IEM users: who's stopped using a portable amp after upgrading earphones?
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:06 PM Post #16 of 46

wakeride74

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I noticed on a very slight difference when amping the E500's. I thought the same to be so with the UM2 and ES2 until I matched them with the Hornet as well as a couple other amps that used a AD8397 chip. Synergy, synergy, synergy!
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:30 PM Post #17 of 46

milkpowder

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wakeride74 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I noticed on a very slight difference when amping the E500's.


x2 (w/ Hornet M)
It was so slight that the extra bulk and $350 simply wasn't worth it
frown.gif
Looks like you've had more luck with Westones.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 5:51 PM Post #18 of 46

wakeride74

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder /img/forum/go_quote.gif
x2 (w/ Hornet M)
It was so slight that the extra bulk and $350 simply wasn't worth it
frown.gif
Looks like you've had more luck with Westones.



There may be an amp or opamp that synergizes well with the E500 but I didn't really care for the E500's sound so did not keep it long enough to test with different combos.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 6:17 PM Post #19 of 46

Erik_C

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I have, too, most of the time. I spent about an hour last night comparing the same songs on my iriver 140 with Xin SM3v.6/OPA627s with my iriver 120 straight out of the headphone jack. Oh, I was using Ety ER-4Ss.

The irivers have 20x20mw headphone outputs, which is pretty good. I noticed a difference in about 1/2 of the songs -- there was an increased focus and naturalness to the music, especially vocals, and a decrease in upper midrange glare, when using the amp. Is it noticeable when on the go? Not really. I'm going to try leaving the amp at home and see if I'm satisfied with the Etys straight of the 140 (which I know flies against the conventional wisdom that the ETYs require an amp).

-Erik
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 6:39 PM Post #20 of 46

pretzelb

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This is an interesting read for someone who doesn't have high end IEMs or amp. I've been following the threads on the TH and Hornets and from spot reading those it would seem that it's a match made in heaven that few would do without. This thread contradicts that in a way, at least in some cases. Seems like it's another case of "it depends" as the IEM and the source play big parts - not to mention the listener of course.

As a side note, I found some of the comments regarding sound "on the go" to be interesting. Perhaps I'm a horrible multitasker but it always seemed like I wasn't able to hear quality while I'm on the move. Trying to pick out quality in sound was something I had to be sitting still for. So I wouldn't judge any equipment based on it's sound while I was moving mostly because I could really judge it that way. But, if I knew I was going to be moving all the time I'd adjust my purchase decision based on that and save some cash. Just an observation.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 6:55 PM Post #21 of 46

kramer5150

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Me... I find my D-Jays and PK1 very enjoyable unamped. They are both speedy and reveal a lot of detail, even without an amp. Its not that they don't improve with an amp, it's more that I dont find myself enjoying the tunes any more with an amp. In a portable setting I don't really do a lot of critical listening.

I'd love to have a larocco PR2 though
biggrin.gif


heres a pic...
dscn8541oa7.jpg
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 7:40 PM Post #22 of 46

meat01

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I prefer to go unamped with my IEMs. For one, I don't think they benefit much from an amp and two, it kind of defeats the point of portable, lugging an amp and cable around.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 7:53 PM Post #23 of 46

The-One

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Quote:

Originally Posted by milkpowder /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Stopped using an amp since upgrading. The ACS T2 alone is far better than the E500 latched onto a Hornet "M" and a fancy ALO LOD. No amp will fully compensate for IEM deficiencies... IEMs first, source second, amp third, interconnect last. I do have some interest in venturing into portable amping again, but that is not high on my priorities.


Huh, well I've decided the opposite... just ordered a Xin SuperMacro LE the other night. I'm venturing into amps for the 2nd time.

But back to the topic, I have bought an amp before for IEM. I bought a Portaphile V2^2 maxxed to use with Shure E4c. I have an Iriver H140, all music encoded 192kbps+ and over 1/2 is 256+kbps and have a few wavs. From the moment I plugged the E4c into the amp until the end of 130 hours, at which point I asked for a refund and I applaud Cesar for his word. There was ZERO difference in sound, absolutely none with my E4c.

