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a newbie to amps

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello! i've just decided to get a portable amp this holiday season for use with my iphone and ath-m50/se535. my budget is 100 bucks, and could anyone explain to me the basics of using an amp? i'm thinking about the Fiio E11. does it come with cables, or do i have to purchase them separately? if so, what kind of cables do i need? so sorry about the noobie question but i'm just learning here :)

post #2 of 24
Also consider C&C BH many members prefer the sound quality over E11 and it will run for over 80 a charge, much longer than E11.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review

Depending what your source is you want an interconnect or LOD for iPod. Most amp packages come with an interconnect cable.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/24/13 at 3:48am
post #3 of 24
For your budget, the BH, as H20 mentioned, is best for that price. Skip the E11, that's child's play.

You'd regret your decision if you went with the E11. All I'll say is..if you want an actual improvement in sound quality; go the BH. That is all from me.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyBleu View Post

For your budget, the BH, as H20 mentioned, is best for that price. Skip the E11, that's child's play.

You'd regret your decision if you went with the E11. All I'll say is..if you want an actual improvement in sound quality; go the BH. That is all from me.

Haha well put I agree.

There are much better choices for amps I would do some research and read a bit of reviews before coming to a decision
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooses9 View Post

Haha well put I agree.

There are much better choices for amps I would do some research and read a bit of reviews before coming to a decision

Correct.

But for the $100 budget, there's not many good options.

Whilst you read the reviews...don't get sucked into the E11 hype.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrelboy1210 View Post
 

Hello! i've just decided to get a portable amp this holiday season for use with my iphone and ath-m50/se535. my budget is 100 bucks, and could anyone explain to me the basics of using an amp? i'm thinking about the Fiio E11. does it come with cables, or do i have to purchase them separately? if so, what kind of cables do i need? so sorry about the noobie question but i'm just learning here :)

 

Are you maxing out the volume on the iPhone?

 

If not, there's no need for an amp. A signal that doesn't need amplification doesn't need an amp.

Find a better use for your 100 bucks, or maybe wait a while and save some more to buy a better/different headphone.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

no i'm just looking to improve the sound quality... are you saying m50 won't benefit much from an amp?

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrelboy1210 View Post

no i'm just looking to improve the sound quality... are you saying m50 won't benefit much from an amp?
An amp doesn't improve sound quality. It's just giving a volume boost.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post


An amp doesn't improve sound quality. It's just giving a volume boost.


That's purely your opinion, one I see you often post around the amp threads.

What you don't mention is on the other side of the fence where several (and I mean a large majority) of members swear by amping. Take a look at some of the highly established members like Rudi in the source gear section, posting pictures of his amps, talking about the different synergy.  Take a look at some of the 1Plus2 owners in the appreciation thread who swear by amping. if you don't hear a difference then that's fine, however simply saying it doesn't improve sound without anything to back up your claim is rather confusing, especially for newer members.

What amps have you tried to have such a concrete conclusion? 

Amps do make a difference, especially in soundstage, and tonality. If you're running a cool amp with a warm source then is that making a difference? That clear change in tonality coming from the amp? Or when an amp tightens up bass response, this is just all coming from a volume boost is it? I gather these seasoned members who use amps with $1000 hybrid IEM's and customs are all experiencing a simple boost in volume? I find it rather funny that all these members continue amping because they've "all" supposedly  become a victim of this "volume boost" placebo.

All these threads on Head-fi and all these impressions on different amps and their signatures, years and years of them (now lets be honest) there's quite a lot of them here, every single one of those members are all victims to a simple boost in volume? Hundreds and hundreds of threads, evidence, pages all talking about sound differences.

If you really think your opinion is true you're terribly narrow minded.


Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/28/13 at 3:34am
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post
 


That's purely your opinion, one I see you often post around the amp threads.

What you don't mention is on the other side of the fence where several (and I mean a large majority) of members swear by amping. Take a look at some of the highly established members like Rudi in the source gear section, posting pictures of his amps, talking about the different synergy.  Take a look at some of the 1Plus2 owners in the appreciation thread who swear by amping. if you don't hear a difference then that's fine, however simply saying it doesn't improve sound without anything to back up your claim is rather confusing, especially for newer members.

