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Budget Amp

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I was looking for a very cheap amp that could help my ath-m50 and xb700 sound better if possible.  I looked at the fiio e5 and it looked cheap and good.

 

So just the requirements,

-50$ or less

-small

-improve bass, not reduce it(not sure if its possible)

 

Thanks for the help in advance.  I just wanted a cheap amp that would improve the bass or sound if at all possible with my budget. 

post #2 of 36

If you're handy with DIY electronics, build yourself a CMOY (solid state) or a Starving Student hybrid (hybrid tube/solid state). I'm planning to build both, and I've heard that they're some of the best amps you can get unless you spend hundreds more.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

I wish i was handy with diy electronics.  Thanks for the suggestion though, I wish you luck in your plan to build them

post #4 of 36

You can buy pre-built CMOY amps on eBay.

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

i take it that would be better than the fiio e5?

post #6 of 36

Yes. That amp isn't very good from what I've heard. Plus, what's more awesome than having a headphone amp disguised as a tin of Altoids??? 

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 

Yes, that would be pretty awesome.  I have heard great things about the mini3, but it seems to be more expensive, and harder to get.  Any thoughts?

 

Thank you

post #8 of 36

OP: Maybe I can help. In a few weeks' time, I will be getting a CMoyBB for my girlfriend and PA2V2 for myself. Both are considered entry-level offerings that supposedly increase bass and warm the sound, respectively.

On the downside, they are slightly above your stated budget (CMoyBB - US$64.99 excl. shipping, PA2V2 - US$60 incl. shipping), and I do not own the 2 headphones you have. For what it's worth, I can post my impressions of them with my HD 25-1 and DT 880, both of which are considered fairly neutral/bright headphones, if you like.

 

[Edited to include links for both amps.]


Edited by Eric_C - 9/26/10 at 10:44pm
post #9 of 36

I hadn't really thought about it, because I went with the Fiio E1 for my iphone,  but would you run into problems at security if you tried to board plane with your Cmoy altoids amp?  A little tin full of wires and knobs and led lights could arouse some suspicion I would think.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by parker770 View Post

would you run into problems at security if you tried to board plane with your Cmoy altoids amp?  A little tin full of wires and knobs and led lights could arouse some suspicion I would think.

Haha, I'll let you know in a week--my girlfriend's taking her CMoy along for vacation.

 

OP: The CMoyBB just arrived in the mail today, and I ran them briefly on my headphones. Here are their tech specs, for your reference:

 

==DT 880==

Impedance: 250 Ω

Sensitivity: 96 dB

 

==HD 25-1 II==

Impedance: 70 Ω

Sensitivity: 120 dB

 

With Bass Boost on, the CMoyBB definitely works as advertised--there's more bass. Now, I'm no basshead and certainly no musician, but to my ears it sounds like a decent increase in bass quantity without overpowering the rest of the sounds in a song. Perhaps this is what "deep bass" is? 

 

Do note that your headphones have very different tech specs though:

 

==ATH-M50==

Impedance: 38 Ω

Sensitivity: 99 dB

 

==Sony MDR-XB700==

 

Impedance: 24 Ω

Sensitivity: 106 dB

 
Given the (much) lower impedance of your 'phones, I hooked the CMoyBB up to my only IEM, the Sennheiser IE8 which rates as 16 Ω, 125 dB. As expected, it got loud easily, but the sound was also unbalanced until the amp's volume knob was turned up a little bit more than I would normally prefer. Maybe this is due to low impedance vs high impedance headphones being driven differently; in any case, the CMoyBB does work as advertised, seems to have plenty of juice, and I think if you like your music loud this shouldn't be much of a problem for your headphones.
 
Will furnish you with details on the PA2V2 when it gets here.
post #11 of 36

andtobis, did you get an amp in the end?

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post



Haha, I'll let you know in a week--my girlfriend's taking her CMoy along for vacation.

