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Why use amps at all?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I mean isn't the job of an amplifier to amplifier the sound waves in order to output enough power in order to drive loudspeakers and such?

What is there to gain when using portable amps with portable headphones?

I'm just new at this, and i just want to decide if it's worth getting an amp for my shure se530's.
post #2 of 30
Your SE530 are pretty sensitive, they sound good without an amp. It is not needed. However, with an amp you may notice several improvements. It is more evident on some headphones that they need an amp. My portable, the Etymotic ER4S is very amp dependent. It will scale up or down depending on the amp. With the SE530, which I also own, amping does not manifest drastic differences.
post #3 of 30
I never thought the etys needed an amp but now that I have a decent sized LOD, I do enjoy them more. The ALO LODs are too big for a low profile hip pouch.
post #4 of 30
In a nutshell, a separate amp has its on own battery and power supply that it does not have to share with the source. In music's loud passages and specially in reproducing bass, with an amp, simply put, you should be able to hear it better.
post #5 of 30
I bought a BSG cmoy because I needed better volume control. The volume control on my Zune sucked with my earbuds, and the amp made a HUGE difference. It got rid of all the static on my Zune and my laptop, and I didn't expect that. It also widened the soundstage some, but the biggest improvements were the volume control and getting rid of ALL the hiss/static. YMMV.
post #6 of 30
An amp doesn't amplify the sound waves. It provides current and voltage to the driver.

A headphone driver has a voicecoil attached to a cone. (I'll just go into dynamic drivers here.) The voicecoil is a coil of thin copper wire. There's also a magnet behind the voicecoil. When you pass the signal through the voicecoil, you have to have sufficient power for the voicecoil to move the cone back and forth against the magnet.

If you don't have enough power, the cone's movement is weak or sloppy. Think about trying to go up a big hill on a bicycle compared to going up the hill on a car. The more power you have, the faster you can get to the top.

It's the same way with amplifiers. If you have an easy headphone to drive, then you can just use an iPod to push it back and forth. If you have something difficult to drive, like an AKG K-1000, then you need a lot more power.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
An amp doesn't amplify the sound waves. It provides current and voltage to the driver.

A headphone driver has a voicecoil attached to a cone. (I'll just go into dynamic drivers here.) The voicecoil is a coil of thin copper wire. There's also a magnet behind the voicecoil. When you pass the signal through the voicecoil, you have to have sufficient power for the voicecoil to move the cone back and forth against the magnet.

If you don't have enough power, the cone's movement is weak or sloppy. Think about trying to go up a big hill on a bicycle compared to going up the hill on a car. The more power you have, the faster you can get to the top.

It's the same way with amplifiers. If you have an easy headphone to drive, then you can just use an iPod to push it back and forth. If you have something difficult to drive, like an AKG K-1000, then you need a lot more power.
Ok i see, so how do you based on your specs when you can benefit from an amp?

Is it true that you can get a richer soundstage and improved bass/treble as people here say?

I mostly listen to hip/hop dance/techno and although the bass coming from the shure is satisfactory, i can never get enough. Is it possible that a portable amp can drive the bass to the limit for my entertainment?

Quote:
In music's loud passages and specially in reproducing bass, with an amp, simply put, you should be able to hear it better.
Reproducing bass, you mean getting a louder a clearer bass? IS that possible with an amp cause that's what I'm looking for.
post #8 of 30
Given that you're using SE530 which is easy to drive you shouldn't need to worry about the specifications as all amps will be able to drive it.

Even with small amps such as the FiiO line there's an improvement in soundstage, albeit small improvements. They can also help with extending treble and bass response.

If you want a huge amount of bass, I'd recommend a Voyager, though I haven't tried a SE530 with a Voyager before. Voyagers are also known for improving soundstage.
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
I dont have any experience with Amps so whatever you guys say i will have to take your word for it, so do you guys agree that the Voyager is the best bass oriented solution and will it suit my shure 530.

If there are any alternative solution please do mention them so i can list my options, thank you.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

I mostly listen to hip/hop dance/techno and although the bass coming from the shure is satisfactory, i can never get enough. Is it possible that a portable amp can drive the bass to the limit for my entertainment?
Using the shure and not enough bass, I guess that says it all. You are a bass head, don't bother getting the best and most expensive amps. Change to bass heavy phones or get one of those portable amps with bass control. If I remember correctly head direct has one of those and one of the govibes as well. Do a search or ask someone about portable amps with bass control.
post #11 of 30
the govibe's model you're looking for is the magnum, it has a knob so you can increase the bass quantity to the level you want.

i wouldnt say being a bass head means that you shouldnt bother getting the best and most expensive amps (or for that matter earphones). for the longest time the most expensive iem was the ue11 (although not anymore methinks) and it was in many respects a basshead's dream. in addition, the lisa III is generally regarded as the best and is the most expensive portable amp, and it has a bass knob too!
post #12 of 30
Dude, I have the Shure 530s, and an iBasso D10. I thought the Shures sounded GREAT on their own. But they sound WAY better with an amp. Richer, lusher. Just delicious If you like bass (like I do), I think you'll find an amp will do the trick. I'm very happy with my D10.
post #13 of 30
Yeah, you never really need an amp, but if you're OK with an extra piece of hardware that you have to carry around, then why not? Whether the improvement in sound quality is worth the hassle/expense is up to you. Same with a portable DAC, although I think they're more worth it.
post #14 of 30
atothex: that is untrue.
All line-level signals need to be amplified, whether its via an internal circuit or external dedicated amp.
The point of an amp is essentially to get a quiet signal up to volume that is listenable volume.
Beyond that, amps are used to power headphones that need the power.
If you are using an amp on mid-fi headphones that dont need a dedicated amp, you will still get an improvement but it will be terrible VFM vs upgrading headphones or source.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDBacklash View Post
atothex: that is untrue.
All line-level signals need to be amplified, whether its via an internal circuit or external dedicated amp.
The point of an amp is essentially to get a quiet signal up to volume that is listenable volume.
Beyond that, amps are used to power headphones that need the power.
If you are using an amp on mid-fi headphones that dont need a dedicated amp, you will still get an improvement but it will be terrible VFM vs upgrading headphones or source.
I meant beyond the one in your DAP, and in portable situations. Sorry, I assumed those 2 things were implicitly understood.
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