Batteries and PCDP performance.
Mar 25, 2002 at 9:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

Duncan

Headphoneus Supremus
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
13,257
Likes
1,565
Yes, this may seem like an urban legend, but I really do feel that different batteries DO make a difference to how PCDPs sound...

I am currently using Energizer Lithium batteries in my E905, and I can almost certainly say that the sonic picture is that little bit richer... Am I alone here? should I be sanctioned??

If i'm not alone - What batteries do YOU use to eek that last little bit of perfomance out of your PCDP?

Oh... and, just so as you know... in about three weeks time (hopefully) there will be a 'clash of the titans' review... Sony D25S vs E905
biggrin.gif
biggrin.gif
 
Mar 25, 2002 at 10:03 PM Post #2 of 11

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
Unless you use really ****ty batteries, then switch to an average one, I don't think there's much difference. DC is supposed to be concistant... I use 1.2V AA rechargeables and can't tell the difference when I use 1.5V alkaline AA's. Except of course when the batteries are about to die where they decline in voltage output considerably.
 
Mar 25, 2002 at 10:31 PM Post #3 of 11

gaineso

Low Frequency Boat Owner
Joined
Oct 28, 2001
Posts
835
Likes
10
AA alkalines and AA NiMH's sound about the same, at least as far as I can tell.

UP TO the point where they are starting to get a little low. I think they lose the ability to put out amps quicker than volts. I think that's the difference. My 1600mah NiMH's are great for about half charge life. Then the sound starts to deteriorate. Voltage check shows they're still pretty good, but IMO amp output falls off.

I think that may also be the situation with the "New" TA's. Those little 9 volts have good voltage but p**s poor amperage. That's where the 3 AAA's come out ahead. Just a thought. Probably wrong.
 
Mar 25, 2002 at 10:45 PM Post #4 of 11

Audio-Me

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 25, 2001
Posts
3,437
Likes
10
Batteries have problems with current output? I guess high drain does cause a problem, but what about batteries that are specifically designed for high drain? I use 1800mAH Nexcell AA NiMH and they seem to deliver full quality until it's completely drained. I have Varta alkalines, but haven't even opened them yet, they're for backup.
biggrin.gif


With low drain like my CHA-47, the 160mAH Maha NiMH 8.6V batteries give full voltage for ten hours, crap out for two hours, then dry out.
 
Mar 25, 2002 at 10:47 PM Post #5 of 11

Eagle_Driver

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
6,448
Likes
26
Quote:

Originally posted by gaineso
I think that may also be the situation with the "New" TA's. Those little 9 volts have good voltage but p**s poor amperage. That's where the 3 AAA's come out ahead. Just a thought. Probably wrong.


Yeah, right. Those AAAs actually deliver MUCH more current than the tiny cells of 9V batteries. NiMH AAAs deliver 700~750 mAh, versus 150~180 mAh for those so-called NiMH 9V's. But even AAAs have only about 40% of the amperage capacity of AAs.
 
Mar 25, 2002 at 11:50 PM Post #6 of 11

CaptBubba

Not dumb enough fora custom title...so he thought.
Joined
Jun 30, 2001
Posts
1,615
Likes
11
As far as the ability to output high current on demand, lead/acid and NiCd are the two kings. RC-car batteries have recently been coming out in NiMH, but people are reluctant to switch, because the NiMH batts provide less preformance. I've seen a six cell NiCd battery pack turn a shorted 12awg wire red hot in seconds.

NiCd batts can output 20A extreamly quickly and continue outputting it without a problem. Lead/acid batteries can output over 100A on demand (this drops off rapidly though), NiMH can't match that, neither can alkaline. Lithium may be better at outputting current.

Oh, and don't confuse mAh with current output. Current depends on the chemistry of the battery (how quickly the chemical reactions can take place) while the mAh rating depends mostly on size.
 
Mar 26, 2002 at 2:18 AM Post #7 of 11

Lizard_1

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Posts
89
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally posted by Duncan
I am currently using Energizer Lithium batteries in my E905, and I can almost certainly say that the sonic picture is that little bit richer... Am I alone here? should I be sanctioned??


I prefer Ni-cads, good for motors, they produce a consistent voltage and then die, almost immediately. Slow death ones like NiMH are a torture to both man and machine.
frown.gif
 
Mar 27, 2002 at 10:08 AM Post #8 of 11

blr

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
916
Likes
11
There shouldn't be any difference between different batteries.
People are often talking about the "higher voltage" of alkalines vs. rechargables, but it's not really the case. If you look at discharge curves for say alkalines and NiMh cells you will see that although the initial voltage of the primary cells is higher (about 1.5) it drops continiously until about 1 V and the cell dies. In contrast NiMh and NiCds drop very fast in the begining of the discharge cycle and then maintain about 1.2 V until about 95% of the energy is drained out. Thus, it may happen that a rechargable cell could actually have higher voltage than a primary one for the second half of the cycle.
If you ask me Lithium cells are far too expensive for portable audio applications. They're good for very high currebnt drain applications like digital cameras, alkalines are useless there.
If I were you, I'd get some good high capacity NiMH cells and a decent charger and forget the rest
 
Mar 28, 2002 at 4:26 PM Post #9 of 11

leon

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Posts
764
Likes
10
Duncan, I've read a lot of Japanese Airhead/TA owners thinking they got slightly better sound with "stronger" batteries (they say Ni-Cd < Ni-MH < alkaline), and I have experienced this (to an extent) with my MD portables.

So it's a debate on whether you believe what popular science can/can't explain, I guess? that's how it seems in the car world.. seems that a lot of things are *supposed* to be a certain way, and it seems that you can't pick faults on it, but quite often real engineers who work on cars will tell you otherwise. That's where I stand, and hence the paradigm I bring with me when I approach this subject
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 28, 2002 at 11:35 PM Post #10 of 11

Braver

Will upgrade headphoneswhen there's a MX600.
Joined
Jun 22, 2001
Posts
2,430
Likes
24
might be a difference, but I highly doubt it. different batts might have different voltage/current characteristics. but I don't think brand A versus brand B, with all other variables being equal (which is very hard to to in audio anyway), there shouldn't be anything audible, let alone an improvement. cause there's always the tendency to label changes as improvements when they're subtle. and the tendency to expect changes and then make them up while you think they're happening (but they're not).

so, Duncan, you audition batteries before you buy from now on?
wink.gif
 
Mar 28, 2002 at 11:42 PM Post #11 of 11

Duncan

Headphoneus Supremus
Moderator
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Posts
13,257
Likes
1,565
lol Braver...

Well, these batteries cost me £6 for 2 which to me is pretty darned expensive so - maybe i'm just hoping that i've heard a difference - but, i'm sure I have... nevermind... I'll put some standard Duracells in next time, see if I notice a difference
smily_headphones1.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top