Should I get an amp or another headphone?
Mar 2, 2006 at 9:50 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

zachary

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I am looking to upgrade my headphone system. I currently have a Sportapro, KSC-35, Sennheiser MX 400, and Sennheiser HD201. All inexpensive headphones. Is it better for me to buy a cheap pocket amp like a PA2V2 or a better headphone? Where will there be a greater upgrade in sound quality? My source mainly is Iriver IFP-180T. Also a panasonic CD player with line out.

I listen to all kinds of music, mostly upbeat.

Zach
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 9:54 PM Post #3 of 25

Mercuttio

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Well the HD201's going to sound a bit better with a nice little amp. Personally, I think you should get a nicer can that doesn't necessarily NEED an amp, but will improve WITH one.

DT 770-80 or ATH A900 would do that job nicely. Good comfy full sized headphones.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 10:40 PM Post #5 of 25

socrates63

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary
Will the amp help the Sportapro or KSC 35? Because those are my current favorites.

Z



Judging by how KSC75 sound amped/unamped, an amp will probably will help but not to the degree you may be anticipating. But if you're looking just to refine the existing sound (better extension on high and low ends, open up the mids a little), then getting an amp may be worthwhile.

But for the greatest impact, I'd say get a new headphone that sound good unamped and get an amp if you have money left over.

Are you looking strictly for portable cans?
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:29 AM Post #8 of 25

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary
Will the amp help the Sportapro or KSC 35? Because those are my current favorites.

Z



Depends on the amp. I get a fairly big improvement with my $150 Pimeta (double stacked buffers), but not much with an unbuffered Go-Vibe. It's a current hungry headphone and benefits quite a bit from a buffered design IMO... in particular, the bass cleans up dramatically.

BTW I think the PA2V2 is meant to drive low impedance cans, so you may in fact notice a significant/worthwhile improvement with the Sportapro and KSC-35.

I say get an amp, but set your expectations low and count on nothing but increased volume (which is all that's absolutely guaranteed anyway)... then you'll be more prepared for subtleties and probably happier with your purchase. Newcomers often seem to set their amp expectations too high.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:32 AM Post #9 of 25

creyc

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Well, since you're already a contributing member of head-fi your wallet is as good as dead.
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So get the headphones first, preferably something that will sound a lot nicer with an amp. Just to tempt you to buy that amp, too!
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But really, you're gonna be forced to get an amp sooner or later if you keep upgrading headphones. So get one later when you really need one I say.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:08 AM Post #10 of 25

zachary

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So if its headphones I should get, what would you recommend in the 70 dollar range thats an improvement? The SR 60/80? The MS-1 would seem to be an upgrade, but its just a bit too much right now. Would the MS-1 unamped be much better than the phones I have right now WITH an amp? Same question goes for the DT 770-80 and the ATH A900.

Zach
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:13 AM Post #11 of 25

zachary

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Well I just looked up the prices of the DT 770-80 and the ATH A900 and they are definitley too expensive for me now. But the question still stands. Also, what about the Senn HD280Pro unamped? I can buy those somewhere for like 70 I think.

Zach
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:16 AM Post #12 of 25

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary
So if its headphones I should get, what would you recommend in the 70 dollar range thats an improvement? The SR 60/80? The MS-1 would seem to be an upgrade, but its just a bit too much right now. Would the MS-1 unamped be much better than the phones I have right now WITH an amp? Same question goes for the DT 770-80 and the ATH A900.

Zach



SR-60 and MS-1 seem to be the logical suggestions. I'll also throw in a vote for Senn HD 485 - warm, bassy, and overall great sound quality for the price. I think, coming from the Koss headphones and the 201, these will be right up your alley. They sound good with upbeat music, and are easily driven by portables. They're on sale for $69 at www.headphone.com

Aren't the 770 and a900 much more expensive than the MS-1?

EDIT: Saw your question about the 280. It sounds fine unamped, but there's no reason to get it except for the isolation, when the 485 is cheaper, or the 555 is just a bit more expensive. You already have a decent sealed headphone in the 201....I feel the improvement isn't that much. The 201 still has a lot of potential left for when you eventually add an amp.

EDIT 2: Audio Technica a500 is another good choice at this price level.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 4:06 AM Post #13 of 25

azncookiecutter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary
Would the MS-1 unamped be much better than the phones I have right now WITH an amp?


I say that MS-1s would be a better upgrade than getting an amp for your previous cans. Even though I use mine with an amp, I barely notice a difference using them ampless.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 6:16 PM Post #14 of 25

zachary

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Now I'm totally cnfused. People say I should get the MS-1. A bunch of people say the MS-1 is around the same quality as the SR60/80. A lot of people seem to like the Portapro/KSC-35/75 about as much as the SR60. Basically, that is not a definite improvement over what I currently have. On the other hand, if I get an amp, I can leave room for another more expensive headphone later that needs an amp and still improve what I have now.

BOTTOM LINE: IS THERE ANYTHING AROUND 70-80 BUCKS THAT IS A DEFINITE IMPROVEMENT OVER WHAT I HAVE NOW??????

please help me
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Zach
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 6:46 PM Post #15 of 25

AsuAmo76

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Zach, you should audition mdr-7505/7506. Both of those plus sr-80 (I hate flats
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) will give you the DEFINITE improvement (at least I think so).

And 10 headfiers will easily give you 20 different opinions
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We all agree that triports are VERY BAD though.
 

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