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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 95

post #1411 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

As paradoxical as it may sound, being too easy to reach peak performance (or as some may call it, a lack of scalability) is actually an undesirable trait to many in this hobby. I personally don't care either way, but that's just me.

 

That's really a shame that some people consider a can that is comparable to the LCD-2/LCD-X to be undesirable because it doesn't need $1,000 amplifiers to fully enjoy it. If the PM-1 are contenders to the LCD-2 with a Schiit Magni, while people claim the LCD-2 needs better amping, that makes my ears perk up.

 

I guess some people have money to spare and prefer to make $1,000 headphones sound like $1,100 headphones. Meanwhile I'd rejoice since I could recoup some funds and put it towards a nice vacation. But that's just me. 

post #1412 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aetherhole View Post

 

And if you guys have some good suggestions for amps (SS or tube) that won't break the bank, I'm interesting hearing some.  I currently only have a Little Dot MKII+.

Audio GD? They usually do well with Orthos and their combo units are good value cost/price wise.

post #1413 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post
 

 

That's really a shame that some people consider a can that is comparable to the LCD-2/LCD-X to be undesirable because it doesn't need $1,000 amplifiers to fully enjoy it. If the PM-1 are contenders to the LCD-2 with a Schiit Magni, while people claim the LCD-2 needs better amping, that makes my ears perk up.

 

I guess some people have money to spare and prefer to make $1,000 headphones sound like $1,100 headphones. Meanwhile I'd rejoice since I could recoup some funds and put it towards a nice vacation. But that's just me. 

This is as much a gear-driven hobby as it is music-driven (sometimes moreso the former), so of course there is always the allure of having a beastly setup resulting in the desired peak performance.

post #1414 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpudHarris View Post

Have'nt disappeared yet! But one thing is confusing me about you, why the hell are you commenting (negatively) on an impressions thread for a phone you don't even own rolleyes.gif why don't you shut up until you have something to say that is relevant. Man, I know they say don't feed them but it's tough sometimes.

Edit - Apologies, the above was a kneejerk reaction. What I should have said was read a few pages back as I already posted my impressions. You can read a little I guess. I posted impressions because I own them. I suggest that when you own them, you post impressions also, negative or otherwise but until then just butt out!

I try to review every piece of gear I have that's at least worth it.
Testament in my signature.
I apologize too for the sake of it. Might have been a bit harsh earlier but it got to me.
post #1415 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post
 

 

That's really a shame that some people consider a can that is comparable to the LCD-2/LCD-X to be undesirable because it doesn't need $1,000 amplifiers to fully enjoy it. If the PM-1 are contenders to the LCD-2 with a Schiit Magni, while people claim the LCD-2 needs better amping, that makes my ears perk up.

 

I guess some people have money to spare and prefer to make $1,000 headphones sound like $1,100 headphones. Meanwhile I'd rejoice since I could recoup some funds and put it towards a nice vacation. But that's just me. 

 

For me personally, it's a possibly a negative that the pm-1 is so easy to drive. Let me explain though. Most of the high end hp's that I've owned "required" a strong amp to reach their potential. So I settled in with the lyr and really have no plans to get rid of it. It plays well with my hd650 as well as most hard to drive planar mags. I have some concern that the lyr might be overkill for the Oppo. If it can be driven from a phone does it really need the 6 watts of the lyr? Will it be noisy on an amp with this much pop? I've heard at least one person here say that they had the lyr and it was fine. I'll see on Friday when mine arrive.

 

But if for any reason the pm-1 does not play well with the lyr, I'd have to buy another albeit less expensive desktop amp. So regardless of the cost of the second amp, it's still an added expense. I would have to guess that there are lot's of others here in a similar situation. We like hi end hp's, we've bought hi end amps (and currently own both) and now Oppo throws a curve with an hi end hp that doesn't need an amp. There's nothing wrong with the formula and certainly has merit but it's just not the usual pattern for hp's in this price range. 

post #1416 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

 

For me personally, it's a possibly a negative that the pm-1 is so easy to drive. Let me explain though. Most of the high end hp's that I've owned "required" a strong amp to reach their potential. So I settled in with the lyr and really have no plans to get rid of it. It plays well with my hd650 as well as most hard to drive planar mags. I have some concern that the lyr might be overkill for the Oppo. If it can be driven from a phone does it really need the 6 watts of the lyr? Will it be noisy on an amp with this much pop? I've heard at least one person here say that they had the lyr and it was fine. I'll see on Friday when mine arrive.

