Help with 1st Portable Amp Purchase
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xchagg

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I am planning to get a portable amp next month, once the cash comes in heh.

My budget is around US$100 and will be using it with an ER4-P. Sources are an iRiver H320 with apx encoded MP3s and FLAC files from the PC (Audigy 2 though ugh). Currently deciding between the Go-Vibe and PAv2.

I mainly listen to Classical (45% Chamber, 40% Choral, 10% full symphonies), 3% Jazz and 2% others. I value clarity and detail foremost. I don't bother much about the lack of bass from the ER4-P when listening to classical. (I do turn up the bass EQ to max when listening to pop/rock though
)

Have got a few questions that I would greatly appreciate some input on:

1. I don't have an adaptor cable for the ER4-P and read that low impedance phones aren't too suitable for the Go-Vibe. In what way would using an ER-4P (or other low impedance phones) with a Go-Vibe be detrimental, i.e. hiss, clipping, siblance?

2. Some say that the AD8610 is a little on the bright side. Would pairing this opamp with a Go-Vibe and ER4-P produce an output that would be too shrill?
For comparison I find the unamped ER4-P neutral and unburnt-in Sony EX-71s ridiculously shrill.
2a. If the AD8610/Go-Vibe/ER4-P/Classical Music isn't an ideal combination, what opamps should I be looking at if I want an upgrade over the default OPA2227/AD8066 opamps?

3. I know this is a question I should ask Norm about, but has anyone here requested for a custom 75-ohm switch to be built into the Go-Vibe? (I think added impedance has been built directly into the Go-Vibe before but has anyone asked for an impedance toggle sans the SM3's feature switches?)
Or should I just grab the adaptor cable from Headroom? Not too thrilled about extra wires though.

4. Are there any suggestions for other portable amps within budget? I was considering the Super Mini Moy but it would be over budget due to international shipping and possible modifications.

And lastly, don't suggest I get both the PAv2 and Go-Vibe and compare tham both please. I'll be saving up for a SM3/Maxi-Moy Signature Edition (or something similiar) and hopefully a DAC and I don't want to be eating grass for longer than absolutely necessary


Thank You.
 
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Jonoh

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I had not heard that Norm was making amps again. That's good news if true.

Unfortunetly, I have not heard a Go-Vibe but I believe I read here that it is simliar to a very good Cmoy (or maybe it is a Pimeta--either way I have heard it is good for the money). A used Supermini or Supermicro are also a good options in this price range and you may be able to get one with the impedance switch. I paid less then $100 for my older verions Supermini (v3) which does not have a switch.

I also have a new Supermacro V3. The Supermini is good but the Supermacro takes me places the Mini just cannot go yet the Mini can be satisfying. It's also tiny which can be a plus for portable use.

Both amps make the ER4Ps fuller and richer sounded out of my Ipod. Bass is noticable better.

You can also get a impedance adaptor from Xin (maker of the Supermacro) which is just a plug. It is a worthy investment but I think the amp makes more impact (for me) so put your money there and enjoy it. You can always get an adaptor later if desired.
 
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xchagg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonoh
I had not heard that Norm was making amps again. That's good news if true.

Unfortunetly, I have not heard a Go-Vibe but I believe I read here that it is simliar to a very good Cmoy (or maybe it is a Pimeta--either way I have heard it is good for the money). A used Supermini or Supermicro are also a good options in this price range and you may be able to get one with the impedance switch. I paid less then $100 for my older verions Supermini (v3) which does not have a switch.

I also have a new Supermacro V3. The Supermini is good but the Supermacro takes me places the Mini just cannot go yet the Mini can be satisfying. It's also tiny which can be a plus for portable use.

Both amps make the ER4Ps fuller and richer sounded out of my Ipod. Bass is noticable better.

You can also get a impedance adaptor from Xin (maker of the Supermacro) which is just a plug. It is a worthy investment but I think the amp makes more impact (for me) so put your money there and enjoy it. You can always get an adaptor later if desired.



This was the link for the Go-Vibe:
http://members.shaw.ca/storage_2/headsave/

Hmm, haven't really given much thought about used Amps. I'd prefer a new one but I'll take a look around. Thanks
 
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aseltzer144

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xchagg
1. I don't have an adaptor cable for the ER4-P and read that low impedance phones aren't too suitable for the Go-Vibe. In what way would using an ER-4P (or other low impedance phones) with a Go-Vibe be detrimental, i.e. hiss, clipping, siblance?

