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[Official] OCN Headphones and Earphones Club - Page 2434

post #24331 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

this engineer created a DIY Tube D/A converter inspired by the Audio Note DAC-3. he explains the sonic and technical reasons (in great detail) why he chose a tube.

Not really, I don't think. Or rather, it's not really answering the question that was asked. There are technical explanations of some topologies that you can use with some vacuum tube triodes and related parameters and so on. So there is justification for which tube to use among several options for the circuit in question. However, the explanation for using tubes as opposed to something else is this: "We've experimented with several amplification stages, but in general we like the results obtained by tube amplification." And among some of the options and observations, the language is subjective and qualitative, e.g. "The treble becomes more sophisticated" and "Other capacitor types seem to give a less transient treble."

Anyhow, it's worth making the distinction that many of the justifications seem to be based in the "what I think sounded good" approach rather than through engineering analysis. So it is left to your imagination and interpretation how rigorously the subjective impressions were determined and how valid those comparisons are.



re: EQ

EQ's not going to fix nonlinear distortion and quirks with the drivers, resonances, power handling, etc.

For what it's worth, check the pdf and research here. No research or impressions or whatnot is perfect, so it's worth checking the methodology and so on for yourself. Sound preference ratings depend on how people are tested, music selected, etc. of course.

Quick-and-dirty for what the graph is saying:y axis represents the average subjective rating of the sound, and each bar represents a different EQ profile, one of which is no EQ at all. All testing on the same headphones. Here, LCD-2 without EQ sounds better than using some EQ profiles (the ones approximating some modified diffuse field and free field, respectively) and worse than using EQ with other profiles. i.e. you can make good headphones sound better with EQ, at least to the listeners tested, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyd View Post

Yeah something nobody told me is that it's better to do cuts rather than boosts in EQ. Typically this gives you more room to work without distortion. Or at least this is what I've found in my experience.

One key reason to prefer EQ cuts over boosts is that some EQs don't have some pre-amp functionality (to lower the level) and adding boosts could result in clipping. If you're reducing the overall level by enough that none of the boosts could raise the signal into digital clipping, then boosts are fine. Inherently, EQ doesn't cause distortion, but going into clipping will certainly do that.

But aside from that, there are physical and psychoacoustical reasons maybe to prefer cuts over boosts. Trying to boost some frequencies a headphone can't really do will result in more distortion at a given volume. Also, FR dips are less obvious and objectionable than FR spikes, so there is less need to boost than cut. Along those lines, if you're using some kind of ham-fisted graphical EQ and/or are screwing things up (bad usage of EQ), there is less harm from axing some frequencies than really boosting others, perhaps.
post #24332 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post



One key reason to prefer EQ cuts over boosts is that some EQs don't have some pre-amp functionality (to lower the level) and adding boosts could result in clipping. If you're reducing the overall level by enough that none of the boosts could raise the signal into digital clipping, then boosts are fine. Inherently, EQ doesn't cause distortion, but going into clipping will certainly do that.

But aside from that, there are physical and psychoacoustical reasons maybe to prefer cuts over boosts. Trying to boost some frequencies a headphone can't really do will result in more distortion at a given volume. Also, FR dips are less obvious and objectionable than FR spikes, so there is less need to boost than cut. Along those lines, if you're using some kind of ham-fisted graphical EQ and/or are screwing things up (bad usage of EQ), there is less harm from axing some frequencies than really boosting others, perhaps.

What kind of EQ should be used?
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post #24333 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Here, LCD-2 without EQ sounds better than using some EQ profiles (the ones approximating some modified diffuse field and free field, respectively) and worse than using EQ with other profiles. i.e. you can make good headphones sound better with EQ, at least to the listeners tested, etc.

and guess what my EQ is mimicking.... the former (diffuse field).
It's sounds better because it mimics human hearing and nothing is masked.
post #24334 of 38154
You may be able to compensate for linear aberrations such as in frequency response, but nonlinear distortion like THD and spectral decay are another matter entirely. I'm curious given how beyerdynamic has (hasn't?) dampened the Tesla series.

A good electrostatic transducer might be a great starting point as its nonlinear characteristics are exemplary.
Edited by friend'scatdied - 4/2/14 at 5:41pm
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post #24335 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyd View Post

What kind of EQ should be used?

I was trying (and failing, being too imprecise) to make the point that a graphical EQ with not enough bands may not be precise enough to make corrective cuts or boosts without mangling the response. But even if you have a 30+ band graphical EQ, a parametric EQ gives more precision anyway because who knows what the center frequency or Q or whatever else parameters may not correspond to something you can get out of a graphical EQ. There's diminishing returns for sure though.

e.g. if you need to make a narrow 5 dB cut at 6.15 kHz to tone down some resonant frequency and your closest options are 4 kHz and 8 kHz in some graphical EQ, that's not exactly ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

and guess what my EQ is mimicking.... the former (diffuse field).
It's sounds better because it mimics human hearing and nothing is masked.

For what it's worth, the papers make the claim that diffuse field will "sound too bright," and DF did not win by listener rating.