 

But if for any reason the pm-1 does not play well with the lyr, I'd have to buy another albeit less expensive desktop amp. So regardless of the cost of the second amp, it's still an added expense. I would have to guess that there are lot's of others here in a similar situation. We like hi end hp's, we've bought hi end amps (and currently own both) and now Oppo throws a curve with an hi end hp that doesn't need an amp. There's nothing wrong with the formula and certainly has merit but it's just not the usual pattern for hp's in this price range. 


You still have a vintage amp?  I'd be interested to know how they sound out of one.

post #1417 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post
 

I think what a lot of people neglect when comparing the PM-1 to other TOTL is how easily driven they are. That clearly makes them a great value in comparison to other headphones where people claim to only get them to their potential when spending $2,000 or so, total (including amp/DAC). Some might say that the PM-1 are at a loss because they don't scale, but if they are comparable to the LCD2 and LCD-X without the necessary amplification for them then doesn't that make them an awesome value?

 

Personally I've used them with a Magni as well as other amps and they sound fabulous with whatever I use them with. A clean SS amp is all that is needed to sound great. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post
 

As paradoxical as it may sound, being too easy to reach peak performance (or as some may call it, a lack of scalability) is actually an undesirable trait to many in this hobby. I personally don't care either way, but that's just me.

 

Actually, despite my early fascination with the efficiency of the PM-1, I'd like to reiterate some of my more recent posts proclaiming that it actually does improve with additional power. It's still a planar magnetic, and like the LCD-2, the bass gets tighter with more power, and if you're starting at something like a 15mW Sansa Clip+, you'll notice that even the mids gets less woolly as you apply more power.  

 

This is what I'm hearing with my ears - not what I've measured in any way:

 

Please note that this is entirely my conjecture, but I firmly believe it conveys a reality that is readily experienced and reproducible.  

 

This chart is only my attempt to graphically convey my conviction that the PM-1 sound quality improves with additional power very much like the LCD-2, but its curve is shifted to the left - reaching its maximum possible improvement with less power than that required by the LCD-2.  

 

I really think it's just this simple.  In fact, the PM-1 curve might be further to the left than depicted in my graphic, but I hope this will help people understand what's happening.

 

Having embraced this perception of the PM-1's scalability, the question becomes, "How much power is enough power to squeeze every last drop of goodness out of the PM-1?"

 

Audeze recommends a minimum of 1.0 Watts rms into 50 Ohms for the LCD-2, but my seat-of-the-pants guestimate is that the LCD-2 will continue to yield audible improvements right up to about 3 Watts rms into 50 Ohms. People who have more experience than I, with amps that can deliver in this range and beyond, might say the LCD-2 can deliver audible improvements at even more than 3 Watts rms, but keep in mind that just about any headphone can reach a SPL of 90dB with a whole lot less than 1 Watt.  So, we're not talking about loudness here, but rather the dynamics and control that come with additional headroom.

 

I can't say that I have as firm a picture of exactly where the PM-1 peaks in its scaling to additional power, but I'm convinced that it's somewhere around 1.0 Watt.  I say this based on my observation that I don't hear any improvement in dynamics, bass extension, bass energy or control, when going from about 600 mW (est.) up to 1200 mW (factory spec). A CEntrance DACmini CX with 1-Ohm output impedance mod gives the PM-1 all the power it can possibly exploit, in my opinion.  And my est. 600mW into 32 Ohm Meier Audio Corda Stepdance with 15V power supply is my favorite amp for the PM-1, currently - going to more power doesn't help, so far as I can tell, and I love the extremely neutral and transparent "powered wire" performance of the Stepdance (currently superceded by the Meier QuickStep.)

 

My favorite PM-1 chain thus far (subject to rapid change):

 

44.1/16 and 96/24 WAV on SD Cards > Win7 > Foobar 2000 w/WASAPI event mode > USB (data only) > 5V battery-powered Resonessence Concero SPDIF out > 12V battery-powered Beresford Bushmaster MkII > 15V battery-powered Meier Audio Corda Stepdance > PM-1

 

I'll add for readers who have experience with rolling op-amps that, in my opinion, the PM-1 is best served by the more analytical op-amps - i.e. OPA1611 or OPA209 - rather than with something euphonic, like the Muses 02.  The PM-1 thrives on clean, neutral, transparent signals.

