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Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2575233
09/30/16 11:09 PM
09/30/16 11:09 PM
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All good points drewr. With preamps and line in/line out concerns we are talking about voltage, not power. This generally means that line in impedances at the preamp are in the 1 to 2k ohms for mics and up to 1Mohms for guitar pickups. You want to use a low impedance source to drive a high impedance line in.

But, with headphones and speakers, we are talking about power. Nevertheless, the same basic rules apply. The headphone output impedance should be about 1/8 the impedance of the headphones. High end headphone amps usually have an output impedance of about 2 ohms, making it easy to drive just about any pair of headphones.

So, if your DP has a low enough output impedance, it can easily drive most headphones. But, if the output impedance is, say, 120 ohms, it will have a very hard time driving 50 ohm headphones at a reasonable level.

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Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: prout] #2575243
10/01/16 12:07 AM
10/01/16 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by prout

So, if your DP has a low enough output impedance, it can easily drive most headphones.


This is not true at all. Just because a DP may have a low output impedance in no way guarantees that it will be able to drive most phones. For any given pair of headphones, to determine whether the DP can drive them loud enough, we need to know whether the DP can put out sufficient voltage and current to drive those headphones, and it's rare that sufficient information is provided by the DP manufacturer, I think.

There is a trend to low voltage, low impedance. So, if you can't try the headphones with the DP before you buy them, the safest option is to buy low impedance headphones.

Greg.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: sullivang] #2575292
10/01/16 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sullivang
Originally Posted by prout

So, if your DP has a low enough output impedance, it can easily drive most headphones.


This is not true at all. Just because a DP may have a low output impedance in no way guarantees that it will be able to drive most phones. For any given pair of headphones, to determine whether the DP can drive them loud enough, we need to know whether the DP can put out sufficient voltage and current to drive those headphones, and it's rare that sufficient information is provided by the DP manufacturer, I think.

There is a trend to low voltage, low impedance. So, if you can't try the headphones with the DP before you buy them, the safest option is to buy low impedance headphones.

Greg.


You are correct. But, there is more to the issue than just being able to drive headphones.

The ratio of DP headphone amp output impedance to headphone impedance is critical to the proper functioning of the headphones. Loading, Frequency response and damping are all affected by the this ratio. If the ratio is close to 1:1, the headphones can sound boomy due to lack of damping and the frequency response curve is much, much less flat.

It makes much more sense, if the player desires truly good acoustic reproduction, to buy an outboard headphone amp of known quality and specifications.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: prout] #2575301
10/01/16 10:18 AM
10/01/16 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
That brings in yet more misunderstanding. frown There's match. And then there's match....


Yes macmacmac, somewhat of an unintended double entendre and no, as you said, while not relevent to Misiak's specific problem my lament is more for the overall general state of DP-Headphones match mystery. Thanks for your input.


Originally Posted by sullivang
.....For any given pair of headphones, to determine whether the DP can drive them loud enough, we need to know whether the DP can put out sufficient voltage and current to drive those headphones, and it's rare that sufficient information is provided by the DP manufacturer, I think...... the safest option is to buy low impedance headphones.

Greg.


Yes, Sulivan! DP specs relevent to hearing the audio via the line-out and or internal speakers .... dBs ... milivolts .... Watts and such, all routinely listed and poured over accordingly, but when the sound is redirected to the phones jack attached to phones, it might be noted the jack is 1/4 or 1/8 or 6,3 but otherwise I don't know jack (intended ; ). Thank you.

Having recently replaced ES7 with MP7, I am now on the second reading of the 40-plus pages of MP7 User thread looking, on the off chance, for any stray tidbit mention of spec relevent_to_phones_jack. Unless I missed it ( not difficult for my eyes) I have not found such, yet. While I am not as dogged about headphones performance as some of the really staunch enthusiasts, I have noticed that the trusty SONY phones that - plugNplay BTW - have suited so well with ES7 since day 1, still sound mostly okay BUT sound different and do not play quite as well with the MP7 ..... so now I am wondering why and also deliberating whether to leave it alone or to investigate further IE. Given tne aforementioned rare sufficient information, am I in the mood to play a little of the chase game of swapping in various makes and models of headphones which I currently do not have the faintest idea if they are available in this area to try before buy?

