Why no love for headroom amps?
Feb 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM Post #31 of 109

ACDOAN

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Posts
1,284
Likes
47


Quote:
well, with a domain name like headphone.com I think it's expected that they sell headphones. I would not be surprised at all if 90% of their business was selling other people's wares. I don't think there's anything wrong with it myself. They are in business to make money afterall, and I bet they make more then many specialized amp builders. You think Ray Samual audio or audio gd make as much bottom line as they do? 
 
Supposedly LG's got an OLED due out in june, we'll see. I like plasma's myself, Waiting on panasonic to do something with that fancy Kuro tech they bought. Plasma's tend to have a great lifespan too(10+ yrs).. no backlight to fail for starters. 



After being laid off my Ma Belle few years ago, while waiting for my retirement age to kick in , I took a commission sales jobs at a local retailers ( no, it's not a Bluebox or Fry's), I have to say that people demand for TV has changed drastically. 
 
Nine out of ten people will pick the Samsung LED over Sony, Toshiba, Sharp...and I know from the feedback that not only Samsung LEDs look more vivid than the others but the design of the thin bezels and the true thinness of the TVs. I cannot even count on my fingers how many Samsung UN55/UN60 series that I moved a week. Speaking in term of longevity and reliable , I cannot swear for anyone of them in particular.
 
The Mits DLPs are somehow  struggling to due to price drop in the LCD/LED. We only carry some 92" 3D Mits but unless you have a huge room and your sitting area are more than 10 feet away, the picture quality is simply not good ( yes, I know they are still a rear projection Tv) . I do not know how Mits making money with their DPL lines when I moved on the average of 3 to 4 of the Sharp 70" to 80" a week ( price range from $1999.99 to $4500.99) , on the other hand the 92" DLP ( $4599.99)  once a blue moon .
 
Going back to Audio gear, Audio Research still have one of the best SQ and high class looking. I have not seen a funky looking  Audio Research, Classe, Krell  amps or pre-amp lately. Speaking in term of speakers, look do sell. Sonus Faber, Paradigm ...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feb 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM Post #32 of 109

IEMCrazy

Longwindeus Supremus
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Posts
1,506
Likes
67


Quote:
well, with a domain name like headphone.com I think it's expected that they sell headphones. I would not be surprised at all if 90% of their business was selling other people's wares. I don't think there's anything wrong with it myself. They are in business to make money afterall, and I bet they make more then many specialized amp builders. You think Ray Samual audio or audio gd make as much bottom line as they do? 
 
Supposedly LG's got an OLED due out in june, we'll see. I like plasma's myself, Waiting on panasonic to do something with that fancy Kuro tech they bought. Plasma's tend to have a great lifespan too(10+ yrs).. no backlight to fail for starters. 



Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with them selling audio gear as well as their amps from a business or ethics perspective.  I'm just saying that for me it dampens my image of them as an amp builder when I look at the site and I imagine others does too.   "Is this Headroom amps?  No, it's headphone.com...it must be a reseller...maybe an importer.  It says Headroom at the top, But they seem to be a reseller.   I see they have those Headroom amps I've heard about though, so I guess I could buy it here."  That's sort of what I think the thought process is for someone stumbling into the site.  I just think it would have been a better image if they had a "headroomamps.com" domain or something that went to a site that was only about their amps, featuring prominent links to headphone.com for all your audio needs.  And maybe have headphone.com: Powered by Headroom Amps" or something.  I just think they've created a branding/image disconnect for their products that way.  There's nothing WRONG with it, and maybe it's lucrative.  But the fact that they don't seem to be mentioned much....identity issues maybe related. 
Maybe they just need a "showroom" section of the site or something that looks distinct for their products and sets them apart, like the way the Bose room would be at a Best Buy.
When I go to Schiit, or Woo, or Burson, or even Fiio (when it's actually working)'s websites I feel like I've looked at the manufacturer's site and have seen their word on what they make.  When I visit headphone.com I feel like I should go look for Headroom's website afterward...maybe it's caused them no problems, but if we have to have a thread about "why no love for Headroom"....that tells me the image problem is a real problem for more people than me :)
 
