newbie in amp, what is best amp in sub $100?
Mar 20, 2006 at 5:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

LedZeppelin

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After reading many threads in here.. I checked the price for those amps they mentioned.. oh, expensive!! the price easily exceeds the price of headphone itself..

$100 is max I could afford at this time.. and plan to use it to drive HD 580.

[HD 580 + sub 100 amp] could still beat the umamp HD 595 in both price and performance, and leave much upgrade potential in future?
am I right on this?

could you recommend good amp for HD 580 with price less than $100?
Thanks..
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 5:08 PM Post #2 of 13

hciman77

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LedZeppelin
After reading many threads in here.. I checked the price for those amps they mentioned.. oh, expensive!! the price easily exceeds the price of headphone itself..

$100 is max I could afford at this time.. and plan to use it to drive HD 580.

[HD 580 + sub 100 amp] could still beat the umamp HD 595 in both price and performance, and leave much upgrade potential in future?
am I right on this?

could you recommend good amp for HD 580 with price less than $100?
Thanks..



The amps I have had personal experience with in and around your price range and with the HD580s are as follows (imo and YMMV apply)

1) cMoy amps 9V (or sometimes 18V) DIY numbers typically about $40 - 70 depending on builder and spec - I tried 2 9V jobbies and they both powered the 580s very well.

2) The inevitable PA2V2, $60 plus $4 shipping from Gary Ali - there are many threads discussing this amp, imo it is a very good little amp, comes with battery charger/Wallwart and interconnect - runs on 2 rechargeable AA batteries. Does very nicely with 580s. Incredible battery life. Excellent support policy. The Bumble bee of the modest end headphone audio world.

3) Portable Pimeta (Rockhopper) 9V $100 plus shipping. May best the PA2V2 slightly but only slightly imo , possibly a little more refined, not as loud though, no DC in (on mine) battery life is only moderate. very good with 580s.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 9:56 PM Post #4 of 13

kramer5150

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IMHO HD580s like high voltage / buffered circuits, but thats my preference. I dont really like my PA2V2 with my HD580. Both are warm, and musical, but lack a small degree of upper frequency refinement.

PA2V2 is ~$70, Pimeta is ~$100... IMHO youre not necessarily getting a better amp with the pimeta. Rather youre getting one that (IMHO) synnergizes better with the HD580. I like my pimeta with an AD823 on my HD580. Its a fun little combo, althouygh battery life stinks
biggrin.gif
... then again the PA2V2 is the battery-miser king. That thing goes for months on 2400Mah AA cells.

Good Luck with whatever you choose.
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 4:17 PM Post #5 of 13

c0mfortably_numb

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Well I upgraded to the Pimeta from the PA2V2...as othes said...sound was just to warm for my sens...

I just learned the hard way battery life really bites....I got maybe and this is streching it 15 hours out of an akaline...I was thinking maybe was because I got Rayovac instead of energizers....

Owell Ill just get a rechargable 9V err 2 and a charger...(there goes another 60 or so dollars
very_evil_smiley.gif
) I'm not sure about my Go-Vibe4 it had a battery already in it when I got it, I had to recently change it after 5 or 6 hours hopefully the go-vibe isn't a pig to, that hamond case is a pain to change the battery. Thankfully the Go-Vibe came with a powersupply
smily_headphones1.gif
so I'm not quit as worried when I use it at home...just that it doesn't have a charging circuit built so no matter what the battery has to come out.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:11 AM Post #6 of 13

LedZeppelin

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thanks for all the input.. did anyone try Little Dot Micro+ in HD 580? its price is lower even than PA2V2, with battery and AC adaptor too..
I may get it within $40.. hehe..
kramer5150,
we have same taste in prog metal..could you give me some hint how is HD 580's performance with dream theater CDs with your personal opinion?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 3:36 AM Post #8 of 13

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LedZeppelin
thanks for all the input.. did anyone try Little Dot Micro+ in HD 580? its price is lower even than PA2V2, with battery and AC adaptor too..
I may get it within $40.. hehe..
kramer5150,
we have same taste in prog metal..could you give me some hint how is HD 580's performance with dream theater CDs with your personal opinion?




you just reminded me I have a LD micro upstairs in the PC room.. .I forgot about that. I'll spend some time tonight. Never listened to it with my senn or RS1.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 3:40 AM Post #9 of 13

parrot5

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
you just reminded me I have a LD micro upstairs in the PC room.. .I forgot about that. I'll spend some time tonight. Never listened to it with my senn or RS1.


