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High-current amps smaller than a shoe box 4 the HD600

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Just bought a E11, was said they could drive a HD800 as well as the HE-500 as said on headfonia, and I think my searches of head-fi turned up some mixed opinions on whether or not the E11 could drive the HD600/650







^old thread here from 2009, mixed opinions on the Pico.


I was not able to find any recommendations for a small portable, battery powered amp that could drive the HD600 *well*.


For reference I still have an old 1st Gen Airhead amp,with just 2 AA batteries. The E11's are slightly quieter/cleaner sounding, but offer no noticeable gain in volume levels when I listen to some poor source material, input source levels are apparently too low for either of these amps to drive/boost the signal enough to the HD600.


I actually think the AH on at highest gain, gives more spacial sound, brighter sound compared to the E11, but small difference.


Surely there has to be a small amp that can output more, give higher gain to drive the HD600 to adequate levels?



Poor source material:


LG Optimus V: lower level of the two


iMac G5 3.5mm output headphone jack:


Ruyichi Skamoto: The Last Emperor from mobile youtube (seems even a bit worse/lower level signal sound quality than the desktop video from YT). Sounds dull/lifelessw with either E11 or AH on both iMac & OV, just the OV level is lower, not even adequate for anything but purely silent listening room.



^desktop version, don't have the link for the mobile version which I"m guessing is lower quality


Tan Dun, Hero soundtrack 'For the World':




I can get a nice sounding YT desktop of this, but there is no working version for Android on the mobile side.


Link above doesn't seem very HQ, but I can't decent volume levels from either the E11 or AH without very noticeable distortion, either on the very high notes Izak Perlman hits, or some of the higher volume bass sections in a few places.


I dont' have much electronics background, so don't understand amp designs. I see that with higher voltages, it seems possible to get cleaner sound from a portable amp? As 9V Li-Ion batteries seemed to become a popular use when I checked this site a few years? ago.


Not sure which is more important, higher voltage or ability to supply current without voltage sag?


If higher voltage is all that is needed, then instead of the single, thin cell phone battery in the E11, wouldn't a slightly thicker model using 2x the same batteries provide what is needed for a true small & powerful amp?


If what is needed is very fast current supply, then in the same thickness levels, Li-Poly batteries would work. Reading CPF flashlight forums, it seems the IMR chemistry, while lower in capacity and larger in diameter, supply the highest burst of current for the least voltage sag.




Any recommendations for a small amp that can drive the HD600 well (with low level inputs like my cell phone mentioned above?)

post #2 of 2

Ibasso PB1 Toucan or PB2 Pelican. I used to drive my HD600 with the headphone output from a Marantz CD60 or this feeds a Little Dot MkII, but I just got a Toucan, got a custom balanced cable made from 22ga copper conductors, and using my S9 as source, I'm only boosting wide at Bands 2, 3 and 4 to get a little closer to the Marantz midrange. I don't feel compelled to go back to AC-powered amps anytime soon, unless I get a windfall and blow my money on an Emotiva and a balanced desktop amp. I'm jsut waiting for the Fiio X3 player and hoping it will sound closer to the Marantz without EQ.

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