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Apollo twin + HD650’s (should I buy stand alone headphone amp?)
Old 15th March 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
Apollo twin + HD650’s (should I buy stand alone headphone amp?)

I’ve read so many differing opinions, it’s hard to know what to believe. Does anyone have experience using the hd650’s with the Apollo twin headphone amp, and also using a separate headphone amp in conjunction with the Apollo twin (specifically in the $100 range, schiit and jds and the like). I’ve heard people say if you’re getting enough volume to power the headphones to your liking, then these amps won’t make much of a difference. I’ve also seen people say things like “really opens the soundstage”. I like the way they sound with the Apollo headphone amp, but is it a case of “I don’t know what I’m missing?”
Old 16th March 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Sybille's Avatar
 

Listen to the highs on a complex source like vocals as you increase the gain. Do you hear the harshness/distortion kicking in ? Just like if your vocals was getting brighter and harsher but without changing anything but gain.

If you can hear that, you need an external headphone amp, that will give you noise free clean gain and a smooth/natural/true response of your highs.

When this harshness/distortion is noticeable, it gets very tricky to eq things properly, or just judge objectively a new raw recording you just made.

If you hear no harshness or distortion, and you can work properly without noticing anything, I mean if it doesn't slow you down, then don't buy anything.
Old 16th March 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
Thanks, I didn’t outright notice distortion in trying this, but it seemed to be pushing its limits. Anyone else having experience with these pieces of gear care to comment?
Old 17th March 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Unfortunately the only real way to know is to have a reference to work from. Or to hear from someone else that has already done the listening tests.

In my case, my "weak amp" was able to easily power my HD6XX, it was just that the sound quality was suffering greatly, not so much the volume level.

If I had an Apollo Twin here I would tell you, but I sold mine before I got my HD6XX.
Old 17th March 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
Well, I ordered the jds atom, which is currently on backorder, but should ship out by the end of the month. Will report back if it’s a noticeable upgrade from the Apollo twin’s amp.
Old 18th March 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

i wouldn't use any headphone amp without some kind of crossfeed matrix...
Old 18th March 2019
  #7
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i wouldn't use any headphone amp without some kind of crossfeed matrix...
Care to elaborate? I honestly have no clue what that is.
Old 18th March 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

there are at least two issues when listening on headphones: one is that the sound seems not to come from the sides but you'll hear it in your head. the other one is that (compared to listening on speakers) both ears only get what is present on each side of the stereo signal which is much different to what can be experienced on speakers - a crossfeed matrix can improve these issues to a large degree.

can recommend grace design 9xx or spl phonitor mini; both don't come cheap though...
Old 18th March 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
there are at least two issues when listening on headphones: one is that the sound seems not to come from the sides but you'll hear it in your head. the other one is that (compared to listening on speakers) both ears only get what is present on each side of the stereo signal which is much different to what can be experienced on speakers - a crossfeed matrix can improve these issues to a large degree.

can recommend grace design 9xx or spl phonitor mini; both don't come cheap though...
Oh, got it. I do have monitors, as well. This thread is specifically about if getting a designated headphone amp will improve my hd650’s over using the stock Apollo headphone amp.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Nut
 

just bought the 650's and have a twin, pluging straight into the twin I noticed they're super accurate just not as loud as my akg ate m40, but close, I don't know if the low end is being accurately represented, doing research about it now, do you find out if you needed a headphone amp?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artcutech View Post
just bought the 650's and have a twin, pluging straight into the twin I noticed they're super accurate just not as loud as my akg ate m40, but close, I don't know if the low end is being accurately represented, doing research about it now, do you find out if you needed a headphone amp?
I'm using the jds atom now, in conjunction with the apollo twin. At lower listening levels, I'd say it's pretty hard for me to tell the difference between it and the apollo headphone amp. What has come in handy for me is the extra volume on tap. Even maxed out on the apollo can be too low sometimes, and I don't mix at very loud levels. I also feel like the apollo's amp loses a little definition in the lows at it's loudest levels, whereas the jds is clean for days anywhere you set it. Ultimately, if you're looking for a drastic difference, I'd say it probably isn't worth it, but the added volume has proven useful for me. FWIW, I only use the jds now for mixing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I have the same setup - they sound good to me. Then again - I didn't read somewhere that it shouldn't sound good.
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