Question about amps and dap with no line out
Oct 31, 2008 at 11:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

sebseb

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Hi!
Before I make any purchase, I would like to clear something out. So I hope all you head-fi experts can help me out with this issue.
First, my source is a dap (a sony NWZ-610). Since I've been on this site I was planning on buying yuins PK1. Since they need an amp to give out their best and shine, I was looking for one too. I considered a few, and the new mustang P-51 sounded really interesting to me, until I read what Ray S. had to say:

"Please do not purchase my amp if your source has no line out. Using the headphone jack out of your source to any amp defeats the purpose of using an external amplifier. Many posts we read where the person claims that there is no difference in sound quality between the source headphone jack & the amp that he or she purchased using the headphone jack as the input to the amp." Ray Samuels

Does it mean you only should use a portable amp with an ipod? Almost no other DAP has a line out...sony's players don't. Does it mean all of you guys are using ipods?
I thought I would use a mini-to-mini cable out of the headphone jack...but it looks like it wouldn't be of any use?
What I would like to know is, if I do buy the PK1's with an amp, will I benefit from this, even using the headphone jack out? How many of you are using an amp with a DAP other than ipod, and still think the use of an amp is still worth it?
(please don't tell me to go an buy an ipod
biggrin.gif
)
I hope I made sense...I'm not sure though!
confused_face.gif

Thanks!
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 2:17 AM Post #2 of 14

ClieOS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sebseb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Does it mean you only should use a portable amp with an ipod?


In ideal situation, you should indeed use an amp with a player that has line-out. However, life is almost always less than ideal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sebseb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Almost no other DAP has a line out...sony's players don't. Does it mean all of you guys are using ipods?


If my memory serves me right, Sony does has line-out sign on its dock, but unfortunately no one is selling its line-out dock / cable except one company in Japan. You'll have to search the portable source forum to find the thread about it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sebseb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I thought I would use a mini-to-mini cable out of the headphone jack...but it looks like it wouldn't be of any use?...
What I would like to know is, if I do buy the PK1's with an amp, will I benefit from this, even using the headphone jack out?



Why not? Ray is of course entitled to suggest how his amp should be used, but you should be the one that make the call on whether amping your Sony headphone-out is worthy of the money you paid for. Even with headphone-out, I'll say the difference b/w using PK1 w/ and w/o an amp should still be quite obvious.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sebseb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How many of you are using an amp with a DAP other than ipod, and still think the use of an amp is still worth it?


I do, from time to time. I set my player volume to about 3/4 of its max, than connect it to an amp. The setup might not give me result as good as using iPod / CDP line-out + amp, but at least it gives me better SQ than using my headphone alone (and I consider that good enough for me).
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 2:20 AM Post #3 of 14

hockeyb213

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A line out is what allows an amp to shine you can use it w/o one but it sort of defeats the purpose of the amp in the first place...


Quote:

Originally Posted by sebseb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi!
Before I make any purchase, I would like to clear something out. So I hope all you head-fi experts can help me out with this issue.
First, my source is a dap (a sony NWZ-610). Since I've been on this site I was planning on buying yuins PK1. Since they need an amp to give out their best and shine, I was looking for one too. I considered a few, and the new mustang P-51 sounded really interesting to me, until I read what Ray S. had to say:

"Please do not purchase my amp if your source has no line out. Using the headphone jack out of your source to any amp defeats the purpose of using an external amplifier. Many posts we read where the person claims that there is no difference in sound quality between the source headphone jack & the amp that he or she purchased using the headphone jack as the input to the amp." Ray Samuels

Does it mean you only should use a portable amp with an ipod? Almost no other DAP has a line out...sony's players don't. Does it mean all of you guys are using ipods?
I thought I would use a mini-to-mini cable out of the headphone jack...but it looks like it wouldn't be of any use?
What I would like to know is, if I do buy the PK1's with an amp, will I benefit from this, even using the headphone jack out? How many of you are using an amp with a DAP other than ipod, and still think the use of an amp is still worth it?
(please don't tell me to go an buy an ipod
biggrin.gif
)
I hope I made sense...I'm not sure though!
confused_face.gif

Thanks!



 
Nov 1, 2008 at 5:33 PM Post #4 of 14

qusp

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hockeyb213 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
A line out is what allows an amp to shine you can use it w/o one but it sort of defeats the purpose of the amp in the first place...


