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Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:27 pm

I guess I need a new headphone amp. I was recording a pair of pianos today in a concert hall, and the producer kept complaining that his headphones were clipping. I had about 10db of headroom, and my headphones were not clipping at all. So that must mean that my headphone amp was distorting the sound. For what it's worth, I was using AKG K240 mk 2 cans, and he was using Fostex T40(s).

The headphone amp is a Presonus HP4.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Peter
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:48 pm

I bought a Lehman Studio Cube Here for live tracking and I'm very pleased. Use with HD650s or HD25s depending on how isolated I am from the action.

Bob
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:19 pm

Thanks Bob.

That looks great, but I think I need to have 4 headphone outs, I need three (Me, composer, producer) all the time. Sorry, I should have said that in the first message.

Cheers,

Peter
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:18 pm

You could buy two ;)

I also have the Rane 4 channel in the studio. Seems OK but then I never get to use it!

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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:54 pm

Why didn't I think of that? That's exactly what I need... another box to carry around!

Seriously now.. does anyone have any experience with the Aphex Headpod?
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:34 pm

Bob,

I hope you're not annoyed with my response, I was just kidding.

Peter
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:25 am

twotoedsloth wrote:Bob,

I hope you're not annoyed with my response, I was just kidding.

Peter

Not at all, so was I, two would be seriously over the top! Can't help with the Aphex sorry.

Bob
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:07 am

twotoedsloth wrote:I guess I need a new headphone amp. I was recording a pair of pianos today in a concert hall, and the producer kept complaining that his headphones were clipping. I had about 10db of headroom, and my headphones were not clipping at all. So that must mean that my headphone amp was distorting the sound. For what it's worth, I was using AKG K240 mk 2 cans, and he was using Fostex T40(s).

The headphone amp is a Presonus HP4.

Any suggestions?



Your evidence tells us that he doesn't like the sound in his cans. It doesn't tell us what's wrong. Does he have a volume control? Maybe it's too high. Maybe you're over-driving the headphone amp. Maybe his cans are broken. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound of those cans.
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:27 am

I agree. Not enough evidence to warrant buying a new headphone amp. Both headphones have similar impedances, so that's not likely to be the issue. And since you think your headphones were okay, that suggests either the producers headphones were broken, or he had his volume control set too high and his headphone amp was overloading.

Reading between the lines, the Presonus sounds like it would prefer higher impedance phones in the 150-600 ohm region... but if you are happy with the sound quality and level in the K240s, then surely it would make more sense to buy a second pair of K240s and let the producer use those.

Quality headphone amps with plenty of welly aren't cheap.

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Re: Headphone amp

Postby James Perrett » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:51 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Quality headphone amps with plenty of welly aren't cheap.

That's why I use a standard hifi amp for headphones. Some singers have their headphones so loud that you get feedback when they take them off.

James.
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Andi » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:10 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Quality headphone amps with plenty of welly aren't cheap.

That's why I use a standard hifi amp for headphones. Some singers have their headphones so loud that you get feedback when they take them off.

James.

Please tell me that's feedback as in "strewth guv, that was blinkin' loud in there!" :headbang:
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
twotoedsloth wrote:I guess I need a new headphone amp. I was recording a pair of pianos today in a concert hall, and the producer kept complaining that his headphones were clipping. I had about 10db of headroom, and my headphones were not clipping at all. So that must mean that my headphone amp was distorting the sound. For what it's worth, I was using AKG K240 mk 2 cans, and he was using Fostex T40(s).

The headphone amp is a Presonus HP4.

Any suggestions?


Your evidence tells us that he doesn't like the sound in his cans. It doesn't tell us what's wrong. Does he have a volume control? Maybe it's too high. Maybe you're over-driving the headphone amp. Maybe his cans are broken. Maybe he just doesn't like the sound of those cans.

Out of interest, why did Hugh need to edit my post?
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks for all of your advice.

The situation was exacerbated because the producer wouldn't let me listen to his phones, citing bacteria (!).

I brought the recordings back to the studio, and there was no distortion or clipping that I could hear, and as I said, I had about 10db of headroom. In the studio we use an RME Fireface UFX and Genelec monitors.

He must have "turned them up to 11" since that was the only way I could get the distortion I think he was describing.

I'll bring the amp to a music shop and see if they'll let me audition a pair of Fostex phones, to see if I can replicate the producer's experience.

Much appreciated Gentlemen!
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:11 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:The situation was exacerbated because the producer wouldn't let me listen to his phones, citing bacteria (!).

His or yours? :beamup:

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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:34 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Out of interest, why did Hugh need to edit my post?


Both the original quote and your answer were contained within a single quote, which made it very confusing. You had used a long chain of angle brackets to separate the two for some reason. So In short, I corrected the quoting formatting.

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Re: Headphone amp

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:50 pm

Oh right. My brain probably thought I was replying to an email. It WAS rather early in the morning! Thanks for clearing it up.
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:06 pm

Censorship!!!
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:48 am

twotoedsloth wrote:
I'll bring the amp to a music shop and see if they'll let me audition a pair of Fostex phones, to see if I can replicate the producer's experience.

My experience of Fostex phones was that they didn't stand up very well to studio life and they simply didn't go loud enough for some people.

James.
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:52 pm

Okay, I tried the Presonus headphone amp with a brand spanking new pair of Fostex T40 mk2 headphones.

I was able to make it distort at relatively low volumes. So the easy solution is to tell this guy when I work for him next that he needs new phones... might be a tough sell.

Thanks everyone,

Peter
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby James Perrett » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:20 am

twotoedsloth wrote:So the easy solution is to tell this guy when I work for him next that he needs new phones... might be a tough sell.

Get yourself an old hifi amp from Freecycle or Gumtree then.

James.
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Re: Headphone amp

Postby twotoedsloth » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:55 pm

Are Freecycle and Gumtree like eBay?
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