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combination nuforce icon+akg K 272HD
takeshibeat
post Sep 16 2012, 23:23
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my laptop is toshiba tecra s5-pts53e
i ve ordered from internet headphones akg k 272hd
(i ve ordered them because they are closed type and they dont leak sound out like my sennheiser hd 598, i live in a flat with poor sound isolation)
now i want to buy a nuforce icon (dac and amplifier)
so i want to connect the dac via usb cable to my computer and connect my headphones to the dac and listen to music with my headphones
i wanted to ask you now a few things
first could these combination give me a good sound?
i listen mostly rock,blues,easy listening(rolling stones,beatles,frank sinatra,budy guy,dylan,cohen,johnny cash)
on foobar (flac ,mp3 320cbr)
i have an usb cabel from before(from my old external hard disc)
can i connect the dac to my computer with that usb cable or should i buy maybe an expensiever usb cable to get a better sound?
i ask that because someone wrote me on some forums before(or i read that somewhere i cant remember correctly where,i cant remember if it was about that dac)
that it needs a special way to connect that dac to my computer to get the maximum sound of that dac
i read something like if i connect it to the computer via usual usb cable that i couldnt get music which is in 24 bit or something (i dont understand such things, i m an laic for computers and so one...)
when i get that dac and connect it to the pc do i need to download a software for it ?
so if someone can write me the procedure how to connect dac to my computer and to configure things in my computer,foobar and the dac that are necessary that the music from the computer goes and transfers into my dac
i would be very thankful

This post has been edited by takeshibeat: Sep 16 2012, 23:25
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saratoga
post Sep 16 2012, 23:47
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I probably wouldn't buy Nuforce, as a lot of their stuff has been poorly reviewed in the past. See: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/nuforc...ac-2-drama.html

But more generally, does your current laptop have some trouble driving those head phones? Is it too quiet? Is there too much background hiss? If not, I might not bother with an external amp. If so, then I might look at something else (some of the Fiio parts are actually quite good and very reasonably priced).
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skamp
post Sep 17 2012, 08:51
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 17 2012, 00:47) *
does your current laptop have some trouble driving those head phones? Is it too quiet?


I don't know if AKG's specs are correct, but they're insane: the K 272 HD are rated at 91 dB SPL/V, 55 ohms, which translates into a sensitivity of 78 dB/mW (which is insanely low) and a power requirement of 1585 mW to reach a peak SPL of 110 dB. So, yeah, they're going to be pretty quiet blink.gif

Edit: and they can take a maximum of 200 mW, which translates into a peak SPL of 101 dB… I'd think that the 91 dB figure is per mW (which is still quite low), not per volt, but they use that unit with all their headphones, so…

This post has been edited by skamp: Sep 17 2012, 08:59


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skamp
post Sep 17 2012, 09:25
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QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 17 2012, 00:23) *
can i connect the dac to my computer with that usb cable or should i buy maybe an expensiever usb cable to get a better sound?


Any USB cable that works will do. Expensive cables won't make it sound better.

QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 17 2012, 00:23) *
i read something like if i connect it to the computer via usual usb cable that i couldnt get music which is in 24 bit or something (i dont understand such things, i m an laic for computers and so one...)


I already addressed that question regarding the uDAC, but the Icon DAC/amp doesn't seem to go higher than 16 bit, 48 kHz (which is NOT a limitation in the USB Audio protocol itself).

QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 17 2012, 00:23) *
when i get that dac and connect it to the pc do i need to download a software for it ?


In most cases (when a standard USB Audio device is involved), no, you don't.

Please note that the NuForce Icon amplifier will probably not be able to drive the AKG K272HD headphones loud enough:
QUOTE
Maximum output @32 ohm Load: 31.25mW


This post has been edited by skamp: Sep 17 2012, 09:33


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takeshibeat
post Sep 17 2012, 14:46
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i dont understand those specifications you wrote to me about the headphones,
if someone can suggest me which closed headphones(i live in a flat that has a very bad sound isolation so i want to buy some closed headphones that leak minimum of sound out) would be a good combination with that dac i would be very thankful.
does the nuforce icon dac need a driver to install on pc so that i can use it or not
whats the procedure to install it to pc and to make it functionall
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saratoga
post Sep 17 2012, 15:37
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QUOTE (skamp @ Sep 17 2012, 03:51) *
QUOTE (saratoga @ Sep 17 2012, 00:47) *
does your current laptop have some trouble driving those head phones? Is it too quiet?


