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Portable amp for Grado SR80i - Page 2

post #16 of 26
For another cheap alternative, the Mini3 is a good option. It had great synergy with the Grado SR80 which I owned in the past (more/tighter bass, a smidge more detail).
post #17 of 26
I bought a PA2V2 a couple years back, to go with my SR-80. At first it didn't seem to really do much, but I realize now that is because I was using a crappy MP3 player with it.

Recently I pulled it out of my desk and hooked it up to a newer Sony Walkman MP3 player, and the difference in sound is absolutely noticeable (to me anyway!). I am very happy with it--the songs have more "oomph!"

Don't know if this helps, but thought I'd share. (I got the PA2V2 for $60 including shipping.)
post #18 of 26
Originally Posted by q_buzz View Post
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................

I've had several Cmoys, several Pimetas and a Mini3. While each of these added something to the mix, none of them came close to what I got with an M^3. With or without a regulated power source (STEPS was much more refined than the Wall wart that came with it), the bass I got was out of this world. I had no idea a Grado could rumble and thunder like that. My M^3 had a variable bass boost (bass knob) which allowed me to adjust the amount of bass warmth and rumble I added to the mix. I found the experience absolutely amazing. The Grados use the open-air design to maintain a clean sound in the upper register. A strong bass amp (preferably one with variable bass boost) lets you add just the right amount of bass - and if you want to tear it up, you can tear it up with the best of them.

Long story short, I wouldn't buy the lite amps, as the Grados don't need help with volume. They run fine without - and even the bass, itself, which is nice and clean, isn't bad. It's just that you may miss some of that rumble the closed-can people take for granted. Rather than muddy up your presentation by imitating them, just get an adequate bass amp. Grado, himself, doesn't even listen to the Grado RA-1 (an amp of Cmoy-like quality). He listens to a Melos (an old tube amp that's out of production but cherished). His amp is so warm that his headphones are tuned to it. So, without the amp, you're fine (more or less) but in some ways, you're missing some of the presentation your phones were meant to provide.
post #19 of 26
wow...thanks so much guys..
really nice insight.
but 1 question... mini3 is a diy thing right ? and will that make them somewhat diff from one piece to the next one.. ? or is there a pre-made model sold ?
post #20 of 26
I started with the SR80i's as well. Explore the Amplification for sale forum, find amps that might interested you (in terms of price and size, etc) then use the search feature and see what people have to say about them.

I've seen a mini3 for sale now and then.
post #21 of 26
post #22 of 26

I've owned a pair of SR80s for years now, they recently went out of commission due to a fall I had while listening (oops). Bent the head of the 3.5 and the cord got sliced by my chair. First time I was legitimately heartbroken over the loss of a inanimate object. Eventually I scraped the money to buy the sr80i. Nothing too new and improved after breaking them in, from memory (and without amping) the sr80i captured the same magic in my music as the 80s did, no more no less and that's not a bad thing. Immediately I was wondering what the point of the upgrade was anyways. It wasn't until hooking it up to my cmoy that it became apparent. I never amped my 80s too much because there wasn't much of a noticeable difference to me, it became a little more flat and drowned the bass slightly (even after my mods), but it didn't improve or detract from the sound so drastically that I needed to take it with me everywhere. When I amped the 80is with the same amp though, it became slightly unbearable. It was just too bright, and I actually prefer the 80s for that reason, but when I say too bright, oh my.


One of my first purchases with my upgrade in payscale was of course headphones. After my first paycheck I immediately bought a pair of AKG K702s and Sr325s. Big mistake, but a great one at that. It wasn't until I broke the Sr325s in that I finally caught the "Grado upgraditis". I've heard my friend's vast collection of headphones, and because I could only detect slight differences between them all, I never thought I was that much of an audiophile, that my ears had already been numbed enough from all the years of 10$ ear buds and loud gaming speakers. But after spending extra time with the 325s, I want more.


I dont know why I decided to rant on like that, Im at work and theres a dead period right now. I guess all I can say is if you do like grados, be wary of upgrading to anything higher than the 125s, make sure you have money to spend afterwards because you'll get addicted.


Oh, and back to the original topic, you really don't need an amp for the 60, 80 and 125, I mean it's all going to be preference, but it won't do so much that it'll be worth carrying around with you. And DO NOT amp with the fiio e5, not saying it's a bad pocket amp (great for my IEMS), but it kind of trudges over that sweet grado sound.

post #23 of 26

I don't know if the E7 did much (but then, I've run the SR80i with the E7 since I got it).  I just hooked them up to the E7/E9 combo and the bass is definitely a good bit 'more' there now.

post #24 of 26

how does the Fiio amps do to the SR80i sound?


im planning to get a Amp to run my, and my Future cans

post #25 of 26

I honestly can't say I noticed much difference when I paired the 80s with my Fiio E11, but just recently I happened to plug the 80s into my Meier Corda Jazz amp and it was pretty clear that they scaled up a bit. This isn't really a feasible pairing, though, since spending 4x the price of the headphones on the amp doesn't make a lot of sense, but it did sort of prove to me that, while the Grados sound really good with just a modest source such as an ipod, they are some gains to be had with better quality amps. But I'm not sure the Fiio really did much...although I am very much a fan of the E11 for portable use. 

post #26 of 26

I would suggest go for 18v CMOY which has a very similar circuit to RA1.

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