Problem powering my HD580's
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insomniac

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My newest rig is this

Sony D-303 line out -> Corda HA-1 -> HD580

But something doesn't sound right here. First of all, the sound does not seem to get loud enough. I was under the impression that the HA-1 would be sufficient to power the 580's. But even at max volume, it is not all that loud. The other thing is that the sound quality just doesn't feel right. I'm not sure if it's distortion or something else. I'm not sure how to describe it right now.

I'm trying to find the weak link here and just assumed it to be the amp. Is there an amp more suitable for the 580's?

I do not have this problem at all when I replace the Senns with my Sony V6.
 
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slindeman

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The HA-1 is a fine amplifier, especially with HD580, but it may not match up well with a portable source such as the D-303.

The HA-1 has a low gain, somewhere near 3. Many portables have their line-out at around .5V RMS, so multiply that by 3 and you are at 1.5V RMS, which isn't intolerably loud with HD580.

Also the HA-1 has a lower than normal input impedance (10k ohm), which may be stressing the D-303 line-out.

Do you have a non-portable source, cd player or dvd player, that you could substitute for the D-303? Then you might get a better idea if it is the HA-1, or its interaction with the D-303, that is giving you the trouble.
 
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I'll bet that amp is fine for the 580s.

Portable players' line outs are much weaker than those of full size players. Consumer grade sound cards also have weak outputs. IIRC a typical portable line out may be 0.7 Volts while full size players put out about 2.2V. And even if it gets loud enough a portable just can't compete with a decent full size CDP on sound quality.

Your weak link is your source, it is being seriously outclassed by your amp and cans!
 
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insomniac

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Yeah I've tried it with the line out on various PCDP's but the D303 was the best of the bunch.

So I need a home CD deck to take advantage of the HA-1 plus HD580 combo? That is a bit disappointing. The D-303 stacked on top of the amp made a perfect transportable rig for me.

I have a Revo 7.1 sound card. I guess I will give that a try in this set-up.

I was looking at home decks like the NAD 521 and 541 but those are far from transportable.


Would the Headroom Little or the Gilmore Lite be a better match for my D-303?
 
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00940

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changing the gain should be easy. any diyer could do it. Just a resistor swap.
 
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taoster

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I am guessing the problem is the 580. They are great sounding phones but are really not your thing. That's why they don't sound loud enough or quite right.
 
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daycart1

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Do you like the HD 580 from the head-out? It might be that the 303's op amp is pretty close to the optimum for the rest of the unit.
What about Taoster's suggestion? Do you like the 580 with other setups?
 
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insomniac

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I like the HD580's just fine with my meta42. But it just doesn't seem to sound right with the HA-1.

Also, should I be using the 0 ohm or 120 ohm output on the HA-1.


Anybody know if the Gilmore Lite or Headroom Little would be a better match for my rig?
 
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taoster

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Quote:

Originally posted by insomniac
Also, should I be using the 0 ohm or 120 ohm output on the HA-1.


0 ohm but it's all up to your ear.

It's funny cos the Porta Corda with 24V PSU and class A biased sounds good with the HD580. I'll go check the volume a little later..
 
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go_vtec

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Sorry to say this, but it is your source! I have a HD600/HD650 and it is VERY LOUD when you pair HA-1 with higher voltage source (I'm using Sony ES-series and Pioneer Elite SACD players). Even Norah Jones/Sarah Mclachlan can be played at ear-ringging loud at 1/2 to 2/3 way up.

You may want to get an external DAC (quite affordable nowadays) to use optical out (if your PCDP has one) to create a high voltage output that HA-1 requires.
 
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taoster

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strange.. it seems to work fine on dej2000, de885 and d11 pcdp
 
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slindeman

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Quote:

changing the gain should be easy. any diyer could do it. Just a resistor swap.


Are you sure that's good advice with a picky bipolar opamp like LM6171? I know Jan in the past has said that if you don't balance the resistor values right you will get a large DC offset into your headphones.

Quote:

strange.. it seems to work fine on dej2000, de885 and d11 pcdp


Do you mean with the Porta Corda? It has a higher gain I'm sure since it is meant to be used with portable sources.

Quote:

I like the HD580's just fine with my meta42. But it just doesn't seem to sound right with the HA-1.


Which opamps are in your meta42? I owned the HA-1 for quite awhile, and have used meta42's with 5 different opamps. I would describe the HA-1 as a detailed amp that focuses more on the midrange. It is a little weak in the bass, IMO, and overall is a very clean sounding amp that just lacks a little punch. I did enjoy it with HD600, although I did sometimes wish for a little more oomph, especially with rock music.
 
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00940

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Quote:

Originally posted by slindeman
Are you sure that's good advice with a picky bipolar opamp like LM6171? I know Jan in the past has said that if you don't balance the resistor values right you will get a large DC offset into your headphones.


Well, the modification itself is quite easy.

Choosing the values could indeed be a bit harder. But all the necessary informations are available on headwize ( here especially ).
 
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insomniac

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Thanks for the suggestions but I'm not looking to start fiddling with my HA-1. Not much of a DIY'er yet and I don't want to do anything to risk it's resale value, because as it looks now, I may sell this thing off.

I will try hooking it up to my Toshiba SD-4900 DVD player.
 
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