High powered portable amp?
May 7, 2020 at 8:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Harry Mudd

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I am currently using a set of 1987 model Koss HVX 'phones. These are full size circumaural headphones that were advertised as being 11 octave cans thirty plus years ago when I got them. Nowadays I have 7 octave ears but I still consider HVX to be the finest 'phones ever made by human hands. Back in the day, the stereo was a hundreds of watts behemoth that dominated an entire room. These days music comes from a tiny anemic little phone. A phone will not drive these big old headphones like the HVX. I am finding that puny little amps won't drive them either! Fiio? squeaky. Creative Sound Blaster? meh..... Reveel by BSG Technology? WONDERFUL!!! Um... but very little actual gain.

So! I am looking for a very powerful portable headphone amplifier. Can I get 1 watt? At least 700 milliwatts? I need higher power and very long battery life. the unit being large would also be a bonus because of my arthretic fingers. I don't do tiny switches very well anymore. Nothing fancy. Nothing high end or expensive is needed, just a powerful boost. Ideas?
 
May 8, 2020 at 8:11 AM Post #2 of 7

GREQ

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PA2V2 - (maybe?)
http://electric-avenues.com/
It takes 2 AA-batteries (can be rechargeable) and has tiny custom gain knobs inside the amp.
The higher the gain the more powerful it gets, but it's easy to put it too high and it distorts like mad.
Battery life can be insanely long, but sacrifices higher-power output for very long battery life.
Not as powerful as desktop amps, but more power than a portable FiiO... middle ground.

Walnut V2 - easy recommendation
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/330...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_
It's an mp3 player, but it can also be used as JUST an amp using a line-in port.
The amp is insanely powerful for the size. No regard for battery life and maximum output.
Battery life is shorter but easier to charge through USB.

I own vintage headphones, some of them very difficult to drive, and the Walnut V2 doesn't have any problem driving any but the most difficult and insensitive ones with more special requirements.
The HVX shouldn't be too difficult for the Walnut.
 
May 8, 2020 at 11:28 AM Post #3 of 7

ProtegeManiac

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So! I am looking for a very powerful portable headphone amplifier. Can I get 1 watt? At least 700 milliwatts? I need higher power and very long battery life. the unit being large would also be a bonus because of my arthretic fingers. I don't do tiny switches very well anymore. Nothing fancy. Nothing high end or expensive is needed, just a powerful boost. Ideas?

Maybe try looking for a Red Wine Audio Isabellina on eBay or here.
https://www.cnet.com/news/an-extraordinary-headphone-amplifier-from-red-wine-audio/
 
May 8, 2020 at 3:27 PM Post #4 of 7

Harry Mudd

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PA2V2 - (maybe?)
http://electric-avenues.com/
It takes 2 AA-batteries (can be rechargeable) and has tiny custom gain knobs inside the amp.
The higher the gain the more powerful it gets, but it's easy to put it too high and it distorts like mad.
Battery life can be insanely long, but sacrifices higher-power output for very long battery life.
Not as powerful as desktop amps, but more power than a portable FiiO... middle ground.

Walnut V2 - easy recommendation
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/330...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_
It's an mp3 player, but it can also be used as JUST an amp using a line-in port.
The amp is insanely powerful for the size. No regard for battery life and maximum output.
Battery life is shorter but easier to charge through USB.

I own vintage headphones, some of them very difficult to drive, and the Walnut V2 doesn't have any problem driving any but the most difficult and insensitive ones with more special requirements.
The HVX shouldn't be too difficult for the Walnut.

That PA2V2 is EXACTLY what I am looking for! At least it is if it does what "Gary" says it does. Can anyone here vouch for this product? Does it carry the weight? If this is real I will order one right now! $50 isn't exorbitant but it ain't chump change either. Just so I understand, a guy named Gary will hand build a pretty nice unit that specifically satisfies all my needs for a fairly decent price? That's pretty rare. I am just asking for someone to second the motion before I send out half a days pay. does anyone here actually know Gary? Or done business with him ?
 
May 8, 2020 at 5:02 PM Post #6 of 7

GREQ

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Both the amps I mentioned I currently own.
That PA2V2 is EXACTLY what I am looking for! At least it is if it does what "Gary" says it does. Can anyone here vouch for this product?
I own both of the amps I mentioned, and I honestly prefer the Walnut V2.
It's more powerful, cheaper and USB charging is more convenient for me.

That said, the PA2V2 should give enough power to the HVX too.

You might be waiting a while for more hands to raise, it's an 'older' product by now (by modern consumer standards) and the hype has died out over the past few years with a slew of much thinner more portable amps and DAPS with 'decent' amplification (for modern, portable, easy-to-drive headphones).

I would wait too, but you might be better off searching for reviews, I'm sure there's quite a few out there.
 
May 9, 2020 at 3:27 AM Post #7 of 7

ProtegeManiac

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YIKES! That red wine costs more than my car! Well..... Ok, that don't really take that much. Still that's a red wine price but i have a draft beer budget. Thanks anyway!

Well that's why I said eBay, since those aren't in production anymore. Other than with serious modding though that's about your only choice if you want a lot of power and long battery life and not being pocketable is a plus.
 

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