Portaphile is highly regarded by many, so I've put it down to E4c. I was really surprised because when I bought it nearly 2 years ago the threads at the time were full of ER4S vs E4c threads and nearly all of them commented how an amp made the E4c shine. Which is completely and untrue. No point in amping the E4c.

So why am I venturing into amping again with IEMs again? Well the ACS T2 is one of the best IEMs and it is vastly superior to the E4c. So I'm hoping for more of a difference. I also intend by the end of the year to build an ultimate rig with Redwine Audio iMod with ALO IC and all music encoded 320VBR.

In anycase, if it turns out again that even the T2 do not benefit from amping, well I won't have trouble reselling the gear I intend to buy.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 9:30 PM Post #24 of 46

GreatDane

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GlorytheWiz825 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've also stopped using my BitHead as a portable amp. I was using my E4C going through my ZVM->BitHead. But then I switched the E4C directly to the ZVM output jack and realized the improvement was very minor. The slight improvement from the BitHead did not warrant carrying around something so bulky. So I ended up with ZVM->E4C directly.


If you were amping the headphone output and not using the line out on the ZV:M then it's no wonder that you didn't hear a substantial improvement.

Amping the headphone out will mostly just add power from my experiences...although it can change the sound of the IEM if an impedance boost, bass boost or crossfeed option is used.

Using the line out with the ZV:M amping with the PA2v2, SuperMini IV, Porta Corda or Micro Amp, I heard a definite improvement with the E4...the Porta Corda being my favorite.

With my new iPod the same basic improvements are heard.

IMG_0411.jpg
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 9:40 PM Post #25 of 46

vcoheda

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Quote:

Originally Posted by marvelusjd /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I used to carry an amp with me on the bus, but found that my IEMs (Super.fi 5 Pros) are very efficient, and using a Rio Karma, you can't beat the sound right out of the headphone jack. At work, I have an amp on the desk, but it was a bit much to carry with me.


I do the same. On the go it's just my ZEN and cx300s (that is true portability). At work, I'll connect everything to my Total BitHead, but when I leave, the amp stays.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 9:40 PM Post #26 of 46

milkpowder

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Have you ever considered that the improvement in sound may simply be attributed to the use of the line-out (cleaner signal) and not necessarily an improvement due to amping?
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 9:57 PM Post #27 of 46

The-One

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Yeah, but can you have one without the other?

I could be wrong but from what I understand, don't you need to boost or amp a pure signal?

And it is the boosting of the signal at say the headphone jack that gives sound. I mean ipods do have opamps, the Redwine Audio iMod replace it with better ones.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 10:50 PM Post #29 of 46

3X0

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With my Cowon iAudio X5, my Go-Vibe V5 makes a HUGE difference on the dynamics and fullness of my IEMs. It's almost a night-and-day difference for me.

Also, even through the headphone-out I notice a substantial difference with the amp and without the amp in terms of sonic representation. You don't need a line-out to enjoy an amp if the headphone-out is good enough.

Alas, the size factor of the two thick beasts (X5L and GV5) is getting a bit cumbersome. I'm looking forward to a change of pace very shortly regarding the portability aspect; very likely I will be re-imagining my portable set-up, possibly eschewing the portable amp altogether. Admittedly, amps don't help much when your environment isn't conducive to appreciation of the sound.
 
Feb 14, 2007 at 11:28 PM Post #30 of 46

FaRKle

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Quote:

I'm putting this in the headphones forum since if you're not using an amp you may not be in the amp forum.

Today I received a pair of dual driver IEMs (module name still unknown as these have yet to really hit the market) and they're much more efficient than the ER4P/S which I also own. Hooking up the C&C, the impact/advantage of adding an amp drops significantly. I know there are other IEMs very efficient too. Have any of you stopped carrying an amp because of this?


Hey BlessingX are you referring to the EarPeace prototypes?

I'm getting fitted for mine tomorrow. I must say they do look very interesting and I think will have loads of potential once they go official. I'll do a short writeup after I recieve my pair.
 

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