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Headphones different without speakers connected (Read 8956 times)
Don W
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Headphones different without speakers connected
01/05/12 at 23:08:31
 
I just discovered that headphones out of the Taboo sound totally different when the speakers are not connected. Much louder for one thing. But also less bass, less fullness, sharper, more "canned" feeling. Interesting.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #1 - 01/05/12 at 23:17:15
 
What about with a speaker cutoff switch? Should you use the headphones with the speakers connected? My TABOO is up at DECWARE right now waiting for the headphone jack to be installed. Are there any instructions on how to use the unit as a headphone amp?
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #2 - 01/05/12 at 23:33:01
 
I don't have a speaker cutoff switch. If speakers are connected, Plugging in headphones has zero effect that I can hear on sould from speakers. Headphones are louder because they are right next to the ear, so speakers end up not being too loud. It didn't come with any instructions for headphones. There is a note on the web page for Mini Torri to disconnect the speakers if you don't want to get the speaker cutoff switch option and are worried about the speakers being too loud. No cutoff switch option is mentioned on the Taboo web page. Is a cutoff switch available for the Taboo?
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #3 - 01/06/12 at 00:42:39
 
I spoke to Steve about it and he said he could do one. He said that the amp should be connected to the speakers when running. That the speaker output would be slight with the headphone jack filled. With what you are saying I am concerned about the sonic implications.  
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« Last Edit: 01/06/12 at 02:42:52 by Rivieraranch »  

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #4 - 01/06/12 at 06:01:30
 
I'd be interested to hear what he says about it. I don't understand what causes the difference to headphones when unplugging the speakers, but perhaps Steve can make a cutoff switch which makes it so the Amp "sees" the speakers but doesn't actually drive them. I don't know.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #5 - 01/06/12 at 12:15:48
 
There's an idea. I will let you know what I find out when I speak to him. He usually calls the customer when he has a repair or upgrade piece on the bench.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Pale Rider
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #6 - 01/06/12 at 15:14:28
 
Interesting. I don't believe my Taboo has a cutoff switch. From Day One, my Taboo has been a headphone-only amp, except for the period of break-in I did. I did about 120 hours of break-in with a small set of Orb satellites. While listening with the headphones, I did not notice any significant difference between the sound with or without the speakers connected, even with the speakers placed inside a gym bag inside a cabinet drawer. That way, I was pretty sure I had eliminated any possible background effect (the cans are open air on the Taboo).

Where my Taboo is now, unless I turn the rest of the system to zero, there is some inevitable background effect. That effect is very discernible.  But with the Toriis and SE84ZS in the room set to zero (the Ultra sends out signal to all outputs), plugging or unplugging a set of speakers into the Taboo seems to have no effect. I emphasize "seems" because it is very difficult to isolate that very low background volume.

I would be interested in whether Steve thinks there is actually an electrical reason why a cutoff switch should be necessary. If there is, I would probably consider having one put in my Taboo.  

I can imagine that the type of can one is listening to (Audez'e LCD-2 for me and a couple of others) could also make a difference. Different cans present different loads.

But I would like to know the outcome.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #7 - 01/06/12 at 18:54:53
 
Hmm. I have Audeze LCD-2s too. I considered the effect of speaker sound coming through the headphones. But the difference is just too great to be explained by that. For one thing, it is much louder with the speakers disconnected. But also, the tonal difference is far from subtle. Unplugging the speakers introduces new highs especially, as well as a very distinct difference in the way it is presented. Much sharper, less musical. With the speakers there is more base and the tone smooths out and becomes fuller. Some of this could be attributed to the speakers themselves, but the difference is just too pronounced and the speaker volumn is not high enough to make as much of a difference that I hear. It really is very, very different.

I wonder if having a pre-amp in front of the Taboo would have an effect here. I don't have a pre-amp, so my interconnects are connected to outer set of connectors, which has an effect on the route the signal takes.

