Author Topic: Headphone Thread.  (Read 175460 times)

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Offline sth

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1080 on: Sun, 29 April 2012, 18:25:40 »
Aw, SmallFry... do you have the ability to return them? :happy:

Some people really prefer Bose, and I don't want to sound like an audiophile snob, but I am personally not a fan of the sound (especially at the price you pay for the name).
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Offline SmallFry

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« Reply #1081 on: Sun, 29 April 2012, 21:11:12 »
They are certainly better than my Dr. Dre Beats. (They are a Christmas gift from my parents) I will continue to use the Bose ones... I like them. :smile: Thanks for your AUDIOPHILE SNOBBINESS though... Just kidding! Thanks for your comments, if I have any problems, I'm sure I'll remember this post.

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #1082 on: Sun, 29 April 2012, 21:17:42 »
Quote from: JesuswasaZombie;585829
The last ODA post I saw was from 2011, when is the projected release?

The goal was get the ODAC out as he felt that was a necessary component of the ODA and he felt that it'd be handy as a standalone too or something along those lines.  ODA should be back on the front burner at this point and I'm hoping for Xmas.
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Offline kidchunks

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1083 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 09:59:34 »
Sad day, think my m-stage is damaged. Right channel is lower than the left. Had to manually adjust the left and right channels to get a balance. Going to see if I can get a friend to repair it. I was liking the HRTSII/M-Stage combo too. =\

Anyone try the Yulong D100 MKII? Heard they've made some minor tweaks and it's only $10 more than the original ($440) from tamaudio.
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Offline tsangan

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1084 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 14:33:21 »
Quote from: Namkung;584163
loving my hd650 + little dot dac i + mk iv se set up. :music:
saving for hd800 + WA2 +_+
i would strongly recommend little dot's products to anyone if you are in the market for OTL tube amps .
I completely misread the model you were looking at whoops
« Last Edit: Mon, 30 April 2012, 14:57:26 by tsangan »
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Offline Ragnorock

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« Reply #1085 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 14:40:13 »
The WA 2 is just as suited for the HD800s as the 6SE, in fact some would say its even better. The design of the WA2 caters to high impedance cans, which is what the HD800s are. The numbering system Woo has isn't logical. The 2 isn't at the low end of the spectrum, its actually $40 more than the 6SE. The key difference is that it is about the nicest OTL amp most people are willing to buy.

But yeah a WA6 will work just fine with HD 800s, just be sure to get the Sophia 274b or it won't do them justice.

http://wooaudio.com/products/wa2.html

From Jack Woo himself: (The question being which is better for K701s)

Hello David,

Thank you for your interests.

You are correct the 6SE offers much power to spare which is desirable for
harder-to-drive headphones such as the AKG's. It is up to your personal
sound preference to choose either the WA2 or the 6SE. If you look for tight
control, great dynamic control, speed, and attack, the WA6-SE is the best
choice. If you like a warmer, relaxed, smooth sound, the WA2 will work
better.

Please let me know if you have further question.

Best regards,
Jack
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Offline rknize

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1086 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 14:52:36 »
Wow, I had no idea there were bottle heads lurking in here.  I'm not a huge headphone guy, but I have tried a few OTL projects on headwize.  Since my headphones are all 32-ohm, the performance hasn't been great.  I recently picked up a set of small OPTs from Edcor to build a proper headphone amp.  That project is stuck in the cue behind a few other fire bottle projects, though.

If you like to tinker, there are some good projects out there.  Pete Millett has a nice turn-key PCB-based one now that uses cheap compactrons.
Russ

Offline tsangan

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« Reply #1087 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 14:58:05 »
Quote from: Ragnorock;586548
The WA 2 is just as suited for the HD800s as the 6SE, in fact some would say its even better. The design of the WA2 caters to high impedance cans, which is what the HD800s are. The numbering system Woo has isn't logical. The 2 isn't at the low end of the spectrum, its actually $40 more than the 6SE. The key difference is that it is about the nicest OTL amp most people are willing to buy.

