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Portable Amps item created by lllee, Jun 4, 2010
Pros - Home-made, excellent SQ, price, independently-controlled gain levels per channel
Cons - No charging indicator, no bass control
I bought this amp as an attempt to make my Bose OE sound a bit better. It failed to do so... simply because the Bose OE doesn't like any kind of amplification. After reading some forum posts, I decided to buy the Sony MDR-XB700 and they are mind-blowing with this amp, and a lot cheaper than the Bose OE. These love to be amplified and it really shows the PA2V2's true potential.
As for the battery life, I have used it for about 5~6 hours and the batteries are still holding their charge. I don't use it a lot to actually measure how long the batteries will last but, for me it's good enough as it is.
SQ is pretty good. Coupled with the FiiO L3 LOD cable on an iPad 2 (playing lossless tracks), the quality is insanely better than the iPad 2's built-in amplifier.
Support from the creator of this device is top-notch. I wish most sellers were as supportive as he is.
As for the draw-backs, there is no charging indicator. Gary says that if the amp is turned on, the batteries will not be over-charged but, when the unit is off, there's no way to tell if the charge is complete and he suggests not to leave it connected for over 8 hours. Not a deal-breaker for me but still, over-charging batteries by accident can result in physical damage, or worse.
Another missing thing is that there is no bass boost control. Also not a deal-breaker for me since I rather prefer natural sound that can show the headphone's potential without EQing them, which is a plus. Also, for the value, it's not an important feature anyway.
As it is, this amplifier is a great upgrade coming from a FiiO E5. Lasts longer, higher power output and SQ, and it's still portable although bigger. For $60, you can't go wrong.
Pros - size, cost, power, value
Cons - none
I read about this portable amp because I was looking for some volume boost when listening to my music on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone. I picked up some Shure 840s a while back and had been burning them in on my desktop listening to my collection. This amp is perfect! I strap it to my phone with an elastic (I'm primitive so far in my rig set up) and drop it in my pocket and wear it around the yard as I work outside getting ready for the summer when I plan to use it extensively. Got it from Bay Bloor Radio in Toronto as it is a short half hour from home, and Alex was the sales guy to see downstairs. Call first to make sure he's got them in stock. With tax, 90 canadian, and you can't beat that especially with other portable amps costing 2,3, and 4 times the price, while waiting weeks to have it arrive from overseas. I love this thing, man! I saw Rush play at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton Tuesday night, and promptly spent Wednesday and Thursday after work with my Rush collection, my Shures, phone and my awesome PA2V2 cranked, just like I was at the concert again.
What I enjoyed most about my purchase..I'm proud I bought Canadian, from an intelligent, talented Canadian engineer who takes pride in what he makes, and makes an affordable amp because he cares about what he does, and that is to help others enjoy music ... LOUD music. Thanks Gary
Pros - Good build quality, fantastic battery life
Cons - None
Overall a fantastic little amp. I've been carrying it around for a few weeks and there's been nothing to complain about so far. Build quality is definitely there and audio is great for such a small amp. Battery life is fantastic! I've gotten about 100 hours of use every charge.
Pros - cheap, good starter amp, customer service
Cons - no light to show it's charging,
Great little amp. Can be had for $60 on Gary's website. Can't power higher end headphones however.
Pros - Good Sound, Nice Value, Excellent Service
Cons - Power switch & Volume control, No Bass Boost
The PA2V2 is a good amp, Nice Value ($56.00) on EBay (Bids) back in Sept. they are going for around $70.+ when I checked a week ago. For higher end headphones it probably will not suit Your needs, sometimes it pushes the high's a little to high for My preference, the midrange is pretty good and the bass is only as good as the song was recorded (Zune, IPod) just not enough drive for bass hungry headphones. I have a pr. of GRADO 225i's and when I use them with My portable cd player I hear the difference in the overall sound! The Power switch & Volume control are to close together, You can turn the volume up to high by accident (Big Hands) without knowing until You turn the amp on. I have played with the gain screws but I can not find My tonal zone. Maybe it's just Me but I love overall music quality and this amp has served it's purpose for My 1st portable amp, I just need more. This is a good amp for lower end phones and louder music!
