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Portable Headphone Amp Upgrade for iPod Classic

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

As the title indicates, I'm interested in upgrading my headphone amp. I currently have the FiiO E11 and the rest of my rig is in my signature. I've been looking at iBasso, RSA and ALO Audio and I'm looking to spend around $250.00. The E11 has a bit of hissing with my R-50 and I even notice it a bit with my full sized headphones. I'm looking for a metal amp, not the cheaper plastic iBasso ones and I'd prefer that the amp be an amp only, not including a DAC that isn't compatible with iDevices. If the amp costs $300.00 or more, I'll consider it, but I'm trying to save money, so please refrain from suggesting things above my current budget.

 

I've already ordered a custom LOD from Chris_Himself, so the higher-quality LOD is taken care of.

 

In the near future, I'll likely buy new IEMs and possibly headphones, so the rig will be put to good use. I'm also wondering if getting a balanced amp is worth the extra money since I might upgrade to a balanced external DAC in a year or two. I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I've been researching amps constantly (my addiction :D) and I'm still not quite sure what to get.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 3/27/13 at 10:21pm
post #2 of 39

A few choices in that price range, but I would recommend:

 

Leckerton UHA-6 MK II

Headstage Arrow 12HE 4G

ALO The National

Tralucent T1

 

All have their following, and I've heard three of the 4, excluding the T1 and they all are solid performers. It all depends on what you, and what features are import to you.

post #3 of 39

 I recently bought ALO's The National to use with my iPod classic.  It is still breaking in, but I am impressed with the sound and build quality. 

 

I purchased it blindly (never ideal), but did so after research here.  And so far I am not disappointed. 
 

 

Regards,

Pat


Edited by pmk - 2/23/13 at 7:02pm
post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmk View Post

 I recently bought ALO's The National to use with my iPod classic.  It is still breaking in, but I am impressed with the sound and build quality. 

 

I purchased it blindly (never ideal), but did so after research here.  And so far I am not disappointed. 
 

 

Regards,

Pat


Agree about the National. I don't have a Classic; I have an iPod touch. I also use it with the National. I love it on both counts as mentioned by pmk. Using it right now, through the Grado RS1-i. I also listen through the RS225-i.

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies! :)

 

edit: I also forgot another important amp. What are people's feelings/expectations for the FiiO E12? Will it compare to more expensive amps like the ones mentioned in this thread? The E11 just feels really cheap to me and that's what I hate the most. The potentiometer is also now a problem for me. I've had my E11 for about a month and it is already crackling/hissing when I adjust the volume. I don't want digital volume control, but I just thought I'd throw that out there. It's a big pain if IEMs are being used since they really pick up on that interference.


Edited by nbohaychuk - 3/19/13 at 8:36am
post #6 of 39

Yes, E12 is aluminum and very high quality

 

I got the E11 to compare and it was a joke compared to E12.

 

One can REALLY like an IEM, but in the end, at this range of earphones and IEM's and headphones, it is not really a good cost effective thing to spend a lot more on the amp than on the IEM and headphone. I know that feeling of thinking one has found THE earphone or headphone. 

 

The E11 is hissy yes, there are many amps at sub $100 that aren't and won't be. 

post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

One can REALLY like an IEM, but in the end, at this range of earphones and IEM's and headphones, it is not really a good cost effective thing to spend a lot more on the amp than on the IEM and headphone. I know that feeling of thinking one has found THE earphone or headphone. 

 

I don't mind spending more on an amp or dac, but since I'm still in high school and since it seems my generation is extremely brain dead/careless, I don't want to buy expensive headphones for on the go that could potentially be broken by some idiot at school. I also mainly listen to jazz from the 30s-80s, so the quality isn't the best on most albums to begin with. I have a problem with the E11, so I'm looking for a replacement. I agree that in many cases buying IEMs/headphones before a nicer amp is the best route to go, but for now I'd like to give this a try.

 

I don't want to derail my own thread :D, but if I was interested in getting nice full sized or even on-ear headphones for on the go, what would you recommend? Grado is unfortunately out because their headphones are open. I need at least a small amount of noise isolation and the headphones need to be silent or as close as possible for others around me. I'd consider also carrying a $200-$300 pair of headphones around.

post #8 of 39

I've been using Headstage Arrows (1G, then 2G, now awaiting shipment of my upgrade 4G) w/ my iPod Classic (160GB) since early 2010, and I can vouch for it.  If you deal w/ Headstage, however, be prepared for waiting....and waiting.  It's a nice product, and one of the rarest of things that I've personally found in audio: subjectively, something that is actually worth what I paid for it.

post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbohaychuk View Post

 

I don't mind spending more on an amp or dac, but since I'm still in high school and since it seems my generation is extremely brain dead/careless, I don't want to buy expensive headphones for on the go that could potentially be broken by some idiot at school. I also mainly listen to jazz from the 30s-80s, so the quality isn't the best on most albums to begin with. I have a problem with the E11, so I'm looking for a replacement. I agree that in many cases buying IEMs/headphones before a nicer amp is the best route to go, but for now I'd like to give this a try.

