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Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by rleroy on 2013-01-20 13:52:54.4030

I am new to the HD500 world and I am looking for the best setup for my needs.  Currently, I use Wolfgang -> HD500 -> Alto TS112A and I have some basic Sennheiser head phones.  I have found some patches that sound great with head phones, but they don't quite translate when played through the Alto.  Not the the Alto sounds bad, it just doesn't replicate what I hear from the head phones. The Alto is not quite as warm and sound a little thinner to me. So, my first objective is to get a speaker(s) that can closely replicate what I hear in my headphones.  This may be unrealistic, but as close as possible would nice. I am basically a bedroom player that likes 80's rock, so something really loud it not necessary.  However, I do want something portable (and light) that I could use to accompany the piano at church.  Would something like a QSC K8 or EV ZXA1 do the job, or is something else better suited?  Your opinions are appreciated.  Thanks!

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by mdmayfield on 2013-01-21 08:49:20.7890

No speaker will ever sound *perfectly exactly* like headphones, because:

1) speakers interact with room acoustics and headphones don't; and

2) our ears hear differently at different volumes, and we usually listen louder practicing on headphones.

But, having said that, I'm a big fan of the QSC K series. I own the K8 and K10 active speakers, and either one is more than enough for medium-volume performance even without PA reinforcement.

Edit - also, E/V makes the ELX series, similar-quality active speakers that compete with the QSCs. They're slightly less expensive, and still quite good. I haven't had a chance to directly compare them to the QSCs, but have heard them at a gig and didn't notice anything to complain about.

Beware of reviews saying either one is hugely better - those people are probably not gain-compensating / volume-matching their comparison properly, and then assuming the louder one is better. The two lines are of fairly similar (good) quality.

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by rleroy on 2013-01-21 14:59:26.1930


Thanks for the reply. 

If you were to A/B the K8 and K10s at bedroom levels would you be able to tell much difference?

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by Ed_Saxman on 2013-01-21 15:29:31.8250

Note that these headphones you're using are wrong impedance.">">

So you´re probably hearing a rolloff of the bottom end and an accentuation of the treble/upper mids, with poor transient response.

Most people do not like how low impedance cans sound in their pods, and that's why most people do not use the headphone output at all (like myself), or maybe they are using the wrong ones and just complains everywhere that pod HD Headphone out sound really bad.

The problem is that headphones line 6 aims we use are usually really uncommon and expensive... and that was a really bad design decision.">">

But tell me, why would you want to replicate a sound that is basically wrong?

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by rleroy on 2013-01-21 17:15:19.6780

- Ed_Saxman

I'll take a look at the links you provided.  Thanks.

Why would I want to replicate a sound that is wrong?  Well, I was not aware that the sound was "wrong".  I just knew that the headphones sounded better than the Alto.  So, my preference was try and reproduce what I was hearing from the headphones as best I could.  I know it is not totally possible, but it would be nice if they were pretty close to my ears.

According to the first link mentioned above:

Line 6 - For those with an 1/8" output, headphones designed for MP3 player usage are usually a good match.

    My headphones are 1/8" which meets that criteria.  But, they are 32ohm which is lower than what is recommended for their 1/4".

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by Ed_Saxman on 2013-01-21 17:54:47.0200

No way, it is way harder to get good sound in headphones, you have no room and space in headphones, and no reflections at all.

What you´re hearing now it´s like taking pictures through a dirty lens. With a really good pair of cans (and of course not mismatched impedance) you can really hear the sound how it sounds for real, without any coloration and room reflections which shape the sound, so you can see through the sound in a different light with headphones... but it will never be the same, no matter the speakers. (google Fletcher Munson curve and Robinson Dadson curve to see the difference)
Its very difficult not having sound manifesting in air before it reaches your ear, and you will likely damage your hearing very quickly if you use headphones most of the time. Headphones is not a natural way to listen to music.">">">">

Re: Amp to replicate head phones that is grab and go
by mdmayfield on 2013-01-22 13:47:58.9810

Re: A/Bing K8 and K10 at bedroom levels - I haven't tried them next to each other in the same room, but I was happy with both.

My imperfect memory says that the K10 was a little bassier and the K8 a little tighter, and that for my style on guitar (I don't play any down-tuned or heavy stuff) I preferred the K8.

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