Amp with no hiss under $100
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donunus

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Are there any?
 
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Jahn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
Are there any?


that's a good question. the only one i've tried under 100 bucks was a cmoy, and it certainly hissed if turned up loud enough. perhaps a go-vibe would be black enough? but honestly, not much out there in portable land gets as black as night as say, the SR-71. for instance, the Grado RA-1 is a pricey beast, but even transportable as it is and running off just batteries, it seems to have a high noise floor, unlike the SR-71.

but those are amps pushing 400. for under 100, you may be out of luck - but still, in the realm of listenable volumes, even a cmoy can be quiet enough - my MisterX Low-Z Cmoy was.
 
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donunus

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Jahn, You might be the perfect person to talk to since you seem to be recommending the ms1s a lot. I'm getting an amp along with the ms1. what would be good enough for it? also if i use it for my laptop, would a headroom bithead be good for the ms1. and would the total bithead be much better? or should i scrap that and get another amp altogether
 
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Jahn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
Jahn, You might be the perfect person to talk to since you seem to be recommending the ms1s a lot. I'm getting an amp along with the ms1. what would be good enough for it? also if i use it for my laptop, would a headroom bithead be good for the ms1. and would the total bithead be much better? or should i scrap that and get another amp altogether


Actually the man to talk to would be Romanee - he's the master of the portable amps imho, and he uses them out of an Apple laptop, so he can give you the inside scoop on the USB options - i think he uses a modded USB Sonic DAC, then to a Portaphile V2 right now. I've heard rumors about the bithead being hissy with grados and etys, but i've never heard one myself.

But yes, a cmoy would be just fine to pump a MS-1. In fact you don't need an amp at all with a MS-1 really, but it will give you that extra 5% lol. Just know that an MS-1 isn't scalable up to a monster home amp, so putting a MS-1 into The Stealth would be a waste of money. I'd say a pimeta level amp ($150) is as pricey as you'll need to get with something like the MS-1.
 
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for reference, the Headsave Go-Vibe is very silent. when turned to max, you begin to hear a slight hum, but barely audible. if you have music on, you wont hear a thing.
 
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donunus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fr4c
for reference, the Headsave Go-Vibe is very silent. when turned to max, you begin to hear a slight hum, but barely audible. if you have music on, you wont hear a thing.


with what headphones have you tried them without being hissy? the review in the amp review section says they have audible noise with headphones such as the sony cd3000 and others. wonder if they are fine with the ms1

and jahn thanks... i'll get the ms1s first then probably try different amps later. I might go for an amp when i get my next cans after the ms1
 
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rickcr42

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there are times when hiss is heard that it is source generated and not amp related and simply turning down the source volume if possible and opening up the amp volume will correct it.

If you use the loudspeaker based hi fi system as an example you will notice the final stage,the power amp,has no level adjustment and is meant to be used wide open.

A headphone amp could be used the same way if there are volume controls preceeding the final "amp' stage as it can be considered and the overall volume adjusted before it.


Just another option.......
 
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I have a Pocket Amp 2 and a Go-Vibe. Both exhibit little to no noise. Any noise that is present would be at maximum gain which, unless you have higher impedance or inefficient phones, would probably not be a setting you would use. I have all low impedance phones, the highest being 48 ohm Ety ER6's, and the amp itself generates virtually no noise of its own - certainly nothing to intrude on the musical signal.

In the case of the Go-Vibe and some cmoys, it may be possible to have the gain factor preset by the builder. For example, while I believe the range of gain possible in the Go-Vibe goes from 2 to 11, mine was set at 4 with my low impedance phones in mind. The lower the gain factor, the lower the noise floor. Based on the fact that I typically have the gain at 40-50% of max with 48 ohm phones, a relatively noiseless gain factor of 4 should be able to drive more challenging phones as well.

As rickcr42 pointed out correctly, often it is noise at the source that is mistaken for amp noise. For this reason, until someone starts selling portable preamps, I prefer headphone amps to have a volume control so that the source (if it only has a headphone out jack) can be set to a minimal gain and the amp can be used for the greater share of volume regulation.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
with what headphones have you tried them without being hissy? the review in the amp review section says they have audible noise with headphones such as the sony cd3000 and others. wonder if they are fine with the ms1

and jahn thanks... i'll get the ms1s first then probably try different amps later. I might go for an amp when i get my next cans after the ms1



Sounds like a plan! And when you upgrado to the MS-2 or even the RS-1, there is a whole new tier of amps to look at, muahaha...
 
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Quote:

As rickcr42 pointed out correctly, often it is noise at the source that is mistaken for amp noise. For this reason, until someone starts selling portable preamps, I prefer headphone amps to have a volume control so that the source (if it only has a headphone out jack) can be set to a minimal gain and the amp can be used for the greater share of volume regulation.


The headphone amp I use daily in the home is not a headphone amp at all but simply a Class-A High Current buffer or otherwise called Voltage Follower stage hanging off of output ll of my line level preamp.My preamp provides all required gain (or none) and controls whilke the headphone buffer simply supplies the current to drive headphones.
To use a regular headphone amp the takeoff point is and must be a "zero gain' point such as the record output or you end up cascading gain stages.
This is would be just looking for trouble.You are always trying to cast off the excess gain and considering all noise is increased by the gain factor of each stage that has gain a no brainer.It is just a mtter of choosing where in the signal path your attentuation point will be (volume control/attenuator)
 
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I have a PA2 and like all the other portable amps Ive used its noise level is a function of the impedence load and the cans sensitivity.

DT770-80 is silent
MS2 at about 75% you start to hear the hiss, but its not audible with music playing.
KSC75, MDRV6, MDRCD-870 at about 60% you start to hear hiss, but its not audible with music playing.
SR40 at about 75% you start to hear hiss, but its not audible with music playing.
e2c anything above ~40% is unlistenable.

a 75 ohm impedence adapter works wonders IMHO.

Garrett
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
with what headphones have you tried them without being hissy?


Sony EX71 at 16 ohms.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
and would the total bithead be much better?


With my total airhead I get audible hiss with my Grado 225s at about 75% (much too loud for me but not for some of my associates) and at about 85% with my Sennheiser 595s. The Sennheisers are 120 Ohm not sure how much a recable changed the 225s but I'm guessing they are still quite a bit lower. Not really an issue for me since I can't listen to it that loud.

Ant
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by fr4c
for reference, the Headsave Go-Vibe is very silent.


Norm is great about this. My first amp was his home-vibe, and after using it the first thing I would notice about other amps/sources is the floor noise. Even if they are "better" amps, many times more expensive, it always gives me a bad first impression that the amp can't even get silence right.
 
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aseltzer144

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Another factor to consider with regard to hiss in a battery powered (<$100) amp is the charge state of the batteries. As the battery charge depletes, the noise floor begins to increase, at least in the battery powered amps I have. Nevertheless, upon installing freshly charged batteries, the silence returns. Thus, it is not the amp per se producing the hiss, as long as I know that a fresh set of batteries will restore silence. On the other hand, the presence of such hiss acts as somewhat of a power reserve indication. Since the LED on my Go-Vibe will often go very dim while the amp the batteries still provide ample listening voltage, the presence of increasing hiss tells me its time to have a fresh set of batteries on hand.
 
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