What amps have you tried to have such a concrete conclusion? 

Amps do make a difference, especially in soundstage, and tonality. If you're running a cool amp with a warm source then is that making a difference? That clear change in tonality coming from the amp? Or when an amp tightens up bass response, this is just all coming from a volume boost is it? I gather these seasoned members who use amps with $1000 hybrid IEM's and customs are all experiencing a simple boost in volume? I find it rather funny that all these members continue amping because they've "all" supposedly  become a victim of this "volume boost" placebo.

All these threads on Head-fi and all these impressions on different amps and their signatures, years and years of them (now lets be honest) there's quite a lot of them here, every single one of those members are all victims to a simple boost in volume? Hundreds and hundreds of threads, evidence, pages all talking about sound differences.

If you really think your opinion is true you're terribly narrow minded.

 

Well, lets see what an amplifier means, shall we?

 

An electronic amplifier, amplifier, or (informally) amp is an electronic device that increases the power of a signal. It does this by taking energy from a power supply and controlling the output to match the input signal shape but with a larger amplitude.

 

This statement doesn't need anyone to try out a few hundred amps to reach to the same conclusion.

 

In short, I don't need to 'backup' my claim, because this definition is self sufficient.

 

Now, coming to the rest of the 'qualities' of an amp (warmth, tonality etc.). They're all defects, considered from a design point of view. They don't 'improve' the signal, they deteriorate it. The reason why better and transparent designs were developed is precisely because these qualities were undesired. Sound is not the only place where amps are used. Besides, there are better ways to change the sound than changing amps. But I guess you already know that.

 

What I find amazing is your appeal to mass opinion. So if a few hundred people say the same thing it makes it true? May I ask what's your proof for this assertion? (You don't have one, because it doesn't exist).

 

Next thing you'll say cables and connectors also change the sound. (Guess what I found).

 

You claim to know my pattern of posts, yes? You may have noticed I fully understand the aesthetic viewpoint, but I do not spread 'subjective truths' as some do. The nature of it being subjective means I can never guarantee others will have the same experience.

 

Which brings me back to the statement of what an amp does. I don't want people going around in circles and burning their money. Those that can will do so without my help (they already are).

 

I don't know if you speak as a representative of some brand. If you do, then I can understand. Otherwise, please stop misguiding newcomers.


Edited by proton007 - 12/28/13 at 4:48am
post #11 of 24

From a very idealistic view on amping, yes, it shouldn't have improved the SQ. It should have been wire-with-gain all alone. If the source is sufficiently good and the load is sufficiently easy fro the source to drive, adding an amp should have done nothing but to make it louder. But the world is full of imperfect source and load with different requirements to perform at its best. Take the AK100 for an example - the relatively high output impedance and weak current output make it much less an 'ideal' source. With an easy load it might be fine (say 32ohm, decently high sensitivity single driver with flat impedance curve), but anything with a crossover circuit, very low or high impedance with an wonky curve, then it will not drive it as good as it should be. Adding an decent amp will definitely help to improve the SQ as it will take the stress out of the poor AK100 headphone-out and provide better control / dampening / current over the load.

 

The answer to the question on whether amp will improve the SQ of a whole setup should be 'it depends'.


Edited by ClieOS - 12/28/13 at 5:16am
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

From a very idealistic view on amping, yes, it shouldn't have improved the SQ. It should have been wire-with-gain all alone. If the source is sufficiently good and the load is sufficiently easy fro the source to drive, adding an amp should have done nothing but to make it louder. But the world is full of imperfect source and load with different requirements to perform at its best. Take the AK100 for an example - the relatively high output impedance and weak current output make it much less an 'ideal' source. With an easy load it might be fine (say 32ohm, decently high sensitivity single driver with flat impedance curve), but anything with a crossover circuit, very low or high impedance with an wonky curve, then it will not drive it as good as it should be. Adding an decent amp will definitely help to improve the SQ as it will take the stress out of the poor AK100 headphone-out and provide better control / dampening / current over the load.

 

The answer to the question on whether amp will improve the SQ of a whole setup should be 'it depends'.

 

I agree.

