Low impedance! Why?!
May 19, 2015 at 10:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Sonic Guild

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Hi, 
 
Recently I noticed that manufacturers are going toward a direction which I don't like at all!
They are building sensitive headphones, HE1000, EL8, Oppo PM series, Ether.......etc.
 
Why?! 
 
This will make many amps to be thrown away due to the hum and hiss issue. I remember that Tyll was extremely happy when Audeze decided to raise the LCD 3 to 105 Ohms (which was a good idea to me, thanks Audeze), because we really need to pair the LCD 3 with a good powerful tube amps. 
 
I understand that some headphones are intended to be used with portable players but what about the HE1000? I am under the impression that the HE1000 is 35 Ohms, is this true?
 
May 20, 2015 at 12:02 AM Post #2 of 19

ProtegeManiac

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  Hi, 
 
Recently I noticed that manufacturers are going toward a direction which I don't like at all!
They are building sensitive headphones, HE1000, EL8, Oppo PM series, Ether.......etc.
 
Why?! 

 
1. Efficiency = progress, generally. If you don't need a lot of energy to move something, then it's better - like making a lighter car body (aluminum, fiberglass, etc) and making engines that have a wider torqueband vs a high strung, high rpm race engines (like a 2.4L I4 that goes up to 7,5000, vs a torque-less 9,000rpm 2.0L I4, which is a PITA in many daily driving conditions even on a light car) or those that run efficiently (like a DOHC 3.5L V6 with VVT that actually makes more torque down low while going up to 7,000rpm, instead of a 6.0L OHV small block that has a peaky torque curve but redlines at 6,500rpm, so there's a narrow range that you have to keep it in when on a track). In the same manner anyone restoring a Mustang but isn't making an originally correct car will just put in an efficient 5.4L 32valve DOHC V8 crate engine that has less issues running rich thanks to its ECU (or running lean with forced induction), some amps won't be necessary later on.
 
2. Some amps have a low gain mod, or can still be modded relatively easily - unlike engines where, for example, if you wanted a 1970 'Cuda that won't drink gas, you'd have to install a modern Hemi V8 that has the cylinder deactivation feature for example (like on the 300C; some Mercedes V12s also run as an I6 when on city streets).
 
3. One of the reasons why efficiency was relatively low before was because making the diaphragm too light means more break-up at high volume, but new materials make that less of a problem - it's like having a heavy chassis in the 1970s that can withstand G-Forces but now we can have a Ferrari with a carbon fiber chassis and a bigger V12 and still be lighter than the older LeMans racer and pull more Gs without flexing. Heck, it might even come with A/C and interior trim and not be that much heavier.
 
 
4. Thus, in the same manner that BMW will issue a mid-engine car powered by a 1.5L 3cyl and a powerful electric motor instead of a Z9 with a V8 to compete with the Audi R8, powerful but noisy amplifiers will become obsolete.
 
 
This will make many amps to be thrown away due to the hum and hiss issue.

 
I don't think people will just toss out huge amps - people still have their Manley Stingrays and vintage Marantz receivers, provided they have a low noise floor. That will separate the great amps from the actually noisy amps. 
 
Going back to the automotive example, it's not like people just tossed out their 250 GTOs or '69 fastbacks or D-Types. So the powerful amps that are quiet and can be modded for lower gain will survive; the tube amps that have a lot of hum will still have their adherents the same way that we still have TTs despite how much it reminds me of breakfast cereal, tube amps, big block carb V8 crate engines, and firms that still produce the correct parts for the 250GTO.
 
May 20, 2015 at 12:54 AM Post #3 of 19

PurpleAngel

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  Hi, 
Recently I noticed that manufacturers are going toward a direction which I don't like at all!
They are building sensitive headphones, HE1000, EL8, Oppo PM series, Ether.......etc.
Why?! 
This will make many amps to be thrown away due to the hum and hiss issue. I remember that Tyll was extremely happy when Audeze decided to raise the LCD 3 to 105 Ohms (which was a good idea to me, thanks Audeze), because we really need to pair the LCD 3 with a good powerful tube amps. 
I understand that some headphones are intended to be used with portable players but what about the HE1000? I am under the impression that the HE1000 is 35 Ohms, is this true?

 
I'm guessing a lot of the market share for quality headphones is for portable audio players (or smart phones), otherwise a lot of people really have no need for quality headphones.
If your willing to spend several hundred dollars for a iPhone/iPod/smartphone, guess your willing to spend a fair bit for quality headphones that run off them.
 
