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Headphones and the Devialet
#11
Just wondering: why do you think the (Devialet) DAC is the limiting factor in your current set-up?
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen modified), Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#12
(16-Apr-2019, 22:13)thumb5 Wrote: Just wondering: why do you think the (Devialet) DAC is the limiting factor in your current set-up?

The truth is I don’t know if it is or not. I have not tried any other set ups . I was just wondering if a dedicated DAC would do a better job. Like a dedicated headphone DAC, as my dedicated HP amp was a big improvement over the Devialet .

As you know I love my 200, but will a dedicated HP DAC give a better performance ? A dedicated HP DAC will have been designed to do exactly that. The Devialet was not . If this makes sense
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#13
I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should. For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better. I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good. But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better. If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.
Devialet 440 Pro (two 220s)- Oracle CD transport - Kuzma Stabi S/Stogi S turntable - Von Schweikert VR-35 speakers - JPS SC3 SCs - PI Audio power conditioning -
Triode Wire Labs ICs and PCs - Roon Labs music streaming
Durham, NC USA
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#14
(16-Apr-2019, 23:18)mdconnelly Wrote: I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should.   For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better.  I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good.   But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better.   If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.

Yes I think I may be at that point now . My listening is now at least 50% with headphones .
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#15
(16-Apr-2019, 22:57)Womaz Wrote:
(16-Apr-2019, 22:13)thumb5 Wrote: Just wondering: why do you think the (Devialet) DAC is the limiting factor in your current set-up?

The truth is I don’t know if it is or not. I have not tried any other set ups . I was just wondering if a dedicated  DAC would do a better job. Like a dedicated headphone DAC, as my dedicated HP amp was a big improvement over the Devialet .

As you know I love my 200, but will a dedicated HP DAC give a better performance ? A dedicated HP DAC will have been designed to do exactly that. The Devialet was not . If this makes sense

(16-Apr-2019, 23:18)mdconnelly Wrote: I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should.   For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better.  I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good.   But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better.   If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.

The reason I asked is that the differences in sound-quality between well-designed, accurate DACs are likely to be much less than you heard when changing from driving the headphones directly from the Devialet pre-amp outputs to driving them from a dedicated headphone amp.

That's because, as @Jean-Marie alluded to, the pre-amp outputs are not really designed to drive headphones: they may work OK with easy-to-drive (high impedance) headphones but not so well with low-impedance headphones which are harder to drive.  A dedicated headphone amp is always likely to be a better choice as its input will be a good match for the pre-amp outputs and its output will presumably be designed specifically for driving headphones.

That said, there may be other benefits of having a separate, dedicated DAC to drive your headphone amp apart from sound quality and the last thing I'd want to do is discourage you from experimenting Smile
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen modified), Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#16
(17-Apr-2019, 09:12)thumb5 Wrote:
(16-Apr-2019, 22:57)Womaz Wrote:
(16-Apr-2019, 22:13)thumb5 Wrote: Just wondering: why do you think the (Devialet) DAC is the limiting factor in your current set-up?

The truth is I don’t know if it is or not. I have not tried any other set ups . I was just wondering if a dedicated  DAC would do a better job. Like a dedicated headphone DAC, as my dedicated HP amp was a big improvement over the Devialet .

As you know I love my 200, but will a dedicated HP DAC give a better performance ? A dedicated HP DAC will have been designed to do exactly that. The Devialet was not . If this makes sense

(16-Apr-2019, 23:18)mdconnelly Wrote: I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should.   For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better.  I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good.   But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better.   If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.

The reason I asked is that the differences in sound-quality between well-designed, accurate DACs are likely to be much less than you heard when changing from driving the headphones directly from the Devialet pre-amp outputs to driving them from a dedicated headphone amp.

That's because, as @Jean-Marie alluded to, the pre-amp outputs are not really designed to drive headphones: they may work OK with easy-to-drive (high impedance) headphones but not so well with low-impedance headphones which are harder to drive.  A dedicated headphone amp is always likely to be a better choice as its input will be a good match for the pre-amp outputs and its output will presumably be designed specifically for driving headphones.

