Worth it for an amp?
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

A-5best

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Posts
4
Likes
0
So I've just started to get into high quality audio and enjoy hearing the fine nuances of my music. I currently have a set of Shure SRH840s. I like them a lot but am also thinking about making a headphone amp to compliment them. I wouldn't be buying one, I have access to the equipment and probably most of the materials. Im no electronics expert but I'm with a lot of people who are and can probably help me out.

Anyway my question is whether or not its worthwile for me to build a CMoy and potentially a mini3 later. I only listen to music through my computer or iPod. Will I see an improvement in sound at all when using an amp with such a barebones set up?

Lastly Id be willing to build a larger stay at home amp for my computer and the a smaller portable one, are there any DIY home amps that are relatively easy to build?

Oh and does my computer's sound card have anything to do with the quality?
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:52 PM Post #2 of 8

Gbjerke

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Posts
1,005
Likes
10
it will improve, but not drastically. Its a fun project anyways, so go ahead, why not. For your computer, id first of all get a good DAC. The soundcard matters, but with a separate dac, you bypass that and get much better sound. i'm sure youve noticed that your headphones sound quite different, probably worse, than your ipod right now.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:23 PM Post #3 of 8

TheMarchingMule

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Posts
9,158
Likes
21
Location
SoCal
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gbjerke /img/forum/go_quote.gif
it will improve, but not drastically. Its a fun project anyways, so go ahead, why not. For your computer, id first of all get a good DAC. The soundcard matters, but with a separate dac, you bypass that and get much better sound. i'm sure youve noticed that your headphones sound quite different, probably worse, than your ipod right now.


Agreed. A DAC will net you the most improvement, but then you need a amp to control the volume as well. So I guess a cheap DIY amp will do the trick for that, albeit it'll probably throttle the DAC's quality output a bit.

Alternatively you can buy one of those rare DAC/amp combos, but you don't really get as much of a difference as if you have your own dedicated DAC and amp separately.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 12:06 AM Post #4 of 8

A-5best

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Posts
4
Likes
0
Hmmm ok so I should probably look into getting a DAC then. So Im not willing to spend too much, probably under 100, I cant really justify spending anymore as a poor college student, especially since most of my music is in high quality mp3. So should I go for a DIY one or just get like the 60$ creative soundblaster one? Any ones especially good for bang for buck?

If its relatively simple to put together and will still sound as good as a retail one I could always just build it myself, I have access to a lot of tools and materials on campus.

Also, would using a headphone amp like a cmoy or what have you still be noticeable with my ipod?

Thanks guys I appreciate the help.
 
Sep 19, 2009 at 1:25 AM Post #5 of 8

boomana

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 28, 2006
Posts
5,817
Likes
26
If you're music is mp3 quality, forgo the dac for now. It won't offer you any improvements. Since you're headphones don't really require an amp, and the amp will also just be amping already compressed music, I wouldn't go that route either. My advice to you is to just enjoy your music with your new headphones, which is the best part of this hobby. I do, however, like that you're interested in DIY. You might want to spend some time in the DIY forum here just reading up on things, and if and when your ready to go down that road, I'm sure you'll get support there. I have zero skills in this area, and greatly admire those who do.
 
Sep 21, 2009 at 6:42 AM Post #6 of 8

qusp

Member of the Trade: Twisted Cables
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Posts
7,743
Likes
61
@ boomana, I challenge you to tell the difference between well ripped 320kb VBR mp3 and lossless on the road. my portable library consists of a mixture of high bitrate VBR and ALAC/FLAC lossless and I can tell you that IMO it is just as easy to hear the difference a better dac makes with the high quality MP3 as Lossless.
 
Sep 22, 2009 at 7:06 AM Post #7 of 8

thepredestrian

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Posts
268
Likes
14
Since youre using an ipod im sure there would be a sound difference especially if you connec tyour amp to your earphones with an LOD as it bypasses the volume for the ipod
 
Sep 22, 2009 at 10:57 AM Post #8 of 8

tomjtx

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Posts
563
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by thepredestrian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Since youre using an ipod im sure there would be a sound difference especially if you connec tyour amp to your earphones with an LOD as it bypasses the volume for the ipod


X2 using an LOD is a significant improvement from the HP out
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top