or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Can any electrical /physics folks explain this?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Can any electrical /physics folks explain this?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have the Burson Conductor and I've been experimenting with it to get it to sound warmer/bassier. Well I think I might have found a solution, but I don't understand why.

 

Specs:

 

http://www.bursonaudio.com/creations/conductor/

 

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bxn23njCr8VCaW9oTTZYQ0Ywazg/edit?usp=drive_web&pli=1

 

As you can see, it has three power output settings with the following measurements at "1Khz line level input with 30ohm output impedance" --

Low power is 7.7db preamp output and 0.18W headphone amp output;

Medium is 13.7db 0.7W respectively

High is 18.2db 4W.

These are on p. 5 of the manual

 

The Conductor also has this weird volume knob

http://www.bursonaudio.com/about-us/our-approach/high-resolution-volume-control/

 

Any way, comparing the two settings below, I think they both have the same overall volume, but #2 is warmer sounding and bassier. Does anyone know why?

 

#1 -- Power set at highest (level three), volume on Conductor at 50%, volume on computer set at 38/100.

 

#2 -- Power set at middle level (level 2), volume on Conductor at 100%, volume on computer set at 16/100.

 

Why would these two settings output the same volume, but different levels of warmth?

post #2 of 16

What is warm sound,? I never clearly understood the term.  Does it mean it has more bass to the sound or sounding not thin?  Is there are s universal or more consistent definition of the term "warm?"

 

I think amps provide more distortion at high gain, that could be the warm sound you are getting? :confused:  It goes with what is said about tube amps providing warmth with higher distortion.


Edited by SilverEars - 4/22/14 at 9:32pm
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Basically it means some frequencies are moved down slightly. So a 3khz sound sounds like 2.9khz (not sure if it's move down that much, or maybe more, but any way that's the idea)

 

consequently, there should be more bass

post #4 of 16
Low medium and high are impedance settings to match with your particular headphones I believe.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

Basically it means some frequencies are moved down slightly. So a 3khz sound sounds like 2.9khz (not sure if it's move down that much, or maybe more, but any way that's the idea)

 

consequently, there should be more bass

I would be very surprised if it were actually altering frequencies like this - that would be fairly difficult to do accidentally without screwing up a lot of other things, and no competent amp of any kind (tube, solid state, designed for accuracy, designed for distortion for electric guitars, etc) should do this. Instead, I would guess that what most people hear as "warmth" is probably a slight rolling off of the high frequencies, along with perhaps a slight boost in the lower midrange and bass frequencies.

post #6 of 16

are u controlling the vol from the computer>?

 

i normally max out the vol on the computer/software/Itune...

and control the sound level via the gain switch n volume knob on the amp.

 

( with my Audirvana music software, it bypassed all the volume controls etc on the computer to give a clearer soundsource)

 

======

 

( not trying to say what is the right way to do it...just telling what i am doing on my setup ..:P )

post #7 of 16
Quote:

Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post

 

#1 --  volume on computer set at 38/100.

 

#2 -- volume on computer set at 16/100.

 

 

Using a 16bits source ? What do you call "volume on computer" ? Windows' volume control ? And what OS are you using ? A particular program's control ?

 

The difference in sound might be simply be due to the reduction in effective bit depth; it's difficult to say as 16/100 isn't a clear indication of what's going on (as a number with dB would be).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Low medium and high are impedance settings to match with your particular headphones I believe.

 

They simply are gain settings. If Burson is playing fancy, they might also alter the output stage current bias but I doubt it.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
 

 

Using a 16bits source ? What do you call "volume on computer" ? Windows' volume control ? And what OS are you using ? A particular program's control ?

 

The difference in sound might be simply be due to the reduction in effective bit depth; it's difficult to say as 16/100 isn't a clear indication of what's going on (as a number with dB would be).

 

 

They simply are gain settings. If Burson is playing fancy, they might also alter the output stage current bias but I doubt it.

 

It's using spotify, which I think is 16 bits. I set the Burson DAC's sample rate (which you can change in windows) to 32 bit 192khz though (so it might be upsampling or something).