That said, there may be other benefits of having a separate, dedicated DAC to drive your headphone amp apart from sound quality and the last thing I'd want to do is discourage you from experimenting Smile

As you know I am not one for experimenting Smile I dont have the time or inclination. I tend to research and research and then buy or leave things as they are.
Yes this has got my interest though as I am sort of assuming that a dedicated DAC will do a better job then the Devialet with my headphones
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#17
I tried going the pre out route to headphones from the slave on my 440 but was not happy with the sound.  There was also the fiddling around with the remote (input selection/mute). I'm now taking USB from source and feeding into the HF amp/DAC and the results are superb.  I still get to use Roon and nobody gets disturbed by my late night listening so a win for everyone.
Roon Lifetime, Innuos Zenith Mk3, Devialet Expert 440 Pro CI, PMC twenty5.26, IsoTek EVO3 Sigmas Power Conditioning 
 
AQ NRG-Z3, AQ Diamond Ethernet, ISOAcoustics OREA Pucks, AQ Thunder, AQ Castle Rock, IsoTek Evo3 Optimum IEC, HiFi Racks Podium Reference Rack
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#18
(17-Apr-2019, 10:56)monitor Wrote: I tried going the pre out route to headphones from the slave on my 440 but was not happy with the sound.  There was also the fiddling around with the remote (input selection/mute). I'm now taking USB from source and feeding into the HF amp/DAC and the results are superb.  I still get to use Roon and nobody gets disturbed by my late night listening so a win for everyone.

Sorry can you clarify this. You now have a dedicated HP Amp/DAC that is connected by USB ? I take it you mean it’s not connected to the Devialet in any way ? Did you try the HP amp through the Devialet before you did this ?
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#19
(16-Apr-2019, 23:18)mdconnelly Wrote: I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should.   For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better.  I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good.   But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better.   If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.

(17-Apr-2019, 11:02)Womaz Wrote:
(17-Apr-2019, 10:56)monitor Wrote: I tried going the pre out route to headphones from the slave on my 440 but was not happy with the sound.  There was also the fiddling around with the remote (input selection/mute). I'm now taking USB from source and feeding into the HF amp/DAC and the results are superb.  I still get to use Roon and nobody gets disturbed by my late night listening so a win for everyone.

Sorry can you clarify this. You now have a dedicated HP Amp/DAC that is connected by USB ? I take it you mean it’s not connected to the Devialet in any way ? Did you try the HP amp through the Devialet before you did this ?
I now use a dedicated HP Amp/DAC which is not connected to the Devialet in any way. I did also try the pre out from the Devialet into the RCA of the HP Amp/DAC and was still not satisfied with the sound.
Roon Lifetime, Innuos Zenith Mk3, Devialet Expert 440 Pro CI, PMC twenty5.26, IsoTek EVO3 Sigmas Power Conditioning 
 
AQ NRG-Z3, AQ Diamond Ethernet, ISOAcoustics OREA Pucks, AQ Thunder, AQ Castle Rock, IsoTek Evo3 Optimum IEC, HiFi Racks Podium Reference Rack
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#20
(17-Apr-2019, 11:36)monitor Wrote:
(16-Apr-2019, 23:18)mdconnelly Wrote: I won't pretend to understand how Devialet has implemented the DAC, but what you get with the recommended setup using line outs for headphones did not sound nearly as good as I was expecting to would/should.   For me, separate DAC/amp sounds better.  I've been using an iFi Micro iDSD DAC/amp for portability and ease of use, and it sounds quite good.   But there are plenty of more expensive DAC/headphone amps that likely sound far better.   If/when I listen more via headphones, I'll likely go down that rabbit hole.

(17-Apr-2019, 11:02)Womaz Wrote:
(17-Apr-2019, 10:56)monitor Wrote: I tried going the pre out route to headphones from the slave on my 440 but was not happy with the sound.  There was also the fiddling around with the remote (input selection/mute). I'm now taking USB from source and feeding into the HF amp/DAC and the results are superb.  I still get to use Roon and nobody gets disturbed by my late night listening so a win for everyone.

Sorry can you clarify this. You now have a dedicated HP Amp/DAC that is connected by USB ? I take it you mean it’s not connected to the Devialet in any way ? Did you try the HP amp through the Devialet before you did this ?
I now use a dedicated HP Amp/DAC which is not connected to the Devialet in any way. I did also try the pre out from the Devialet into the RCA of the HP Amp/DAC and was still not satisfied with the sound.

Thanks for the clarification. I found the same when I used a dedicated HP amp, it was an improvement. I guess I am now considering a dedicated DAC for my headphones as it may offer improvements as I am now using my headphones more and more.
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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