Emotiva A-100
Feb 21, 2018 at 3:45 PM Post #226 of 713

LasherV

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I just received my A-100 today and man am I pleased :) I had one problem though. I missed my Darkvoice 336se Tube sound that I have become addicted to. I decided to try something a little different. I used my Darkvoice as a Pre-Amp to my A-100, it does have pre-outs after all. All I can say is OMG what an amazing upgrade! I have kept all my Tube Warmth, Wide Soundstage, and overall Smoothness that I love soooo much about Tubes, but the Bass has at least tripled on my M1060's. This A-100 has so much dynamic range and punch that the only word that comes to mind is Effortless. If there are any Darkvoice owners out there that are thinking of getting this A-100 as a solid state for your Planars give this a try. I could not be more pleased with what this has done for my listening pleasure. Well guess I'm back to re-rolling all my tubes again to see how they sound with this set up lol.

Lasher
 
Feb 21, 2018 at 7:14 PM Post #227 of 713

garbulky

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I just received my A-100 today and man am I pleased :) I had one problem though. I missed my Darkvoice 336se Tube sound that I have become addicted to. I decided to try something a little different. I used my Darkvoice as a Pre-Amp to my A-100, it does have pre-outs after all. All I can say is OMG what an amazing upgrade! I have kept all my Tube Warmth, Wide Soundstage, and overall Smoothness that I love soooo much about Tubes, but the Bass has at least tripled on my M1060's. This A-100 has so much dynamic range and punch that the only word that comes to mind is Effortless. If there are any Darkvoice owners out there that are thinking of getting this A-100 as a solid state for your Planars give this a try. I could not be more pleased with what this has done for my listening pleasure. Well guess I'm back to re-rolling all my tubes again to see how they sound with this set up lol.

Lasher
Nice!! Have you tried it with the jumpers engaged?
 
Feb 22, 2018 at 12:43 PM Post #228 of 713

Namtar

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I may have the opportunity to get one of these secondhand from a friend - Before I make that plunge I am wondering if Emotiva is planning a balanced version of this speaker amp - or a balanced variant dedicated to Headphones.
The Emotiva Forums don't seem to be as active as H-Fi and I'm curious to what the rumor mill is saying since there's obviously a little demand for such a creation.
 
Feb 22, 2018 at 2:16 PM Post #229 of 713

IBJamon

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I'm pretty sure there are rumors about a dedicated or balanced headphone amp. For me this one was the way to go because I wanted to upgrade from my crappy lepai desktop amp anyway, so this fit the bill perfectly.
 
Feb 22, 2018 at 5:24 PM Post #230 of 713

garbulky

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I'm pretty sure there are rumors about a dedicated or balanced headphone amp. For me this one was the way to go because I wanted to upgrade from my crappy lepai desktop amp anyway, so this fit the bill perfectly.
I believe there is a balanced amp coming. BUT...it may not be derived from a mini-x amp with that HUGE amount of power. It may be a more standard headphone amp. That's what I've seen on their old prototypes - which may not be what they are making right now.

I've told them they need to take the A-100, make them in to clsas A monoblock headphone amps at $600 a pop. Also make them dedicated so they are not as noisy in direct drive. After that, I think it will basically be the king of the desktop headphone market. And honestly I don't think it's going to take a lot of r&d to do that.
 
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Feb 22, 2018 at 5:34 PM Post #231 of 713

LasherV

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Nice!! Have you tried it with the jumpers engaged?
Yes the first thing I did was open it up and put in the jumpers. I bought this for the raw power it has and have no problem controlling the volume myself to keep from blowing things up :) I also use my Darkvoice as a tube pre-amp so I can limit the power to the front end so I have better range of control at the volume pot. One other cool thing I discovered with this configuration, when I turn on my tube amp the warm up hum from the tubes is enough to trigger the auto-on feature of the A-100 so I can leave it in standby mode full time :)

Lasher
 
Feb 23, 2018 at 11:24 AM Post #232 of 713

KeithEmo

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The reason there is pretty simple.......