Originally Posted by prout
All good points drewr. With preamps and line in/line out concerns we are talking about voltage, not power. This generally means that line in impedances at the preamp are in the 1 to 2k ohms for mics and up to 1Mohms for guitar pickups. You want to use a low impedance source to drive a high impedance line in.

But, with headphones and speakers, we are talking about power. Nevertheless, the same basic rules apply. The headphone output impedance should be about 1/8 the impedance of the headphones. High end headphone amps usually have an output impedance of about 2 ohms, making it easy to drive just about any pair of headphones.

So, if your DP has a low enough output impedance, it can easily drive most headphones. But, if the output impedance is, say, 120 ohms, it will have a very hard time driving 50 ohm headphones at a reasonable level.


Thank you Prout. You too have hit upon familiar characteristics - volts/watts/ohms/amps - relevant to using headphone speakers with DPs . The same basic rules apply but there seems to be an unspoken code that the important specs corresponding to these characteristics are not widely known in consumer land.


Last edited by drewr; 10/01/16 11:53 AM.

- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
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Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2575303
10/01/16 10:22 AM
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Let me just say that I had NO idea what kind of quagmire I was stepping into here smile I completely naively assumed that if it said "headphone jack," you could plug in headphones and it would work to an acceptable degree.

Like everything else down the rabbit hole though....


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Gombessa] #2575309
10/01/16 11:07 AM
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A necessary quagmire, IMO.

acceptable - the subjective qualifier ever-present, it seems, in the eyes, ears, tongue and other senses of folks dealing with things DP.


- Kawai MP7 w/ MDR7506 phones and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2575321
10/01/16 11:27 AM
10/01/16 11:27 AM
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It's interesting that DP manufacturers are reluctant to provide headphone amp impedance data. Lazy? Vested interest? Who knows.

The issue of impedance is often missed in the list of variables discussed when choosing headphones (or passive speakers). People will often say they tried this or that headphone and it sounded cystal clear or muddy on their DP or system while other people argue it was just the opposite on their system. The differences may be in the person's own acoustic response, but is more likely in the impedance match or mismatch of the system to the headphones.

In an ideal system, the amp output impedance would be 0 ohms, not possible of course, which could power anything, but some high end speaker amps do have output impedances of less than 1 ohm.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Gombessa] #2575355
10/01/16 01:28 PM
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It's really NOT a quagmire. Most times you just plug it in and it works. Misiak's problem is an uncommon oddity.
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Let me just say that I had NO idea what kind of quagmire I was stepping into here smile I completely naively assumed that if it said "headphone jack," you could plug in headphones and it would work to an acceptable degree.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: prout] #2575498
10/02/16 03:06 AM
10/02/16 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by prout


You are correct. But, there is more to the issue than just being able to drive headphones.

The ratio of DP headphone amp output impedance to headphone impedance is critical to the proper functioning of the headphones. Loading, Frequency response and damping are all affected by the this ratio. If the ratio is close to 1:1, the headphones can sound boomy due to lack of damping and the frequency response curve is much, much less flat.

It makes much more sense, if the player desires truly good acoustic reproduction, to buy an outboard headphone amp of known quality and specifications.


Yes, I am aware of this, however I consider the impedance ratio to be a secondary factor. If I had the choice between a system where the headphones were loud enough, or the impedance ratio was less than ideal but not loud enough, I'd choose the former. It is by no means a given that if the impedance ratio is not ideal, that the fidelity will be adversely affected. Just for example, I can't tell the slightest difference when I switch my AKG K601 headphones between a headphone amp with a 5 ohm output, and my integrated hifi amp that has a whopping 220 ohm output. However, the K601s do have a flat impedance vs frequency curve.

If anyone does care about the impedance ratio, and the output impedance of the DP is not known and can't be obtained - buy a headphone amp and be done with it, and you don't need to spend all that much to get a good one these days, and there are many that are compact and battery operated.

Greg.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: MacMacMac] #2575578
10/02/16 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's really NOT a quagmire. Most times you just plug it in and it works. Misiak's problem is an uncommon oddity.


