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Looking for some entry level advice, mainly in desktop amps. - Page 2

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

No, you're not done....you're just beginning and already a step ahead. You have a great source. Next step would be to get an amp that sounds better than your phone, not worse. I'd suggest doing a bottlehead crack...a very good sounding and versatile amp for a few hundred bucks. Now, if you're just looking at experimenting with some tubes for fun, that's completely different.

Your original post suggested buying a $62 tube amp.... I think people are trying to tell you don't do it, you'll be sad...it won't sound better than your $550 iphone5.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

I'm in agreement that generally speaking, entry level amps typically don't offer significant sonic improvements over the hp out of a decent source, unless that source is simply too weak to drive a particular headphone.

 

Buying and experimenting with headphone audio gear as a hobby is a never ending treadmill of losing money in my opinion.  But hey, it's your money and it's yours to do with as you like.  I think to really get a sense that you're getting significant audio quality improvements you'll need to go ahead and commit to some mid-tier stuff to start.  But in anything audio, for every product out there there is another product that does it 90% as well for 1/2 the cost.

Have either of you HEARD the Schiit Vali, I have and it sounds VERY GOOD, even when I paired it with my little $30 dac it was GOOD. Much better than the EF2 and the Bravo Tubes, the Vali is NOT ur typical "budget" tube amp. Not to mention it's a 1/2 the Crack [assuming he can build one]

 

HOW ever all of that said, OP your in JAPAN :O If I where you, I'd head into Akihabara if you can, as there are some VERY nice high end Audio Shops that should have actual gear for you to listen to!

 

Since ur in Japan, if you are able to travel you can DEFINATLY hear some really nice  gear for your self! I might get the Fiio E10 for now, and wait until you can go to a Head Fi meet in Japan, or an Audio Show in Japan! Hearing first hand is the best way to figure out what you like! And going to an Audio show should cost much less than buying an amp! The price of maybe a Train Ticket, and maybe 500-1000 yen at the door if any Cover charge at all. So If you can attend a show or even find you way into one of the Audio Shops in Japan, I would do that! Get a chance to listen to a nice number of set ups, before you decide if what you want to buy! 

post #17 of 20
I think most of the comments telling the OP to avoid the low-end tube amps were aimed at the Bravo and EF-2A, not the Vali. I know mine were - specifically at the Bravo. The forums are littered with disappointed Bravo owners.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I think most of the comments telling the OP to avoid the low-end tube amps were aimed at the Bravo and EF-2A, not the Vali. I know mine were - specifically at the Bravo. The forums are littered with disappointed Bravo owners.

Yeap, funny story I was called a racist once for pointing out how bad the Bravo Tubes where... being there are some Bravo Fanatics who feed many new users into the trap of owning one of those, like the fact that they are top selling on Amazon

 

Anyways with tubes, stick with Hifiman and Little Dot if your buying Over Seas, both of those companies make wonderful tubes and are a decent price [more so Little Dot than Hifiman] In fact the Little Dot MK 1+ is the same price as the Vali [not including shipping] 

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

Wow! I am listening to what everyone is saying. Thanks so much for the input. I have been reading for 2 days straight about this stuff. I am not going to lie, the blue glowing light on the Bravo and the Indeed Amps is rather enticing. but I will probably take those off the table for consideration. 

 

(I do live in Japan but far away from Tokyo. I  was just there during summer vacation. Tokyo... gets old. I probably wont be going back for another couple years. Except to fly to the USA in two weeks. Which is why I am looking into this stuff now. I can buy when I am in the USA for about 30% cheaper than most of this stuff costs here) 

 

So after some thought I think I am going to get the V-moda M-100s. For now it is the most money I am willing to spend to get all the option I need. Mic add on, closed, with a case. I am sorry, but they looking ******* amazing. I also love the 50% immortal warranty. I bought a pair v-moda earbuds like 8 years ago, and they finally broke about 4 years later, and they gave me a new pair of what ever I wanted at 50% off. So I have made up my mind on cans. 

 

Next, DAC and amp. 

 

I am REALLY leaning towards the Schitt Modi DAC. Its a no thrills serious little DAC for only 100 bucks. 

This is assuming I am using my PC as an audio source. It seems a lot of you feel I should stick to my iphone 5. I have a TON of flac files that I do not get the chance to enjoy. I was thinking now might be the time to jump on the flac bandwagon.  

 

I was thinking about getting a stand alone DAC so that I would have more choice of an amp. I might always upgrade my set up at home too (like buy a decent sound card DAC for my desktop, which is not an option with my work PC)  This way I can mix and match my set ups. 

 

AMP: Bravo V2 is off the table (does this include the Bravo Ocean as well?). I saw someone mentioned the Little Dot MK1. That was on my short list of amps I could afford. I read somewhere on Head-fi the MK2 and MK3 don't match up with 32ohm headphones, and the MK1 did. I can still try out different tubes with the MK1.. Can you change 1 and not they other. Do they always have to pair up (I guess this another topic for another day) 

Amazon does not carry the Mk1. There are some on Ebay. Anywhere else I can check? 

 

BTW: There are two high end home audio shops in my prefecture. I am going to check them out tomorrow. I have no idea if they have headphones stuff. I assume they do. The local big chains (like Yamada Denki) sure as **** don't. 

 

EDIT: Guys over at reddit say I don't even need an amp with the with M100s... well. I think people are missing the point. I want to waste my money. Waste in a way that I can see a positive difference in terms of audio quality.  Maybe I should just get a Fiio E10 for now? Or the Modi and Magni or Voli combo? 

