Separate headphone amp needed? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 37 Old 02-03-2013, 09:19 AM
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How much should one worry about the output impedance of the headphone amp , esp for headphones like Grado (32 ohm) ? Does the amp need to be ideally below 10 ohm ?

I was also looking at Behringer Mini Mon 800 - http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MON800.aspx but looks like its suitable only for HD600 as it says impedance of 100 ohm

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post #32 of 37 Old 02-03-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifisound View Post

How much should one worry about the output impedance of the headphone amp , esp for headphones like Grado (32 ohm) ? Does the amp need to be ideally below 10 ohm ?

I was also looking at Behringer Mini Mon 800 - http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MON800.aspx but looks like its suitable only for HD600 as it says impedance of 100 ohm

 

The headphone's impedance should be at least 8 times the amp's output impedance or damping may suffer. I don't know how 32-Ohm Grados react to excessive output impedance.

 

At 100 Ohms, the MiniMon 800's impedance is probably too high for the best sound.

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post #33 of 37 Old 02-03-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamilcar Barca View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifisound View Post

How much should one worry about the output impedance of the headphone amp , esp for headphones like Grado (32 ohm) ? Does the amp need to be ideally below 10 ohm ?


I was also looking at Behringer Mini Mon 800 - http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MON800.aspx but looks like its suitable only for HD600 as it says impedance of 100 ohm

The headphone's impedance should be at least 8 times the amp's output impedance or damping may suffer. I don't know how 32-Ohm Grados react to excessive output impedance.

At 100 Ohms, the MiniMon 800's impedance is probably too high for the best sound.

BTW I believe that the source impedance of headphone jack on Behringer's UCA 202 USB DAC is more like 50 ohms.

Damping is generally not an issue with headphones because they are generally inherently well-damped. With speakers damping is pretty much just another name for source impedance as they can be defined in terms of each other. And while I's at it, all of this talk about counter-emf can be simplified into something that is far less mysterious, being the device's impedance curve.

I think your basic idea is good, but there are other considerations. For example, the uniformity of headphone impedance curves vary from flat to mountainous. If the headphones have a flat or relatively flat impedance curve, then source impedance matters far less. Headphone impedance curves get some publication, so you can often look before you leap.

I would never use a pair of headphones comfortably in a situation where I didn't not have an equalizer in the signal chain. What a high source impedance plus headphones with a bumpy impedance curve do is alter the frequency response of the headphones. If the listener can use an equalizer to push back and restore his desired frequency response, then the ill effects of the high source impedance and bumpy impedance curve are reduced or eliminated.

If your headphone amp has more than adequate output voltage, putting a 16 or 32 ohm resistor in parallel with your headphones can lower the source impedance.
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post #34 of 37 Old 02-03-2013, 10:46 PM
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Found one more which is quite multipurpose and looks quite good for the same price as Fiio E09K.
Not sure if its analogue output specs are for its headphone output and will have good output as E09K

http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2/specifications

HD600 does go from 300 to 600 ohm (10 to 100hz) and then comes down (as per graph on headphone.com) but Grado SR60 seems pretty flat.
But since the concern was for low impedance Grados, i guess its fine then.

I currently have Little Dot MKIV . My NAD C372 headphone out sounds still better and authoritative (to me) with HD600s than the tube amp.

Btw one basic question, why are Grado SR60 supposed to be easier to drive than upper SR225 and RS1 when they all have same impedance and sensitivity ?
"Ploy" to sell headphone amps ? smile.gif

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post #35 of 37 Old 02-04-2013, 12:33 AM
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Your MKIV for the price is a nice tube amp. Your NAD C372 is a solid state amp and probably has a higher output than the MKIV depending on resistors used. .

Tube amps usually with give a more mellow sound as where SS amps will give a more aggressive sound.

Headphone's or Speaker's are the most important component in a sound system. SS Amps and DAC's if made right should not change the output sound, its all the junk that is put between that will very the output tone of a amp or DAC. Tube amps and tube DAC's will have more tonal variation mainly because of using tubes, so the specs of a tube amp/DAC are not going to be a exacting as a SS amp or DAC.

There are three basic mainstream types of headphones.
Dynamic, this is the type that you guys are talking about and the most main stream type of headphones.
Orthodynamic, kind of a cross between the Electrostatic and Electrostatic, usually needs a more powerful lower ohm amp than the Dynamic headphone.
Electrostatic (stax), will not work on a main stream headphone amp needs a Electrostatic Amp.

My go to headphone amp, headphones and DAC are the STAX SRM-727 amp, STAX SR-009 headphones and a W4S DAC.

ss
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post #36 of 37 Old 02-14-2013, 11:28 PM
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whats the oops for ? smile.gif

This should have sufficient power isn't it ? (has low output impedance as well)

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HA4700.aspx

Also anybody has experience with the focusrite : http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2/specifications ?

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post #37 of 37 Old 02-15-2013, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifisound View Post

whats the oops for ? smile.gif

This should have sufficient power isn't it ? (has low output impedance as well)

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HA4700.aspx

Also anybody has experience with the focusrite : http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2/specifications ?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifisound View Post

whats the oops for ? smile.gif

This should have sufficient power isn't it ? (has low output impedance as well)

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/HA4700.aspx
[...]

 

I submitted the post only to discover it was useless. I didn't realize I could delete it, which I've now done.

 

I'm not familiar with the HA4700. (I'd be extremely surprised if it didn't have enough power. The Rolls HA43Pro, a simpler and cheaper professional headphone amp, definitely has enough power for the Sennheiser HD-650 and the Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium and T 70.)

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