The JPS Labs: Abyss AB-1266 Impressions Thread
Jan 4, 2022 at 6:10 AM Post #19,112 of 20,470

Sajid Amit

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Quoting Yoda?
Lol. Always.

8A238DB5-3958-4E1B-9FB6-34F240670055.jpeg
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 5:10 PM Post #19,113 of 20,470

ajreynol

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I don't suppose anyone is looking to unload their XI Audio Formula S + Powerman combo?

I'm concerned that my amp (v281) and/or dac (Chord 2Qute) is causing bass distortion at medium volume levels so I'm looking at options to replace them. A bit discouraging as I was under the impression that the v281 was a solid (though maybe not great) pairing for the TC, but the bass distortion I'm hearing at medium volume levels (10:30 on the pot, or about 40% of the dial, even with a completely seal) is completely unacceptable. Assuming the headphones aren't the problem, the only thing left to do is look at the amp and dac. I assume a DAC probably isn't going to cause bass distortion, so I'm looking at the amp setup first.

If anyone has insights into potential causes of bass distortion that would allow me to avoid wholesale replacement of what has otherwise been good equipment, I'd appreciate the thoughts.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 5:18 PM Post #19,114 of 20,470

ufospls2

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I don't suppose anyone is looking to unload their XI Audio Formula S + Powerman combo?

I'm concerned that my amp (v281) and/or dac (Chord 2Qute) is causing bass distortion at medium volume levels so I'm looking at options to replace them. A bit discouraging as I was under the impression that the v281 was a solid (though maybe not great) pairing for the TC, but the bass distortion I'm hearing at medium volume levels (10:30 on the pot, or about 40% of the dial, even with a completely seal) is completely unacceptable. Assuming the headphones aren't the problem, the only thing left to do is look at the amp and dac. I assume a DAC probably isn't going to cause bass distortion, so I'm looking at the amp setup first.

If anyone has insights into potential causes of bass distortion that would allow me to avoid wholesale replacement of what has otherwise been good equipment, I'd appreciate the thoughts.
The V281 should have enough power to not be running out of it, causing the bass distortion. I think it is more powerful than the Formula S also.

Do you have all the settings right in terms of gain? Try maxing all the gain options out.

Check you don't have any EQ or anything running. Could be the Qutest overloading the input of the amp but I doubt that. Do check though, and go lower input volume, higher output volume on the amp. See if that helps.

If you still have distortion, it may be the headphones, but try checking the gain options first, and also making sure no settings are wrong in terms of EQ or something.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 5:25 PM Post #19,115 of 20,470

Roasty

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even with a completely seal

do u usually wear the TC with a complete pad seal around the ears? if so, that may be the problem.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 5:55 PM Post #19,117 of 20,470

ken6217

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I used the V281 when I wasn’t using a speaker amp and it has more than enough power. I didn’t even have it at its highest gain and it played louder than most people listen and that was at 1 o’clock on the dial. Also there was no distortion.

Do use balanced or single landed in? In the balanced configuration it’s double the power.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 8:02 PM Post #19,118 of 20,470

jlbrach

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the 281 is more than powerful enough for pretty much any HP....subjective preference is another thing
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 8:08 PM Post #19,119 of 20,470

ajreynol

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The V281 should have enough power to not be running out of it, causing the bass distortion. I think it is more powerful than the Formula S also.

Do you have all the settings right in terms of gain? Try maxing all the gain options out.

Check you don't have any EQ or anything running. Could be the Qutest overloading the input of the amp but I doubt that. Do check though, and go lower input volume, higher output volume on the amp. See if that helps.

If you still have distortion, it may be the headphones, but try checking the gain options first, and also making sure no settings are wrong in terms of EQ or something.
Thanks for the reply. No EQ is running. Gain is +18 on both channels, as expected. Distortion is clearly audible at past 11am on the dial (v281 starts at "7pm" and maxes at "5pm"). Distortion is present regardless of gain level, I find, when approaching similar volume levels.

I've also tried lowering the PC volume to half to see if it would make a difference. It has not. Unfortunately I do not have another DAC to try to see if it's an issue with the 2Qute. I am worried.
I used the V281 when I wasn’t using a speaker amp and it has more than enough power. I didn’t even have it at its highest gain and it played louder than most people listen and that was at 1 o’clock on the dial. Also there was no distortion.

