Guess we must have far different experiences then. Going from an iPhone 4 (very low impedance and pretty linear) to:
- Arrow 4G
- Porta-Tube (this added some really nice warmth when I had it)
- NFB-12 + LD MKIV
Differences were very minimal when volume matched, and main change was colouration (in the tube set-ups).
Maybe my ears are shot
Well for a while I thought my SR80i sounded better than my 325is's, and I thought maybe my ears were shot, especially when I was hearing way more detail out of my SR80i' listening through the Adcom/Meridian than I was with the 325's. But when I bought the LD/Schiit, the 325's really shined, I couldn't believe it myself because I was always against buying a dedicated headphone amp, but in the end, like I said, I am very impressed with the 325's and the LD/Shiit setup, and wished I would have took the advice sooner. And I always listen to my headphones at moderate to mid volume, I don't want my ears to get shot like yours did!. I'm totally kidding! Cheers!!!