Need input about "The Tomahawk"
Oct 5, 2009 at 10:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

t0dy

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Hello everyone, been a while since I posted anything
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I have been using the Shure SE530s for some time now, and I find them far more useful than the bulkier headphones I own, the DT770 and MS-1. Also, I have to admit I like the sound coming from the SE530s very much coming straight from the iPod 5.5Gs HP jack.
I've always been curious about amping the SE530s. From what I've heard these IEMs do benefit from better sources and amping, but the few times I tried amping them with the mini^3 it was hard finding the right volume because they're so sensitive.
Also, "The Tomahawk" is supposed to have been built primarily for IEMs and that Ray Samuels used the E500 (SE530) when fine-tuning it. Could you guys help me out on what sonic benefits/changes I would get from comparing the 5.5G HP jack vs a LOD-cable to "The Tomahawk"?

Also, I would like you to correct me if I'm wrong; very low impedance IEMs (and headphones?) require a beefier current do perform their best, which some sources may not be able to deliver. Does this apply to the very sensitive SE530s as well? And does this apply to the iPod 5.5G HP jack?

Thanks for helping me out, you guys are the best!
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PS. Would it be worth the ~$330 getting this amp?
 
Oct 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM Post #2 of 14

Philski

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It's possible that the only reason for amping IEMs like the SE530s is to be able to use the line-out from various DAPs. iPods and iRivers are probably the best examples, although Cowon players also benefit even though the line-outs are not true ones.

It's tricky for me to give a conclusive answer to your question. The headphone jack on my X5 is broken, so I only have the line-out option and cannot compare. The same goes for my iMod 5.5g (the headphone jack is disabled on 5.5g, and also 5g I think). As for whether it's worth it, to you, is something you need to test out for yourself. Problem is that it is pretty much impossible to try before you buy, since practically no stores have them for demo. Fortunately there is a very active 'For Sale' forum here, you so you can experiment and then sell on if you don't feel you it's what you expected with only a small loss of cash.
 
Oct 6, 2009 at 5:52 PM Post #3 of 14

t0dy

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Thanks for the input Philski! Ofcourse there is always a matter of "is it worth it to me" but now I wanted to hear what you think, is worth trying The Tomahawk and then sell it on, or do people think it's a waste of money further amplifying these IEMs?

I'm also curious, isn't there a low gain mini^3 as well? How does mini^3 compare to The Tomahawk, "house sound wise"? I mean, if it's mostly for the possibility of using the line out people buy low gain amps for IEMs, maybe I should just get the cheapest one made for IEMs?
 
Oct 7, 2009 at 6:49 PM Post #4 of 14

Bones13

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I am positive you will notice a big improvement with iPod - LOD - and a portable amp with quality IEMs.

I happen to love the concept, and love the music that one can carry around in a pocket.

I have both the Tomahawk and the Hornet, and both of them drive my IEMs wonderfully. I would imagine that any of the the quality portable amps popular here, that have a gain control, will work great for you.

These amps frequently come up in the for sale section, as folks tend to try and move on in their endless search... Of course I don't know how hard it is to ship from USA to Europe. Seems like it was a fortune to send my daugther a care package while she spent the last school year studying in Paris.
 
Oct 7, 2009 at 7:28 PM Post #5 of 14

t0dy

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Thanks Bones! I've heard that RSA's products have wonderful mids and a good, controlled bass, and that they're warm to the sound. Which other amps sound "kinda like" RSA's if I was to search for used ones?
 
Oct 7, 2009 at 7:28 PM Post #6 of 14

Aimless1

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I had the Cowon D2 -> Tomahawk -> SE530. Loved it! But in my case I decided the minor advantage of adding a portable amp to the chain was simply not worth it. I find the D2 -> SE530 most satisfying and it is very easy to haul around. Adding the Tommy, even as small as it is, was a hassle for me. You may discover otherwise, especially since you have an Ipod.
 
Oct 7, 2009 at 9:38 PM Post #7 of 14

dolifant

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I have been using the above combo for over 2 years and I can tell you the difference in using the line out with the amp is not subtle comparing to the iPod's jack. Plus the gain switch in the back helps if you actually want to power some larger, yet efficient full sized phones. I don't leave for a trip without the Tomahawk!. Its small with a great battery life and the improvement is big.

When I called to order I was gonna get a Hornet but Ray suggested the lower price Tomahawk because I was gonna use it for IEMs. Honest guy, and builds amps with high quality and value. They look solid and sound great. Highly recommended
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 1:10 AM Post #9 of 14

ZARIM

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iBasso D10, XM5 has double advantage over Tomahawk in same price range. Both has DAC function too through USB and they sound better than Tomahawk. iBasso P3+ is even better if need AMPs function only and these AMPs need quality lod like ALO or DIYs cables.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 10:24 AM Post #10 of 14

t0dy

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Thanks everyone!
How do D10 and XM5 sound compared to the Tomahawk? I like warmer sound, don't really like it when it gets too bright and "sterile".

EDIT:
Forgot to add that I already own the mini^3 and the gamma1. What other alternatives are there which would match the best with IEMs are there?
 
Oct 10, 2009 at 11:41 PM Post #12 of 14

SierraHotel01

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Used the Tomahawk + SE530's / Olive Tips for a year - loved the combo
(deep, focused, hard-hitting bass; sweet lush mids, and articulate highs - insane battery life)
- flipped the gain switch and used the Tomahawk with SR325i's *& HD650's

The Tomahawk is a fantastic amp - turned me into a Ray Samuels fanboy.

Last year, upgraded to
P-51/Mustang & Westone 3's
- this rig was starting to get into audiophile territory
- Mustang did everything Tomahawk did, but tighter, with more resolution,
and the W3's took universal IEMs to a new level (imho)

And then, came Jerry Harvey's JH13's - WOW
(currently, using them with Ray's Mustang)

Everything, you've ever heard about the JH13's, and more - is true
- JH13's are unreal - nothing I've ever listened to, even comes close.

Any of Ray's amps will be a pleasure to own.
He's a real gentleman, and a true craftsman, with a golden ear.
His work is very highly respected, by many senior Head-Fi'ers.

And, his new, super tiny Shadow, is coming soon!
- from what Jamato8 says, after evaluating a pre-production unit,
it's going to kick some serious butt.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 1:17 AM Post #14 of 14

Todd@PhillipIsland

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...I just did some reading. I've been thinking about getting a pair of UE 11 pro. Can you conpare and contrast these with the JH13's? The stats are similar except the UE have 18 ohms impedance whereas the JH has 25. Which iem is better? Or is it, as we say in Aus, much of muchness?
 

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