Speaker amps for headphones
Jul 25, 2020 at 5:43 AM Post #3,256 of 3,715

55Powers

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I currently have both a Hegel (H160) and Abyss 1266 Phi TC headphones...

https://www.hegel.com/products/discontinued/h160
Power output spk: 150 w/pc into 8 Ohms, 250 w/pc into 4 Ohms
Damping factor: More than 1000 (main power output stage)

Power suggestions of the Abyss Tcs are 4-5 watts @ 47 ohms

I think there two primary routes I can go:
HE-Adapter (https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/he-adapter.html)
Balanced speaker cables direct into HPs (https://lqicables.com/products/balanced-xlr-4-pin-female-to-speaker-taps-banana-plugs-pins)

I'm looking for suggestions on what is the best way to go.. Obviously I would be concerned with the power output of the H160 and potentially damaging the 1266s as the power output will be like 25 watts @ 47 ohms (concern about a direct cable option). Secondly I'd also prefer not to add another unnecessary electronic components (noise/thd) when not needed (concern with adapter).

Any suggestion on what is the best way to go? I'm open to other cables and/or adapters if that is also part of a suggestion.

I run a H160 with my Susvaras.

Just regular cable, not box or resistor.
You need to be reckless to mess it up, max i can do on the Susv is volume 60/100, which is close to a regular speaker. :p

HD600s around the 45 mark.

HE500s around the 50 mark etc etc, quite a bit of volume to play around with... probably more than a lot of people have on their HP amps.

Will be very interested in your findings since we have the same amp.

20200724_223540.jpg
 
Jul 25, 2020 at 10:00 AM Post #3,257 of 3,715

rmsanger

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I run a H160 with my Susvaras.

Just regular cable, not box or resistor.
You need to be reckless to mess it up, max i can do on the Susv is volume 60/100, which is close to a regular speaker. :p

HD600s around the 45 mark.

HE500s around the 50 mark etc etc, quite a bit of volume to play around with... probably more than a lot of people have on their HP amps.

Will be very interested in your findings since we have the same amp.

20200724_223540.jpg

I love the H160 with my maggies just not sure how it will do with the Abyss. Hegels are great with damping factor so they are stable driving speakers down to 2 ohms. Just not sure what that will do with headphones going the opposite way up to 47 ohms. Thx for the input I'll go forward with getting the cable and let you know my thoughts.

Have you compared the Susvaras on the H160 to a higher ended dedicated HP amp? What are you thoughts on the differences?
 
Jul 25, 2020 at 11:02 AM Post #3,258 of 3,715

55Powers

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I love the H160 with my maggies just not sure how it will do with the Abyss. Hegels are great with damping factor so they are stable driving speakers down to 2 ohms. Just not sure what that will do with headphones going the opposite way up to 47 ohms. Thx for the input I'll go forward with getting the cable and let you know my thoughts.

Have you compared the Susvaras on the H160 to a higher ended dedicated HP amp? What are you thoughts on the differences?

It seems to be doing quite fine, i don't run it like this most of the time though. Not sure when the DF starts to hurt, but other low impedance cans like the HE-500 seems fine as well. Higher impedance like Sennies and such i didn't like too much, it could be due to bad damping match, not entirely sure, but definately plausable.

In terms of HP amps....
Usually i drive it on the tubes (Mogwai SE), which is a cool flavour for me.
I have tried it quite a bit on a Neo 430HAD too.
Also some more affordable stuff like 789.
I did some back and forth on the HE-6 as well a while back. Pretty much the same stuff going on, back then i ran a Taurus mkII.

In terms of other speaker amps...
I bought a small amp to compare, the SMSL DA-8S and it was quite bad.
Also did a run on a Bel Canto C5i, which was a bit better... but I'd take the Hegel over it.
I think probably the best I have so far is the MA352 tapped.

Regardless, watching the VUs (innaccurate etc etc i know) it doesn't seem to pull that much power. At least to me the difference between one or the other don't seem as big as many others that I've seen. It might open up slightly more, definately has slightly more heft in the lowest of lows. To me at least it's slight... Fun to try some stuffs though, looking forward to your observations.
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 8:18 AM Post #3,260 of 3,715

Sonic Defender

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About to find out this weekend if this has been worth all the effort. :)
20200728_200244.jpg 20200821_185439.jpg
I can't imagine you not liking the results. Look forward to hearing about your experience. Enjoy!
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 11:57 AM Post #3,264 of 3,715

Sonic Defender

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I'm expecting bigger stage and more musical weight including better slam and overall realism. I expect some loss in transparency and overall detail. I'll post it here for sure.
Unless your amp is flawed I have no idea why you would expect any change in the sound at all. Power is power. Direct from the speaker terminals is typically low output impedance and amplifiers like more difficult loads so a headphone as a load can actually better than lower impedance loads such as speakers.
 
Aug 21, 2020 at 2:20 PM Post #3,265 of 3,715

kid vic

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About to find out this weekend if this has been worth all the effort. :)
Lol I need another one of those actually; it looks way nicer than the one I have right now. I need a friend like yours.
 
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Aug 22, 2020 at 1:32 AM Post #3,266 of 3,715

drc73rp

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Unless your amp is flawed I have no idea why you would expect any change in the sound at all. Power is power. Direct from the speaker terminals is typically low output impedance and amplifiers like more difficult loads so a headphone as a load can actually better than lower impedance loads such as speakers.

My assumption is based on my listening in my stereo setup vs headphones where I found the latter immensely ahead in those aspects. But on second thought that's probably more a speaker and room interaction thing than the amp. In any case I'll find out soon enough. :)
 
Aug 22, 2020 at 7:25 AM Post #3,267 of 3,715

Sonic Defender

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My assumption is based on my listening in my stereo setup vs headphones where I found the latter immensely ahead in those aspects. But on second thought that's probably more a speaker and room interaction thing than the amp. In any case I'll find out soon enough. :)
Almost for certain that is the case. I use speakers and headphones frequently and without a doubt the sound characteristics that differ are because of the speakers and headphones, and of course the room.
 
Aug 23, 2020 at 1:49 AM Post #3,268 of 3,715

kid vic

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Almost for certain that is the case. I use speakers and headphones frequently and without a doubt the sound characteristics that differ are because of the speakers and headphones, and of course the room.
Going from the Headphone out of an integrated amp to the speaker taps directly should almost always improve the sound. First reason being that the headphone out of many integrated amps usually add resistors and chokes to adjust the impedance and power delivery, the second being that the amp will have better direct control over the drivers.
If one is going from a headphone amp to the speaker taps of an amp it could be a mixed bag though.
 
Aug 23, 2020 at 2:07 AM Post #3,269 of 3,715

Sonic Defender

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Going from the Headphone out of an integrated amp to the speaker taps directly should almost always improve the sound. First reason being that the headphone out of many integrated amps usually add resistors and chokes to adjust the impedance and power delivery, the second being that the amp will have better direct control over the drivers.
If one is going from a headphone amp to the speaker taps of an amp it could be a mixed bag though.
Agreed, but I don't think that is the comparison the other member was talking about, nor what I was referring to, but yes, I agree with you and that is why I have used speaker taps exclusively for my headphones.
 
Aug 23, 2020 at 2:09 AM Post #3,270 of 3,715

kid vic

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Agreed, but I don't think that is the comparison the other member was talking about, nor what I was referring to, but yes, I agree with you and that is why I have used speaker taps exclusively for my headphones.
Oh, sorry if I misread your post.
 

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