We designed the headphone output on the BasX A-100 to act pretty much the way the headphone outputs on most vintage receivers and integrated amplifiers act so we could get a similar sonic signature. A series resistor is the simplest circuit to use, and also the one most commonly seen in vintage equipment. With this circuit topology, the output impedance of the headphone output is equal to the series resistance, which is 220 Ohms. As a result, low impedance headphones, which are often the most sensitive, also see a lower output level - which works out well. But, more importantly, the interaction causes variations in the impedance of your headphones to cause variations in their frequency response. To phrase that differently, it encourages the output of the amplifier to interact with your headphones, rather than the opposite.

Many modern audiophiles would suggest that this sort of interaction is to be avoided, which is why many modern headphone amplifiers have a very low output impedance. However, even more than with loudspeakers, what a headphone should sound like tends to be a very subjective experience, and a significant number of headphone aficionados feel that the headphone outputs on vintage equipment sound better... and this higher output impedance is the major cause of that difference in sound. Because of that resistor, the output of the BasX A-100 tends to sound different with different headphones, and many headphones will sound different when connected to it than when connected to a headphone amplifier that utilizes a modern design...

And, because the amplifier circuitry in the A-100 is very quiet, we've eliminated one of the biggest complaints people used to have against the vintage designs.
(Actually, while we've reduced that limitation relative to vintage designs, we couldn't entirely eliminate it.... which is why some people still notice the noise floor on the A-100.)

With the resistors in circuit, the headphone output on the BasX A-100 has an output impedance of 220 Ohms. As a result:
1) the output level (gain) works reasonably well with a wide variety of different headphones
2) the frequency response of the output tends to interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (giving each a bit of its own "personality")
3) the damping factor applied to the headphones is relatively low (which also affects the way they sound)
4) because of 2) and 3), the headphone output of the A-100 tends to mimic the sound of the headphone outputs on vintage equipment

With the resistors bypassed, the output impedance is very low ( a tiny fraction of an Ohm). As a result:
1) the output level (VOLTAGE) is essentially load independent
2) the damping factor applied to the headphones is very high
3) the frequency response of the output does NOT interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (this is the way most modern headphone amplifiers act)
4) the noise floor is slightly higher (this is a slight drawback due to some of the other optimizations)
5) the A-100 is capable of delivering dangerously high output levels to low-impedance headphones (which is why all the warnings)
6) the A-100 is capable of delivering the very high output levels some early low-efficiency planar headphones required

In comparison to the approach we chose, using an L-pad will yield a significantly lower output impedance.

With a simple series resistor, and an amplfier with a near-zero internal impedance, the output impedance simply equals the series resistance = 220 Ohms.
With a simple L-pad, and the same amplifier, the output impedance is equal to the PARALLEL COMBINATION of the two resistors in the L-pad.
So, for example, if you use an L-pad with a 33 Ohm resistor and a 3.3 Ohm resistor, the output impedance works out to slightly below 3 Ohms.
This is very similar to the output impedance of many modern headphone amps.
And, with the resistors bypassed, and no L-pad or other attenuator, the output impedance will be super low (and the damping super high).

Also note, when designing attenuators and L-pads, that the maximum output on the BasX A-100 is 25 volts RMS... which is significant.
Therefore, with certain resistor values, and depending on the levels you typically listen at, your resistors may need to handle a LOT of power.

For example, the BasX A-100 is rated to deliver about 80 watts into 8 Ohms.
This means that, when playing a continuous tone, it CAN deliver as much as 18 watts into a 33 Ohm L-pad.....
And as much as about 35 watts into an 18 Ohm L-pad.....
And most of that power is going to heat the "top" resistor in that L-pad.....
Obviously this isn't going to be an issue at lower power levels, and, since music is dynamic, sustained very high levels are quite rare...but you should be aware of the possibility.
(If you make an 18 Ohm L-pad, and inadvertently turn the amp all the way up one day, your L-pad may actually catch fire.
More importantly, power resistors can get very hot - hot enough to melt plastic and burn your hands - even when operating within safe ratings.)

Does anyone know why Emotiva put in a straight resistor rather than a proper voltage divider for the headphone out? 2 extra resistors is not a big cost difference, so that likely isn't it...
 
Feb 23, 2018 at 12:18 PM Post #233 of 713

garbulky

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The reason there is pretty simple.......

