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I don't feel any difference with or without my amp

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-fiers !

 

I've been reading this forum for quite some time now, but I'm not too much of a poster .... 

Thanks to you guys, I've bought my first real headphones, Grado SR 80, then bought the HD 414 pads, cause 1/ they look awesome, 2/ I didn't like the original pads.

Then realized what you meant by "open cans" (...) and bought an ATH50 (but the pivot part of the can broke after 3 years of loyal service).

 

So still following the advices found here, I went ahead and bought a pair of DT770 Pro 80 Ohms.

 

So here's my question:

I have a self built CMoy Amp, but no matter with which cans I test it, I can't seem to really feel a difference with or without the amp...

So are my ears ****ty? are my cans already at their best without an amp ? Is my amp not good enough ?

 

(The powersource I use is my macbook or my iPhone).

 

 

Thanks !

post #2 of 15

There's no magical difference to expect, however, you should notice a difference between your macbook and the iPhone.

post #3 of 15

Yea, you might just have ****ty ears. Haha, I'm kidding. But you should definitely hear a difference, especially amping them through your iPhone. The DT770  80 ohms are known to get noticeably better through amping.

post #4 of 15

This thread in "Sound Science" is probably the best place to discuss this topic. By the way, it is not impossible for the amplifier to make no audible difference. Not all MacBooks have the same audio output specs, but an infamous blogger has measured the MacBook Air 5G, and it performed surprisingly decently. The iPhone might be OK, too, if it can make the DT770 loud enough for the OP without clipping, and has no major shortcoming other than the limited power output.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks :)

I do find that my iPhone isn't loud enough with my DT770 compared to my SR80's...

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrho View Post

Thanks :)

I do find that my iPhone isn't loud enough with my DT770 compared to my SR80's...

 

The DT770 still isn't loud enough with the external amp? I've read the Cmoy is a decent little amp. I don't know the specs on it, but maybe it's just not a good combo with the Beyers. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Nononono sorry, I can push it beyond it's limits (what you call clipping?) with my CMoy/source at full.

I was talking about just the iPhone without the amp.

post #8 of 15

Okay, in your original post you said you can't seem to feel a difference, but you actually can? Like Proton said, it's not going to be a night and day, blow your mind difference. But it should be easy to see.

post #9 of 15

This is similar to one of my first experiences on Head-Fi. I bought an expensive pair of headphones and an amp and wasn't very impressed. What I learned is that both the digital source as well as the amp have to be an upgrade at the same time. It is easy to get a decent USB DAC/amp that should improve things. However, how much so might depend on the kind of music you like, as a lot of music nowadays is poorly mastered and heavily compressed. The aim is for better clarity, not just a louder volume.

post #10 of 15

+1 on the DAC/amp

The point of an amp is to allow you to get your headphones loud enough to listen comfortably without hearing any distortion or clipping, which you might not even notice in the first place, if you aren't attentive or listen to poorly mastered music at a low bit rate. If you really want to hear a difference, make sure that you have some nice, high quality, well mastered files, then get a decent DAC. If you aren't opposed to trying something out, I might suggested the Fiio e10.

post #11 of 15

A DAC made the most difference in my system. With my Grados, I can tell a huge difference between amped and not amped. I am using a desktop amp though so I am sure that's why.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Listening to a 320kbps mp3 with my iPhone, I would benefit from a DAC ? The iphone's analog output is considered poor ?

post #13 of 15

The iPhone's output as a DAC using the line out dock is pretty good (excepting the iPhone 5's DAC/dock which hasn't been tested yet). The headphone amp in it isn't particularly good. 

 

There's a good portable amp shootout here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-11-8-amps-compared which is worth a bit of a read.

 

I haven't tried all the low-end amps, so I can't comment. I have only tried the considerably more expensive ALO Continental which was impressive with just an iPhone as the source (with very well-recorded music).  I reckon the music quality is the key here, as well as the headphones.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok so to summarize. Provided a good source, an amp would only allow me to listen louder without experiencing clipping, and with no "noise" when there's no music to listen to.

And by louder I don't mean CRAZY loud, but just loud enough to listen to music with headphones with high impedance (which require more power to drive).

 

And on top of that, a DAC + amp behind would increase sound quality on correctly encoded music (Removing potential interferences with the analog signal). 

 

Is that correct ?

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrho View Post

And on top of that, a DAC + amp behind would increase sound quality on correctly encoded music (Removing potential interferences with the analog signal). 

 

Provided your source is not good enough. Otherwise its as your post title says.

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