Trust Your Ears...
Apr 28, 2010 at 2:01 AM Post #76 of 165

Crazy*Carl

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Ok, don't accuse me of trolling head-fi, I am only here to learn.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 2:04 AM Post #77 of 165

chesebert

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ok, don't accuse me of trolling head-fi, I am only here to learn.


You already learned amp/source upgrade, at least to you, makes no difference. I think you were clear in you post #1.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 4:00 AM Post #78 of 165

Audio Jester

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Ok, don't accuse me of trolling head-fi, I am only here to learn.


What exactly do you want to learn?
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 4:51 AM Post #79 of 165
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That is somewhat disturbing a 600 dollar amp did not make a difference in the test. The macbook pro might not have the best DAC, but it certainly is not bad.


That's one of the first things I learned, that amplifying a signal is only that, it wont improve it. After I bought an amp, I bought a DAC, and then I noticed a serious difference, as if the studio music was recorded in was much bigger. I'd spent close to $1k by that stage.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 4:54 AM Post #80 of 165

Crazy*Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's one of the first things I learned, that amplifying a signal is only that, it wont improve it. After I bought an amp, I bought a DAC, and then I noticed a serious difference, as if the studio music was recorded in was much bigger. I'd spent close to $1k by that stage.


Thanks, this helps.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 11:31 AM Post #81 of 165

Mochan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
HD580s and 600s are very good for gauging the ability of amps. I had the same experience though when I started: I bought a Little Dot MKV and it made no useful improvement straight out of my MacBook Pro. I was rather disappointed. This is why there's the slogan "Sorry about your wallet" because you have to spend quite a bit to get meaningful changes. Years ago I found it to be the same with regular hi-fi, that a basically decent brand-name system from a reputable hi-fi store cost at least $1k. DIY and second-hand gear makes this a lot cheaper, of course, but you get the idea.


I sold my LD MkII myself because the difference it made was so minimal that I might as well not have included it in the chain.

My personal experience: using headphones like the HD650 and K701 which are supposedly hard to drive, I'm not really seeing that much diff especially with low-cost amps. I am thinking I need to buy a $1,000 amp to really see any difference -- at that point I say, "When I win the lotto I will do this."

Surprisingly I am quite happy with how the HD650 sounds out of a FiiO E5. Sacrilege, yes, but it works great frankly.

Right now I'm experimenting with DACs. I get more appreciable changes running the HD650 out of a quality soundcard, an iPod, a D4 Mamba, a Cowon etc. Source is important it seems. The amp is really just there to add juice to the signal. The only time I get significant changes with amps is when using an integrated Marantz 1090. The music sounds significantly beefier on this amp.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 12:24 PM Post #82 of 165

Ypoknons

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mochan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Right now I'm experimenting with DACs. I get more appreciable changes running the HD650 out of a quality soundcard, an iPod, a D4 Mamba, a Cowon etc. Source is important it seems. The amp is really just there to add juice to the signal. The only time I get significant changes with amps is when using an integrated Marantz 1090. The music sounds significantly beefier on this amp.


That actually fits with a lot of impressions - Marantz integrateds had a good headphone output. If you think about it, hi-fi headphones have been around a lot longer than dedicated headphone amps - the K340 etc... date back to the 80's and early, but headamps only became popular in the 90's, or really, the 2000's. Before that, I can only assume that people were using receivers to power their headphones. Even today, I wouldn't be surprised if most HD650's are used from receivers. You never know where you'll find a good headout, you know? 6moons says that one of the Luxman intergrateds is on a par with a P200, Skylab uses a Leben with headphones.

Of all the stuff I've tried, I still think US$400-600 is the sweet range for headamps (maybe $350 if I get a chance to try the C2).
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 5:22 PM Post #83 of 165

happyxix

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Haha this is werid. I found DACs to be negligible in difference while Amps made a huge one. Going from sound card to EF2 to PICO Dacs, I cannot recall a noticeable difference. However going from umamped to EF2, theres a huge difference, and going from EF2 to my friend's GS1 Another large one.