Do use balanced or single landed in? In the balanced configuration it’s double the power.
Using balanced/XLR output. Single input, as the 2Qute doesn't have XLR output.

do u usually wear the TC with a complete pad seal around the ears? if so, that may be the problem.
They are new to me. I've tested a variety of positions and pad positions, as you might imagine. Sounds fine at low and medium volume levels. Beyond that and the bass distortion becomes perceptible. I imagine there is distortion even at the lower volume levels, just not enough to notice.
I think what he was trying to say is that even if he uses a tight seal (where bass is less) he still hears distortion.
yep!
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 8:15 PM Post #19,120 of 20,470

tholt

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Thanks for the reply. No EQ is running. Gain is +18 on both channels, as expected. Distortion is clearly audible at past 11am on the dial (v281 starts at "7pm" and maxes at "5pm"). Distortion is present regardless of gain level, I find, when approaching similar volume levels.

I've also tried lowering the PC volume to half to see if it would make a difference. It has not. Unfortunately I do not have another DAC to try to see if it's an issue with the 2Qute. I am worried.

Using balanced/XLR output. Single input, as the 2Qute doesn't have XLR output.


They are new to me. I've tested a variety of positions and pad positions, as you might imagine. Sounds fine at low and medium volume levels. Beyond that and the bass distortion becomes perceptible. I imagine there is distortion even at the lower volume levels, just not enough to notice.

yep!

I use the 281. Sounds great, no distortion. I don't even have any gain on, just the unity gain. Volume knob is always somewhere between 10 and 2, no more than that. You really need that much gain? Maybe the problem is you're listening too loud! Or maybe something wrong with the amp

Edit -- I should note that I use XLR in and out
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 8:25 PM Post #19,122 of 20,470

ajreynol

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I use the 281. Sounds great, no distortion. I don't even have any gain on, just the unity gain. Volume knob is always somewhere between 10 and 2, no more than that. You really need that much gain? Maybe the problem is you're listening too loud! Or maybe something wrong with the amp

Edit -- I should note that I use XLR in and out
Thank you for the additional 281 data point. Yea single vs XLR in are pretty different apparently. Half the power?

With single input it doesn't generally need max gain (maybe +6), but I run it with a preamp of -6 to -9 depending on EQ, so it takes advantage of the max gain in those scenarios. In that scenario, it needs to be at about 10 to hit a good sound level with these. With no EQ, I'd have it with no gain at all in that 10-2 range as you mention. Maybe closer to 9-9:30 on my LCD-4/5's.

I don't listen beyond normal volume levels. Certainly nothing excessive. Certainly no volume level that ever gave my LCD-4's any trouble at all.

Where are the seams on the pads when looking at the front of them? Try positioning them at 11:00.
At 11, yea. I tried everything from 9 - 12. I'm happy with the pad positioning.
 
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Jan 5, 2022 at 8:36 PM Post #19,123 of 20,470

tholt

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I don't listen beyond normal volume levels. Certainly nothing excessive. Certainly no volume level that ever gave my LCD-4's any trouble at all.
I was halfway joking. But certainly listening to bass-heavy tracks at high volume could lead to distortion. The fit could also contribute to some distortion, depending on how loose it is against your ears. Sounds like something else might be going on though. Strange. Maybe try eliminating the preamp in the chain and just go DAC > 281 direct to see if anything changes.
 
Jan 5, 2022 at 9:02 PM Post #19,125 of 20,470

ajreynol

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I was halfway joking. But certainly listening to bass-heavy tracks at high volume could lead to distortion. The fit could also contribute to some distortion, depending on how loose it is against your ears. Sounds like something else might be going on though. Strange. Maybe try eliminating the preamp in the chain and just go DAC > 281 direct to see if anything changes.
Yea I would expect that bass heavy + high volume would lead to distortion at some point on even the best cans. That said, I know these cans are lauded for their bass performance in particular, so I expect them to at least match my LCD-4's without any distortion issues at similar volume levels. I'm sure they can based on all the feedback I've read and watched on the TC's, so the question is simply why aren't they for me right now.

I removed the gain. With NO gain or EQ, single ended input from 2Qute, XLR out on my v281, using this track:



Distortion in the bass starts at about 2 on the dial. Sounds good at like 12, but on this track, it's below my preferred listening level. At my preferred listening level (or well beyond it for testing purposes), the LCD-4's do not distort. Or, I don't hear distortion.

And for clarity, the cans are relatively snug on my noggin, minimal seal break if any at all. The cans are not loose in any way. I know a little loose is considered a recommended way to wear them, but that made them sound even more distorted. Snug fits well and the bass sound great at lower volume levels. It's just once you get to medium or slightly higher listening levels that things start falling apart.

Definitely try changing the pad position.
sent you a pm!
 
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