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Difference between amps

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
long story, i bought a headphone last few days ( on the way from somewhere) , and while choosing suitable headphone i found there is alot of knowledge about headphone audio. and im kinda interested and wanna learn something basics..

back to the question.
there's so many model of amp. what are the difference ? they produce different sound on a same headphone ?
and tube and solid state? and "many tubes" vs 1-2 tubes difference ?

we need DAC even we already have amp and sound card ?

sorry i don't know to to exactly ask the questions. hope can answer me if you understand what im asking thnx!
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post #2 of 15
What headphone did you buy? this will narrow down the better amp choices. Different amps will produce different sounds on the same headphone. you don't really need a dac if you have a soundcard, but I prefer an external DAC, bypassing the soundcard. I don't like the idea of sending an amplified signal to an amp (unless your soundcard has line level outs)
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuxtres View Post
back to the question.
there's so many model of amp. what are the difference ? they produce different sound on a same headphone ?
and tube and solid state? and "many tubes" vs 1-2 tubes difference ?
Loaded question. These are questions best answered if you go out and research and test audio equipment yourself. Otherwise, I would spend pages explaining

Agreed, there are lots of amps out there. So what makes the difference between amps? Objectively speaking, there are many ways to measure performance. SNR (signal-noise-ratio), SFDR (spurious-free dynamic range) are just a couple of examples. Most of which are measured in dB.

So how does a DAC improve sound? The better quality components of a better DAC help filter out unwanted noise, especially good audiophile capacitors.

Many technical issues are at play to accurately perform this function, for eg. jitter ( bad timing of data). Like all electronics, some DACs are better at this than others. Does better yield a better resultant sound, good question, likely yes to a point.

As far as tube and solid state amps, those are just different technologies. Tube amps were much popular back in the 50's and 60's before the creation of solid state amps (which made amps mainstream).

Tube amps have begin to crawl back into popularity, but you won't see most people with one. Because of it's rarity and status as "audiophile" equipment, tube amps are very expensive.

If you really want to know more about the differences, I really suggest looking at Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tube_amp
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
ad700 and xonar dx. i know don't need amp for this entry lvl headphone.

im just curious about how they work. if amp produce different sound, how could you get it from online without test it and base on review ? omg,
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuxtres View Post
ad700 and xonar dx. i know don't need amp for this entry lvl headphone.

im just curious about how they work. if amp produce different sound, how could you get it from online without test it and base on review ? omg,
You don't.

This is pretty good I've heard. http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconudac2/index.php
Edited by youra6 - 4/7/11 at 9:57am
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by youra6 View Post
You don't.

Check out the FiiO E7. I've tested one out, and it is pretty good for someone with a budget.

Also this is pretty good I've heard. http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconudac2/index.php
this is getting more and more complicating LOL, for example if amp produce different sound and character. it doesn't mean the higher price is better and it doesn't mean the amp is suitable for every headphone am i right ?

i was thought amp is for headphone to release the potential, higher ohms headphone need to a higher ohms amp or something like that.
we need to use different amp for different kind of music and headphone since they produce different result ?

sorry if i ask too much,
i do finding the answer from google thnx!
Edited by veuxtres - 4/7/11 at 10:07am
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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuxtres View Post
this is getting more and more complicating LOL, for example if amp produce different sound and character. it doesn't mean the higher price is better and it doesn't mean the amp is suitable for every headphone am i right ?

i was thought amp is for headphone to release the potential, higher ohms headphone need to a higher ohms amp or something like that.
we need to use different amp for different kind of music and headphone since they produce different result ?

sorry if i ask too much,
i do finding the answer from google thnx!
I'm of the camp that differences between amps are largely overstated online. Yes, of course there are differences and they can be heard. But are they even close to the differences you'll see between headphones/speakers? No. If you choose between amps that can provide ample power, low distortion, and a low noise floor to your playback device, the differnces you will hear are small.

On the issue of tubes, technically solid state is better. SS can provide more power at a lower cost, at a lower distortion. However, the distortion they do provide to certain harmonics is enjoyable to some listeners. This can only be determined through direct listening.

BTW, I would stay away from the NuForce recommended above. It has been shown to perform pretty poorly from a technical aspect.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23 View Post

BTW, I would stay away from the NuForce recommended above. It has been shown to perform pretty poorly from a technical aspect.
Curious to see where you found how it performed "poorly" from a technical aspect. You say that a lot of differences between amps are largely overstated, which I agree. What makes this amp perform sub par?
Edited by youra6 - 4/7/11 at 11:19am
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post #9 of 15
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23 View Post
I stand corrected. From a technical aspect, it does perform subpar to a 29 dollar Behringer. Wish I had seen this review earlier.
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