These days I rarely wait for new tech like OLED.  LG has one.  If they make release date by 6 months its amazing.  If it's priced right it will be more amazing.  If they sell more than a handful that will still be more amazing.  "Mainstream", especially on large screens....that'll still take quite a while.  I like OLED as a tech, but it scales so very poorly.  Plasma has its ups and downs, but the fact that I see it everywhere these days tells me it's come a long way from where it was last time I seriously looked at it.   Back then it had a pretty fast dimming problem (much as OLED does now) thus short lifespan...same difference as a failing backlight.  And it had burn-in issues....much as OLED does now.  And of course it ate power and threw heat like a BBQ...I've heard that's getting better too.  I think now is a lousy time to be buying TVs....it's a crossroads in tech and I don't think the industry has made up its mind on what direction its going to go yet, while most of the new techs have yield problems in fab. FP looks more appealing all the time....
 
Feb 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM Post #33 of 109

IEMCrazy

Longwindeus Supremus
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Posts
1,506
Likes
67
I think people pick Samsung LED over the others for all the wrong reasons.  As you say they look more vivid...always have (even the DLPs) which is set because they know more vivid colors makes people think of it as "better" even when radially oversaturated.  It's the same thing as to why the bloated bass sells Beats & Skullcandy.  Unlike Skullcandy though, Samsung TVs actually ARE very nice and when calibrated (or professionally calibrated) the perform quite excellently.  It would be like EQ'ing a DAC1 to have bloated bass so people think it's "good" and buy it :wink:  Good products bought for all the wrong reasons....but at least they're good products!
 
I miss the dominance of DLP RP, but I do still think that the rise (and cost decreases) of FP are mostly responsible.  The $2-4.5k prices you mention for an RP or LCD at that size seem silly considering the logistics nightmares both present when a simple FP that you can tuck under your arm costs $2-3k and likely outperforms either if you take the time to set it up. (Though, enter the costs of professional theater installation....) Still, I think with the price shift, a whole lot of people that would previously have gone RP are switching to FP and all the nice ergonomics and ease of service that brings.  Those that would have gone LCD will go LCD anyway.  Heck, it's the same DLP/LCoS projectors without the huge cabinet, screen sold seperately...  Zoom/tilt lenses are your friend....
 
Paradigm....there's a name I remember from my Audioholics forum days.... :wink:
 
Still, comparing audiophile gear to consumer gear, looks wise is unfair.   The average consumer is easily sold on looks of a certain type, but audiophiles are sold on looks of a different type.  What consumers would think blingy audiophile cables are actually attractive, for example? :)  Half of it looks homebrewed, but in the audiophile world it's a badge of pricy honor.  We have a different set of expectations on appearance, so I think Headroom isn't really barking up the wrong tree looks wise (seen any guitar amps lately?)

 
Quote:
After being laid off my Ma Belle few years ago, while waiting for my retirement age to kick in , I took a commission sales jobs at a local retailers ( no, it's not a Bluebox or Fry's), I have to say that people demand for TV has changed drastically. 
 
Nine out of ten people will pick the Samsung LED over Sony, Toshiba, Sharp...and I know from the feedback that not only Samsung LEDs look more vivid than the others but the design of the thin bezels and the true thinness of the TVs. I cannot even count on my fingers how many Samsung UN55/UN60 series that I moved a week. Speaking in term of longevity and reliable , I cannot swear for anyone of them in particular.
 
