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need recommendation for a portable amp for grado 325i

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

hey, just recently picked up a pair of 325i, i currently have a fiio e6 but am looking to upgrade to something better. what are your recomendations? i am looking to spend at max around 130ish. i could also build it myself. i will mostly be using this amp with an iphone/galaxy note 3 (when it comes out). just want to know if any one here has experience with the best sounding portable amp for the 325i, and do you guys think it would be worthwhile to pick up a dac/amp combo for these? 

on a side note, i would not mind building myself an amp if someone knows a good diy for the 325i. 

thanks guys. 

post #2 of 14
Fiio mont blanc is on your price point.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

so is the e17, and i dont mind spending the extra for the e17 if it would be worthwhile. do you have any experience with the fiio mont blanc and 325i?

post #4 of 14

I can't comment on the Mont Blanc, however I do use the E17 with my SR60i's. An easy recommendation.

 

I haven't tried an Android OTG cable with the E17 yet, so this may or may not be a factor for you with the Note3. Search through one of Fiio threads for more info on this - I'm sure someone there has attempted this.

 

The E07K may be a lower cost option for you also as a portable DAC+amp combination.

post #5 of 14

Better question - why do you want to use additional amplification?

 

The 325i - like all of the SR range - are ridiculously easy to drive, and unless:

[a] You're trying to solve an impedance mismatch (ie high output impedance out of your DAP)

[b] Your preference is a hardware EQ or colouration by the amp

 

then IMO (as an ex 325i owner), all amping will add is extra volume (that they don't actually need), and extra bulk to your portable rig.

 

Just my 2c.

 

Unless a can actually needs an amp - a lot of the comments regarding the benefits with sensitive cans are highly questionable IMO (especially if you can compare amped vs unamped with properly matched volume & blind testing). 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Better question - why do you want to use additional amplification?

 

The 325i - like all of the SR range - are ridiculously easy to drive, and unless:

[a] You're trying to solve an impedance mismatch (ie high output impedance out of your DAP)

[b] Your preference is a hardware EQ or colouration by the amp

 

then IMO (as an ex 325i owner), all amping will add is extra volume (that they don't actually need), and extra bulk to your portable rig.

 

Just my 2c.

 

Unless a can actually needs an amp - a lot of the comments regarding the benefits with sensitive cans are highly questionable IMO (especially if you can compare amped vs unamped with properly matched volume & blind testing). 

i remember from when i had 325i's that they were easy to drive, its just that now i actually have the means to get an amp, and i want them to sound the best that they can. especially since the 325i are more capable of showing true detail compared to sr-6o's but honestly, i think you may be right.



on a side note, i do have access to tubes, so i can build a tube amp, but i think a portable tube amp is asking for problems... 
 

post #7 of 14

My advice - if you want to play around with additional amping - is go something quite cheap (E11).  It'll give you a taste without breaking the bank.  Has a hardware EQ.  But even with your E6 - try to do a volume matched comparison.  See if you notice any changes.

 

When you compare (amped vs unamped) - volume match to best of your ability (SPL meter is best).

 

Problem with a lot of inexperienced people - the ones that jump on the hype train - is that comparing amped vs unamped they often have the amped ones slightly louder without realising.  Louder sounds better to us.  So they associate that loudness as 'perceived' improvement.  The ones you'll usually get is 'improved separation, bass, clarity etc'.  In some earlier reviews I did - I fell for same placebo effects.

 

You'll need additional amping for harder to drive cans (either high impedance or low sensitivity) - but the 325i isn't either one of those!

 

If you have a modern iPhone - try the Accudio Pro app - very easy to use EQ application with downloadable EQ presets.  It'll give you far more options than amping (for the 325i).

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks man, I really appreciate your advice.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by gasstronamicle View Post

Thanks man, I really appreciate your advice.
If you really want to push the 325 to the limit I strongly suggest you to invest a little bit more and buy a Fiio E12 DIY using lme49000 as buffer and Muses02 as opa. I own this combo and I can assure you this is by far the best portable amp. Money can buy for the 325is. Fantastic soundstage, great detail together with stunning instrument separation and dynamic punch. It outperforms hand down
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdameno66 View Post

If you really want to push the 325 to the limit I strongly suggest you to invest a little bit more and buy a Fiio E12 DIY using lme49000 as buffer and Muses02 as opa. I own this combo and I can assure you this is by far the best portable amp. Money can buy for the 325is. Fantastic soundstage, great detail together with stunning instrument separation and dynamic punch. It outperforms hand down even my Musical fidelity M1 HPA desktop amp. 😮😨
post #11 of 14

I can only say:  I bought a UHA-6 for when I went to dialysis and brought my 325i's with me.  I found a great improvement in the listening pleasure both from my IPod 7G and the flatscreen TVs they provided.  I A/Bed both sources and found having an amp greatly improved the bass and eased off the fatiguing mid-highs prevelant with these phones.

Kevin

post #12 of 14
If I were you just save your 130 bucks and just plug it directly to your iPhone/Note 3. 325is is very easy to drive. I have the e version and found it good enough directly from an iPhone 5.

Just save more money and better look for a DAP instead. I use a DX90 with my 325e and brings out all the details from the music. If you are going to buy an amp, buy something that you can use with different phones not just the easy to drive ones. Buying a portable amp these days imo is just a waste and will soon become paper weight when you move up to harder to drive headphones.
post #13 of 14

I bought a Teac UD-H01 for $150 on eBay. It sounds pretty good with the SR-325i, although now I'm only using it's DAC section and driving it with a tube amp.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post

If I were you just save your 130 bucks and just plug it directly to your iPhone/Note 3. 325is is very easy to drive. I have the e version and found it good enough directly from an iPhone 5.

Just save more money and better look for a DAP instead. I use a DX90 with my 325e and brings out all the details from the music. If you are going to buy an amp, buy something that you can use with different phones not just the easy to drive ones. Buying a portable amp these days imo is just a waste and will soon become paper weight when you move up to harder to drive headphones.


On further reflection, I have to aggree with HeadWhacker.  I bought an X5 to replace my IPod Classic and I find myself leaving my paper weight at home.

Kevin

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