Headphone Amp? Necessary?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jokerjkny, Oct 8, 2004.


  1. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    hey all,

    i'm thinking about getting a nice pair of Sennheiser 580's, but i've been reading around, and seems like most peeps suggest getting a headphone amp like the Echo Indigo.

    but i'm using a Tascam US-122 into my laptop for my on the fly demos. i dont wanna go too over the top, but still want something relatively nice to at least do some quick and dirty mixing down.

    is it still necessary?
     
  2. jzb

    jzb Member

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    Send a line out to your stereo and plug your headphones to that.

    Amplification done.

    -j
     
  3. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    The only thing I use my headphone amp for is to run more than 1 set of headphones at a time. Otherwise I just jack my cans into the front of my Digi001 box.

    So - yes and no. If you want more than 1 set of phones running at the same time, I'd say yes. If that's not an issue, I'd say no.

    --chiba
     
  4. Bloodspoint

    Bloodspoint Member

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    Ditto to what Chiba said. If you're just listening yourself, plug the phones in and be done with it. If you need to run a bunch of phones, then get an amp. Splitting a bunch off one headphone jack drops the impedance, and may blow the little headphoone amp in that thing. A good heapdhone amp also gives you the potential for customizing headphone mixes and so forth, if it lets you feed different mixes in - my Rane does that.

    The only reason the stock headphone amp wouldn't be good enough for just driving your phones is if you've got a set of really high impedance studio phones, like the AKG240M - 600 ohms. In that case, your clue would be that the headphones didn't seem very loud, and you had to crank the headphone knob way up to get a good listening level. Most prosumer phones and lower end pro phones ought to be just fine with the stock amp, though.
     
  5. saros141

    saros141 Guest

    I've plugged my 580's into all kinds of stuff, they sound fine. For quick and dirty work, you'll be OK with a headphone output from pretty much anything. The 580's are 300 ohms, but they'll go plenty loud enough from a discman or a laptop IME, so no worries. For portable/remote work, the less stuff to worry about, the better.

    Now for listening pleasure, my Antique Sound Lab MG Head OTL mates nicely with the 580's. 1x12AX7, 2xEL84.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Same. My headphone amp is an Oz Audio HR-4.
     
  7. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I just read the Spet/Oct issue of Tape Op. Rudy Van Gelder stated that in the "old days" John Coltrane et al recorded live in a room with musicians and no headphones :eek:

    Rather humbling if I do say so myself.
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    those poor 'phones would have prolly exploded. :eek:

    but i'm thinking of biting the bullet on an Echo Indigo on ebay or something. are there any others that are small and unobtrusive like the EI?
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I'm not sure I understand why you think you need it..?? :confused:
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    because, i tried a friend's AT headphones with my Tascam US122, and the output was very low. despite cranking the knobs, was still too low to really hear anything. did a search online, and many remarked how if that happens, only means, i'm in need of a headphone amp, hence this post.

    admittedly,

    i'm planning on mixing down a few demos via headphones, since i'll be stuck with only my laptop on my next business trip which'll preclude me from my DAW.

    but i still wanna have something presentable and ready for the late winter/spring club season, and its getting late as it is.
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    A couple of thoughts...

    >> because, i tried a friend's AT headphones with my Tascam US122, and the output was very low. despite cranking the knobs, was still too low to really hear anything.

    Assuming it's in the correct output jack that probably means they are high impedance. These other phones you're looking at might be lower impedance, which would solve that problem.

    >> i'm planning on mixing down a few demos via headphones, since i'll be stuck with only my laptop on my next business trip which'll preclude me from my DAW.

    If you get decent cans you won't need a headphone amp with your laptop.

    Realize that if you mix with headphones you'll be missing some fundamental frequencies. You can get some work done with phones, but if I were you I'd check the mixes on monitors before committing to them.

    Check out Headwize for some good info on headphones.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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  13. Wing

    Wing Member

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    Hey saros, were you ever at headfi?

    I have a modified ASL MG Head and a HD600 running a Philips JAN 6189(12au7) and a pair of Svetlana SV83s. A piece of headphone heaven for not too much money.

    If you are listening to HD 580s, you owe it to yourself to hear what they can do with a tube amp.
     
  14. saros141

    saros141 Guest

    Nope - just checked it out though, thanks for the tip it's a cool site!
     

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