Want a new budget amp
Mar 25, 2006 at 4:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

zombieDave

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I want a new budget portable amp. I already have a cmoy that will become the amp for my iPod Shuffle while at classes. The new amp I buy will be used with a vintage Discman (line-out) and a pair of Grado SR-60's (boy, break-in + Senn HD-414 pads really make these cans much, much, more!!!). I'd like to go ONE STEP up the food chain from cmoy, which I think is a very solid performer in and of itself.
I'm thinking...

Gary's PA2V2 or... Xenos OHA-R or... Shellbrook Super Mini-Moy or... Z-Audio Epsilon (when they get back from spring break).

Are they all a step up (or more) from a cmoy? What would you folks recommend? SQ is my main priority. Portability is not such a big deal, as it only has to be moved around from room-to-room in the house I'm in. Thank you in advance.
 
Mar 25, 2006 at 6:09 PM Post #2 of 15

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zombieDave
Are they all a step up (or more) from a cmoy?


Yeah, but how much better depends a lot on what kind of cmoy you have. It's hard to beat the PA2V2's price, but I haven't listened to one myself. It's really too bad that Norm isn't still selling the GoVibe. Have you thought about the new line of HR AirHeads?

-Angler
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Mar 26, 2006 at 12:43 AM Post #4 of 15

zombieDave

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Can anybody else chime in? My cmoy is pretty basic, just an Altoids one with opamp 2227 and a rail splitter. I think the next step up is a "mint", then a pimeta, and so on - but I don't exactly know what category the amps I listed fall under - and I'm open to having one of our DIY'ers on this site build me a mint or pimeta, if interested. Budget is just < $100.00
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 4:43 AM Post #7 of 15

K2Grey

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I would probably suggest the PINT. It just came out, so there haven't been any reports on his sound quality per se, but I expect something special.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 6:09 AM Post #9 of 15

Naris

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From what I understand, Gary's PA2V2 is something of a different breed from the cmoy. For one thing, he designed it with portability and battery. It sounds great, but isn't capable of powering more power hungry headphones (Grados are fine). It uses two 1.2v NiMH or NiCad rechargables. He also offers a lifetime warranty and constant communication, not to mention a professionally built amp.

The cmoy on the other hand, can vary depending on who builds it. I can't honestly say that I've ever heard one before, so I wouldn't know exactly what it's like. What I do know is that it uses 9v batteries, so it has more ability to power headphones that need it.

If you wait a bit the PINTs should start rolling in. Those seem quite nice. The boards just went on sale on the 15th didn't they?
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 5:23 PM Post #10 of 15

zombieDave

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I think I've narrowed it down to 2 choices after further research/opinions. Either a standard Portaphile X3 (with DC jack + wall-wart, so it's not exactly standard) or a Practical Devices XM3.

Either will be roughly $150., my super-duper max budget.

The amp will be used with a vintage Discman (line out) and a pair of Grado's (SR60's), but I think either one of these two amps would also power my Beyer DT880's.

I like the Portaphile rep. I like that I can upgrade later, when I have more funds. I like Practical Devices' crossfeed feature, jumper-pin option (for higher impedence cans - like the Beyers), & high-end (looking) mini-to-mini that's included with the package.

Please help me decide...
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 6:58 PM Post #12 of 15

Leopold

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zombieDave
The amp will be used with a vintage Discman (line out) and a pair of Grado's (SR60's), but I think either one of these two amps would also power my [B

Beyer DT880's[/B].



I can't comment on your choice of amp but I'm wondering about how that vintage Discman fits into the picture. Maybe it is one of the better models. Mine is not; that old D-155 lacks musicality, soundstage, timbre, resolution, what have you.

The laptop's dvd-burner and integrated sound crushes the D-155, that's how bad it is. Anything better than unamped Koss portapros is a serious waste of money with that player, IMHO.

I know this is not the right forum but if your old Discman is anything like D-155 you'll probably get a much better overall result from upgrading your source to begin with.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM Post #13 of 15

Dyoel182

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jrosenth
At $150 you might want to think about the new total airhead.


Seconded. The very newest ones seem to be great little amps, especially now with the gain switch so even more headphones can be used with it. I stand behind their products.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 3:24 AM Post #15 of 15

angler31337

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zombieDave
I'll check out the Airhead over on Headroom.


If you end up going with the Airhead, do I get to say I told you so?
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-Angler
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