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post #31 of 52 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 52 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 52 Old 02-03-2013, 10:25 AM
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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 52 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 52 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 52 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 52 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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post #38 of 52 Old 07-31-2014, 08:43 PM
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Hi

I hope I can jump in here for some advice. I want to put it as simply as possible, in that my cans are not that high-end and I don't know when I will upgrade but I do like them. I want to be able to get the best sound from the Oppo -103, mainly for CDs and SACDs but basically everything, by adding a headphone amp.

I am not using an amp or speakers with my Oppo, just the TV's internal speakers.

My headphones are Sony MDR-1Rs.

My price range is low, between $60-100.

I've already had a few recommendations, such as an the FiiO but that has limitations such as no volume control.

I'm not averse to a tube amp if the price is right.

I'd be grateful for any advice!

P.S. I am a noob round here and pretty technically-challenged but still very interested and want to LEARN!

Last edited by ecsobar61; 07-31-2014 at 08:53 PM.
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post #39 of 52 Old 08-01-2014, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ecsobar61 View Post
Hi

I hope I can jump in here for some advice. I want to put it as simply as possible, in that my cans are not that high-end and I don't know when I will upgrade but I do like them. I want to be able to get the best sound from the Oppo -103, mainly for CDs and SACDs but basically everything, by adding a headphone amp.

I am not using an amp or speakers with my Oppo, just the TV's internal speakers.

My headphones are Sony MDR-1Rs.

My price range is low, between $60-100.

I've already had a few recommendations, such as an the FiiO but that has limitations such as no volume control.
really? My E5 and the E9 have volume controls:




Quote:
Originally Posted by ecsobar61 View Post
I'm not averse to a tube amp if the price is right.

I'd be grateful for any advice!

P.S. I am a noob round here and pretty technically-challenged but still very interested and want to LEARN!
I recently picked up a Topping NX1 and it seems have good performance, a volume control, and a comfortable price.

If you want to operate battery operated headphone amps with a PC or a home audio system just get a USB wall wart to power it:

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-C...dp/B005CG2AL4/

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post #40 of 52 Old 08-01-2014, 06:55 AM
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Thanks, arnyk, for those recommendations. I see what you mean about the Fiio. I must have got that confused with something else. I like the look of that. I'm doing a search the Topping right now.

It may sound funny but since I posted here I found something that looks very appealing and seems to tick a lot of boxes. Does anyone know this tube headphone amp?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A24UNAW0BT200P

Last edited by ecsobar61; 08-01-2014 at 07:04 AM.
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post #41 of 52 Old 08-01-2014, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ecsobar61 View Post
Thanks, arnyk, for those recommendations. I see what you mean about the Fiio. I must have got that confused with something else. I like the look of that. I'm doing a search the Topping right now.

It may sound funny but since I posted here I found something that looks very appealing and seems to tick a lot of boxes. Does anyone know this tube headphone amp?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A24UNAW0BT200P
Never heard of it. There are a lot of budget tube amps. I'd tend to shy away from those. I'm listening to my firestone audio cute beyond amp with sennheiser 650 hd. The amp is not there as it should be. Tube, probably not. I thought about trying a tube amp from woo audio, fairly high end, but decided against it.
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post #42 of 52 Old 08-01-2014, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ecsobar61 View Post
Thanks, arnyk, for those recommendations. I see what you mean about the Fiio. I must have got that confused with something else. I like the look of that. I'm doing a search the Topping right now.

It may sound funny but since I posted here I found something that looks very appealing and seems to tick a lot of boxes. Does anyone know this tube headphone amp?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A24UNAW0BT200P
I've heard mixed things about it. If this is your first amp, I'd recommend sticking to solid state. You might or might not appreciate the inexpensive tube amps. Not sure about the Bravo's design, but most are hybrid solid state/tube amps that add some tube flavor to the output stage. Not the same as more expensive OTL amps. I tried that route with the Little Dot I+ and then the pre-amp of the Maverick Audio D1. I found that I like the better accuracy of pure solid state instead.

This Schiit Magni is an excellent little headphone amp for the money. With your budget, that's what I'd go for
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post #43 of 52 Old 08-01-2014, 03:39 PM
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Bang for your buck I like my Audio-GD amp/dac. Plays my Denon's well along with my higher resistant Sennheiser's to comfortable levels.
Just got an Audio-GD NFB-11 this week. Loving it. Gobs of power for my somewhat difficult to drive HE-400s and AKG K612 Pros. Super clean sound. Awesome functionality in terms of input options and the switch interface on the front.

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post #44 of 52 Old 08-02-2014, 07:08 PM
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Never heard of it. There are a lot of budget tube amps. I'd tend to shy away from those. I'm listening to my firestone audio cute beyond amp with sennheiser 650 hd. The amp is not there as it should be. Tube, probably not. I thought about trying a tube amp from woo audio, fairly high end, but decided against it.
Thanks. The Cute Beyond looks great but beyond price point right now.
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post #45 of 52 Old 08-02-2014, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
I've heard mixed things about it. If this is your first amp, I'd recommend sticking to solid state. You might or might not appreciate the inexpensive tube amps. Not sure about the Bravo's design, but most are hybrid solid state/tube amps that add some tube flavor to the output stage. Not the same as more expensive OTL amps. I tried that route with the Little Dot I+ and then the pre-amp of the Maverick Audio D1. I found that I like the better accuracy of pure solid state instead.

