help me please, super frustrated
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cck5

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i now have purchased the grado hf-2 waiting on them now.
 
i want to be able to utilize a lod because my ipod or laptop are my main sources. im not partial to either.
 
what would be a good solid state amp to pair up with these cans. id prefer no tubes as i travel a bit and dont wanna carry anything with tubes in a bookbag and destroy it.
 
 
im looking to spend between 100-200 dollars.
 
a dac is not necesary but i wouldnt mind spicing up my movie watching experience.
 
 
i listen mainly to metal and these will be used solely with the HF-2
 
amps i had in mind.
 
ibasso d4
headsix
fiio e11
 
 
give me some of your experience and help me make a decision.
 
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soundstige

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I'm a bit confused why you bought MSRP $1000 headphones when your current best source is an iPod with a mediocre DAC?
 
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Mad Max

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The D4 is your best choice and has a DAC, unlike the other two in the list.

 
Quote:
I'm a bit confused why you bought MSRP $500 headphones when your current best source is an iPod with a mediocre DAC?

fixed your typo
 
 
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nick n

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You could always go for a PA2V2. Search that out and it should be under $100. Great updated quality features and components, super battery life has an AC adapter too for charging them,  and is definitely portable. Even says it can power speakers, output is up to 200mw. Apparently the customer service ( one guy ) is top notch as well.
Lifetime warranty.
They are available to bid on ebay or direct from the maker. http://www.Electric-Avenues.com
I'm going to make it one of my next purchases hopefully.
 
Worth at least looking into in my opinion I don't know if it suits your particular wishes or setup.
Good luck in whatever you decide on and check in to let us know  what you got.
 
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soundstige

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Thank you. I only checked eBay for prices which can obviously be inflated. But at $500 they still far, far, far outclass what an iPod and most $100-200 amps are capable of.

 
Quote:
The D4 is your best choice and has a DAC, unlike the other two in the list.

 

fixed your typo
 


 
 
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ProtegeManiac

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Spend a little bit more and get the Ibasso D6 Fer De Lance. You get a DAC when you use the USB input from your laptop, and you get an amp using it with your iPod. And unlike the D4, it uses a Li-Ion battery pack and charges via USB, so you can just hook up your iPod charger and leave the charging circuit switched off when usingh te USB digital input.
 
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Mad Max

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Quote:
Thank you. I only checked eBay for prices which can obviously be inflated. But at $500 they still far, far, far outclass what an iPod and most $100-200 amps are capable of.

It is as efficient as any other SR/RS Grado and isn't even an upgrade over the SR series.  I've read over and over when it was selling that some prefer SR325is/RS1/2 over it, or vice versa.  Some people use SR Grados as portables, so HF2 is fine, but undoubtedly a bit heavy like SR325 with all that aluminum.
He doesn't have to have a badass amp and DAC now, he can upgrade later. 

Better stuff is always around the corner, so there's no need to rush after picking up some gear.
 
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soundstige

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Am I missing something or isn't that just amplifying the analog signal already created by an iPod's builtin DAC? It still wouldn't sound great, just a bit smoother and louder... Is there any digital passthrough option that bypasses the iPod's mediocre chips?
 
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Spend a little bit more and get the Ibasso D6 Fer De Lance. You get a DAC when you use the USB input from your laptop, and you get an amp using it with your iPod. And unlike the D4, it uses a Li-Ion battery pack and charges via USB, so you can just hook up your iPod charger and leave the charging circuit switched off when usingh te USB digital input.


 
 
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Mad Max

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Quote:
Am I missing something or isn't that just amplifying the analog signal already created by an iPod's builtin DAC? It still wouldn't sound great, just a bit smoother and louder... Is there any digital passthrough option that bypasses the iPod's mediocre chips?

Because he's going to splurge $800 on one of those portable amp/DACs that can get a digital signal out of the ipod.  He'll be fine on-the-go with just the line-out going into a D4, which the HF2 will surely love.
 
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cck5

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ill be listening inside in my room always. but i live in 3 different places,. so im frequently in different houses and need something to take with me. wouldnt wanna be without my setup for a long time. ive read most grados are easily driven and can speak to that from 3 years experience with them. i think an amp will improve them..
 
and as common consensus on this forum... upgrading your headphones will show far more improvement than upgrading an amp.
 
so i think my hf-2/ d4 combo persay
 
will sound better than a 225i/ pico combo or something similar.
 
