Longtime crossfeed listeners
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lonestar

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For numerous reasons I've held off on building a crossfeed circuit in the past. However a rather extensive remodeling of my home is causing me to do all of my listening through headphones for the next several months. While I don't mind the intimacy of headphones, I really do get tired of the drastic hard left, hard right, center-of-head presentation.

1. Over the long haul, do those of you with crossfeed find yourselves listening to it engaged: a) all of the time; b) some of the time; c) rarely?

2. Does a well-designed/built crossfeed circuit diminish the purity of the amp/headphone combination? I'm of the old-school and like to interfere with the original signal as little as possible.

Thanks in advance.

MuFi XCansV2/JJ ECC88s ->Senn HD600s
 
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LTUCCI1924

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I have a cmoy 2-9 volt amp with a crossfed switch and when I use the crossfed I lose the sound stage and the sound goes more to the center in my head. With out the crossfed the sound stage is much bigger and just sounds better. I dont know if its just the cmoy crossfed ant that good but I just dont use it. Maby JMT can shed some lite on this. But the cmoy amp is the best amp That I have had so far. It is strong and very very clear over all other amps that I have had so far. I would like JMT to make me a meta amp when he has the time. As far as crossfed goes I think that I can live without it unless there is a better crossfed that JMT can sell me that is much better than what I have or get a better crossfed in a meta amp. I will ask JMT for his opinion on this when he has the time to answer me.
 
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andrzejpw

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Personally, I've found that for me, its easier to notice the absence of crossfeed than it is for the presence of crossfeed. Ex: I had a little on loan from headroom for a month. I kept the crossfeed on for that time, flicking it off to see if I could sense a difference. I really couldn't. SOMETHING changed, but I wasn't sure what. After I returned the amp to headroom, I realized that I sort of missed it. I really got a blob in your head type of sound. Does that make sense?
 
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jpelg

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My use of a crossfeed has been limited to several Headroom Airhead models. My interpretation of the crossfeed affect is that it impacts on perceived soundstage. The HR Airhead crossfeed does impact on the higher frequencies by diminishing them somewhat.

On my AKG 501's, this circuit had little or no effect whatsoever. I imagine that this is primarily due to the huge soundstage that the 501's have all by themselves. In contrast, my Senn 580's w/stock cable benefited greatly in the soundstage department with the crossfeed circuit engaged, albeit with slightly less detail. Now that I have a replacement cable for the Senn's, which increase soundstage also, I do not know how much benefit a crossfeed circuit would have now (I no longer have the Airheads).
 
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legoman

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all crossfeed, all the time

YMMV
 
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I listen with crossfeed engaged pretty much all the time -- at home via a HeadRoom Max, and at the office on an Audio Alchemy HPAv1 (that used to belong to Stefan AudioArt's James Serdechny).

Crossfeed for me takes the very unnatural extreme-left and extreme-right presentation that exist separate from the main soundstage body that most stereo recordings present through headphones (sans crossfeed), and melds them into a much more natural acoustic space. Without crossfeed, many (if not most) stereo recordings sound like I've got a clear left channel, clear right channel, and very distinct center channel. With crossfeed, the soundstage is much more room-like, and I find the image placement to be much more precise.

Having only read about it before trying it, I didn't think I'd ever be interested in the concept. After having lived with it, I find headphone listening fatiguing without it.
 
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dougli

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I use the crossfeed on my Meier HA-1 often but not with every recording. Some recordings I prefer the fullness of having it off, but this is headphone and recording dependent; otherwise the "sound blobs" are distracting, and I must use the crossfeed. On some recordings I prefer the crossfeed switch set to the first postion, and for others it is set to the second position. I find that I do not like the full-on position at all; it sounds too muddy for my preferences..
 
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john_jcb

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One thing to try if your amp has separate inputs for left and right is to unplug one side and turn crossfeed off. Llisten for a bit then turn it on while listening. The effect will be very noticable and dramatic. When you use both channels it is a more integrated sound. Far less fatiguing for extended listening IMO.
 
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fyrfytrhoges

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please place all of jude's post here " " ditto!!
 
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kelly

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lonestar
I haven't spend enough time with the Headroom amps to thoroughly evaluate their crossfeed circuit. It's on my to do list. I've heard the HeadRoom amps several times now but their crossfeed circuit seems to do a bit more than the other ones and I really think a long listening session is in order.

The Meier Natural Crossfeed, as is found in the Corda HA-1 (but there are instructions on HeadWize if you want to roll your own) is, as advertised, very natural and transparent. There is a very slight bass drop that people experience differently due to the psychoacoustic effect that is the effect of not having some bass exclusive to one channel. (Stuff heard only in one ear is perceived louder psychologically.) One could argue that you never should have had the bass to begin with but since headphones are often plagued with extreme bass rolloff and designed without a crossfeed circuit in mind you may or may not notice much depending on your tastes and the recording.

The Linkwitz crossfeed circuit was installed into Tangent's META42 amp that I was loaned for review and again those instructions can be found at the libraries on HeadWize. The Linkwitz doesn't seem to be hit as much by the bass drop of Meier's crossfeed but I don't know enough about the circuit to explain the hows and whys of it. I do think that overall it's easier to tell that "something" has been angaged when the Linkwitz is turned on than with the Meier crossfeed though I struggle to articulate what it that is. I overall liked the Linkwitz anyway and between the two it's just kind of a tradeoff--small psychoacoustic bassdrop with the Meier or small degree of transparency lost with the Linkwitz; hey, at least there's a choice.

I have a couple of headphone amps now that do not have crossfeed circuits and I listen to them for long periods of time without fatigue (but then, they're very good amps). However, on both the Corda and on my long listening sessions with the META42, I always had a preference for the crossfeed circuit to be engaged--the only argument was what setting. Tangent's Linkwitz had a high and low setting and Meir's has a high, middle and low. If you build or have one built, I'd recommend one with variable settings.
 
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I have the cmoy with hansen crossfeed. I'm with Dougli...it depends on the recording. I find the crossfeed especially valuable with old recordings with lousy stereo (especially, "electronically simulated stereo"). It also sometimes helps with pop/rock records which, as we all know, are eq'ed for lousy sound in lousy systems (e.g. automobile systems).

But even some good recordings sound more natural to me with the crossfeed on.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Listening to the Headroom Max w/crossfeed was a terrific experience. If I were to select a solid state headphone amp for my own listening pleasure, the Max would be it.

The Blockhead is just plain scary.
 
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