Eh, well it's exactly the same uncommon oddity problem I ran into with a DP from a different manufacturer/generation smile So absent identical problem/symptom, I still see it as a bit of a quagmire.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2575790
10/03/16 10:25 AM
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Roland has priced the FP-30 very aggressively. It appears that in order to give users everything else this instrument provides at this price point, they cut a few corners, one of which being a robust headphone amp. No big deal, simply run the L/R audio outs of this instrument to a better headphone amp. Could be on a small mixer like the Yamaha MG06 or a something like the Behringer microamp or something in between.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: prout] #2577786
10/11/16 09:16 AM
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Sorry guys didn't followed this thread for quiet some time so this will be longer... smile First, a little update on this topic. I had a great time with my ATH-M50X and now I'm ready to sell my DT 990Pro because they just blow them out of the water. I can't use them anymore and now I have a problem because I want to use M50X also for regular listening through my PC (Sound Blaster Z - btw, it's incredibly loud on 20% of volume so I can't get why people still buying amp for use with PC...lol, but that's OT). So I have two choices, because piano is in the same room I could connect the headphones with PC and piano with a splitter or buy another set of M50X... smile This is more expensive solution but I'm afraid to try other headphones because these are just great... I bought AKG K550 mkII recently but these can't compete. The sound on piano is not that rich and is quiet think and lacking bass. With M50X the sound is rich and warmer. They are louder as well despite the fact AKG has slightly lower impedance and higher sensitivity.


Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Misiak

Anyway, I don't want to use piano with ext. amplifier. It's just overkill.


+1. Even if a headphone amp solved the problem, having another powered device in the chain is a hassle I just don't want to deal with at this time.

In other news, I got a set of Sennheiser HD 598s in yesterday (yes I know they were just replaced with a new lineup less than a week ago), and the difference from my $20 pair was literally breathtaking. I'm not a hi-fi geek at all, but the difference in tone and detail with these phones was tremendous, I actually felt moved while playing, which is kind of a big deal for me.

The odd thing is, I still have to jack up the volume pretty high on the DP to power the 598s. If I had to guess, I would say the DP really cranks down the headphone amp when 20-50ohm phones are plugged in, and cranks it up with >50ohm phones. At least I'm not hearing any distortion/cracking with the 598s on higher volumes.


Yes, seems it adapts the output voltage by headphone impedance so if you connect high impedance headphones it can be still loud but with distortions and cracking so this is definitely not way to go. I would recommend to try other headphones because I had those Senheisers but they sound dull for me and sound is not bright. But if you like the sound then no problem. Also I heard some distortions when I pressed hard many keys together but maybe Yamaha has better amp.

Originally Posted by prout
There is a basic misunderstanding about impedance in this discussion. Solid state amplifiers do not change their output impedance. They simply attempt to drive whatever load (impedance) is presented to them. Speaker and headphone impedances are listed with a 'nominal' value. The actual impedance is highly dependent on the frequency being fed to the load.

It sounds to me like your DP amplifier is f**ked up. No amp of any kind should make cracking noises.


But how you can you explain that 250ohm Bayers with 96 SPL are loud similar to 62 ohms AKG with 105db SPL ?? Of course Bayers with much more distortion than AKG... They definitely must adapt output voltage somehow. No doubt internal amp is poor quality. And it's not the heaphones, I've tried many, even shitty plugs for 10$. And from my observation the higher impedance headphones the more distortion and cracking noise.

Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
I just tested my store's FP-30 with both Senn HD280 Pro (marked 64 ohms) and my new AKG K240 Studio (marked 55 ohms) headphones.

I did similar tests with my own PX-350 headphone output, and my Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer "phones" output.

The salesman at the headphone store, who warned me that he didn't carry AKG K240's because they were "hard to drive", was dead on.

With the AKG K240's, on both the PX-350 and FP-30, I had to max-out the DP's volume control to get satisfying volume out of them.

. . . The FP-30 headphones amp _did not_ misbehave in any way -- no crackles, no distortion -- at its
. . . maximum output. So I think the original complaint is unfounded; at least, I couldn't reproduce it.


The Behringer mixer has enough "Phones" output to drive the K240's to uncomfortably-loud levels. My MicroKorg XL+ "Phone" output will drive them loud enough for a studio; I might want more volume, for live performance.

I tried the K240's on several other DP's in the store -- a few Yamaha's and Rolands -- and they all had enough volume to drive them to comfortable "acoustic-piano" volume.