May 20, 2015 at 7:06 AM Post #4 of 19

Shaffer

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4. Thus, in the same manner that BMW will issue a mid-engine car powered by a 1.5L 3cyl and a powerful electric motor instead of a Z9 with a V8 to compete with the Audi R8, powerful but noisy amplifiers will become obsolete


Just one thing. There isn't a serious carguy in the entirety of the universe who'd rather have a 1.5l 3-cylinder + electric in lieu of a powerful V8. I can hear the laughter from here. Now, if you're talking about a person who likes to look sporty, different story. We call them poseurs.
 
May 20, 2015 at 8:03 AM Post #5 of 19

superjawes

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1. Impedance =/= efficiency (or sensitivity). 35 Ohms of input impedace tells you nothing about how sensitive the driver is. It only tells you what kind of power/amp you might need to drive it.

2. I'm not into IEMs, but they tend to be significantly more sensitive than full-size drivers, right? Perspective.

3. If you have to throw out an amp because it isn't behaving properly, maybe it's a bad amp! j/k...kinda.

4. If you don't need an amp anymore, that isn't a bad thing. There still may be a market for "better" amps, but if your headphones are efficient enough to be driven by an iPhone AND sound as good as the LCD-3, are you really going to complain?
 
May 20, 2015 at 9:43 AM Post #6 of 19

Chris J

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Odd, no one complains about most of those loudspeaker systems having 8 Ohm nominal impedances!
 
May 20, 2015 at 12:47 PM Post #7 of 19

cel4145

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Hi, 

Recently I noticed that manufacturers are going toward a direction which I don't like at all!
They are building sensitive headphones, HE1000, EL8, Oppo PM series, Ether.......etc.

Why?! 

This will make many amps to be thrown away due to the hum and hiss issue. I remember that Tyll was extremely happy when Audeze decided to raise the LCD 3 to 105 Ohms (which was a good idea to me, thanks Audeze), because we really need to pair the LCD 3 with a good powerful tube amps. 

I understand that some headphones are intended to be used with portable players but what about the HE1000? I am under the impression that the HE1000 is 35 Ohms, is this true?


I have lower impedance headphones with higher sensitivity. No "hum and hiss issue." Perhaps you have a bad amp?

Are the HE-1000s going to be significantly more sensitive or lower in impedance than the rest of the HE series? I hadn't heard that. If not, I don't see a trend. Seems like HiFiMan is doing the same thing they have been doing for awhile.

OTL tube amps aren't good for low impedance headphones. So certainly for such tube amp owners, higher impedance is better. But for portable device owners, low impedance is better. So it seems that Oppo is smartly catering to a new market who would like to be able to use their headphones with portable devices and such by making a low impedance, but decent sensitivity headphone. Sounds good to me. I'd rather have headphones that will work with my DAP without needing a headphone amp. They will still work well with my desktop amp.
 
May 20, 2015 at 1:24 PM Post #8 of 19

ProtegeManiac

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Just one thing. There isn't a serious carguy in the entirety of the universe who'd rather have a 1.5l 3-cylinder + electric in lieu of a powerful V8. I can hear the laughter from here. Now, if you're talking about a person who likes to look sporty, different story. We call them poseurs.

 
I can hear it all the way here too, except I know that the people who like guzzling V8s as the "only" real way to power a car share the same logic if not the exact same person as the people who
 
1. Love music and breakfast cereal so much, they want whatever they're listening to to come with some Snap, Crackle, and Pop
2. Will argue that, despite data and the ghosts of Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that it actually has greater than 16bits of dynamic range and has a blacker background
 
As for the 3cyl+electric not getting enough serious car buyers:



 
Also, there are actually serious car guys who don't don't need V8s to go fast, when they can go fast around a track with a small, light, agile 4cyl car instead of, say, using a V8 car to go around a trailer park turning in one direction five hundred times, or going in a straight line to the adulation of the scantily clad chicks at the other end of the block. 




 
Hell, I once drew up a design exercise for a similarly small car, with a transverse-midmount V6 using a drivetrain design similar to the Miura's (the redesigned one, with the separate lubrication) and a central driving position for weight distribution (engine will similarly be positioned to optimize weight balance) and more importantly to get rid of the need for time alignment DSP on the stereo system, and around 95% of the people I discussed it with (including a guy who potentially could have funded it) asked "so where does the hot chick sit? nobody would buy that" (sic). That's how you separate those who want to go fast from the posers who just want to get into somebody's pants fast. They want to drive a "race inspired" car, but balk at the idea of not having a passenger seat, despite the fact that LMPs and open-wheel racers have only one seat save for the ones they use for media events to drive some TV reporter around the track in. The best part is that if you're starting with a car that doesn't have provisions for the unnecessary stuff the chassis potentially makes a better platform for a racer, but the problem is that too many posers will not buy it so it won't meet hte minimum sales requirement for GT racing.
 
