I'm a non believer in amps. Is there really a big difference?
Feb 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM Post #31 of 67

Originally Posted by evilking /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you've been listening for a whole year without issue then I wouldn't bother.


Why so? What if he would find the difference worth it, or even big for his ears? Then I think it would be worth checking out IF audiophilia interests him.
Feb 14, 2008 at 8:38 PM Post #32 of 67
More analogies, anyone?

Think of a 6,000 lbs. trailer. You could tow it with a 4 cylinder pickup. Now think of using a semi pulling the same trailer.

What you're arguing is that the towing capability is equal because both of them have the same gas pedal.

And yes, you will hear the difference.

I'd recommend a solid desktop amp since portables are like a 6 cylinder pickup. A little better, but you're not going to get an 18 wheeler from a 9 volt. You'd have to pocket a car battery to equal the average desktop amp.

And try vacuum tubes. They're wonderful.
Feb 14, 2008 at 9:00 PM Post #33 of 67
Try running a Pink Floyd concert off a single 9V battery.
Feb 14, 2008 at 9:05 PM Post #34 of 67

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
More analogies, anyone?

Here’s another one: someone coming to the plastic surgeon and says: I am very satisfied with my looks but because all the recommendations of getting a face lift I'm irritated in thinking that I'm not exploiting the full potential of my face

My advice would be: if you are satisfied, be happy, keep your money in your pocket or spent it on music/games and most of all: get the hell out of here before it's to late!

Before you know you will end up like me after spending (to) much time here at Head-fi: happy but poor
Feb 14, 2008 at 11:05 PM Post #36 of 67
Haha, thanks everyone. I think "believer" was the wrong word. It was more that I didn't understand their whole purpose/functioning. And now that I've thought this much about it, I don't think there's any turning back from it. But I would seriously be satisfied with any improvement, so I've been looking into a few of the lower end amps.

So I would be splitting this about 50/50 between music and gaming. The total bithead is looking like a really decent value right now, but is the added DAC more capable than the one in the laptop? Also, are the do it yourself low end amps in the same league as the portable Headroom ones? Thanks again for any advice you guys can give.
Feb 14, 2008 at 11:42 PM Post #38 of 67
I'd say this try out someone else's amp and see if you like or can even tell any difference. If not then it's probably not worth it to you. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder right? (or in this case the ears) However, if you listen and notice that everything seems clearer more articulate and punchy, then you know you've been missing something. I will also second the above post in that it isn't worth it spending tons of money to amp a mediocre source. That doesn't mean that buying a cheaper amp to get a little extra out of your computer isn't worth it at all. I will say this though. The majority of good sound quality does come from the transducers by which you're listening to, however having said that there is a significant amount of SQ left after upgrading to top shelf headphones, earphones etc. and that's where the huge mess of amps DACs and sources come in. Everything in this audiophile world is incremental. It's pretty similar to tuning up a car. You have turbos, tires, NOS, transmissions. No one thing makes or breaks the system, sure some are more significant than others and by having the Beyers I think most would agree that you already have one of the more significant components to good audio, if not the most significant.
Feb 15, 2008 at 12:24 AM Post #39 of 67
hm. i already ordered 180$ portable amp. 1st for me. now i remember listening a studio amplifier(the one that feeds many headphones.. must have some quality) didn't notice much difference... and now this thread. "only 10% improvement" and what not..

wanna bet if i'll come back to this thread once the amp arrives yelling "oh yeah" or crying my eyes out? (325i&Lyrix wDAC)
Feb 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM Post #40 of 67

Originally Posted by KillerPotato /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So I've been using my DT 770 pro 80s for almost a couple years now unamped straight out of either an x-fi or laptop soundcard, despite the persistent recommendations for use of an amp with these cans. I've been satisfied with the bass in games and most music, but because of all these recommendations for the use of an amp, I'm irritated in thinking that I'm not exploiting the beyer's full potential.

But I'm still having trouble justifying the purchase of an amplifier. Shouldn't an amplifier just allow you to increase the volume via providing more power to the headphones? I'm far more than happy with the volume the beyers can reach under straight laptop power, and the bass is still punchy and enjoyable. Why is it that the use of an amp would improve the bass power rather than just make the entire sound louder? Why is it that a battery powered amp could provide this potential power that my wall-powered laptop sound card couldn't?

Second guessing aside, can anyone suggest an affordable amp that would show me noticeable improvement in the sound quality (I'm mostly hoping for more punchy bass, but I'm generally oblivious to the benefits of an amp), cheap enough that I won't regret the purchase if I'm not wholly satisfied (say around 70-100), but noticeable enough that I'll be content to stick with what I've got for a while. Is there an amp that matches such a sweet spot and synchronizes well with the beyers? If anyone can help out, thanks for reading my long post.

If you feel that you are fine without an amp, why posting the question then, your ears are the only once that cna convince you otherwise. My suggestion is just enjoy now what you think is better for you, and save tons of money....a luxury that we do not have anymore.....
Feb 15, 2008 at 1:57 AM Post #41 of 67
Many of the DIY projects can easily best commercial products at the same price. I've built several CMOY, few SOHA (highly recommended) head amps and several other audio products, and I couldn't imagine buying anything anywhere near the quality for the money spent. I have no experience with the headroom amps, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't something comparable. that If you have any experience with a soldering iron, then many of the kits available here would be worth looking at. There are also a ton of really knowledgeable people here to help if you get into trouble.
Feb 15, 2008 at 4:32 AM Post #42 of 67
i'm not sure if getting a DAC is worth it because, while x-fi's aren't orgasmic, i'm thinking there won't be much of a gap in your soundcard and this other. having read all of these posts, i doubt you'll be able to stay away from checking out the potential differences of an amp.. which is good.

but if you're going to continue checking out the available sound quality enhancements to be had for your listening experience, take it slow, piece by piece, and do lots and lots and lots of reading, and, if possible, some hands-on listening before committing to diving in

because there's a reason we apologize for peoples wallets when they join head-fi
Feb 15, 2008 at 4:50 AM Post #43 of 67

The total bithead is looking like a really decent value right now, but is the added DAC more capable than the one in the laptop?

Above integrated laptop soundcard? Easily. Laptop soundcards are rather mediocre. Even if the amp itself wouldnt bring that much difference, the better DAC will, Im sure.
Feb 15, 2008 at 5:22 AM Post #45 of 67
if you got an xfi thats great. maybe you should head into a store and test out an amp. i know specialty stores usually let you bring in your own cds, headphones etc so that you can test out their various amps and dacs. xfi's dac is up there with many of the cheaper dacs so unless you got money to burn upgrading to a higher quality one might be pretty expensive.

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