iPod Amplifier
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Head-Case

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I am looking for a SPECIFIC iPod amplifier, which I saw in the New York Times some time ago. I have tried to find it on their web site, but I have not been successful.

I am not sure, but I think David Pogue reviewed it, and I am pretty sure it was in "Circuits."

Anyway, it is about the size of an iPod, and very thin. It has edges that wrap up the sides of the iPod and hold the amp in place. It doesn't wrap AROUND the iPod, but clamps the sides to stay attached, and the review said it worked well.

The review said it sounds good, but that is a NY Times review, so I don't put too much stock in it. HOWEVER, my plan is to have a decent amp for home and the airplane, and this very small one (assuming I can find it) for my regular knocking around.

My iPod tends to live in my shirt pocket, and this amp can do the same, attached to the iPod.

Anyway, I just cannot find this amp, but would love to give it a try.

Thanks for your help.
 
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crazyfrenchman27

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Just from reading the article, I'd spring for another amp, truthfully.

That's just my opinion, though.

I think you can do much better with your money.

Xin's Supermicro is even smaller and can fit in your shirt pocket as well.



-Matt
 
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rx7_fan

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Don't get the old xin micro, there's a new one coming out soon. It looks way better. yeah yeah yeah, looks aren't everything, but hey, it does count a little.
 
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Canman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyfrenchman27
Just from reading the article, I'd spring for another amp, truthfully.
That's just my opinion, though.
I think you can do much better with your money.
Xin's Supermicro is even smaller and can fit in your shirt pocket as well.
-Matt



The Simpl was well received in one of the Head-Fi meet threads I read.
 
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alanz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rx7_fan
Don't get the old xin micro, there's a new one coming out soon. It looks way better. yeah yeah yeah, looks aren't everything, but hey, it does count a little.



What do you know about the upcoming Xin SuperMicro? I don't think any real information about it has been released yet, nor have I seen any photos.

Xin has talked a bit about the upcoming SuperMini, and that there is a SuperMicro coming, but I haven't seen details about the latter.

Have I missed something?
 
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aseltzer144

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The Simpl A1 is certainly well designed to mate with the iPod physically, but at $149 it opens itself up to some well respected competitors with regard to sound quality. Since its commercially available I suppose you could easily pick one up and decide for yourself or possibly return it.

If portability is an issue, for less than half the price, you could get a Pocket Amp 2 from Electric Avenues. I have one (and I have not heard the Simpl A1) but reviews I read indicate that Pocket Amp may well outperform it. Specifically, it is certainly not "thin" as I have read in one review and it is a very low noise device. Of course, its doesn't mate to the iPod quite as ideally, but the PA2 is small enough to put in a pocket (pants pocket for sure, perhaps tight in a shirt pocket). Also, if you have any other portable player to amplify the Simpl A1 may be awkward.

For knocking around, the Pocket Amp is well priced and gets the job done. Its battery life far exceeds the A1s, from what I've read. The PA2 may free up your budget for another amp for home use if desired although it may be be suited to that purpose as well (I only use mine portably). On the other hand, if I were looking into a $149 amp, I might extend that a bit and give something like the $185 PortaPhile, which could double easily double as a home and portable amp, a look. I have not auditioned the Portaphile, but from a circuit design perspective it is far more sophisticated than the A1. Then again, if you're only looking to amp an iPod, if the A1 sounds good and if you like its ergonomics, go for it and enjoy it.
 
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bugless

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As the designer of the Simpl A1 headphone amp, it is disheartening to hear negative comments from people who have never used the product. I have been a lurker on headfi for a very long time, and trust me when I say that I value sound quality as much as any other headphone amplifier designer. I agree that for $149 there are certainly other options available. I only ask that people not dismiss the A1 out of hand due to the fact that it is mass marketed. I was really hoping that the headfi-ers would gladly accept a new headphone amp since it is expanding the exposure of headphone amps to a much larger crowd, which means more people will buy headphone amps, which is good for everyone. For instance, someone may buy one of my companies amps and then decide they really like the high end headphone thing and decide they want something better. Then they upgrade to the XIN supermacro, or Ray Samuels SR-71. Anyway, I don't want this to be a commercial for Simpl Acoustics, I justed wanted to add my 2 cents.

Respectfully,

Jonathon Kennemer
Chief Designer
Simpl Acoustics
 
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gratefulshrink

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Quote:

Originally Posted by simpl
As the designer of the Simpl A1 headphone amp, it is disheartening to hear negative comments from people who have never used the product. I have been a lurker on headfi for a very long time, and trust me when I say that I value sound quality as much as any other headphone amplifier designer. I agree that for $149 there are certainly other options available. I only ask that people not dismiss the A1 out of hand due to the fact that it is mass marketed. I was really hoping that the headfi-ers would gladly accept a new headphone amp since it is expanding the exposure of headphone amps to a much larger crowd, which means more people will buy headphone amps, which is good for everyone. For instance, someone may buy one of my companies amps and then decide they really like the high end headphone thing and decide they want something better. Then they upgrade to the XIN supermacro, or Ray Samuels SR-71. Anyway, I don't want this to be a commercial for Simpl Acoustics, I justed wanted to add my 2 cents.

