portable amp FAQ??
Sep 10, 2002 at 6:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5


Head-Fi FAQ(s) Volunteer
Aug 16, 2002
hey all

***NOTE: i did see MacDEF's (thx elnero =) ) sticky post above, on the Head-Fi Amp Guide. i suppose i am suggesting something a bit more basic, more specific to portables, and a bit less technical. in particular, this would cut down on threads constantly asking for recommendations and essentially have them in one centralized location. i too want and need suggestions for an amp. the thread im recommending could refer to MacDEF's as far as specific technical details (impedance, output rating, etc)***

i'm a newbie, and am a bit lost in the whole subject of headphone amps, particularly portable ones. i've read quite a few threads about various specific amps (please feel free to recommend more), but still feel as though i know nothing. i dont know the difference (in quality, structure, etc) between a meta42, cha, headroom's airhead....etc

basically, i, and hopefully others, would find it valuable if there was an "amps for dummies" thread, esp a sticky one at the top of the forum. im sure it has been discussed or even done before, but i didnt find it with my initial cursory search. i will try and take a look again to see if i just overlooked one.

i dont really know where to start, particularly how to choose a model. there seem to be tons of threads on where to get them, however (eg from JMT, Headroom, Meier's porta corda...).

would it be possible to have such a thread (specifically for portable, because i know there are a TON of non portable amps) that includes:
1) a list of the different types
2) differences between them (eg, type X is good for accoustic and classical....or type Z lasts longer than type A on two AA batteries...)
3) Cost and who sells them
4) any specific headphone-amp combinations that are especially notable

and any other categories you guys can imagine.

i just think this would be an invaluable resource for those who arent experts in the subject to reference when they are looking for a portable amp.

this is just an idea. it of course would have to be fairly well run to incorporate everyone's comments. if none of the mods or anyone else wants to take up that task, while i know nothing, i would be happy to take what others give me and maintain it as a thread (perhaps with some help from experienced forum/message board users). i've always found such threads to be an great help in other forums, and thought we could use one here (esp because im looking for a portable amp myself, and occasionally feel a bit altruistic).

also, there are posts in the portables section regarding suggestions for portable amps...does this thread belong in that forum too/instead?

anyway, please chime in, let me know what you think. if its a bad idea, dont flame me too hard.

Sep 11, 2002 at 6:55 PM Post #2 of 5
Hiya nanahachi,

Just giving your thread a little nudge back up to the top of the page... seems a very worthwhile idea in my eyes, the only problem being, especially with the META design, that op-amps are just as important to the sound as the topology of the PCB...

We can see how it goes though
Sep 11, 2002 at 7:52 PM Post #4 of 5
oops, yeah, corrected that =)

thanks too, duncan! if this doesn work, no prob. just with sol_zhen, minya (sp?) and myself posting recently, and surely others will come with similar questions, i thought it *could* be useful.

specific rec.s/comments on any issue relevant to portable/entry-level amps would help, from op-amps to type of pcb, as duncan mentioned. just gathering any and all info to help us in the market for an amp to make a decision
Sep 11, 2002 at 9:15 PM Post #5 of 5
HI: I had the total airhead 2 AAA Batt. older amp and at first really liked it. It cost me 160.00 and was great for my koss-35 and koss portapros but could not run my sennheiser 580s or even my Philip's 890s. Then I got the headroom supreme amp and in portable mode was not any better than the t/a. These were the only amp that I had heard. Then one day I sold the t/a and sold the supreme amp thank GOD and got a used cmoy 2- 9 volt amp. This amp cost me 80.00 and was way stronger and way cleaner than the other amps and can run my 580s and my 890s but I still like to use my portapros out of it. I mean wow does this amp open up the portapros with strong and very clean sound. In my opinion stay with JMT even if you have to wait till he has time for you or look in the for sale here at headroom for a cmoy or a chat 47 and if possible get the 2-9 volt batt. amp. This is just my opinion of course but my cmoy is way better that the other amps that I mentioned.

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