Portable amp for UM2
Jun 26, 2008 at 9:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

waterboi

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hi everyone
i have been reading alot here on the forums since i have been looking for a portable amp.

I will be using the amp with the westone um2 and the samsung p2. When I first got the um2 and still now, i wasn't really amazed or overwhelmed. It might be because I expected too much from it but i was thinking for 300 dollar headphones, i thought it would amaze me much more.

I've actually tried listening to the grados sr-60 and rs-1 in a store and I wasn't really amazed and i couldn't really tell much difference between them. and yes i'm a beginner.

So i was wondering if a portable amp would do anything much to enhance the hearing experience? Also, I've been looking at the tomahawk and the ibasso boa for a while now. any suggestions would be great.

Thanks
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Jun 27, 2008 at 6:56 AM Post #4 of 16

Warhawk

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Wow...you have exactly what I want lol, at least headphone wise.
I hope to have UM2 and ibasso d2 boa in the future.

From what I've heard the tomahawk is great for IEMs, and the ibasso is good overall I think.
I think the tomahawk might be better, but at a higher price.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 7:15 AM Post #5 of 16

tonyep

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the predator synergises well with the UM2
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 12:01 AM Post #6 of 16

chris_ah1

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Basically you need a very strong amp quality wise to drive UM2s properly. I'm happy with my UM2s but pretty much only with an amp that is extremely good in the mids, but especially the treble to highs.

I think that perhaps the predator already being quite warm sounding is not the best for those iems. If people's reports are to be believed. But if you also read other reports predator is likely to synergise well with almost anything. However, i don't think the BOA is going to have as good highs as the predator with it's stock opamps.

As a note i got my UM2s as $200 and whilst they're good with adequate amping they are nothing special for the retail price. At $200 or less they are a much better option.

The more i've listened to them with and without an amp the more i can't live without the amp otherwise i might as well not use them and get cheaper sony buds or jays or something.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 12:25 AM Post #7 of 16

waterboi

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well i was thinking of not going for an extreme one such as the predator since this will be the first amp and also i'm a beginner so i thought i'd settle for the tomahawk or the boa or even the minibox-e+. Because i probably won't be able to tell the difference if i went for the predator.

For the music i listen to, all the music i listen to contain vocal and are usually ballads and sometimes rock/pop.

I was also wondering, how do i operate the amp if i'm only amping the headphone output. do i turn my source (samsung p2) to full volume and adjust the volume on the amp?

Also does a lineout make that much difference? i'm tempted to get an ipod/imod and try a LOD
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 12:42 AM Post #8 of 16

chris_ah1

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tbh you might be sceptical of any amp via headphone out as the p2 isn't so bad. If it's a bad port, then with an amp you might just start amping a bad signal.

Lineout makes a difference with the ipod classic imo. Also makes a fair bit of difference with the older iaudio devices (M3 for instance) and also a few others like the iriver ihp140.

You should set your p2 volume to about 70 to 100%. you will find the best balance via trial and error. then use amp volume pot for control.

Stick with your current player, get the ibasso. then decide to upgrade if you still arne't happy.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 1:02 AM Post #9 of 16

waterboi

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thanks chris for the replies

just one more thing though, does the mini to mini cable matter alot?
because i was checking the boa out and i saw that ibasso had a mini to mini cable for sale and it was 30 dollars. I was surprised that it was costs that much.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 1:10 AM Post #10 of 16

gilency

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I use my UM2 with a Headsix connected via a LOD to an iPod Nano. There is a difference in sound, but not very dramatic. The bass is punchier. I did expect more of a difference although I should point out I really like the UM2's with or without amplification.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 2:17 AM Post #11 of 16

monolith

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The UM2s don't change much with amplification. I don't believe amping the headphone out of your DAP will change your impression of the UM2s much.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 2:30 AM Post #12 of 16

oicdn

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Volume maxed on the device, and adjust the volume on the amp if you have to use the HP jack. BUT, like said, you might be amping garbage quality...which makes for amplified garbage.

UM2s IMO synergized best with the Move, Hornet (M and non-m), Petite and Magnum.
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 11:01 AM Post #13 of 16

chris_ah1

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I am starting to wonder why everybody's UM2s are so different. It's all in our ears and musical tastes tbh. Of course it's not a scientific test when I listen and compare because headphone out --> UM2 is vastly different to lineout --> amp --> UM2.

Um2s will definitely benefit from the highs of the petite.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 10:16 AM Post #14 of 16

Ozric

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I use the UM2 + Petite combo. Sounds sweet, and an added bonus is that you also get a USB DAC, for under $200. In any case, I think benefits of amping the headphone out will be marginal. With my Zune, I don't bother using an amp for this reason. Keeps things minimalistic.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 10:48 AM Post #15 of 16

krmathis

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Imo the Westone UM2 synergies great with both the RSA Hornet and Tomahawk.
I enjoyed both system while I had them.
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