So there's a real problem, for some people:

. . . The FP-30 needs a stronger headphone amp, if one wants to drive "difficult" headphones like K240's.


The Senn HD280's were plenty loud on all instruments -- uncomfortably loud at maximum volume. It's not just an impedance difference; the HD280's are more efficient than the K240's.

It would be helpful if manufacturers gave us some specs for headphone amp capabilities -- so many volts peak-to-peak, into so many ohms. And also, if the headphone makers gave us data for headphone efficiency, and all used the same units for reporting it.




Well it's probably because you did not try high impedance headphones. Obviously most distortions were on 250+ ohm headphones. But also with these you must play really hard on keys to hear that. It's not there all the time of course.

Originally Posted by MacMacMac
That brings in yet more misunderstanding. frown There's match. And then there's match.

I think your use of the term "match" is meant to denote suitability of a given headphone for use with a given piano. If it works well, it's a "match" (in the conventional sense of the word).

Then there's "impedance match" ... a situation in which the source (piano) output impedance matches that of the load (headphone). Where there is an impedance match there is a maximum transfer of power from source to load.

Second point, regarding your lament ...

Typical consumer equipment works well with low-impedance headphones. Those are the common, most-sold types. Any old source (piano, CD player, etc.) will likely work fine with any old (low-Z) headphones. And such should likely be Misiak's choice of phones for use with his piano.

Only when you move into the higher-priced units do you start to see high-impedance headphones. I suspect that people who buy high-end equipment either know how to deal with the situation or are instructed on what to do ... which might be "buy a headphone amplifier".

But I suspect that none of this applies to Misiak's problem. I'm inclined to agree with Tim P. There's something wrong with the equipment. Perhaps it's the piano?



Maybe you right and there is really a problem with amp but I'm not the only one with this problem and I've read lot of stories with cracking noises on piano with headphones etc but no one investigated deeply. The casual customer has no idea about this and he will buy anything without further knowledge, he has no idea about impedance, sensitivity, etc. To be honest I was not aware of this as well but started to investigate once I've found this issue. And I can say now that impedance is definitely problem here. Maybe it's just FP-30, maybe the amp is not the best quality, I don't know but I can say that with impedance less than 38ohm there is no issue at all. So I want people to be aware of this when buying headphones for this particular model and maybe this should be rule of a thumb for other brands to prevent any potential problems.



Originally Posted by prout
It's interesting that DP manufacturers are reluctant to provide headphone amp impedance data. Lazy? Vested interest? Who knows.

The issue of impedance is often missed in the list of variables discussed when choosing headphones (or passive speakers). People will often say they tried this or that headphone and it sounded cystal clear or muddy on their DP or system while other people argue it was just the opposite on their system. The differences may be in the person's own acoustic response, but is more likely in the impedance match or mismatch of the system to the headphones.

In an ideal system, the amp output impedance would be 0 ohms, not possible of course, which could power anything, but some high end speaker amps do have output impedances of less than 1 ohm.


You know, 99% of people buying pianos have no idea what these things are for. They maybe can hear that something is not good with the sound in certain circumstances but they don't care much. But then there are enthusiasts like me (unfortunately smile for example who can't just live with that and want to find out why it's bad and how to improve it. For us these data would be crucial but it's not worth for them to bother with 1% group of people.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577790
10/11/16 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Misiak
Hi guys, if anybody is interested buying this piano and some headphones for nightly practicing be very careful. I was not aware of couple of things which at the end made a torture of searching a good headphones which fits this digital piano. Hope this can help you people to save some hassle and nerves.

On my journey I've had 6 quality headphones (besides some cheapo plugs which are completely unusable) and only one are finally good for me.

