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Searching for a High-End Portable amp for my customs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I have a small issue. I have seem to have caught the audio bug. It's where you keep wanting better and better gear for yourself to enjoy. That out of the way, I have come to want more out of my current portable amp (the Pico Slim).

 

I have Aurisonics AS-2's:

Specs:

8Hz - 25kHz frequency response

34ohm +/- 10% impedance @1kHz
Sensitivity 123dB @ 1mW

 

I have an iPod Classic and will soon be getting a diyMod with internal capacitors.

 

What I am looking for, with no cost restrictions, is an amplifier that is going to pair well with my CIEM's and my diyMod. I am an almost exclusively portable audio listener, with no full-sized headphones that I like right now (none that I own at least, I'm always on the move). I have become very sensitive to hiss. I notice it quickly. I have come to love the wide soundstage my CIEM's have and their flat response. I have endlessly been searching for the right amp to pair with them and hopefully satisfy my urge for better quality. I have decided it's probably best to have something with a digital volume control so their is no channel imbalances on my CIEM's. The amp needs to have some type of charging mechanism, I do not want to replace batteries every day. 

 

So basically, What do you suggest? I have not heard much comparison with the upper echelon of high-end amplifiers in terms of comparing all of them. 

 

This is a list of what I've considered/am still considering:

- The National - ALO Audio

- The Continental - ALO Audio

- Rx MK2 - ALO Audio

- TTVJ Slim - TTVJ Audio

- UHA-6s.MKII - Leckerton Audio

 

Things I have considered/won't consider/have been throw out of the competition:

- Arrow 4G - Headstage

- c421 - JDS Labs

- Rx MK3-B - ALO Audio

 

I would greatly appreciate everyones help. Price is not an issue, If I can't afford something right now, I will within a month or so (I have a steady job). My main concern is no hiss and great sound quality. Audio players may still be changing now, I wanna work on my iPod setup for now and then see what high end gear is around at the end of the year. I have too large of a music collection to totally commit to a higher end audio player until I at least have something that can hold my entire library at one time that I like to listen to.

 

8Hz - 25kHz frequency response
34ohm +/- 10% impedance @1kHz
Sensitivity 123dB @ 1mW


Edited by kenman345 - 7/23/12 at 4:45pm
post #2 of 6
Look at the Vorzuge amps - they're stunning. They do not have digital volume controls and there's channel imbalance, but it's gone well below actual listening levels. I have the Rx, both Slims, and the Leckerton, and while they're all excellent the Vorzuge is in another class.
Edited by barbes - 7/24/12 at 10:21am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

And the Vorzuge amps are neutral?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbes View Post

Look at the Vorzuge amps - they're stunning. They do not have digital volume controls and there's channel imbalance, but it's gone well below actual listening levels. I have the Rx, both Slims, and the Leckerton, and while they're all excellent the Vorzuge is in another class.

EDIT: I took a look at the amps they sell. They seem to have lots of power, which is nice, but I only need the amp for my CIEM's. It also doesn't seem to have a gain switch and so it's just not a good candidate for me. The technical specs dont tell me much at all that I can compare to others and I just rather not get started. Also, apparently their return date is within 7 days of receiving the amp to send it back for a refund. Other companies at least allow me to have 30 days usually


Edited by kenman345 - 7/24/12 at 10:51am
post #4 of 6
Hey Kenman, i cant speak to the TTVJ or the Mk2 (but i have heard they are both excellent.... i do have the Continental V2 and the National.... and they are both excellent amps... i think with an ipod you would be very happy with either... but specifically to the clean background and soundstage... i know that the continental offers the bigger soundstage and the cleaner background... but it has a little less oomph in the lower end frequency... the national is probably the strongest low end i've heard but if you listen to rock, alternative etc... the continental offers a much smoother midrange and mid bass.... plus i love the aesthetics of it.... it is plenty strong in the low end and not lacking but not quite where the nationalis. it is a bit big and ungainly as portable unit... but there is also something special about a limited edition portable tube amp..... the other side is that the national is cheaper, smaller and has a longed battery life.... but the aesthetics aren't quite what the continental are....

i'd develop a list of criteria and mark off based on that.... headfonia did some extensive reviews of all of these amps as did sixmoons in the 32 ohm section.

feel free to ask me whatever you'd like... i'll try to answer with the two i am familiar with.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for informing me about that review at 32 ohm's. I'll take a look. I've tried making a list and it all comes down to having something so new I wish others had some experience in what works best. But their are some people with similarly rated CIEM's out there

post #6 of 6

For $400 or $500 you want more than just a good SQ, you want the whole package.... So it boils down to what is most important.... Battery life, flexibility, connectivity options, portability, aesthetics, etc.... some will be more important than others to you.... Let those dictate your decision not some nebulous claims about sound signature of certain amps..... In the end they will all amplify the signal and you'll hear your music, not the amp.... sound stage differences although present will be nominal.... warmth and strength in each frequency range will be present but barely audible. 

 

Even though I prefer the Continental writ large, it is sitting up on my shelf because in my day to day use, I need a smaller footprint for portability with my iPod.... thus I use the National 4x as much as an amp that cost nearly twice as much. Some would say the Continental sounds better or smoother and cleaner (and it does), but practically it is barely audible difference.... so the smaller footprint of the national is far more useful than .05 DB measured improvement in mid range background noise.... ya know?

 

Figuring out how you'll use it day to day and getting the amp that best fits your lifestyle... is probably the wisest advice I can give you.

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