Now I'd really be intereseted in what Steve says about this.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #8 - 01/06/12 at 20:13:56
 
Don wrote, among other things:

Quote:
Now I'd really be intereseted in what Steve says about this


You and me both. I do wonder about the preamp issue, because I  have the Ultra in front of mine. Previously, I had a ZSTAGE in front of my Taboo, but not during break-in.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #9 - 01/07/12 at 01:44:35
 
I fear that the use of the TABOO with headphones is not widespread at this time. I recall Steve mentioning that you could remove the speaker wires and put a resistor across the speaker terminals.

Maybe it is better just to use the headphones with the speakers playing at low volume.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #10 - 01/07/12 at 02:36:33
 
Rivieraranch are you going to pick up a pair of LCD-2's to go with the Taboo? I ask because I notice that you have Senns right now and you know that the Taboo isn't really meant for higher impedance phones - the CSP2+ is the recommended match for them.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #11 - 01/07/12 at 03:02:22
 
I'm hunting down a pair of GRADOS probably SR80i. Steve told me that the TABOO will "drive the s * * t out of them."
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« Last Edit: 01/07/12 at 03:02:57 by Rivieraranch »  

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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clowkoy
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #12 - 01/08/12 at 18:10:50
 
My Taboo was ordered with a headphone jack installed on the front (on the wood- another $100 extra). With only the headphones connected, the Lucid mode switch has a different effect on the phones than on the speaker, turning it off would produce a mono sound. I think Steve mentions this on the product page.
I am mainly using my Taboo now as a speaker amp until my 84c+ arrives.
BTW, my phones are the LCD-2 rev1.
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« Last Edit: 01/08/12 at 18:12:16 by clowkoy »  
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #13 - 01/08/12 at 18:57:24
 
The headphones sound different without speakers connected whether or not lucid mode is on.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #14 - 01/08/12 at 22:27:54
 
I'm going to have my headphone jack installed out back rather than to poke a hole through the front of the wood base.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #15 - 01/10/12 at 23:55:56
 
I talked to Steve on the phone about this. He said playing headphones without speakers connected will sound different. Not necessarily worse or better, but different. The results will depend on the headphones and personal taste - I happen to think the LCD2's are much better when speakers are connected. He also said you can bridge the speaker connectors with a resistor to get the same results as if speakers are connected. Use 4, 8, 10 ohm resistor or just experiment to get the result you want. This is interesting because with different ohm resistors you could get totally different sounds out of the headphones.

I also asked about a speaker cutoff switch for the Taboo. He can do it, but at present he doesn't attempt to make it as if the speakers are connected when flipping the switch. It would be as if you disconnected the speakers. But, he could put a resistor in there when building the switch if one wanted. Also, a down side of installing a speaker/headphone switch in the Taboo is that with it installed there is no way to play the speakers and headphones at the same time. My experience is that having speakers on at low level when using phones is nice. For one, it adds a bit of three dimensionallity to the listenning experience because of the body's ability to feel the sound waves, even if they are low. But also it makes it so when you take off the phones it isn't like shutting off the music completely, so you can keep tracking it.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #16 - 01/11/12 at 00:53:42
 
Good stuff to know. Thanks Don. I like the idea of building a couple of "resitor/jumpers."
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #17 - 01/11/12 at 13:09:02
 
I have to cancel my request for a speaker cutoff switch.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #18 - 01/13/12 at 12:23:56
 
Thankfully I was able to speak with Steve and nix the installation of a speaker cutoff on my TABOO. Not a good idea to begin with.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Rita Rodriguez
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #19 - 02/09/12 at 17:55:12
 
So to get this straight, you can buy a cheap resistor and attach it to the + and i?  Or are you bridging both channels?