This Schiit Magni is an excellent little headphone amp for the money. With your budget, that's what I'd go for
These all look great but beyond what I can afford right now, but thanks.
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post #46 of 52 Old 08-06-2014, 03:37 AM
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[I have sent this question to Bob Pariseau, but I just thought maybe I could add it on to this thread as it is related.]

I have more or less decided what is feasible for a headphone amp for the Oppo but another consideration has always been my speakers. It's a similar situation. I have two 6 ohm 25 W speakers and no amp for the Oppo with inadequate sound through the TV's built-in speakers.

Is there a small amp that I can get that could be both headphone amp and an amp to drive my speakers that not over $100-150?

My speakers have extremely thin cable that used to fit onto a CD compact component that had spring-loaded clips. I am not sure if it's suitable for wrapping around the usual posts or putting into banana plugs.

If this link works, this seems ideal, but maybe not as a headphone amp as well:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B...A1GIP5WGZU5TH6

Hope I am not bothering you.

Best

Last edited by ecsobar61; 08-06-2014 at 03:46 AM.
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post #47 of 52 Old 08-06-2014, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecsobar61 View Post
[I have sent this question to Bob Pariseau, but I just thought maybe I could add it on to this thread as it is related.]

I have more or less decided what is feasible for a headphone amp for the Oppo but another consideration has always been my speakers. It's a similar situation. I have two 6 ohm 25 W speakers and no amp for the Oppo with inadequate sound through the TV's built-in speakers.

Is there a small amp that I can get that could be both headphone amp and an amp to drive my speakers that not over $100-150?

My speakers have extremely thin cable that used to fit onto a CD compact component that had spring-loaded clips. I am not sure if it's suitable for wrapping around the usual posts or putting into banana plugs.

If this link works, this seems ideal, but maybe not as a headphone amp as well:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B...A1GIP5WGZU5TH6
Yet another Tripath-based small integrated amp. You can buy the same thing for less under other brand names (including Topping), but I learned my lesson from the previous recommendation, better stuff for less money is not interesting to many.

BTW, this is an English forum and linking sites in Asian picture languages will confuse a lot of people.

Amps based on the Tripath chips are not as clean as some comparable amps with chips that implement classic AB power amps. But, they aren't dirty enough to really insult the ears. Some people seem to worship them.

Tripath chips are marvels to me because Tripath went kapoot about a decade ago, and there is still copious amounts of new product based on their old chips. Someone must have bought their circuit masks and plugged them into a really big fast chip making machine, that's all I can say! Gainclone (LM3886 chip) based designs may run a bit hotter, but generally measure cleaner on the test bench.
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post #48 of 52 Old 08-06-2014, 05:15 AM
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Thanks, and sorry about the Asian link. It's because I couldn't find the same device on an English site. Can you recommend anything specific based around my price point, because the technical is over my head right now.
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post #49 of 52 Old 08-10-2014, 12:18 PM
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My Sennheiser HD 800s sound far better plugged into my Woo Audio WA6 rather than straight into my Sony 5400ES SACD player or my Oppo 105.

DALI Epicon 2 front speakers; DALI Epicon Vokal center speaker; Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 surrounds; SVS SB 13 Ultra subwoofer; Marantz AV 8801 pre/pro; Parasound Halo A51 power amp; Sony XA5400ES SACD player; Oppo BDP 105 SACD/Blu-ray player; Sennheiser HD 800 headphones; Woo Audio WA6 headphone amp.
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post #50 of 52 Old 08-11-2014, 09:35 AM
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My Sennheiser HD 800s sound far better plugged into my Woo Audio WA6 rather than straight into my Sony 5400ES SACD player or my Oppo 105.
How did you handle level matching?
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post #51 of 52 Old 08-11-2014, 10:14 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by A9X-308


Do not go to head-fi expecting worthwhile information. By and large it's drivel.


+4.

Not only it is drivel, but it is emphatically, almost militantly, anti-scientific. The absolute ban on even mentioning double blind tests (DBT is a dirty word over there and sometimes brings out the instant ban hammer) in all but one or two dedicated, glacially moving sub-forums ought to be a big clue that it's full of myth-based nonsense and product whoring.

Their motto -- and I am not making this up for effect -- is literally, "Welcome to Hi-fi. Sorry about your wallet." A prudent person would avoid it at all costs.
That's not really accurate. They have a separate fourm called "sound science" for discussions about double blind testing, debunking myths, etc. They simply don't want debate after debate mucking up the threads where they are trying to stay on topic.

I would never deter anyone from spending time at head-fi, personally. I had no interest in that side of audio until I started taking part there. There is a lot of fanboyism, nonsense, and favoritism, yes...but it's easy enough to discern that. I have used it with great success to learn more about what products are in the marketplace, and my enjoyment of music and movies has benefitted greatly from spending time there.
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post #52 of 52 Old 08-11-2014, 01:38 PM
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How did you handle level matching?
I just used the oldest tool there is...my ears...and adjusted the levels accordingly! This wasn't scientific--I got the levels as close as I could, and the differences were immediate and immense. There was a much greater difference between the Sony/WA6 (the Sony sounded downright awful--shrill and not very spacious) and the Oppo/WA6, but enough to warrant using the amp. It sounded warmer, richer, and had great stereo spread. Interestingly, I prefer the Sony through my stereo, though. I guess it is not as hard to drive as the Sennheisers!

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