Corda and Grado Good Match or Poor?
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Rameish

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Wld appreciate comments from Head-Fiers who have any of the current Grado line of headphones (ie. SR60 - SR325 or RS2 - RS1) who have heard the Corda HA-1 through these Grado Headphones.

I have a Grado RA-1 and Creek OBH11SE (newer B version) and the older Airhead.

I find the RA-1 & RS-1 combo quite good but the RS-1 are still on the bright side and could have more weight at the bottom end. The Creek cures the agressiveness of this headphone but muddies up the low end (seperation is not as good). The Airhead gives me a taste of crossfeed (which I like) but is a very "so-so" amp.

So I was thinking of getting the Corda HA-1 or the new Corda pre-head. This would give me a "better" version of crossfeed (as compared to Headroom's) but how will it sound?

Alternatively, am I better off selling the Grados and getting a beyerdynamic DT-931 with the Corda Pre-Head?
 
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sacd lover

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Look into a gilmore amp. This amp was designed to drive low impedence grados. Its also a preamp and costs $499. There is an ad in the marketplace section of HeadWize. There are posts on this amp from the DC meet.
 
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Rameish

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SACD Lover,

Does the Gilmore have crossfeed?

Thanks
 
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Hirsch

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The Gilmore amp does not have crossfeed.

I haven't tried the RS-1/Corda combo. However, the Corda sounds very good with the Grado HP-1, and there's an interesting upgrade path in the "Corda Blue".
 
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Rameish

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Hirsch,


Thanks for your feedback and I look forward to your opinion sometime next week.
 
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slindeman

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Note that the Corda has 1/8" jacks so you would need the Grado adapter cable with anything over SR-80. I owned the SR-125 for 6 months and although it was my work headphone and I had the Corda at home, I did use them together often enough to know that the Corda does a fine job driving them. Grados want an amp with a lot of current capability. The Gilmore Dynamic would be great, as would the Headroom amps, the Cordas, and META42s with stacked buffers. If it were me with an RS-1 I would get the Gilmore or an AC powered Maxed out META42 with crossfeed and lots of stacked buffers. Either one will come in under $500.

Quote:

The Gilmore amp does not have crossfeed.


It can if you build it yourself. Mine will have it.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by slindeman
It can if you build it yourself. Mine will have it.


Which crossfeed do you intend to implement in the Gilmore and how?
 
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slindeman

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I'm going to use the modified linkwitz board Tangent will be selling soon. It is for the hi-z version of cmoy's modified linkwitz crossfeed, and is meant to be placed before the headphone amp. So the signal will go from the RCA jacks to the crossfeed board, then to the Pot/Stepped attentuator. In fact, if you don't mind having an extra set of interconnects in the path you could build a standalone modified linkwitz crossfeed in its own enclosure and then insert it between your source/preamp and your headphone amp(s). The hi-z version of the Linkwitz isn't so sensitive to input/output impedances like the Meier natural crossfeed is, so you can use it on the input of pretty much any headphone amp as far as I know.
 
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kelly

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It sounds like the real advantage there is that when you swtich it out of the loop, it should be completely bypassed, right? I have a feeling the crossfeed circuit will be very detrimental to the quality of sound from he Gilmore but for some recordings, it's just impossible to enjoy them on headphones without a crossfeed filter so it's probably still worth having.

What I'd most like to see if a Meier crossfeed circuit built using another Gilmore circuit as the buffer instead of opamps. This should sound more transparent to the amp's signature when engaged but would be more expensive and complex to build.
 
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andrzejpw

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Quote:

I have a feeling the crossfeed circuit will be very detrimental to the quality of sound from he Gilmore


Kelly: what makes you think that? Are you talking about the "outboard" crossfeed, in a seperate enclosure, etc? Or are you saying in general, linkwitz + gilmore = bad?
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by andrzejpw
Kelly: what makes you think that? Are you talking about the "outboard" crossfeed, in a seperate enclosure, etc? Or are you saying in general, linkwitz + gilmore = bad?


I am saying in general any circuit + any different circuit = bad. One signature is always better than two and even in the META42, the Linkwitz was not transparent to the amp (but still useful and worth having). A more interesting (but more costly) solution is using the same circuit in both the amp and the crossfeed -- it still degrades the sound technically but less noticably so.
 
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Quote:

...even in the META42, the Linkwitz was not transparent...


It was too bad tangent wasn't able to get Meier's x-feed to work. At least we would then have alternative to the Linkwitz.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by puppyslugg
It was too bad tangent wasn't able to get Meier's x-feed to work. At least we would then have alternative to the Linkwitz.


I don't think the Meier would be transparent to the amp either unless it was built using the same opamps and other parts as the META (FET biased 8610s, etc). Either way I wish this was something more people experimented with.
 
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While I've not brushed up on my electronics enough to state for certain (someone else will have to chime in), I believe that when the bypass of the linkwitz is engaged, the signal essentially is only passing through two extra resistors. I could be wrong of course. Sure that "does" something to the signal, but not enough for me to worry about. Now with the crossfeed engaged, then sure you have a capacitor or two in the loop, but nothing much different than the Meier crossfeed which also uses capacitors. If you are that worried about crossfeed polluting the signal then a simple blend resistor would be the best solution. At least the modified linkwitz is not an active circuit ala the Headroom crossfeed.

Quote:

I am saying in general any circuit + any different circuit = bad. One signature is always better than two and even in the META42, the Linkwitz was not transparent to the amp (but still useful and worth having). A more interesting (but more costly) solution is using the same circuit in both the amp and the crossfeed -- it still degrades the sound technically but less noticably so.


Clarify this for me. What it seems you are saying is that something like the Meier crossfeed as implemented in the Corda is somehow more transparent than the modified linkwitz in a META42 because the Corda sandwiches the crossfeed between two nearly identical opamp stages. I would say exactly the opposite, that requiring an extra buffer/amplification stage to make the crossfeed work does more to harm the signal than using a crossfeed which does not require any such extra buffer/amplification stage. Since every active amp and/or buffer stage will degrade the signal, I say its better to have fewer stages than to have more, even if they are identical. Simply put, out of the 3 popular crossfeeds (headroom, meier, linkwitz) the modified linkwitz allows crossfeed to happen with the least extraneous circuitry being added. Note that Jan has supposedly come out with a new crossfeed that does not require buffering, but it is not published yet.

I have compared the Linkwitz and Meier crosfeed A/B using the same amp (Corda, with Linkwitz connected to either the output or input), and in no case did I find the linkwitz hurt the transparency of the amp with the crosfeed engaged or disengaged. I preferred the sound of the Linkwitz to the Meier by just a little bit, but both were quite acceptable. Since the Linkwitz is easier to use in a DIY situation it will be my circuit of choice for now.
 
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Rameish

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Okay, so what you guys are saying is go for a Gilmore with crossfeed (if you can get it to work properly) for the current range of Grado headphones.

Am I correct in understanding this? If so, who can build me a Gilmore with crossfeed (natural or linkwitz) that will run on 230 volts?
 
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