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Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Chris Warren] #2498520
01/09/16 05:18 AM
01/09/16 05:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,438
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
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Vught, The Netherlands
I'll muddy the waters with an oblique solution. smile

I practice my N3 with a cheap tablet on the music rack. This tablet has my Band In A Box wav files that I sometimes play with ... and I also watch YouTube videos and Netflix while practicing. (This for me is much like driving the car while listening to the radio.)

On some videos the volume level is very low and I'm forced to mute the piano and play 'silently' while viewing a video. (The tablet output is fed into the N3's AUX input and mixes with the N3; I almost always practice the N3 wearing headphones.)

I thought of buying a headphone amp just to boast the output level of the tablet. I took another approach.

For not all that much money you can buy an extremely quiet four channel mixer not much larger than your hand. I just ordered a Mackie 402 VLZ4 and will run the tablet through that.

This might be a bit of an overkill but I'll have a device that will boost the tablet level and also have a small studio mixer which I can use for other purposes.

I ordered this last night (from a Dutch online store) and it will arrive Monday.

http://www.amazon.com/Mackie-402VLZ4-4-channel-Compact-Quality/dp/B00EDRUQXC



website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
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Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Dave Horne] #2498527
01/09/16 05:41 AM
01/09/16 05:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,645
Northern England.
peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Northern England.
Guys, you got it all wrong! THIS is what you need . . You got to admit this`d go wi the N2 . . .

[Linked Image]

Last edited by peterws; 01/09/16 05:50 AM.

"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Dave Horne] #2498802
01/10/16 06:33 AM
01/10/16 06:33 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 232
C
Chris Warren Offline OP
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Chris Warren  Offline OP
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Posts: 232
Hi Dave - that's really interesting. So I could use this as a headphone amp with equaliser function? Or since I'm not mixing anything, is this overkill?

I think I would like a headphone amp, but I do want one which allows me to mess around with EQ output to headphones. If I want to power some external monitors as well, then I suppose I'm looking at a standard audiofile amp to do everything?

Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: peterws] #2498803
01/10/16 06:37 AM
01/10/16 06:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 232
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Chris Warren Offline OP
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Chris Warren  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by peterws
Guys, you got it all wrong! THIS is what you need . . You got to admit this`d go wi the N2 . . .

[Linked Image]


Would certainly go with my gold lame leotard....

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Chris Warren; 01/10/16 06:39 AM.
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Chris Warren] #2498806
01/10/16 07:15 AM
01/10/16 07:15 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,438
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
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Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted by Chris Warren
Hi Dave - that's really interesting. So I could use this as a headphone amp with equaliser function? Or since I'm not mixing anything, is this overkill?

I think I would like a headphone amp, but I do want one which allows me to mess around with EQ output to headphones. If I want to power some external monitors as well, then I suppose I'm looking at a standard audiofile amp to do everything?


I look at it this way. You could buy a headphone amp which is a one trick pony. There are many headphone amps from which to choose, some cost more than the Mackie mixer I ordered and some cost less.

This mixer has a modest EQ function though it could be enough for your headphone needs. If you have to use a lot of EQ on anything it's probably not that good to begin with.

What I'll have tomorrow will not only amplify the tablet but could also function as a desktop mixer. (I already own a 12 channel Mackie mixer that I use on jobs.)





website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Chris Warren] #2498809
01/10/16 07:30 AM
01/10/16 07:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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sullivang  Offline
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Sydney, Australia
Just btw, that little Mackie mixer has a headphone output impedance that is worse than the N2's internal headphone amp - 60 ohms vs 33 ohms. However, it appears to have oodles of gain and output voltage, so I'd expect it to be able to drive most full-size headphones loud enough with most sources. But, Chris & Dave - I can't think of any reason why it would make Chris' current headphones sound any better, given that they are already loud enough.

Greg.

Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: sullivang] #2498821
01/10/16 08:07 AM
01/10/16 08:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,438
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
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Vught, The Netherlands
But, Chris & Dave - I can't think of any reason why it would make Chris' current headphones sound any better, given that they are already loud enough.


I wasn't answering the original post, I was posting about my solution for videos with low volume and using a versatile mixer instead of a one trick pony headphone amplifier.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Dave Horne] #2498920
01/10/16 03:04 PM
01/10/16 03:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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sullivang  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted by Dave Horne


I wasn't answering the original post, I was posting about my solution for videos with low volume and using a versatile mixer instead of a one trick pony headphone amplifier.


I got the impression that you did seem to be also making the suggestion that anyone who was thinking of getting a headphone amp should consider getting a mixer instead (for versatility).