My original comment was with the OP's setup.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post
 

. So if a few hundred people say the same thing it makes it true?  .


All I'll say is we're never going to see eye to eye then Proton, I will always (not only from own experience) also members (established members) I trust believe majority over minority, the small, small minority. That alone and coming to my own conclusions is enough for me. My proof comes from years and years of impressions located in our portable amp threads, hundreds of posts from reputable members clearly discussing different characteristics in sound. Don't you understand how crazy that sounds of you? You saying it makes no difference at all, not only saying it but spreading the word in threads like some preacher to new members confusing them in bias, yet hundreds of people everyday right now talk about sound variations in threads like this one. It's just absolutely absurd to concrete your opinion an amp cannot change the sound in some shape or form because members opinions speak for themselves. 

Now, I'm not a total amp freak in bias, I've had experiences when an amp was not needed, I'm not a member who thinks you should amp everything, there are times I've had no improvement at all, or at least minimal enough to be not worth the hassle however other times it's been clearly obvious with some form of welcome colouration, an increase in soundstage width, which ever it be with low impedance or high impedance and ATH M-50 is one headphone I know benefits. I just can't fathom your opinion, I understand the science but practical listening sessions and experimenting doesn't tell me what you read rather than put into practice.

And with that said, there's just no point in continuing, your opinion is solid as is mine and that's how our life will be on Head-fi.

I'll buy you a onest11 pure silver interconnect cable next year for your birthday, if anything for the aesthetics appeal. ;)


 


Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/28/13 at 5:38am
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post
 


All I'll say is we're never going to see eye to eye then Proton, I will always (not only from own experience) also members (established members) I trust believe majority over minority, the small, small minority. That alone and coming to my own conclusions is enough for me. My proof comes from years and years of impressions located in our portable amp threads, hundreds of posts from reputable members clearly discussing different characteristics in sound. Don't you understand how crazy that sounds of you? You saying it makes no difference at all not only saying it but spreading the word in threads like some preacher to new member confusing them in bias, yet hundreds of people everyday right now talk about sound variations in threads like this one. It's just absolutely absurd to concrete your opinion an amp cannot change the sound in some shape or form because members opinions speak for themselves. 

Now, I'm not a total amp freak in bias, I've had experiences when an amp was not needed, I'm not a member who thinks you should amp everything, there are times I've had no improvement at all, or at least minimal enough to be not worth the hassle however other times it's been clearly obvious with some form of welcome colouration, an increase in soundstage width, which ever it be with low impedance or high impedance and ATHM-50 is one headphone I know benefits. I just can't fathom your opinion, I understand the science but practical listening sessions and experimenting doesn't tell me what you read rather than put into practice.

And with that said, there's just no point in continuing, your opinion is solid as is mine and that's who our life will be on Head-fi.

I'll buy you a onest11 pure silver interconnect cable next your for you birthday, if anything for the aesthetics  appeal. ;)


 

 

Thanks for your offer, but I'll have to politely decline.

 

I'm not interested in the majority/minority game, I'm interested in providing an objective opinion which is not subject to personal experience and bias, or the amount of money one can spend. And i sure as hell don't care if it sounds crazy. Dissenting opinions (especially true scientific opinions) are always subject to persecution by the non-scientific majority. There's nothing new in that.

 

The appeal to 'hundreds of people' is again a well known logical fallacy "Argumentum ad populum".

 

While you mention these people, also try to look at those who've wasted their money trying to get to that 'ideal sound', only to find its changed the next time they used their setup (It happens, its a recognized phenomenon when placebo wears off).

 

You raised an objection to my comment, I presented my defence. Let the OP make his choice.


Edited by proton007 - 12/28/13 at 5:42am
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Whoa guys! Getting a little tense in here, isn't it? I went over to a buddy's house and tried out his E7... I DID notice an increase in SQ.(sorry proton, no hard feelings, right? wink.gif )so i decided to go on and order a BH like H2O recommended thanks for the heated debate though! Its actually cleared up a lot of questions i had (kinda created an equal amount of more questions but thats the thing with any hobby/ science right? The deeper you learn the more questions you have) i can't wait till the bh arrive now!
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