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I am pairing this with the HD58x (150ohm). I'll need to turn it to close 90% to get relative loud sound, but nothing wrong with that. If I switch to high gain, I can reach that same level of loudness with approx 40%. But the sound does appear to be different. Does switching b/t low/high gain affect the sound?
It does depending on your source. I can't find the documentation on it right now, there was a Reddit thread on the Magni 3 somewhere, but it goes for all amps, if the source is a certain volume and you go into hi-gain the hardware automatically limits it.
Do you mean the volume would be limited? Or that the amount of information from the source is limited so going hi-gain would just increase the volume with distorted details? (I don't quite know what I wanted to go with that. I am pretty new to all these equipments. It just seems to me that switching to hi-gain makes the background noise louder, and details less fine presented?)
From what I understood, it didn't affect quality and detail per se, but rather frequency response to portions that were too loud, thus it actually sounded almost quieter at the hi-gain and changed the way the music sounded. I think it may have been akined to listening to very compressed audio (not compressed like MP3s but compressed like mastering a song), so that songs that are meant to have large differences between quiet and loud parts (like orchestral music, for example), ended up sounding low overall.
I am honestly not sure about the specific details, I just know that it was an issue with the Magni 3. The main thing to do was just turn off hi-gain for those songs, if I remember correctly, then it just worked fine.
it depends on how voltage vs current driven your headphones are.
Use high gain for the hd58x it will sound better.
The O2 has a gain switch to compensate for the voltage output of your source device. Depending on which gain settings you purchased you might not be able to use high gain without overloading the input regardless of the amps volume setting. It all comes down to this specific amp being a bit unusual to where its volume attenuation is placed in its topology. In other words leave on low gain unless you're using low power portable sources.
More details from the man himself...!
Thank you! I guess the difference (if any) is minor, that after 10 mins of listening it would just be ignored.