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Yet another cheap amp thread. Please help anyway. - Page 3

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post
D--n you all!!

I should have known that as soon as people started throwing options at me, i'd end up exceeding my budget. I snagged tjumper78's used Meier Corda Headsix for just a hair above my original top end. With good luck, I'll get it this weekend.

I'm with child to see what improvement I experience. But I figure that this is probably as much performance as I'm ever likely to want (in fact, Skylab seems to think it's about as much as I can rightly expect for less than $300 or so). SO, I basically followed early advice and went upmarket. I'll apologize to the wife later. Maybe AFTER the amp arrives, so I can drown out the cursing.

Thanks for all the response here. I'm still pretty interested in the topic, though. And sadly, I can imagine myself buying a C&C F1 at some point...just to see.
LOL, you will be so happy with your Hedsix Not to diss any cmoy's as they too have come a long way since the original PV's The Headsix is in a whole other league Congrats
post #32 of 41
When you're buying portable amps, make sure they can drive your low impedance IEMs. I have 3 portable amps none of which can drive IEMs. They're really worthless as portables. They all go from no volume to to loud with a slight touch of the volume knob. I use one, with a wall wart to drive 150 - 250 ohm headphones at work.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post
LostPhil, what are your thoughts as to construction of these amps? Three3three3's amps are built on custom PCB boards which to a tyro like me makes them seem more desirable than an amp built on other boards. Biosciencegeek makes his on what I believe is known as a stripboard, which requires him to actually lay down wires for circuits, but does seem really robust. Sharpywarpy, among many others uses something else (see pics on this linked page: Cmoy Headphone Amplifier with Blue LED - eBay (item 280242261942 end time Jul-09-08 13:06:57 PDT) )
Is that protoboard? It seems the most inelegant construction, but I really know very little about this stuff.
Biosciencegeek's amp is very well put together - all trim and tidy, well laid out with nothing exposed - anything that isn't under the board that's fixed in the case is sealed in clear pvc glue like stuff. To be honest, even though PCB's look slightly more professional it wouldn't be any better build wise IMO - sound wise it may differ but I doubt it would have much impact.

Juice's has a lot more wire trailing around - it doesn't look too professional but it's more likely function over form! I would certainly take BSG's over it though, much more solid looking.

The one you linked to looks incredibly inelegant as you put it! I can't really comment though, I don't know the best means of circuit construction!

I hope you enjoy that Headsix of yours! Unfortunately, my car takes precedent over audio gear and that needs some tlc so this is going to be my set-up for a while (I pretty satisfied with it which is most definitely a good thing).

scompton: Luckily I have a nice 75ohm attenuator lying around which helps immensely with my x3i's - I was listening to them yesterday and they sound phenominal - I'm kinda glad I haven't heard any better; ignorance is bliss!
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=scompton;4421325]When you're buying portable amps, make sure they can drive your low impedance IEMs. QUOTE]

Indeed. The Headsix has an input impedance of 13 ohms; I think that means it should be fine. I do know I'll have to switch it over to low gain, though.
post #35 of 41
i might end up trying hte fiio amp, because it's only like 13 dollars

or i may just try to build my own CMoy amp

or just buy one, haven't really decided.

may get all three?
post #36 of 41
The headstage lyrix is a very good one imho. If you find a good one used without the DAC you should be able to get it for close to $100.

MIne has the DAC and i bought it to drive the HD650. I sold the HD650 and kept the lyrix. They made the HD555 sound so much better that I thought it was worth the investment.


I dont know how it sounds from IEMs but apparently it is awesome with the low gain. I could report next week when i should have tmy TFP to pair it.
post #37 of 41
Headstage Lyrix does have a very good amp section. I still have two of them, even though I have both the $500 Pico and Predators laying around.
post #38 of 41

Any suggestions for portable amp for Mdr-V6 and K271?

Like title says, I have a pair of Sony MDR-V6 and AKG 271s (older version, not the new HD).

Anyway, I've been checking out this forum for some time looking for an answer but like the OP, am having issues going through the info. I built a cmoy according to tangent's tutorial with a 2132(?), it basically made them louder but not necessarily better. I tried swapping in a 2227(I think) but the amp crapped out on me (all I heard when I plugged my cheapo headphones was tick-tick-tick, which continued after I switched back to the original opamp). Anyway, instead of troubleshooting I planned on starting another cmoy from scratch as I have all the supplies for 1-2 more, but I don't feel like wasting my time with something so-so.

So, I've been checking out things like the DIY mini3, but I don't think it will give me enough runtime. Would any portable high current amp give me good runtime?

