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Pocket Amp by Electric Avenues

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
Found this on ebay and was wondering how it performs compared to a cmoy
http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplifiers.html
post #2 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by spike33
Found this on ebay and was wondering how it performs compared to a cmoy
http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplifiers.html

I could not find too much difference between the two, the CMoys I have heard have a slight edge (to my ears) in terms of refinement but I think it is slight, the PA2 is perhaps prone to a bit of harshness at frequency extremes. The PA2 is very small , very powerful and convenient with the onboard trickle charger. The builder is a pro engineer and provides very good support, he is also a really nice bloke.

Earwax who built the Cmoys I auditioned prefers the CMoy sound but admits a possible bias here. Frankly I am pretty impressed with the sound from both designs.
post #3 of 92
First, "cmoy" is a pretty generic design, so it's hard to nail down what the "cmoy" sound is. Still, I had one cmoy that was pretty standard according to Tangent's parts list so I sent that one and another slightly tweaked cmoy to Hciman to compare.

Now, Hciman let me borrow the PA2 as well, but it's pretty hard to set aside my biases in favor of the amp I built myself, so my opinion isn't worth all that much in this instance. But, I do think the "standard" Cmoy sounds better, it gains a little more detail and a bit of airiness by having a lower noise floor.

Here's a couple of pictures so you can see the size difference compared to an Altoids tin cmoy. (Also shows just how beat-up an Altoids tin can get in 6 months of use. )



And a couple more:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/earwax/pa4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v248/earwax/pa2.jpg
post #4 of 92
I should add that my ears are long past their best. I went to a lot of loud rock concerts in the 1970s and 1980s and I know I cannot hear much above 12K, and I have a touch of tinnitus so if I cannot detect much difference it does not mean that the difference would not be glaringly obvious to others.
post #5 of 92
I just received my pocketamp2 and after directing this thread to Gary Ali, the designer, he mentioned that the amp pictured here is an earlier version of the PA2. Cosmetically there is a difference in where the input output jack are placed, but I'm not sure what the electronic differences are. Mine is burning in now but so far sounds quite good with Grado 325's and Senn px100's and after leaving it burn in with my AKG401's for 4 hours there is a noticeable improvement. All with ipod 3g and a mix of medium quality mp3's and apple lossless from cd's.
post #6 of 92
HI: This is the newest one.
http://www.electric-avenues.com/ebay/pa2_1.jpg
If you look very close the input and output jacks in the other pic are in the midle of the amp and the wal-wart plug is the lowest plug.

In my pic. The input and output jacks are nearer the edge and are the lowest plugs with the wal-wart plug is neared the midle of the amp.

Oh this latest amp is called a PocketAmp 2 version 2
post #7 of 92
HI: This is a E-Mail I received from the builder of the PocketAmp 2 version 2

Hello Ltucci,

It's good to hear from you! Thank you for
being interested in this amplifier. I am very
honored that you would consider one of them.

You are right, the amplifier that was pictured
in the email you sent is of the newly designed
Pocket Amp 2 - Version 2 model. This is the best
sounding amp I have built to date.

You know, I have always been happy to sell
these amplifiers directly too, outside of eBay.
Actually, of the 475 amplifiers built to date,
about 60% of them were purchased directly. Since
the beginning, I have been giving everyone the
same fair price of U.S. $60, plus $4 for
(Airmail) shipping. This price includes the
matching AC adapter too. I can also include a
free patch cord with the amplifier, if you would
like one. I always keep some extra cords here
just in case.

Well, please let me know what you think. Let me
know if you have any more questions too, and I
will be glad to help you. Thank you once again
for being interested in these amplifiers.

Have a nice day Ltucci!
post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlife
I just received my pocketamp2 and after directing this thread to Gary Ali, the designer, he mentioned that the amp pictured here is an earlier version of the PA2. Cosmetically there is a difference in where the input output jack are placed, but I'm not sure what the electronic differences are. Mine is burning in now but so far sounds quite good with Grado 325's and Senn px100's and after leaving it burn in with my AKG401's for 4 hours there is a noticeable improvement. All with ipod 3g and a mix of medium quality mp3's and apple lossless from cd's.
How's the backround noise on the PA2V2? The web site claims it's silent at any volume:
Quote:
Actually, with the volume turned on maximum, and no music playing, there is no static sound or hiss, which is something desirable. Building an extremely quiet, low distortion amplifier was a high priority.
On this PA2V1 that's definately not the case, the background noise is noticable, with low impedance headphones (16 to 32 Ohm) it's actually hissy even at normal (quiet) listening volume, with high impedance headphones(300) the noise isn't evident until the volume is set above my normal listening volume, but it's there.

