Scratchy sound through Sony SACD > Headphones. Will amp/receiver help?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg_Y, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    I have a dedicated HT downstairs and, in my office, a lone Sony SACD (SCD-CE775) player. With the SACD player, I use only headphones right now, as I'm not been ready to invest in a receiver/speakers/etc just yet. My headphones are Sennheiser HD-495s and I use a HeadRoom TotalAirHead amp to power them.

    When I listen to the headphones at work with the amp using my laptop, the sound is pretty good, about as good as I think I can get in an office environment without spending too much money. There's no scratchiness and I can listen all day long with no headaches, etc.

    When I listen to music at home on the SACD player, the sound is scratchy at higher volumes (even though I don't play music very loud) or when the music is more 'dynamic.' I have no amp, so I connect the analog (RCA red-white) outputs directly to the headphone amp using one of those "mini to RCA" Y converters (which looks like this.) I tried using the headphone jack on the SACD player and connecting the headphone amp to that, but I get basically the same performance.

    So my question(s) are:
    Will a receiver/amplifier help here? Will the sound improve? I was toying with the notion of getting a budget Pioneer VSXD411 receiver to hold me over for a while. I might pull the trigger if I have some sort of guarantee that the sound will improve.
    Or am I just plain doing something wrong here in my existing setup?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if I can help but I'll give you my opinions...

    I use the same Sony SCD-CE775 player as a stand alone CD player using my Sennheiser HD-570 headphones. I personally notice no "scratchiness" - the sound is wonderful to me...

    I currently just hook my headphones right into the headphone jack on the 775. I did try running the CD player through an old receiver I had (Sony DE825) and using the headphone jack on the receiver - but I preferred the sound going directly into the jack on the SACD player... Sounded less harsh and more natural to me...

    I don't have a Headroom amp so I can't comment on it - but from what I hear I would think you would be getting some great sounds out of it and the 775... guess not.

    Can you sight specific examples of music where you hear this "scratchiness". I usually listen at low to moderate volumes so maybe that's why I don't notice the problem. I never really "crank it up" either. I listen mainly to rock music - so if you can site some examples here I can see what I hear.

    Have you tried hooking the Sony up to your main system to see how it sounds through the speakers or through your receiver's/pre-pro's headphone (if it has one)?

    Also I read that the 775 really benefits from burning in...
    How new is the unit? I let my run on repeat through various discs the first 3 days I had it... maybe that helped with the sound in my case?

    Maybe the Sony 775 is defective? Did you just get it? Can you exchange and try another?

    Good luck
     
  3. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  4. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I just listened to some CD's (AC/DC, Pantera, Pearl Jam, Rolling Stones) and tried to listen for any "scratchiness".... I didn't hear any...

    Then I dug up my old headphones (Sennheiser HD-525's) and plugged those in... big difference - the highs were no longer crystal clear and distinct... they were I guess you could say - scratchy. The highs were very meshed and seem to break up... So I put the 570's back in and everything was right again.

    I don't know if the 495's are the problem or not - but maybe look into spending your money on a pair of HD-580's ($199) instead of a receiver... I think you will find what you are looking for. Plus, you already have a headphone amp for the 580's.

    I think HeadRoom offers a 30 day return period so maybe order up a pair and try... or if you have a local dealer who has the 580's take your phones and some CD's and compare the 2 and see (or hear) what you think...
     
  5. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Jantzen, I think I will try that. NewEgg has the 580s for $150 with free shipping.
     
  6. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow that's a great price! Hope they solve your problem... Post back with your impressions once you get them...
     

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