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General portable amp questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Musics always been a big deal to me, but only recently (past few months) have I started having audiophile like standards for what I listen too. Anyway I get the gist of portable amps and how they make it so that my phone can actually make the best use of my headphones. I was wondering if you veteran audiophiles out there would care to explain the specifics to me as to what exactly a portable amp like the Vamp Verza does, and if there are more budget friendly portable amps out there, because lets face it those 600 dollars are as much as my phone and about double what my headset costs, so it would put a dent in my wallet to say the least.

post #2 of 13

In simple terms an AMP gives more energy to your IEMs and headphones, so your musics will sound richer across spectrum.  However, some AMPs concentrate on a specific part of the sound, e.g., the bass, and that will change what your music sounds like.  The V-MODA VERZA in addition to be an AMP, it is also a DAC that bypass the crappy ones from your phone/player to give your music a totally different sound from stock.  Try plugging a headphone straight into your computer with nothing playing and crank up the volume, and you will hear a lot of hisses and noise.  So in order to get around that you need a better "soundcard" or DAC to bypass the internal ones, and this is why AMP+DACs are so expensive.  If you just want to try out an AMP and see what all the fuzz is about without breaking the bank, the cheapest, but good, AMP that I can found right now is the VentureCraft Go-DAP 3.0 MSRP $200 discount to $20 over in Amazon.com.  After that the FiiOs (E5, 6, 7K, 11, and 17) and JDS C5 at the sub $200 range, various Hi-Fi Man and AudioQuest DragonFly at $250, then of course VentureCraft, V-MODA, and Fostex HP-P1 up to $600.

post #3 of 13

but also be aware that in this game you get what you pay for. like drsheep said some amps can emphasize  on aspects of the sound of the music like highs,mids and lows like colouring the sound. a good amp will be transparent in sound and ad no ''colouring'' to the music at least a audiophile grade amp wont.

 

some like colouring, it can make the music sound ''fun'' but also can make music imo sound synthetic too in a audiophile aspect.

 

fiio amps with the exception of the e12 which i hear is pretty transparent. all the other fiio lines tend to add some colouring. and the lower e5 amps are more or less just a volume booster.

 

again you get what you pay for. i know it sucks

post #4 of 13

True, but also remember that different IEMs / Headphones respond to amping differently within their sound spectrum, so even if the AMP itself is flat and gives energy evenly across, the music you hear may still be colored somewhat due to this.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks I appreciate all the input. I'm leaning towards a FiiO E7 just to get a feel for portable amps without breaking the bank. 

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthBane93 View Post

Thanks I appreciate all the input. I'm leaning towards a FiiO E7 just to get a feel for portable amps without breaking the bank. 

The E7K is a decent choice, but also look into the E17  because you cannot dock the E7K with the E9K for future desktop expansion.

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthBane93 View Post

Thanks I appreciate all the input. I'm leaning towards a FiiO E7 just to get a feel for portable amps without breaking the bank. 

Sounds like a good decision. I obviously wouldn't go up to a $600 amp if your cans only cost $300-better to upgrade headphones at that point. The E7 is a DAC and amp combo. A DAC is nice to have, but if you are listening off of a phone, you can't use it. Almost all phones are incapable of a digital out-a couple of Android phones can using a USB OTG. If you will listen off of a phone, I would recommend a dedicated amp, as the DAC would be a waste of money. The amp in the E7 is comparable to the E6. Note that with an amp, it is better, though not required, to use an LOD, which bypasses the internal amp of the device. Double amping isn't the best idea. This is very easy with Apple products, by use of a ~$10 adapter. FiiO makes some. So if you aren't going to be able to use a DAC, I would go for a dedicated amp-either a FiiO E11 or a C&C BH.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

Sounds like a good decision. I obviously wouldn't go up to a $600 amp if your cans only cost $300-better to upgrade headphones at that point. The E7 is a DAC and amp combo. A DAC is nice to have, but if you are listening off of a phone, you can't use it. Almost all phones are incapable of a digital out-a couple of Android phones can using a USB OTG. If you will listen off of a phone, I would recommend a dedicated amp, as the DAC would be a waste of money. The amp in the E7 is comparable to the E6. Note that with an amp, it is better, though not required, to use an LOD, which bypasses the internal amp of the device. Double amping isn't the best idea. This is very easy with Apple products, by use of a ~$10 adapter. FiiO makes some. So if you aren't going to be able to use a DAC, I would go for a dedicated amp-either a FiiO E11 or a C&C BH.

Very good point, and BTW the VentureCraft Go-DAP 3.0 is only $20 on Amazon now, and that's one good AMP but only for iPhone/iPod...

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

Very good point, and BTW the VentureCraft Go-DAP 3.0 is only $20 on Amazon now, and that's one good AMP but only for iPhone/iPod...

At first I thought you meant to type $200...sounds like a good deal to me, but its for 3GS-think it'll work with my iPhone 4 or my Nano 4?

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

At first I thought you meant to type $200...sounds like a good deal to me, but its for 3GS-think it'll work with my iPhone 4 or my Nano 4?

It works, but you will need an extension for the iPhone 4 or cut out some of the plastics.  The Nano 4 will fit fine.  And yes the Go-DAP 3.0 was MSRP for $200, and VentureCraft themselves have it on sale for $100.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

It works, but you will need an extension for the iPhone 4 or cut out some of the plastics.  The Nano 4 will fit fine.  And yes the Go-DAP 3.0 was MSRP for $200, and VentureCraft themselves have it on sale for $100.

Sorry to derail this thread further, but what kind of extension would I need/where could I get one?

post #12 of 13

Vmoda VAMP, ALO CLAS, HP-P1 will bypass your Apple devices DAC.

post #13 of 13
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