NAD Amplifier or Corda HA-1? help...
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rand

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Hi, Currently I have Creek OBH-11 and runs with SONY NS500 and Ecosse Conductor Cable...my Headphone is HD-600 and 501. I need another setup for my Office that maybe will use either SONY or Marantz DV4200...

What I want to know is it NAD Amplifier have "good enough" phone jack or should I get Corda instead, of course with integrated amplifier I also can setup speaker too...but since my primary use is heavy on headphone the headphone jack is important...


can you help me decide?

thanks
 
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Gopher

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Hey,

It looks like this is a thread I can respond to.

I have an OBH-11, NS500V, Corda HA-1, pair of HD600s and K-501s (I'm using Outlaw interconnects though). While admittedly limited in experience with headphones, I really adore the K-501 setup with the Creek. At the same time however I don't feel as if this amp is doing the HD600s justice. I feel the detail and imagining the Corda HA-1 offers the HD600s with even my modest source is a very noticable difference with the two amps.

The best example of this comming to mind is listening to Rebecca Pidgeons SACD on track 9 (I believe it's nine; looking for a long time love). When the drum line just begins I have without exception for my first week or so with the set up quickly darted my head around thinking someone was knocking on my door. With the Creek & HD600s it was very compressed, not really a 'projected' sound.

With the HDs on the Creek listening to Patricia Barbers night clubs, The quickness of sounds like snars I'd gotten used to with the HA-1 was missed.

In sum, I have not actually heard any NAD products what so ever. But the HD600s are very respectable cans, and I urge you to not settle for "good enough" and see what there is out there. Of the choices presented you have my highest recomendation for a HA-1.

Ohh btw, my only pet peeve with the HA-1 is the 1/8 headphone pots. Kinda keeping me from going for aftermarket cables.
 
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DarkWolf

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I would tend to agree with Gopher. I feel guilty doing it, since I don't have any personal, heands on expierience with headphone amps yet, but the HA-1 is spoken of very highly, especialy in its price class. If the NAD unit you are looking at is not a dedicated headphone amp, it would probably be safe to bet that the HA-1 will sound better with phones. If I am correct in assuming that you can't play loud music in the office, I should think that you would want to stick with phones. Getting the same kind of detail out of speakers at low volume would be hard. If you feel like spending the extra chash, you may consider the HA-2. Pretty much any reasonable pet peeve one might have had with the HA-1 seems to be eliminated with the HA-2. Jan (the maker) says that after burn in he can not tell the difference between the HA-2 and prehead with his ears, and kelly said in his review that the prehead was better than the Corda Blue. I think I will get an HA-2 when I can spare the cash. Have fun!
 
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markjia

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All of the current NAD int amps do not have dedicated headphone amps...some of the older models do though. But either way, none of them could compete with any resonable seperate headphone amp. Even if you get a bare bones META42 (~$60) built for you, it would still be much better than a NAD's headphone out (probably even the dedicated ones).

NAD amps have incredible speaker output (unmatched in their price range), but the number of people who use them with headphones as well is limited (relatively speaking), so it's not an area that they focus on.
 
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oldguy

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The icing on the cake, is the special price currently available on the Corda HA1. Check out the announcement in the Mall Fi area
 
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Alex Altorfer

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Gopher,

Quote:

I really adore the K-501 setup with the Creek.


Please tell me more about the Creek OBH 11 + AKG K501 synergy. How's the K501's bass extension with the Creek? Are the lower octaves noticeably missing? How do Rebecca Pigeon's drums there sound in the Creek/K501 combination? How's the soundstage? Upper level of detail? How about mids? Sound clarity? How far up do you turn the volume knob to power the K501s to earsplitting levels? Do you hear any distortions? What kind of musical genres sound best through the Creek/K501 combination? Do any genres sound bad with it?

Thank you for your attention.

Cheers,
Alex Altorfer
 
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Suedama

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Interesting to see how many responses are coming from people who haven't listened to the NAD product. There is really only one way to determine whether the answer to your question. Go listen to the NAD. You might be surprised.

I have the C340 integrated amp and I have compared the headphone socket on this with my Creek OBH11- SE on a variety of headphones over many hours. The differences are small and subtle.

You've got to keep in mind that your source components are the place to start for decent sound. It sounds to me like you are just starting to build a system. If this is the case the answer is easy. Dollar for dollar you will be much happier with something like the NAD integrated amp.
 
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The NAD 3220 is my computer amp. Even the headphone out of my SB Live Platinum is clearly better (clearer, cleaner, smoother) than the one of the NAD, and the Corda HA-1 is three classes above the latter.
 
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lini

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rand: Another vote for the Corda instead of the NAD from Munich. A possibility to think about, though, might be the purchase of a Porta Corda and a cheaper NAD integrated amp as well.

Greetings!

Manfred / lini
 
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Gopher

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Please tell me more about the Creek OBH 11 + AKG K501 synergy. How's the K501's bass extension with the Creek? Are the lower octaves noticeably missing? How do Rebecca Pigeon's drums there sound in the Creek/K501 combination? How's the soundstage? Upper level of detail? How about mids? Sound clarity? How far up do you turn the volume knob to power the K501s to earsplitting levels? Do you hear any distortions? What kind of musical genres sound best through the Creek/K501 combination? Do any genres sound bad with it?

I'll do my best

Since switching from the Little to the Creek for the 501s, I've felt the bass has improved significantly. While I didn't find it inaccurate with the little, I feel it may be a bit deeper now. The soundstage is very good to my ears. One track that comes to mind is track 10 of Blue Notes Blends: On the Court 3 (Can't stand the rain). The soundstage, airiness and just feel of the accoustic "twang" were just awesome to my ears.

To my ears it feels as if this combination might be a touch on the bright side (atleast when compared with my HA-1/HD600s). But I guess brightness is something I like. When listening to some of my favorite older Jazz recordings like Sketches of Spain, I sort of like that almost fatiguing push at the top and then relief as frequency comes back down. The highs don't come appart at the extreeme as I've noticed with other phones on the AKGs (not comparing to HD600s). With the HD's the highs have a different feel, they are more detailed and accurate, though I'm undecided if I like that. One thing I did notice with my HDs is with Rebecca Pidgeons Grandmother when she gets really high what I thought was the phones distorting is really the frequency being represented by some instrument, probably a guitar or something. I couldn't really find this with the AKGs but maybe my ears aren't the most sensitive.

As far as mids, though I'm not precise where upper lows and lower highs are determined, I feel as if it may perhaps be a bit thin. I don't know if it's the fact that they are more open headphones then my HD600s or what, but at comparable volumes the HDs have a thickness to them. I prefer the thinness of the AKGs for accoustic pieces and 'less throaty' female vocalists. I'm not really certain the quality I'm describing here is in actuality the mid region though.

I typically listen to my AKGs with the volume knob ~ 1:00, but upon your request to hear about earsplitting volumes I cranked it up a bit. It distorted horribly beyond 3:00. This was not what I would call a comforable listening volume, but still I was a little suprised at how ugly it got.

Alright, it's finals week. I gotta get back to work. I hope this was helpful.

Keep in mind I'm a newbie

Fred
 
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is your creek an OBH11 or an OBH11SE ?
 
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Gopher

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OBH-11. I'm considering purchasing an OBH-2 PSU as well tho
 
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