would like to know dB level of my headphones
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:08 PM Post #16 of 56

hehe

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I read something about 192khz dacs and how they were supposed to be high end and expensive, i just dont understand this since my cheap graphics card has a 540mhz dac in it or maybe 3 180mhz dacs for the three colors.

I dont understand audio cables either.
What do they do over cheaper cables? I dont think it is mostly about shielding so what else is there? Do they filter different frequencies different somehow?
Since a cheap dvi cable does 3gbps and wav is only 1411mbps i just dont see why you would need an expensive cable to be able to transmit all of the detail.
If you have a cable with optimal shielding (is this expensive?) and the cable doesnt add any random noise to the signal and only changes it in a predictable way then youd be better off just sending trough it the signal necessary to end up with the right sound.

I really would like to understand so if someone can explain or give me some links?
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:13 PM Post #17 of 56

iancraig10

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I am very sceptical about amps, i would have to know exactly how they work (why they should improve the sound) and the full spec of the amp (to know they are worth the price) before i would feel comfortable buying one.

I do think my headphones might sound better on the cheap hifi downstairs than on my computer, but im not even sure if im not imagining it.


Because you don't know how they work doesn't mean that they don't. They DO improve the sound.

So many people have asked about amps and having a look around Headfi will answer all the questions that you are asking and then maybe you will be less sceptical about them.

The fact that you're asking means that you would like to know .....
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:15 PM Post #18 of 56

JaGWiRE

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iancraig10 said:
Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I am very sceptical about amps, i would have to know exactly how they work (why they should improve the sound) and the full spec of the amp (to know they are worth the price) before i would feel comfortable buying one.

I do think my headphones might sound better on the cheap hifi downstairs than on my computer, but im not even sure if im not imagining it.

QUOTE]
Because you don't know how they work doesn't mean that they don't. They DO improve the sound.

So many people have asked about amps and having a look around Headfi will answer all the questions that you are asking and then maybe you will be less sceptical about them.

The fact that you're asking means that you would like to know .....



I agree with you, after using the search function I found lots of links on what I was looking for, but I do think that some more stickies would add drastically to the warm feeling a new member should recieve on all forums
smily_headphones1.gif
.

Those SPL meters, do they do room sound too, or just up to speakers?
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:20 PM Post #19 of 56

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I dont understand audio cables either.
What do they do over cheaper cables? I dont think it is mostly about shielding so what else is there? Do they filter different frequencies different somehow?
Since a cheap dvi cable does 3gbps and wav is only 1411mbps i just dont see why you would need an expensive cable to be able to transmit all of the detail.
If you have a cable with optimal shielding (is this expensive?) and the cable doesnt add any random noise to the signal and only changes it in a predictable way then youd be better off just sending trough it the signal necessary to end up with the right sound.

I really would like to understand so if someone can explain or give me some links?



Go to www.bluejeanscables.com and read some of the articles there. They are well written, and not too high brow. They also back up their claims with the fantastic price/performance of their cables.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:25 PM Post #20 of 56

iancraig10

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The SPL meters measure whatever goes into them, room or from headphone, but they need to be sealed against the headphone driver to get a more accurate reading.

Basically, play headphones low. Take one ear off and listen to external sounds (as long as you're not up against a pneumatic drill) and compare what you hear in the other ear.

It acts as a good indicator without the expense of a meter. Each CD will be at different volume levels and will peak at a different places so you need to use your own judgement really.

Try speech on a radio with someone in the room talking. If the levels compare then you are probably not overdoing it. Then, this is assuming that your cd player outputs the same levels. Once you get
'attuned' to a certain level, you'll tend to stick to it unless you go into party mode one evening.
tongue.gif


Ian
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:31 PM Post #21 of 56

hehe

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSloth
Go to www.bluejeanscables.com and read some of the articles there. They are well written, and not too high brow. They also back up their claims with the fantastic price/performance of their cables.


Thanks, those seem like interesting articles, im reading ...
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 10:05 PM Post #22 of 56

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
I read something about 192khz dacs and how they were supposed to be high end and expensive, i just dont understand this since my cheap graphics card has a 540mhz dac in it or maybe 3 180mhz dacs for the three colors.

I dont understand audio cables either.
What do they do over cheaper cables? I dont think it is mostly about shielding so what else is there? Do they filter different frequencies different somehow?
Since a cheap dvi cable does 3gbps and wav is only 1411mbps i just dont see why you would need an expensive cable to be able to transmit all of the detail.
If you have a cable with optimal shielding (is this expensive?) and the cable doesnt add any random noise to the signal and only changes it in a predictable way then youd be better off just sending trough it the signal necessary to end up with the right sound.

