Originally Posted by ChevymanZL1
Now because thats out of the way I'm now looking for an amp for the HE-500. And that being a college student my budget is roughly $300 I have been looking at the schiit asgard but i wanted to see if anybody in the head-fi community could give me some insight on anything else.
After playing around with the smaller (e.g. desktop sized) boutique headphone amps, I now use new Yamaha 2-channel / stereo integrated amplifiers or receivers to drive my HifiMANs. I have speaker taps installed on the back speaker outputs, which extend around to the front with a 4-pin XLR connector. That is where my HE-500s plug into. I'm feeding it a signal from a Squeezebox Touch and the sound is pure heaven. One of my latest Yamaha purchases, was the RX-797, that I bought off of Craigslist for $110 --- just like brand new with the original box, packaging, etc. My HifiMAN headphones have never sounded better.
I see on your profile you're using an iPod and feeding it through a FiiO amplifier. With such a combination, you haven't even begun to get into half the performance that your HE-500s can offer. I'm not about throwing around big cash into amplifiers and then playing the trading game until I find one that sounds right. The best move I made was to divert back over to full-sized audio gear so the headphones can get a great sound source and power pushed over to them.
I think in many cases, people can just have weak source or the wrong amplification. Yet, they'll think it's their headphones that are the culprit. So, they'll set about a mission to find the right headphones by selling and buying ... and, losing money to go on their year-long journey. They might find what they desired, or they might just go full circle and make it right back to where they started from -- but, with much less money in their pockets due to the changing and swapping of gear.