Desktop vs Portable

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by krismusic, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    Here's a nice conundrum to have. :)
    I'm 58 next birthday and have decided that it is time to put together a rest of my life rig.
    I have bought a pair of HD600's which I think are superb and deserving of a nice amp.
    I also have a portable set up. A pair of IE8's which I have rather more reservations about but will stick with for now.
    I currently have a very nice portable amp that I use for both headphones. Great with the 8's less so with the 600's.
    I use an iPhone running Spotify Premium as a source. I am aware that this is maybe not the best source but Spotify is fantastic.
    At the moment I listen to music a lot more on the move than at home.
    Bearing all this in mind do I go for a desktop amp or a really expensive DAC Amp like the Cypherlabs?
    Thanks for your interest if you read all that!
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    When I read this and got to the word Cypherlabs, bingo! Don't even think twice, especially since your main usage is portable. And it will still sound superb at home.
     
  3. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    Thanks for the reply Dalethorne. You dont think I would be short changing the 600's?
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    This would be my first choice if this is what you meant:

    Cypher Labs Theorem 720 DAC, Headphone Amplifier & Apple Line-In

    I have only the Beyer A200 now myself, which gives me a little taste of what these upscale Apple-compatible DACs can do. But I've read a lot of reviews on this, especially the most critical review at headfonia. According to headfonia, it has enough power not only for the 300 ohm Sennheisers, but well beyond that to drive some planars. That's important to know, because you want enough reserve overhead for full dynamics.
     
  5. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    Hi Dalethorne. A concern that came up in reviews of the Theorem is hiss with sensitive IEM's.
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The best case with sensitive IEMs is to use the lowest gain setting on the amp. If that's still too much gain and there is hiss, then I suppose you would need two amps? I'm sure if we googled Theorem 720 and IEMs we could get a report on it, but if you have a specific IEM in mind that you know is very sensitive, then that or something just like it you would need to look for. So is there one specific IEM that would be a good example?
     
  7. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    The IEM that I use at the moment is the ie8. I have considered the Earsonics SM64. Both these have high sensitivity. The HD600 isn't particularly low from what I understand. (My technical knowledge is poor. )
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    From everything I've read now (several reviews), you will likely hear hiss with sensitive IEMs with the Theorem DAC/amp.
     
  9. krismusic

    krismusic Member

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    Sounds like it's back to a desktop amp. Thank you very much for all your input Dalethorne. Much appreciated.
     
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