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Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by magiccabbage, May 14, 2015.
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  1. x RELIC x Contributor
    Depends on the planar. Use the math to calculate the Current and Voltage required to drive, let's say, MrSpeakers ETHER Flow (96dB SPL/mw @1kHz, 23 Ohms). You'll see that it won't need anywhere what the DAVE is capable of to reach 120dB peaks. The ETHER Flow requires just 2.4V and 104.35mA, 250.43mW of power to reach 120dB peaks (again, VERY painfully loud). The dynamic driver Utopia is slightly different in the impedance curve because at 50kHz the impedance rises to over 300 Ohms so it will require more Voltage than the 80 Ohm @1 kHz impedance spec implies. However, this is also not an issue for the DAVE's output though (the DAVE's 500mA is quite a bit of Current for most planar headphones).

    The speaker world knows these calculations VERY well and a user can calculate the power needed for the transducer taking in to account distance as well (headphones really don't require the distance SPL falloff calculation). On Head-Fi it's just myths and unicorns regarding power and generalizations, and it seems some users can't distinguish total design / tuning / synergy from output power.

    I listen to the ETHER Flow (a planar headphone) at around -30 to -40 on the DAVE volume depending on the genre and track. So you are trying to tell me I need even more headroom because the output isn't enough. I don't think so.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. hehaw77
    Really what about the Phi or Susvara -30 -40 ... most of my DAVE listening is at -15 sometimes to -9 if I'm in a mood....
  3. x RELIC x Contributor
    You will note that the whole time I have been addressing generalizations regarding planar headphones with the DAVE and the Phi and Susvara are a couple of rare instances that an external amp may benefit them for power required. There are plenty of other planar headphones besides the Phi and Susvara.
  4. JaZZ Contributor

    ...you're quite unique here with your categorical statements – as if others haven't done their homework and made their own experiences with audio electronics. It's clear to me that your argumentation is based on personal preference, generalized with pseudo-scientific reasonings with no real scientific background apart from «well-known facts». Unused power is something that your amp will never use, so it can just as well be renounced. A good power supply is something else, but not dependent on output power.

    What makes me definitely doubt your competence – in my view and according to my personal sonic ideal – is the fact that you don't even take notice of the loss of transparency by inserting another amplifier into the signal path, taking its signal from the DAVE's «headphone output», so to speak. Even with the added power reserves providing more «authority» or the like in your perception (euphonic colorations in my book) your immense experience should enable you to notice this factor – which is a crucial one for me.

    My own experience has led me to a very reserved relationship with amplifiers. At the latest since experiments with headphones driven directly by an appropriate digital source (or its line out, respectively) in comparison with a headphone amp in the signal path. And recently I compared the Susvara – one of the headphones the DAVE can't drive (a well-known fact) – once driven by the DAVE and once via HiFiMan EF1000, a power machine par excellence, fine-tuned to the manufactuer's own TOTL planar headphone. And guess what: I preferred the direct connection by a fair margin. Much better transient response, higher transparency, tighter, better controlled bass, clearly better imaging...

    BTW, at home I enjoy the HE1000 driven by the DAVE, and there's not the least itch to try one of my headphone amps with it – actually I could sell them. But who knows, maybe one day there's a new best headphone on the market that I want and the DAVE really can't drive.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    x RELIC x likes this.
  5. hehaw77
    I really don't care what you think about my competency... I don't see you putting formulas out there. Amps drive planars better period... show me the math on the Susvara and Phi ...
  6. hehaw77
    Those are some of the best... let's see the calcs.. mr. I've been around...
  7. Triode User
    Around what?
  8. astrostar59
    This isn't about spare power not needed, more about efficiency of the HP used. The Utopia is way more efficient than the LCD4 200ohm. I heard the LCD4 out of the DAVE at Can-Jam, and the volume was at +6 for normal listening. On the Utopia is looked it was on -9.

    The LCD4 out if the GSX on the next stand sounded much bigger, better dynamics and generally more alive. Yes, out of the DAVE it is transparent, but everything else less impressive. So this leads me to believe the LCD4 is quite hungry. The Abyss even more so, and the HE-6 a disaster needing a speaker amp....
    Drewligarchy likes this.
  9. adyc
    It is also because everyone is sleeping, the background noise is minimal. There is calmness to the surroundings.
  10. x RELIC x Contributor
    Nice attitude.

    You really think others aren't aware of what's considered the best or not? I'm well aware of the Abyss Phi and Susvara. I've heard the Susvara, and a few others like the LCD-4 but not the Phi. This will be my last reply to you.

    Susvara required power (of course, add some headroom above these numbers - 20% is a good place to start):


    Abyss Phi required power (of course, add some headroom above these numbers - 20% is a good place to start):


    Edit: I purchased the Cavalli Liquid Gold amp because it has been reported to be the perfect pairing for the Abyss AB-1266, as that was in my plans a couple years ago. Don't assume I don't know about these other headphones.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  11. x RELIC x Contributor
    Please re-read my posts regarding generalizations and not cherry picking difficult to drive planars.

    If listening to the Utopia at -9 on the DAVE the listener either has hearing damage, or is on their way to it if they don't consider that too loud, or the source music is exceptionally low. I listen to the Utopia in the -25 to -35 range from the DAVE for an average of 85-90dB SPL. Also, I didn't bring Utopia in to the conversation so let's not dwell on it.

    Regarding efficiency, one MUST look at the sensitivity spec, not the impedance. The impedance will determine the ratio between Voltage and Current required. Higher impedance requires more Voltage and lower impedance requires more Current.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  12. Crgreen
    “Round, round, been around, I’ve been around” , etc.
  13. hehaw77
    his block probably
  14. hehaw77
    Don't assume that I don't think you don't assume that you assume you don't assume that I don't think you do Mr. I've been around eg.. these need amps... thanks for the charts
  15. x RELIC x Contributor
    Good grief. I only said that the GENERALIZATION of planar headphones is what I disagreed with - why is this so hard to comprehend? You brought up difficult to drive headphones, which you can obviously see might be better from an external amp, depending on one's listening habits. Darn, I replied again to you.

    Edit: Strictly speaking from a power output perspective. Preferences are completely subjective.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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