Author Topic: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)  (Read 878 times)

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Offline NkamTopic starter

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Hello,

I’m totally a newbie and wanted to ask some advice for my Ifi Zen Can Sig

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/ifi-zen-can-review-headphone-amp.25224/

The above is a link to the measurements of the amp

Its only issue ( main issue) is that it is current starved for low impedance headphones. 

It comes with a SMPS power supply of 5V 3A but the designer wanted it to be 5v 4A-5A so that it could power low impedance headphones. 

Would this be a good solution to give me clean power and also accommodate for current draw peaks?

https://iancanada.ca/products/ucconditionermkii-5v-or-3-3v

Or would I need to also use a power supply which is 5V 4A?

Thanks so much !


 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2024, 11:18:26 pm »
What headphones are you using at what impedance?
Are you actually using the device and having problems or is this a theoretical issue?

Some relevant comments from that thread:
"The stock power supply can support around 700mW per channel in SE."
"So tldr, don't bother. The changes will be most likely placebo or only present at unsafe listening levels even with hard to drive headphones. I've used my he6se with the zen can 6xx sig and with the 12/16db gain setting while @ 4V the unit was plenty enough."

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Offline NkamTopic starter

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2024, 11:28:53 pm »
No it’s more for future proofing because I want to get some planars at some point. 


Is that capacitor conditioner equipped with linear regulators on it?    Would it help?

Thanks so much!

 https://github.com/iancanada/DocumentDownload/blob/master/UltraCapacitorPowerSupply/UcConditioner/UcConditioner5VUsersManual.pdf
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2024, 12:05:47 am »
I don't see a linear regulator mentioned, I would guess it does not have one as that would drop the voltage from 5V to 4.7 or 4.8V.
Its essentially two large capacitors and a slow charge circuit, from what I can see. To allow it to charge up slowly when you first plug it in.

Linear regulator might help if the included power supply is noisy and the internal circuitry lacks proper filtering. But given the review I assume that is not the case.

If you are not using USB then a simpler filter board might be used. But again, I would wait until you actually have a problem before trying to solve a problem that does not exist yet.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805290687047.html
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256805735465143.html
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Offline NkamTopic starter

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2024, 12:59:03 am »
Ok that makes sense. 


Thoren L. The designer says it will benefit. But I don’t know what to believe.lol
He says this about the caps.

What it does do is give low impedance/high peak current near the Zen Can, compensating the long, relatively high resistance cable from the PSU

I don’t know how that translates to sound

I thank you for your help !
 

Offline MrAl

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2024, 03:26:01 am »
Hello,

I’m totally a newbie and wanted to ask some advice for my Ifi Zen Can Sig

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/ifi-zen-can-review-headphone-amp.25224/

The above is a link to the measurements of the amp

Its only issue ( main issue) is that it is current starved for low impedance headphones. 

It comes with a SMPS power supply of 5V 3A but the designer wanted it to be 5v 4A-5A so that it could power low impedance headphones. 

Would this be a good solution to give me clean power and also accommodate for current draw peaks?

https://iancanada.ca/products/ucconditionermkii-5v-or-3-3v

Or would I need to also use a power supply which is 5V 4A?

Thanks so much !

Hello there,

Low impedance headphones?  They'd have to be very high power headphones to require 20 watts to power.  That's 10 watts for each ear, which would blow your eardrums right out of your head :)

Seriously, even 1 watt per ear would be a LOT.  You can hear a 1 watt speaker three feet from your ears with ease.

Maybe you are talking about something else, but I do not think there are any headphones on the market that require 20 watts to operate.
BTW, 5v at 4 amps is 20 watts.

Maybe you can explain this a little differently.
 
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Offline NkamTopic starter

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2024, 04:13:47 am »
Well I guess that’s what I get for believing audio science review. 


But there are many planars which are hard to drive. 
The Hifiman XS for example is 18ohms 92db sensitivity.

Is the amp ok with something like that?

Thanks.   Trying to learn here.
 

Offline xvr

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2024, 10:16:40 am »
The Hifiman XS for example is 18ohms 92db sensitivity.
5V/18 Ohm is 277 mA (1.4W). 2 pcs is 3W (maximum)

4A is for 2.5 Ohm. I'm in serious doubt about existence of such headphones.
 
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Offline thm_w

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2024, 09:10:35 pm »
Amplifiers are not 100% efficient, though from that link the measurements showed its max output at 16 ohm is around 2V which should be more than enough?
Something over 110dB if I'm using this calculator correctly.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?attachments/ifi-zen-can-power-vs-impedance-measurements-balanced-headphone-amplifier-png.143314/
www.headphonesty.com/headphone-power-calculator/
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Offline NkamTopic starter

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2024, 11:51:57 pm »
Yeah it should be fine. 

I did order a supercapacitor bank just to experiment and see if it changes anything.
I know probably silly, but the guy has taken measurements and it smooths out any ripple

https://iancanada.ca/products/ucconditionermkii-5v-or-3-3v
 

Offline MrAl

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2024, 07:22:07 am »
Well I guess that’s what I get for believing audio science review. 


But there are many planars which are hard to drive. 
The Hifiman XS for example is 18ohms 92db sensitivity.

Is the amp ok with something like that?

Thanks.   Trying to learn here.

Hello again,

If you trust that site and read down toward the end you will find:
"Down sides are poor crosstalk, and inability to drive low impedance headphones well or at all."

It seems they only tested down to 33 Ohms.  The more typical was 300 Ohms and 600 Ohms, much higher.

Is that the price of the unit, $150 USD, that seems kind of high although I am not as into audio as some people are.
For that price point though I would think they should be able to drive a short circuit into full fidelity :)
 

Offline jasonRF

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Re: Please give me a solution to my headphone amp ( power supply)
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2024, 06:57:24 am »
Well I guess that’s what I get for believing audio science review. 


But there are many planars which are hard to drive. 
The Hifiman XS for example is 18ohms 92db sensitivity.

Is the amp ok with something like that?

Thanks.   Trying to learn here.
The review you linked included measurements for loads down to 12 Ohms.  For 16 Ohms it was able to deliver about 2.5V RMS, so it should be able to drive at least that into 18 Ohms.  That is 2.5*2.5/18 = 0.347 Watts, with about 200mA peak current.  If the phones are 92 dB/mW, this amounts to 121 dB SPL.  It doesn't take long to permanently damage your hearing at those levels.  I think the amp provides more than enough power as-is.  Are you really unhappy with a device that can 'only' play that loud? 

I usually listen at or below 70 dB and would be perfectly served by a system that maxed out at 95 dB.   With those Hifiman phones that just 2mW.   

I think Amir's site has a lot of useful stuff, but I'm not convinced the power levels he demands for headphone amps make much sense unless you have truly exotic phones and like to listen at levels that destroy your hearing.

jason




 


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