3. If you have to throw out an amp because it isn't behaving properly, maybe it's a bad amp! j/k...kinda.

 
My point exactly - if there's a lot of noise on it and it can't be modified to have low gain (or it can, but the noise is still there), then it's probably a bad design.
 
4. If you don't need an amp anymore, that isn't a bad thing. There still may be a market for "better" amps, but if your headphones are efficient enough to be driven by an iPhone AND sound as good as the LCD-3, are you really going to complain?

 

The problem is that audiophiles tend to separate themselves from other people solely by the complexity of their gear - if you don't have an iPod strapped to an iDevice DAC strapped to a balanced amplifier driving an LCD-3 in the train, or some obscure DAP that could be mistaken for a GameBoy (from the bulk all the way down to the screen and UI), you're not really an audiophile.

Kind of like Shaffer up there who thinks that not being a fan of big block V8s means you're not serious about cars and just want to look cool, when I've seen more posers driving around in Camaros than in an Exige, let alone the Seven (you'd have to be really hardcore to drive a car that looks a lot more like an old racer in terms of how crappy the interior and amenities are). Being serious about cars isn't always about popping open the hood like dropping one's pants and whipping out a tape measure (or popping open the hood because they can't compete by dropping their pants with a tape measure around), but by saying "screw creature comforts! I'm here to drive!"
 
May 20, 2015 at 1:53 PM Post #9 of 19

Chris J

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I can hear it all the way here too, except I know that the people who like guzzling V8s as the "only" real way to power a car share the same logic if not the exact same person as the people who

1. Love music and breakfast cereal so much, they want whatever they're listening to to come with some Snap, Crackle, and Pop
2. Will argue that, despite data and the ghosts of Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that it actually has greater than 16bits of dynamic range and has a blacker background

As for the 3cyl+electric not getting enough serious car buyers:
Also, there are actually serious car guys who don't don't need V8s to go fast, when they can go fast around a track with a small, light, agile 4cyl car instead of, say, using a V8 car to go around a trailer park turning in one direction five hundred times, or going in a straight line to the adulation of the scantily clad chicks at the other end of the block. 

Hell, I once drew up a design exercise for a similarly small car, with a transverse-midmount V6 using a drivetrain design similar to the Miura's (the redesigned one, with the separate lubrication) and a central driving position for weight distribution (engine will similarly be positioned to optimize weight balance) and more importantly to get rid of the need for time alignment DSP on the stereo system, and around 95% of the people I discussed it with (including a guy who potentially could have funded it) asked "so where does the hot chick sit? nobody would buy that" (sic). That's how you separate those who want to go fast from the posers who just want to get into somebody's pants fast. They want to drive a "race inspired" car, but balk at the idea of not having a passenger seat, despite the fact that LMPs and open-wheel racers have only one seat save for the ones they use for media events to drive some TV reporter around the track in. The best part is that if you're starting with a car that doesn't have provisions for the unnecessary stuff the chassis potentially makes a better platform for a racer, but the problem is that too many posers will not buy it so it won't meet hte minimum sales requirement for GT racing.


My point exactly - if there's a lot of noise on it and it can't be modified to have low gain (or it can, but the noise is still there), then it's probably a bad design.

The problem is that audiophiles tend to separate themselves from other people solely by the complexity of their gear - if you don't have an iPod strapped to an iDevice DAC strapped to a balanced amplifier driving an LCD-3 in the train, or some obscure DAP that could be mistaken for a GameBoy (from the bulk all the way down to the screen and UI), you're not really an audiophile.

Kind of like Shaffer up there who thinks that not being a fan of big block V8s means you're not serious about cars and just want to look cool, when I've seen more posers driving around in Camaros than in an Exige, let alone the Seven (you'd have to be really hardcore to drive a car that looks a lot more like an old racer in terms of how crappy the interior and amenities are). Being serious about cars isn't always about popping open the hood like dropping one's pants and whipping out a tape measure (or popping open the hood because they can't compete by dropping their pants with a tape measure around), but by saying "screw creature comforts! I'm here to drive!"


I'll just stick with Superjawes first point. And the second point in said post.
 
May 20, 2015 at 2:31 PM Post #10 of 19

Shaffer

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Kind of like Shaffer up there who thinks that not being a fan of big block V8s means you're not serious about cars and just want to look cool, when I've seen more posers driving around in Camaros than in an Exige, let alone the Seven (you'd have to be really hardcore to drive a car that looks a lot more like an old racer in terms of how crappy the interior and amenities are). Being serious about cars isn't always about popping open the hood like dropping one's pants and whipping out a tape measure (or popping open the hood because they can't compete by dropping their pants with a tape measure around), but by saying "screw creature comforts! I'm here to drive!"