Here is the list:

DT990 Pro 250 ohm / 96db SPL
DT880 Edition 32 ohm / 96db SPL
DT770 Pro 80 ohm / 96db SPL
Senheisser HD598 32 ohm / 115SPL
AKG 701 62 ohm / 105db SPL
Audio Technica M50x 32 ohm / 99 SPL

There are actually two problems with this piano and headphones:

1. Headphones are not loud enough

2. Cracking sound from internal amp on max. volume

When I've bought FP-30 I owned Bayer Dynamics 990 Pro. That time I did not care much about sensitivity, impedance and other things so I just plug the headphones to the piano and after some time I've noticed they are maybe not loud enough for me. This was on max. volume. A bit later I've noticed if I play keys with max power I can hear cracking distorted noise which completely made me instance. Every time I've played some triad I've heard it. First I was not aware about impedance so I've just connected some cheap plugs and some of them had this cracking and some not. I did not know why. Then I've started to study more and found out that impedance could be a culprit. So I've bought 32 ohm BD 880 Pro and hoped for the best. But this was even more quiet than 250 ohms DT990Pro! I couldn't understand how this is possible if SPL is the same 96dB. Then I've came to the conclusion that internal amp must regulate the output voltage based on impedance of the headphones. Therefore 250 ohms were louder than 32 ohms however, with a very negative effect of cracking sound. Suppose that amp is not the best quality here.

So I've ordered HD598 and these were indeed the loudest with SPL of 115 db and low impedance. However, I did not like the sound at all - it sounded like someone is playing behind the curtain and this headphones has pretty weak bass overall. Heigts are not very crisp for me. So I've decided to return them and finally ordered a triad of new headphones. AKG701, DT770Pro and ATH-M50x.

Bayers are 80 ohm, AKG is 62 ohm and AT is 32 ohm. I've found that even 62 ohms causing a cracking.

SO EVERYONE BUYING A HEADPHONES FOR FP-30 and maybe for other piano brands (depends on internal amplifier) - Don't exceed 32 ohm impedance!

Here's short review of all of them:

AudioTechnica blew the other two out of the water. AKG is far behind BD and AT with very weak bass (mids and heights are fine though) and they are quietest on my FP-30 despite the fact they have highest sensitivity (105db). I suppose it's because of its open design and 62 ohms impedance. There is also cracking on max. volume levels. Soundstage is of course the best of the three but these two things rule them out for my use. They are very comfortable thanks to big and deep velvet ear pads, however they feel cheap because the plastics is used everywhere. Especially white edition feels cheap. I'm not sure about the durability of this material. Even the main frame holdings cups are two plastics rods. They are very light because of materials used. They hold loose on the head and I had a feeling they will fall off if I shake my head. Tested also on my Sound Blaster Z with various kind of music and they did not impress me at all. I could increase low response but the bass is not very precise and distorted. Then we have BD770Pro. This are really great headphones and the build quality is fantastic with very comfortable velour pads. These can last 10 years without damage (I have 4 years old 990Pro and they are like new after pads replacement). It's top in a price range up to 150 eur. The soundstage is great for closed headphones and there is plenty of bass. Sometimes it may get out of the control if pushed too hard but is very good and punchy. Mids are bit recessed and heights are pretty bright. I like V-shape so it's right for me smile Unfortunately they are not suitable for my Roland because they are still not loud enough and what is even worse, because of higher impedance there is cracking on max. volume level when pressing multiple keys at once. But this is not a problem of headphones but the Roland. So finally here we have ATH-50x. There are best headphones I have ever had and perfectly suitable both for piano and my music. There are finally loud enough for me with no cracking sound. As for music they eat everything I throw at them, the bass is very tight and controlled. Mids are smooth and heights are crisp and clear though not piercing. Soundstage is very good for closed headphones as well. With some equalizing (I'm not that guy who like flat response) they sound amazing on my soundcard (of course with quality source). I really happy I've finally found a really good headphones which does not ruin my wallet. They are very comfortable and have perfect clamping force. Yeah, ear pads could be deeper but they are still good enough. I have only one problem now - I want to use them also for listening to the music and not only for playing piano because I like them slightly more than BD990Pro now, damn laugh

If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask.


isn't it always a thing to get a headphone amp/dac when you buy smt more than 32 ohms?

Btw im a beyer head as well, I love my T70s and Beyer COP, Amazing!!!

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Bolster] #2577793
10/11/16 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Roland has priced the FP-30 very aggressively. It appears that in order to give users everything else this instrument provides at this price point, they cut a few corners, one of which being a robust headphone amp. No big deal, simply run the L/R audio outs of this instrument to a better headphone amp. Could be on a small mixer like the Yamaha MG06 or a something like the Behringer microamp or something in between.


