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Dan Clark Expanse Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 6 2.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 56 18.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 234 77.0%

  • Total voters
    304

Lukino

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I would like to ask about the suitability of using an amplifier for these headphones. I was watching a video of a guy Currawong to these hearing aids and there he was asked in the comments....:

What is the minimum requirements to drive these satisfactory? I’m concerned if you think that the Topping A90d is not adequate. I ask for I was hoping to buy the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition as an end game all-in-one (1.5W, 250mA, voltage gain +20dB)


Currawong
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn4Y6OtD4lUEetb1CtpzURA
pred 2 dňami
The A90D is adequate, as are any of the amps around that kind of price range, but they wont give you the resolution that the headphones are capable of in my experience.

pred 19 hodinami
@Currawong If [email protected] Ohms power isn't enough to truly bring out the detail then what is?

Currawong
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn4Y6OtD4lUEetb1CtpzURA
pred 19 hodinami
The amount of power does not say anything about how well an amp will deliver detail. The A90D uses a couple of switching power supplies (ie: the same as what is in a cheap wall wart). There's a reason more capable amps use linear or other power supplies in them.



What do you think ? Amir took detailed honest measurements of this amplifier. For which I am very grateful to him.
 

Dj7675

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Why can't it simply be where the company expects to make the most total profit? That would be the rational approach.

I'm not sure why people feel the need to challenge pricing decisions as if they are claiming some failure in morality if a man wants an exceptional product to provide exceptional profits.

He isn't running a charity.
You beat me to it… There is nothing wrong with designing, building and selling expensive things. I don’t understand why people can’t deal with some products being more expensive than they choose to spend.
 

dixter

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You beat me to it… There is nothing wrong with designing, building and selling expensive things. I don’t understand why people can’t deal with some products being more expensive than they choose to spend.
well it might be because if you buy a very expensive headphone then you have to buy a very expensive DAC/AMP... so the actual expense gets a little out of hand...
I'm sure the headphone is great... it looks great and so far the people that have it seem to like the way it sounds.. I wouldn't pay $6K for a hifiman either... for the same reason... its kinda like you can have a really nice looking girl friend thats high maintenance or you can have a not so nice looking girl friend that likes to have fun and goes dutch sometimes...
 

Bleib

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well it might be because if you buy a very expensive headphone then you have to buy a very expensive DAC/AMP... so the actual expense gets a little out of hand...
I'm sure the headphone is great... it looks great and so far the people that have it seem to like the way it sounds.. I wouldn't pay $6K for a hifiman either... for the same reason... its kinda like you can have a really nice looking girl friend thats high maintenance or you can have a not so nice looking girl friend that likes to have fun and goes dutch sometimes...
You do? I'm sure E30 II (or similar) and L30 II would suffice. Both measure better than most (if not all) recordings. Better than your hearing and better than even these headphones as well.
 

jae

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I would like to ask about the suitability of using an amplifier for these headphones. I was watching a video of a guy Currawong to these hearing aids and there he was asked in the comments....:

What is the minimum requirements to drive these satisfactory? I’m concerned if you think that the Topping A90d is not adequate. I ask for I was hoping to buy the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition as an end game all-in-one (1.5W, 250mA, voltage gain +20dB)


Currawong
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn4Y6OtD4lUEetb1CtpzURA
pred 2 dňami
The A90D is adequate, as are any of the amps around that kind of price range, but they wont give you the resolution that the headphones are capable of in my experience.

pred 19 hodinami
@Currawong If [email protected] Ohms power isn't enough to truly bring out the detail then what is?

Currawong
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn4Y6OtD4lUEetb1CtpzURA
pred 19 hodinami
The amount of power does not say anything about how well an amp will deliver detail. The A90D uses a couple of switching power supplies (ie: the same as what is in a cheap wall wart). There's a reason more capable amps use linear or other power supplies in them.



What do you think ? Amir took detailed honest measurements of this amplifier. For which I am very grateful to him.
"Currawong" has no idea what he is talking about, his "experience" is meaningless in this regard. Please do yourself a favour and stop watching these clowns. It is all nonsense. Topping A90D is more than enough, as is the DX7 Pro+ and even DX5. All you need to do is plug the specs (sensitivity and either nominal or peak/trough impedance) into a headphone calculator, using a generous SPL for loudness. Remember to factor in EQ preamp if you are using EQ, although most people will not be EQing the expanse or would EQ it minimally. I like to use 120 dB as a benchmark. But the amp is fine if it can manage 108-116 dB for the headphone. If money is no object I would personally get the upcoming RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE DAC. Otherwise the current PRO version would do OK, and probably most of the latest Topping all-in-one units will be more than enough.
 