And DF target does not mimic human hearing except in the setup that the average person (head / ears / etc.) is listening in a diffuse field, more or less a reverberant room with equal sound pressure all around. It mimics a scenario, not human hearing itself.
post #24336 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

Burson HA-160 is a really nice solid state amplifier for the money ($300-350 used). the chassis is made out of 6mm thick aluminum L brackets and weighs about 10 lbs. the volume knob, stepped attenuator, R-Core transformer are all custom. headphone jacks are made by Neutrik (left = 150-600 ohm, right = 15-150 ohm) and I can't remember who makes the RCA jacks but they're quality. the output stage is dual mono design that uses Burson's discrete modules (not an IC op-amp). I still enjoy my HA-160 smile.gif

I love tube amplifiers and own a Decware Zen Taboo MKIII with upgrades but I can't recommend it because it's an amplifier made for enthusiasts.

the HAD Audiolab Maestral line looks interesting

http://www.head-fi.org/t/709711/review-had-audiolab-maestral-ii

Those two do indeed look nice, especially the "ooh Neutrik connecctors" bit, even if Switchcraft is still the master race (112AX to be precise! .... ....Don't mind me, I'm biased, they're pretty much the only 1/4" jack us 5U modular synth guys accept tongue.gif So delightfully smoothe, not to mention they take bloody well forever to die).

Not going to lie, that Taboo mkIII is damn sexy, and doubly so because it also comes in black ^_^;;; (Walnut's pretty sexy too). That kind of commitment at this time though is out of my league, especially since I'm... Uncertain as to whether I like tubes or not. By the whole "Made for enthusaists", what do you mean? Made for tube enthusiasts, or something else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

http://members.chello.nl/~m.heijligers/DAChtml/Analogue/Amplification.html

this engineer created a DIY Tube D/A converter inspired by the Audio Note DAC-3. he explains the sonic and technical reasons (in great detail) why he chose a tube.

I'll take a good read when I've the chance, many thanks for the link with more info on the topic and such ^_^
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post #24337 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

But even if you have a 30+ band graphical EQ, a parametric EQ gives more precision anyway because who knows what the center frequency or Q or whatever else parameters may not correspond to something you can get out of a graphical EQ. e.g. if you need to make a narrow 5 dB cut at 6.15 kHz to tone down some resonant frequency and your closest options are 4 kHz and 8 kHz in some graphical EQ, that's not exactly ideal.

Which something like a fully customisable parametric EQ like EqualizerAPO solves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

For what it's worth, the papers make the claim that diffuse field will "sound too bright," and DF did not win by listener rating.

And DF target does not mimic human hearing except in the setup that the average person (head / ears / etc.) is listening in a diffuse field, more or less a reverberant room with equal sound pressure all around. It mimics a scenario, not human hearing itself.

Which, well, you can mimic very accurately.

Also dat noise on the 160D :/ Audible too, right smack in where human hearing is most sensitive as well.
That early treble rolloff is quite..just plain bad.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/121105_blog_update_FirstAmpTests.pdf
post #24338 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

Those two do indeed look nice, especially the "ooh Neutrik connecctors" bit, even if Switchcraft is still the master race (112AX to be precise! .... ....Don't mind me, I'm biased, they're pretty much the only 1/4" jack us 5U modular synth guys accept tongue.gif So delightfully smoothe, not to mention they take bloody well forever to die).

Not going to lie, that Taboo mkIII is damn sexy, and doubly so because it also comes in black ^_^;;; (Walnut's pretty sexy too). That kind of commitment at this time though is out of my league, especially since I'm... Uncertain as to whether I like tubes or not. By the whole "Made for enthusaists", what do you mean? Made for tube enthusiasts, or something else?
I'll take a good read when I've the chance, many thanks for the link with more info on the topic and such ^_^

the Neutrik locking jacks are my favourite



I like the old finger grip knobs too. good grip and made out of a hard plastic or bakelite so it doesn't get warm like aluminum and they just remind me of the old mixing consoles at EMI Studios.



the Decware Zen Taboo MKIII is a really nice amplifier but I have a couple issues with it so I might end up selling it.

Eddie Current, Decware, DNA, Ray Samuels, ALO Audio, Cavalli, Woo Audio and a couple other companies make tube headphone amplifiers that have unique designs and quality components that you just can't buy at $300 but nobody needs to spend $1600+ on a headphone amplifier to be happy anymore than spending $3000 on a Geforce Titan Z.




edit: I think I linked the wrong page on that site.
Edited by bumblebee1980 - 4/2/14 at 10:52pm
    
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post #24339 of 38154
Wow. The last few pages of this thread have been quite interesting. I haven't posted here in a while (because I haven't gotten any new toys) so I thought I drop by and I find you guys at each others throats over the old subjective vs objective argument. I still hold the same position on the topic that I've always held. Whatever sounds the best to my ears is the best. Simple as that. I personally prefer to listen to my music through a tube amp with no EQ. If someone else thinks that's "wrong" that's just too bad for them. thumb.gif
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post #24340 of 38154
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Which something like a fully customisable parametric EQ like EqualizerAPO solves.
Which, well, you can mimic very accurately.

Also dat noise on the 160D :/ Audible too, right smack in where human hearing is most sensitive as well.
That early treble rolloff is quite..just plain bad.

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/121105_blog_update_FirstAmpTests.pdf

the 160 and 160D are completely different. the HA-160D is not just a 160 with another power supply and child board. look at the topology closely smile.gif
    
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Furman PS-PRO II 
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Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 MHDT Steeplechase Wireworld Solstice 6 RCA interconnects RCA Splitter 
Other
Furman PS-PRO II 
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