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Need some amp help with HD 600

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Okay,

 

So I hope I can find the right kind of guidance to help me out with my HD 600's. I recently purchased them and I'm kind of confused as to if Im doing something wrong. Firstly, I bought the HD600 without an amp and I connected it to my focusrite scarlett 2i2 audio interface. Its USB powered and I didn't think that it would be enough to power my HD 600. On the audio interface the 600's seem to have a very prominent bass with very clear trebles and highs. I could hear the drums and claps very vividly and it seemed as if the snares stood out in front. It really brought stuff out in my music that I had never heard. I also didn't notice any veil to the high frequencies. The sound stage sounded absolutely massive. I was pretty impressed clear out of the box with the HD600 and I thought that buying an amp would only make it better. Fast forward 2 weeks later after getting used to the sound signature of these snappy HD600's and I recieve my Magni from schiit audio. I connected the output from the headphone jacks to the RCA into the Magni amp. I plug in the HD600 and all of a sudden I notice that the sound stage is much smaller, the music seems more cohesive but quite laid back. It doesn't sound bad per say but on an A/B comparison I was doing, I really preferred the ampless HD600 coming straight from the audio interface. I read here that the magni is actually a pretty decent pair for the HD600. I also have seen that the HD600 are not that hard to drive. To make it worse, after plugging in the M50 from audio technica's in I realized that the HD600 arent that far off. Keep in mind this is with the amp. Im just curious as to why the HD600 dont seem to hold up to the rave that some people are giving them here on the forum. Am I doing something incorrectly. I honestly love the way the HD600 look and feel. I love the way they sound plugged into the audio interface, now why is it when plugged into the amp I feel as if there is a drop in performance? When I have them plugged into the audio interface the music is snappy, the transients are heard loud and clear and everything sound great. I know the amp works fantastic, when plugged into the M50 they really bring out about 95% of the same performance level as the HD600 when plugged into the same Magni. Whats going on? Anyone have any suggestions.

 

I may do some more A/B between my headphones. How would anyone who has the HD600 describe the sound signature from their pair? The difference between the amp/without is night and day. I seem to need to crank up the volume with the amp up and I just cant get them to sound 'right' 

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellarbrother View Post

I connected the output from the headphone jacks to the RCA into the Magni amp.

It's not a good idea to double amp the headphone output on your Focusrite. People do that when their music player doesn't play loud enough for them, but the best SQ comes from bypassing the headphone amp in the Focusrite and running the built in DAC directly to the Magni. You need to use a line level output to the Magni.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the speedy reply! I could see why the combination would somewhat bring problems or undesired changes in what to expect. Honestly, I am floored with the way this combo makes the M50 sound and quite disheartened how they gave me the perception that the HD600 would sound on an amp. I was unimpressed from day one. I will continue to A/B between my HS80M Yamaha monitors and some of my headphones. Ill try my Ipod routed to the amp and different headphones. What did you mean by the line level output. I have an idea but I just want to clarify.

Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 You need to use a line level output to the Magni.
post #4 of 7
The line level is an unamped output. Not sure how you do it with the Focusrite since that is a proaudio device. You might start by looking at the manual.

If you want to get the most out of an iPod, you probably need some kind of Apple LOD connector instead of double amping out of the headphone jack. I'm not an Apple person, so I don't know what you would need exactly.

Also, it's possible the HD600s may not respond much more to the Magni than the Focusrite. I just don't know.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well I have a basically have a RCA to 3.5mm cable that's plugged into the amp. I also have a 1/4 inch adapter that converts the 3.5mm jack on the cable to fit into my audio interface. Im not an extremely technical person. I figured that there may be a problem when using the audio interface output to plug into the Magni but I also emailed technical support on schiit audio. They told me it was okay but I think they just wanted me to buy their amp lol.

 

I also have two different volume line levels for headphones and monitors. The headphone output signal is set at 100% before it is routed to the amp. The best way to describe the difference in sound is probably just by sound stage. When I have it plugged into the interface it sounds as if Im seated front row of a band or performance. I can hear very good imaging of the different drum hits and the individual layers of the hi-hats that the producer layer together to add depth to the higher frequencies. When adding the amp into the mix, I feel as if I am sitting somewhere in the middle of the audience or near the back. It still sounds clear, but the drum hits aren't there. I cant find and pick apart the different elements of the music and nuances that I like to hear. I was expecting the level of clarity to be able to pick apart the different layers and subtle timbre of the clap layers. When using the amp it all disappears. I tried to bring up the volume to maybe compinsate and it just makes my ears uncomfortable. It's loud yet distant and quite muffled. I hope its not the veil that people are talking about. I don't hear any of that on the audio interface quite honestly and the highs are crystal clear. Im so confused lol. Anyone else experience this? I thought I might run into trouble with people experiencing the same because of the added studio equipment. Any audio engineers like to chime in on proper routing lol

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The line level is an unamped output. Not sure how you do it with the Focusrite since that is a proaudio device. You might start by looking at the manual.

If you want to get the most out of an iPod, you probably need some kind of Apple LOD connector instead of double amping out of the headphone jack. I'm not an Apple person, so I don't know what you would need exactly.

Also, it's possible the HD600s may not respond much more to the Magni than the Focusrite. I just don't know.

 

I just took your advice.I pondered about the double amping and I tried turned off direct monitoring option on my audio interface off while sending the output to the amp. It is a MUCH better improvement. It sounds close enough to just the headphones plugged into the audio interface. It seems to also make the music sound more forward. The transients seem a bit tame to be. Thanks for the idea!

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellarbrother View Post

I just took your advice.I pondered about the double amping and I tried turned off direct monitoring option on my audio interface off while sending the output to the amp. It is a MUCH better improvement. It sounds close enough to just the headphones plugged into the audio interface. It seems to also make the music sound more forward. The transients seem a bit tame to be. Thanks for the idea!

Great. Glad that helped. Anytime you got a DAC and an a headphone amp like that, you want the most direct connection that bypasses everything else.
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