ah-d5000+ultra micro amp question
Nov 20, 2008 at 6:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

plonter

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Hi i am a new owner of denon ah-d5000 headphones , and my question is
should i use the low gain or the medium gain of the amp?
the low gain seems to roll off the bass a little bit..but in the high gain the bass sounds almost too much to handle.

what is your recommendation...what do you thing is the ideal gain to use with the denons ,from your experience .

thx!
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 7:18 PM Post #2 of 17

moogoob

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The gain settings are as far as I can tell just extra attenuation of the output- use whichever one gives you the best volume control with your source. Trust your ears!

For my Grado 325is, I can't use anything but low gain on my Micro amp, as anything else is way too loud for me with the Ultra Micro DAC as input.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 7:36 PM Post #3 of 17

plonter

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thx. right now im using the low gain and volume to the half and it sounds great. btw i turned the crossfeed off. with my hd595 it sounded great but with the denons it raises the bass and its too much. without it, the denons sound much more natural and clean, at least for me.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:05 PM Post #4 of 17

moogoob

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Quote:

Originally Posted by plonter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
thx. right now im using the low gain and volume to the half and it sounds great. btw i turned the crossfeed off. with my hd595 it sounded great but with the denons it raises the bass and its too much. without it, the denons sound much more natural and clean, at least for me.


Agreed concerning Denons and the crossfeed. My new 1001s get way to bassy when I turn it on, but it sounds great with my sr80s and some nice heavy metal.
L3000.gif
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 10:44 PM Post #5 of 17

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by plonter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi i am a new owner of denon ah-d5000 headphones , and my question is
should i use the low gain or the medium gain of the amp?
the low gain seems to roll off the bass a little bit..but in the high gain the bass sounds almost too much to handle.

what is your recommendation...what do you thing is the ideal gain to use with the denons ,from your experience .

thx!



This is largely placebo and inexact volume matching in your testing, as is almost always the case when we try to make comparisons like this from memory without any empirical way to match the levels between the two. There are indeed minimal differences in both FR and impulse response depending on the different gain settings, but these differences are in the region of less than 0.01%.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 10:51 PM Post #6 of 17

mackman

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I have to agree with TheSloth that the main difference is caused by the volume difference. I drive my AH-D5000s with low gain out of convenience, not because I've found any difference in the sound. I really wish there was an extra low gain setting because even on low gain I only use 5-10% of my volume dial.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM Post #9 of 17

moogoob

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There was a thread a while back in this subforum where one of the HR guys explained how it worked.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 7:49 PM Post #11 of 17

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My point being that the high gain would have one less item on the signal paht. Theoretically it should a "cleaner" sound. Just food for thought.


The resistors are placed in series with the resistive volume pot. As the resistors are of a significantly higher audio grade than the conductive plastic in the potentiometer, the more resistor and less plastic the signal goes through, the better. Removing the resistor and having the pot at a more resistive setting (i.e. what you are implying is better) is not going to be 'cleaner', either theoretically or otherwise.

The ideal set up in terms of cleanliness of signal path is a computer as source system outputting a 24 bit signal to the DAC. The lowest gain setting should be used that allows slightly more volume than desired with the potentiometer set to minimum/no resistance/100% (usually low gain with the HR DACs which have quite a hot output) and then the 24 bit signal should be digitally attenuated. Provided that the digital attenuation from 24 bits is not more than a certain percentage (I'm can't be bothered do to the maths...), there will be no loss of bits from the redbook original. Most programmes including iTunes have extremely good digital attenuators (i.e. their volume control sliders) which by default operate at 24 bit resolution.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 7:57 PM Post #12 of 17

mackman

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I have to disagree. Using the digital attenuation will cause the DAC signal output to be closer to the noise floor inherent in a digital system. You'll be better served by keeping the DAC output as close to maximum without clipping or distortion (a good DAC shouldn't suffer distortion at full output, but some cheap ones certainly do). I think the noise floor of the DAC is a much bigger impediment to the overall signal quality that the potentiometer.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 8:41 PM Post #13 of 17

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mackman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have to disagree. Using the digital attenuation will cause the DAC signal output to be closer to the noise floor inherent in a digital system. You'll be better served by keeping the DAC output as close to maximum without clipping or distortion (a good DAC shouldn't suffer distortion at full output, but some cheap ones certainly do). I think the noise floor of the DAC is a much bigger impediment to the overall signal quality that the potentiometer.


I don't buy that when we are talking about a measured noise floor of between -120dB and -150dB.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 10:00 PM Post #14 of 17

mackman

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A fair point. Out of curiosity (not just trying to argue), do we have any numbers behind the distortion or noise introduced by a potentiometer? I've never owned a stepped attenuator to compare against.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 11:25 PM Post #15 of 17

mrarroyo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSloth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The resistors are placed in series with the resistive volume pot. As the resistors are of a significantly higher audio grade than the conductive plastic in the potentiometer, the more resistor and less plastic the signal goes through, the better. Removing the resistor and having the pot at a more resistive setting (i.e. what you are implying is better) is not going to be 'cleaner', either theoretically or otherwise.

The ideal set up in terms of cleanliness of signal path is a computer as source system outputting a 24 bit signal to the DAC. The lowest gain setting should be used that allows slightly more volume than desired with the potentiometer set to minimum/no resistance/100% (usually low gain with the HR DACs which have quite a hot output) and then the 24 bit signal should be digitally attenuated. Provided that the digital attenuation from 24 bits is not more than a certain percentage (I'm can't be bothered do to the maths...), there will be no loss of bits from the redbook original. Most programmes including iTunes have extremely good digital attenuators (i.e. their volume control sliders) which by default operate at 24 bit resolution.



Ok, what if instead of a pot we are talking of a higher grade amp that uses an attenuator. Would the same apply?
 

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