2. Some say that the AD8610 is a little on the bright side. Would pairing this opamp with a Go-Vibe and ER4-P produce an output that would be too shrill?
For comparison I find the unamped ER4-P neutral and unburnt-in Sony EX-71s ridiculously shrill.
2a. If the AD8610/Go-Vibe/ER4-P/Classical Music isn't an ideal combination, what opamps should I be looking at if I want an upgrade over the default OPA2227/AD8066 opamps?

3. I know this is a question I should ask Norm about, but has anyone here requested for a custom 75-ohm switch to be built into the Go-Vibe? (I think added impedance has been built directly into the Go-Vibe before but has anyone asked for an impedance toggle sans the SM3's feature switches?)
Or should I just grab the adaptor cable from Headroom? Not too thrilled about extra wires though.

4. Are there any suggestions for other portable amps within budget? I was considering the Super Mini Moy but it would be over budget due to international shipping and possible modifications.

And lastly, don't suggest I get both the PAv2 and Go-Vibe and compare tham both please. I'll be saving up for a SM3/Maxi-Moy Signature Edition (or something similiar) and hopefully a DAC and I don't want to be eating grass for longer than absolutely necessary


Thank You.



You don't have to get a PA2V2 and a Go-Vibe but I have and perhaps I can shed some light on your questions.

First of all, I think you may be making too much out of the low impedance concerns, with regard to either amp. I have Ety ER6s which are a bit higher in impedance the the ER4s, and I am not finding the amps to be struggling or current limited. The PA2 is a higher current design, but the Go-Vibe pairs very well with ER6s. I had Norm set the internal gain to 4, but one advantage you can press with low impedance phones is to request an even lower gain, thus further reducing the possibility of hiss, etc. that concerns you. In my gain setting, the amp remains very free of noise. Also, as you realize, with the Go-Vibe you have the option of interchangeable opamps which will, to a degree, allow you to tailor the sound.

I also have a pair of Shure E2s, which will not be as transparent as your ER4s but I mention this because they are 16 ohm phones and thus lower impedance than your phones. Again, no problem here and I attribute any hiss and sibilance that I may hear more to the recording itself. The amp is very transparent. To my point above, I only have to turn the gain from its initial 7 o'clock position to about 10 o'clock to reach ear filling, satisfying volume with no noise issues at all.

I'm not sure why some are posting concern about the low impedance usage of the Go-Vibe. Perhaps this is because it is a "direct drive" design without output buffers to augment the current flow. Nevertheless, this is a well designed amp and Norm has, to my ears, been able to overcome any current issues in his bufferless amp.

I don't know that a 75 ohm switch would be necessary, but perhaps some others can weigh in on this. However, from a budget perspective, this may put you close or over your $100 budget.

To make a longer comparison short, a preference between the PA2 and Go-Vibe is fairly subjective. Though there are sonic differences between them, I consider them to be in the same overall league. I listen mainly to jazz and some rock which both render well, but after some more extensive listening I would characterize the PA2 as the more forward sounding with a bit of an electronic edge. This sometimes makes digital recordings sound, well, digital. The Go-Vibe is a bit softer and more laidback with a slightly wider soundstage. Again, the differences are not as dramatic as my statement may make it sound, but for classical listening I might lean to the Go-Vibe. For rock, the differences become even smaller and I might favor the PA2.

A DAC is a good thing to aspire to. However, I would not preclude the necessity for any other particular amp until you get either a Go-Vibe or Pocket Amp and get a sense for what they do or don't do. You may find either entirely satisfactory, or in the case of the Go-Vibe, you may find the optimal opamp that makes everything right. In any case, I suspect a DAC may make more overall difference than an amp upgrade, but there are others who may chime in with their experiences.

In short, pick an amp and enjoy the music.
 
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gratefulshrink

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xchagg
This was the link for the Go-Vibe:
http://members.shaw.ca/storage_2/headsave/

Hmm, haven't really given much thought about used Amps. I'd prefer a new one but I'll take a look around. Thanks



I was going through this decision (i.e., best first amp to get) about a month ago. I got the pocket amp. I don't remember if the go-vibe was temporarily unavailable then or not, but one of the main reasons that the pocket amp V2 appealed to me was that NiMH batteries could re-charge while in the amp. I thought it was good not to have to open and close the amp so much to either replace or recharge batteries externally.

There is a long thread on these two amps:
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...hlight=go-vibe

Frankly, the thread got a little (? a lot) weird in dissecting the pros and cons of the inner workings of the pocket amp, and whether or not they actually met the specs.

Anyway, if you haven't seen that thread, take a look.

I'm sure you wouldn't go wrong with either amp.
 
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