 

I don't want to derail my own thread :D, but if I was interested in getting nice full sized or even on-ear headphones for on the go, what would you recommend? Grado is unfortunately out because their headphones are open. I need at least a small amount of noise isolation and the headphones need to be silent or as close as possible for others around me. I'd consider also carrying a $200-$300 pair of headphones around.

Well, even then I personally don't think $250 on the go is that smart. I'm also in your shoes. High School going to College with $150 earbuds. However I use amps $130 and below on the go.

 

Maybe Headstage, iBasso, FiiO, C&C can hook you up? They have some good sub $100 amps.

 

Grado's are very popular on the go. When someone looks at you for listening to Justin Beaver, just give them the 'I don't care' look. And all is forgiven.

 

Audio Technica WS series are quite popular. The SRH840 seems to be popular as well.

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Well, even then I personally don't think $250 on the go is that smart. I'm also in your shoes. High School going to College with $150 earbuds. However I use amps $130 and below on the go.

 

Maybe Headstage, iBasso, FiiO, C&C can hook you up? They have some good sub $100 amps.

 

Grado's are very popular on the go. When someone looks at you for listening to Justin Beaver, just give them the 'I don't care' look. And all is forgiven.

 

Audio Technica WS series are quite popular. The SRH840 seems to be popular as well.

 

I've been checking out amps in the lower price ranges, but they just don't seem like an upgrade over the E11. I'll have to think about it more.

 

You did however lose me on the Justin Bieber. I hate pop music and almost everything on the top 40, so why did you mention him? Actually, I generally hate most music made these days. If it was a joke and I'm just taking it too seriously, correct me, but I don't consider JB's songs good music.

 

On a side note, if you like Justin Bieber, I have probably offended you a bit and I'm sorry.

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbohaychuk View Post

 

I've been checking out amps in the lower price ranges, but they just don't seem like an upgrade over the E11. I'll have to think about it more.

 

You did however lose me on the Justin Bieber. I hate pop music and almost everything on the top 40, so why did you mention him? Actually, I generally hate most music made these days. If it was a joke and I'm just taking it too seriously, correct me, but I don't consider JB's songs good music.

 

On a side note, if you like Justin Bieber, I have probably offended you a bit and I'm sorry.

It was a joke. 

 

I don't have any opinion towards J Beibs. I use him A LOT in my conversations as a joke for isolation and leaking though.

 

Because we all know Taylor Swift is where its at. 

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

ROFL

 

What do you usually listen to?

post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 

The two amps I'm looking at most are the iBasso P4 Warbler and The National, so I'll probably upgrade to one of them in the months to come, but I'm still open to suggestions.

 

edit: Has anyone had experience with the iBasso D-Zero? It's an amp/DAC combo, but it would be a lot easier on my wallet. Would it be considered better than the E11?


Edited by nbohaychuk - 2/24/13 at 1:27pm
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbohaychuk View Post

ROFL

 

What do you usually listen to?

EVERYTHING.

 

No joke

 

samples from different genres

 

The Eagles

Cake

Fleetwood Mac

Pink Floyd

Beatles

Run DMC

Aerosmith

Poison

Mozart

 

Linkin Park

Rise Against

Sixx A.M

Nickleback

Good Charlotte

Fall out Boy

Panic at the Disco

Green Day

Disturbed

Avenged Sevenfold

 

Pendulum

Skirllex

UKR

 

 

Fort Miner

Metaform

Eminem

50 Cent

Dr.Dre

Nikki Minaji

Lil Wayne

Justin Derulo (however you spell it)

Katy Perry

Kanye West

 

Alan

Ayumi Hamasaki

Hatsune Miku

Jia Peng Fang

Ito Yuna

Angela Aki

DJ Owakawari

L'arc en ciel

T.M Revolution

FLOW

Girls Generation 

2NE1

AKB48

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbohaychuk View Post

The two amps I'm looking at most are the iBasso P4 Warbler and The National, so I'll probably upgrade to one of them in the months to come, but I'm still open to suggestions.

I still hold my personal opinion on that.

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

EVERYTHING.

 

No joke

 

samples from different genres

 

The Eagles

Cake

Fleetwood Mac

Pink Floyd

Beatles

Run DMC

Aerosmith

Poison

Mozart

 

Linkin Park

Rise Against

Sixx A.M

Nickleback

Good Charlotte

Fall out Boy

Panic at the Disco

Green Day

Disturbed

Avenged Sevenfold

 

Pendulum

Skirllex

UKR

 

 

Fort Miner

Metaform

Eminem

50 Cent

Dr.Dre

Nikki Minaji

Lil Wayne

Justin Derulo (however you spell it)

Katy Perry

Kanye West

 

Alan

Ayumi Hamasaki

Hatsune Miku

Jia Peng Fang

Ito Yuna

Angela Aki

DJ Owakawari

L'arc en ciel

T.M Revolution

FLOW

Girls Generation 

2NE1

AKB48

 

Wow that is quite the difference in genres. I never thought someone could like hit music and Mozart.

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