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cck5

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i eventually wanna upgrade to a pico or rsa amp, but my tattoo hobby needs to be tended to as well, so i cant justify spending 750 on this setup while ignoring my other hobby.
 
and soundstige if it sounds even 10% better than my ipod and 325i did than ill be a VERY happy camper.
 
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Quote:
Am I missing something or isn't that just amplifying the analog signal already created by an iPod's builtin DAC? It still wouldn't sound great, just a bit smoother and louder... Is there any digital passthrough option that bypasses the iPod's mediocre chips?
 
That will only amplify the iPod's analog signal. The D6 has both digital USB and analog phono input. If you see most people's set-ups, there's a laptop right next to an Ibasso DAC+Amp with a DAP strapped on top. Nothing wrong outright with amplifying the analog out of an iPod; it may not be the best SQ but it's not absolute trash either when you offset the other features that you need (like capacity from a Video, Classic or 64gb Touch for example.) Remember that everything, even the most extreme set-ups, are a compromise. Lugging around a digital output source, DAC and Amp means you'll need a bag; and the best home audio room anywhere just stays in that room.
 
There is a way to bypass the iPod's DAC but you'd have to spend more than the $100 to $200 the OP stated. It's several hundred for a Wadia, Tascam and Fostex, $200 for the Onkyo, or $100 for the Pure Audio, plus a separate amp. And only the Fostex has batteries.
 
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I remember coming up with similar issues when I first got my big pair of headphones (HD650's) albeit I think that I had a NEED for an amp whereas in you're case, an amp would be a luxury of sorts (then again so is anything outside of bread and water) for a pair of grados. While grados will do better with some amplification, I would hardly call them crippled or diminished by running them out of your computer. Just grab some good quality songs and output through your computer and you're good to go. On the other hand, a portable amp would be recommended with your ipod to bypass the ipod's internal amp. I used an RSA tomahawk as well as an Ibasso D2 Viper to pair with my ipod in the past and was happy with the results. Since the grado's are on the easier side to amplify, you won't really need to delve into the realm of the LISA III, diablo etc... and a lot of the much smaller/portable amps will do. I may even go so far as to say that a simply well built CMOY amp would do or a Fiio E5 let alone a Fiio E11. My suggestion is decide if you would like to upgrade your ipod set up or your computer. If the choice is with the ipod, go with a good Line out Dock and just grab a small amp (i.e. Fiio E11, the fiio e5 worked for me but have never tried the fiio e11). The whole set up should cost you at most $70 and less if you buy used and shop around. Then in a few months when your ink is dry, pick up another source.
 
 
 
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Uncle Erik

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i eventually wanna upgrade to a pico or rsa amp, but my tattoo hobby needs to be tended to as well, so i cant justify spending 750 on this setup while ignoring my other hobby.
 
and soundstige if it sounds even 10% better than my ipod and 325i did than ill be a VERY happy camper.
There's only one Happy Camper around here. :)

Have you considered a desktop amp? The Shiit and Dynalo are just slightly over your budget. Haven't heard the Schiit yet, but think that Grados are sublime with the Dynalo I built about five years ago. My HF-2 loves it.
 
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soundstige

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Awesome post, thank you for the info :)
 
Quote:
 
That will only amplify the iPod's analog signal. The D6 has both digital USB and analog phono input. If you see most people's set-ups, there's a laptop right next to an Ibasso DAC+Amp with a DAP strapped on top. Nothing wrong outright with amplifying the analog out of an iPod; it may not be the best SQ but it's not absolute trash either when you offset the other features that you need (like capacity from a Video, Classic or 64gb Touch for example.) Remember that everything, even the most extreme set-ups, are a compromise. Lugging around a digital output source, DAC and Amp means you'll need a bag; and the best home audio room anywhere just stays in that room.
 
There is a way to bypass the iPod's DAC but you'd have to spend more than the $100 to $200 the OP stated. It's several hundred for a Wadia, Tascam and Fostex, $200 for the Onkyo, or $100 for the Pure Audio, plus a separate amp. And only the Fostex has batteries.


 
 
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