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Best amp under a budget of 75 USD - Page 2

post #16 of 37

Personally I think you are dreaming. That being said, if you could see your way to saving up just a little more, the baby Little Dot I + is $138 delivered to NA - http://www.littledot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=819&sid=5cc0ce5fcb4affca68814c9e45573791  . Perhaps educating yourself here a little while longer, and save a little while longer can get you started properly. I think you'd be happier in the long run.

post #17 of 37

That's exactly what I'm saying.  If you plan on using the line out of your sound card, don't spend more than $30 on amplification.  No matter how good you think your line out (and your sound card is), it's not a very good signal.  It's noisy and lacks the tonal characteristics and clarity of better devices.  "Good" amps preserve good signals--in other words, they degrade the sound as less as possible.  You hook up a good amp to a good source.  However, your source is NOT top notch, so it makes no sense to pay more for better amplification.  All you'll do is amplify (very cleanly) a bad signal.  In fact, you'll hear the flaws much easier to the point where you might get disappointed and frustrated.  It sounds like all you want to do is get more volume and perhaps more bass response.  For that, a $30 amp is fine.  Until you upgrade your cans and your source, a cheap amp is what you need.

 

You can put lipstick on a pig......but it's still a pig.  Don't pay a lot of money to amplify a soundcard line out.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post
 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?

 

post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yikes View Post

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.


See, I'm not sure if that's sarcasm, but I'm assuming it is. I'd really appreciate more constructive responses than that, if that is indeed sarcasm.

 

Here's a real Head-Fi secret though, that I thought you'd know. The DBI Pro 700's are actually 200 dollar cans, that are comparable to DT 770's and HFI 550's,  I got them at a good price, and they only come up once in a while at that price.

post #19 of 37

In the meantime, spend $3, get one of these, and try out your AIWA receiver.  It will not alter your virtual surround signal at all.  That emulation is in 2-channel mode.  What virtual surround does it alters the sound a little bit to trick your ears into believing it came from somewhere else.  Most people agree that it degrades the sound, but the effect is often desirable if you want to have some semblance of surround.

 

RCA Y adapter

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Audio-Cable-Splitter-1-Mini/dp/B00004Z5CP/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1279256987&sr=1-1


 

post #20 of 37

Well since neither the DT770's nor the HiFi 550 trip my trigger I guess I'm just SOL.

 

Seriously, buy a Nuforce uDAC and you'll have a better DAC section and a better Amp section than the sound-card outputs. It's not perfect, but for non-audiophile use it works well. I recommended it to my Brother and he liked it so much that he also bought one for his girlfriend. He drives Beyer DT-990's with it.

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

In the meantime, spend $3, get one of these, and try out your AIWA receiver.  It will not alter your virtual surround signal at all.  That emulation is in 2-channel mode.  What virtual surround does it alters the sound a little bit to trick your ears into believing it came from somewhere else.  Most people agree that it degrades the sound, but the effect is often desirable if you want to have some semblance of surround.

 

RCA Y adapter

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Audio-Cable-Splitter-1-Mini/dp/B00004Z5CP/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1279256987&sr=1-1


 


Okay, I'll do this. Thank you for all of your help, man.

 

Will my Aiwa receiver help with soundstage and such?

post #22 of 37

Maybe a little.  Sound stage is mostly affected by the recording itself and the speakers (or cans).  Amplification can and does affect sound stage, but it's not as drastic as the other aspects.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post




Okay, I'll do this. Thank you for all of your help, man.

 

Will my Aiwa receiver help with soundstage and such?

post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 

Alright then man, thank you a bunch. I really really appreciate your responses.

 

I somewhat think it was a mistake to join this site, only because I come here asking questions and get condescending remarks from people who own thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment lol and mock my 75$ budget because they have a 3000$ amp and whatnot.

 

I understand that my output isn't top of the line, but as a PC user I really can't get much better unless I buy a DAC, which I may do in the future. But to say it's crap, kind of shoves my face in the dirt and says that I'm basically hopeless and have no room to improve my sound. I disagree to that, and I think I can improve my sound by amping.

 

But then again, I like the fact that I joined head-fi.org, because it makes me realize how many real enthusiast there are and how good audio can really get. I'm not an audiophile like 99% of the people here, but I do appreciate good audio.

 

I'm going to give my receiver a shot. Hopefully it helps!

 

Thanks again!

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post I disagree to that, and I think I can improve my sound by amping.


Why would you disagree with people more experienced than you? You just formed an opinion based on no information. We're basically advising you from our hard lessons learned. Why do you insist on repeating our mistakes by not even heeding our advice? What is the point of the thread if you're just going to go about your original plan no matter what?

 

Unless I guess your phones are really power hungry, and the Bravo things actually put out good power. I doubt it. But hey, I've been wrong before; try some volume matched comparisons if you really want to risk throwing away your money.