But yeah a WA6 will work just fine with HD 800s, just be sure to get the Sophia 274b or it won't do them justice.

http://wooaudio.com/products/wa2.html

From Jack Woo himself: (The question being which is better for K701s)

Hello David,

Thank you for your interests.

You are correct the 6SE offers much power to spare which is desirable for
harder-to-drive headphones such as the AKG's. It is up to your personal
sound preference to choose either the WA2 or the 6SE. If you look for tight
control, great dynamic control, speed, and attack, the WA6-SE is the best
choice. If you like a warmer, relaxed, smooth sound, the WA2 will work
better.

Please let me know if you have further question.

Best regards,
Jack
Nice!

I actually misread I read WA3 instead of WA2 :rofl:
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Offline Namkung

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1088 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 17:30:59 »
^
WA2 vs 6-SE is no brainer for me personally as I NEED a preamp for my stereo system.

i love my current setup but the 650s arent the best when it comes to the stuff i listen to (mostly classical / sopranos) T__T
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Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1089 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 21:18:13 »
For classical, IMO, the K701 beat the crap out of the HD650 (I have both). The mids and higs are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good the HD650 will feel ashamed of themselves. The only problem I have with the K701 is that they are not a "balanced" headphone, as they are bass-lacking....but classical music has never need any sort of bass so for that purpose I wouldn't hesitate.

You see, If you like all sorts of music the HD650 is a good pairing (contrary to the K701, which are very specific. Listening to electronic music or any music that relies on bass on those AKG will make you almost cry), but if you know exactly the music you will be listening to, K701 is an awesome can. Just remember you need a proper amp to drive them as they require tons of voltage (with a low output impedance to not many amps can deliver).

Offline Namkung

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1090 on: Mon, 30 April 2012, 21:43:25 »
^ mm.. i listened to hd600s and to be honest, i felt that even they were better than the 650s for classical .
i figure i might as well upgrade big time and go for the hd800s . i have not had the chance to listen to them yet and I will make sure to listen to it before making the purchase obviously but from what I have read, they are pretty good for classical. + i don't exclusively listen to classical haha. I do want to try out the k701s though. i think those look awesome
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Offline Ragnorock

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« Reply #1091 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 00:00:40 »
Quote from: prava;586916
For classical, IMO, the K701 beat the crap out of the HD650 (I have both). The mids and higs are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good the HD650 will feel ashamed of themselves. The only problem I have with the K701 is that they are not a "balanced" headphone, as they are bass-lacking....but classical music has never need any sort of bass so for that purpose I wouldn't hesitate.

You see, If you like all sorts of music the HD650 is a good pairing (contrary to the K701, which are very specific. Listening to electronic music or any music that relies on bass on those AKG will make you almost cry), but if you know exactly the music you will be listening to, K701 is an awesome can. Just remember you need a proper amp to drive them as they require tons of voltage (with a low output impedance to not many amps can deliver).
Okay, so you probably haven't listened to K701s with proper amping. The bass REALLY suffers without it, and without a proper amp I can definitely agree they are light on bass. However, when properly amped, they are very balanced. There is plenty of bass, and I listen to A LOT of dubstep/techno. They do really shine with classical the most, but the do make me cry when listening to Obsidia FLACs... out of JOY.

For the record, I'm using AKG K701s with a WA6SE with tung sol 6SN7s and an EML 5U4G/Sophia Princess 274b for rectifiers... as well as various other driver tubes. I have some K271 MKIIs both amped and unamped, and the 701s when amped have the most bass, over the closed back 271s.
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Offline laffindude

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1092 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 00:53:26 »
K701 doesn't agree with my ears. The shrieky upper midrange/lower treble is what does it in for me. No coherent center stage is another booboo. The BIGGEST negative against it is you need to play them loud to sound good. They're absolutely anemic at lower volume*. This was a few years ago when I still had my Headroom DAC/amp combo. I did hear that the newer drivers have more bass, so I may need to try the new ones.

