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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. mrscotchguy

    Had a local Headfier over to see it. He was impressed. My HE-4 has never sounded so great, he kept coming back to that combo. His favorite feature was the auto volume adjust after gain change. It kept throwing him off every time!
  2. Badas

    Are you kidding? Oppo all the way. Unless you want more portability. The Hugo is a toy compared the fully fleged HA-1.
  3. lukeap69
    Amos has briefly compared HA-1 & Chord Hugo on his PM-1 review http://www.head-fi.org/products/oppo-pm-1/reviews/11180
  4. Herbie151
    Hi to everyone - my first post on this site!
    A word of caution to potential purchasers - the HA1 appears NOT to take ipod classic gen 5. The user manual (kindly linked earlier in this thread) contains the following text:
    "Note: USB works with iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, iPod touch (5th
    Classic is never mentioned and indeed is "stalled" by connecting it to the front USB. It has to de-power, run flat, and recharge and restart to recover.
    Also - (and I know this is picky but it caused me some confusion,) the manual also says:
    "The digital audio signal from your Apple product will be converted by the internal DAC and
    sent to the headphone and line level outputs."
    I'm guessing what it actually means is "...will be converted by the internal DAC IN THE AMPLIFIER, not your idevice, and send to the etc etc..."
    So if I plug in idevice it is bypassing the small inbuilt DAC in the ipod and using the oppo DAC instead.
    Cheers - enjoying reading and learning ALOT from this forum.
  5. efeist
    Welcome and thanks for the info!
  6. Smarty-pants

    Seeing as how you are using the digital output connection of the iPod, and not the analog (headphone) output, then yes, the DAC in the HA-1 will be used to do the conversion.
    I suppose it could say...
    "The digital audio signal from your Apple product will be converted by the internal DAC of the HA-1 and
    sent to the headphone and line level outputs of the HA-1 ."
    However to me it isn't confusing at all. You are just misinterpreting it as Oppo describing how the internals of the iDevice works,
    which wouldn't make any sense since that is what the iPod manual is for . :wink:

    I do find it odd that it is incompatible with some iDevices though.
    I found that my iPad2 works just fine with it, despite it not being on the list of compatible devices.
    Does the 5th gen iPod Classic receive software updates like other iDevices?
    If so, then perhaps that may cure some incompatibilities, but I don't know since I don't have one.
  7. Maxx134
    The issue here is a portable unit being pushed should be compared to portable units..

    I have to take this with half a grain of salt because I owned the pm1 and what he perceived as more detail I noticed myself that the truth is the pm1 sounds sweeter out of portable units as the trebles seem more tingling but this percieved detailing is not necessarily treble accuracy..
    It's more that the signature of the pm1 unit is brighter on portables..

    For a proper showcase of true accuracy,
    For a comparison you would have to play the HA-1 at its full potential on high gain and out of the balanced 4pin xlr,
    which the pm1 does not even have a jack for(!),
    and it is obvious that the sheer clarity and power the HA-1 has on balanced out to drive them would easily win..
    This is why they should not be using & putting down the HA1 as a comparison to that little hugo, as it is misleading.
    I can't understand why anyone would compare a desk/home unit to a portable unit.
  8. SharpEars
    I had a similar issue with my HA-1. The USB input stopped working when I powered it on one day. I tried other inputs like S/PDIF coax and that worked fine. I had to return it for repairs, because nothing I did could get that USB port working. Also, when connected the now broken USB transceiver on the HA-1 was causing other USB devices (e.g., hard drives) to periodically disconnect. OPPO was great at helping me troubleshoot and take care of the issue, so kudos to them!
    I have a feeling that either these units are very static sensitive or at least more so than all of my other USB devices (pure speculation on my part, since I don't know what kind of grounding or other static protection the USB port on the HA-1 offers) or there may be an infrequent USB transceiver issue (even wilder speculation on my part). In any case, mine is now connected through a powered USB hub to offer some static isolation from my PC and more importantly my fingers.
    If anybody is looking for a hub that will work with the HA-1, this one does (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQFGH80/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) for the low price of $19, as long as you plug it into a USB 2 port on your PC/MAC. It offers an extra level of security against static with the dry winter season, and its accompanying static shocks from everything you touch, on its way. If you get another USB hub, make sure that it is powered or you will not be getting decent static protection.
    To confirm that you have a USB transceiver issue, try a different cable and more importantly try the unit with another computer if you have one just to rule out a problem with the PC/MAC that is sending the signal. Other than that, give their support a call.
  9. Smarty-pants

