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Preamp for Headphones?


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Unless you plan on listening REALLY REALLY loud, or have multiple headphones plugged in, you really don't need a headphone preamp...

 

Atleast thats what I would say, does anyone know why someone would need a mic preamp? I wonder myself, I think its if you need to have multiple headphones into the same unit / line ?

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A preamp no, but a headamp.. i would say yes.

 

As far as i have heard, the 701s are quite famous to need a good amp to be driven correctly. It seems that they would sound a bit bass shy if you just plug them into your soundcard.

The M-audio is a good "bang for the buck" source, but it won't drive a pair of 701 very well imo since it has no amp section (it just plays the role of a DAC).

If you don't have the budget for a good amp, then i would definitly look elsewhere.

Of course they would still sound good enough unamped and i'm sure you would enjoy them, but there probably are better solutions if you just want to plug your headphones to your soundcard and be done with it.

 

In my experience, the best headphones i have heard unamped (within a low budget) are the A900 (and not AD900) from AudioTechnica.

They're like 150€ imported from Japan, and don't need an amp to sound very good.

Thats the pair of phones i would recommend to anyone listening to electronic music if they don't want to spend a lot or bother with an amp.

 

In any case you should have a read on head-fi.org, do a search on the headphones that interest you and you will get plenty of threads with the same questions you might ask yourself.

 

:)

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Like Isao said, preamp no, but headphones amp definately.

 

Without a dedicated headphone amp with the Audiophile you will need to set your software mixer's volume to it's max, and it won't be a pretty sight. There's alot of dynamics missing, not to mention the bass by using the 701's that way.

 

I'd either go for something that Isao suggested or get some extra money for the amp. They're not that expensive really (the amps I mean mind you :P)

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Like Isao said, preamp no, but headphones amp definately.

 

Without a dedicated headphone amp with the Audiophile you will need to set your software mixer's volume to it's max, and it won't be a pretty sight. There's alot of dynamics missing, not to mention the bass by using the 701's that way.

 

I'd either go for something that Isao suggested or get some extra money for the amp. They're not that expensive really (the amps I mean mind you :P)

this is a slightly unrelated comment, but still has something to with it and maybe is just ignorance talking, but i'd like to still throw up there, ok? let's go...

For production purposes it is great to have all those hidden frequencies to play with them and make it all sound really... introspective.

and then you spend two pineapples and pear on mastering, or even if it's really good, you still have 80% of the population listening to your music on sub-par sound devices that do not reproduce all those wonderful hidden frequencies... so what's the point? You know what i mean? Yes the music is for large speaker set-up's but half the times they are going to have something half decent to play them the way it 'should' be...

 

does this inquiry have a point? does it even work that way? is it just too vague? Cause it has happened to me. There are a few tracks i've had for years that i re-discovered when i upgraded speakers and is not like i was using laptop speakers before or anything, I'm talking about normal mid-level sony's they produce in the millions, which serve their purpose for just about any normal human being listening to music. So i'm just confused how it all works...

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this is a slightly unrelated comment, but still has something to with it and maybe is just ignorance talking, but i'd like to still throw up there, ok? let's go...

For production purposes it is great to have all those hidden frequencies to play with them and make it all sound really... introspective.

and then you spend two pineapples and pear on mastering, or even if it's really good, you still have 80% of the population listening to your music on sub-par sound devices that do not reproduce all those wonderful hidden frequencies... so what's the point? You know what i mean? Yes the music is for large speaker set-up's but half the times they are going to have something half decent to play them the way it 'should' be...

 

does this inquiry have a point? does it even work that way? is it just too vague? Cause it has happened to me. There are a few tracks i've had for years that i re-discovered when i upgraded speakers and is not like i was using laptop speakers before or anything, I'm talking about normal mid-level sony's they produce in the millions, which serve their purpose for just about any normal human being listening to music. So i'm just confused how it all works...

I see your point, but that's a bit of an offtopic area here.

 

He wants to invest in those headphones allready, but without an amplifier to drive them they will sound the same (well not really but you get my drift) as using cheap sony's.

 

Now to your point;

 

It really depends on what the musician is trying to accomplish here. Is he making music just for the people, or is he making music because he loves making music?

Personally, I do it for myself. I'd sure want the best monitors out there but I can't afford them really. I like to play with all sorts of frequencies that in a normal environment (aka mainstream speakers) would hardly even be heard. But that's not my concern.

 

If the artist wants to dumb down his production to suite only the mainstream population that's his/her choice.

