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Would you say the amps have more effect on SQ than the phones? - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdfonelover View Post
Would you say the amps have more effect on SQ than phones?
sure thing, as you can clearly see by the photo here.
















I'm only kidding of course. headphones first, then a combination of source and amp depending on what I'm going for and what the setup is, cables usually last (although again this may take more importance than either source/amp depending on the setup such as with the Qualia 010 and its headphone cable IMO... about the only case I can think of actually). exceptions are fun.
post #17 of 36
I think that a $600 amp will make more of a difference than a $600 source. I think that a $10000 source will make more of a difference than a $10000 amp. I think that SR225s with a nice tube amp and a decent, but not expensive, source, will be a darn nice way to listen to rock and roll.
post #18 of 36
For me it's:

Headphones > Amps > Source > Cable.

-The Grinman
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdfonelover View Post
As much as I like my 225s, recently I feel like it's missing what I call the "richness". If my memory serves me right, I remember some 225 owners asking for more bass, that getting the Reference Series would solve the issue. On the other hand, some say appropriate amping might do the trick. For some reason though, I find myself leaning toward amping. Would you say the amps have more effect on SQ than phones?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by derekbmn View Post
UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM......no
Ditto x3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
In nearly all cases I've experienced:

Headphones > Sources > Amps > Cables/Power
Ditto x3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
With electrostatics the amp is a huge factor, but that seems to be less the case with dynamic headphones.
Ditto x2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ayt999 View Post
sure thing, as you can clearly see by the photo here.
Too funny.

OP: This is all too good advice to muck it up with more of the same thing. Follow your ears, research a suitable source and continually evalute your set-up until you find it suitable to your desires.
post #20 of 36
Headphones >>> Amp

Of course, there might be exceptions, e.g. if you're plugging an HD650 into an iPod, maybe an HD595 will sound better. The HD595 is cheaper and "inferior", but its impedance would make it a better match for the iPod's output.
post #21 of 36
Whether listening to loudspeakers or to headphones, I've always heard the greatest difference from speakers. Headphones and loudspeakers make the biggest difference by far, I think.

Sources and amplifiers affect what gets to the speakers and in what shape it arrives, but I've always found that makes much less difference than how the speakers present that information.

Cables seem to have the least effect. Their influence is subtle.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
Speaker systems are different from headphones. I modified a 120 dollars set of speakers that were made in China and the sound was fantastic. I didn't have my good speakers and I wanted something while waiting for them to arrive and I couldn't believe the good imaging, stage depth and solid bass and transparency.

I have listening to cheap headphone and nothing in the world except setting them on fire, while not on my head, would make them any better and then they would not only add to the noise pollution but also the air.

I would say headphones, source, amp, and IC last.
Complete thread hijacking

Impressive photos. You have some amazing skills with the lens.
post #23 of 36
Agree with a lot of what other folks are saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdfonelover View Post
As much as I like my 225s, recently I feel like it's missing what I call the "richness". If my memory serves me right, I remember some 225 owners asking for more bass, that getting the Reference Series would solve the issue. On the other hand, some say appropriate amping might do the trick. For some reason though, I find myself leaning toward amping. Would you say the amps have more effect on SQ than phones?
To the OP: Without knowing your source it's hard to really give advice ... but if you're feeding your 225's direct from a computer soundcard like mine, then an amp will be a sound investment. With my headphones plugged in direct, the sound is thin and tinny, with almost no bass. Adding a simple CMoy brings out much more clarity, across the spectrum.

The 225s, along with most Grado headphones, are generally fairly easy to drive, but you should still see an improvement amping them (although the lower end ones will give less improvement). If you're thinking about RS1's; it would be a travesty not to amp them properly, so you may as well get one anyway
post #24 of 36
Source -> Amplifier -> Headphone -> Cables
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Source -> Amplifier -> Headphone -> Cables
Forgot to chime in on that issue ... imo it's all about balance. While a $200 pair of headphones will sound miles better than $5 iBuds, if you're driving them with a $400 amp fed from a $50 CD player then you're not going to be getting the best from the amp or the headphones. Likewise, a $1000 CD player would most likely be wasted on cheap headphones.

Extreme examples that may be common sense, but i thought it was worth posting.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Source -> Amplifier -> Headphone -> Cables
No, no, no, you all have it wrong it's like this, gosh:

Cables, Amplifier, Source, Headphone : 4, 3, 2, 1











If you order all by mail, then it's in order of shipment...
post #27 of 36
An amp is not supposed to change the sound of the source's output.

However, an inherent flaw is that they do. Anything in the chain has the ability to impact the signal, which can be good or bad.

In an ideal world, everything is transparent, so nothing changes or influences the sound of the recorded material. It's rarely the case one can achieve this, if ever! So we try to find sources, phones, amps, and cables which affect sound in a positive way.


So all that said:
Its better to look at an amp as "makes it louder", view a source as "makes the music", headphones or speakers should be viewed as "plays the music", and cables as "carries the music". Extremely simplistic, but thats how simple it is.

They are each important factors. Computer soundcards and portable devices often lack the output power, which translates into volume, to drive headphones properly. If your speakers/phones aren't being driven to full potential, you'll have poor sound. This is where amplifiers appear to fix "sound" ... but really, just fix the voltage.

No headphone or amp can fix a truly bad source. The greatest source can't fix a bad amp or a poor set of phones. A shorted cable kills everything, or a cable without good shielding lets in noise. Its all dependant upon each other. You don't have to spend a fortune, knowledge is more valuable than money.
post #28 of 36
It's just silly to think that an amp has a greater impact on the overall sound than a headphone or speaker set. The faults in speakers/phones are many times that of an amp. And thinking cables have a major impact on SQ is more than silly. About the source it's a matter of how you look at things. Because of the variation in different recordings, you wont get that fatigue you get from a bad audio system with the same faults smearing all over every recording.
post #29 of 36
Again, the either / or , model can be misleading for this reason. In my opinion a headphone and amplifier should best be thought of as one. This becomes evident when heard and the term 'synergy' between them best describes their good matching together. This is evident with the same source being downstream, with the chosen source being most important as to what the upstream components have to work with. either one cannot work at its best without the other being capable, and this is where balance between the components becomes an important concept to grasp in terms of budget for each. Each are interdependant for the materials pleasing presentation. Ergo, a balance of funds roughly dispersed between these components with the headphone/amp being considered as one, IMO...
post #30 of 36
I always thought that amp is a "no news, good news" thing. Once you reach a specific level its much more difficult to improve. If you cant really tell its there then even better. Headphones on the other side seem to make a bigger impact in SQ.
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