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Portable amp for Grado SR80i

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi, i just bought a Grado SR80i and im using it on my ipod, would it sound better if i use an amp? i dont want to spend too much money. something like this:

Amazon.com: FiiO E5 Headphone Amplifier: Electronics

Thanks
post #2 of 26
i'm sure there will be other members who will disagree with me but i did not notice much difference/improvement when i drove sr60 sr80 with amps (pico, headsix, littledot mk4, gilmore lite, etC). i noticed a little bit of improvement from amped sr325i compared to unamped (in bass department).

i currently have a fiio 35 also, and i dont like it at all. it takes away transparency and details.
so, my suggestion to you is just use sr80 unamped with ipod.
post #3 of 26
As someone who owns the SR-80 and a portable amp, I agree with tjumper78. To me, the amp (RSA Predator) makes little difference with an iPod, or any other source for that matter. Unamped sounds fine... I suggest you save your money instead for the inevitable Grado upgraditis...
post #4 of 26
I generally agree with the above, however, I find that the Total BitHead does somewhat improve the SR60 from the iPod. Seems to smooth out the mids a bit. Still, I usually listen without it!
post #5 of 26
I've heard that the SR-80i requires an amp to sound good. Is this true?

And if I'm listening with my computer, would the FiiO E5 help at all? (I don't have a sound card, and I have some crappy speakers.)
post #6 of 26
I have the SR80i's with an iPhone (3GS) and adding an iBasso D10 was significant upgrade. Much fuller sound and punchier base. Worth every penny. You can also connect it to your computer for listening to the SR80's at home (huge upgrade over your computer headphone out).
post #7 of 26
I don't have that kind of money to spend.

Any relatively cheap amps that are worth buying?
post #8 of 26
Look around on eBay for allsorts of CMoy amps. With some luck you can tailor them to your own taste (not just their appearance, but also the op-amp).

They cost about $50 on average and can do pretty much everything the twice as expensive 'commercially available' entry-level headamps do. Personally, I find their form factor to be more convenient as well (for my situation anyway). The tins are only slightly larger than my Fuze.

I'm very satisfied about biosciencegeek's work. He delivers a very customizable and sturdy solution and you can always PM him for advice on e.g. putting in a different op-amp. At the moment he doesn't seem to be selling any cmoy's, though I'm guessing this is only temporarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay22 View Post
I don't have that kind of money to spend.

Any relatively cheap amps that are worth buying?
post #9 of 26
I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand what you said. I'm new to this sort of stuff.

What are CMoy amps and op-amp?

Edit: Is this the type of amp you're talking about?
Bass Boost cMoy v2.02 Amp - Premium Headphone Amplifier - eBay (item 130343763804 end time Nov-17-09 16:44:59 PST)
post #10 of 26
I own 3 portable amps and the sr-80s. I don't find the very slight benefit of amping the sr-80s worth carrying around the amp along with my ipod. Purchasing even a low end amp seems like a waste. If you catch the grado fever like I did, then you will need that money for some 325i or rs1i. Then you'll need an amp.
post #11 of 26
A CMoy amp is basically a well-known design of DIY headphone amplifier originally designed by a guy named Chu Moy (hence the name CMoy), which is small enough to be housed in a mint tin. Because it requires little and low-cost parts it's usually quite cheap (between $30 and $60). Don't let the low-cost DYI image fool you though. With quality parts and a skilled builder you will have an excellent low- to mid-fi portable amplifier for little money. Your best bet is to find them on eBay.

Example:



An op-amp, short for operational amplifier, is the chip inside amplifiers that does most of the amplifying work. There are many different types of these op-amps, each with their own subtle influence on the sound signature. Some make the sound warmer, others more neutral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay22 View Post
I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand what you said. I'm new to this sort of stuff.

What are CMoy amps and op-amp?

Edit: Is this the type of amp you're talking about?
Bass Boost cMoy v2.02 Amp - Premium Headphone Amplifier - eBay (item 130343763804 end time Nov-17-09 16:44:59 PST)
post #12 of 26
I dont like the Fiio e5 either. not sure what im going to do with it but it seems to muddy things up. the PA2v2 sounds much better than the Fiio but i have not used a CMoy b4 so i cannot compare.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay22 View Post
I've heard that the SR-80i requires an amp to sound good. Is this true?)
nope. definitely not true.
post #14 of 26
The Grados don't need an amp to be driven, or to be enjoyed. But until you hear them through a strong, warm amp, you don't know what you have - or what you're missing. Grados have an open-air design, which is great for reducing HF resonance. Unfortunately, because there's no acoustic suspension, bass leaks out of them. They're not bass anemic; they're just not overwhelming the bass department. The GS1K has the best bass (even better than the PS1K, at least according to the graphs) but you won't know what your headphone is capable of until you run it through a powerful amp.

I have had an assortment of portables - including several Cmoys, several Pimetas and the Mini3. They all did nice things but nothing like my M^3 with variable bass boost. When the M^3 ran my Grados, even the most bass-shy of my Grados rumbled like the floor amp in a rowdy club. The bass was ominous, as if I were standing next to a pipe organ going down, down, down to Chinatown.

I'd had no ideas my Grados could drive so low and with so much power. To pull this off, you need an amp, and not just any amp. You need a strong amp. I used my M^3. Surely, it's not the only desktop model that could pull that off. I don't know of any portables with that kind of power. I wish I did.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post
The Grados don't need an amp to be driven, or to be enjoyed. But until you hear them through a strong, warm amp, you don't know what you have - or what you're missing. Grados have an open-air design, which is great for reducing HF resonance. Unfortunately, because there's no acoustic suspension, bass leaks out of them. They're not bass anemic; they're just not overwhelming the bass department. The GS1K has the best bass (even better than the PS1K, at least according to the graphs) but you won't know what your headphone is capable of until you run it through a powerful amp.

I have had an assortment of portables - including several Cmoys, several Pimetas and the Mini3. They all did nice things but nothing like my M^3 with variable bass boost. When the M^3 ran my Grados, even the most bass-shy of my Grados rumbled like the floor amp in a rowdy club. The bass was ominous, as if I were standing next to a pipe organ going down, down, down to Chinatown.

I'd had no ideas my Grados could drive so low and with so much power. To pull this off, you need an amp, and not just any amp. You need a strong amp. I used my M^3. Surely, it's not the only desktop model that could pull that off. I don't know of any portables with that kind of power. I wish I did.

Hi..i just join this forum and a newbie to this hobby as well..
I have a SR80 with me, and I always use it with my iPod/Mac un-amp..it always sound great to me.. but surely enough, this kind of feeling will not last, there always an urge to seek more heights.. so for the last month, i've been thinking a lot of having an amp for my SR80. I am not really sure which path i wanna go atm.. but i'm kinda leaning toward having a desktop amp (which is relatively cheaper compare to their portable compatriot), a desktop tube amp to be precise..

do you know what kind of amp i should be getting to get the full potential out of SR80..? not necessarily a tube amp...
i manage to narrow down to Travagans white, Darkvoice 336i, and Little Dot MKIII....

appreciate your opinion................

Thanks...
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