 

By volume on computer I mean windows volume control. Remember this isn't an amp, it's a DAC/AMP/Preamp combo plugged into the computer via USB.

 

The Burson manual says the "power" switch does two things, (a) change the gain on the preamp and (b) change the maximum wattage output on the headphone jack.

 

In addition, that weird volume knob seems to be doing something more than your average volume knob.

 

If anyone understands the Burson electronics and can figure this out please let me know.


Edited by ag8908 - 4/23/14 at 9:49am
post #9 of 16

Burson isn't going to get much sympathy in an objective forum - they are very abusive of the facts, all their literature strongly appeals to audiophool memes

 

and their specs are very sparing of facts - best guess is that the switch is gain only - not changing any output resistance

 

the technical "best" situation is to use the lowest gain on the amp that allows for dynamic peaks SPL for your headphone's sensitivity and Z

 

this means you set your source signal levels higher so that the S/N, resistance to external noise coupling intruding on the signal music is higher

 

the only way to verify subtle sound differences is by level matching to 0.1 dB between the comparisons - and Blind listening - you can't know which is which during a "trial"

 

 

by talking about perceived frequency balance changes without SPL measurement and much closer than "by ear" matching you may be simply hearing the Fletcher-Munson Loudness curve effect from any SPL differences https://www.google.com/#q=fletcher-munson+curve+explanation

 

 

if you want to change the frequency response - just use EQ - find a good plugin if your media player doesn't have the control you want already

 

 

any recent computer, properly configured sound drivers will have "24 bit" HD chipset audio DAC and even with 16 bit source should be sending 24 bits to the DAC - no "lost bits" until 48 dB of turndown - practically just a fade into the analog signal path electronics' noise floor

post #10 of 16

If you're using a 32 bit DAC, there shouldn't be any problem with bit depth - even if you're using a 16 bit source, Windows will internally upconvert it to whatever settings you have for your digital output. Even with the volume set at 16%, you should have well over 16 bits of dynamic range available (you are setting this in the "Speakers Properties" dialog box that you get to from the sound icon on the toolbar, right?). Just out of curiosity, if you set the format to 24/96, does this same effect happen? Also, how sure are you that the two output levels are actually equivalent - slight volume mismatches can be perceived as sound quality differences rather than level differences.

post #11 of 16
The headphone amp I'm using right now has a low/high impedance switch. Is that a rare thing?
post #12 of 16

Definitely simply a gain switch. I'm trying to make sense of their quoted specs and it does kind of match.

 

It seems that the amp has 30R output impedance and that the specs are quoted into 16R. Input is simply given as "line level" which I assumed is 2Vrms.

 

At low position, they say gain is 7.7db or 2.45x. It thus matches their 180mW rated output.

 

At medium position, they say gain is 13.7db or 4.84x. It again matches their 0.7W rated output.


But at high position, they say gain is 18.2db or 8.13x. Gives me 2W and not 4W.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The headphone amp I'm using right now has a low/high impedance switch. Is that a rare thing?

 

not a standard thing at least. It could mean two things btw. Either high/low gain for high/low impedance headphones or high/low output impedance for headphones designed for 120R outputs or not.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post

 


But at high position, they say gain is 18.2db or 8.13x. Gives me 2W and not 4W.

interesting. are they lying about it being 4w? lol.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

interesting. are they lying about it being 4w? lol.

 

Not really... looks like it could be that I misread the confusing specs.

 

Output impedance could be under 1R but the figures for low/medium gain quoted for 30r and the figures for high quoted for 16r. Let's see:

 

Low: 0.180W into 30r requires 2.4Vrms. So, with a gain of 2.45, it'd mean that the line level input is in fact 1Vrms.

Medium: that'd give 4.84Vrms into 30r, which is about 0.7W.

High: if we switch to 16r, the 8.13x gain gives us about 4W.

 

Now, that matches.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Science
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Sound Science › Can any electrical /physics folks explain this?