A question for Max (current version) / HD-600 listeners
post-144773
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 6
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
4,695
I have a question for owners of Max/HD-600 combos, particularly those that use crossfeed:

Since getting my Max, I have generally kept my gain setting on high, crossfeed on, and filter off. As you know, with HD-600s in particular, this seems to give the lower mid-bass a bit of a kick up. Last night I was listening and, for no particular reason, decided to see if switching the gain to "low" would sound much different (volume adjusted to match) than the high setting. I was most interested in potentiometer (volume control) position, as have seen it suggested at least once that using the higher settings of a potentiometer might be better than the lower settings (this wasn't discussed specific to the Max).

Anyway, I noticed something when going to the low gain setting -- the mid-bass peak was more controlled, tighter with the HD-600s. I still haven't tried to see if this is also true with my Etymotics, but I'll try that later or this weekend. Has anyone else noticed this with the HD-600s? Even if you don't listen to the Max in high gain setting, can you try it (you have to try to match volume level as closely as possibly obviously)? I'd be curious to see what you find.

And if you find it to be true for you too, does anyone have a possible explanation for this? It might have absolutely nothing to do with the potentiometer position in and of itself, but I'm curious about that and other possibilities.

Thanks in advance.
 
     Share This Post       
post-144792
Post #2 of 6

DarkAngel

DarkAngel's a man, baby!
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Messages
7,235
Reaction score
13
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Posts
7,235
Likes
13
Since my Musical Fidelity A3cr preamp has pretty strong output signal I have always used the low gain switch position (middle), this keeps volume control normally near 11-12 position. Sorry can't comment if this sounds better vs middle or high position

My assumption has always been to select gain setting that keeps volume control close to 12 position for normal listening.

BTW my other settings for Senn 600:
crossfeed - always on
filter - bright position (down)

If I get some time I may try middle gain position for comparison, but may push volume control to far in my set-up.
 
     Share This Post       
post-144816
Post #3 of 6

MacDEF

Headphone Hussy (will wear anything if it sounds good)
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
6,761
Reaction score
12
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
6,761
Likes
12
Jude, I always use the "low" gain setting, "on" process setting, and "bright" (down) filter setting (just like DA, it seems).

I've never tried the "high" gain setting, since it ends up being way too loud for me to listen to
 
     Share This Post       
post-144819
Post #4 of 6

AndreYew

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
586
Reaction score
230
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Posts
586
Likes
230
Jude,

I use filter off, crossfeed on, and low gain all the time, but I have a stepped attenuator in the Max as well. The attenuator issue comes up with the normal volume controls, and not the stepped attenuators. At lower settings of a continuous attenuator, the left and right channel volumes will be mismatched, which is why I'd use as low a gain switch setting as you can so you can use the volume knob as high as possible. There are also some people who claim that continuous volume knobs also have higher distortion at lower settings, but I've never investigated this.

From Danny's description of how the gain switch works, there should be no difference in tonal quality between the three gain settings. If I had to guess at why you heard a difference, I would guess at imperfect level matching (level matching less precise than 0.1 dB). Often when levels are almost matched, you will not hear volume differences, but more qualitative differences like different tonal balances, or seemingly different resolution. There are more exotic possibilities, but I'd take care to eliminate this one first as it's the easiest one to commit.

--Andre
 
     Share This Post       
post-144873
Post #5 of 6

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Messages
3,437
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
jude, I only listened to the Max at the Boston HeadRoom tour, but with processor on and filter off, I also noticed a more controlled bass with gain set on low, DanG was yelling at me saying I need to put it on high gain, lol.
 
     Share This Post       
post-145056
Post #6 of 6

kelly

Herr Babelfish der Übersetzer, he wore a whipped-cream-covered tutu for this title.
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
11
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Posts
5,435
Likes
11
I feel like I'm in the wrong part of town since I don't own a Max. (/me watches as people drive buy in their Lexus' and Mercedes)

It seems to me that one possible explanation for this behavior would be the position of the pot. Most people agree that even really good pots behave better toward the middle than on either extreme. This is certainly true of my Corda (whose gain is being adjusted a little partially due to this reason).

An interesting way to "test" this theory would be to compare the Max to a Max with stepped attenuator--set the gain settings the same and adjust the volume noting the differences of each amp at different volumes. If the SA model is better across the board, then my theory is moot. If on the other hand, the pot version "catches up" a little toward the middle of the pot and the SA is "way ahead" in the extreme positions, I'd say that'd be proof enough.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top