I really would like to understand so if someone can explain or give me some links?



Wow, there's a lot of stuff in there. The whole cable thing remains a matter of heated debate. I've suggested that cables are capable of changing the way that headphones sound; many rational people disagree with me.

With regard to understanding amps, there is a nice explanatory thread floating around right now with good comments by TheSloth and rickcr42. To reiterate what others have said, even if two amps look the same schematically, the fact that one uses better quality parts than the other can make a big difference in terms of the resulting sound quality. That's one reason why looking at the specs of an amp alone is usually not all that informative.

Finally, it is important not to confuse audio DACs with video DACs. Also, as in the case of amps, the quality of components in a DAC can go a long way in improving the resulting sound quality. (For example, I doubt that many would put the HeadRoom Micro DAC in league with an onboard soundcard's DAC, despite the fact that they are doing fundamentally the same thing.)

-Angler
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Mar 19, 2006 at 10:29 PM Post #23 of 56

Skylab

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HeHe, Audio Technica makes headphone amps, and it's a pretty big company. Does that help you?
very_evil_smiley.gif


Headphone amps are the real deal, there is nothing to be skeptical about. I can undwerstand skepticism related to cables, even though I personally believe they make a big difference.

Great Dane's photo is excellent, that's how I measure too, altho U drilled a hole in a hockey puck rather than use cardboard. Also, I measure using both C weighting and A weighting, but to keep it below 80db C weighted would be ultra-conservative. Below 80 A weighted should be fine (and that will be louder that 80db C weighted for most music).

I allow 82dbA peaks, which is nice and safe. Occasionally I wish it were louder, but not often.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 11:23 PM Post #24 of 56

hehe

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There are two main ways i see an amp might improve the sound:
Either the sound from a soundcard gets much worse if you put it at higher sound levels so youre able to use the higher quality signal the soundcard has at lower levels and turn it up with an amp.
This is the only way i see if electricity is released and then has no further effect on the output of the amp.
Another way i see would be if there is a connection between what the amp or soundcard does and the headphone in a similar way as to how there would be feedback if it were fluid dynamics with pressure buildup.
If the signal is just released without a hard link feedback it just seems to me what you get out of the soundcard is what youll hear with amp or without, in wich case the first option would have to be true for an amp to improve the sound.

The second idea comes from reading about high impedance headphones being harder to drive, it gives the impression that the headphones you use have an influence to what youll be getting out of the card or whatever youre using.

Sorry for my ignorance but for people that havent studied electricity these things arent obvious.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 11:33 PM Post #25 of 56

plainsong

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I had never taken a measurement until Luukas came over, armed with cardboard and a db measuring thingy. Like my technical talk there? I suppose I could call it a decibal meter, but that's not as interesting.

Anyway, turns out we both listen at about 60-70ish db or so...at least according to Radio Shack.
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Interesting, but I couldn't say how accurate that is.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 12:23 AM Post #26 of 56

Skylab

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Quote:

Originally Posted by plainsong
I had never taken a measurement until Luukas came over, armed with cardboard and a db measuring thingy. Like my technical talk there? I suppose I could call it a decibal meter, but that's not as interesting.

Anyway, turns out we both listen at about 60-70ish db or so...at least according to Radio Shack.
tongue.gif


Interesting, but I couldn't say how accurate that is.



It's accurate enough for this purpose. There is actually a searchable set of correction values for the RatShack SPL meter to correct for deviations from flat/accurate ate various frequencies, but when you are using the SPL meter to test broadband level (i.e. music), it's pretty accurate.

60-70db is fairly quiet for headphone listening -- good for you! I prefer a little more gas. But in any case, from everything I have ready, anything under 80dbA average SPL is fine.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:39 AM Post #27 of 56

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hehe
Sorry for my ignorance but for people that havent studied electricity these things arent obvious.


There are a lot of explanatory threads hanging around head-fi... if you have general questions, that is a good place to start. If you really truly want to know exactly how/why/when an amp works in gory, disgusting and disturbing detail, you could always call/email the staff at HeadRoom and ask to speak to one of their engineers. I've asked those guys some pretty bizarre and off-the-wall questions in the past, and I haven't stumped them yet (i.e. they really know their amps).

-Angler
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