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Thread: Headphones Snobs?

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    Headphones Snobs?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Just wondering if there any audiophile amongst the coffeesnobs that is into headphones..?

    Considering purchasing a new tube amp & wonder if any snobs have had experience with LittleDot or DarkVoice amps..?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Afraid no experience with tube amps friskhr, but i am into headphones in a big way.

    My audiophile stable includes the Stax electrostatic headphones partnered with the SRM-Mk2 dedicated amp which can be connected directly to the source, in my case the CD player utilising its supplied interconnecting cables.
    Being an open ended design, it creates a natural sounding environment, meaning it doesnt sound like youre listening to sound thats "closed in".
    Therefore any ambient noise from outside can still be heard.
    I listen to it mainly at night for that reason. ;)

    Its frighteningly revealing of the recording studio and the flaws of the recording. :o

    Made in Japan by a company not into main stream audio.
    Koetsu is another brand that comes to mind.

    Gary at G

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Thanks Gary,

    Ill look them up. Im only considering upgrading due to my new AKG K702 and existing set-up i.e. listening to it through my DAC/ Headphones Amp is not doing them justice.

    It is hard to tell if I like it when I cant really listen to them though.

    Cheers Gary.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 50445F455D5E44360 link=1301609091/2#2 date=1301627709
    Im only considering upgrading due to my new AKG K702 and existing set-up i.e. listening to it through my DAC/ Headphones Amp is not doing them justice.
    Which DAC/Amp are you using now?

    The DAC1 is obviously a good choice, if a bit expensive. The LittleDot is very popular and from what I hear works well with the AKG701/702 (I havent tried that myself).

    Alternatively, you could try the Zero DAC/Amp which works very well for me. Ive replaced the DAC and output opamps on mine with OPA627s and [gotta check], but these days the Zero comes with OPA627s by default. It is ridiculously cheap (around US$100 plus shipping) and extraordinary value for money. I bought it as an interim solution for use with my Alessandro MS-Pro a couple of years ago but Ive since shelved plans for further headphone amp upgrades.

    Cheers
    Steffen.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    I had a laugh Steffen..

    I nearly bought the Benchmark DAC1 before stumbling onto the Zero with OPA627s by accident.

    Have been using the Zero for a while now. Just not sure if it is doing the AKG any justice :)

    Thanks
    Friskhr

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    I have no experience with tube amps, headphone or otherwise. Or at least not in the last 45 years. :)

    I have two head/earphones I use semi-regularly--Grado SR 80s and Phonak Audeo PFE 112s for when its noisy outside.

    My regular amp is a Headstage Arrow driven by the DAC in a Harman Kardon CD player. For portable use I have a Music Streamer II. Now retired is the HeadRoom Little amp. Both amps have a crossfeed circuit which I enjoy--except on binaural recordings.

    Greg
    BTW--there is a free, high quality Cowboy Junkies concert "Live at the Ark" engineered for headphones, that Google should find easily. The free distribution is approved by CJ. BTW2--Cowboy Junkies are one of the ONLY bands to routinely approve of bootleg recordings!

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Friskr,

    I bought my Stax headphones second hand for a modest $1500 back in 1989.

    They had also a black version with valve circuitry which obviously is more expensive.

    Check the Stax website. Would be great if you can add the valve version to go with your valve/tube stable.

    Greg, i used to have closed ended headphones. Once i got the Stax with its electrostatic open ended design, i could not look back :)

    Theres nothing much to beat a nicely brewed cuppa and a musical journey for a couple of hours with a set of quality headphones on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Except for sex of course. :)

    Gary at G

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F2B302A32312B590 link=1301609091/4#4 date=1301688839
    Have been using the Zero for a while now. Just not sure if it is doing the AKG any justice
    Ah, I see. The AKGs are rather demanding of their amps arent they? A friend of mine has the Woo Audio 6 headphone amp and loves it (hes got Grado headphones, not AKG). Its all tubes, very minimalistic and not too pricey.

    Cheers
    Steffen.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 322825243620383232410 link=1301609091/6#6 date=1301720984
    I bought my Stax headphones second hand for a modest $1500 back in 1989.
    Gary .. a touch over my budget at the moment. Im looking at a China made tube amp costing US$250 delivered - i.e. leaning towards the Little Dot Mk III.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1235242727242F410 link=1301609091/7#7 date=1301729522
    The AKGs are rather demanding of their amps arent they?
    Yes Steffan. But problem remains I havent had anything else to plug the AKG in to verify if there is a sound difference using the Zero and a more "powerful" amp.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Interesting friskhr,
    Do yo have alink to the Little Dot?

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 42564D574F4C56240 link=1301609091/8#8 date=1301973781
    But problem remains I havent had anything else to plug the AKG in to verify if there is a sound difference using the Zero and a more "powerful" amp.
    What opamps do you have in the headphone amp section? For your high-ohm headphones the LM4562 would be a good match. So unless youve got those already they may well be worth a shot, just for the sake of comparison.

    Cheers
    Steffen.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Gary,

    This is an external review of Little Dot

    http://www.compudio.ca/2007/06/little-dot-mk-iii-exclusive-review.html

    Mod: please delete if unacceptable.

