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Amping the JH13/JH16 when portability is not a factor

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm considering a JH13/JH16, which, if I do buy, would be run unamped from an iPhone on the move, and then amped from whatever gear I have at home. In this situation, portability doesn't matter at all.

Therefore, should I go for a home amp? Do they offer *much better* performance than a portable amp, for the same price? I obviously wouldn't need to ask this question for a full sized headphone, but the JH13 is an easy to drive IEM (and I actually plan on the JH16, an even lower impedance), so I'm guessing the sound gap isn't too high. Also, I get the feeling that portable amps are better suited for the ultra low impedance (18ohm) of the JH16, than home amps are. I was actually planning on getting a WA6 or something for my future JH16's, but after seeing that ultra low impedance... yeesh. I know the WA6 is transformer coupled, but can it compensate for impedances that low?

Oh and ah, if portables are close to home amps, than that'd be convenient, since I could just drop a D10 or whatever into a backpack pocket to carry from my dorm to home whenever the situation arises. Not to mention it'd be weird seeing my JH16's being driven by a rig that's comparatively a behemoth in size. Though it's not that big of a deal, and would only come in if the portables come in mighty close to home amp quality.
post #2 of 8
With low impedance, you may not see a huge benefit from amping (portable or not). You should just get a really transparent amp (I've heard the mini3 fits that quite nicely).
post #3 of 8



post #4 of 8
There is many people, who are using jh13 with desktop amp.
for example: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/6332103-post19.html

I also use mine pair with desktop amps, and they are simply great on them. But I dont have any experience with portable amps, so I cannt compare.
post #5 of 8
All you really need is an amp which has a good output and which can reach really low Ω. If it doesn't do either, then it will not be able to sustain signal as voltage or impedance ramp up or down.

I would count on smaller amps like the Pico or ALO Rx, the Slim to supply your needs as they are likely tuned for difficult-to-drive iems. Good luck.
post #6 of 8
I spoke with Jerry about the JH16's and his thought was you don't really NEED one but if you were to WANT one he really liked the P51 and Shadow with the 16's. Mainly because these two amps are so similar and that they don't boost the low end so much as they do the upper end of the lows and the mids.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRGus723 View Post
I spoke with Jerry about the JH16's and his thought was you don't really NEED one but if you were to WANT one he really liked the P51 and Shadow with the 16's. Mainly because these two amps are so similar and that they don't boost the low end so much as they do the upper end of the lows and the mids.
I think this is equally true for the JH13s. I have the P51 and Shadow and the JH13s scale well with both. Please don't ask me what I hear as the SQ differences because my ears are not that discriminating!
post #8 of 8
I think the key point is that eventhough the JH13s don't "need" an amp, a good one boosts the quality of the sound. I say this while listening to my JH13 with the TTVJ portable slim, which is an excellent match for them. I recently listened to many desktop amps with my JH13 at the Boston Meet, and liked many, but the EF5 by Head-Direct was outstanding and considered the best bang for the buck at the meet. Take a look at the thread. Bottom line, people are nuts if they say don't use an amp because it is just fine, it is fine, but much better with an amp.
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