The real purpose of amping
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Zadok

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What is it?

I keep hearing people speaking about which amp is better for which set of phones, and I wonder: "Are they amping the phones to cover the weaknesses or boost the strengths?"

Let me clarify. While I know that a really good amp will be able to do both of those things, but which one of those traits is the more desirable of the two?

I'll use my HD580's as an example. They are often quoted as having a "laid back sound" that can also be labeled as "a veil". While choosing an amp for them, should I be seeking one that makes them more forward and crisp? Should I seek one that makes them darker and more laid back, which is their signature sound?

If I choose the first option...It almost seems like I am trying to transform the phones into something they are not. If I choose the second option....It feels like I am exaggerating their qualities too deeply.

Any help?
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:30 AM Post #2 of 6

nsx_23

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It depends what you're looking for.

For example, I find that with my Ultrason 550s, amping them with my Corda XXS increases the soundstage and brings out more details within the music whilst preserving that Ultrasone sound signature that I love.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 10:22 AM Post #3 of 6

FallenAngel

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The real purpose of amplifiers : to make the driver move in the way it was designed to. There MUST be some amplification for it to move at all (and make sound), that's a simple fact. Relying on a low voltage, low current amplifier built into DAPs, CD players, sound cards, etc simply won't get a strong enough signal to make the driver perform as intended. Simple
wink.gif
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM Post #4 of 6

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zadok /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'll use my HD580's as an example. They are often quoted as having a "laid back sound" that can also be labeled as "a veil". While choosing an amp for them, should I be seeking one that makes them more forward and crisp? Should I seek one that makes them darker and more laid back, which is their signature sound?

If I choose the first option...It almost seems like I am trying to transform the phones into something they are not. If I choose the second option....It feels like I am exaggerating their qualities too deeply.

Any help?



Amplification is more about control than volume. If you have two cars capable of going 100MPH, you could conclude that there's no difference between them. Except one gets there in 30 seconds and the other in ten. Or one has great handling while the other is sloppy. There are a lot of factors that play into this: impedance match between the amp and headphones, the damping factor, power, headphone sensitivity, bandwidth, and probably several other things I can't think of. It's really late. Anyhow, all of these things come into play in how well the driver reproduces music. No matter how perfect the source, if it gets garbled on the way to the headphones, you're not going to have good performance.

And people usually get the Sennheiser "veil" thing backwards.

If there actually was a veil, it would be present no matter what you plugged your Senns into. Fact of the matter is that the alleged veil disappears depending on the amp. If you hear a veil, it's because the amp is veiled, not the headphones. Just like the "lack of bass" with the K-1000. It is there - lots of bass - but that's contingent on the amp.

The HD-580/600/650 lineup accurately reflects the quality of amplification its given. You don't have to spend a fortune, but don't plug into a portable and expect them to sound their best.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 3:08 PM Post #5 of 6

Spareribs

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Amps add body to the sound. Without a good amp, the music will sound more digital in a flat way and more 2 dimentional. With a higher quality amp, the sound will be more 3D like and add a more rounder tone.

A good headphone like a full size Sennheiser has the ability to give good definition but if you are not using an amp and plugging straight into an iPod, the sound will be like 2D. Add a good amp, the sound will be more like 3D.

I prefer 3D brotha.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 3:34 PM Post #6 of 6

Duggeh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Amplification is all about control per volume.


Fixed that for you.

The ability to better control the transducer is the means by which the standard of an amplifier should be judged. The ideal amp needs to be able to supply every single bit of electricity that a transducer demands, irrespective of the character of that electricity (lots more current, or lots more voltage swing or both) and should be able to supply this with overhead, this allows for more energy output (which will give you your increase in volume) without danger of (by the deployment of that greater amount of power which of course strains the amp more) the character of what kind of electricity the transducer wants changing in a detrimental way resulting in the loss of control.
 

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