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Amp for a low volume listener? - Page 2

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Import tax etc? How this works int he states?
post #17 of 23
I didn't run into this on my order. I guess it can happen but it sounds more like an unlucky lottery. Even if you got hit with a 10% tax on delivery, $110 total is still half the price of your other choices. Just sayin!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Aha... Its just 10% added on the order.
Im coming from he uk where you have import added and tax 20%... So its a lot!
So 2 kinds off tax one after the other.
Edited by Varoudis - 11/16/13 at 9:55am
post #19 of 23

I'm with Barra about how the phones are more important than the source when it's about low volume behavior.

 

from my own quest of super quiet sound, I've got a few beliefs (some might well be plain wrong mumbo-jumbo, you've been warned):

 

-the main selling point of an amp at low volume levels is to be able to get a more precise volume setting. and so I would advise a digital volume control even if it's not the best choice for sound, it is for setting its volume level.

amps with analog volume often have troubles in the first third of the knob course(channel imbalance).

amps will not do much for the actual quality of the sound unless the amp section of what you usually use is utter crap.

 

-lowering your listening levels tend to make the soundstage and "sharpness" of sounds to crumble. the amp will not help for this by just being an amp. but if the soundstage with the amp is widely bigger, when collapsing it might take an even lower volume to feel like it collapsed too much. but IMO the headphone is more important in that aspect.

 

-if you only listen to low volume you might want to consider a different signature for your cans.

I tend to go for V shaped signature when I really like neutral to slightly downward signature @ normal volume levels.

for example at low volume you tend to lose the bass for multiple reasons(technical and anatomic) so having more bass will compensate a little.

the W4 will probably do a nice job @ super low volume but to my hear really lacked mids @normal volume. but I don't know what your tastes are.

 

-headphones at low volume don't all behave the same. I can't make a perfect rule, but to me it kind of look like the highest the sensitivity, the lower you can listen without feeling a loss in performance. but then you need an absolutely silent source, as sensitive IEMs will reveal the slightest hiss.

 

-IEM is a double edged sword. it works better at low volume than a full size headphone. but with the improved isolation, you usually want to listen even lower, and again reach a point where the music loses its quality.

I feel like BA drivers do better than dynamic drivers at low volume, but again it's not an absolute rule as electrical and acoustical damping will vary from IEM to IEM.

 

 

 

 

so really my advice is to try a bunch of headphones or IEMs.  and if setting the volume level is a major problem for you, then get an amp with digital volume controls, whatever improvement in sound will only be a nice bonus ^_^.

or you can do like I did a few years back and destroy some MP3s by hardcoding a -15db volume gain to them. (not recommended at all as an audiophile, but so you know it's is doable ).

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Excellent info, thank you.

At this stage I would like to play with the cans I have. In the future I do agree I need to step up my cans level.

 

Im between 2 worlds. Long work ours that I can't have the volume up! (headache!) and medium levels (definitely not high) for pleasure some times. (all these apply to cans, with my monitor speakers the dB can go up easily :) )

So for the next couple of month I;d like to explore the w4r and my other cans with the addition of the portable amp, it will be my first headphone amp.

So the next step I think I have to consider (definitely not now!) is a desktop setup, probably Tube as I like it (I have a big tube amp in my other house in greece) but lets open this discussion when the time comes.

 

Going back to the topic, from what I read about IEM and low volumes in general your comment about digital volume control is +1! Great.

I need to recheck my potential list. As I have the Note2 as a second phone the e18 was a option too, but I have to re-scan the forum.

post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 

I might have to confess that Im one step from getting the new JDS c5d!! amazing specs! (I know Im above the 200$ mark that I said!)

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varoudis View Post
 

I might have to confess that Im one step from getting the new JDS c5d!! amazing specs! (I know Im above the 200$ mark that I said!)

Don't even know the C5D is out, but I think you will be better off with it than the older C5.  Please let us know what do you think of it after you got it!

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

Don't even know the C5D is out, but I think you will be better off with it than the older C5.  Please let us know what do you think of it after you got it!

I payed the extra $ for the dac. its usb audio1 and it will work with all my devices. (iPhone/Ipad/Galaxy Note 2)

With my iPod Ill use only the c5 part of c5d.

 

Ill give my feedback on the 25th of Dec. (when I get it from the friend in the states I shipped it to)

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