 

BTW, there's nothing wrong with the $75 budget; it's what you're planning to do with your money that's silly. Honestly, the $3000 systems are basically for slightly fanatical veterans or enthusiastic noobs. Many of the more experienced folks have awesome systems for very modest prices.

 

So yeah, give your receiver a shot, and if it's better than just the sound card, then save your money. Sheesh.


Edited by atothex - 7/16/10 at 2:46am
post #25 of 37

For the record, I never said your system was crap.  In fact, I supported your $75 budget and never thumbed my nose at it.  If you think my "Garbage = garbage out" comment was a slam of your system, I apologize for that.  I wasn't slamming your system.  It's just a very common expression that is used to describe the phenomenon for when people try to treat individual symptoms rather than curing the whole system (the same goes for the lipstick on a pig expression--they're just figures of speech).  There's nothing wrong with your system as it is.  All that matters is what you think of it and how you enjoy its sound.  But, we're trying to tell you that you're not going to gain any benefit by amping a signal from a computer sound card with a high end amp.

 

Look at is this way.  To build a really good race car, you need a good engine, a good transmission, and good tires.  You take any one of those away, you don't have a high end race car.  Putting really good racing tires on a Toyota Prius makes a race car not.  If you want the Prius to go faster, you need to upgrade the motor and the tranny, too.  Blowing money on premium tires is that, just blowing money with no benefit.

 

A good audio system needs good cans, a good source, and good amplification.  Take one away, and your system is no longer high end.  Adding premium amplification to a computer sound card is the same as adding $5000 racing tires to a Toyota Prius.  

 

Save your money.  I was trying to help you do that by suggesting a $30 amp or a $3 RCA adapter.

 

That little $60 tube amp is a P.O.S.  I've read threads on it that it is fragile, falls apart, sounds terrible, and is basically a disposable amp.  If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  A good tube amp just doesn't cost $60.  Good tubes start at about $60.


Edited by hodgjy - 7/16/10 at 6:08am
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipsycoma View Post


 


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.


Yes, you can use the Aiwa receiver in two-channel mode, but most headphones are not able to deliver a surround experience.  There are aftermarket processors, etc. that give a surround-like experience, but I don't have much experience with them and they rarely get discussed around here.  You might want to check a home theater forum.

 

I wouldn't buy that $60 tube amp.  First, it's a hybrid and second, I'm not sure what it is, exactly.  If you look at the 12AU7 datasheet, you'll see that it really doesn't do much of anything at 24V (like the wallwart that amp comes with) and only gets linear running with a plate voltage of 100V-250V.  They are claiming that it is class A, and I'm not sure how they're getting at least 100V into the tube.  And if they are, they really should be doing it with a better transformer.  What might be going on is that the tube is mostly there for decoration.  You only need 6.3V to light the filament so it looks like the tube is "working," but it really doesn't amount to anything more than a lightbulb to tell you that it's on.  People aren't much interested in cheap solid state amps, but stick a tube in there - even as decoration - and people take notice.  I could be wrong, but I'm leery of these very, very cheap amps.  If you want to correctly supply a 12AU7, you can use something like a Hammond HX-369AX which sells for about $60.  Add some filtering caps, diodes, etc. for a basic power supply and you're already at $75.  Keep in mind that this is the cost of raw parts without shipping, not including labor, taxes, overhead, etc. that businesses have to pay.

 

If you're looking for great performing, inexpensive headphones, you'll have a hard time going wrong with either the Sony MDR-V6 or the Grado SR-60.


Edited by Uncle Erik - 7/16/10 at 9:18am
post #27 of 37

Sound signature and detail, stage etc changing with tube rolling on Bravo. If that tube is for only decoration, how could be change and improve tube rolling? Beside, even a 5$ slyvania adds a decent quality to this little amp. It is'nt definitely the last word on budget amp class. But, not scum either. I can recommend it.

post #28 of 37
I Would go with Uncle Eriks idea and buy a old receiver from Maranzt or others.
post #29 of 37

I haven't tried it, but what about a simple cmoy amp if your receiver doesn't satisfy what you're looking for? Something like this maybe:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/252802/review-cmoy-headphone-amp-bass-boost-edition

post #30 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moouers View Post

I haven't tried it, but what about a simple cmoy amp if your receiver doesn't satisfy what you're looking for? Something like this maybe:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/252802/review-cmoy-headphone-amp-bass-boost-edition


Because to be honest, the cmoy is a portable amp designed for people who want to listen to music on the go, hence the need to buy a new battery for it every 20 hours or so.

 

I'm not a very "on the go" type of guy, when I'm out of the house I'm out. When I'm inside, I'm listening to my music and on my computer in my man cave. I want a home amp for myself. The receiver might do the trick. I just have to buy a 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter for my DBI Pro 700's, because I don't think they come with it.

 

Thank you for your suggestion though! I appreciate it!

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