Originally Posted by motorider
I have finally found the sound I want. I tried the large silicon tips with the small holes. seal is much better and so is the bass. clean, deep, and low.
I checked out the sansa clip+ and I may use it. I cannot get the rock box mod on my ipod nano 4g. All of my music is in ALAC. so I may purchase one if the sound quality will be noticeably better.
how well can I hook up an external amp/ dac if I use the sansa clip+
That's good: there's nothing like solving a problem without spending any more money!
The main things you'd get from the Clip compared to the Nano are non-shuffle play, ability to boost the memory to say 68GB with a card, and a decent 5 band equalizer instead of pre-sets. The "advanced" EQ in Rockbox is especially good imo.
Re. an external amp: as long as the iems you are using aren't clipping (ie distorting the loudest parts from inadequate power even when volume is maxed) there is no advantage to one. People here will tell you otherwise, but this is just bs indoctrinated by people selling amps. (People have been unable to tell the difference between expensive amps and cheap ones in blind tests for decades: as long as power is adequate for the volume required, eq set correctly, and noise meets a very low standard, all amps sound the same.) However, the Clip's signal is very pure, so it's a good source eg for speakers if used with an amp. I'd be surprised if you ever need an amp to drive headphones with the Clip - the ones it won't drive are a tiny % of the market and notmeant for portability.
Re. a DAC: the Clip only provides audio output.
Re. ALAC: no one can hear the difference between any lossless format and something like 320 mp3/aac/ogg, and using low cost IEMs you might as well use 192 or maybe 240 br files. You could keep the ALACs as masters and get a free tool that will make eg AACs of all your files and use these on your DAPS - the obvious benefit is you'll get far more music on.
..But none of this is urgent now you have your tip problem sorted out!