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Need advice for Headphone amp to pair with SE535s

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've been reading a lot of amp comparisons and reviews here and elsewhere. I'm looking for an amp to pair with my Shure 535SE IEMs. A lot of the shoot offs group amps by budget under $100 or $200 or $300 and up. This makes it hard to find comaprisons of amps on opposite sides of the price spectrum. I'm interested how the C421 compares against the RSA Shadow or ASO RX MKII, or how the Pico Slim fairs against the National. 

 

I'm trying to build a quality system 1 part at a time. I need an amp to match my IEMs. They sound great but lack a little low base punch. The next bit of kit I've assembled is a JDS Labs ODAC. This little thing is magic. It's clean and neutral, all you really need from a very portable DAC. I would describe my SE535s as a little bright but otherwise pretty neutral. MY goal here is to have the amp have the largest effect on coloring the sound. For that reason I don't think I want a neutral sounding amp like the Pico Slim or C421. Those 2 are attractive because of their IEM focus and portability features however. I like the digital volume control on the shadow and pico slim. No one else is doing that. I worry that something like the slim or shadow won't add enough depth to the soundstage and might need something with more oomph like the RX MkII. I'd consider holding off and saving up for the Portaphile if it didn't have such awful battery life. The shadow, pico slim, and c421 hit the right features for me but I'd like to hear from some people who have heard them as to which would best suite my SE535s. 

 

Right now I'm using a Fred_fred_2004 amp which sounds real good and has more power than I can use, but still doesn't have the low end sound and soundstage I'm looking for. I've also used the a lot with my HiFiMAN EG2A which I should be posting for sale up here soon. ksc75smile.gif

 

Thanks,

MrDowntempo

post #2 of 8

Hey! im currently using a iBasso D-Zero with my SE535. Sounds very good to me. It adds bass to the 535s to make it more punchy. This is an entry level model though, at $109 but its good enought for me! It blows the competition from Fiio at that price range IMHO. Though if u have the cash, just go with a $400+ model and never look back. :D Are u using a LOD from an ipod/phone/pad? Or something else?

 

Edit: Pico Slim according to my sound expert friend sounds awesome. Though, however, it wont drive headphones such as the HD650.


Edited by Thracian - 11/8/12 at 4:04am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response Thracian. I haven't read up much on the iBasso stuff. I'll have to take a look. I'm not using an LOD. I use an android phone as my media player, so right now I'm listening straight out of the headphone jack and/or using my Fred_fred_2004 amp. I have a JDSLabs ODAC which isn't compatible with my current phone, but that should be resolved when I'm due for a phone upgrade in January.

post #4 of 8

Cool cool cool! You could get an ipod, pair it with an LOD to bypass the internal DAC on your ipod and use the DAC/AMP on the Headphone amp.
 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thracian View Post

Cool cool cool! You could get an ipod, pair it with an LOD to bypass the internal DAC on your ipod and use the DAC/AMP on the Headphone amp.

 

Err, no. LOD cable does not bypass iPod internal DAC. The only way to bypass an iDevice DAC is by using an iPad camera connection kit & it only works on iPad. Not all external DAC will work thought. That's what I know smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 8

i had the C421 AD8620 with my Shure SE535, they are a good match, super smooth, controlled and detailed, and if you want more bass these is bass boost.

post #7 of 8

I use both the RSA P-51 Mustang and the TTVJ Slim with my SE535's.  It sounds great with both.  The TTVJ is a bit darker sounding, the P-51 a little brighter and more "natural."  Which I use depends on my mood and the music I am listening to.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post

Err, no. LOD cable does not bypass iPod internal DAC. The only way to bypass an iDevice DAC is by using an iPad camera connection kit & it only works on iPad. Not all external DAC will work thought. That's what I know smily_headphones1.gif


Herp derp me. I meant the Amp of the iPod. Don't think he has $600 to blow to get an amp to bypass the iPods DAC...
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