We designed the headphone output on the BasX A-100 to act pretty much the way the headphone outputs on most vintage receivers and integrated amplifiers act so we could get a similar sonic signature. A series resistor is the simplest circuit to use, and also the one most commonly seen in vintage equipment. With this circuit topology, the output impedance of the headphone output is equal to the series resistance, which is 220 Ohms. As a result, low impedance headphones, which are often the most sensitive, also see a lower output level - which works out well. But, more importantly, the interaction causes variations in the impedance of your headphones to cause variations in their frequency response. To phrase that differently, it encourages the output of the amplifier to interact with your headphones, rather than the opposite.

Many modern audiophiles would suggest that this sort of interaction is to be avoided, which is why many modern headphone amplifiers have a very low output impedance. However, even more than with loudspeakers, what a headphone should sound like tends to be a very subjective experience, and a significant number of headphone aficionados feel that the headphone outputs on vintage equipment sound better... and this higher output impedance is the major cause of that difference in sound. Because of that resistor, the output of the BasX A-100 tends to sound different with different headphones, and many headphones will sound different when connected to it than when connected to a headphone amplifier that utilizes a modern design...

And, because the amplifier circuitry in the A-100 is very quiet, we've eliminated one of the biggest complaints people used to have against the vintage designs.
(Actually, while we've reduced that limitation relative to vintage designs, we couldn't entirely eliminate it.... which is why some people still notice the noise floor on the A-100.)

With the resistors in circuit, the headphone output on the BasX A-100 has an output impedance of 220 Ohms. As a result:
1) the output level (gain) works reasonably well with a wide variety of different headphones
2) the frequency response of the output tends to interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (giving each a bit of its own "personality")
3) the damping factor applied to the headphones is relatively low (which also affects the way they sound)
4) because of 2) and 3), the headphone output of the A-100 tends to mimic the sound of the headphone outputs on vintage equipment

With the resistors bypassed, the output impedance is very low ( a tiny fraction of an Ohm). As a result:
1) the output level (VOLTAGE) is essentially load independent
2) the damping factor applied to the headphones is very high
3) the frequency response of the output does NOT interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (this is the way most modern headphone amplifiers act)
4) the noise floor is slightly higher (this is a slight drawback due to some of the other optimizations)
5) the A-100 is capable of delivering dangerously high output levels to low-impedance headphones (which is why all the warnings)
6) the A-100 is capable of delivering the very high output levels some early low-efficiency planar headphones required

In comparison to the approach we chose, using an L-pad will yield a significantly lower output impedance.

With a simple series resistor, and an amplfier with a near-zero internal impedance, the output impedance simply equals the series resistance = 220 Ohms.
With a simple L-pad, and the same amplifier, the output impedance is equal to the PARALLEL COMBINATION of the two resistors in the L-pad.
So, for example, if you use an L-pad with a 33 Ohm resistor and a 3.3 Ohm resistor, the output impedance works out to slightly below 3 Ohms.
This is very similar to the output impedance of many modern headphone amps.
And, with the resistors bypassed, and no L-pad or other attenuator, the output impedance will be super low (and the damping super high).

Also note, when designing attenuators and L-pads, that the maximum output on the BasX A-100 is 25 volts RMS... which is significant.
Therefore, with certain resistor values, and depending on the levels you typically listen at, your resistors may need to handle a LOT of power.

For example, the BasX A-100 is rated to deliver about 80 watts into 8 Ohms.
This means that, when playing a continuous tone, it CAN deliver as much as 18 watts into a 33 Ohm L-pad.....
And as much as about 35 watts into an 18 Ohm L-pad.....
And most of that power is going to heat the "top" resistor in that L-pad.....
Obviously this isn't going to be an issue at lower power levels, and, since music is dynamic, sustained very high levels are quite rare...but you should be aware of the possibility.
(If you make an 18 Ohm L-pad, and inadvertently turn the amp all the way up one day, your L-pad may actually catch fire.
More importantly, power resistors can get very hot - hot enough to melt plastic and burn your hands - even when operating within safe ratings.)
Keith you really impressed me with this response. Thank you for taking the time here to post these technical details. If you've read the rest of this thread you'll see a lot of people are very impressed at this insanely good headphone amp Emo has produced. I know I'm having a fantastic time with it. Thanks.
 
