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Portable Headphone Amp

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am a super newbie to all this hi-fi audio stuff. I recently purchases a Grado SR-80 headphone and need an amp to take em portably. The problems is...Amps are so friggin expensive. Can someone lend me a hand with a very "cheap" amp that i can use in the meantime? (computer use and portable use). Thanks.
post #2 of 16
I recently purchases a Grado SR-80 headphone and need an amp to take em portably.
First off, welcome to Head-Fi, Nugen. On the issue of an amp, you really don't need one to make the SR-80s sound good. They are extremely efficient and sound fine straight out of a portable's headphone jack. An amp will make them sound somewhat "better," but they sound great without one. What portable will you be using?
I'll leave the soundcard issue to others here.....I have a Mac. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Say if i WERE to get an amp anyways...Any recommendations? I'm looking more towards the solid states rather than the tubes just b/c of price ranges. Thanks.
post #4 of 16
besides, the only tube amp that is even remotely portable is the earmax pro, and that costs $750. what about the airhead for $99?
post #5 of 16
Or a DIY amp - DIY, or DBSE (done by some else)....
post #6 of 16
DIY is the way to go. If you have a line-out on your portable I think you will notice a big difference in sound quality with a headphone amp. I was skeptical until I built one myself and discovered a much wider soundstage, cleaner sound, much less noise during silent passages, and more impact. If you listen loud, the differences will be even larger. With DIY you can taylor the amp to your Grados. If not, wait for Jan Meier's Porta-Corda.

I think most people that have tried a portable with line-out and a headphone amp never want to go back to the crappy built-in headphone jacks. 3 months ago I would have said that an amp is not useful for SR-80s. Now that I've tried it (with SR-125 admittedly) I've changed my mind.
post #7 of 16
DBSE (done by some else)
I like that!
post #8 of 16
MacDEF: I can imagine that in conversation.

"I am an avid DBSE'er..." etc, etc.
post #9 of 16
Maybe jude could set up a separate DBSE Forum.
post #10 of 16
joelongwoo: ROFL! hehehe......i would love a forum like that....
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
As stated previously, I'm very new to this whole portable amp thing. How hard is it for a DIY amp, and exactly what components, etc. do you need.
post #12 of 16


I might be interested in a DBSE-amp, but are there any people here who would build an amp and then sell it to me?

Ahhh.. what am I talking about! I will build one myself!
post #13 of 16
Yes, DIY is by far the best solution, it gives you the most flexibility in terms of getting the sound "perfect" to you.

After picking up equipment and parts, it'll probably cost just as much as a commercial amp (or if you get obsessed like apheared, it could cost a lot more ), but building your own amp will be much more rewarding.

A good amp to start with is a basic CMOY pocket amp, go to headwize, and look for the article under library- projects...The easiest way to go is to use a premade PCB from CE HAnsen, look in the addenum of that article for contact info. Those boards come with a parts list (i've heard, haven't used them myself), just purchase those parts, place them in the board, solder them down, and place the thing in a case...

If anything doesn't work properly, there will be many people here and especially on headwize that can help you...
post #14 of 16
Or get it DBSE'ed by Thomas......right, thomas?
post #15 of 16
Hmm,let me guess, would JMT be the moderator of the DBSE forum?
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