bertrand

Issues with my stereo

36 posts in this topic

41 minutes ago, mjzee said:

No, he plugs the Schiit into his amp's "rec out" jacks (presumably to get a clean flat signal).

I see, thanks. Unless you have a super quality headphone, is one necessary (unless you don’t have a headphone jack on your amp)?

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57 minutes ago, Brad said:

I see, thanks. Unless you have a super quality headphone, is one necessary (unless you don’t have a headphone jack on your amp)?

I don't know; that's why I'd like to know more, and in what other situations are they useful.  I see some headphone amps have tubes or tube/transistor hybrids, so maybe one purpose is to get that warm tube sound.

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mjzee (above) describes what I do. Actually, I plug, via RCA cables, my amp's "rec out" jacks into my Schiit headphone  amp for the reason mjzee stated. Then I plug my headphones into the headphone amp. There's a volume control on the headphone amp (though the volume control on my regular amp still functions as before) plus a switch on the back of the Schiit amp that takes you from "low" output to "high" output. My Sennheisers prefer "high."

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3 hours ago, Brad said:

I see, thanks. Unless you have a super quality headphone, is one necessary (unless you don’t have a headphone jack on your amp)?

It depends, I think, on how much power you need to drive your headphones properly versus how much power your amp's headphone jack puts out. There's a way to tell that upfront I'm sure (someone here will know), but  if your headphones sound fine to you when plugged into your current amp's headphone jack (some, maybe many phones will), then you probably don't need a separate headphone amp, though I'd bet they'd make any headphones sound better. In any case, the Schiit Magni 3 amp was not expensive, IIRC maybe $100. I got the Schiit amp upfront because my son had the same headphone amp/headphones pair and said that was the way to go.

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Back when I was in high school (late '60's - early '70's), I would regularly read Stereo Review.  I got a good grounding, for the time, on the basics of putting together a stereo system.  I so miss that sort of source today.  I recently subscribed to Stereophile, but find that their reviews of insanely-priced equipment verges on audio porn.  I so wish there was a middle-class, middle-of-the-road source for audio information.  Larry's Schiit Magni 3, for example, would never be covered in Stereophile.  

We need a source (publication, web site, whatever) that would cover: What options are currently out there?  When would you use one versus another?  What are the various ways you can use equipment?  What are the different ways of putting together a great-sounding stereo?  What are the innovations in stereo equipment?  What verities have been supplanted by newer equipment?  When is older equipment still good enough?  That's what I'm looking for.

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On 7/29/2020 at 8:58 PM, mjzee said:

Back when I was in high school (late '60's - early '70's), I would regularly read Stereo Review.  I got a good grounding, for the time, on the basics of putting together a stereo system.  I so miss that sort of source today.  I recently subscribed to Stereophile, but find that their reviews of insanely-priced equipment verges on audio porn.  I so wish there was a middle-class, middle-of-the-road source for audio information.  Larry's Schiit Magni 3, for example, would never be covered in Stereophile.  

We need a source (publication, web site, whatever) that would cover: What options are currently out there?  When would you use one versus another?  What are the various ways you can use equipment?  What are the different ways of putting together a great-sounding stereo?  What are the innovations in stereo equipment?  What verities have been supplanted by newer equipment?  When is older equipment still good enough?  That's what I'm looking for.

I have to echo what I said a year ago (I'm my own echo chamber!).  In the May 2021 issue of Stereophile magazine, I was surprised to see a review for the Schiit Audio Vali 2+.  They liked it...I think (it was a "it's great for the price!" review).  But it sounds intriguing because it uses a tube.  Schiit sells direct, so I went to their website.  This Vali 2+ doesn't contain a DAC.  Schiit recommends their Modi or Modi Multibit.  Looking at the available connections, I'm baffled as to how to connect it to my computer.  It also seems like they've developed a proprietary form of USB they call Unison USB.  I suppose I could call them, but I like figuring things out on my own.  It would be great if it was all presented in a clearer manner.

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Posted (edited)

On 7/26/2020 at 1:13 PM, bertrand said:

So we have a Pioneer SX-650. It was given to us 20+ years ago but was great for a long time. It is probably from the 80s?

I have that same Pioneer amp that you have, or that you had last year, an SX-650.  I had to have it serviced several years ago to address issues similar to those you describe. It has worked great ever since.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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On 7/21/2021 at 1:51 PM, Teasing the Korean said:

I have that same Pioneer amp that you have, or that you had last year, an SX-650.  I had to have it serviced several years ago to address issues similar to those you describe. It has worked great ever since.

I took it somewhere about two months ago. So far, so good.

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Posted (edited)

I used to run a Pioneer SX-650, late 1970s through the 1980s. Good receiver, excellent for FM reception. Combined with a Dual turntable, JVC tape deck and Mission speakers.

The Pioneer is still operational with the recipient after I had finished with it. Never serviced !

Edited by sidewinder

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On 7/21/2021 at 0:33 PM, mjzee said:

I have to echo what I said a year ago (I'm my own echo chamber!).  In the May 2021 issue of Stereophile magazine, I was surprised to see a review for the Schiit Audio Vali 2+.  They liked it...I think (it was a "it's great for the price!" review).  But it sounds intriguing because it uses a tube.  Schiit sells direct, so I went to their website.  This Vali 2+ doesn't contain a DAC.  Schiit recommends their Modi or Modi Multibit.  Looking at the available connections, I'm baffled as to how to connect it to my computer.  It also seems like they've developed a proprietary form of USB they call Unison USB.  I suppose I could call them, but I like figuring things out on my own.  It would be great if it was all presented in a clearer manner.

The Schitt Vali 2 is a straight up headphone amplifier. There is no DAC. It only accepts line inputs. So to hook this to your PC, you would need to get a mini jack to RCA adapter cable and connect your PC's line out to the RCA inputs (labeled "In") on the back of the Schitt unit:

vali2plus-rear-1920.jpg

As mentioned above, this might not necessarily give you better sound through your headphones. Usually, a headphone amp allows you to drive the headphones to higher volumes with clean sound. Most headphone amps, like the one that is driving your PC's headphone output jack, use a single chip solutions like this:

  1 pc TDA1308 Headphone Headset Amplifier Board Amp Preamplifier Module 3V  6V DC 634A|Headphone Amplifier| - AliExpress

These are designed to drive most headphones to moderate levels and their distortion numbers are not great when you turn it up. A better headphone amp is designed to drive your headphones to much higher output levels and keep the signal clean from distortion.

Usually, but not always, better headphones have higher input impedance and this can make it even harder for these little headphone amps (like shown above) to drive the headphones cleanly.

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Very useful explanation; thanks, bresna.  I’ve never liked listening to headphones at high volumes.  Even as a teen, I never liked the feeling of high pressure directly against my eardrums (I still prefer listening to music with the speakers behind me), so it seems this setup wouldn’t do much for me.

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