Pros - Size, rechargeable, lots of power, great improvement of detail & stage
Cons - A little bulky
I happened upon this little beauty* at Bay Bloor Radio in Toronto. It's definitely the best portable amp I've heard, especially for the money (seriously - $80?! How can you go wrong?). I use it with a SendStation PocketDock to get the sound out from the 30-pin dock, and they both really enhance the sound quality wonderfully! I also had the opportunity to talk with Gary who makes the PA2V2, and he was really dedicated to the product and very helpful. I'd call this a no-brainer purchase for anyone who's looking for a great sounding affordable portable amp!
*Okay, it doesn't *look* beautiful, but the sounds it produces sure are beautiful!
Pros - Amazing sound, best customer support, great entry price
Cons - a little big for perfect portability
I joined head-fi, looking around for replacement IEMs, and found people talking about headphone amps. After some research, I decided on the PA2V2s and couldn't have made a better choice for a beginner's amp.
I've tried this amp with an iPod nano, an iRiver iH-140 (rockboxed), a Cowon iAudio 9, and a Clip+ (rockboxed), with ER6s, ER-4Ps, and Grado SR80s. The amp warms the sound of the etys, but not to the extent that it distorts their characteristic sound. I noticed a larger soundstage on the Grados.
But the real treat, with all sources and with all headphones is the increased clarity and solidity of the sound. I was listening to Bill Evan's Trio - Live at the Village Vanguard this morning and the amount of detail (the lightest cymbal brush, ice cubes rattling in someone's glass) is ear-opening.
Finally, Gary was helpful and patiently endured many email questions from me as I was making up my mind. He's the best.
Pros - Durability, price, amplification
I bought some Beyer DT770 250ohm's that I knew I would need an amp for. Gary was extremely helpful and answered all my questions concerning the headphone working with the amp and which batteries I should get. He also enjoys the photos I send him of my amp with the headphones. I try to take some good shots .
The length the batteries last, of at least 100 hours, I've never run out of battery life on amp and I've had the same rechargeable batteries in it since I bought it. Sure I've charged them but its a pretty infrequent thing. An A+ amp to be sure compared to the Filo E7 since that is only 80 hours and I am not sure if that battery is replaceable or not. Gary's is .
Pros - incredible costumer support and service, sound, synergy, battery life
Cons - no crossfeed switch, usb charging circuit nor bass controls
For quite some time that I wanted to get a portable amp that could make the sound more lively, with low noise and still be able to pump enough juice to some more power hungry cans, and PA2V2 definitely suited me.
The amp was used with different gear, so I could check it was a good purchase (aside from all raving reviews) and I couldn't be happier. I listened through Philips SHP1900, SHP2000, Technics RP-F290, Pioneer SE-H33, Audio Technica M40fs, A&H XD-53 and some Numark HF125, plugged to a few computer onboard chipsets, an external Creative X-Fi, Echo Audiofire 2 and NI Audio 2 DJ. The first thing I noticed was an issue many people had, scratching and hissing while adjusting volume, but that is easily solved, just pop 2 rechargeable batteries and you're set, after they were inside the amp felt quite different, despite the batteries only suppose to serve as a noise filter. I've read people having hissing in different conditions than me, I only had that issue when using the amp without batteries, plugged to an outlet.
From all rechargeable batteries out there, I'm using 1700mAh ones that seem to last ages until the next charge.
It's good to have separate channel gain control and a bright red led to show that it's powered on.
Overall, the build quality is quite good, volume knob is sensitive at the right amount, the overall black look fits most environments. If the case was made from some metal, would give a more solid feel, specially since it's portable, but nonetheless there is no fault as it is well put together as it is.
If PA2V2 could be charged through usb, it would be perfect due to the low price and higher quality when compared to cmoy amps and Fiio E5, for instance.
It has already been said a million times before, but Gary, the guy behind Electric Avenues is helpful beyond measure and overall a great guy. Nowadays, more than ever, good customer support is quite important, and that's a thing that excels.
Great deal, recommended
Pros - lifetime warranty
Cons - no bass knob
AWESOME AMP. Adds crazy power and with the price and warranty. ITS WELL WORTH IT.