*My preferred levels is probably much lower than average. I can't get my K550 playing quietly enough on one of my weaker amps without running into channel imbalance. At this lower volume, it really highlight how much headphones, even a highly efficient one, benefit from amps. Plugged directly into the computer, and the subbass is flabby and lacks punch.

Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1093 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 15:09:47 »
Quote from: Ragnorock;587034
Okay, so you probably haven't listened to K701s with proper amping. The bass REALLY suffers without it, and without a proper amp I can definitely agree they are light on bass. However, when properly amped, they are very balanced. There is plenty of bass, and I listen to A LOT of dubstep/techno. They do really shine with classical the most, but the do make me cry when listening to Obsidia FLACs... out of JOY.

For the record, I'm using AKG K701s with a WA6SE with tung sol 6SN7s and an EML 5U4G/Sophia Princess 274b for rectifiers... as well as various other driver tubes. I have some K271 MKIIs both amped and unamped, and the 701s when amped have the most bass, over the closed back 271s.

I believe a Matrix M-Stage is more than enough to power the K701, so I don't think they will get any better. With that said, though, it may be because you aren't using transparent amps and, thus, why you get such powerup in the bass section.

Offline rknize

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1094 on: Tue, 01 May 2012, 15:49:31 »
AKGs tend to hurt my head.  Their head band design kind of sucks...like an old pair from the 70s that I had as a kid.  Can you guys really wear them comfortably for hours?
Russ

Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1095 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 08:01:46 »
Quote from: rknize;587543
AKGs tend to hurt my head.  Their head band design kind of sucks...like an old pair from the 70s that I had as a kid.  Can you guys really wear them comfortably for hours?

You just get used to them. I couldn't wear them for more than 30 minutes at first, but know I don't feel any pain and can wear them for hours no problem.

But yes, at first they first like having your skull drilled...

Offline Ragnorock

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« Reply #1096 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 09:18:08 »
Quote from: prava;587517
I believe a Matrix M-Stage is more than enough to power the K701, so I don't think they will get any better. With that said, though, it may be because you aren't using transparent amps and, thus, why you get such powerup in the bass section.
I disagree, you're comparing the most entry level ($200) amp considered suitable for the 701s, to a $1050 amp with >$300 in tubes on it at any given point. Yeah tubes may be less analytically pure signal wise than a solid state, but the parts used in the M-Stage aren't exactly stellar and tubes keep it analog.

And I dunno about the headband design, it never hurt my head and I think the design is great.
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Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1097 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 09:26:04 »
Quote from: Ragnorock;588077
I disagree, you're comparing the most entry level ($200) amp considered suitable for the 701s, to a $1050 amp with >$300 in tubes on it at any given point. Yeah tubes may be less analytically pure signal wise than a solid state, but the parts used in the M-Stage aren't exactly stellar and tubes keep it analog.

And I dunno about the headband design, it never hurt my head and I think the design is great.

Price has nothing to do with quality, as the M-Stage is a literal copy of the well known Lehman Black Cube Linear, that costs almost a grand. Also, tubes keep it analog? lol? Its well known that tubes add stuff to the signal, nothing to do with analog...

Offline laffindude

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1098 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 10:01:35 »
Amp is not going to magically fix the flaws. If his ears don't like K701, no amount of amping will fix that.

It is so easy to fall into the "more expensive = better" trap. Not that I don't think WA6 is a good amp. Then again, I liked the sound of my CEntrance DACmini more than my much more expensive tubie. If tubes are changing the sound so much, is it still hi-fi? ;o

Offline rknize

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« Reply #1099 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 11:07:24 »
Quote from: prava;588085
Price has nothing to do with quality, as the M-Stage is a literal copy of the well known Lehman Black Cube Linear, that costs almost a grand. Also, tubes keep it analog? lol? Its well known that tubes add stuff to the signal, nothing to do with analog...

