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Review: Portable amp roundup! 56 portable amps reviewed and compared - FINAL update 12-20-10... - Page 20  

post #286 of 3234
Sticky..(tup)
post #287 of 3234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
The Headfive, when I had it, was competitive with the top 5 amps in the survey, even though it was cheaper than all of them except the Xenos. It has a little warmer sonic signature than all of them except the Xenos, which means it would mate better with some headphones than some of these amps. I also felt the Headfive has slightly superior imaging to all of these amps, but that is going from memory since I no longer have it.
I was thinking about selling my Headfive and buying a Tomahawk to double as a desktop amp until around september, do you think it's a good idea? I'll be moving to another country and traveling a lot, so the portable amp will come in handy. I will want a new desktop amp when I'm done moving anyway.
post #288 of 3234
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ymer View Post
I was thinking about selling my Headfive and buying a Tomahawk to double as a desktop amp until around september, do you think it's a good idea? I'll be moving to another country and traveling a lot, so the portable amp will come in handy. I will want a new desktop amp when I'm done moving anyway.
Those amps sound much more different than the Aria and Tomahawk I compared directly. The H5 is warmer. What headphones do you have?
post #289 of 3234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Those amps sound much more different than the Aria and Tomahawk I compared directly. The H5 is warmer. What headphones do you have?
I have Beyer DT770/80s, Senn HD580s and Grados SR225.
post #290 of 3234
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ymer View Post
I have Beyer DT770/80s, Senn HD580s and Grados SR225.
Of those I have only heard the 770/80's, and those do very well with the TH.
post #291 of 3234
I see. Do you like the 80ohm DT770s a lot more than the 32ohm? Thanks for your reply!
post #292 of 3234
p2av2 is out of the race guys?
post #293 of 3234
I am little late... however nevertheless, that was fantastic review Skylab! Very informative!
whether I will probably not buy of mentioned amps, because I like very on microstack of headroom... and I have iRiver h140

did you try microstack? could you say which about it?

I would like to buy it... maybe
post #294 of 3234
Thread Starter 
I have never heard either the P2av2 or a Microstack, although I hope to at some point.

And yes, I like the DT770 Pro 80 better than the 05 DT770/32, but both are excellent.
post #295 of 3234
Great info. Thanks for the help!!
post #296 of 3234
thanks for response
post #297 of 3234
Thread Starter 
Coming soon: Update on the Portaphile V2^2 with 400 hours break in, and a review of the Storm STB4...
post #298 of 3234
I'll add a couple of cents worth of notes about the PA2V2 — assuming that's what the P2AV2 note referred to — and if anyone is curious. If there is a P2AV2, then please correct me and accept my apology. Hope SkyLab doesn't mind my answering the question, since he hasn't heard it.

The (Electric-Avenues.com) PA2V2 is a marvelous entry-level amp that has plenty of power in a tiny, simple, square black plastic box (2.6" x 2.6" x 1.1"). I think it's currently $60 + small shipping cost, comes with an AC adapter/charger, runs on 2xAA rechargeables for roughly 100 hours, depending on battery capacity. It's also sometimes available at ebay auction, obviously for less than $60 if you're lucky.

The abbreviated specs are: an LM4881 op amp, 2x470uf Panasonic input caps, 2x2200uf Panasonic output caps (forgot the models); has an output power of up to 200 mW RMS; claimed 5Hz-40kHz response; 100dB SNR. I'll try it tomorrow with ES2 IEMs to check for hiss.

It's been a while since I listened to it, but I'll try tomorrow with DT880-250/05, PXC300 and ES2, and adjust this post if needed.

It has a gutsy sound and can drive most phones, but lacks refinement, solid image focus, and the kind of transparent window into the music that we're all seeking, and discussing here.

Still, it provides a big, energetic sound suitable for the beginner on a budget. It's not a contender for top SQ positions, but I don't believe it makes any such pretentions. It's simply a nice introduction at a very painless price, and an unassuming yet durable package.