Would the DIY mini3 drive these better than some (you name it) prebuilt amp? Or is there another portable DIY amp I should consider? I'd like to stay =< $100.

Thanks

PS.. Since most of my "critical" listening is at home, I would also like to hear opinions on a home amp DIY or commercial in this price range...
post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
Got the Headsix from Tjumper78 today. I think it does what I wanted -- tighten up the bass from the headphone out jack on my Zune 80. But I'm still evaluating the purchase on a per-dollar basis. It was not a night-and-day experience, but that's likely a consequence of having to use the Zune's HO. Though it should be said that the Zune's HO is remarkably quiet. With volume on max and music paused, there is absolutely no noise on my IEMs with no amp in-line. With the Headsix turned up, there's just a whisper of hiss -- it's not noticeable during playback of anything but an older, hissier recording -- and there's an unfortunate crackling when I adjust the amp's volume, as well.

There seems a little bit more growl and bite to the bass when I listen to Radiohead (as I am right now: "Myxomatosis"), and there seems to be a little bit more depth and roundness and resonanance to the double bass on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue.

I also seem to detect an improvement in midrange and treble. I can understand some Thom Yorke lyrics I'd never understood before (though I hadn't been using the new IEMs for that long before I got the Headsix, so this might not be fair), which argues for an improvement in the midrange. I don't know how else to speak about the midrange: it seems to be the part of the sonic spectrum that I hear least precisely.

The most marked improvement is actually on the high end, where I'm getting a markedly airer sound. Cymbals sound finer, snares more three-dimensional, and there's perhaps a slight improvement in separation that's most noticeable up top.

This has all been somewhat hard to evaluate, though, as like most people, I tend to interpret an increase in volume as an increase in sound quality. The Headsix is set for low gain, which effectively seems to turn it into an attentuator. If I have the Zune at 10 (of 20), 01:30 on the amp is still a good deal quieter than the unamped signal. Setting the Zune volume to 8 is a loud-comfortable listening level; if I leave it there and turn the amp to 03:00, I seem to get about the same volume as without the amp. My most recent tests have been with this configuration.

I'm no sure if that's the best way to listen, though. Most threads I've read suggest that when listening to amped phones through a lineout, you should crank the volume on your source to max, then use the amp to control the volume. I'm presuming that means that all amps are attenuators, as I've never had a source I could comfortably listen to a max volume. But I'm not sure why I'd want to crank any source's internal amp; wouldn't that just introduce distortion, which would then be amplified by the external amp? Any reasoned advice? Should I find the middling volume on the source that lets me use a middling volume on the amp? Or should I use a high source volume and a very low amp volume?

And while I'm at it, how the h--l can any amp take an imperfect source and make it sound clearer and more open? I think I'm experiencing that, but I'm worried that I'm fooling myself!
post #40 of 41
Sometimes the source can drive an amp better than it can drive headphones, and then it sounds better (especially with difficult to drive headphones that need more current than the source can provide, or if they need more voltage swing than the source can provide). For example, many portable sources can produce more bass when used as a source and feeding the signal into a headphone amp vs when driving headphones. That might be part of it.

I never turn up my source to 100%, but I would go to 80-90% of max when feeding it into an amp. Many times a source will distort or clip when driving headphones, but wont do that when driving an amp, depending on the input impedance of the amp. However, I pretty much always amplify a line-out of some sort and not headphone out. I understand that isn't always possible.
post #41 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Sometimes the source can drive an amp better than it can drive headphones, and then it sounds better (especially with difficult to drive headphones that need more current than the source can provide, or if they need more voltage swing than the source can provide). For example, many portable sources can produce more bass when used as a source and feeding the signal into a headphone amp vs when driving headphones. That might be part of it.
I'm using UE super.fi 5 pros, so they're not exactly hard to drive, but if my understanding is accurate (which is a lot to hope for), the Headsix's lower input impedance would make it easier to "drive" than the IEMs with their 21-ohm impedance. So, the real issue is that the amp is able to provide more current than the Zune? I suppose that makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I never turn up my source to 100%, but I would go to 80-90% of max when feeding it into an amp. Many times a source will distort or clip when driving headphones, but wont do that when driving an amp, depending on the input impedance of the amp. However, I pretty much always amplify a line-out of some sort and not headphone out. I understand that isn't always possible.
Right now I'm listening with the amp at 11:00 and the Zune at 70%. Can't honestly tell a difference between this and the Zune at 35% and the amp at 3:00. I suppose that means I shouldn't worry too much about it.
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