=\

To each our own I guess.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 5:50 PM Post #84 of 165

Crazy*Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by happyxix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Haha this is werid. I found DACs to be negligible in difference while Amps made a huge one. Going from sound card to EF2 to PICO Dacs, I cannot recall a noticeable difference. However going from umamped to EF2, theres a huge difference, and going from EF2 to my friend's GS1 Another large one.

=\

To each our own I guess.



My EF2 does absolutely nothing for sound quality over onboard, even when changing out tubes. Actually alot of what I base this thread off is from my time with it. I have heard alot of other sources, but they mostly sound virtually the same. No noticeable difference. I did hear an old receiver from the 80s, and it had a pretty bad headphone out, but anything newer all sounds great.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 6:33 PM Post #85 of 165

Ypoknons

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Seriously, no soundstage improvements? The space around instruments doesn't get more 'black'? The instruments don't sound like they're further apart? The bass doesn't clear out?
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 7:21 PM Post #86 of 165

d.g

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazy*Carl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... I did hear an old receiver from the 80s, and it had a pretty bad headphone out, but anything newer all sounds great.


"Newer" stuff is designed to have this digital sonic signature sometimes, in fact its not always better and whilst it might sound good on a first listen I normally find that a lot of the older stuff has a more natural and "listenable" sound.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 9:29 PM Post #87 of 165

Crazy*Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ypoknons /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Seriously, no soundstage improvements? The space around instruments doesn't get more 'black'? The instruments don't sound like they're further apart? The bass doesn't clear out?


I just did another comparison. Absolutely identical sound.
 
Apr 28, 2010 at 9:39 PM Post #88 of 165

MomijiTMO

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Guys, this isn't the first of these types of threads. He created one a few months ago and we all told him to go listen to something better than his EF2. I think he did that and with the exception of the delusional comment, he's been pretty fair unlike the other thread.

It's should be clear that Carl won't change his opinion because he honestly can't hear a difference. Good for him. HOWEVER many of us can hear a difference. It's difficult to quantify differences in audio but I don't think amps and dacs are the last 10%. My HD650 simply sucked until I I started upgrading my amp and source. An even simpler observation anyone can make is hearing a K701 out of an iPod compared to a decent amp - bass level.
 
Apr 29, 2010 at 12:03 AM Post #89 of 165

noinimod

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Quote:

Originally Posted by happyxix /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Haha this is werid. I found DACs to be negligible in difference while Amps made a huge one. Going from sound card to EF2 to PICO Dacs, I cannot recall a noticeable difference. However going from umamped to EF2, theres a huge difference, and going from EF2 to my friend's GS1 Another large one.

=\

To each our own I guess.



i would think that's simply cos the pico's dac isn't that great.

It's not reasonable to expect any portable dac/amp to sound as good as properly-designed full-sized dac/amps. There's always a compromise to be made in audio design. And when you have only that little space and limited battery life to work with in portable dac/amps, trade offs are unavoidable
 
Apr 29, 2010 at 12:09 AM Post #90 of 165

happyxix

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Quote:

Originally Posted by noinimod /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i would think that's simply cos the pico's dac isn't that great.

It's not reasonable to expect any portable dac/amp to sound as good as properly-designed full-sized dac/amps. There's always a compromise to be made in audio design. And when you have only that little space and limited battery life to work with in portable dac/amps, trade offs are unavoidable



Supposedly its the best in its price range give or take. It is also should be above a xtreme music sound card. And its also powered by USB not batteries so it is not a portable DAC unlike the AMP/DAC combo.

With that said. Nope not a ounce of noticable difference. I think $300 is enough to warrant some difference but I didn't notice anything unlike changes of Amps. I don't need $1000 equipment to get some improvement.
 

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