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what's a good amp choice for hd580?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
ok, so the bug has caught me. it started with ksc-50's, then to grado sr60's, and now im interested in getting a pair of hd580's. the only problem is that, unlike my current cans, the 580's require an amp to get the best sound. i don't know much about amps, but i've heard that headroom's are good. what is the lowest price i could pay to get good sound? would i be pushing it with a total airhead? im a jobless high school student, so i have to keep the price low. the sources would alternate between my ipod, cheap pcdp's, and my dad's sweet stereo setup in the living room (sorry, i dont know what kind it is but it sure sounds good). so i need something relatively portable, i wouldnt be toting it along on any bus rides or anything but it needs to be small enough to move from my room to the living room regularly. any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
post #2 of 11
Sounds like you should go DIY, if you want the best bang/buck ratio. Although I haven't heard the Total Airhead, people have said a basic CMOY can sound better than the T.A., for a much lower price. You could probably get somebody on these forums to build you a CMOY for $80ish. Or you could build one yourself. I made one as my first DIY project, and it turned out very nicely.

If you're willing to pay more, you could build/get somebody to build for you a META42.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks fiddler, but what's a CMOY? i don't know much about amps at all and i don't think id be ready for a DIY endeavor quite yet.
post #4 of 11
CMOY is an amp design created by Chu Moy, the creator of Headwize.
Read this article to learn what it's all about:


Please tell us how much you're willing to spend.
post #5 of 11
Check out Creek OBH-11. It can be had for $150.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
how much would i be willing to spend? well, the headphones will come first, of course, and it'll take awhile to save up +/- $200 with my only income being tutoring twice a week. i'd probably say somewhere around $150 is where i'd put the max limit on the amp, preferrably less. can i really get good, hifi sound on that amount from a cmoy? i'd like for this to be my first serious high end rig, but im on a budget, too.
post #7 of 11

I was in your exact same position about a month ago...my budget was about $200, and I wound up going with a used META42 built by KurtW. All I have to say is...WOW I use the amp and HD580s with my 10GB ipod and the sound really opens up in terms of detail. You could probably get a good META for around $150 or so, mine was $185 (with stacked EL2001 buffers and AD8620 opamp) and its really portable (just barely bigger than the ipod). Hope that helps.
post #8 of 11
I second that recommendation. My META42 (built by JMT, AD8620, stacked buffers) is working great with my HD-580's. I haven't compared a whole lot though between my D-33's headphone out and the line out with my META. When I did though, strangely the bass seemed more impactful through the headphone out, but the sound suffered from lack of detail and a collapsed soundstage. On a whole, much better with the META. Plus the headphone out couldn't drive the phones to higher volumes as well. You'll probably see an even bigger improvement from a cheap PCDP or ipod's headphone out.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
after reading everyone's responses, it seems like a built amp would be the way to go. so how can i get in touch with some of the builders in the forum? should i just post a new thread asking them? thanks.
post #10 of 11
it seems like a built amp would be the way to go. so how can i get in touch with some of the builders in the forum?
I would like to know how to go about this, too. It seems that a Meta42 or similar amp. outperforms most of the commercial amps (at the same price range, anyway.) And so much cooler to have a custom built amp.

No one has responded to djgustashaw's question; does this mean everyone is booked up?

Consider this a hopeful bump!
post #11 of 11
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