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Best amp under a budget of 75 USD

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for a amp for my home (non portable) for under 75 USD, and was just wondering if someone could point me to the best price/performance option is.

 

My headphones are the DBI Pro-700.

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 37

Is the $75 price accurate or a misprint?

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjjpdc View Post

Is the $75 price accurate or a misprint?


I'm not sure if that was supposed to imply that I am supposed to spend more, but I don't have money for some 400 dollar amp. I'm looking for a simple, decent tube amp or something along those lines.

 

Thanks for your reply.

post #4 of 37

I would imagine he's implying you shouldn't be wasting your money. If you need a non-digital bass boost, I guess you can pick up a FiiO, but why? If you're lucky, you may be able to find a Mini3 for around $100. Otherwise, don't even bother.

 

If we're talking home amps, I say spend either $0 or $200 with no consideration for anything in between.


Edited by atothex - 7/15/10 at 7:57pm
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 

You wouldn't suggest me get something like the Bravo V2? I thought I read they were decent.

 

I'm just looking for something to power my headphones moreso than my sound card would on my PC.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Valve-Class-Tube-Headphone-Amplifier-pre-Bravo-V2-/250665756907?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a5cd7e8eb
 

post #6 of 37
Unfortunately, you won't find a tube amp for $75 unless you build it yourself. The Kurt Strain OTL (plans at HeadWize) could possibly be put together for $75 if you can repurpose a case as well as do some careful shopping for parts. Just so you know, $75 generally buys a nice power transformer - nothing else. If you don't want to build, your best bet is to find an old receiver. Some of them do well with headphones and you'll find a variety of them for $20-$50 on Craigslist, junk stores, thrift shops, and garage sales.
post #7 of 37

Like with anything, sometimes bargain hunting takes a bit of work. The easiest way to sonic improvement would probably be parlaying your money into a headphone that's $75 more expensive. Minus shipping or whatever.

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Unfortunately, you won't find a tube amp for $75 unless you build it yourself. The Kurt Strain OTL (plans at HeadWize) could possibly be put together for $75 if you can repurpose a case as well as do some careful shopping for parts. Just so you know, $75 generally buys a nice power transformer - nothing else. If you don't want to build, your best bet is to find an old receiver. Some of them do well with headphones and you'll find a variety of them for $20-$50 on Craigslist, junk stores, thrift shops, and garage sales.


I do have an old Aiwa AV-X200 5.1 receiver, but all it has are red and white in's. I can't use that to emulate surround sound on my headphones, can I? If I use EAX in games, the emulation will be gone by the time it goes through my receiver and then to my headphones I'd imagine. What do you think?

 

I'm not sure what you mean that I won't find a tube amp for 75$, I linked to a tube amp that was only 60 USD on ebay. Is that I low quality, worthless piece of junk?

 

Also, atothex, I want to keep my DPI Pro 700's. I got them for 37 $ shipped off ebay and I heard they're great cans. I don't really want to invest in cans of higher quality than these, because then I'd be looking around the 300 $ or so area.

post #9 of 37

Yes, that tube amp is not worth buying considering the price for a good 12AU7 tube alone starts at about $50.  Don't waste your time or money on ebay with those no-name tube amps.  They aren't worth it.

 

If all you want to do is use the headphone out on your sound card and run it into an amp for more amplification, this is all you need:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-HA400-4-Channel-Stereo-Headphone/dp/B000KIPT30/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1279253852&sr=8-28

 

I know Behringer gets flamed a lot here, and I don't care what people say about them, but they are pretty good for their price point. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post

 

I'm not sure what you mean that I won't find a tube amp for 75$, I linked to a tube amp that was only 60 USD on ebay. Is that I low quality, worthless piece of junk?

post #10 of 37

You can get a good amp (for that price)....only if you go to a thrift store, and you are lucky. 

post #11 of 37

After piecing parts of this thread together, the $75 budget makes perfect sense.  If I'm right, the OP wants to run the line out on his sound card into an amp and then to his cans.

 

So, based on the fact it's a line out from a sound card and the cans he uses, recommending a $200+ amp makes no sense.  The line out and the cans are still the weak link.  So, unless the OP wants to get an outboard DAC, better cans, and a better amp, the $75 price point for an amp at that level of quality fits the system perfectly. 

 

I say get the $30 Behringer and be done with it.

 

JMHO.  YMMV.


Edited by hodgjy - 7/15/10 at 9:43pm
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by desktophifi View Post

You can get a good amp (for that price)....only if you go to a thrift store, and you are lucky. 


 I wouldn't know what to look for. For all I know I could skim right over a 1000 dollar amp and won't even know it.

 

@hodjy, thank you for the suggestion. I'll look into that unit more. However I believe I'm looking for something of a bit more quality and oomph. I don't want to skimp out on this amp, but neither do I want to spend hundreds. Is there anything out there that fulfills that criteria or am I dreaming?

post #13 of 37

If you plan on running your line out from your sound card into an amp, that is a major weak link.  Until you change your path, it makes no sense to spend much money on an amp.  Garbage in = garbage out. 

 

A better route would be to get a USB DAC, like this one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-Icon-uDAC-USB-headphone/dp/B002VN9CRG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1279255651&sr=8-12

 

That way, you're not crippled by the crappy line out on your sound card.  And, forget about the "virtual surround sound."  Once you get a little better amplification with less background noise (like a usb DAC will do), you don't need it.  Plus, you'll probably soon figure out that it degrades the sound more than it helps.  A pure 2-channel signal can be marvelous.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post

@hodjy, thank you for the suggestion. I'll look into that unit more. However I believe I'm looking for something of a bit more quality and oomph. I don't want to skimp out on this amp, but neither do I want to spend hundreds. Is there anything out there that fulfills that criteria or am I dreaming?

post #14 of 37

You've stumbled on the Head-Fi secret. A good $75 amp and a pair of $37 headphone can and does out perform 90% fo the crap out there, now when you find the other secret (What models do this) please be sure to let us know.

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

If you plan on running your line out from your sound card into an amp, that is a major weak link.  Until you change your path, it makes no sense to spend much money on an amp.  Garbage in = garbage out. 

 

A better route would be to get a USB DAC, like this one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/NuForce-Icon-uDAC-USB-headphone/dp/B002VN9CRG/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1279255651&sr=8-12

 

That way, you're not crippled by the crappy line out on your sound card.  And, forget about the "virtual surround sound."  Once you get a little better amplification with less background noise (like a usb DAC will do), you don't need it.  Plus, you'll probably soon figure out that it degrades the sound more than it helps.  A pure 2-channel signal can be marvelous.
 


 

Thanks for your response.

 

What you are saying makes perfect sense if I was planning on listening to music and movies only. But I'm an avid FPS gamer and like having my sound card's surround features. Sure, I'm not playing sound out of a hi-fi unit, but it's a good sound card and I would like to keep it, not get a USB DAC. I'm more than happy with the quality of my sound card, I'd just like to get amplification to bring my cans alive more. That's what amps are supposed to do, right?
 

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