 

I would love to get someone's opinion of the Meier Audio Corda Jazz with the PM-1, as I suspect that would be an ideal desktop amp - basically a souped-up, desktop version of the Quickstep, using OPA209's biased into Class A - plenty of clean, transparent power for the PM-1 (in my opinion.)

 

:D

 

Mike

post #1418 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post
 


You still have a vintage amp?  I'd be interested to know how they sound out of one.


I drove mine briefly from my mint Dynaco PAT-4 (I no longer have the SX780 around), and it wasn't a great experience. As you might expect, the noise floor was just too much to enjoy low-level listening with such a sensitive headphone. I'll try to bring the PM-1 over to my local vintage shop the next time I'm over there to try it out with some old Marantz, Technics, and Pioneer units, but I don't really expect a reduction in noise floor unless you've both meticulously restored and modified your units.

 

I tend to rely on my ears more than numbers when it comes to impedance matching (hell, I loved the PM-1 from my 100-ohm-output AMC 1100), but as we were discussing with the Lyr and others, vintage gear would probably be overkill in terms of power. I don't think anyone will be crazy enough to wire the PM-1 up to the speaker taps of an SX1980, for instance.

post #1419 of 3154


I've connected my PM-1 to my Denon 4800 AVR speaker taps, 125 wpc, absolutely wonderful sound, no noise whatsoever.  Just needed to adjust the volume to -40 before plugging in the headphones.  The Denon remembers the volume level on power off, so no problems.  The Denon has Analog Devices 1855 DAC, and is probably the best sounding AVR they made, the first with THX capability.  I have used this amp with all of my headphones.  HE-4, HE-500, HE-6, T1, DT880 600 ohm, and a few budget pair, listed in my sig, even my RE272.  A lot of speaker amps sound better than dedicated headphone amps.  I use speaker taps from my Denon 2808 AVR, 110 WPC, fed by my Jolida Glass Tube DAC, also from speaker taps on my integrated tube amp, 5 wpc.  Tube amps require a load of 10 ohm/10 watt resisotors to avoid damage to the transformer, but I use the Denon's with no load resistors, generally not needed with ss amps of this quality!

post #1420 of 3154

 I heard a pair of pm1s at axpona with the oppo amp. It seemed to sound somewhat similar to my lcd2 v2 though not exactly the same. The table I heard it at had two pm-1s set up for listening. One with the oppo amp and one with the benchmark hgc2. Of the two I preferred the benchmark. It was tighter sounding to me and seemed a better match for the pm-1.I heard the benchmark in a few set ups at axpona and it sounded pretty good in all of them.

post #1421 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post


I've connected my PM-1 to my Denon 4800 AVR speaker taps, 125 wpc, absolutely wonderful sound, no noise whatsoever.  Just needed to adjust the volume to -40 before plugging in the headphones.  The Denon remembers the volume level on power off, so no problems.  The Denon has Analog Devices 1855 DAC, and is probably the best sounding AVR they made, the first with THX capability.  I have used this amp with all of my headphones.  HE-4, HE-500, HE-6, T1, DT880 600 ohm, and a few budget pair, listed in my sig, even my RE272.  A lot of speaker amps sound better than dedicated headphone amps.  I use speaker taps from my Denon 2808 AVR, 110 WPC, fed by my Jolida Glass Tube DAC, also from speaker taps on my integrated tube amp, 5 wpc.  Tube amps require a load of 10 ohm/10 watt resisotors to avoid damage to the transformer, but I use the Denon's with no load resistors, generally not needed with ss amps of this quality!

That's great to hear. Do you think I'd be able to use my Topping TP80 (80w) speaker amp? Been using it to power the HE-6 with pos/neg shorted with a 7w 10 Ohm Resistor.

Sorry Ohm not amp - Doh!
Edited by SpudHarris - 4/29/14 at 7:45am
post #1422 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpudHarris View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post


I've connected my PM-1 to my Denon 4800 AVR speaker taps, 125 wpc, absolutely wonderful sound, no noise whatsoever.  Just needed to adjust the volume to -40 before plugging in the headphones.  The Denon remembers the volume level on power off, so no problems.  The Denon has Analog Devices 1855 DAC, and is probably the best sounding AVR they made, the first with THX capability.  I have used this amp with all of my headphones.  HE-4, HE-500, HE-6, T1, DT880 600 ohm, and a few budget pair, listed in my sig, even my RE272.  A lot of speaker amps sound better than dedicated headphone amps.  I use speaker taps from my Denon 2808 AVR, 110 WPC, fed by my Jolida Glass Tube DAC, also from speaker taps on my integrated tube amp, 5 wpc.  Tube amps require a load of 10 ohm/10 watt resisotors to avoid damage to the transformer, but I use the Denon's with no load resistors, generally not needed with ss amps of this quality!