    I don't agree with that at all.
    How could the sound of the headphone change with whatever device is being used? That would be some sheer magic sauce for sure.
    In reality it is the device that is changing, and thus the sound that is coming from the device is what is more or less revealing, and/or introducing sibilance.

    Also not sure what you mean by the PM-1 not having a jack for balanced audio. Perhaps you meant to say the Hugo.
  10. Maxx134
    To clarify a bit for you,
    Yes a headphone can change. .
    Simple "burn-in" a new headphone can make change in sound.

    Simple impedance interactions of the amp output can make your headphones sound different.

    Most portable are op amp driven and have no real current levels to drive a planar with authority.
    The pm1 sounds sweeter out of portable units however you like to explain it's interactions.

    It also only comes with a 1/4" & 1/8" plugs so that means they never tested the pm1 on the ha1 balanced xlr output.
  11. Wfanning1

    Ok so it seems we might be uncovering a true fault with our beloved ha-1? It seems now this is the 4th case of this I have heard of now ! I contacted oppo but haven't heard back yet. I hope to hear from them today? Thanks all for your support but I can't help but to say this does worry me if it happens once handed are it will happen again. The question is will it still be under warranty when it happens?
  12. Smarty-pants

    Umm, ya I guess if you want to split hairs, if a headphone should happen to change sound slightly from a burn-in period, then that would quantify a change in it's sound.

    Yes an impedance interaction could change the way it sounds, but it's it's still not changing the headphone, only how it's interacting with the gear.

    Sounds sweeter to YOU. Everyone's ears are different, and once again, since it is impossible for the headphones to physically change,
    the difference you might or might not hear is inherent in the hardware being used with the headphones.

    Not even sure what you are referring to. Amos's review of the HA-1?? Did he say specifically which outputs he tested?
    I saw his review, but can't recall either way, but I don't argue that. It wasn't the point of my original comments.

    The original point was that you claimed that the PM-1 sounds enhanced with a portable device when compared to the HA-1,
    and that the change of sound is inherent in the headphones, but that's just not possible. The difference would lie in the hardware, not the headphones. :smile:
  13. Maxx134
    Lol. Ok,
    but as an example, I don't have to physically change to run faster or slower or jump higher...

    Performing better or lesser doesnt imply change physically.

    Yeah so the misunderstanding is I didn't clarify.
    Your reasoning of a sonic character change, that can only be from a physical change but thats not what I meant to disagree on.
    The changes are like shades of same sonic character.

    So yeah I am stating it's more in the "nature" of the pm1 to sound brighter and thus nicer out of my portable gear.
    I stating sweeter which is a slight change of same sounds. .
    The reviewer says it's has more details so in essence he is stating more change than me as it's different because more detailed means it "has more information"..
    So you should have more problems with that?

    Regardless, although the review was odd to throw in the Hugo comment being more detailed than the HA-1, it can/may also proves my point that the pm1 sounds different on portables.
  14. Smarty-pants
    ^Sounds different... ya maybe Max, but it's still not inherent in the headphones.
    It sounds different because of the gear used. The headphones don't change, the incoming audio does.
    I am using a "physical" reference because that is the ONLY way that the headphones could sound different (by inducing artificial sibilance).
    Your original comment suggested that the PM-1 adds sibilance to the treble domain when used with a portable audio device, but that it isn't present when using the HA-1.
    Yes, you can get a different sound from them, but that is based on the audio that is input.

    I'm not going to post about it anymore. I don't want to waste others' time to beat a dead horse.
    I think I made my point clear. No disrespect intended. I just don't agree. :smile:
  15. i019791
    More than 99% of headphones come with default 1/4" & 1/8" plugs. This does not imply that the the manufacturer has never tested the headphone balanced.
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