.   

post #92 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
 

 

Actually, scientifically speaking, there is no basis for cables making any kind of audible difference in sound quality.   

It's the things plugged into the ends of the cables that matter. :D Like headphones, Amps, DACs, etc.

post #93 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

It's the things plugged into the ends of the cables that matter. :D Like headphones, Amps, DACs, etc.

 

I wouldn't say an amp plugs into the end of a headphone. It's more like a bulky and needless interloper that prevents the headphone from connecting directly to your laptop or phone.

post #94 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 


Sound degrades continuously as the length of the wire increases It's not like there is no degradation until you hit 10 feet, then suddenly there is a degradation cliff or something.

 

The degradation starts around the point your cable crosses the street into the next block.

post #95 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

 

I wouldn't say an amp plugs into the end of a headphone. It's more like a bulky and needless interloper that prevents the headphone from connecting directly to your laptop or phone.

Phone and laptop jacks > all.

/Thread

post #96 of 211

For this thread I'm rather feeling >/dev/null  

post #97 of 211
Thread Starter 

There is a huge benefit from selling an amp and buying another headphone with a different sound frequency. For example, I'll often listen to my SRH940s because they reproduce sound in this airy ethereal manner that even the HD800 can't do. I'm not saying the SRH940 are more accurate in any way. Not at all. But music is about fantasy and fun, and you can get much more in that respect by having a headphone for each mood or taste in music, as opposed to wasting money on an amp.

post #98 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

Ugh I don't really want to get into this, but nobody's pointed it out for some reason. Why would you try to amplify an amplifier? Of course you don't hear a significant difference; what you're doing is amplifying a source that isn't good in the first place. What you're doing is trying to resize a 5x8 picture into a wall-sized picture and complaining that the result doesn't look nice. The O2 is doing its job. It's amplifying the source. You're plugging the O2 into a laptop headphone jack. The O2 could not possibly improve the sound because the sound it's receiving is already degraded; amplifiers aren't magical devices that can somehow improve something that's been degraded.


The O2 could in fact easily improve the sound by preventing the built-in amplifier of the laptop from degrading it while driving a headphone load, rather than the input of the O2, which is much easier. Onboard audio often has problems like high output impedance that can be fixed by adding a low impedance amplifier. Also, running the laptop at 100% volume (or whatever its maximum is without clipping), and using the O2 as an attenuator can reduce noise with sensitive headphones. Another thing to consider is that the laptop jack might be switchable between line and headphone mode. But even if it is not, the popular belief that "double amping" cannot improve the sound is not correct, as explained above.

 

Finally, there is not really such thing as an "unamped output": even line outs are driven by amplifiers, just - typically - low power ones not designed for transducer loads. However, it is technically possible to design a headphone output that is good enough for both purposes (except for a minority of headphones that need more power than what can be provided by a good buffer op amp like the NJM4556 and ~2 Vrms full scale voltage). In fact, many sound cards have "headphone jacks" with specifications closer to that of a typical line output.


Edited by stv014 - 2/26/14 at 8:58am
post #99 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post
 


The O2 could in fact easily improve the sound by preventing the built-in amplifier of the laptop from degrading it while driving a headphone load, rather than the input of the O2, which is much easier. Onboard audio often has problems like high output impedance that can be fixed by adding a low impedance amplifier. Also, running the laptop at 100% volume (or whatever its maximum is without clipping), and using the O2 as an attenuator can reduce noise with sensitive headphones. Another thing to consider is that the laptop jack might be switchable between line and headphone mode. But even if it is not, the popular belief that "double amping" cannot improve the sound is not correct, as explained above.

 

Finally, there is not really such thing as an "unamped output": even line outs are driven by amplifiers, just - typically - low power ones not designed for transducer loads. However, it is technically possible to design a headphone output that is good enough for both purposes (except for a minority of headphones that need more power than what can be provided by a good buffer op amp like the NJM4556 and ~2 Vrms full scale voltage). In fact, many sound cards have "headphone jacks" with specifications closer to that of a typical line output.

 

Right, I'm going to backtrack because I've definitely found some appreciable difference from amplifying a source that didn't have enough power in the first place; I definitely blanked out there, but the gist of what I meant to say had to do with the "crap in, crap out" argument.

post #100 of 211

This thread is a veritable minefield...

 

So let's play this game:

 

--> Did you plug in an amplifier between your DAC and headphone? Did it sound better? --> YES!!!! In that case it was not a scam product.

 

--> Did you plug in an amplifier between your DAC and headphone? Did it sound better? --> No??? In that case maybe that headphone didn't need an amp? Or the synergy wasn't right? Or maybe it was a low quality amp that was about as good as the DAC outputs? Or maybe it was a SCAM amp? How horrible.


Edited by TwoEars - 2/26/14 at 10:38am
post #101 of 211

You left out...

 

Did you plug in an amp and the music was just louder which made you think it sounded better, but in reality it was the same

post #102 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

You left out...

 

Did you plug in an amp and the music was just louder which made you think it sounded better, but in reality it was the same


Exactly.

post #103 of 211

Just tried exactly what do are doing: plugged my headphones (HD650+DT880) directly into my ODAC.

Results? No the sound ain't horrible. It's good, really good. Shortcomings? Yes, obvious ones. 

1) Lack volume for DT880/600 ohms. Maxed out, classical/jazz recording are quiet and lack grunt.
2) Bass control is loose. You lose some of that low end extension and impact. Quite obvious with bass heavy music
3) Soundstage feel closer, lost dimension on HD650, less obvious with DT880.

So while it still sound good and can be enjoyable straight out of a DAC, amplification in my case has benefits.

post #104 of 211
Given a single source and two different, transparent amplifiers normalized to present the same volume to the listener then there should be no audible difference. That's what "transparent" means. If two allegedly transparent amplifiers genuinely sound different from each other then one or both of them aren't as transparent as their manufacturers claim. It's a scam when someone disguises non-transparency as a feature in order to sell you an expensive device that you don't need.

Different cables made of different materials can have different impedance measurements. All else being equal, different cables with different impedances will present different volume levels. Human hearing tends to find slightly louder = slightly better if it is not already too loud so a lower impedance cable sounds "better". Except that it isn't actually better; just louder. It's a scam when someone uses the effect to sell you cable that costs many times more than it's worth.
post #105 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratinox View Post

Given a single source and two different, transparent amplifiers normalized to present the same volume to the listener then there should be no audible difference. That's what "transparent" means. If two allegedly transparent amplifiers genuinely sound different from each other then one or both of them aren't as transparent as their manufacturers claim. It's a scam when someone disguises non-transparency as a feature in order to sell you an expensive device that you don't need.

Different cables made of different materials can have different impedance measurements. All else being equal, different cables with different impedances will present different volume levels. Human hearing tends to find slightly louder = slightly better if it is not already too loud so a lower impedance cable sounds "better". Except that it isn't actually better; just louder. It's a scam when someone uses the effect to sell you cable that costs many times more than it's worth.


Oh interesting. Yes I find that the "louder = better" illusion is responsible for a lot of misleading audiophile information (including the idea that MOG is better that spotify, if you test them you'll see that all MOG does is raise the volume on songs). But the cables, even if they do nothing, will be worth it because they make my life easier. Unlike a bulky amp.

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