Just a little background, I've been doing quite a bit of traveling for work so I decided it's time to step up my headphone rig for those long plane rides. For my laptop rig, I've been using an Apogee Duet 2 into a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones (will be upgrading these soon). I feel like I'm all set there with the Apogee piece sounding really nice and taking good care of the AD/DA conversion. Really enjoy this setup. I'm a huge believer in lossless playback, but am currently absolutely loving my premium subscription to Spotify and the HD streaming (320kbs MP3, but you knew that) which I find a-okay for my needs.
I decided to step up my iPhone rig and went out and bought the JDS Labs cMoyBB v2.03 headphone amp. It arrived today and I was really excited to get it up and running. I plugged it into my iMac and put on some Zac Brown Band. It sounded awful. The soundstage collapsed, there was a significant loss in detail, and everything sounded compressed. I tried using my bosses Audio-Technica ATH-M50's and they also sounded horrible. I removed the cMoyBB and everything snapped back into place. It sounded way better with out the amp.
I decided that all the glowing reviews couldn't have been lies and let the thing burn in for an hour by itself. I came back and, ahhh, there it is. Everything was there. Separation was back, detail was back, and things were sounding good. The smoothness and warmth that I read about was there now. I've never experienced anything like this and am honestly most of the time not an endorser of "burn in." I'd love to hear your thoughts on what happened here!
The build quality of the cMoyBB is just a little on the questionable side. I expected this (I mean, come on, it's an Altoids can). I hope the volume, input, and output hold for years to come.
Could you guys make any recommendations and what to upgrade next?