Feb 23, 2018 at 12:25 PM Post #234 of 713

IBJamon

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The reason there is pretty simple.......

We designed the headphone output on the BasX A-100 to act pretty much the way the headphone outputs on most vintage receivers and integrated amplifiers act so we could get a similar sonic signature. A series resistor is the simplest circuit to use, and also the one most commonly seen in vintage equipment. With this circuit topology, the output impedance of the headphone output is equal to the series resistance, which is 220 Ohms. As a result, low impedance headphones, which are often the most sensitive, also see a lower output level - which works out well. But, more importantly, the interaction causes variations in the impedance of your headphones to cause variations in their frequency response. To phrase that differently, it encourages the output of the amplifier to interact with your headphones, rather than the opposite.

Many modern audiophiles would suggest that this sort of interaction is to be avoided, which is why many modern headphone amplifiers have a very low output impedance. However, even more than with loudspeakers, what a headphone should sound like tends to be a very subjective experience, and a significant number of headphone aficionados feel that the headphone outputs on vintage equipment sound better... and this higher output impedance is the major cause of that difference in sound. Because of that resistor, the output of the BasX A-100 tends to sound different with different headphones, and many headphones will sound different when connected to it than when connected to a headphone amplifier that utilizes a modern design...

And, because the amplifier circuitry in the A-100 is very quiet, we've eliminated one of the biggest complaints people used to have against the vintage designs.
(Actually, while we've reduced that limitation relative to vintage designs, we couldn't entirely eliminate it.... which is why some people still notice the noise floor on the A-100.)

With the resistors in circuit, the headphone output on the BasX A-100 has an output impedance of 220 Ohms. As a result:
1) the output level (gain) works reasonably well with a wide variety of different headphones
2) the frequency response of the output tends to interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (giving each a bit of its own "personality")
3) the damping factor applied to the headphones is relatively low (which also affects the way they sound)
4) because of 2) and 3), the headphone output of the A-100 tends to mimic the sound of the headphone outputs on vintage equipment

With the resistors bypassed, the output impedance is very low ( a tiny fraction of an Ohm). As a result:
1) the output level (VOLTAGE) is essentially load independent
2) the damping factor applied to the headphones is very high
3) the frequency response of the output does NOT interact with the individual headphones you connect to it (this is the way most modern headphone amplifiers act)
4) the noise floor is slightly higher (this is a slight drawback due to some of the other optimizations)
5) the A-100 is capable of delivering dangerously high output levels to low-impedance headphones (which is why all the warnings)
6) the A-100 is capable of delivering the very high output levels some early low-efficiency planar headphones required

In comparison to the approach we chose, using an L-pad will yield a significantly lower output impedance.

With a simple series resistor, and an amplfier with a near-zero internal impedance, the output impedance simply equals the series resistance = 220 Ohms.
With a simple L-pad, and the same amplifier, the output impedance is equal to the PARALLEL COMBINATION of the two resistors in the L-pad.
So, for example, if you use an L-pad with a 33 Ohm resistor and a 3.3 Ohm resistor, the output impedance works out to slightly below 3 Ohms.
This is very similar to the output impedance of many modern headphone amps.
And, with the resistors bypassed, and no L-pad or other attenuator, the output impedance will be super low (and the damping super high).

Also note, when designing attenuators and L-pads, that the maximum output on the BasX A-100 is 25 volts RMS... which is significant.
Therefore, with certain resistor values, and depending on the levels you typically listen at, your resistors may need to handle a LOT of power.

For example, the BasX A-100 is rated to deliver about 80 watts into 8 Ohms.
This means that, when playing a continuous tone, it CAN deliver as much as 18 watts into a 33 Ohm L-pad.....
And as much as about 35 watts into an 18 Ohm L-pad.....
And most of that power is going to heat the "top" resistor in that L-pad.....
Obviously this isn't going to be an issue at lower power levels, and, since music is dynamic, sustained very high levels are quite rare...but you should be aware of the possibility.
(If you make an 18 Ohm L-pad, and inadvertently turn the amp all the way up one day, your L-pad may actually catch fire.
More importantly, power resistors can get very hot - hot enough to melt plastic and burn your hands - even when operating within safe ratings.)