The more I read and the more feedback I get, the more I just go in circles. 


Edited by gr34td3str0y3r - 1/25/14 at 1:24am
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr34td3str0y3r View Post
 

Wow! I am listening to what everyone is saying. Thanks so much for the input. I have been reading for 2 days straight about this stuff. I am not going to lie, the blue glowing light on the Bravo and the Indeed Amps is rather enticing. but I will probably take those off the table for consideration. 

 

(I do live in Japan but far away from Tokyo. I  was just there during summer vacation. Tokyo... gets old. I probably wont be going back for another couple years. Except to fly to the USA in two weeks. Which is why I am looking into this stuff now. I can buy when I am in the USA for about 30% cheaper than most of this stuff costs here) 

 

So after some thought I think I am going to get the V-moda M-100s. For now it is the most money I am willing to spend to get all the option I need. Mic add on, closed, with a case. I am sorry, but they looking ******* amazing. I also love the 50% immortal warranty. I bought a pair v-moda earbuds like 8 years ago, and they finally broke about 4 years later, and they gave me a new pair of what ever I wanted at 50% off. So I have made up my mind on cans. 

 

Next, DAC and amp. 

 

I am REALLY leaning towards the Schitt Modi DAC. Its a no thrills serious little DAC for only 100 bucks. 

This is assuming I am using my PC as an audio source. It seems a lot of you feel I should stick to my iphone 5. I have a TON of flac files that I do not get the chance to enjoy. I was thinking now might be the time to jump on the flac bandwagon.  

 

I was thinking about getting a stand alone DAC so that I would have more choice of an amp. I might always upgrade my set up at home too (like buy a decent sound card DAC for my desktop, which is not an option with my work PC)  This way I can mix and match my set ups. 

 

AMP: Bravo V2 is off the table (does this include the Bravo Ocean as well?). I saw someone mentioned the Little Dot MK1. That was on my short list of amps I could afford. I read somewhere on Head-fi the MK2 and MK3 don't match up with 32ohm headphones, and the MK1 did. I can still try out different tubes with the MK1.. Can you change 1 and not they other. Do they always have to pair up (I guess this another topic for another day) 

Amazon does not carry the Mk1. There are some on Ebay. Anywhere else I can check? 

 

BTW: There are two high end home audio shops in my prefecture. I am going to check them out tomorrow. I have no idea if they have headphones stuff. I assume they do. The local big chains (like Yamada Denki) sure as **** don't. 

 

EDIT: Guys over at reddit say I don't even need an amp with the with M100s... well. I think people are missing the point. I want to waste my money. Waste in a way that I can see a positive difference in terms of audio quality.  Maybe I should just get a Fiio E10 for now? Or the Modi and Magni or Voli combo? 

The more I read and the more feedback I get, the more I just go in circles. 

It's up to you honestly, yea the 32 ohm M100 don't need an amp, but you can cook a steak in the mircowave... do you get my point :3

 

I find that even my 32 ohm w1000x and D2000 sound better out of my amp and dac, the dac provides a clean signal that the amp then... amplifies. Running your headphones out of your Dac isn't a bad idea, you can control the volume digitally, very easily. But amps are fun, some headphones need them some sound better with them

 

Going back to steak, your music the the Steak, your Dac and amp are how you cook your food, lastly though there is EQ, wheather that's a hard ware eq such as the OP Amp in your Solid State or the Tubes in your Schiit Vali, or software EQ like the one you can use in your music player. Think of EQ like the seasoning for that steak. Yea a high end DAC and Solid State amp are like a good ole steak, cooked perfect with a little salt an pepper... but we all know we like to add a lil somthin somthin to our steaks, 

 

my point being, you can...  pair your M100 with different amps and "season" it's sound. Some amps will give the headphone a touch more clarity, other might add a little more intamacy and it all depends on what you like, but the Schiit Modi is a great Dac, if your willing to spend the extra money [and sacrifice portability] I'd get it and a stand alone Amp 

 

For the pure sake of it, I'd get the Little Dot MK 1, and yes you need to buy tubes in pairs and IMO tube rolling is SUPER fun when your new to the hobby! I did it with a little crappy glowing Indeed G3, it helped me figure out what kind of seasoning I like with my steak [I'm a Salt n Pepper guy... who like's a little buttery tubey goodness every now and then ;3] or in simple'r terms. I had a solid state and a tube side by side, and I prefered the solid state most of the time. I liked a cleaner drier sound, that said I of all people REALLY liked teh Schiit Vali! It's... like a steak, a Prime New York Strip cooked medium Rare... olive oil salt pepper and BAM the Vali was like adding just a TOUCH of butter on that steak... MAGIC [when paired with my W1000x though] 

 

Anyways my point is,there are a couple of options you can take

 

1) simple path is to get a Fiio E10, it's going to save you some time and money and be a nice upgrade to your stock mother board, plus you can use it on the go with other pc's where ever you  may be and MAYBE your cell phone [not sure if the E10 works with Celluars] 

 

                              2) Get the Schiit Modi

 

2a) if you can and want to spend the money rolling tubes I'd go with the LD MK1, and have a blast hunting down tubes and seeing which ones you like and which you don't [there is ofc some hassel, some jerk sends you a busted tube, you get one that's not matched right and the impedance curve makes it sound wonky, ect... ect...] . Get a feel for what kinds of seasoning you like with your music, as you WILL be upgrading ONE day to headphones that require an amp... trust us and welcome to head fi sorry about your wallet 

 

2b) get the Schiit Vali and enjoy tubey goodness without some of the fun [and hassle] of tube rolling... 

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