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Amp recommendations?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I purchased the Shure srh840's as my first good quality headphone about six months ago and absolutely love them. However now I am looking to purchase an amp that would provide significant improvements. My source is an iPod Nano. I was looking at the Fiio e9k because it is discounted a ton on amazon and because it would be powerful enough to power future upgrades if I decided on doing that. The only thing I'm worried about is if it's too much for my current cans. It says it has a gain switch, but also says that the suitable impedance level is 160 to 600 ohms. That being said can I run a 44 ohm headphone through this? Would it break something or give a decrease in sound quality over a less powerful amp? If so, what should I get instead that would be good for now and for future upgrades?

post #2 of 27
A simple fiio E11 will run those more than adequately. It's only $50 bucks.

Using one as I type with my 250ohm DT770 on low gain and it works equally beautifully on my 32ohm K550 and the like.

Edit: My bad fixed to E11 amp.
Edited by Doc-holliday - 11/30/12 at 8:59am
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

I purchased the Shure srh840's as my first good quality headphone about six months ago and absolutely love them. However now I am looking to purchase an amp that would provide significant improvements. My source is an iPod Nano. I was looking at the Fiio E09k because it is discounted a ton on amazon and because it would be powerful enough to power future upgrades if I decided on doing that. The only thing I'm worried about is if it's too much for my current cans. It says it has a gain switch, but also says that the suitable impedance level is 160 to 600 ohms. That being said can I run a 44-Ohm headphone through this? Would it break something or give a decrease in sound quality over a less powerful amp? If so, what should I get instead that would be good for now and for future upgrades?

You can use the Fiio E09K to drive the SRH-840 and not blow up the diaphragm(s) in the SRH-840, chance are your ears would hurt long before you had the volume high enough to damage the diaphragms.

But chances are you will not see a big improvement with whatever amplifier (for a reasonable price) you put between the SRH-840 and the iPod Nano.

The Fiio E11 ($49.99) portable headphone amplifier and the Fiio L cable would get you about the best possible audio quality your going to get for a reasonable price.

Technically, you would want an amplifier with a low impedance (5.5-Ohms or less) to get the best quality sound from the 44-Ohm SRH-840, the Fiio 9 series has a 10-Ohm impedance, the Fiio E11 has an impedance of .5-Ohm.

You would need to spend $155 for the HRT iStreamer, to bypass the iPod Nano's internal DAC, and the HRT iStreamer is not really a "portable" DAC.

There also might be a better (audio quality wise) mp3 player then the iPod for a reasonable price.

post #4 of 27
Fixed my earlier post. (hope he didn't listen and order the wrong one smily_headphones1.gif)
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Alright so you're recommending the e11 in addition to the istreamer? or would I just need the istreamer. I don't need my setup to be portable because if I want to go somewhere, I'm not opposed to just plugging straight into the iPod. 

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

haha its all good I didn't order anything yet

post #7 of 27
just go out of the ipod. I use an ipod with the LOD cable that Purple Angel mentioned (well I made my own but same concept). The E11 amp with the L9 cable will give you ver nice results. Much better than using the headphone out based on my testing of the two. You will not get much gain from the streamer (if any) You would be better off investing in a better player but try what you have first. I think it will work for you.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

Alright so you're recommending the e11 in addition to the istreamer? or would I just need the iStreamer. I don't need my setup to be portable because if I want to go somewhere, I'm not opposed to just plugging straight into the iPod. 

If you get the HRT iStreamer, you will not need a Fiio L (LOD) cable to connect the HRT IStreamer to the IPod.

I'm guessing you can directly connect the iStreamer to any Apple LOD port (guessing).

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

Alright so you're recommending the e11 in addition to the iStreamer? or would I just need the iStreamer. I don't need my setup to be portable because if I want to go somewhere, I'm not opposed to just plugging straight into the iPod. 

The iStreamer is designed to go between a portable apple device (like iPod & IPhones) and an amplifier.

So you could go Apple>iStreamer>Fiio E11, but the E11 is just one of many headphone amplifiers you could connect to the analog outputs on the iStreamer.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Alright then. Would I be better off getting a desktop amp because I don't need it to be portable. Do desktop amps give a better result for the price?

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

Alright then. Would I be better off getting a desktop amp because I don't need it to be portable. Do desktop amps give a better result for the price?

Impedance is resistance, measure in Ohms.

It preferable to have the impedance of the headphones be 8 times or more the impedance of whatever head amp. they are plugged into.

I kind of like the portable amplifiers because they usually come with a very low impedance (like 1-Ohm or less), which you want for low Ohm headphones (like under 50-Ohms).

Desktop amplifiers can get away with with having high impedance, like 10-Ohms, which is fine for headphones that are 80-Ohms or higher.

50-Ohm to 80-Ohms headphones can usually work with any type of amplifier.

 

For a desktop amplifer, get the O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier ($155), it comes with an impedance of under 1-Ohm, can drive headphones from 16-Ohms to 600-Ohms

and you can use it just like an AC powered desktop amp (just leave the AC adapter plugged in)

And if you decide to take it on the go, I think it's battery charge last about 10 hours.

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

hmm...I think price wise it still makes sense for me to go portable now that I think about it. Are there any cheaper external DAC's for the iPod? The istreamer seems pretty expensive to me. 

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

What about the Fiio e10? that is advertised as being a DAC and headphone amplifier. Is the problem that it doesn't connect to my iPod or something?

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

hmm...I think price wise it still makes sense for me to go portable now that I think about it. Are there any cheaper external DAC's for the iPod? The iStreamer seems pretty expensive to me. 

The iStreamer is the cheapest one I know of, maybe try to find a Apple/iPod/iPhone forum, your sure to find the latest info from dedicated iPod users.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by l veracity l View Post

What about the Fiio E10? that is advertised as being a DAC and headphone amplifier. Is the problem that it doesn't connect to my iPod or something?

As far as I know the Fiio's USB can not connect to the Apple's LOD port, but I'm far from an apple expert, try to find a dedicated Apple/iPod/iPhone forum.

I think a lot of mini-stereo system can connect to the Apple's LOD port.

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