Good Starter Amp
Mar 6, 2006 at 8:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

GrooveTropics

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Hi Ive been on this forum for a few months. I was wondering what a good, even priced, amp for someone who would be buying one for the first such as myself. I have a pair of Grado SR-80's that I listen to religiously.

Would I hear a change in the quality of sound with an amp, compared to one with no amp???
If so in which way would the sound be different.

I usually listen to all my songs on a 3 yr. old computer with a stock sound card, which in other words means that its not that good. Mp3s in other words. Would it greatly improves the sound if I hooked the amp up between the computer and the headphones?

All replies greatly appreciated. Please give some helpful suggestions on a good starter amp.

Thanks.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 11:16 AM Post #2 of 28

stewtheking

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A good mantra in this situation is "rubbish in, rubbish out". If you have only got a hissy sound output from your computer, then an amp will just make you hear the problems with your source more.

What about trying something like the M-Audio audiophile USB? This acts as an external DAC, streaming the music via USB. The headphone out on this machine is surprisingly good, and given that it has both RCA and digital COAX outputs, it is an ideal machine if you are going to fancy upgrading by adding a better headphone amp or a better DAC.

Stew
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 3:44 PM Post #3 of 28

noypi

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may be an emu????

and flachttp://www4.head-fi.org/forums/images/smilies/evil_smiley.gif
evil_smiley.gif
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 8:52 PM Post #4 of 28

GrooveTropics

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So Basically its like an external sound card?

Could I then use an amp outta of this thing?

Im still interested in hearing about this device. I think Im may get an Ipod pretty soon so please suggest a good starter amp. Thanks

Could you guys give me a little more infromation on the M-Audio Audiophile USB. I looked it up, its 250.00 dollars and it seems like theres a load of other things you can do with it besides just using it to listen to music.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 9:39 PM Post #5 of 28

GrooveTropics

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What about this Micro DAC Ive been hearing about. I hear that the M-Audiophile USB is not just for listening to music but has other options in it that to me, a person whos solely interested in improving the quality of the sound coming out of my computer, wouldnt have much use for. I hear that the Micro DAC has one job, and that to improve the sound.

Could you experienced headfiers please elaborate on that.

Dont forget to suggest some good starter amps as I will not be using my computer as the only source of music.

Thank you
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 9:45 PM Post #6 of 28

GrooveTropics

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Micro DAC
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Worth $300.00 ??
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 11:41 PM Post #7 of 28

GrooveTropics

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BUMP? I heard that the Micro DAC and the Micro Amp make a good pair. Is this correct?
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 12:01 AM Post #8 of 28

Oski

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GrooveTropics
Micro DAC

Worth $300.00 ??



This is an excellent DAC that works very well with a computer based system. At $300, it's one of the veritable values in audio today. Of course it pairs up very well with the Micro Amp (both aesthetically and sonically). I would highly suggest you get the Desktop Module (free upgrade when you order) if you do not plan on using the amp portably. It sounds much better than the Micro Module that comes standard, but the drawback is the limited battery life. But if it's doing desktop duty, it's a no brainer.

However, you may also want to consider upgrading your SR80s if you are going to have such a nice source and amp.
evil_smiley.gif
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 12:41 AM Post #9 of 28

GrooveTropics

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Yeah, I think I will probably work up to getting this dubbly duo eventually within in the next few months. I guess the SR-225 would be the next obvious upgrade correct. Im to inexperienced, due to inaccessibility to other head phones, to know what would be a proper up grade to match the the Micro Stack.
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0000011100_1456.jpg

Also does the Micro DAC work as the source of the sound? Does it in a way replace the original signal or does refine it?

Another question: Is it really worth buying a $400.00 Desktop Power Supply.
0000012300_937.jpg

0000012300_935.jpg

HeadRoom Claims it makes a great difference in terms of being able to be keep up with the "Rabidly changing demand for current in the amplifier electronics" compared to the stock power supply that they they send with there products.

Also, Is the Tyll that is a member of this forum the same Tyll that is the president of HeadRoom company. I came across this name while reading an article, on the website, about the origin and history of the company.

Thanks
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 1:55 AM Post #10 of 28

GrooveTropics

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sorry but BUMP. What eactly is a desktop module and how is it different from a micro module? thanks.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 6:58 AM Post #11 of 28

GrooveTropics

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Can someone answer some of these questions so that I dont have to keep thinking up dumb questions to hide the fact that Im really bumping this thread back to the top of the list PLEASE.

Thank You
evil_smiley.gif
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 7:37 AM Post #12 of 28

michaelconnor

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It's my understanding that the desktop module is less efficient than the micro module. This means it is somewhat less suitable for portable use, however it supposedly has better sonic performance. Most people choose the desktop module for this reason.

No ideas/experience with the merits of the power supply.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 8:27 AM Post #13 of 28

GrooveTropics

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Whats the best type of headphones that would suit the Micro Stack?

I hear that the ipod isnt compatible with the stack. Whats the best portable source that is compatible with the stack? Also does the quality of a sound clip on the computer really matter if youre gonna play it through the Micro DAC?
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 8:48 AM Post #14 of 28

michaelconnor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GrooveTropics
Whats the best type of headphones that would suit the Micro Stack?


Define "best." There exist other threads regarding synergy between hardware. Use the search function. Also, you should really try to find a nearby meet to try out stuff first. Everyone has different preferences.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GrooveTropics
Also does the quality of a sound clip on the computer really matter if youre gonna play it through the Micro DAC?


Absolutely. Crap in = Crap out.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 9:03 AM Post #15 of 28

ichiro

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I second the suggestion of using the search function. There are a ton of threads about the micro stack.

Here's a few of questions that might be useful for other people to make recommendations.
What do you like about your sr-80's and have you been able to try any of the other brands?
What don't you like about your sr-80's? What are you hoping to improve?
What kind of music do you listen to most often?
What kind of budget are you working with?
Do you need portability? (you don't mention if your computer is a laptop but you do say you are thinking about picking up an ipod)

Depending on how much you want to spend I would think a good combination might consist of emu-0404 -> Gilmore lilte -> SR-225. I actually had this combination at one time and liked it very much.

One of the first things I would do if I were you is to start re-ripping your music library to a lossless format, this in combination with a quality soundcard should give you a nice upgrade even without an amp.
 

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