Last edited:

muslhead

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You beat me to it… There is nothing wrong with designing, building and selling expensive things. I don’t understand why people can’t deal with some products being more expensive than they choose to spend.
envy
 

Jimbob54

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"Currawong" has no idea what he is talking about, his "experience" is meaningless in this regard. Please do yourself a favour and stop watching these clowns. It is all nonsense. Topping A90D is more than enough, as is the DX7 Pro+ and even DX5. All you need to do is plug the specs (sensitivity and neither nominal or peak/trough impedance) into a headphone calculator, using a generous SPL for loudness. Remember to factor in EQ preamp if you are using EQ, although most people will not be EQing the expanse or would EQ it minimally. I like to use 120 dB as a benchmark. But the amp is fine if it can manage 108-116 dB for the headphone. If money is no object I would personally get the upcoming RME ADI-2/4 PRO SE DAC. Otherwise the current PRO version would do OK, and probably most of the latest Topping all-in-one units will be more than enough.
Currawrong
 

Snoopy

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Can't blame Dan Clark (or the EU retailer) that the euro did Lose so much value.
Maybe it's not the right time to buy US items at the moment as a European?

The retailer where I purchased my Aeon 2 noire in November last year for 777€ increased the price to 1199€
 

Jimbob54

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Actually watched some of his videos a few days back since he was one of the first to get out an Expanse review and I suppose we are in the same time zone. Had to have an eye appointment today after how far they rolled back in my head
The bit that grips my [email protected]&t about all of those reviewers is that they always believe / suggest that there is somehow more that can be had from any given system.

Eg - They sound great with X but to REALLY get the best out of them you need Y, which just happens to be the price of a small car.

Just too easy for someone that has already invested 3 months salary on a headphone to want to spend more to get the best from their "investment" based on such dross.
 

Lukino

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Thanks for the answers. So if I understood correctly A90D etc. is a full-fledged amplifier for these headphones. Dan Clark also appeared here a few times, maybe it would be good if he also commented. After all, he is the designer of these unique headphones.:)
 
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Elitzur–Vaidman

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Thanks for the answers. So if I understood correctly A90D etc. is a full-fledged amplifier for these headphones. Dan Clark also appeared here a few times, maybe it would be good if he also commented. After all, he is the designer of these unique headphones.:)
The A90D is just about the best amplification you could ask for these headphones. Amirm reviewed the A90D with his DCA Stealths and "cranked it up to 95 before [he] got scared for [his] hearing without any hint of distortion." The Expanses are slightly less sensitive than the Stealths, but not really in an appreciable sense.
 

solderdude

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Thanks for the answers. So if I understood correctly A90D etc. is a full-fledged amplifier for these headphones. Dan Clark also appeared here a few times, maybe it would be good if he also commented. After all, he is the designer of these unique headphones.:)

Sensitivity = 97dB/V (at 400Hz)
Efficiency = 82dB/mW (at 400Hz)
At 100Hz efficiency is 3dB higher

To reach 120dB SPL peaks (in the bass) you will need 10V = 3.5W in 28ohm.
A90D can provide 12V in 28 ohm = 5.2W.

So yes, A90D will do fine and you can play uncomfortable loud without distortion.
 

DjBonoBobo

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Sensitivity = 97dB/V (at 400Hz)
Efficiency = 82dB/mW (at 400Hz)
At 100Hz efficiency is 3dB higher

To reach 120dB SPL peaks (in the bass) you will need 10V = 3.5W in 28ohm.
A90D can provide 12V in 28 ohm = 5.2W.

So yes, A90D will do fine and you can play uncomfortable loud without distortion.

And the RME ADI-2 DAC (not pro)?

I don´t know how to calculate this correctly and how "1.5 W per channel" translates to max peak level for the Expanse. Could you (or someone) help with this? As far as i understood Amir, he said that the ADI-2 Pro was sufficient, but it seems to have more power than the DAC (?).

From the DAC´s spec sheet:

1663332633039.png
 

Elitzur–Vaidman

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And the RME ADI-2 DAC (not pro)?

I don´t know how to calculate this correctly and how "1.5 W per channel" translates to max peak level for the Expanse. Could you (or someone) help with this? As far as i understood Amir, he said that the ADI-2 Pro was sufficient, but it seems to have more power than the DAC (?).

From the DAC´s spec sheet:

View attachment 231248
index.php

Power = V^2/R
V=(R*Power)^0.5=7V
Power @ 28Ohm = 47/28 = 1.75W (probably slightly less due to current-limiting)
 

DjBonoBobo

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index.php

Power = V^2/R
V=(R*Power)^0.5=7V
Power @ 28Ohm = 47/28 = 1.75W (probably slightly less due to current-limiting)

Sorry for my lack of basic knowledge and skills, but what does this mean for the SPL peak (in bass) in dB one could expect from the ADI-2 DAC + Expanse? I see it is much less than 120dB and much less than the A90, but how much (in dB)?
 

Elitzur–Vaidman

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Sorry for my lack of basic knowledge and skills, but what does this mean for the SPL peak (in bass) in dB one could expect from the ADI-2 DAC + Expanse? I see it is much less than 120dB and much less than the A90, but how much (in dB)?
Efficiency = 82dB/mW (at 400Hz)
= 113dB @ 1.5W, 116dB sub 100Hz
 
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