    I didnt post the actual link as it is a sale site. I dont think any commercial sale site is acceptable under the snobs rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B3C2D2E2E2D26480 link=1301609091/10#10 date=1301983172
    What opamps do you have in the headphone amp section? For your high-ohm headphones the LM4562 would be a good match.
    Steffen, Ive got no idea what opamps is applied. I bought it stock with the OPA627 and have done nothing extra to it. Thanks for the tip. Im not good with circuit stuff but will open it up tonight to have a quick look-see :)

    Francis

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 35213A20383B21530 link=1301609091/0#0 date=1301609091
    Just wondering if there any audiophile amongst the coffeesnobs that is into headphones..?

    Considering purchasing a new tube amp & wonder if any snobs have had experience with LittleDot or DarkVoice amps..?

    Thanks
    I am not into headphones per-say
    This is a picture of my set

    Audio-Technica ATH-W5000



    KK

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Nice KK. Im using the same. Are you using the HA5000 or a different amp with it?

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 42494E4A4E434E210 link=1301609091/13#13 date=1301988417
    Nice KK. Im using the same. Are you using the HA5000 or a different amp with it?
    No I have a DAC with a headphone stage

    Also can plug in to the HT amp for movies if I am disturbing the family
    KK

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 62464F4F4C4C7662465A4446290 link=1301609091/12#12 date=1301988279
    I am not into headphones per-say
    This is a picture of my set

    Audio-Technica ATH-W5000
    KK .. LIES!! Not into headphones .. but some mad cans youve got :)

    Nice pics..

    Steffen, cracked open the DAC. Have no idea what is what.. think Im stumped by the circuit board. Probably not smart to go playing around... I did read having the OPA627s and LM4562 is the way to go but Ive no idea how to do that :(

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Some people use the 627s on both the DAC and the headphone amp board, but the 4562 handles high-ohm headphones better. Now, for some reason I assumed that the AGK701s are high-ohm, but theyre not. Theyre about 60 ohms, I must have been thinking of Sennheisers…

    The headphone amp board is the smaller one attached to the front plate and containing the volume pot. It should have two ICs mounted in sockets on it. Ive replaced them with LM4562s on mine.

    Cheers
    Steffen.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    kk - was hoping you had some kind of tube amp like the yamamoto ha-02 and could share some thoughts on how that compared to ss headphone amps.

    friskhr - have you had a read up on head-fi? lots of good info there.

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    chokobo ... I have read up on head-fi .. lots but Ive got not a slightest clue about circuitry stuff & would probably destroy the DAC if I attempt.

    May speak to a mate that has some sort of idea to see if he can assist.

  20. #20
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Thanks for the link friskhr,

    Im confused with the MK111 and LD2+. Which is which?
    And then i dont know either if it would be compatible with the 5 pin plug on my Stax headphones and its electrostatic driver. I dont think it is.

    Gary at G

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A7E657F67647E0C0 link=1301609091/15#15 date=1302008852
    KK .. LIES!! Not into headphones .. but some mad cans youve got Smiley

    Nice pics..
    I prefer the speaker sound, and use the headphones sparingly when I dont want to get into trouble from the spouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F646367636E630C0 link=1301609091/17#17 date=1302011151
    kk - was hoping you had some kind of tube amp like the yamamoto ha-02 and could share some thoughts on how that compared to ss headphone amps.
    I may be able to help with that in a couple of weeks as I have new equipment coming

    KK

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B414C4D5F49515B5B280 link=1301609091/19#19 date=1302025979
    Im confused with the MK111 and LD2+. Which is which?
    Gary, the LD2+ is the lower model compared to the MK III.

    Check out their official website:
    http://www.littledot.net

    They do several models of headphones amp and etc. Best if you ask them if they can tailor it to your needs. David Zhang the owner/builder of these amps are very helpful from my past email exchanges with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B404743474A47280 link=1301609091/17#17 date=1302011151
    skhr - have you had a read up on head-fi? lots of good info there.
    Have tried to read a few pages at head-fi but theres lots to go through on modding the Zero Dac. Steffen has kindly agreed to show the imbecile me how to swap them out :) .. Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by 63474E4E4D4D7763475B4547280 link=1301609091/20#20 date=1302041983
    I prefer the speaker sound, and use the headphones sparingly when I dont want to get into trouble from the spouse.
    I had a laugh .. I get into headphones coz I live in a shoebox and am already risking complains roasting at the balcony. Do not want to attract further attention with loud music.

    Must say Im enjoying this headphones adventure. Will report back when after the opamp swaps.

    Francis

  23. #23
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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by 564259435B5842300 link=1301609091/21#21 date=1302219669
    Gary, the LD2+ is the lower model compared to the MK III
    Thanks frskhr.

    I wanted to say before a good quality headphone is great for apart from high density residents, but also for online gaming.
    I have been the victim of hate messages from other gamers thinking i have hacked the game, but i simply politely tell them i can hear their footsteps coming due to my headphones being able to pick up any tiny detail/sounds, therefore i am able to react sooner.
    Even in games when someone is hosting in the eastern states ( so they have an advantage of superior lag free gaming experience), i improvise by superior audio ;D

    Gary at G

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    Re: Headphones Snobs?

    Im reporting after a short trip out to Steffen...

    Cant believe how much difference two little $20 opamp would have on listening pleasure!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH STEFFEN!!

    Francis



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