That's great to hear. Do you think I'd be able to use my Topping TP80 (80w) speaker amp? Been using it to power the HE-6 with pos/neg shorted with a 7w 10amp Resistor.

 

I have read others are using Topping amps in another thread, but the recommended load is 10 ohm/10 watt resistors, then if there is noise on your amp you may need to add serial resistors to attenuate the sound for the noise floor.  I think you would need to be very careful with whatever amp you use from speaker taps with your PM-1.  I started with my cheap budget phones with 35 and 60 ohm impedance, until I had the amps dialed in.  The DT880 600 ohm really scales up from my Denon AVR speaker taps, also the Alpha Dogs that I had.  Low end is better on them, and more body to the notes as well as clarity and details.  My tube amp from the HP out is rated at 600 mw, and from the speaker taps, 5 wpc.  The sound is more rich from the speaker taps with the PM-1, tighter bass, but an increase in quality sound for sure.  The PM-1 from my Denon AVR's sound very close to where they are at from the tube amp speaker taps, my wife can't tell the difference, but I listen 8 - 10 hours a day and go back and forth between them, because I have two different SPDIF cables that have slightly different sound signatures, Zu Ash, and Oyaide DR-510.  I give a lot of credit the the jitter reduction provided my my iFi USB, iFi Purifier, and iFi iLink in the chain prior to output to my DAC's.  I use Windows 8, jRiver MC 18 with Jplay, and I hear a difference there between my laptop that ran Windows 7, with MC18.  It is the total setup that determines the final sound quality!

post #1423 of 3154
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 

 

I have read others are using Topping amps in another thread, but the recommended load is 10 ohm/10 watt resistors, then if there is noise on your amp you may need to add serial resistors to attenuate the sound for the noise floor.  I think you would need to be very careful with whatever amp you use from speaker taps with your PM-1.  I started with my cheap budget phones with 35 and 60 ohm impedance, until I had the amps dialed in.  The DT880 600 ohm really scales up from my Denon AVR speaker taps, also the Alpha Dogs that I had.  Low end is better on them, and more body to the notes as well as clarity and details.  My tube amp from the HP out is rated at 600 mw, and from the speaker taps, 5 wpc.  The sound is more rich from the speaker taps with the PM-1, tighter bass, but an increase in quality sound for sure.  The PM-1 from my Denon AVR's sound very close to where they are at from the tube amp speaker taps, my wife can't tell the difference, but I listen 8 - 10 hours a day and go back and forth between them, because I have two different SPDIF cables that have slightly different sound signatures, Zu Ash, and Oyaide DR-510.  I give a lot of credit the the jitter reduction provided my my iFi USB, iFi Purifier, and iFi iLink in the chain prior to output to my DAC's.  I use Windows 8, jRiver MC 18 with Jplay, and I hear a difference there between my laptop that ran Windows 7, with MC18.  It is the total setup that determines the final sound quality!

 

Understood, thanks for your reply. May stick with the HP8 for the time being...

post #1424 of 3154

Anyone hearing subtle differences depending on placement of the PM-1 headphones on their head/ears.  I like to wear mine with velour pads around the back of my ear, then using the swivel, tilting the back out away from my head slightly.  This give a small angle to the drivers into my ears.  The only part of the earpads that I have on my ears, are my ear lobes, finding this most comfortable for longer listening periods.  Also found that the clamp is tighter with the velours than with the leather pads.  I've listened to the velour pads the most so far, and I would like a second pair of velour ear pads, so I can change them when my ears get warm.  I eventually will buy extra pairs of both pads, once Oppo makes them available!  Really nice how the ear pads fit the cups, really nice working design!


Edited by cute - 4/29/14 at 8:13am
post #1425 of 3154

The Oppo PM-1 surely does a fine job with female vocals.....best that I have heard them in my collection.  Patti Griffin, Holly Cole, Emylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Krall, on and on............

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