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Need some help in upgrading a portable amplifier (currently using Zo2)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

As the topic says, I'm in need of an upgrade from my Zo2 amplifier,

 

-Mostly using it for headphones (audio technica ES700 & ath-m50)

-Prefer smaller builds like Zo2, cause I prefer not to be encumbered by heavier amps. (so no fiio e17/e18 for egs)

-Prefer something that is fun sounding (with some bass at least)

-Budget around  $150 - $200

 

I'm currently looking at govibe minibox, ibasso t3/t5 and pico slim, would you consider any of those to be an upgrade to zo2?

 

thanks, would really appreciate some input.

post #2 of 6
This should make it pretty easy to choose. See this sub $200 portable amp shootout: http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-13-11-amps-compared

Rankings follow the reviews, and the ZO2 is listed in the rankings so you can tell how it compares. Here are the rest from those rankings: http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-11-1-amps-compared

Of course for bass, you want bass boost on the amp because a very good portable amp should be neutral without EQ. smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I was already looking at that list, ibasso t3 is something I'm interested in, but I am still wondering too how govibe minibox, pico slim and even hippo cricri compares to it since they're not listed. Which would you recommend out of the 4?

post #4 of 6
I don't know anything about those. I own/have owned the E17, O2, CMOY, and C&C BH, and I have heard the E11. Most equipment gets a lot of hype on the web and on Head-Fi. Lot of people swearing how great their amp is, only they don't really have experience with other amps (so of course it sounds great to them).

Whereas I trust ClieOS's rankings. He reviews DAPs, amps, and IEMs, and everything I've bought that he's reviewed has been spot on. If you look at his full review for amps, he's even measuring them. For example, FiiO E12 (google his username with the make model to find longer reviews). So his reviews are way more informed than even CNET's audio equipment reviews, and even though he is self-publishing, he's essentially a professional reviewer of high caliber.

So my suggestion is pick from his rankings/reviews unless you can order a couple of amps and test subjectively test them against each other to see which sound better to you. The odds of you picking something different from what his rankings at a price point and having it be better are slim to none. More likely, you would end up picking worse. Does that make sense? smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you, guess you kinda convince me with that :) Gonna go with the ibasso t3 after reading his extensive reviews on the rest. (portability and sound is a priority for me) Was gonna try the t5 but seems its having alot of issues with its build.

 

thanks alot you've been a great help! Cheers :)

post #6 of 6
Glad to help. Hope you enjoy your amp smily_headphones1.gif
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