I try to keep products in context, and appreciate them for what they offer in that context.

EDIT 9:07am: Unfortunately, the PA2V2 is not a match for the ES2 IEMs. In terms of hiss there's only a very tiny hiss that the music covers, but the sound is noisy and gritty. [Perhaps an impedance mismatch?] The overall sound with ES2 is worse than iPod 4G headphone out. Though iPod headout has no depth or "life", it's cleaner and more pleasant than PA2V2. Not the proper application for PA2V2. (Sorry, Gary.)

Tomahawk, on the other hand, is a wonderful improvement over iPod headout with ES2! Better separation, imaging, extension, definition, dimension, air, etc.

EDIT 2:30pm: Okay, here's the (overall positive with caveats) quicky low-down the PA2V2 with PXC300 and DT880-250/05.

The PA2V2 drives the DT880-250/2005 quite well, with surprisingly good extension and a better illusion of depth & dimension than I expected. One apparent area where it falls short — using the Hornet for comparison — is highs on violins and voices, where some fringe-y edges are heard, whereas the Hornet is smooth and sweet. It also falls short in clean, crisp leading edge attack and bass definition.

It has good bass energy and impact, but it's less defined. Placement of performers and imaging are also better than I recalled, though the ultimate lack of clean edges & transparency prevents it from presenting the rock solid, well-described, layered imaging that the best amps offer.

Still, the PA2V2 is pretty involving and a terrific bang-for-buck amp.

I was using Sting's "Brand New Day" disc, "Desert Rose" (for high metal persussion, swooshing L-R effects, depth/dimension, bass and drum attack. On "A Thousand Years" that starts out with a stygian bass-synth note, it reproduced the note pretty well. I used Maxim Vengerov "Virtuoso" disc, "I Palpiti" for high/smooth solo violin, and Alison Krauss "Lonely Runs Both Ways", disc, "Gravity" — where Alison's voice and Jerry Douglas' dobro were just smoother & sweeter, the bass richer & punchier, and the overall sound cleaner & more fluid with blacker background with the Hornet.

PA2V2 is a great match for the (closed/folding/Noise-Reducing) Senn PXC300 phones, which makes for excellent iPod/amp/phones portability without IEMs.
post #299 of 3234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee View Post
It has a gutsy sound and can drive most phones, but lacks refinement, solid image focus, and the kind of transparent window into the music that we're all seeking, and discussing here.

Still, it provides a big, energetic sound suitable for the beginner on a budget. It's not a contender for top SQ positions, but I don't believe it makes any such pretentions. It's simply a nice introduction at a very painless price, and an unassuming yet durable package.

I try to keep products in context, and appreciate them for what they offer in that context.
Yep, the PA2V2 is an excellent beginner's amp, and definitely is a great value for the money. It's like... the poor man's Tomahawk!

Just to chime in to previous observations of the Tomahawk, I can confirm that it drives 600 Ohm Darth Beyers quite nicely, with the gain switch flipped up, from the line-out of a 5G iPod. No strain whatsoever - I'm still below 12 o' clock, with lots more room to spare. I've also had the Tomahawk maxed out when running out of a Clix's headphone out, and there was no clipping/distortion. Still on my first set of batteries, with a good 2 - 3 hour use of it almost everyday since early January, with no noticeable drop in volume.
post #300 of 3234
yeah, what's a P2av2? Thanks for that quick take on the PA2v2. I just sold mine...too late Skylab.lol.

I agree with how Romanee describes its performance. It served me well.

I'm sure I'll get to read a review from the person who bought it(not from this forum)...he is a highly regarded member and DIY guy...maybe he'll end up buying a Hornet or something after this. lol

I'm expecting my AE-2 soon...maybe this week. YEA!
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Review: Portable amp roundup! 56 portable amps reviewed and compared - FINAL update 12-20-10 added RSA SR-71B