Respectfully,

Jonathon Kennemer
Chief Designer
Simpl Acoustics



I respect the fact that you posted here -- I think that takes some courage. I agree it's best not to comment on a device that you have not used/heard, although it is fair to paraphrase reviews of others.

Anyway, since you posted, could you comment on whether or not there is any problem in matching the Simpl A1 with dock/line-out option (such as pocketdock or sik ram din), rather than the ipod headphone jack? It looks like the Simpl A1 is designed to have the input only an inch or two away from the headphone jack on the ipod. I prefer to use the line-out, but I don't know if the Simpl A1 could be flipped around 180 degrees (and still grip the ipod) to use the short mini-to-mini with a pocket dock.

Thanks....
 
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PFRfan

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There's no volume control on the Simpl A1. It rely's on the iPod volume control, which only affects the headphone-out. That's been the cheif complaint of those speaking against this amp in the past. There have been reasonably constructed arguments on both sides, but only a few in support of this amp compared to many against it. There are those who speak out strongly against the PA2V2, as well as the Go-Vibe, but many people are very happy with both products.

I only remember 1 person ever buying one of these and posting on it - they were pretty pleased. I've seen 3 reviews - 2 positive and 1 negative. The negative review was from someone who doesn't believe that portable devices should be amplified (they're for low-bitrate files going to low-impedence cans, so an amp is pointless). The others both pointed out it's primary flaw - and it's not the headphone out issue. It's not geared for really low-impedence headphones (read IEMs). There's hissing and harshness that disappears with bigger headphones (Senns, Grados, etc).

I've been curious about it myself, but I got rid of my iPod, so never really investigated. If it would have worked with my Shure E3C at the time, I probably would have bought it just because of the "Simpl"icity and convenience.
 
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aseltzer144

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Quote:

Originally Posted by simpl
As the designer of the Simpl A1 headphone amp, it is disheartening to hear negative comments from people who have never used the product. I have been a lurker on headfi for a very long time, and trust me when I say that I value sound quality as much as any other headphone amplifier designer. I agree that for $149 there are certainly other options available. I only ask that people not dismiss the A1 out of hand due to the fact that it is mass marketed. I was really hoping that the headfi-ers would gladly accept a new headphone amp since it is expanding the exposure of headphone amps to a much larger crowd, which means more people will buy headphone amps, which is good for everyone. For instance, someone may buy one of my companies amps and then decide they really like the high end headphone thing and decide they want something better. Then they upgrade to the XIN supermacro, or Ray Samuels SR-71. Anyway, I don't want this to be a commercial for Simpl Acoustics, I justed wanted to add my 2 cents.

Respectfully,

Jonathon Kennemer
Chief Designer
Simpl Acoustics




I completely agree that no product should be dissected (or praised for that matter) without a personal evaluation. I tried to carefully word my reply to reflect my experience with a product I do own and know. One of the lessons I have learned from years of hobbyist involvement in hifi is that price does not always equate to sound quality. I try to share this where I can. At the poster's price point, I wanted to inform that there may be some other options to consider. I do suggest the poster take advantage of the accessiblity of your product and evaluate it personally, especially since the iPod specific form factor was so appealing.

Its good to see a commercial designer contributing on Headfi. I can appreciate how tricky it can be to comment without appearing to be advertising.
 
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aseltzer144,

I certainly do appreciate your constructive feedback, and my original post wasn't trying to call anyone out, so to speak. Since my company has released the product, there have been a few "doubting thomases" about the A1, and I felt the need to share my feelings on the subject. I take the feedback on this and other forums seriously when making revisions to the product, so I certainly welcome any and all constructive criticism.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gratefulshrink
I respect the fact that you posted here -- I think that takes some courage. I agree it's best not to comment on a device that you have not used/heard, although it is fair to paraphrase reviews of others.

Anyway, since you posted, could you comment on whether or not there is any problem in matching the Simpl A1 with dock/line-out option (such as pocketdock or sik ram din), rather than the ipod headphone jack? It looks like the Simpl A1 is designed to have the input only an inch or two away from the headphone jack on the ipod. I prefer to use the line-out, but I don't know if the Simpl A1 could be flipped around 180 degrees (and still grip the ipod) to use the short mini-to-mini with a pocket dock.

Thanks....



gratefulshrink,

If you would like to use the line out of the iPod with the A1, you must use a potentiometer to control the volume since the A1 does not include a volume control.
 
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I use a HeadRoom Total Airhead, which works extremely well. I use it with a pocketdock and the line out. I got their "gigabag" with it, which holds the Airhead and the iPod together very securely in a small bag. This combo for a constant corporate traveller like me is fantastic. I get great sound on the road!
 
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i had only read positve things about the Simpl A1 until this thread. if it was designed for use with a line out (in other words had the input on the bottom and had a volume control) i would buy one. it seems like a VERY slick product, and i'm very happy that a company was willing to put the time and money into a headphone amplifier that appeals to the general consumer. the more people who get into headphones the more cheap used equipment i can buy on the for sale forum. welcome to the forum, simpl! you may want to contact a mod about the special rules for "members of the trade" here on head-fi.
 
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