Probably, but I saw these issues with other brands as well. Seems DP are very sensitive to what you plugged into them. In any case, As I said I've connected it to Bravo Audio v3 which is solid amp and the cracking was still there even 50% of piano volume, more over, it introduced lot of hum so yes, it was louder but still with cracking and lot of noise so this is not the way to go, unfortunately.

Originally Posted by Bolster

isn't it always a thing to get a headphone amp/dac when you buy smt more than 32 ohms?

Btw im a beyer head as well, I love my T70s and Beyer COP, Amazing!!!


Not necessarily. It depends on headphones sensitivity as well. But usually up to 50 ohm you don't need an amp. Of course it's better with it but it's not necessary. But the problem is not that it's silent with 250 ohm headphones - volume is find but problem is that cracking is present because the amp is not power enough to drive it. It's pushing hard and has serious problems.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577864
10/11/16 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Misiak

Originally Posted by prout
There is a basic misunderstanding about impedance in this discussion. Solid state amplifiers do not change their output impedance. They simply attempt to drive whatever load (impedance) is presented to them. Speaker and headphone impedances are listed with a 'nominal' value. The actual impedance is highly dependent on the frequency being fed to the load.

It sounds to me like your DP amplifier is f**ked up. No amp of any kind should make cracking noises.


But how you can you explain that 250ohm Bayers with 96 SPL are loud similar to 62 ohms AKG with 105db SPL ?? Of course Bayers with much more distortion than AKG... They definitely must adapt output voltage somehow. No doubt internal amp is poor quality. And it's not the heaphones, I've tried many, even shitty plugs for 10$. And from my observation the higher impedance headphones the more distortion and cracking noise.


Headphone specifications are given using two methods - Sensitivity and Efficiency - Both show their values in SPLdB. Sensitivity is measured in SPLdB/1Vrms and Efficiency in SPLdB/1mW. They are very different methods and produce very different results.

We need to talk apples to apples here. Is your list of headphones using the same methodology?


Originally Posted by Misiak

Originally Posted by prout
It's interesting that DP manufacturers are reluctant to provide headphone amp impedance data. Lazy? Vested interest? Who knows.

The issue of impedance is often missed in the list of variables discussed when choosing headphones (or passive speakers). People will often say they tried this or that headphone and it sounded cystal clear or muddy on their DP or system while other people argue it was just the opposite on their system. The differences may be in the person's own acoustic response, but is more likely in the impedance match or mismatch of the system to the headphones.

In an ideal system, the amp output impedance would be 0 ohms, not possible of course, which could power anything, but some high end speaker amps do have output impedances of less than 1 ohm.


You know, 99% of people buying pianos have no idea what these things are for. They maybe can hear that something is not good with the sound in certain circumstances but they don't care much. But then there are enthusiasts like me (unfortunately smile for example who can't just live with that and want to find out why it's bad and how to improve it. For us these data would be crucial but it's not worth for them to bother with 1% group of people.


Modern amplifiers, even vacuum tube (by using negative feedback), produce very low output impedance, solid state can achieve 0.01 ohms and vacuum tube amps can reach <0.5 ohm. The whole point is damping. Look it up. Ideally, you want the damping factor (ratio) to be as high as possible, meaning that the headphones or speakers have at least 50 times or so the impedance of the amp. Obviously, for an amp with 0.01 ohm output impedance, the damping factor for my ATH-M50x, at 38 ohms, is 3800.

The point is that distortion rises exponentially as the damping factor lowers. A cheap amp with a high output impedance of say 19 ohms, would give my headphone a damping factor of 2 and a resulting THD an order of magnitude higher.

This issue, along with cheap amps that cannot generate sufficient output voltage to drive the required current through your headphones, will cause harmonic distortion, and harsh, solid state clipping, which you hear as cracking.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577873
10/11/16 02:35 PM
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I have no idea, maybe it's difference across the manufacturers BUT I've tested DT990Pro 250 ohm / 96db SPL, DT880 Edition 32 ohm / 96db SPL and I believe they use same methodology because it's same manufacturer and those use even same drivers. The only difference is that 880 are semi-open and 990 are open and impedance. And guess what, 990 with 250 ohm were louder than 880 with 32 ohm. So how can you explain this ? The only explanation in my opinion is that DP adapts the output power / current according headphone's impedance or whatever. I think this is clear evidence.

