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Headphone Preamplifier?
fewtch
post Jun 21 2002, 19:26
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I received my Grado SR-60's today and am duly impressed at the level of detail... the only problem is, my AVC Soul portable MP3 player sounds very quiet with these things.

I remember a previous thread where someone mentioned a small headphone preamp for around $20 that runs on batteries... anyone remember what the URL for that was? Thanks.


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bryant
post Jun 21 2002, 22:56
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Okay, it's not $20, but I highly recommend this product. I have never listened to it, but I use another (non-portable) headphone amplifier (no pre) that has the same processor to "eliminate the blobs in your head" and it's great.

Maybe you can find one on eBay! wink.gif

http://headphone.com/layout.php?topicID=3&...ctID=0010010001
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fewtch
post Jun 22 2002, 00:04
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Thanks, I did end up finding what I was looking for...

http://www.boostaroo.com

BTW, I'm gradually breaking in these new Grado SR-60's and have cut the holes in the foam earpieces (they sound better already) biggrin.gif . Initial impression of the SR-60 wasn't so great (especially bass, which seemed VERY weak), but I understand these things need 20-30 hours break-in (at least) before they start sounding good. The excellent detail is evident already tho.


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bryant
post Jun 22 2002, 00:43
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Fewtch, I wouldn't expect too much from that "booster". The only spec they mention is frequency response and 20-20k +/- 2 dB is not exactly hi-fi for an amp. But, it is $20.
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macdaddy
post Jun 22 2002, 00:47
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I am encouraged by your suggestion that one of the benefits of the "break-in" period is improved low-end response. I just took the plunge into the world of Grado, purchasing the sr-125 model. The reason I stepped up from the 60s and 80s was supposedly superior bass. However I have only listened to them for approximately 2 hours total...

The mids and highs sound fantastic, but I prefer my bass a little more thumpin'-hopefully breaking these in will do the trick...
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fewtch
post Jun 22 2002, 01:14
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QUOTE
Originally posted by macdaddy
I am encouraged by your suggestion that one of the benefits of the "break-in" period is improved low-end response.

I've read MANY reviews stating that it's necessary, in fact several reviews I read (for the Grado 60's) said that it took a few weeks or longer for them to really sweeten up. Anyway, I'm already noticing a difference after running pink noise through these things (at relatively high volume) for several hours. They're responding better to lower volume levels, too. I was pretty depressed about the SR-60's sound, until I read some of those reviews & decided to relax and give them some time to break in.


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fewtch
post Jun 22 2002, 01:22
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QUOTE
Originally posted by bryant
Fewtch, I wouldn't expect too much from that "booster". The only spec they mention is frequency response and 20-20k +/- 2 dB is not exactly hi-fi for an amp. But, it is .

Errrm... did i suggest somewhere that I was expecting something other than increased volume? I'll be using it with an AVC Soul portable MP3 player (same as the Riovolt SP90), is that exactly "hi-fi" either?


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JonPike
post Jun 22 2002, 02:17
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Well.. you did spend >$65 on the headphones!! there's some on sale at Wal-mart I would guess for $5, that you could have got... :diabolic:

And, here I go with the kits again..

The amp by cmoy is a basic little design, it can be built for $20-30..
also check the other link in "Library - Projects" for the acuousic processor
by him.. and see the other's projects where both are built in the same little box:

http://headwize.com/projects/showproj.php?file=cmoy2_prj.htm

Here's a guy who made some circiut boards up from a variation of the Chu Moy
amp.. $10 for the board..

http://tangentsoft.net/audio/meta42/

Jan Meier has some higher end stuff,, here's a portable that is available in kit form,
has the audio processing we've been talking about

http://home.t-online.de/home/meier-audio/

So, there you go.. more reasons to buy a soldering station!! biggrin.gif Seriously, reading around the projects, as well as the fourms you have been.. and you can get a lot of good info and opinions on this stuff!

As for that boostaroo thingy, yeah, it'll probably add the extra voltage you need, and hopefully sound OK doing it..

Jon
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SometimesWarrior
post Jun 22 2002, 02:24
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QUOTE
Originally posted by bryant
Okay, it's not , but I highly recommend this product. I have never listened to it, but I use another (non-portable) headphone [b]amplifier (no pre) that has the same processor to "eliminate the blobs in your head" and it's great.

