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Amp overkill? (for m50 headphones)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

 

Hello,

 

Here's the problem- I like my Audio Technica ATH M-50s but lately I've been wanting a 'little more' out of the sq and general grunt, as I've found I've been turning up the volume a lot recently just to get some more power behind the sound. I have been looking at amps which may be able to provide this extra clarity and oompf but I don't know whether it's worth it or not, so if you could have a look at my current chains and let me know whether additions to them (in red) would make much of a difference, or if I'm best off saving for a headphone upgrade instead.

 

Current home rig=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > ATH M50

 

Proposed home rig=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > Budget amp (possibly PA2v2, Audinst or even Little Dot MKii) > ATH M50

 

Proposed home rig 2=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > Fiio D3 or similar DAC > ATH M50

 

(or buying both a DAC and amp)

 

 

Current protable rig=

iPod Touch 2g W/lossless CD rips > ATH M50

 

Proposed protable rig=

iPod Touch 2g W/lossless CD rips > Fiio E11 > LOD cable > ATH M50

 

Would I really notice much of a difference with any of these solutions?

 

Thanks in advance, 

Joe

post #2 of 8

Well, the M50 doesn't really improve much with amping, it sounds like your hp out just lacks power, a highly cost effective way to go would be the usb/dac cable from headstage, it's 69 dollars from headphonia. The E11 is a nice budget amp, but the pa2v2 is built like a tank, either way it's not much price difference. Add an lod and you have the solution for both. The usb/dac cable is pretty decent as well, and  you don't have to remove it when you're using your amp on the go. Or you could get the Fiio E10 for home, and a portable amp for on the go, either way would be about the same price. The E10 seems to be having qc issues though. Gary will fix his amp for life at no charge, and he's a great guy to deal with. 

 

 

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyjoekin View Post

 

Hello,

 

Here's the problem- I like my Audio Technica ATH M-50s but lately I've been wanting a 'little more' out of the sq and general grunt, as I've found I've been turning up the volume a lot recently just to get some more power behind the sound. I have been looking at amps which may be able to provide this extra clarity and oompf but I don't know whether it's worth it or not, so if you could have a look at my current chains and let me know whether additions to them (in red) would make much of a difference, or if I'm best off saving for a headphone upgrade instead.

 

Current home rig=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > ATH M50

 

Proposed home rig=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > Budget amp (possibly PA2v2, Audinst or even Little Dot MKii) > ATH M50

 

Proposed home rig 2=

2010 iMac W/lossless CD rips > Fiio D3 or similar DAC > ATH M50

 

(or buying both a DAC and amp)

 

 

Current protable rig=

iPod Touch 2g W/lossless CD rips > ATH M50

 

Proposed protable rig=

iPod Touch 2g W/lossless CD rips > Fiio E11 > LOD cable > ATH M50

 

Would I really notice much of a difference with any of these solutions?

 

Thanks in advance, 

Joe



Well I currently have a pair of ATH-M50's and a Fiio E11 myself. It helps the sound quality a little, but the part I like is using the setting on the Fiio E11, as it heavily boosts the bass, and makes it a lot louder than the headphones can usually go. It's nice to have during a studyhall because everybody yells, and this with a good old dubstep song (NOT SKRILLEX >_<) blasting with bass that rattles your ear drums is quite nice :3

post #4 of 8

Agreed, the m50 doesn't need much amping. When I owned it the fiio e10 was plenty for it.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone,

 

I think I may just hold fire for now, and start saving for better cans and an amp. If I change my mind I will probably get the PA2V2 now actually, as much for the reason that I'd rather my money went to a guy who takes pride and fun in his work then a faceless company in China, then any sq reasons, if you know what I mean beyersmile.png

If I do get an amp or DAC, I'll post what I find here just in case someone has a similar problem in the future.

 

Joe

post #6 of 8

I think you'd be extremely happy with buying the PA2V2 even if you won't hear much of an improvement as its damn good value, you can use it for future headphones and learn a bit about amping in the process. Just send off a few emails to Gary and you'll not only get a huge welcome but a wealth of information. 

 

I've stopped buying fiio etc for that same reason, its just not very satisfying buying from them or using their products regardless of bang for buck.

 

You might hate me for showing you this, but have a look at the head stage arrow. I've got one now and it works great for portable and my main desktop amp, with a load of user features to go with it. Designed and engineered by one german bloke, note he's not a business bloke...!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. Why would I hate you for that?confused_face(1).gif I had a quick look around at the arrow, seems that there is a long waiting list! Looks like a contender for when choosing a portable amp in the future, so thanks for introducing me to it!

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyjoekin View Post

Thanks for the info. Why would I hate you for that?confused_face(1).gif I had a quick look around at the arrow, seems that there is a long waiting list! Looks like a contender for when choosing a portable amp in the future, so thanks for introducing me to it!



Its quite a bit more expensive than the others suggestions above, but oh God does it make your music sound great! The waits vary, I've seen some get dispatches a week after orders..

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