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Amp for Shure SE535 CLs

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I am relatively new this audiophile thing. I went from a pair of cheap 20$ earbuds to the Shure 535s, I am now realizing, after reading some forums and articles, that a headphone amp would make a big difference. I listen to rock, and british pop-rock. I am just wondering what the best headphone amp would be for them. Any suggestions would be awesome! I am listening on an Iphone by the way :)

post #2 of 23
Price range please.

Off top.

jds labs c421
Jds jds c5
Fiio e12

For starters those are around 200usd

Other brand like alo audio or ray samuels audio are going to run you in the mid to high price range.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks :)! I'm willing to spend around $250 maybe $300 if there is one in that price range that would really blow the others away


Edited by JakobShooster - 10/13/13 at 12:23pm
post #4 of 23

The Shure SE535 sounds much better on an Apogee One. I'm not sure how much better dedicated DAC / Amps are, but Apogee makes great products. 

post #5 of 23

well there are ALOT of amps, i suggest reading alot of reviews, vs me rambling off their names, esp in that price range. personally if i was you and had that price range, i would do a little research.

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

What are your opinions on "the national" by ALO Audio?

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakobShooster View Post
 

What are your opinions on "the national" by ALO Audio?

IMO overpriced, Under performs, its not to the standards of the continental.

 

if you are looking for a medium priced ALO amp, i would go for the alo MK2 you can get it for around 250.00, it has excellent impact and slam.

 

but imo the national falls very short.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

I think I have come to a conclusion, unless there is a strong opinion against it, I am going to order the JDSLABS C5. Now I also saw the C421, which is going to be about 50$ more but I am not sure if it is worth the 50$

post #9 of 23

At the risk of being "shot down" - I'll give you my 2 cents worth.  I do own the 535 (Ltd Ed)

 

I've tried them (and also originally the SE425) with -

 

An E7, an E11, a porta-tube, and the Arrow.

 

IMO any improvement you will get (beyond psycho-acoustic) will be extremely minimal.  Here's why ......

 

The 535 were designed as a highly sensitive, low impedance IEM to be used straight out of a portable player.   Their sensitivity is 119 dB SPL/mW, and they have an impedance of 36 ohm.  So any linear DAP with an output impedance of 4-5 ohms or less should have the correct damping factor, and enough to power these, and power them extremely well.

 

Assuming your iPhone is a 4, 4S or 5 - then you're covered.

 

On my 535s - I rarely get past 25-30% volume straight off the headphone out.  The iPhones are low noise, generally very flat - and actually sound good for a portable device.

 

If you want a good parametric EQ - look at some of the apps - like Equaliser - then you can tweak to your heart's content.  With the money you save - buy more music.;).

 

Above just from my own personal experience.  For the past 6 months+ - I listen to my IEMs straight out of the iPhone, and couldn't be happier.  No bulky portable solution.  Great sound.  No big cash outlay for little to no gain.  If you were talking hard to drive IEMs or cans - then it's a different story.  These aren't though.

 

Only other reason for getting an amp (for the 535s) would be if you are getting hiss straight out of the player (impedance mis-match).  If this is the case - then an amp with a very low output impedance is often the ideal solution.  But in this case - with your iPhone - I very much doubt this would be happening.  it doesn't on mine.

 

Disclaimer - I don't have golden ears (actually more likely to have 'tin ears'), I have tested amped vs non amped blind (and volume matched to the best of my ability - my wife did the switching) - and I noticed practically no improvement.  YMMV.

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

At the risk of being "shot down" - I'll give you my 2 cents worth.  I do own the 535 (Ltd Ed)

 

I've tried them (and also originally the SE425) with -

 

An E7, an E11, a porta-tube, and the Arrow.

 

IMO any improvement you will get (beyond psycho-acoustic) will be extremely minimal.  Here's why ......

 

The 535 were designed as a highly sensitive, low impedance IEM to be used straight out of a portable player.   Their sensitivity is 119 dB SPL/mW, and they have an impedance of 36 ohm.  So any linear DAP with an output impedance of 4-5 ohms or less should have the correct damping factor, and enough to power these, and power them extremely well.

 

Assuming your iPhone is a 4, 4S or 5 - then you're covered.

 

On my 535s - I rarely get past 25-30% volume straight off the headphone out.  The iPhones are low noise, generally very flat - and actually sound good for a portable device.

 

If you want a good parametric EQ - look at some of the apps - like Equaliser - then you can tweak to your heart's content.  With the money you save - buy more music.;).

 

Above just from my own personal experience.  For the past 6 months+ - I listen to my IEMs straight out of the iPhone, and couldn't be happier.  No bulky portable solution.  Great sound.  No big cash outlay for little to no gain.  If you were talking hard to drive IEMs or cans - then it's a different story.  These aren't though.

 

Only other reason for getting an amp (for the 535s) would be if you are getting hiss straight out of the player (impedance mis-match).  If this is the case - then an amp with a very low output impedance is often the ideal solution.  But in this case - with your iPhone - I very much doubt this would be happening.  it doesn't on mine.

 

Disclaimer - I don't have golden ears (actually more likely to have 'tin ears'), I have tested amped vs non amped blind (and volume matched to the best of my ability - my wife did the switching) - and I noticed practically no improvement.  YMMV.

Thank you for the long response! I am trying to learn as much as I can about this world of audio haha! Would an amp help with the soundstage of them?

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakobShooster View Post
 

Thank you for the long response! I am trying to learn as much as I can about this world of audio haha! Would an amp help with the soundstage of them?

 

Not in my experience - and especially with IEMs.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Not in my experience - and especially with IEMs.

Oh okay! I am also going to buy an ipod classic and put my 800+ CD collection onto it (only my favourites would make it to the ipod), would it not make a difference to have an amp with an LOD so that it bypasses the ipods amp or does it not really matter with the 535s?

post #13 of 23

You'll need to talk to someone with a Classic regarding that.  I only have an iPhone4 and iPod Touch 4G.

 

I do think too much is generally said about the headphone out of later model iPod Touches, iPhones (and probably the Classics too) - as far as being inferior.  I don't think it is inferior.  They definitely measure pretty well anyway.

 

Why don't you get what you want and see how it sounds to you.  If you're happy with it - don't second guess yourself.  Go amp-less.

 

You might have to watch the output impedance of the Classic - I think it could be around 5-7 ohms (not sure).  If it is - you may get some hiss with the 535 - then you would need an amp.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for being so helpful! You've helped a ton! 

post #15 of 23

just picked up some bronze se535's i will let you know what the sr-71b and ibasso pb2 sound like....

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