As in + to + and - to -

In the same vein wouldnt it just be better to connect the LCD-2s to the speaker taps.  With the right headphone cabling of course.
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« Last Edit: 02/09/12 at 17:56:26 by Rita Rodriguez »  
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #20 - 02/09/12 at 18:42:16
 
As I understand it, yes, a cheap resistor connecting + and i is what you want. Simulates connected speakers. I don't know - I wonder - if using a resistor of same ohm as the speakers are rated will make headphones sound same as when speakers are plugged in. Note that I always just keep the speakers connected when listenning to headphones, so I don't have first hand experience with this.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rita Rodriguez
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #21 - 02/09/12 at 18:47:25
 
so before I blow out my taboo in whatever period of time it takes to create.  That is connect opposites(+-)  or sames(++, --).
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Don W
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #22 - 02/09/12 at 18:59:05
 
Connect opposites. Connect two which are right next to each other, it will only need a short resistor.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #23 - 02/09/12 at 23:59:30
 
Wonder if an attenuated RCA-RCA jumper would do the trick as well.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #24 - 02/10/12 at 01:06:49
 
My TABOO came back from DECWARE with the speaker cutoff switch, though I tried to stop it from being installed. It works fine. You can hear the audio either through the speakers or the headphone jack, not both. My unit works fine with Sennheiser 580's. I don't know what the big deal is about.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Rita Rodriguez
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #25 - 06/06/12 at 18:10:55
 
What I wish I could try today is bypassing the headphone jack completely and just using the speaker post and buying te headphone cable capable of it.

I miss the days radio shack sold what I needed, resistors.  Not tv's and DVR's
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« Last Edit: 06/06/12 at 21:35:56 by Rita Rodriguez »  
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dminches
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #26 - 06/09/12 at 14:28:41
 
Has the resistor situation been resolved? Have any of your purchased resistors for your Taboos?  If so, where did you get them and what resistance works best?  I am thinking of getting a Taboo to use with my LCD-3s.  Any information would be appreciated.
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setamp
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #27 - 10/01/12 at 12:20:05
 
I use headphones without speakers attached.  In my rig, I have found the Decware resistors push the soundstage back several rows.  With some tube combinations this is advantageous, with others not so much.  I haven't found a tube combo I am satisfied with as yet for my CSP2+/Taboo so my final opinion on the resistors is pending.  They are definitely a useful tuning tool.
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Don W
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Posts: 55
Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #28 - 10/02/12 at 16:01:53
 
I usually listen to headphones with the speakers connected. But when I do disconnect the speakers, I like a 7.5 ohm resistor best. This is with LCD-3s. I tried resistors from 10 ohm to 3 ohm and for me 7.5 is the sweet spot. I can't tolerate no resistor at all. I haven't found personally that tube combination has much of an affect on this.

A good place to buy resistors is Parts Express. Here's a link: http://www.parts-express.com/cat/general-purpose-resistors/1528
You can filter the list to show only 5 Watt resistors, which is what you want.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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dminches
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #29 - 10/02/12 at 16:04:08
 
Don, are the 7.5 ohm resistors from Steve or did you buy them on your own?
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Don W
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Posts: 55
Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #30 - 10/02/12 at 16:05:16
 
I bought them from the link above.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Don W
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Posts: 55
Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #31 - 03/14/14 at 13:43:57
 
This thread is really old and I don't know if anyone will see this, but I feel a responsibility to post an update. When I made the initial post describing the difference through headphones when speakers are connected and when they are not, that difference was really, truly, a large, impossible to ignore, difference. It really did sound bad without speakers connected and it confused me that others did not seem to be having the same experience. Well, it turns out that my amp had a disconnected loopback wire. That's right. Not long ago I sent the Taboo in for an upgrade to the new lucid mode. It came back with a note that the loopback wire had come disconnected during shipping and had been fixed. WELL, now I can discern barely any difference at all when listening through headphones without the speakers connected vs. when they are. The only perceptible difference I can hear is a slight - very slight - change in volume. That loopback wire had been disconnected since I first got the amp! So if you have a Taboo with headphone jack and listen to it without speakers connected don't worry, there is nothing sub par about that, at all!
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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zen101
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Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #32 - 07/04/14 at 03:46:25
 
I thought you couldn't upgrade to new lucid mode on the Taboo MKII?
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Don W
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Posts: 55
Re: Headphones different without speakers connected
Reply #33 - 07/04/14 at 17:04:56
 
Call Steve at Decware.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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