X2 it is a little pointless; you wont get too much quality increase but the PK1 will be slightly better driven. don't go spending heaps of money on interconnects to try and make up for no line out though; that wont work

the PK1 really needs an amp not just likes one though
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 5:58 PM Post #5 of 14

sebseb

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Thanks for the answers!
From what I understand, most of you have ipods...allowing you to use portable amps. I might, in the future, consider buying one, not for now though!
I really wish sony players had real line out. I read the thread about the "adaptor - line out" for the sony's players, but people say it's not a real line out. Maybe something new has come up since then - does anybody know?
I might go for the yuins OK2, then, since I read nice things about them too!
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 6:31 PM Post #6 of 14

PuffyElvis

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I'm not aware of any mp3 player that has a true analog line-out, i.e. does not feed the signal through the player's amp and instead uses the build-in amplification of the DAC. Red Wine Audio offers the iMod, which modifies certain iPods to produce a true line-out.

iRiver also made a portable player, the H140/H120 that offered a digital optical out, which even avoids the internal DAC. These are still sometimes available used from eBay, but fetch a premium price. This isn't even an idea solution since optical cords aren't ideal for portible use.

Portable DVD players can play CDs and sometimes offer digital outs and line outs as well, but we're stretching the limits of portibility now.

I'm still waiting for a small manufacture to cater to the audiophile market and make a true line out, mini-coaxial digital out player specifically designed to be used with an amp.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 7:06 PM Post #7 of 14

wuwhere

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I feed my Tomahawk from the HP out of my Cowon D2.
Portable HP amps came out after portable CDPs appeared. Headroom is one of the pioneers on portable HP amps. Their amps can be fed from the HP out of portable CDPs. I still have an old Cosmic Headroom that I used to bring with me on business trips. SQ wise, it can not compete with today's much smaller portable amps.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 7:16 PM Post #8 of 14

Punnisher

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Any headphone out from a player can be fed into an amp, that's not the issue.

The issue is that there will be quality degradation when amping from another amp.

However, if the headphones in question cannot be properly driven by the dap, then there is nothing wrong with this at all.

I invite any of you to use a Cowon D2 amped, and say that it doesn't sound good, or try to tell the difference between a D2 and ipod with line out amped.
These warnings are simply philosophical. The claims don't really hold up in the real world.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 9:27 PM Post #10 of 14

shirleywhite

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Hi sebseb
Just to clarify the "line out" and Sony position - as far as I know the flash based players dont have line out ( 600/700/800 series etc) The (older) hard drive players though certainly do (HD1 and HD5 are what i've got - you can switch the output through the headphone socket between "headphone" with full volume control,eq etc and "line out" (where volume and eq are disabled). The latter into an amp ( I use Headsix and GoVibe V7) gives great sound into many phones (IMHO).
PS - I've also got some Sony minidiscs which also have line out function.
Regards.
 
Nov 2, 2008 at 5:45 AM Post #11 of 14

Podtweaker

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I'm just guessing here, but I think Ray might be saying this due to the fact that about(& I'm just guessing here) 85 to 90% of the DAP market are Ipod users. Using the HP out from an Ipod will highlight the weaknesses of the Ipod internal amplification(Let's be honest here a jack is only as revealing as the circuitry before it.) See what the people who are using one of Ray's amps w/ a non-Ipod DAP have to say. I use a Zune that I amp w/ a Zen Head ZH1. The Zune does'nt have a line-out option,initially I was worried that I was going to have less than good results so I got a Total Airhead amp to try things out. That amp gave me an indication of how an amp would work using the HP out,it worked fairly well, so I took a chance on a more refined amp. I'm really pleased w/ my current set up, very nice& detailed w/ some "tube" characteristics. It feels like I've said this a few hundred times now but the myth of having to use an LOD to reap the benefits of an external amp may be highly overstated w/ perhaps one notable exception, using an Ipod. I think the other players in the DAP market may have done a little better job w/ their players SQ being later out of the gate they had some time to work on the sound & compare to what the Pods sounded like. I'm pretty sure someone will still insist that an LOD is a necessity for superior results. My only response to that is to find out for yourself
 
Nov 2, 2008 at 8:07 AM Post #12 of 14

qusp

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sure it will work and it will sound good; just not ideal thats all
 
Nov 2, 2008 at 4:21 PM Post #13 of 14

Podtweaker

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Let me put this another way, I'm 98% percent sure that the results I'm getting w/ my non-LODed Zune & amp are so close to true CD sound played on a good CD player that the differences are very slight. I have'nt heard any simple DAP/IEM or Hp combo that I would be willing to live with now. My definition of 'ideal' would be a set-up that would give me close to SACD sound(I'm a dreamer,what can I say). To think that you will get second rate results w/ any player that is'nt able to use a LO option is vastly inaccurate. Would I use this option were it available ,absolutely. Am I going to sit around & brood that I don't have this option? There's a saying that goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I hate this saying because it encourages mediocrity. I think many of the PDAP makers seem to wholeheartedly follow this credo. The truly disturbing thing is that those us looking for a higher level of performance have'nt encouraged any alternate equipment providers to produce a better ground level up player fom the get go, instead we talk about what means of we use to get superior results from non-superior sources!
 
Nov 3, 2008 at 2:07 AM Post #14 of 14

LBC

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I set my x5 to max volume and drive the HP out into an amp. Sounds great. There was a thread a few years back on this, and the consensus was that this approach got a good ways towards a dedicated line out.
 

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