Also, having the charger plugged in while playing adds even more noise. Is the noise issue really fixed with the V2?
post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwax
Also, having the charger plugged in while playing adds even more noise. Is the noise issue really fixed with the V2?
I'll let you know in a day or two.. mine should be here shortly and these Westone UM-2s pick up any and all background noise. I'm not surprised having the charger plugged in adds some though, are you?

We should also consider the level of gear the designer uses to test his products with when considering his own evaluations. On Electric Avenue's recommended headphones page, it lists E2C, PortaPro, KSC-50, and some homemade mods... not exactly the high-end testing benchmark.
post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earwax
How's the backround noise on the PA2V2? The web site claims it's silent at any volume:
On this PA2V1 that's definately not the case, the background noise is noticable, with low impedance headphones (16 to 32 Ohm) it's actually hissy even at normal (quiet) listening volume, with high impedance headphones(300) the noise isn't evident until the volume is set above my normal listening volume, but it's there.

Also, having the charger plugged in while playing adds even more noise. Is the noise issue really fixed with the V2?

I agree that the charger does add a noticeable amount of noise, though with my "better" headphones this was slight and easily drowned out by music. Gary acknowledged this thus...

=================================================

It's great to hear that your amplifier
has safely arrived! Thank you for this update. I
think the slight noise you are experiencing may
be due to the low quality of the adapters I use.
The adapters are rated at an output of 3 Volts
DC, but because they are unregulated, they
produce some electrical noise. Their output
voltage is dependent on the supply they are
connected to and at times, it become slightly
greater than 3 Volts.

It's all a tricky situation. I like the idea of
including an adapter for everyone with the amps,
but very good adapter would increase the cost of
the amp, and not as many people would be able
afford it. I am working on a way to modify the
adapters to improve their performance. I am sure
their is an affordable solution.

=================================================

Your hearing and or phones must be a lot more sensitive than mine. With the Px100s what noise there was without the charger I did not find intrusive. Mind you the only times I used it portably were on a plane so perhaps not the quietest environment to make a judgment. Still I really do not consider it to be a noisy amp as such.
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbmechanic
I'll let you know in a day or two.. mine should be here shortly and these Westone UM-2s pick up any and all background noise. I'm not surprised having the charger plugged in adds some though, are you?

We should also consider the level of gear the designer uses to test his products with when considering his own evaluations. On Electric Avenue's recommended headphones page, it lists E2C, PortaPro, KSC-50, and some homemade mods... not exactly the high-end testing benchmark.
I would be interested to hear how it turns out.

My inclination is that perhaps there may be some mismatch. You have a pair of $300+ IEMs and you are going to pair them with a $60 amp. For my headphones (HD580 and AKG501) which are somewhat more modest than yours I use a Classic and a GSP Solo. I like the Pocketamp a lot but I could not honestly say that it can compete with my stationary amps, nor would I expect it to given its cost.
post #12 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77
I would be interested to hear how it turns out.

My inclination is that perhaps there may be some mismatch. You have a pair of $300+ IEMs and you are going to pair them with a $60 amp. For my headphones (HD580 and AKG501) which are somewhat more modest than yours I use a Classic and a GSP Solo. I like the Pocketamp a lot but I could not honestly say that it can compete with my stationary amps, nor would I expect it to given its cost.

I agree-- not exactly the best combination, but I don't need it to work wonders. The jack out of my iPAQ 4155 is actually decent; at least tolerable for on the go.

Right now, I didn't want to spend too much on a portable amp, so this will do. I ordered the PA2 as a bit of a lark to see how good it might sound and if I even need a portable amp for my needs. The PocketAmp will not be a stationary amp on the desk for me, even though I do use the Westones there.


....taps his foot waiting for the mail........
post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbmechanic
I agree-- not exactly the best combination, but I don't need it to work wonders. The jack out of my iPAQ 4155 is actually decent; at least tolerable for on the go.

Right now, I didn't want to spend too much on a portable amp, so this will do. I ordered the PA2 as a bit of a lark to see how good it might sound and if I even need a portable amp for my needs. The PocketAmp will not be a stationary amp on the desk for me, even though I do use the Westones there.


....taps his foot waiting for the mail........
I just ordered one too so I'll keep you folks posted!!!
Its my first step into Amps!!!
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenman_Belg
I just ordered one too so I'll keep you folks posted!!!
Its my first step into Amps!!!

He sure is selling quite a few of them! By the time I checked the "amp history" page a day after my order, he already had my amp up there and 6 more after it. Good for him; he is a nice guy and cares about customer service. Most reviews have said the amp is on the same level as a cmoy but it has the built in charger, so you can't go wrong for the price.



......taps his foot still waiting for the mail........
post #15 of 92
Just ordered one myself too. It's number 506 or something on the page, Michael L. It should be here today, i'm hoping. Ordered it on Friday. Also my first step into amps. Going with my A900's and AV710, both new. Everything is new for me.

I'll let you guys know how they come out.
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