 

OP: The CMoyBB just arrived in the mail today, and I ran them briefly on my headphones. Here are their tech specs, for your reference:

 

==DT 880==

Impedance: 250 Ω

Sensitivity: 96 dB

 

==HD 25-1 II==

Impedance: 70 Ω

Sensitivity: 120 dB

 

With Bass Boost on, the CMoyBB definitely works as advertised--there's more bass. Now, I'm no basshead and certainly no musician, but to my ears it sounds like a decent increase in bass quantity without overpowering the rest of the sounds in a song. Perhaps this is what "deep bass" is? 

 

Do note that your headphones have very different tech specs though:

 

==ATH-M50==

Impedance: 38 Ω

Sensitivity: 99 dB

 

==Sony MDR-XB700==

 

Impedance: 24 Ω

Sensitivity: 106 dB

 
Given the (much) lower impedance of your 'phones, I hooked the CMoyBB up to my only IEM, the Sennheiser IE8 which rates as 16 Ω, 125 dB. As expected, it got loud easily, but the sound was also unbalanced until the amp's volume knob was turned up a little bit more than I would normally prefer. Maybe this is due to low impedance vs high impedance headphones being driven differently; in any case, the CMoyBB does work as advertised, seems to have plenty of juice, and I think if you like your music loud this shouldn't be much of a problem for your headphones.
 
Will furnish you with details on the PA2V2 when it gets here.

Hi Eric,

 

any updates on the PA2V2? I am interested in your comparison between the 2.

The PA2v2 attached me more due to the AA battery.

 

Thanks.
 

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by radonsg View Post



Hi Eric,

 

any updates on the PA2V2? I am interested in your comparison between the 2.

The PA2v2 attached me more due to the AA battery.

 

Thanks.
 


Hey radonsg! I'm currently using the PA2V2 with my HD 25-1 II, and I think the pairing works quite well. Why do you prefer the AA battery to the 9V?

Unfortunately the CMoyBB is with my girlfriend at the moment, and I can't compare them side-by-side. What I can say is that the PA2V2 feels sturdier, because it uses a tough, ABS plastic Hammond case; the CMoyBB is housed in a prettier Altoids tin that I would want to be more careful with.

 

Sonic impressions of the PA2V2 is that it also increases some bass, overall warmth, and improves the clarity a little. I have a friend who's a bassist but no audiophile, and he compared his laptop output both with and without the PA2V2 on the HD 25-1 II, and he noticed the differences in bass and clarity immediately. I also let a friend try the PA2V2 with his UE 11 customs--he's a basshead, and he noted the increase in "rumble", which he very much enjoyed.

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post




Hey radonsg! I'm currently using the PA2V2 with my HD 25-1 II, and I think the pairing works quite well. Why do you prefer the AA battery to the 9V?

Unfortunately the CMoyBB is with my girlfriend at the moment, and I can't compare them side-by-side. What I can say is that the PA2V2 feels sturdier, because it uses a tough, ABS plastic Hammond case; the CMoyBB is housed in a prettier Altoids tin that I would want to be more careful with.

 

Sonic impressions of the PA2V2 is that it also increases some bass, overall warmth, and improves the clarity a little. I have a friend who's a bassist but no audiophile, and he compared his laptop output both with and without the PA2V2 on the HD 25-1 II, and he noticed the differences in bass and clarity immediately. I also let a friend try the PA2V2 with his UE 11 customs--he's a basshead, and he noted the increase in "rumble", which he very much enjoyed.

 

I have quite a no of rechargeable AA batt so easier for me.

Still thinking about if I sld get a amp only or a dac+amp. Have a udac2 already for use @ home & office. So thinking of getting a portable amp or dac+amp for use on the road.

using a ipod nano 5g(not the best of sound quality), so wondering if sld go with E7 for the dac over the inbuilt one.

 


 

post #15 of 36

It depends what headphones you intend to use the amp with. Here, the choice is fairly straightforward:

PA2V2 provides more current, less voltage. This should be better suited to low impedance cans (e.g.: DT 250, HD 280, HD 25-1, all of which have <80Ω impedance).

CMoyBB runs on a single 9V, so it has more voltage and should be better suited to high impedance cans (e.g.: DT 880, which the builder, Jason, also uses)

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