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Some moneysaving advice for entry level audiophiles

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
If you are looking into getting new cans that start requiring amps, as I have seen many members of OCN do, it would be a good idea to... well.. get an amp for them. Recently I have seen a massive wave of members buying HD555s/HD595s from deals on amazon and stuff, headphones like these and MANY more will infact sound sonically superior when amped. I'm not going to waste my time writing an article about it, but if you are interested in the reasoning behind it, just go google "headphone impedance". To find out if the headphone you are intending to buy requires an amp, just look it up and read what people have a say about it. Headphones like the AD700s will not need amping

Anyways my advice would be the following: Once you have secured a decent source, such as a decent sound card or even a dedicated standalone DAC, don't bother wasting your money on a dedicated headphone amp. Just hit up your local Craigslist or other classified service and look for vintage receivers with Phone Outputs. 99.99% of the time these come in the form of 6.35mm jacks. Usually, headphones should come with an adapter that will switch you from a 3.5 mini TRS to a 6.35mm (or 1/4") jack. If not, just buy one at radioshack. Before buying you're obviously going to want to do some research on the particular unit and listen to some feedback other people have given on it on other forums. Some brands to look for are Sunsi, Marantz, Luxman, Fisher, etc etc. There are thousands. In fact, what would be even better would be to ask for a test run of the amp before you buy it. Vintage amps are usually sold for <$50 or even given away for free at yard sales.

Definitely try to avoid MOST modern consumer grade amps such as Onkyo's and Sony's due to the cheap crappy parts they put in them.

They truly don't make them like they used to...

I used a 1976 Marantz receiver to power my power hungry orthro cans for months before I had enough spare change saved up to buy a dedicated headphone amp. It looks gorgeous and performs marvelously.

PICS:









Edited by PhaedraCorruption - 12/31/10 at 4:59pm
post #2 of 34
thanks, I'll need this in the future +rep
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post #3 of 34
i love you
post #4 of 34
Ive been powering my senn's for years with a denon reciever! Good post!
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post #5 of 34
I assume you mean to tell people to search for "headphone impedance", not "headphone impudence"

Good idea if the headphones need to be amped though.
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post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post
I assume you mean to tell people to search for "headphone impedance", not "headphone impudence"

Good idea if the headphones need to be amped though.
Darn autocorrect, thanks!

Or rather, darn autocorrect's impudence!

Quote:
Originally Posted by killeraxemannic View Post
Ive been powering my senn's for years with a denon reciever! Good post!
Oh man, vintage Denon receivers were not good amps, they were THE good amps.
Edited by PhaedraCorruption - 12/30/10 at 9:15pm
post #7 of 34
Uhh stupid question but how do you connect the amp to your PC soundcard if you use those old vintage one lying around the house?
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTD92 View Post
Uhh stupid question but how do you connect the amp to your PC soundcard if you use those old vintage one lying around the house?
Male 3.5mm to RCA Red White.

3.5mm end goes to your sound card, RCA red goes to red right input on back of receiver, RCA white goes to white left input on back of receiver.



Just stick with monoprice cables until you can afford better ones.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaedraCorruption View Post
3.5mm to RCA Red White.

3.5mm end goes to your sound card, RCA red goes to red right input on back of receiver, RCA white goes to white left input on back of receiver.
Alright thanks for the reply. I have a vintage 90s amp sitting in my house let me give it a try. LOL I am using an amp to power my Sennheiser HD201.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTD92 View Post
Alright thanks for the reply. I have a vintage 90s amp sitting in my house let me give it a try. LOL I am using an amp to power my Sennheiser HD201.
Most likely you will hear none to very little difference, mostly placebo, but the 201s are great value cans in themselves. And plus, it can't hurt to try

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