 
The Mits DLPs are somehow  struggling to due to price drop in the LCD/LED. We only carry some 92" 3D Mits but unless you have a huge room and your sitting area are more than 10 feet away, the picture quality is simply not good ( yes, I know they are still a rear projection Tv) . I do not know how Mits making money with their DPL lines when I moved on the average of 3 to 4 of the Sharp 70" to 80" a week ( price range from $1999.99 to $4500.99) , on the other hand the 92" DLP ( $4599.99)  once a blue moon .
 
Going back to Audio gear, Audio Research still have one of the best SQ and high class looking. I have not seen a funky looking  Audio Research, Classe, Krell  amps or pre-amp lately. Speaking in term of speakers, look do sell. Sonus Faber, Paradigm ..



 
 
Feb 1, 2012 at 6:09 PM Post #34 of 109

MikeW

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Posts
1,789
Likes
239
9 out of 10 people are really dumb when it comes to TV's. They don't do research, they don't know what they are buying, they don't know anything. They goto the store, and look at the TV's the one with the brightest, most oversaturated colors wins. Not to mention the daisy chain of a cheap dvd player split 100 ways
 
any plasma made in the last 2 years is thin, relatively  light, and uses about 40% less power then older models. This of course refers to the Mid- to high end plasma's, not 720p low end screens. 
 
Feb 1, 2012 at 6:37 PM Post #35 of 109

ACDOAN

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Posts
1,284
Likes
47
Hey, my job is not to pass any judgment on their decision what to buy,  I simply provide them the product(s) that they want to spend their hard earn money on. It's not my decision, it's the client's call and I am not about to blow a sale and make a client pissed off.
 

As opposed to ....
 
 
 
 

 
Feb 1, 2012 at 6:48 PM Post #36 of 109

sonitus mirus

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Posts
1,849
Likes
653
Which ones are supposed to be uglier, top or bottom group? 
tongue_smile.gif

 
Feb 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM Post #37 of 109

Hibuckhobby

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Posts
217
Likes
37
Istarted with an Asgard and sent it back.  Now I have an older ASL otl tube amp and an old school "headroom Supreme"
amp.  Love them both and the Headroom drives all my phones from 54 to 600 ohms with ease.  Interestingly the crossfeed has a larger 
effect in the older amp than on my newer headroom total airhead.
Hibuck...
 
Feb 2, 2012 at 10:39 AM Post #40 of 109

IEMCrazy

Longwindeus Supremus
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Posts
1,506
Likes
67


Quote:
9 out of 10 people are really dumb when it comes to TV's [products]. They don't do research, they don't know what they are buying, they don't know anything. They goto the store, and look at the TV's [products] the one with the brightest, most oversaturated colors [marketing] wins. Not to mention the daisy chain of a cheap dvd player split 100 ways


There, I fixed it for you
wink_face.gif

 
And there was Head-Fi and there was much rejoicing....
 
 
Feb 2, 2012 at 10:47 AM Post #41 of 109

IEMCrazy

Longwindeus Supremus
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Posts
1,506
Likes
67

 
Quote:
As opposed to ....
 
 
Actually while the Fiio E7/17 is quite slick, and the AirHead is horrendously ugly to the point that it looks like it should cost $5 in a Walmart blister pack, for the better gear, I think the Headroom stack looks far more robust, audiophile-chic, and "pro-audio".   I'm not a fan of the appearance of Little Dot.  The ribbed oval chassis makes me always feel it's something that's supposed to be flush-mount in some sort of cabinet rather than sitting on a table.  Mounted in a larger cabinet like that it would look dapper.  Sitting on a table it looks like a fish on a farm tractor. 
 
Headroom wins this round in terms of looks (just don't put either next to Benchmark gear.... :) )


 


Quote:
Istarted with an Asgard and sent it back.  Now I have an older ASL otl tube amp and an old school "headroom Supreme"
amp.  Love them both and the Headroom drives all my phones from 54 to 600 ohms with ease.  Interestingly the crossfeed has a larger 
effect in the older amp than on my newer headroom total airhead.
Hibuck...


