Audio Technica AT-HA2 headphone amp
May 14, 2002 at 11:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

millerdog

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Package came today from Japan.
The amp is about the size of pack of cigs. It has rcas in back and a mini also. I like the two head phone outs for it lets me make comparisons easily. I also purchased the ATH-A9X closed hps from them. Post about that will be in the appropriate place.
This is my first amp so I didn't really know what to expect. I got a CHA47 coming in also; soon I will able to compare the two.
I have been reading alot of "crap in crap out" posts and agree. The only source I have is a slimx. I went portable for I work in a studio where music is not allowed.
First of all, the amp has a low frequency hiss at idle. Perhaps power supply.
The amp seems to fill in gaps that I have heard on certain discs.
Where strings are involved, the return motion of the bow often sounds like gaps to me, but with the amp it does fill the sound. On one cd, that gap made me replay the song over again to see what the anomaly was. With the amp on, the song sounds uh..normal. The stroke of bow is not longer distinguishable.
The highs through my sr60s seemed crisper. Most don't like the highs, but I like em in the ear bleeding catagory.
It also seemed to bring more mids to the grados. The sound is fuller...has more mass. It seems to take away some of the "punch" in the bass.
The volume control seems to 7-5, with my setting at 12oclock.
The unit comes with a ac adapter and a gold plated rca to mini that looks to be a meter long.
This stuff comes from Japan so forget about reading anything and just look at the pictures!lol
My guess would be that this is not worth the price of admission. Still, since the CHA47s are just portables, I think it would do good for me as a dedicated home amp for my slimx.
just my thoughts,
md
 
May 15, 2002 at 12:01 AM Post #2 of 3

millerdog

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I got a question?
How am I supposed to audition this unit? My first thoughts were to have the amp and volume on the headphone out about the same.
Will I get better results by cranking up the amp and turning down the volumn on the unit? Remember the slimx line out is volume and eq controlled. Perhaps not the best test?
I loaned my cheap sony pcdp to a friend, now I think I should get it back cause it sounded really bad. Would that be a more realistic test of the amps abilities?
md
(edit) The unit's box says 7000 yen. Todays exchange rate would have put it at about $55.00..I should sent my aunt the money! Audio cubes packages in a non descriminant brown wrapper and labels it gifts! Declared value: $50. There was about $260 retail in the package!lol
 
May 15, 2002 at 1:08 PM Post #3 of 3

allennokisi

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You're first conclusions were basically right, the amp isn't that good.

The hiss is not from the power supply, it's regulated by a 7812. And I even quadrupled the power supply capacitance and that didn't do anything.

The hiss comes from the high gain which is set at the chips minimum of 20db. Completely unecessary for headphones. I posted a while ago devulging the chip's type, off the top of my head I think it's a 4556, but I'm not going to open the thing up anymore to confirm that out of sheer laziness. I've already modded it to its limits, upping the output coupling caps to 2000mf, forcing the output into class A by tying the output to the supply rail, and above mentioned power supply mod. I might have done something else, but that was a long time ago so I might have forgotten. I've had this thing since it was released in Japan.

Even after all of that, it still sounds mediocre at best. I can't get over the poorly tracking volume pot and low S/N. I only use it with my gaming systems when I need to be quiet.
 

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