I don't know if AKG's specs are correct, but they're insane: the K 272 HD are rated at 91 dB SPL/V, 55 ohms, which translates into a sensitivity of 78 dB/mW (which is insanely low) and a power requirement of 1585 mW to reach a peak SPL of 110 dB. So, yeah, they're going to be pretty quiet blink.gif


They're closed headphones so you're not going to need to drive them at 100+dB. The isolation takes care of the background noise so that you can listen comfortably at a lower level, hence the lower maximum output.

QUOTE (takeshibeat @ Sep 17 2012, 09:46) *
i dont understand those specifications you wrote to me about the headphones,
if someone can suggest me which closed headphones(i live in a flat that has a very bad sound isolation so i want to buy some closed headphones that leak minimum of sound out) would be a good combination with that dac i would be very thankful.


Short version: you've bought headphones that need a fairly high driving voltage if you want them to be very loud. What you should do is plug them into your normal devices and see if they are loud enough. My guess is they will be plenty loud. If they aren't, buy an amp that can drive at least 100 mW into 32 ohms.
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gymnos
post Sep 17 2012, 20:43
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QUOTE (skamp @ Sep 17 2012, 09:25) *
Please note that the NuForce Icon amplifier will probably not be able to drive the AKG K272HD headphones loud enough:
QUOTE
Maximum output @32 ohm Load: 31.25mW



Just 1V? huh.gif
I believe 91 is dB SPL/mW in line with other professional headphones. At least they promise similar quality to the professional line. at 1V that's roughly 103 dB SPL target...
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takeshibeat
post Sep 18 2012, 19:00
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last question (thats more important to me than the first on)
will those akg k272hd headphones be a good combination with the all in one hifi system
YAMAHA PianoCraft MCR-640?
will that hifi system be good enough to drive those headphones properly?

This post has been edited by takeshibeat: Sep 18 2012, 19:14
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saratoga
post Sep 18 2012, 19:28
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Probably unless you want very loud playback.
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skamp
post Sep 18 2012, 20:15
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saratoga, it sounds like you've never come across a source that wasn't loud enough with a set of headphones. Both my laptop and my iPod (prior to rockboxing it) weren't loud enough. It happens, it's not rare, and no, I'm not nearly deaf. I just use Replaygain and some additional attenuation (EQ and downmixing 5.1 to stereo without clipping).

I use several pairs of headphones that all have sensitivities around 100 dB/mW. Now imagine 78 dB/mW headphones, or even 91 dB/mW if that's a typo on AKG's website. Can you really say with confidence that they will likely be loud enough with ANY source?

takeshibeat: you said you've already ordered the headphones. I suggest you wait until you get them, and try them with whatever source you already have. If they're not loud enough, try to find the specs of your sources and then choose something that has higher specs, as far as output power goes.


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saratoga
post Sep 19 2012, 03:10
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QUOTE (skamp @ Sep 18 2012, 15:15) *
Both my laptop and my iPod (prior to rockboxing it) weren't loud enough. It happens, it's not rare, and no, I'm not nearly deaf.


I don't think you experience with a different device, that was apparently volume capped, and probably not paired with the same headphones is readily generalized to this situation. I also suspect you're really overestimating how loudly one generally drives these types of headphones.

QUOTE (skamp @ Sep 18 2012, 15:15) *
Can you really say with confidence that they will likely be loud enough with ANY source?


I don't think this question makes sense. IMO you could meaningfully ask if these headphones are likely to be loud enough with a randomly selected source, or if sources exist which will have too low voltage to drive a given pair of headphones. The answer to both questions is 'yes' BTW.

QUOTE (skamp @ Sep 18 2012, 15:15) *
takeshibeat: you said you've already ordered the headphones. I suggest you wait until you get them, and try them with whatever source you already have. If they're not loud enough, try to find the specs of your sources and then choose something that has higher specs, as far as output power goes.


So basically, what I just said smile.gif
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takeshibeat
post Sep 19 2012, 13:06
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will maybe the hifi MARANTZ Melody Media M-CR603 be a better combination with the akg k272 hd headphones
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