I never knew how I felt about crossfeed.  Supposedly my Micro was one of the "better" ones.  The real purpose for it was for very biased recordings.  Most recordings, IMO, are harmed by it.  The stereo imaging should create its own soundstage if done well.   But some older recordings with strong L/R bias do benefit.   I don't see not having it as a huge loss...but I was listening to a recording yesterday that I did miss it on....
Edit: I still have my Micro, but I wasn't listening to that recording on that setup.
 
 
Feb 5, 2012 at 10:48 PM Post #44 of 109

a1joe507

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Posts
174
Likes
13
I have thought a bit about HeadRoom amps lately, especially after having sold my Headroom Hybrid amp after a solid case of upgrade-itis after RMAF 2011. I am posting some of those thoughts here. If someone from HeadRoom is reading, and sees that I am wrong about some things, PLEASE feel free to correct me immediately. Also, I am only vaguely familiar with circuit topography, and so my use of the term transformer below might be off (please correct me if so).

I have owned the bithead and the Hybrid. Both were decent amps that lasted me a good number of listening hours. I own the MicroDAC. At the 2011 RMAF in Denver, I had the chance to listen to every one of HeadRoom's current amps in quick succession, and also with more extended listening (using my own tunes as source) on separate days with different cans.  Also, on another occasion I have had the pleasure of listening to the now discontinued balanced Max Amp.

One thing I noticed in all of my experience with HR equipment aligns with some of the comments I see here, on head-fi in general, and have heard in person in the past.  Many people who have recently owned/listened to the current systems (e.g., Microamp/DAC & Desktop amp) complain about a surprising lack of clarity and/or impact at this price point. People sometimes mention that after growing bored of their HR amp, they plug directly into a laptop headphone jack and are surprised to find less difference in sound as compared to other equipment. (Someone in this thread posted a similar comment)

But, people who have heard or still own the old Max amps never say anything of the sort (at least, I have never heard/read any such feedback).  People who have the current "triple stack" similarly do not note anything like that as well. And, my listening between these set-ups is similar.
One thought about why this may be -

One of the results of the change in manufacturing arrangements around 2008 at HR was that the large power transformer(s)/assemblies used in amps like the Max amp were made external (Now the separate, Dedicated Power Supply), in part to keep most of the amps in the same chasis (BUDA, UDAC, Desktop, Ultra Desktop, DPS, are all the same size). One cannot currently order any amp with that transformer encased within the amp chasis.

While I'm sure some people disagree with me, the current amps, I think, are somewhat underpowered. The current desktop line, balanced or not, sounds VERY different when powered with a power brick versus the HR Dedicated Power Supply. One could A/B to hear the difference, but I expect that most people would not need to A/B more than once to be certain that there is a large difference. The amps seem to sound the way they were intended with the DPS, but are a bit lack-luster without it. This is not to imply that the amps are poor without the DPS, but rather that they are not impressive for the price point (I think) without it. The Astrodyne PS is another immediately perceivable improvement.

Note that nspindel loves his set-up but has the DPS.  Radiohead is quite happy (after acquiring the Antelope), and has the old Max amp with the same transformer. Vcoheda (who did not post here) is not selling his old balanced MaxAmp with home module any time soon.

I have read many posts on head-fi that describe that even the micro amp sounds plainly different with the standard power brick vs the astrodyne power supply, so much so that people are a little peeved that headroom does not work out a price deal to include the Astrodyne as the standard PS for the amp!
I'm guessing that most people who have heard HR amps did not listen to the amps with the DPS or did not hear the old (huge) MaxAmps. 
Does anybody know anything more about the power supplies of the current amps to speak to the possible validity of power being a plausible cause for less-than-what-one-would-expect-at-this-price-point sort of sound?
And, of course I invite assertions here from people that my idea is way off base! (Including the knowledgeable and kind folks from HeadRoom)
Regards,
Joe
 
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top