Please don't put words in my mouth. My favorite car in my modest stable is an Evolution IX, a 4-cylinder. You missed my point in its entirety. Seems like all you know about are stereotypes, nothing truly realistic. Makes one wonder what qualifies as wishful thinking and what doesn't.

FWIW, I haven't owned a V8 since 1981.
 
May 20, 2015 at 4:06 PM Post #11 of 19

xkonfuzed

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Just one thing. There isn't a serious carguy in the entirety of the universe who'd rather have a 1.5l 3-cylinder + electric in lieu of a powerful V8. I can hear the laughter from here. Now, if you're talking about a person who likes to look sporty, different story. We call them poseurs.

+1
 
May 20, 2015 at 11:50 PM Post #12 of 19

ProtegeManiac

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Please don't put words in my mouth. My favorite car in my modest stable is an Evolution IX, a 4-cylinder. You missed my point in its entirety. Seems like all you know about are stereotypes, nothing truly realistic. Makes one wonder what qualifies as wishful thinking and what doesn't.

FWIW, I haven't owned a V8 since 1981.

 
I didn't put words in your mouth, you put words into post #4 with your keyboard or whatever using your own fingers, going so far as to say you hear the laughter from way over there regarding smaller engines. And as for your Evo, I would sooner lump that with the V8's because unlike the ones I posted it has a turbo - even the Alfa has only a small turbo to widen the torque curve.
 
It's great how you accuse me of subscribing to stereotypes when you can hear the laughter from way over there.
 
May 21, 2015 at 12:18 AM Post #13 of 19

Shaffer

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I didn't put words in your mouth, you put words into post #4 with your keyboard or whatever using your own fingers, going so far as to say you hear the laughter from way over there regarding smaller engines.


Don't forget the electric motor. I used the V8 example, because that's what you cited as a counterpoint in the post to which I responded. I don't think remembering what you post is asking too much.

And as for your Evo, I would sooner lump that with the V8's because unlike the ones I posted it has a turbo - even the Alfa has only a small turbo to widen the torque curve.


So a small turbo is OK, but a bigger one makes the an I4 into a V8. May I ask who elected you as the ultimate arbiter of engine displacement and configuration?

It's great how you accuse me of subscribing to stereotypes when you can hear the laughter from way over there.


It's clear that you know nothing about the high-performance automotive community.
 
May 21, 2015 at 1:46 AM Post #14 of 19

ProtegeManiac

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So a small turbo is OK, but a bigger one makes the an I4 into a V8. May I ask who elected you as the ultimate arbiter of engine displacement and configuration?

 
Says the guy who said,
 
Just one thing. There isn't a serious carguy in the entirety of the universe who'd rather have a 1.5l 3-cylinder + electric in lieu of a powerful V8. I can hear the laughter from here. Now, if you're talking about a person who likes to look sporty, different story. We call them poseurs.
 

 
---------
 
 
Quote:
I don't think remembering what you post is asking too much.

 
I suppose your remember what you post is asking too much either...
 

---------
 
It's clear that you know nothing about the high-performance automotive community.

 
And obviously based on...
 
Quote:
Just one thing. There isn't a serious carguy in the entirety of the universe who'd rather have a 1.5l 3-cylinder + electric in lieu of a powerful V8. I can hear the laughter from here. Now, if you're talking about a person who likes to look sporty, different story. We call them poseurs.

 
...you only know one part of it, further exacerbated by how instead of responding to...
 

 
...with something along the lines of, "oh yeah I forgot those," you went off to type everything you've typed since that post.
 
-----
 
 
Before anybody steps in to argue how off topic this has become, refer to the original post and what else I posted in Post #2 and #8 as to how these are related. I already spent too much time reminding someone of what they write after they tried to remind me of what I wrote (that was only a response to the what he forgot he posted, apparently).
 
In any case that will be my last reply to that, I got my point across as far as anybody with a rational mindset is concerned. It isn't going to change adherents' opinions because, hey, in an audio forum, Snap, Crackle, and Pop means quieter audio and better dynamic range.
 
May 21, 2015 at 2:08 AM Post #15 of 19

Shaffer

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I didn't read your post. Started to, but stopped after the first scroll; too much irrelevant text. My problem lied with you trolling me by ascribing a position I did not assert. Now you're just trying to weasel out taking responsibility for it by obfuscating the point. Extremely dishonest, intellectually. It's like your posts on the room treatments you don't know how to use, or speaker setup in rooms you've never seen - all wishful thinking. No one has the time, or actually cares enough, to discuss at length the displayed scope of ignorance and its magnitude.
 

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