What do amps do? </newb>
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vorlik

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Do they just make the sound louder?


On a side note, are Grado Sr60s comfortable?
 
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wallijonn

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Are you asking if the SR60s sound better with an amp than without an amp?

The "right" amps amplify without distortion, provided that they are not fed a distorted signal; some amps filter distorted signals because you will have to turn down the volume, and in doing so the distortion is lessened; the bass will sound non distorted for the same reasons.
 
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Anacondastan

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Ideally an amp should merely amplify (i.e. provide a stronger push against resistance) the source signal without adding or subtracting anything from the same.


Some foolishly believe an amp should make the music sound better I remind you "garbage in garbage out." The real source is the recording not any of the mechanical/electronic contraptions in the chain.
 
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Anacondastan,
my amp does make the music better, that's the whole reason I bought it. If I listen to a CD using my marantz,( good source), and going through my NAD amp it doesn't sound as musical and uplifting as through the marantz and into my chiara. From what I've learned here and since experienced, the complete chain is key to making music sound good.
 
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A good amp provides headphones with enough electrical current and voltage at all times, so that they accurately reproduce the input signal, with as little change in the sound as possible (i.e. just a wire with gain).
 
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wallijonn

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Quote:

Do they just make the sound louder?


Yes and No. If the amp is the 'same' as the one built in, then no.

Listen to your headphones directly from a Sound Blaster soundcard and then connect the SB to the receiver in your house and play the same CD.

Does it sound the same?

Connect the headphones to your portable player. Then connect the portable player to the same receiver using the portable player's RCA outputs.

Does it sound the same?

If you have problems setting the same relative volume level, ask yourself, "why?"

 
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Taurui

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Amps provide enough current and voltage swing do let headphones accurately do their job. Without a decent headphone amplifier, a lot of headphones sound muddy, boring, uninvolving, bass-shy etc.
However, it all depends on the headphone. With HP-1000s for example, the difference is like night and day.
 
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