Maybe you can find one on eBay!  wink.gif

http://headphone.com/layout.php?topicID=3&...ctID=0010010001
So bryant, which headphone amp do you use? I've got a crummy 5mW portable player, so the sound is mushy and the bass is non-existent if I use big headphones.

And if anyone actually has used the AirHead amp and is willing to comment on it, I'd love to hear from them. I'll check the popular headphone discussion forums in the meantime.
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ff123
post Jun 22 2002, 03:40
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I have Grado SR325, and I performed two hearing tests with them separated by about a year. The first time the headphones were about a month old. The data I have seems to suggest that Grado's do improve in bass with use. See:

http://ff123.net/audiogram.html

ff123
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bryant
post Jun 22 2002, 04:56
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QUOTE
Originally posted by SometimesWarrior
So bryant, which headphone amp do you use? I've got a crummy 5mW portable player, so the sound is mushy and the bass is non-existent if I use big headphones.

And if anyone actually has used the AirHead amp and is willing to comment on it, I'd love to hear from them. I'll check the popular headphone discussion forums in the meantime.

I have the Audio Alchemy headphone amp. It has the same processor as the HeadRoom amps, and I am very happy with the way it drives my HD-580s:

http://www.soundstage.com/wrkman01.htm#HPAv1.0

Of course, it's not portable and does get very hot. I would also be interested in how the AirHead sounds (because my Expanium will not drive the 580s loud enough) so please post if you find something.
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fewtch
post Jun 22 2002, 07:56
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QUOTE
Originally posted by ff123
I have Grado SR325, and I performed two hearing tests with them separated by about a year.  The first time the headphones were about a month old.  The data I have seems to suggest that Grado's do improve in bass with use.  See:

http://ff123.net/audiogram.html

ff123

These SR-60's have a beautiful accuracy. The bass is (still) a bit weak, no big deal (everyone's used to booming bass, especially from cheaper headphones that emphasize bass, rather than a flat response -- Koss is a huge offender). Also, the SR-60's are susceptible to the slightest external noise... still, they'll be the cans I use while searching for clicks/pops to remove from vinyl, they just have that accuracy...


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godzilla525
post Jun 24 2002, 09:26
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Reminds me of the class-A headphone amp that I built on a protoboard once. Not good for portable use unless you don't mind carrying around a sealed lead-acid 12.6V battery.

I should take another crack at it, maybe get into class-AB discrete-only construction with a 12.6V to +/- 18VDC switching power convertor. If I keep it simple, it might make a good, inexpensive reference amp.


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Negative Zero
post Jun 24 2002, 09:35
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I've own a Boostaroo for a while now. Apart from the noticeable background hiss, it does a nice job of enhancing a device's volume. Not too shabby for $20 USD.
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JonPike
post Jun 24 2002, 10:19
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QUOTE
Originally posted by macdaddy
I am encouraged by your suggestion that one of the benefits of the "break-in" period is improved low-end response. I just took the plunge into the world of Grado, purchasing the sr-125 model. The reason I stepped up from the 60s and 80s was supposedly superior bass. However I have only listened to them for approximately 2 hours total...

The mids and highs sound fantastic, but I prefer my bass a little more thumpin'-hopefully breaking these in will do the trick...


BTW macdaddy.. about the 125's, I have read are ones that will benefit from an amp.. might be part of the low bass problem. And yes, bass seems to be an area that improves with putting some hours on headphones.

I've heard it suggested to "hurry" the break in process, to throw them in your sock drawer (or just put them in a room far from you) while playing fairly loud wide range music for a day or two straight..
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fewtch
post Jun 24 2002, 10:28
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QUOTE
Originally posted by JonPike


BTW macdaddy.. about the 125's, I have read are ones that will benefit from an amp..  might be part of the low bass problem.  And yes,  bass seems to be an area that improves with putting some hours on headphones.

I've heard it suggested to "hurry" the break in process,  to throw them in your sock drawer (or just put them in a room far from you) while playing fairly loud wide range music for a day or two straight..

I've heard a suggestion to play pink noise through the headphones for a couple days... that would just about cover the full range, I think. I wouldn't go too loud though, things could heat up and/or shake loose with extreme volume over an extended period of time.


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