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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by aamefford, May 7, 2014.
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  1. Badas
    I like seeing the cables from the side. If I show some one they just about faint. [​IMG]
  2. zilch0md

    We must have similar tastes. When using the LCD-2 rev.1, which has plenty of color on its own, I like the HA-1's very neutral ESS9018 DAC, but with neutral to bright headphones like the HD800, I prefer a warmer DAC feeding the HA-1 amp. Lately, I'm using the FiiO X5 as follows:

    FiiO X5 Line Out > HA-1 amp > HD800 or PM-1 with PM-2 pads (using the X5's warm and detailed PCM1792A DAC)

    FiiO X5 Coaxial Out > HA-1 > LCD-2 rev.1 or PM-1 with PM-1 velour pads (using the HA-1's ESS9018 DAC)

  3. Badas

    I don't know much about the FiiO line. Is there a charging dock for them? Can you control by remote? I understand they have EQ. That is something I would like to play with. Has anyone tried and is it any good?
  4. zilch0md

    There is no available charging dock for the FiiO X5. It accepts 5VDC USB power, but I use it piggy-backed to an external 5VDC Li-Ion pack, handheld, with up to two 64GB microSD cards mounted simultaneously.

    There is no remote control. I use it handheld with either an analog interconnect from its Line Out or a 75-Ohm S/PDIF cable from its Coaxial Out (one or the other, into the HA-1.)


    I personally don't care for EQ because I've never found one (software or hardware) that could play pure tones (40 Hz, 100 Hz, whatever..) without causing distortion when even a little bit of gain or attenuation is applied to a nearby frequency.

  5. Badas

    No Dock or remote. That's me out. When I listen to music I have one wire going to the cans. That's it.

    I use the Arcam DrDock which takes the direct digital source from the iPod (160G classic) and sends it via coax. Then I have full dock and remote control. Oppo does the DAC.

    I know what you mean about EQ. I tried a small Bass bump but it distorted.

    Anyone know of a small EQ device with the manual sliders that you could put all your sources in (coax, optical and unbalanced RCA)? Then send to Oppo HA1. A proper piece of hardware instead of software driven EQ.
  6. SharpEars
    Is there a planned firmware update for the HA-1 that will fix the remote controlled volume overshoot problem:
    When making large volume adjustments using the remote, the volume knob keeps spinning for about a second after a volume button on the remote is released causing it to overshoot the desired volume level by a significant amount. It is almost as if the knob has inertia and needs about a second to slow down and stop. This requires several fine 0.5 db volume adjustments to be made via the remote in the opposite direction to compensate for the volume knob "overshoot" and dial in the desired volume level. 
    Or, is this a hardware issue that cannot be fixed, because it is quite annoying and even a cheap $150 receiver with motorized volume control can stop its volume knob almost instantly after you let go of a volume button on its remote.
  7. dizzyraider

    Or don't continuously hold on to the volume button. With volume changes, some will react faster and some will be slower. In this case, the remote repeats the signal faster than the reaction rate. I usually do not continuously hold the volume up button with ANY of my equipments because it is pretty normal for some to have a faster remote repeat rate.
  8. craftyhack
    Agree with dizzy above, if the issue are talking about is overshoot based on holding the volume up/down on the remote for more than a second or so, I would expect the behavior you are seeing, at least based on my own experiences.  Overshoot is common on many remotely controlled devices I have as well, motorized knob controls or not, *especially* with gear that accelerates the speed at which it changes the setting being adjusted the longer you hold the button down, and I will have to confirm when I get home, but I think that the HA-1 does have this acceleration feature.
    If that behavior is not what you are talking about, then there is also an issue when you are making micro adjustments with the remote where when adjusting in .5db steps one button press at a time... the distance that the motorized knob travels is variable and may not be consistent with the same knob position change if you were to use the knob to make the same adjustment.  This is a known issue, root cause posted by Haster(Oppo rep) here:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/717834/oppo-ha-1-impressions-thread/930#post_10693461.  I went overboard confirming this phenomenon (read the posts above the one I linked if you are curious, like this one:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/717834/oppo-ha-1-impressions-thread/900#post_10691912), but I didn't do this because the behavior was causing me issues (like not being able to micro adjust reliably); rather I found it interesting that something I expected to have consistent behavior was NOT consistent... and I wanted to quantify the effect to see if it was predictable and therefore consistent in a more complicated way :).  While for one step the knob may rotate 15 degrees where the next it would only move 3 degrees, it was still a .5db step each time, though, so at least in my case I haven't had issues with volume modifications being "out of control", overshooting, etc.  If an adjustment >.5db is happening for you after one press of the button, then there may be an issue with your HA-1 or the remote...
  9. x RELIC x Contributor
    It's been covered earlier in this thread. The volume knob and corresponding remote control of the volume are digital approximations of the analogue volume output. There is only 1bit of data allocated to interperate the volume increments so precision is not likely to improve with FW.

