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jog3004's picture
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ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Hi, has anyone experimented with LOD wires from an ipod to portable headphone amp? I currently have a Fiio E11 connected via Fiio L3 wire & was wondering whether a better wire would improve sound quality, I have seen a pure silver one on ebay at £35 but as I can't listen before I buy, this or any other cable, i'm reluctant to spend my hard earned cash. Any opinion help would be greatly received. Cheers.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

The benefit of a  LOD is taking the pure line out from the iPod and bypassing the headphone circuits, not sure about the additional benefit of silver cable etc especially over a run of a few inches.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

This is just my opinion but as you asked.....the iPod isn't a particularly good source, the Fiio is a budget amp so spending £35 on a silver cable is not going to yield any audible improvement. Just buy some music instead you will get much more satisfaction from that.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Hi, cheers for the advIce, was sceptical myself of the benefit, but was also sceptical re fiio e11 & this is why I only bought a budget portable, so if it didn't make any difference I hadn't wasted too much cash, & even though it's not night & day difference, it does appear to open the sound up alittle more. Out of interest, is the graham slee portable headphone (I forget it's name, but retails at about £190) any good, I use b&w p5 & c5 headphones, but have been toying with buying grado sr325 or rs2 to use on hifi & home use with iPod via headphone amp. Thanks for help

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

jog3004 wrote:

Out of interest, is the graham slee portable headphone (I forget it's name, but retails at about £190) any good, I use b&w p5 & c5 headphones, but have been toying with buying grado sr325 or rs2 to use on hifi & home use with iPod via headphone amp. Thanks for help

do you mean the Voyager

graham-slee-voyager

Gets good reviews but you can probably get better for less from one of the Chinese manufacturers TBH. Besides Grado's don't require much amping your E11 is enough really.

Just on a sideline have you actually listened to the Grado SR325is or RS2i's ? I was distinctly underwhelmed with my RS2i's, their price to performance is poor and their sound is an acquired taste to say the least.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

The FiiO L3 LOD cable does a perfectly good job and is in fact PC-OCC i.e. the same Furukawa copper many high end interconnects costing hundreds of pounds cost (if that matters to you).

It's a fiver.

As for headphones, an iPod will drive the Grados and Denons as they are, without looking it up, in the 30ish impedance range. It's up to you wheter to add a headphone amp, I use the FiiO E5 as I find it drives my (35Ohm) headphones with less distortion and more fluidity (the first simply my claim, I haven't measured it, the second clearly my opinion), though the iPod can provide enough volume by itself.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Hi, that's great news if the e11 will run the headphones I'm considering & the voyager ( it was this one) won't be needed, & if the fiio lod is good enough too, all the better. As I stated earlier, I only bought the e11 as it was cheap & didn't mind paying that much if it worked & then buying a more premium amp. I haven't heard the grado headphones & did plan to try & find somewhere local that stocked them, to try them out, but I don't think my local Huddersfield hifi (audiovations) do. I must admit, I do like my b&w headphones, but thought for enjoyment at home from my highish end equipment, I'd benefit from headphones like the grados. If anyone has any other suggestions around £300 to £600 mark that wil handle my heavy metal music fetish! I'd be grateful for any suggestions. I initially considered the grado sr325s as the reviews rated them as the best headphones upto £500 & at £315ish mark, I thought win win, headphones as good as £500& save couple of hundred. Cheers for all help so far, greatly appreciated, despite being very knowledgable re cd players etc, my headphone know how is seriously lacking. 

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Have a look at the Playback Headphone guide (available as a pdf via Absolute Sound site I think) - I won't link to it as that's probably not allowed here, just google it.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Cheers Datay, downloaded PDF & some interesting cans, particularly sennheiser hd650, which had already been recommended, but joe from my local hifi shop threw a spanner in the works. He contacted me after his colleague mentioned I'd phoned & the recommendation of the sennheiser & grado. Joe basically stated that I would be better buying a dedicated headphone amp connected via tape out on my arcam processor (avp700), & that my b&w p5 were perfectly capable headphones, even when compared to the hd650 & sr325. He recommended a pro-ject headphone amp, which currently they were waiting to get in, & stated that it was about £200, but would be far better than the headphone output from the arcam. Looking on the net, I can only find pro-ject headbox mk 2 at £95 & an se version at £195 with 2 headphone outputs. Still being a complete dunce re headphone related products, I hoped to seek others advice, mainly regarding is the headbox se basically headbox mk2 but with ability to run 2sets of headphones ( i will only ever be running one set)? is the pro-ject amp suitable or would I be better looking at others? Again bearing in mind that my music taste is heavy metal, I'd be able to spend £200(ish). 

