Opinions on Total Bithead Amp
post-1397045
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 20

jh8331

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Posts
25
Likes
0
Within the next month I plan to purchase a nice set of dt880s. I have decided on them based on a lot of research online and on the internet. Now I need opinions on an amp. I plan on listening to the dt880s through my Powerbook 12 G4 1.33Ghz that has a headphone out but no line out. I am assuming that best sound quality will require an external sound card with a line out. The Total Bithead seems to meet this requirement as well as the obvious amp requirement. I am hoping to keep the costs down so I don’t want to have to purchase a USB or firewire sound interface and an amp. Could I just get an amp to use through the Powerbook headphone out, or would it sound bad?

Thanks,
jh8331
 
     Share This Post       
post-1397627
Post #2 of 20

Little J040

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
1,075
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Posts
1,075
Likes
10
More than likely youll want a line out for your setup. Coming out of a headphone out will more than likely not be a clean signal due to the powerbooks internal amplification circuit. As far as the Total bit head, this would not be able to power the Dt-880s that well
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398067
Post #3 of 20

Clemit

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
I have an Acer notebook which I'm using as my sole source. I bought a Total Bithead and the switch from the headphone out of the computer to the USB true line out made a huge difference. Even with cheap headphones like the Sony EX-81 the difference was huge. In that way the Bithead is great and unique, it offers DAC, amp, and portability for a small price. But the Bithead has problems powering my Sennheiser HD 650. It's just that you can't turn up the volume very much. It's no problem with my Grado 225. Not sure how the Dt-880 do here, probably similar to the Sennheiser. I've read in other threads that the headphone out of a powerbook is better than that of most notebooks so you might just want to try it first and get an amp later if you don't like it.
Good luck!
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398103
Post #4 of 20

Thaddy

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
4,995
Reaction score
180
Location
Texas
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Location
Texas
Posts
4,995
Likes
180
jh8331, you've got a Private Message!
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398111
Post #5 of 20

DrewWinters

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 9, 2004
Messages
204
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jul 9, 2004
Posts
204
Likes
0
Ditto. The Total Bithead sounds good for what it is (no comparison with my PPX3, but it still sounds good and obviously the PPX is not portable) but it doesn't do that well with HD650's. It can power them OK using the batteries, but switch to USB mode and it has a really hard time keeping up. It had no trouble powering a pair of Panasonics I'd been given a long time ago (no idea of the specs) so I'm sure it's just an issue with impedance. Nonetheless, the sound is pretty good.

Incidently, in general the TB has served me very well as a soundcard - my front speaker output on my "regular" sound card died... so I'm using the bithead as a soundcard/preamp for my computer speakers. I've only had one problem Adobe Premiere will not use it. <shrug>

I have no idea how the plug-n-play driver built into the Bithead will work with a Mac, I've never tried it.

Good luck.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398469
Post #6 of 20

Ticky

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
11
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Posts
1,098
Likes
11
I can't comment on whether the TBH can power the Beyer. You might have to pose that question to the folks at Headroom. However, the TBH powers my HD600 fine. I usually listen to headphones at moderate levels though.

As for comments on the TBH, here is a review I've done on audioreview for the product. Hope it helps.


http://www.audioreview.com/Headphone...4_2751crx.aspx
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398473
Post #7 of 20

markmaxx

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
1,425
Reaction score
13
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Posts
1,425
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ticky
"The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left"


I am 47 years old and I love this one!
sorry about the thread hi-jack


I had a Total Bithead and through the USB port my Bithead was only able to power my ER 4P's to marginal high volume levels (with out clipping) I can't belive it will power the DT-880's very well.

Ticky nice review! So what he said.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398736
Post #8 of 20

Ticky

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
1,098
Reaction score
11
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Posts
1,098
Likes
11
Thanks Markmaxx. But, I fear that if we measure maturity by such standards, many on this forum would be er... rather young at heart.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1398901
Post #9 of 20

jh8331

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Posts
25
Likes
0
Thanks for the input, looks like I'm gonna have to invest in some extra equipment. Now... an inexpensive high quality usb or audio interfaces that will work on my Mac come in mind?
 
     Share This Post       
post-1399670
Post #10 of 20

sacundim

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Messages
147
Reaction score
10
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Posts
147
Likes
10
I don't know about the TBH, but my Porta Corda III USB arrived today, and it seems to drive my DT 880's reasonably from the USB power.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1401030
Post #11 of 20

OracleGuy

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
254
Reaction score
0
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Posts
254
Likes
0
One question: do you need this setup powered from the USB port? Or would a wall-wart be acceptable?

Unfortunately the TBH doesn't have a DC input jack. I've got an Airhead that I've only ever used with a power adapter, but of course that doesn't have a DAC built-in.

One possible option would be an M-Audio Transit to get the USB capability, and then the amp of your choice to drive your DT880s.

My Airhead drove my HD650s OK.

The Headroom MicroDAC+MicroAmp combo would work fine too, but that's $600.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1401321
Post #12 of 20

jumping jupiters

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Messages
270
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Posts
270
Likes
0
Not too much new to add here...assuming the Beyer's are similiar to the Senn HD650's...I got better sound quality (not just volume) with the TBH and a pair of Grado 125's then with my Senn's. Also, I found the DAC in the TBH to be marginal at best coming out of my laptop...very acceptable results when using an ipod as source. Of course, if you must use your Mac as a source the USB link is definetly superior to the headphone out jack. If you haven't bought/heard the Beyer's yet and still want a laptop/amp combo then I would recommend checking into Grado's.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1401603
Post #13 of 20

cpw

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
1,828
Reaction score
10
Location
Reno, NV
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Location
Reno, NV
Posts
1,828
Likes
10
I'm really surprised to hear that the TBH can't drive Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 since I use my TBH to drive mine ALL THE TIME!
It works great.
I have better (read more expensive amps) yet I find the TBH is a really elegant solution for my PowerBook. It's the only way to eliminate the
sh!tty headphone section without purchasing a standalone soundcard or USB DAC.
It really has no trouble driving higher impedance cans like the Senns, and I assume, the Beyers. For the money, what have you got to lose? HeadRoom has a generous return policy and you need to hear for yourself whether it drives your cans to acceptable levels. I think you'll find it works pretty damn well. If not, send it back.
It's not the best amp I own but it's a damn fine product and as it's a perfect fit for your system, I'd really recommend at least giving it a try. The other way to go might be one of the new Headroom amps coming out that have a built in DAC option.
Just my $.02.
CPW
 
     Share This Post       
post-1411115
Post #14 of 20

wakked1

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
300
Reaction score
1
Joined
May 3, 2005
Posts
300
Likes
1
Keep in mind a USB 2.0 port provides more juice than a 1.1. That might be part of the problem...
 
     Share This Post       
post-1411520
Post #15 of 20

Jamey Warren

Member of the Trade: HeadRoom
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Messages
739
Reaction score
69
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Posts
739
Likes
69
When driving higher impedance headphones like the HD600/650, or DT880, it's helpful to make sure that the volume control in both your software program and your control panel is set to full maximum. That sends the best signal to the Total BitHead where you can then adjust the listening level. I find the Total BitHead to give good comfortable listening levels with these phones but, some of my friends (who may be deaf soon) really like to rock out. At that point, an amplifier with more voltage available is the cure. Powering the BitHead off batteries can give a little more juice. It's probably worth noting that some monitor usb ports and some usb hubs offer less power, especially if multiple devices are connected.

I agree with CPW, having a listen is the best way to tell.

Cheers,
Jamey
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top