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Amps are overated? - Page 3

post #31 of 252
Recently hooked up my CD3K's and Koss A/250's up to my Sony NC555ES with no amp. Very lackluster sound; little bass, little sound stage (comparatively on the CD3K's, they still sound pretty wide but everything is just smeared) and treble without any real sparkle... The mid's seem a little untainted and pure at the moment, but it lack's fullness and... idk bloom? I can't wait for my amp to come, that's all I can say.
post #32 of 252
For weak portable players an amp would always help, but most home DAC's have more output so often an amp would only degrade the sound. unless your headphones are particularly power hungry, of course.

my favorite technique is to recable my headphones to dual monos (either RCA or balanced cable) and connect them straight to the line out of the DAC. as long as your headphones are not power-suckers, then basically you have the ideal amp by not having one at all.
post #33 of 252
Portable amps are overated... maybe. Amps in general, my K340's beg to differ.
post #34 of 252
Get a source, find its signature, get some headphones, find their signature. Evaluate what you like about each, find an amp that will play to their strengths/your preferences. That will be the most successful and rewarding path.

I would also express the same sentiment as others regarding this issue. The step up wont blow you away as the step down. Once you subtract an amp from the system, you'll know the difference.
post #35 of 252
With my ety4s and AT ew9 & es5, the amp did little noticable other than better detailed low end, volume and soundstage. The K701s actually sound very good with a Xin macro4. It has 8 1000 mAh AAA. Plenty of current to drive full cans. Out of the Ipod headphone out, not. The amp can drive full cans to potential.
post #36 of 252
Yeah, in my case, the amp hardly makes a difference. That's probably cause my phones are low impedance. The only difference that I can tell, is that the headphones sound crystal clear at really high volumes. I can tell they're getting a lot of good power. The amp does color the sound a tad bit darker, though. I generally like it.

I can hardly hear any difference at all between my m-audio transit and iPod. I'm really glad I got the transit, because it was much better than my sound card in terms of latency for the recording I do. Well worth it in that respect, but otherwise, not really. I'm sure if I had some harder to drive headphones, though, this setup would make much of a difference.
post #37 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian589 View Post
Get a source, find its signature, get some headphones, find their signature. Evaluate what you like about each, find an amp that will play to their strengths/your preferences. That will be the most successful and rewarding path.

I would also express the same sentiment as others regarding this issue. The step up wont blow you away as the step down. Once you subtract an amp from the system, you'll know the difference.
Yeah if I had the time to do all that, I would not have the time to work too make the money to buy that amp. I dont know. Im happy now. Once Upgraditis hits in a couple months Ill probably get something. Itll be cheaper and itll take me more time this time around. But I believe thats for the better.
post #38 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox View Post
Portable amps are overated... maybe. Amps in general, my K340's beg to differ.
x2 wrt protable amps. desktop amps however do make a significant difference wrt to the final sound.
post #39 of 252
If I only had low impedence cans, I wouldn't need an amp. I don't need one for my E4c or even the KSC-75. Everything from the DT770/80 and up needs an amp when using my iPod. Obviously, I need to use an amp when i use my DAC. My set-up is way better than headphone directly into sound card. To my ears, anyway!
post #40 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox View Post
Portable amps are overated... maybe. Amps in general, my K340's beg to differ.
X3, i've never heard a portable amp do a very good job at driving anything.... but those big home amps do make a difference.
post #41 of 252
Ok, are you guys saying this AFTER hearing the RSA, Xin's and all the OTHER top-rated portable amps??? I need to know, I have less than 24 hours to make a decision!!!
post #42 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian589 View Post
I would also express the same sentiment as others regarding this issue. The step up wont blow you away as the step down. Once you subtract an amp from the system, you'll know the difference.
After double reading. I doubt about it. And this is the thing. I took the amp out of the equation and found the music to sound better. Now this hasnt been proven. But for some reason I plugged it straight into my PowerBook and all of sudden these details and warmth are overcoming me, its eargasm. The music not only sounds great but more important I'm getting into it. The beats more alive, Im digging it more. Its like I rediscovered my headphones. Except I've always used these heapdhones, I just plugged it in without the amp. Its great. Its as if. I didnt notice much of a step up. But going back I feel like I jumped up the SQ ladder. But, I just took out the amp. Its really odd. Im just happy. That means I dont have to lug this amp around anymore even though its quite small, I can be quite happy. Save some money. Save some space. Save some sanity. Just Enjoy the music.

Its nice....
post #43 of 252
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
Ok, are you guys saying this AFTER hearing the RSA, Xin's and all the OTHER top-rated portable amps??? I need to know, I have less than 24 hours to make a decision!!!
I cant attest to personally hearing anything besides the RSA and Bithead. But it seems many who agreed me have just been in that situation. And said... yeah slightly over rated, very dependent on your situation though.

What headphones are you going to be using? Whats your source? These questions will help determine how much you will get out of it.

Also... hopefully reading about reality, that the benifit isnt that substantial, it can help you be either overwhelmed or have a placebo take over you. Headphone Upgraditis is just as bad as any other tech Upgraditis, be it gadget, computer, or even car. When someone has to get the newest phone with all the coolest features only to see 6 months down the road its been overpassed only slightly. To upgrade is going to cost more than what your gaining and wont necessarily be better for you. Just words of wisdom. Sometimes you seldom get them on a forum like this (no offense I love this place, but..... at time things can become weird...... WILL THE CLOCK SPEED OF YOUR COMPUTER AFFECT SQ.... yeah so...)

Enjoy the Music! Take Two Scoops of Salt with every recommendation. And cheaper purchases will never leave you unhappy. So, I'm going back to my old mantra, and suggest you think about it: Every Headphone/Amp component should be less than $200 used. Then you will never be disappointed.
post #44 of 252
My CD3K's have showed signs of greater improvement after amping than my K701's ever did. I don't think impedance has all that much to do with it unless an adequate volume level just simply isn't attainable. For that, a Boostaroo could do the same job.

I'm not saying a Boostaroo is the way to go for anyone's HD650's, but I think headphones need to be looked at on an individual basis. Low impedance headphones can improve just as much as any other headphone from giving them an amp.

Portable amps may be overrated, I wouldn't know, but they do supply the added current and voltage headphones can sometimes need to sound as if they are driven with authority. So, I'd say they fulfill their job quite well.
post #45 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
Ok, are you guys saying this AFTER hearing the RSA, Xin's and all the OTHER top-rated portable amps??? I need to know, I have less than 24 hours to make a decision!!!
RSA and Xin's offer full refunds, so don't worry about it. If you have the cash to spend right now, give it a shot. If you don't like it, take it back. I have the Supermini IV ordered. I'll just return it if the jump up in sound quality isn't worth the money.
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