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Desktop Amp for IEM's

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by bionicman, Feb 5, 2015.
  1. bionicman
    After spending countless hours researching and a failed experiment with the Fiio E10K, I need some help . . .

    I'm looking for a desktop amp (or Amp/DAC) that can specifically handle IEM's, in particular the Klipsch S4 and Sony MDR-7550. I tried the Fiio E10K and it sounded muddy and didn't have ANYWHERE near enough power even on the high gain setting - which really surprised me. This is a strictly office setup, so I'm not looking to spend big money. My current setup is: desktop computer > Schiit Modi > Logitech Z130 > Klipsch S4 into the headphone jack on the Z130. It honestly sounds halfway decent, but lately I've been getting some pops/dropouts and I'm not sure if it's related to the Z130, Modi, or the motherboard. Either way, I feel that improving on the Z130 for amplification shouldn't be particularly difficult, even for less than $150. Naturally I'd lean towards the Schiit Magni or Fulla, but I've read a few negative reviews on both considering IEM use. Somebody please point me in the right direction . . . 
  2. bionicman
    I figured out the software issue holding the Fiio E10K back in volume, but it still sounds pretty poor. The mids are muddled and the soundstage is terribly narrow. Frankly, I can't imagine why anyone would recommend this unit. (and I LOVE my Fiio X5, so I'm no Fiio hater) Any suggestions for a decent priced amp???
  3. bionicman
    Hmm, no suggestions, huh?
  4. jodgey4
    O2/ODAC is always an option IIRC, custom unity gain and you'd be good to go.
  5. bionicman
    I was seriously considering combining the O2 amp with my Schiit Modi until I realized that it was battery powered. I'm not sure what the long term reliability would be like with the batteries in a state of constant charging. Any thoughts?
  6. Oklahoma
    What issues have you seen with the magni and iems? I just purchased it and couldn't be happier. My main headphones i use are B&W P7 and on low gain it get to about 9 o'clock on the volume and it is loud. I have a set of the Sure SE425s at home and can see how they do tonight.

    Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
  7. bionicman
    I read issues regarding the original Magni and floor noise when used with IEM's. With the new model equipped with 2 gain options, perhaps that's no longer an issue . . .
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Doesn't it have a charging on/off switch? I have an Ibasso D-Zero that I use with my ASG-1.3 (all other Ibassos have that charging switch AFAIK), and this set-up is what I use when I'm working on my laptop (at the office and at home). I charge the D-Zero with a real charger (a USB+AC surge protector that I also use on my tablet) isntead of USB, and from full with roughly three to four hours of use everyday (on weekends I use them at home), I get about twenty days. That's roughly up to 80 hours of battery life on a single charge driving a 32ohm, 125dB/1mW IEM.
  9. bionicman
    Just wanted to bump this necro thread because I finally found the perfect solution and it sounds surprisingly good.
    Pandora One via USB < Schiit Modi < custom O2 amp < Klipsch X11

    I'm using the JDS Labs Objective 2 with the following options:
     - no batteries, AC power only
     - 2.5 & 6.5 amplification (2.5x is plenty for the X11's)
     - rear RCA inputs
     - rear AC power jack
    I bought a B-Stock model (no visible issues) with these options and it was only $107. A very cheap and effective solution.
    Thanks to jodgey4 for the original suggestion on the O2.
    jodgey4 likes this.

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