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Review and Measurements of New JDS Labs Atom Headphone Amp

Timbo2

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I have an Atom and I upgraded from Topping D10 to a D50s primarily for the ability to be able to attenuate volume. (Surprising few here I couldn't tell a sonic difference despite the much better specs.)

I don't have an issue with channel balance over most range of the volume pot, but I needed it for IEMs. Not so much for balance but for useful volume range even at 1x gain.

If you are a purist you could put the volume at 100% and use a DAC to fully control the volume., but I find I much prefer spinning a knob to stepping through a range of digital volume.
 
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Question as I'm new to using dac/amps in general but how does the low gain and high gain work on this amp, do I leave it in low as long as the volume gets loud enough or do I leave it on high and just turn it up to whatever is listenable? I'm using the sennheiser 58x and the he4xx.
 
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tankas

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Question as I'm new to using dac/amps in general but how does the low gain and high gain work on this amp, do I leave it in low as long as the volume gets loud enough...
Yes, in low gain as long as there is enough power to drive your headphones. Please see the first post of this thread:

"This is in low gain by the way. High gain was not quite as good."
 
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Yes, in low gain as long as there is enough power to drive your headphones. Please see the first post of this thread:

"This is in low gain by the way. High gain was not quite as good."
ok gotcha, thank you sir. One follow up question, Using planar headsets like my he4xx would that make a significant difference or theoretically regardless of the headphones just stay on low gain as long as its loud enough since this amp seems to be better off that way and if I come across headphones that don't get loud enough switch it to high?
 

solderdude

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When you can get loud enough on low gain used it on low gain.
When you need to go louder set it to high gain.

There is nothing more to it.

Both in high and low gain the performance is better than any audible limits.
 
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When you can get loud enough on low gain used it on low gain.
When you need to go louder set it to high gain.

There is nothing more to it.

Both in high and low gain the performance is better than any audible limits.

thank you, the he4xx sound better to me on high gain at around 1-1:30 vs low gain max.
 

solderdude

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That's probably because it is louder when switched from L to H setting.
When you have good volume control and have no L-R imbalance at low listening levels (volume control setting) it is fine to use it on high gain.
As long as you don't hear any distortion that is...
 
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That's probably because it is louder when switched from L to H setting.
When you have good volume control and have no L-R imbalance at low listening levels (volume control setting) it is fine to use it on high gain.
As long as you don't hear any distortion that is...

Right, with the 58x low gain is definitely loud enough. The he4xx sound fine on low max, but it needed just a little bit more and sounds great. I haven't heard any distortion with either so far. I did play one song and noticed one certain part sounded a little distorted and that didn't change with either headset on low or high gain at any volume so I just assumed it was the song itself because I didn't hear it on any other song.
 

magicscreen

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Because of this better IMD they keep saying the Atom sounds better in high gain (?)
Nelson Pass opinion: "the inter modulation distortion is the most important"

index.php
 
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toukolou

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Just picked this amp up and while I think it sounds great, it really isn't the right amp for 600Ohm DT880s. While it gets relatively loud on high gain, maxed out, it leaves zero headroom if you like it louder. Sounds terrific on my HD6XX though.

It replaces a LD MKiii, which I think sounded great too, just wanted to reclaim a bit of desk real estate and wanted a "cleaner" looking stack. JDS absolutely should have packaged this great little bit of kit more attractively. The volume pot, the buttons, the case, everything is plastic. Brutal. I think they could have finished it entirely in aluminum and tacked on an extra 15-20 bucks without losing a single sale. Actually, I think they would have easily and significantly increased their market share in this segment if the entire thing wasn't housed in plastic.
 

Jimbob54

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Ok dope. Yeah let me know your impressions sound wise, I'm ready to pull the trigger.
You already have the 1990s? They will sound like 1990s on the Atom.
 
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