Tubes add less "stuff" to the signal than any transistor can.  In fact, certain triodes are still the most linear discrete voltage amplification devices that exist.  It's all about circuit topology.  The picture is complicated, but the short story is that transistors have poor linearity but are small (think IC) and cheap.  So you can create nearly-ideal amplification circuits using many transistors using various types of feedback loops and so forth.  How this circuit is designed and how it recovers from overload/etc is where the differences lie.  Some of them are really good.  Many of the amp ICs found in consumer electronics are not so great.  When combined with cheapskate power supplies, they are awful.

Tubes are large and expensive.  You can build a fairly complex tube amp that has nearly perfect linearity using similar techniques as above.  I have built many.  The only sane way to get high power (> 20W) is with a push-pull topology, which will inherently need global negative feedback and some careful design choices.  Sometimes you can use local feedback and get away from global feedback (the enemy of overload recovery).  One amp that I built does this with astonishing ease (and puts out ~100WPC to boot)!

The amps you guys are talking about here are single-ended and probably have no or some local feedback.  You can get away with this using tubes because they are inherently very linear.  SE amps tend to have a dominant second harmonic and low odd harmonics.  The human ear also has a dominant 2nd harmonic, and it is believed that this may be why SE amps have that "warm", pleasant sound to them.  Push-pull amps will tend have dominant odd harmonics and therefore need feedback to quell them.  Odd harmonics sound "harsh".

Anyway, I'll get off my tube soapbox....
Russ

Offline rknize

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« Reply #1100 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 12:58:16 »
The bottom line is that you need to go with whatever sounds the best to your ears.  :)  Sorry about the rant...you hit a nerve.
Russ

Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1101 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 14:05:41 »
Quote from: rknize;588255
The bottom line is that you need to go with whatever sounds the best to your ears.  :)  Sorry about the rant...you hit a nerve.

Only chance to do that is by blind testing, I'm afraid ;)

Offline rknize

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« Reply #1102 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 15:28:04 »
Quote from: prava;588291
Only chance to do that is by blind testing, I'm afraid ;)

Well, for very subtle differences, yeah.  But it's pretty easy to hear the difference between a conventional PP amp and an SE one.

Anyway, to get this thread back on topic, I'm currently listening with a pair of cheap Sennheiser HD-428 headphones.  Someone stole my Grados off my desk at work a while back and I bought these from a local electronics store in a pinch.  They are not bad for what I paid.  Honestly, since I listen through my desk PC's mediocre on-board sound, it doesn't matter all that much.  I also listen to a lot of podcasts, like ASoT.  High fidelity MP3 compression artifacts are better heard through medium-fi headphones.  :)

Since the Grados were my only good set, what I have at home is just a pair of inexpensive Sony headphones.  MDR-XD200, or some such.  Again, not great but not bad either.  Perfectly fine for listening through my PC.  If I want to do serious listening, I don't do it with headphones.

Every time I start looking at better headphones, I get lost in a sea of possibilities and prices.  One thing I didn't like about the SR80 was long-term ear comfort.
Russ

Offline Ragnorock

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« Reply #1103 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 16:03:32 »
Quote from: rknize;588148
Tubes add less "stuff" to the signal than any transistor can.  In fact, certain triodes are still the most linear discrete voltage amplification devices that exist.  It's all about circuit topology.  The picture is complicated, but the short story is that transistors have poor linearity but are small (think IC) and cheap.  So you can create nearly-ideal amplification circuits using many transistors using various types of feedback loops and so forth.  How this circuit is designed and how it recovers from overload/etc is where the differences lie.  Some of them are really good.  Many of the amp ICs found in consumer electronics are not so great.  When combined with cheapskate power supplies, they are awful.

Tubes are large and expensive.  You can build a fairly complex tube amp that has nearly perfect linearity using similar techniques as above.  I have built many.  The only sane way to get high power (> 20W) is with a push-pull topology, which will inherently need global negative feedback and some careful design choices.  Sometimes you can use local feedback and get away from global feedback (the enemy of overload recovery).  One amp that I built does this with astonishing ease (and puts out ~100WPC to boot)!

