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Shure SRH-840 Amp Recommendations

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I just got a pair of Shure SRH 840's as a gift and I'm already super stoked on them (first pair of decent headphones) but I'm told I can get more out of them. I'm super new at this, and just looking for some recommendations. I did a search and have done some research, but ultimately still I've got some fairly pressing unanswered questions.

 

That being said, I've discovered some DAC/Amps around the $200 (might have a little wiggle room) range that seem to fit the bill. The Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1, although I've heard that the low impedance of the cans creates some sort of static when these two are paired together? The main reason I'm still considering this though, is the possibility of upgrading. From what I've read, the DAC within it is quite good, and I also like the tube pre-amp if I was to upgrade to a dedicated amp in the future, and the fact that it's got a variety of source options doesn't hurt either (I might also use the DAC with some powered computer speakers).

 

The HiFiMAN EF2A, also continued to pop up, reviews and a variety of comments stated that the synergy between the Shures and the EF2A is quite good, but I've heard the DAC could be better. This becomes an issue as I do look to upgrade in the future and intend on using the same DAC (for a while at least). And also, the EF2A DAC can't be used in combo with my speakers (can it?) 

 

I've also just stumbled upon the Audio-GD line, but I don't really know too much about it at this point (I think it was the FUN I saw?). Anyway, I'd be stoked on getting some feedback relating to the options I've already discovered and ANYTHING new that can be suggested. 

 

Thanks in advance folks.

post #2 of 14

Honestly, the great thing about the Shure's, in my experience, is that they adjust to pretty much whatever you give them; they're the jack-of-all-trades master of none. Whatever you decide to get, $200 should be plenty adequate to get these things to shine. 

post #3 of 14

For the SRH840, I recommend an amp that has good left/right channel balance at low volumes since they happen to be very sensitive in addition to being low impedence.  It's almost like an IEM in this sense.  Thus, they don't require too much play with the volume knob to get them to ear-splitting volumes.  For that reason I'd probably recommend you AWAY from Head-Direct/Hifiman amps which are generally not too great in this area... I owned the EF1 in the past and it combined with the 840's had channel imbalance at normal listening volumes because it was simply too low in the volume dial (and if I turned them to the point of balance, it'd simply be way too loud).  Supposedly their successors EF2 and EF5 both suffer from the same problem.

 

Therefore, although I usually recommend people away from portable amps for fullsize cans, I would probably look at some portable amps that doesn't have as much gain and have good low volume left/right channel balance.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Has anyone ever heard of the Matrix Mini-I? I just kinda stumbled upon it, and am now curious if anyone that comes across this thread has ever paired it with a pair of the Shures or any low impedance, highly sensitive headphones.

 

K_19 - Thanks for the recommendation towards portable amps, but I'd like to invest in a desktop amp, unless something ridiculously awesome and well-suited can persuade me otherwise. Just out of curiosity, any idea if the Matrix would be a better match? It claims to be balanced (although I'm not sure if balance refers to the same thing in both these cases). I realize it's a completely out of my price range, but it's just soo sexy that I might be persuaded to bite the bullet.

post #5 of 14

The reason why I threw out the idea of a portable amp is because most fullsize amps in your price range (~$200) typically uses cheap volume pots for their amps. With portables they at least don't have much gain, so you would be able to boost your volume to a level where you'll have good L/R balance.  I honestly wouldn't go overboard with an amp for just SRH840 alone, anyways.

 

 

What you are referring to "balanced" in Mini-I isn't the same thing as L/R channel imbalance issues that I was talking about.  That just means that the Mini-I has balanced output to feed a balanced amp.  I have no idea how good the headphone amp is in it, but you could perhaps try their M-Stage amp instead, which does have an ALPS pot which is great and won't suffer from channel imbalance for the most part.

post #6 of 14

I haven't tried it, but I'm willing to bet that the Little Dot I+ will mesh well with it since it seems to do well with low impedance headphones (i.e. Grado, Denon, etc.)

post #7 of 14

Im currently using my 840's with my ef2a and i don't find the volume level to be really loud (matter of preference imo), i don't go beyond the 9 o'clock postion on the volume knob though. the 840's work great with the ef2a, the soundstage gets wider and the already balanced sound has a little bit more impact. 

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by K_19 View Post

The reason why I threw out the idea of a portable amp is because most fullsize amps in your price range (~$200) typically uses cheap volume pots for their amps. With portables they at least don't have much gain, so you would be able to boost your volume to a level where you'll have good L/R balance.  I honestly wouldn't go overboard with an amp for just SRH840 alone, anyways.

 

 

What you are referring to "balanced" in Mini-I isn't the same thing as L/R channel imbalance issues that I was talking about.  That just means that the Mini-I has balanced output to feed a balanced amp.  I have no idea how good the headphone amp is in it, but you could perhaps try their M-Stage amp instead, which does have an ALPS pot which is great and won't suffer from channel imbalance for the most part.

 

Ok, now the logic behind the recommendation makes much more sense. However, I'd still like to stray away from portables, due to the fact that I will be looking to purchase another set of cans (and most likely some other gear, blast this addicting hobby!) shortly after picking up a DAC/Amp. From what I've read, the DAC in the Mini-I is quite good, and could potentially be something to build a reasonable system around.

 

Also, I've managed to up my budget to about $350. Any other recommendations you can make with my revised budget and the fact that I'd like to continue to use the unit for a decent amount of time in mind?

post #9 of 14

If you're going to buy another pair, then decide on that one first, and choose an amp with that in mind. 

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

I do believe that I've decided on the next pair actually. I'm thinking the plan is gonna be to pick up a pair of AKG k701's off the FS forum as I've seen that there are quite a few for sale. Not really sure why I didn't drop that little bit of info into my last post...

post #11 of 14

Actually if you don't have too to spend on an amp, consider the K601 or K242 too, K701's are ... tough to amp. 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay, after your recommendation and a little bit of research, I do see that the k601 is probably a safer bet for me. Thanks for the heads up.

 

However, I'm still faced with the question of which DAC/Amp to get to power these cans. Keep in mind that I'd be purchasing this unit mainly for the DAC, reasons being a) I'm using the onboard sound out of a laptop currently and b) I do intend to purchase a standalone amp somewhere in the future. Being a student as well, I don't have the largest budget for audio equipment which is why I want something with a built in amp that I can use until I can afford to get myself an amp. That being said, I want something that will give me some bang for the buck, and something that will actually last me a little while.

 

From the reviews I've read, the Matrix Mini-I is a great DAC for the money, and the headphone amp is actually pretty decent as well. Other unit's I've seen are the Audio-GD FUN (though it is a little on the expensive side), the ones I listed above (first post) and thats pretty much it. My budget runs around $350, and I'm 100% open to any suggestions for a good DAC, with a built in amp that can be thrown at me.

post #13 of 14

 

I am currently using a Macbook Pro 2010 and Shure srh-840s, worth buying this or not? Finding that the bass is very subtle and doesnt give me that rich thump im looking for...These are well burned in 200+ hours, any other suggestions if not this? price range around 100-150$

post #14 of 14
Did anyone wind up with the ef2a and the 840's?
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