The reason I made the comment is that Chris said he is still thinking of getting a headphone amp, and in fact also made it clear that he was at least considering getting your Mackie. Recall that Chris was thinking of getting new headphones and/or a new headphone amp. (presumably to improve the sound). I'm simply cautioning that your Mackie may not be the best choice for Chris' situation. The sound is already loud enough, and I'm presuming that a premium instrument such as the N2 has a pretty good headphone amp in general(?), so just maybe a "one trick pony" is the most appropriate thing to get. I could well be placing too much importance on the output impedance, though. I won't be surprised if you don't perceive any degradation in fidelity when you do hook up the Mackie. (I will be a bit surprised if you notice any improvement though - of course I know that's not why you are buying it)

Just btw, there has been one (only one) occasion in the past where I recommended a low impedance headphone amp, and the person did actually notice an improvement. They were reasonably thorough in isolating the output impedance as the reason for the improvement, too.
http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/viewtopic.php?id=2174

Chris: if you were to get active monitors (speakers with inbuilt amplification) you probably won't need to amplify your N2, especially if you take care to get monitors that can accept low level ("consumer") line inputs. One thing I learnt recently (in this forum) is that it is possible for even active monitors to be not loud enough, because the line level inputs on some speakers are designed mainly for professional grade levels, which are higher. This came as a great surprise to me.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 01/10/16 03:06 PM.
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: sullivang] #2499188
01/11/16 12:54 PM
01/11/16 12:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 232
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Chris Warren Offline OP
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Posts: 232
I dug an old Arcam Alpha amp out the attic yesterday and plugged my headphones in after connecting the N2 line-outs to the amp.

Much more volume obviously (not that I need it), but will give me the option of upgraded cans with higher impedance. (Though I also tried some Sennheiser 700s (c. £350) in a shop last week vs. my 595s, and couldn't notice much difference other than slightly less stereo separation which I actually like).

Main benefit with the amp was a slightly rounder/mellowed bass and slightly less clear definition elsewhere - both of which actually helped immersion, totally making me forget I was playing a digital.

Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: sullivang] #2499202
01/11/16 01:56 PM
01/11/16 01:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,438
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Dave Horne  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,438
Vught, The Netherlands


I got the impression that you did seem to be also making the suggestion that anyone who was thinking of getting a headphone amp should consider getting a mixer instead (for versatility).


Yea, you're probably correct. I now have my Mackie mixer on the piano and it is working just fine.

I added my posts to this thread because the thought of a mixer to boost my headphones didn't cross my mind initially; I've been looking at headphone amps on and off for quite a while.



website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: sullivang] #2499260
01/11/16 05:22 PM
01/11/16 05:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
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sullivang Offline
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sullivang  Offline
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S

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,164
Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted by me
But, Chris & Dave - I can't think of any reason why it would make Chris' current headphones sound any better, given that they are already loud enough.


Given the fact that Chris prefers the tone from his headphone amp, I can see that I was wrong to say this. I guess I should have said that it is unlikely to improve the sound in a technical/objective sense, but may improve the sound subjectively. (but this doesn't mean that I think Chris' headphone amp has definitely degraded the sound objectively, either - all we know is that it has changed)

Greg.

Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Chris Warren] #2503265
01/23/16 06:43 PM
01/23/16 06:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 30
BusyWait Offline
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BusyWait  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 30
Quote
I dug an old Arcam Alpha amp out the attic yesterday


Nice find smile Integrated amps usually have quite a high headphone output impedance (because they typically run the headphone output via resistors connected to the loudspeaker amp).

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the frequency response can be unpredictable when the amp output impedance and headphone impedance are similar. (You said it's mellowed the bass in your setup and you like that, so a good change for you smile )

Using a headphone amp with very low output impedance (relative to your headphones) will give the most predictable sound.

"Studio" gear (like Mackie mixers) often has headphone output impedance around 60 Ohms, and so you'd normally want to look for high impedance headphones to use with that kit for consistent tone balance (I use 600 Ohm Beyerdynamic DT880s with my little Mackie 402).

For some geeky detail, this post from the Arcam "founder" John Dawson describes the headphone output in the A85: www.avforums.com/threads/headphone-...hts-and-advice-long.157992/#post-1230180 suggests output impedance seen by the headphones will be 320 Ohms (and the load seen by the amp will be about 77 Ohms because the speaker amp is also also loaded with a 100 Ohm resister "to ground" in parallel with the headphones).


Regards,
Steven
---
(Re)beginner
Roland RP401R
Re: Headphone/amp for N2? [Re: Chris Warren] #2503269
01/23/16 06:52 PM
01/23/16 06:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 30
BusyWait Offline
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BusyWait  Offline
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Posts: 30
I don't have an N2, but I listen to my DP through HD600 or DT880 (600 Ohm version) headphones, plugged in direct so far (no extra amp).

The HD600s go loud enough for me, but don't sound as loud as the speakers. (Max vol from the headphones is about the same as the speakers at 60%). It sounds nice, but with my Roland DP401R the lower octave sounds a bit too loud.

The DT880s have a nice consistent balance between bass and treble, but are a bit too quiet. I'm thinking of getting a headphone amp to try, or maybe a lower impedance version of the DT880s (they're available at 250 Ohm and 32 Ohm which would both be louder.)


Regards,
Steven
---
(Re)beginner
Roland RP401R
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