The amps you guys are talking about here are single-ended and probably have no or some local feedback.  You can get away with this using tubes because they are inherently very linear.  SE amps tend to have a dominant second harmonic and low odd harmonics.  The human ear also has a dominant 2nd harmonic, and it is believed that this may be why SE amps have that "warm", pleasant sound to them.  Push-pull amps will tend have dominant odd harmonics and therefore need feedback to quell them.  Odd harmonics sound "harsh".

Anyway, I'll get off my tube soapbox....
I agree with this, and yeah my amp is single ended but coupled with an output transformer to get the juice.

I hear what you guys are saying though. As I haven't tried an M-stage, I can't make a fair comparison. I did do my research when buying this amp though, and I feel like the extra cost was 100% justified over something like a Lyr or an M-Stage. Also, when I say the sound is different when amped, I mean that the AKGs are no longer anemic in the bass section because they have the voltage on tap when asked for. The tubes don't make it sound super warm, or color the reference spec sound you get from the 701s to begin with... they just sound how 701s are supposed to sound.
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Offline J-P

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1104 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 18:22:45 »
Have any of you peeps tried the super-cheapo-plastic-fantastic Superlux HD668b? It's shocking how good they are for $30. I mean... old news I think, but I picked up a pair last month, modded them a little (took out filters + opened up the backs) and these things sound GREAT. The only bad point is that there is no isolation... at home though, or where people don't mind hearing them - they are ossum.
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Offline prava

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1105 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 19:04:57 »
Quote from: J-P;588520
Have any of you peeps tried the super-cheapo-plastic-fantastic Superlux HD668b? It's shocking how good they are for $30. I mean... old news I think, but I picked up a pair last month, modded them a little (took out filters + opened up the backs) and these things sound GREAT. The only bad point is that there is no isolation... at home though, or where people don't mind hearing them - they are ossum.

Deffinitely not suited for porn when you are not alone at home xd

Offline alaricljs

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« Reply #1106 on: Wed, 02 May 2012, 20:42:30 »
Hmmm, so AKG K 272 HD... or DT770 Pro 250?  Any thoughts?


Or perhaps the K 271 MK II ?
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Offline rknize

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« Reply #1107 on: Thu, 03 May 2012, 01:11:09 »
My most recent "headphone amp":

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49752[/ATTACH]
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49751[/ATTACH]

It was originally built by my dad in the '60s.  I completely refurbished and rebuilt it using a new power supply circuit.  Puts out around 60WPC.

This is the amp I spoke about before, using "Schade" feedback:

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49753[/ATTACH]

That one was designed by Pete Millett, who intended it as a ~17WPC amp using television sweep tubes as the finals.  It is a very conservative design.  With bigger finals and lots more voltage on the plates, 80-100WPC can be reached.

Pete has a rather nice headphone amp project for the adventurous: the Jonokuchi.  It's on my list of things to try.

http://www.pmillett.com/Jonokuchi.htm

Here are my flea-power amps, both are Tubelab designs.  The SSE (8-14WPC, depending which output tubes and triode vs ultralinear):

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49756[/ATTACH]
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49757[/ATTACH]

The TSE (2 or 8WPC, depending if you runs 45s or 300Bs).  Setup with 45s, it makes a decent headphone amp, actually.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49758[/ATTACH]
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 49759[/ATTACH]
Russ

Offline laffindude

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Headphone Thread.
« Reply #1108 on: Thu, 03 May 2012, 01:49:28 »
Those are some pretty amps.
I honestly think properly designed modern Class A SS amp sound very good already. I wouldn't trade my tubies for SS amp for my bass, but for headphones? Not so sure.Cheaper not so well designed tube amps are not going to sound better than a SS. Care into designing the circuits and picking components are probably worth more than tube vs SS.

Offline Ragnorock

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« Reply #1109 on: Thu, 03 May 2012, 11:19:06 »
Oh man those are gorgeous. Moar plzz. Are those 300bs getting gassy inside or are they just painted to look like that. The blue glow looks like they might be wearing out.
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