 

As for dumbing down, everyone is jumping on the mp3 bandwagon these days, even mastering technicians are doing their jobs in a way to make the master as good as sounding on an mp3 as on a .wav. Instead of just converting that mastered .wav file into an .mp3, they're actually dumbing down the whole process so the mp3 sounds just as good as a .wav does. That's why you have so many people out there who will swear that an mp3 sounds just as good as a .wav file - even on an ultra-expensive setup. This is because the mastering was done deliberately this way. Since online music has started selling really good, the fastest way to satisfy an online customer is to transfer mp3's instead of wav's (since mp3's are way smaller then wav's and take less time to download, not to mention you can put alot more of that stuff on your iPod). It's pretty much a "master it for mp3" & when it's done "convert it to wav" process. That way they can force the mp3 as a new standard in music (since virtually that .wav file would musically be no different than that mp3).

 

I am speaking of course about pop music, not neccesarily about psytrance. But since psytrance has become so mainstream I'm sure it's following the same steps of pop music.

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Let me get this straight... Without headphone amp i wont be getting much better quality/dynamics than i do on my Sennheiser HD477? Caus they really don't work for mixing very well, i can make something that sound totally awesome on them, but when i put it up on my speakers afterwards, it sounds muddy an way off in the frequencies

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Source/Soundcard -> Headphones = Bad

Source/Soundcard -> Amp -> Headphones = Good

 

Without an amp, the sound is pale and plastic compared to the scheme with an amp (if you like your sound confident, juicy and thick). Loudness has less to do with this than you think. Just try any decent amp's hp-out, and dedicated hp-amps are even better. Driving 250/300 Ohms and up is hard :)

 

Dunno about production, though.

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"Why use a headphone amp? Well, the K 701s aren't exceedingly hard to drive, but the flea wattage of the average portable (or even the ¼" jack present on most separates) tends to accentuate that initial edginess I alluded to in my first experience with the 701s in much the way listening to a pair of speakers near an amplifier's maximum output accentuates the amp's inadequacies. The 701s aren't unique in this regard; most ambitious headphone designs benefit tremendously from a well-designed headphone amp. Fortunately, I had a ton of such amps around the house: several generations of HeadRoom, Channel Island Audio's VHP-1, and Ray Samuels Audio's SR-71 and Hornet. All of them let the K 701s' tonal balance and authority blossom. "

 

 

http://www.stereophile.com/headphones/806akg/

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Are these amps good enough???? Help a brotha out here guys.

 

26EURO

 

41EURO

 

52 EURO

 

If the cheapest ones are making just as good a sound as the expensive ones, i really don't care how it looks like with all those fancy LED lights and shit.. I just want a clean sound :) Help the n00b out please ;)

Honestly i have no idea about those ones.

I'm not familiarised with EU brands when it comes to headamp, let alone with DJ/music making stuff if you have any particular related needs.

Regarding of the price they look really cheap, not sure how they would sound with the 701.. but who knows.

Best thing would be of course to test gears yourself, but that might be near impossible depending on where you live.

 

Forgive me to insist on that again, but you should have a read on head-fi.org; if you don't find your answers amongst the hundreds of posts related to the 701, then just subscribe and ask them what they think - you'll always have an answer from a fellow there.

 

Sorry that i can't help you more, good luck!

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I see your point, but that's a bit of an offtopic area here.

 

He wants to invest in those headphones allready, but without an amplifier to drive them they will sound the same (well not really but you get my drift) as using cheap sony's.

 

Now to your point;

 

It really depends on what the musician is trying to accomplish here. Is he making music just for the people, or is he making music because he loves making music?

Personally, I do it for myself. I'd sure want the best monitors out there but I can't afford them really. I like to play with all sorts of frequencies that in a normal environment (aka mainstream speakers) would hardly even be heard. But that's not my concern.

 

If the artist wants to dumb down his production to suite only the mainstream population that's his/her choice.

 

As for dumbing down, everyone is jumping on the mp3 bandwagon these days, even mastering technicians are doing their jobs in a way to make the master as good as sounding on an mp3 as on a .wav. Instead of just converting that mastered .wav file into an .mp3, they're actually dumbing down the whole process so the mp3 sounds just as good as a .wav does. That's why you have so many people out there who will swear that an mp3 sounds just as good as a .wav file - even on an ultra-expensive setup. This is because the mastering was done deliberately this way. Since online music has started selling really good, the fastest way to satisfy an online customer is to transfer mp3's instead of wav's (since mp3's are way smaller then wav's and take less time to download, not to mention you can put alot more of that stuff on your iPod). It's pretty much a "master it for mp3" & when it's done "convert it to wav" process. That way they can force the mp3 as a new standard in music (since virtually that .wav file would musically be no different than that mp3).

 

I am speaking of course about pop music, not neccesarily about psytrance. But since psytrance has become so mainstream I'm sure it's following the same steps of pop music.

ahh... i didn't know that, cheers!

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Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio > Equipment Forums > Headphone Amps (full-size)

 

Although if you are planning to use hp's for production, I think that good external audiocard should have a normal output and achieving neutral sound from an amp is pretty expensive. Oh, well... good luck :)

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