I don't know if Bravo Audio v3 is good or not, but from reviews I had a feeling it is a good amp. But once I received it I saw it's not that good - there was static noise because it was not grounded properly and also it did not boost my headphones very much. I've expected more. Yes, sound was louder, more rich but my Sound Blaster Z achieve max. volume of Bravo Audio amp at 20% of it's volume. And also with DP it was a garbage. Bit louder yes, but lot of hum and there was distortion anyway. But that hum was clearly caused by DP amp because on my iPhone there was no hum at max. volume at all (besides buzzing of course). So at the end this was sent back to Amazon. I've found that best is to use only headphones which the piano likes smile

So my conclusion is that amp on FP-30 is not the greatest quality but with right headphones which make a perfect match it is not an issue. The problem is 90% of users won't try so many headphones so hopefully this can help someone.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577899
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I won't pretend I understand the physics and technical details behind it, but after auditioning several different phones with a completely different make of dp, my experience it the sand as Misiak's. Some phones with low ohms are much quieter when driven than a set with higher impedance, and the headphone (and dp) makers don't say what else you need to consider.

I don't doubt the details in this thread but as a customer just looking for something that works consistently, I don't feel I am given much guidance by the equipment manufacturers on how their products act.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577910
10/11/16 04:45 PM
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Headphones have undergone a conceptual change over the past decade or so due to small battery powered devices. Not only do the devices put out very little power, they also deliver it at very low voltages.

In the end, it is the driving voltage that produces the necessary current flow for a given impedance. If the device can only produce 2 volts and the headphones need 20 volts to produce a cymbal crash, it will distort, so makers produce earbuds that are very efficient and do their job at a couple of volts.

Monitor quality headphones are expected to be driven from amplifiers, even if the amp only puts out a watt or so, that can be driven to much higher voltages than an iPod can deliver.

Just out of interest, Beyerdynamic screws around with its technical data. It reports the impedance measured at 1kHz, but reports the 'sensitivity' at 500Hz. This is odd, since impedance varies with frequency. However, it doesn't vary that much from 500 to 1000Hz.

My guess, regarding the FP-30, is that it uses the old (1996) industry standard of 120 Ohms for the headphone output, which is basically a 120 ohm resistor in series with the headphones right off the speaker amp.

The iPod Touch has about 7 ohms output impedance. Interesting.

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2577915
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Prout, I agree with you but still it does not explain why DT990 at 250 ohms are louder than DT880 at 32 ohms with the piano because the other specifications are same. And I doubt Bayerdynamics would manipulate or screw the data intentionally. Moreover, on my PC DT880 were much louder than DT990 so this corresponds to impedance characteristics.

So the only explanation is that FP-30 amp somehow regulates the output voltage based of headphone impedance. Seems anything more than appx. 50 ohm is too much for it and therefore those distortions may occur.

Regarding plugs, yeah, they are louder mostly because they are very close to your drum but the quality of sound reproduction is miles ahead quality monitor headphones and definitely I wouldn't recommend for piano...

Re: Roland FP-30 and headphones - read if you want to buy one !! [Re: Misiak] #2578039
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Originally Posted by Misiak
. . . So how can you explain this ? The only explanation in my opinion is that DP adapts the output power / current according headphone's impedance or whatever. I think this is clear evidence.
. . .


Unfortunately, it's _not_ "clear evidence". "Clear evidence" would require a variable-impedance load, and a high-impedance recorder connected across it, and a MIDI file driving the DP.

. . . Not impossible, but not what you've done.

I agree with drewr (and others) -- audio amplifiers _don't_ change their output impedance (or make any other adjustments), according to the load that they are driving. That kind of dynamic circuit re-design is probably possible "in theory" -- but you don't get such complexity at the FP-30's price.

Quote
Regarding plugs, yeah, they are louder mostly because they are very close to your drum but the quality of sound reproduction is miles ahead quality monitor headphones and definitely I wouldn't recommend for piano...


I agree that cheap earbuds don't compare to good-quality headphones. But my Shure SE215's are pretty good, relative to Senn HD280's. And I expect the Shure SE315's would be better.

If you don't like earbuds, don't use them. But -- as with many other things -- there are bad ones, and good ones. And the good ones are quite good.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 10/12/16 02:03 AM.

. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
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