Thank you so much for replying to me! That was a very insightful answer - and makes a lot of sense. I made a few different adapters to test with, and indeed the sound is different with each one. As you said, it could get hot - which is why I chose 2-5W resistors rather than smaller ones - but the chances of them getting that hot in real use are slim.

Thank you again for replying here, and for making such an excellent amplifier! (I own other emo products also - great stuff!)
 
Mar 3, 2018 at 9:50 AM Post #236 of 713

talmadge

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I just received my A-100 today and man am I pleased :) I had one problem though. I missed my Darkvoice 336se Tube sound that I have become addicted to. I decided to try something a little different. I used my Darkvoice as a Pre-Amp to my A-100, it does have pre-outs after all. All I can say is OMG what an amazing upgrade! I have kept all my Tube Warmth, Wide Soundstage, and overall Smoothness that I love soooo much about Tubes, but the Bass has at least tripled on my M1060's. This A-100 has so much dynamic range and punch that the only word that comes to mind is Effortless. If there are any Darkvoice owners out there that are thinking of getting this A-100 as a solid state for your Planars give this a try. I could not be more pleased with what this has done for my listening pleasure. Well guess I'm back to re-rolling all my tubes again to see how they sound with this set up lol.

Lasher

Lasher how do you use the volume controls on this setup? Do you set the emotiva at a certain point then use the darkvoice to control the volume or the opposite? I have a darkvoice 336 and an OPPO HA 1 and would like to try this combo.
 
Mar 3, 2018 at 10:22 AM Post #237 of 713

LasherV

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Lasher how do you use the volume controls on this setup? Do you set the emotiva at a certain point then use the darkvoice to control the volume or the opposite? I have a darkvoice 336 and an OPPO HA 1 and would like to try this combo.
I set the Darkvoice to around 11 o’clock and use the Emotiva volume. It’s a better volume pot IMHO. It’s pretty easy to find a happy medium adjusting between 10-11 o’clock on the Darkvoice depending on what Tubes/Source you are using. Let me know how it works out with the HA-1. I love the setup with my Emotiva and my new M1060C’s. Hope this helps :)

Lasher
 
Mar 5, 2018 at 4:38 PM Post #238 of 713

Bitman

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I bought the A-100, liked it, but returned it due to the oddball size: 8.5” wide x 3.125” high x 15” deep (includes feet, binding posts, and Volume knob).
Additi0nally, the volume knob has no indicator (neither digital read-out nor 'light dot') to determine when it gets to "11''.
All the best Bitmann
 
Mar 15, 2018 at 10:39 AM Post #239 of 713

peepr

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I've recently added this to the chain, mostly to get better volume control and leeway from the A-100. Don't know if it's improved the sound or not but it does sound amazing. Very pleased. Was about $30 from amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07545WKJR/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

upload_2018-3-15_10-38-36.png
 
Mar 18, 2018 at 7:15 PM Post #240 of 713

Pedro Janeiro

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I recently purchased the Emotiva A-100 amp and I am really impressed. It is easily better than my Schiit Magni 2 Uber or my JDS O2. Not. Even. Close. I use this amp with my HD 600s and 400is. However, I did try the Pangea AC-14 C-7 power cable. It sounded awful with this amp on first listen; I let it "burn in" for 30-35 hours, and the sound did not improve. With the Pangea, the Emotiva sounded like a veil had been placed over the sound on each of my 'phones. I was actually skeptical about whether a cable could make any difference whatsoever, and to my amazement I could not only hear a difference, but it was appreciably worse. What did improve the amp's sound was switching from Monoprice (and other generic) RCAs to Audioquest Evergreen cables These cables to my various dacs transformed a very good amp into an amazing one. I've heard details in my music that I didn't know where there before. Who knew that a cable could impact the sound so much?

Hi there,

im looking for a headphone amp for my grado gh2, do you think the emotiva A-100 sounds better than audeze deckard or even Schiit Jotunheim?
thanks
 

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