Preliminary Impressions of the New 2006 Total BitHead
Mar 31, 2006 at 8:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20
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(This was originally posted yesterday in the Members of the Trade Sponsored Threads Forum, but I wanted to also post it here in the Amplification Forum.)

New Total BitHead (Clear) here. Out of the park, Tyll.

Due to a number of reasons, I've been lugging my laptop with me almost everywhere I go, even more than usual, limiting my stationary seat time needed to hang with the desktop rigs. Velcro'd to the back of my screen is the new 2006 Total BitHead. Plugged into that is a Sennheiser HD650 (with the 2006 Cardas cable), a SHURE E4c, or a Sennheiser CX300 (my Sennheiser PXC300 also just arrived, so I'm going to try that later, too).

I've been powering the Total BitHead pretty much exclusively from USB, and I'm loving this thing. The crossfeed is a noticeable improvement over your previous mobile-type amps, with (as you've described) less effect on tonal balance than previous versions. I drive the E4c and CX300 on low-gain and the HD650 on high-gain--all of these phones driven very well by the 2006 Total BitHead.

Sonically, this latest generation amp is a very significant step up from my now-previous-generation Total AirHead, both with crossfeed off and on (I prefer "on" most of the time)--and that previous generation was a big step up from its predecessor. Eyes closed, this latest generation sounds more like a good desktop amp than any other small amp I've got, and it's awesome that I can Velcro it to my laptop this way, and feed and power it via my Inspiron 9300's USB. Good imaging. Ample drive. Pretty solid bass. Nice air. Black background, even with the CX300, which can draw a mild hiss out of some of my other amps.

Until the new Total BitHead arrived, I was missing my desktop rigs like crazy. Yes, I still look forward to getting good seat time with my excellent desktop setups again, but I'll be plenty happy with this latest Total BitHead until then, and miss the big rigs a lot less than I did before this little thing arrived.

Again, Tyll, out of the park, man.

Now back to work....and listening.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 11:32 AM Post #2 of 20

boodi

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Do you find it is that good ?
the previous model imo wasn't up to the hd-650 task , if this is I might consider give it a try
I'd like also to know how does it move the sound inside the Grado cans ..

Having had the previous model , I can say I love the build , the ease on hands and on transport , the sound was not super though.
if the sound now's that good ..( wallet looking up this way
rolleyes.gif
)
199$ it's an uber big deal for having max portability , usb dac/amp , 2 headphones out , and nice sound quality (?) on laptop/transport , don't know if there's much better options around..
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 12:53 PM Post #3 of 20

Andrea

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It's the AD8397 heart beating inside
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 1:28 PM Post #4 of 20

Old Pa

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My similar impressions and a couple of comparisons were posted elsewhere in these forums a couple of weeks ago. The way the new Total BitHead on USB power drove my HD580s, it will drive HD650s to the range of hearing loss without clipping. Pretty remarkable.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 5:05 PM Post #5 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by boodi
....the previous model imo wasn't up to the hd-650 task , if this is I might consider give it a try....


I use this new one in high-gain mode for the HD650, and it drives it very well. And, yes, it sounds like its breathing significantly easier to do so than the previous generation.
Quote:

Originally Posted by boodi
....I'd like also to know how does it move the sound inside the Grado cans....


I'll try it with the HP-1 and HF-1 tonight or tomorrow, and let you know what I think of its performance with these.

I'll also try it with a K340, which I've found to be a challenging headphone to pair up an amp with.

And one earphone that can draw a hiss out of just about anything is the SHURE E5c, and I have yet to try that with this new Total BitHead, so will try that too.

I really like having it Velcro'd to my laptop, which I never did with the Total AirHead. Stuck on the back of my screen, it's like having one less thing on the workspaces I move to and from (and one less thing to carry as I relocate to different places in the office or at home).

By the way, if you decide to use the Velcro coins HeadRoom includes with it, make sure to take the time to make sure they get stuck on firmly, as I heard a clunk on the table, and saw that the Total BitHead had separated itself from its Velcro coins (which were still stuck to their mates on the back of my screen). I installed another set of Velcro coins (there are a few sets of different colors included in the box) by placing them in the appropriate places on the amp, then took some unused Velcro coins and placed those directly on top of the just-stuck-on ones (the amp being upside down on a flat surface), and then carefully placed a couple of big books on top of that. (The unused Velcro coins are placed on top because the amp's feet bezels that end up surrounding the Velcro coins render the stuck-on coins flush, so a flat surface doesn't really put any pressure on them without shimming somehow.) I let it sit like this while I was out for a few hours. During that time I'd also placed a book on top of the mate Velcro coins on top of my closed laptop screen, to make sure those were stuck on firmly as well. I don't think those coins are separating from their base surfaces again, unless by my choice.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 5:26 PM Post #6 of 20

Old Pa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jude
By the way, if you decide to use the Velcro coins HeadRoom includes with it, make sure to take the time to make sure they get stuck on firmly, as I heard a clunk on the table, and saw that the Total BitHead had separated itself from its Velcro coins (which were still stuck to their mates on the back of my screen).


Yup; surface prep is the essence of any surface coating job (including adhesives). I degreased all surfaces with rubbing alcohol first and then let the new Total BitHead sit on its velcro coins on the back of my laptop's screen for a couple of hours with a five pound weight clamping everything together. Even the "instant" contact adhesives benefit from a chance to sit clamped and cure up.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 7:56 PM Post #7 of 20

boodi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrea
It's the AD8397 heart beating inside
smily_headphones1.gif



not sure

Quote:

Originally Posted by jude
I use this new one in high-gain mode for the HD650, and it drives it very well. And, yes, it sounds like its breathing significantly easier to do so than the previous generation.
I'll try it with the HP-1



hoooo this is nnnice new .. didn't know you were in the club , welcome in whenever it happened
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 8:36 PM Post #9 of 20

granodemostasa

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i have no need for a new dac, so i was wondering if the airhead is the same thing?
also, what are the dimensions of the new airhead?
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 8:46 PM Post #10 of 20

Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boodi
not sure


Yes it is! Ask Tyll
 
Apr 3, 2006 at 3:39 PM Post #12 of 20

bobfa

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I have a few computers, but my main laptop is a Dell M20. If I put the TBH06 on the back surface of the screen on the Dell there is a lot of electrical noise transmitted to the Amp. This appears to only happen when I have my Sure E5c's connected the DD770 does not show this. YMMV

I have only had my amp for three days and I am very happy with how it performs. A lot more listening and burn-in of both the headphones and the amp will tell. I am sure it will get even better.

Thanks Headroom.

Edit 040506: I just tried to re-produce the noise out of my laptop and was unable. Still more testing to do but it is not there any more, nothing has changed!
 
Apr 3, 2006 at 8:20 PM Post #14 of 20

Jamey Warren

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bobfa
I have a few computers, but my main laptop is a Dell M20. If I put the TBH06 on the back surface of the screen on the Dell there is a lot of electrical noise transmitted to the Amp. This appears to only happen when I have my Sure E5c's connected the DD770 does not show this. YMMV

I have only had my amp for three days and I am very happy with how it performs. A lot more listening and burn-in of both the headphones and the amp will tell. I am sure it will get even better.

Thanks Headroom.




Did you try the gain switch when using your E5c's? It should greatly help the noise issue you're having.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #15 of 20

Coffeegeek

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I'm really looking forward to Jude's comments regarding other headphones... I really like the idea of having the DAC built in, and if the sound quality is great with my soon-to-be-here HF-1's, it could be a great setup. Is the quality of the amp something that I would notice over say the PA2v2 that I already have?

Chris
 

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