I'd be interested to see a comparison between the PA2V2 and LDM(+) (and if possible the Go-Vibe) also.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 6:23 AM Post #10 of 13

fewtch

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Those $100 Rockhopper Pimetas use fairly high end parts, including AD8610/20 opamps, and I'd be very surprised if it wasn't (objectively) better than the PA2V2 -- including less tendency to distort at high volume levels, due to the higher voltage (HD580 are voltage hungry cans). Subjectively better is a matter of opinion, of course... some may prefer the sound of the PA2V2. I still haven't found a better opamp for the HD580s than AD8620, but YMMV on that one.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 7:08 AM Post #11 of 13

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LedZeppelin
thanks for all the input.. did anyone try Little Dot Micro+ in HD 580? its price is lower even than PA2V2, with battery and AC adaptor too..
I may get it within $40.. hehe..
kramer5150,
we have same taste in prog metal..could you give me some hint how is HD 580's performance with dream theater CDs with your personal opinion?



Ooooh.... If led zep and prog rock are in your blood IMHO you'd be better off with a more colored / lively headphone, with a stronger center image. Koss KSC, portapro, Grado, MS1, K240 (m or s depending on how much bass you want), A500, SA1000, D66. Something along those lines. Up the ante to an SA5k, MS2 or HF1 from there.

I think youre going about it backwards, by focusing on a very distant sounding HD580, and trying to amp that signature up within a very limited budget. Unless you have already decided that you prefer the very relaxed, almost subdued sound of the HD580. IMHO you'd be better off getting a rockin' can and amp that up.

For DT, the HD580 sounds too distant and not explosive enough. upper mids dont snap out of the recording. Mike portnoys snare tone sound flat and distant. Petruccis guitar tone is equally boring and doesn't jump out of the mix enough, like yore listening to his mesa cabs off axis and from across the room, and youre hearing room reflections more-so than thte fundamental cabinet tone. The HD580 upper mid recession tends to exagerate James Labries (already excessive) vocal sibillance. John Myung disappears through the HD580.

The HD580 does have good image separation from far righ to far left. But its at the expense of a center image. Center stage is empty.

My grados are my main prog rock cans. There are times I tire of the grado slam though, and go anti-grado with my HD580... when I want to listen to something much less in my head.

IMHO the HD580 is my fave can for Enya and new age jazz... the HD580 is opening me up to all kinds of different music that I most likely wouldn't find too interesting through my Grados.

HERES THE CATCH!! THESE impressions made with an OPA2132 in my pimeta. Its a dull, almost boring sounding OPamp IMHO, that works decent for Grados.

Dropped the AD823 back in and the HD580 springs to life. James Vocals are much more alive and foreward. Center stage that once was non-existent is now sufficiently filled in. Certainly the HD580 is a rocking can with this OP amp. Petruccis tone, previously unlistenable is now very neutral sounding and sufficiently foreward. Guitar tones still don't have that immediate Grado-slam, but still its certainly foreward enough. Drum transients are improved, but not yet to RS1 / HF1 levels.

SO.... where does that leave you?... Can / amp synnergy is a tricky thing. A simple OPamp swap can really transform a can. Conversely choose can / amp wrong and you'll be wanting more. I still think youre better off with a more aggressive can and amping that up within your budget. The HD580 really needs an aggressive OP amp and a buffered circuit to rock out.

I cant find my LD micro???? I'll PM you my HD580 / LD impressions.

Garrett
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:44 AM Post #12 of 13

LedZeppelin

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wow..I saved all your guys valuable comments in my computer.. it's much more tricky to choose amp than I thought, comparing with choosing cans. and feel it is another burning hole for my wallet..
evil_smiley.gif


I will get HD 580 for its legendary in classical music.. and amp it up with Little Dot Micro+ or Little Dot II or Rockhopper Pimetas. if mobility is not longer a factor, do I get wider choice... I will improve the amp little by little with more money to put in..
frown.gif


[you guys mentioned OPamp, I wonder how many kind of amps are headphone amp? is there any artical or web site for amp beginner? I googled, and get overwhelmed.]

another can for prog rock sounds inevitable...in next year.
etysmile.gif
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 12:55 PM Post #13 of 13

Alucard

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hciman77
The inevitable PA2V2, $60 plus $4 shipping from Gary Ali


It's $60 including worldwide shipping =)
I just ordered one earlirer this week.

Gary is also one of the friendliest sellers I have ever come in contact with.
 

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