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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. Northman
    Has anybody tried the HA-1 with the Beyerdynamic T5p?
    Due to living conditions, I don`t have the option of using open headphones. But I still need a amp for these cans.
    Super detailed cans, but I just want a little more bass. Can the HA-1 give me that?
  2. mithrandir38
    there is no bass boost, but it is rock solid and high definition.
  3. PerfectHiFi
    I have a DT931 (250 Ohms) from Beyerdynamic that is driven by the HA-1. They sound very clean and detailled, maybe a bit bright, but can be used at normal gain. The HA-1 is an excellent product, but it gets hot , remember.
  4. Maxx134
    I would add that the internal dac on the wa7 is bright and a bit edgy but has great resolution but overall is the cause of its limits.
    Pairing with a better dac and the wa7tp for it brings the wa7 to its full potential.

    Anyway even with that, I find the ha1 an easy few notches above overall.

    Giving no real suggestions is not a suggestion in my book lol.
    Therefore I will give you a suggestion that actually worked for me...
    The simple addition of these rubber feet actually made a noticable difference in temperature..
    My unit no longer boils and takes longer to actually get hot..

    Yes for just a few dollars from the corner store I bought these feet for furniture and they do a perfect job so if oppo made some nice looking feet it would be nice but these work as well as any fancy audiofile isolators.

    After listening to some other great amps lately on Speaker taps(virtue & First Watt),
    I would have to say overall the ha1 signature is on the sweet side..
    In fact if I would characterize the three amps with one word:
    HA-1= sweet
    Virtue= musical
    First Watt= clarity
  5. mithrandir38
    for the record, I used a schiit Bifrost, not the internal DAC. I found the amp to be bright compared to the Lyr 2, Project Ember, and HA-1.
  6. aamefford
    I started with a Bifrost Uber. I went back and forth quite a few times. I eventually decided that maybe the Bifrost had a bit softer treble. The difference to me was vanishingly minute. I ended up keeping the HA-1 mainly for the cool display, front mount apple input, Bluetooth and the fact that it really sounds darned good. Best ES 9018 I've heard, and I'm not really a fan of that chip. Still, I really like the HA-1, and finally decided I did not need the Bifrost. I think the Bifrost Uber is at least as good. It was not (enough) better to keep in my case.
  7. JustLights
    Due to a recent move into a smaller space, I will be doing the bulk of my music listening on headphones for the foreseeable future. I've been a fan of Oppo for some time, so I ordered the HA-1 amp and PM-1 headphones to help me make the transition. I'm looking to integrate the HA-1 into my current system which is driven primarily by the Oppo BDP-105 connected to a Synology NAS. 
    - What is the best way to connect the 105 to the HA-1? (XLR? Coaxial? Optical?)
    I asked Oppo support and the response was to use the XLR connectors. I'm not generally one to doubt the manufacturer, but some online reading revealed others connecting the two with an optical cable. I'm under the impression that the DACs are identical, but there is just something that *feels* more right about having the HA-1 handle the D-to-A process at the end of the line.
    Thanks for your help. I'm looking forward to posting my impressions soon...
  8. avraham

    I have my BDP-105 connected to my HA-1 using both XLR and coaxial cables.  SACDs & DVD-As playback is through the XLR balanced cables using the DAC in the BDP-105 and bypassing the DAC in the HA-1.  RBCDs playback is through the coaxial cable bypassing the DAC in the BDP-105 using the DAC in the HA-1.  If you you already have the cables you could try connecting with both coaxial and optical between the 105 and the HA-1 to see which sounds better to you. 
  9. Smarty-pants

    It depends on what you are listening to.
    You will not get audio like lossless Dolby and DTS from Blu-ray, or DSD from SACD over the SPDIF (optical/coaxial) outputs.
    By law they can not be transmitted over those interfaces, only over HDMI and via analog audio output.
    So, since the HA-1 does not have HDMI input, to hear that audio in it's full bandwidth, you would do best by using the XLR output as Oppo suggested.

    There is another way by using a de-embedder to get 2-ch audio up to 192khz over SPDIF. Just connect it between the player and HA-1 and send the digital PCM audio over HDMI to the device. Then from the device to the HA-1 via optical. This would indeed then use the DAC in the HA-1.
    One caveat... if you try to send 5.1 or 7.1 lossless audio, it'll get knocked down to lossy. So it's best for 2-ch audio only.

    Quite honestly though, just sending the balanced XLR connects into the HA-1 will still yield superb sound,
    and the other method may not even reveal anything better, it just lets you take advantage of the HA-1's DAC instead of the 105's DAC
    (which are pretty much the same anyway).
    I even wonder too, with a proper adapter, if you could use the XLR balanced output from the 105 directly into your PM-1,
    and if it would sound as good as the balanced connection from the HA-1.
    Stacking the 105 and the HA-1 just seems like overkill to me, but it's one hell of a setup with both of them working together.
  10. JustLights
    Thank you avraham and Smarty Pants for the quick replies. I didn't realize that the SACD and other lossless outputs couldn't be transmitted over the digital connections. (Though it rings a bell...)
    So it looks like my best bet is to order a pair of XLR cables and experiment. My suspicion is that I won't be able to tell the difference between the XLRs and the digital connections for the RBCD content.
    Thanks again,
  11. JustLights
    No question about it. I've had the 105 for some time now, but my situation has changed and I'm looking for top-notch HP experience. And although I've heard the 105 is capable of driving the PM-1s, I've also heard that the HA-1 really takes them to the next level.
    Thanks again,
  12. i019791
    If you are mainly spinning discs you bypass the HA-1 dac and you could be better with a good head amp instead of the HA-1
  13. JustLights
    Thanks for the reply - I appreciate the input...
    The bulk of my music is on a Synology NAS as FLACs. (Thus the need for something other than the HA-1 for track selection and playback.) However, based on everything I've read, the HA-1 *IS* a good headphone amp with a number of other bells and whistles thrown in.
    We'll see how it sounds when it gets here!
  14. Northman
    Just ordered one myself... Hope this plays well with my Beyer T5p!
  15. PerfectHiFi
    Congrats! I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it! FYI: I am "just" a HA-1 user (HP=DT931), not an OPPO dealer...
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