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Headphone AMP?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Does any one have any thoughts or experience with this amp?
http://www.headphone.com/products/he...-micro-amp.php

Also, I'll most likely need a 3.55 M/M cable, I found this one and I'm assuming it will do just fine?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...t=1#largeimage

If neither of these are good for some reason, shoot some recommendations my way.

Thanks

    
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post #2 of 10
Headroom is generally well-regarded, so I would expect the Micro to do a very nice job. However, if you are looking for an amp in the $400 range you have plenty of other excellent options. Here are portables:

- Headamp Pico (DAC version for $500, non-DAC for $300 iirc)

- RSA Predator (comes with DAC standard)

- Minibox-E

- Mini^3 (DIY, well below budget)

- Graham Slee Solo

The two most favored on this list would have to be the Pico and Predator. I would recommend that you take a serious look at the DAC version/s - both are truly excellent and the Pico often is compared with full-size DAC's and sources. The Graham Slee gets overlooked simply because it is manufactured overseas, and as such it is harder to come by. If you're willing to wait a little while, I've heard that RSA is on the verge of releasing a new portable that is supposed to be extremely competetive with full-size amps (SR-71A I think it is called, but I don't know what the pricing will be).

~~~~

Edit - I thought the normal Micro was a portable amp, hence the reason I listed only portable options. I'll leave this list just for heck of it.

Are you looking at portable or desktop? If desktop, do you want solid-state (e.g. Gilmore Lite) or tubes (e.g. Little Dot MKIV)?
Edited by Aura - 7/2/08 at 6:54pm
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a desktop amp, I really dont want to go over $300.
    
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post #4 of 10
Alrighty, for desktop under 3 bills:

- PIMETA (DIY, Soloz could build this in his sleep)

- Little Dot MKII/MKIII

- Meier Audio Headfive/Arietta (same amp just different names, Namrac is selling one right now )

- Darkvoice 336 (just a tad over $300, but worth the extra cash)
Edited by Aura - 7/2/08 at 7:12pm
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really like the littledot, the looks and the reviews are great. But is it better than the headfi micro amp I asked about?
    
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr1mo View Post
I really like the littledot, the looks and the reviews are great. But is it better than the headfi micro amp I asked about?
"Better" is a very relative term. The Micro and the LD are not at all similiar in design, with one being s/s and the other utilizing tubes.

Based on general observations alone, I can say that the LD will have a warmer signature, meaning that the musicality is more prominent (some would say this brings out the life/energy of the music). Solid state by nature will feel more analytical, more revealing of the separation between instruments. The best solid state can be so analytical that it finds degradation in poor recording, and this can be a turn-off for some listeners (certainly there are people who like that sort of detail though).

It really depends on what you are listening to and your preferences regarding music. Example - for classical and jazz, a cold souce (which is generally solid state) will do a very good job, because in order to listen to an orchestra properly you need lots of detail and an analytical feeling for what you're hearing.

For things like bass, treble, and mids, tubes vs. s/s is not as relevant and certain amps can be superior in these aspects. Because I have not heard either of the amps you are considering, I cannot comment on this.
Edited by Aura - 7/2/08 at 7:44pm
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Very explanatory, thank you very much .
    
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post #8 of 10
It really helps if you can get to a hi-fi shop or to a meet so you can hear them for yourself. BTW different headphones will sound differently on different amps, so it's preferable to bring your headphones along.
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post #9 of 10
What headphones are you driving?

If I had to pick, unless I had dark headphones/low impedence headphones, I'd get a tube amp, no question. The LDMKII, while only $200, is pretty well regarded. In reviews they tend to put it up above solid state amps at the same price. Unfortunately I have the D2000 which have like, 25ohm imp, which makes it a ***** to find an amp
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountChoculaBot View Post
If I had to pick, unless I had dark headphones/low impedence headphones, I'd get a tube amp, no question. The LDMKII, while only $200, is pretty well regarded. In reviews they tend to put it up above solid state amps at the same price. Unfortunately I have the D2000 which have like, 25ohm imp, which makes it a ***** to find an amp
Who's telling you that tubes cannot work with low impedance or dark headphones? I've tried my Grado's in at least 7-8 tube amps with wonderful results. The Darkvoice lineup is highly praised for having excellent synergy with HD650's, one of the darkest headphones available.

As for the D2000, my E-MU's amp section can drive them with ease (never have to turn the volume past 12 o'clock/50%). Now it doesn't sound terrific, but I think it just shows that people grossly overestimate how much juice is needed to drive Denon's effectively.

Keep in mind that everything you read is simply someone else's opinion. It's better to develop your taste through your own experiences rather than basing it off of what other people claim.
Edited by Aura - 7/4/08 at 7:41am
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