    Posted earlier from HasturTheYellow:

    "The algorithm used to convert the absolute analog signal to its digital representation on the front panel is done with only 1-bit of information. It is an approximation, not an absolute, which is why you will see the front panel show some amount of inconsistency in how it performs. This is something we are looking into, but with such a small sample it may not be something that we can enhance through future firmware releases."
  10. Badas

    Yeah. When I saw that explanation and understood what was going on I just learned to not look at the numbers. I just watch the little mark on the volume go up or down to the desired spot and that works well for me. The motorized volume works very well with the remote. I find it very responsive for small tweaks (just ignore those numbers on screen).
  11. SharpEars
    There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding my previous post on the volume control issue I am having, so let me describe the issue in more detail.
    First of all, this issue has nothing to do with the correlation of the displayed dB level as a function of the amount of turn of the volume knob. That is a known issue addressed and resolved in a previous post and attributed to the 1-bit of data being fed back to the digital monitoring of the analog volume control. Before continuing with the issue at hand, let me briefly review how my HA-1 reacts to remote volume change commands.
    The HA-1 appears to have two discrete volume control functions via the remote:
    1) If you briefly press a volume +/- button, a microadjustment occurs of 0.5 dB in the direction of your press (sometimes the knob will rotate a little bit less, sometimes a little bit more and that aspect is not at issue here).
    2) If you hold a volume button for half a second or longer, a larger adjustment occurs and the volume increases/decreases as long as you keep holding the volume button.
    In the second case above, the volume knob does not accelerate as you continue holding, except for the brief initial start-up acceleration necessary to get it spinning which happens in less than a quarter of a second's time. However, when you let go of a volume control button on the remote after a non-microadjustment (i.e., an adjustment of more than 0.5 dB), the knob keeps on spinning, as if the unit (or knob) is slow to react to the remote's command to stop for about a half-second to a solid second after you have let go of the volume button you pressed. This causes the volume setting to go approximately 2 dB over/under the level you intended forcing you to press the opposite volume adjustment button three to five times (i.e., three to five microadjustments) to compensate for the undesired overshoot in volume change. This only happens when you hold a volume button for half a second or longer, so basically every time you want to make an adjustment of more than 0.5 dB (i.e., practically every time you want to change the volume). I don't know if my specific unit has this problem or all units do, so let me give you a specific example you can try with your HA-1 unit:
    1) First, physically set the volume knob to the 3 o'clock position by hand (don't bother looking at the numbers on the display, they're irrelevant for this exercise).
    2) Then, increase the volume to the 4 o'clock position of the knob via the remote. To do this, hold the + volume button for about half a second or so on the remote, until the volume knob spins to the 4 o'clock position.
    4) As soon as the volume knob nears the 4 o'clock position, let go of the + button on the remote.
    5) On my unit, the knob continues spinning and stops just short of the 5 o'clock position, causing in this (rather extreme) case double the increase in volume that I had intended (i.e., approximately a 6-8 dB increase instead of a 3-4 dB increase).
    6) Press the - volume button in short bursts 3-5 times to get it back to the intended 4 o'clock position via (0.5 dB) microadjustments in the opposite direction.
    Now, does this not seem like a lot of work to get a slight increase in volume (i.e., say about 4 dB, give or take)? By the way, none of this has anything to do with the (accuracy of the) dB numbers displayed on the display of the unit, since as mentioned several times already, the dB display issue is a known issue and is not the point of this post. This is a purely functional issue having to do with the motorized volume knob's response to commands best summarized as:
    The volume knob does not respond to a volume button being released in a timely and reasonable manner.
    A little bit of delay in response (i.e., knob drift/overshoot) is normal for a motorized volume control. What is happening is an extreme amount of drift, much more than I have seen on any motorized volume control before.
    Perhaps my unit is defective. Therefore, I would really appreciate it if others with an HA-1 try the steps above and report on your particular results.
    Thank you for reading my long winded post if you got this far!
  12. sbgunn
    @sharpears - happens to me to the way you describe. I have learned to live with it. As a matter of fact I already had to warranty replace one unit and my second one does the same. I think this is due to the 1 bit of information thing cited earlier in the thread.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  13. x RELIC x Contributor

    My guess is that they aren't using a high torque servo for the hardware mechanism hence there will be some drift when the electronics-servo-volume knob stops receiving a signal. Mine behaves in same manner as you described and I don't mind it at all.
  14. SharpEars
    Glad to hear I am not the only one and 1-bit is exactly the amount of info needed to tell something to start and stop, but I have a feeling the 1-bit is for information flow from the volume control to the digital part of the circuit so that it can adjust the on-monitor display accordingly. I don't see how it has anything to do with telling a motor to stop or start when a remote button is pressed - a trivial implementation found in all equipment with a motorized volume control.
  15. Badas
    Mine behaves in a similar matter as well.
    To be honest it could have been better but it doesn't bother me. I was just so glad it had a remote. Not many options with that.
    It would have been better if they had done what most AVR's do. My Denon and Marantz come to mind.
    1. Not have a mark on the volume dial.
    2. Volume dial spins freely round and round.
    3. When using the remote there is no physical movement. It just has a digital readout of the level.
    4. When spinning by hand it goes up or down as a digital representation.
    I just turn on my music. Get the level ruffly correct manually. Sit down and do minor tweaks to volume and enjoy. [​IMG] 
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