1 (edited by Airmann 2010-01-25 00:28:42)

Topic: External headphone amp instead of Fireface 400 internal ?

Hi there,

I've probably a newb question, what do you think:

Could the headphone sound be improved if I'd connect e.g. a Lake People G100 (High Quality) Headphone amplifier to the analog output of the RME Fireface 400 ?

I ordered a G100 test-device and connected it exactly as mentioned above to analog outputs 5/6.

I used the following setup:

- Headphone is a AKG 601 (Impedance 120 Ohm, Soundlevel pressure 101 dB, nominal power handling 200 mW)
- RME headphone output is set to +4 dBU
- G100 is connected via male balanced TRS Jack -> 50 cm cable (high quality) -> XLR Male balanced -> G100
- Analog outputs are set to +4 dBU
- G100 is "jumpered" to 4 Hz lowcut and -6 dB attenuation

My "subjective" listening experiences (no blindtests, not exactly the same levels):

- RME 400 headphone amp underlines the "heights" more. I can't turn up the volume as with the G100 without "Ear-pain" -> does this mean the RME 400 distorts more at very high levels ?
- G100 sounds less "harsh" more "smooth" and has a slight richer bass.
- Otherwise there were no differences (so far)

My Questions:

- could the additional wiring between RME FF400 and G100 cause a slight attenuation of the heights ? Could it be the -6 dB attenuation of the G100 ?
- Or works the G100 just more transparent / distorts less ?
- Can it really improve the sound to use a external headphone amplifier, or is this just voodoo ?

What do you think ?

Re: External headphone amp instead of Fireface 400 internal ?

Airmann wrote:

Hi there,

I've probably a newb question, what do you think:

Could the headphone sound be improved if I'd connect e.g. a Lake People G100 (High Quality) Headphone amplifier to the analog output of the RME Fireface 400 ?

I ordered a G100 test-device and connected it exactly as mentioned above to analog outputs 5/6.

I used the following setup:

- Headphone is a AKG 601 (Impedance 120 Ohm, Soundlevel pressure 101 dB, nominal power handling 200 mW)
- RME headphone output is set to +4 dBU
- G100 is connected via male balanced TRS Jack -> 50 cm cable (high quality) -> XLR Male balanced -> G100
- Analog outputs are set to +4 dBU
- G100 is "jumpered" to 4 Hz lowcut and -6 dB attenuation

My "subjective" listening experiences (no blindtests, not exactly the same levels):

- RME 400 headphone amp underlines the "heights" more. I can't turn up the volume as with the G100 without "Ear-pain" -> does this mean the RME 400 distorts more at very high levels ?
- G100 sounds less "harsh" more "smooth" and has a slight richer bass.
- Otherwise there were no differences (so far)

My Questions:

- could the additional wiring between RME FF400 and G100 cause a slight attenuation of the heights ? Could it be the -6 dB attenuation of the G100 ?
- Or works the G100 just more transparent / distorts less ?
- Can it really improve the sound to use a external headphone amplifier, or is this just voodoo ?

What do you think ?

I think measure it! Meter the response at the same level from both devices. Our ears can convince us of all manner of strange and wrong things.

Isaac.