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

I have listened to the Pro-ject MKIISE - in an audition with the £400 Musical Fidelity M1 HPA. The latter is very warm-sounding, "oak barrell" I described it when I heard it. The Pro-ject is fast and bright - wouldn't suit certain headphones, though from what I heard of the P5's in an apple store, they're pretty warm so would be ok and metal would sound good. Having said that, the P5's are intended to be used with a portable device, a headphone amp is simply a luxury. If anything, a FiiO E5 would do just as well; I feel this guy is trying to sell you something you don't strictly need, unless you buy harder to drive headphones.

By the way, I use and really like the NJC Monitor Audio II, made by one-man operation Nick Clarke in Cornwall. I bought it in the summer, about £270 (roughly same as Graham Slee Novo but I have heard it equals or probably beats that amp). Thing is, just after I bought it, he added a new circuit board, and a line out stage so it's also a pre, and added a hundred quid to the price! No longer quite the giant killer it was, but I recommend you look at his site.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Cheers for the reply Datay, you are becoming my Obi WanKenobi (lol). Re your comment that the P5 is designed for the iPhone et al, I made the same comment to Joe, querying that surely better hifi based cans would be the right step forward, he replied that he had used the p5 personally for 11 months with Pro-ject amp to listen to his hifi & it did improve the headphones, he added that once they got another amp in, he would loan it to try in my system, which is fair comment & offer. My only concern is that they only stock the Pro-ject & if it did improve P5, would it be best amp to go for or would I be better spending alittle more on something such as creek 11 or slee novo? I suppose other thing to take into account from Joe's advice, I imagine they would have made more money from selling me the sr325 or hd650 cans than the amp?

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Hi, forgot to mention on the last post that I can connect the headphone amp direct from the Cyrus cd8se + psxr, if this makes a difference? 

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

I must admit I'm confused, I have just re-read this thread and your original request was about silver wired LOD's. You then asked about portable headphone amplifiers and now there is an Arcam processor, Cyrus cd player and a whole lot of bad advice from Joe.

Perhaps it would help if you was to tell what you currently have and what you want to improve on. P5's are not Hi-Fi headphones, they are portables which are cashing in on the bling market, similar to beats from Monster just better. There is no comparison between headphones like the HD650's or SR325is and a pair of P5's they are a million miles apart.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

Yes, I must confess, I was going to start a new thread for this question, but, for the life in me, couldn't remember or find the bit to start a new thread, so had to add it to this. I think best option will be maybe to borrow the headphone amp & hd650 from the shop, & then compare at home all combinations, including listening from Arcam direct as well as from the dedicated headphone amp. cheers for everyone's advice.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

jog3004 wrote:

Hi, has anyone experimented with LOD wires from an ipod to portable headphone amp? I currently have a Fiio E11 connected via Fiio L3 wire & was wondering whether a better wire would improve sound quality, I have seen a pure silver one on ebay at £35 but as I can't listen before I buy, this or any other cable, i'm reluctant to spend my hard earned cash. Any opinion help would be greatly received. Cheers.

 

The LOD will give a little more clarity but dont expect any huge differences, the Fiio is not a great product its just cheap & for its price it performs well but when I put mine up against my Musical Fidelity & Creek amps the Fiio was not very good, but that might be an unfair test, if you really want to improve quality then only upgrading from a Fiio to something better would do that, a pure silver cable is NOT going to make a massive improvement & its just the whole cable scam, the weak link will always be your Fiio, not the cable.

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RE: ipod lod wire to portable headphone amp

datay wrote:

I have listened to the Pro-ject MKIISE - in an audition with the £400 Musical Fidelity M1 HPA. The latter is very warm-sounding, "oak barrell" I described it when I heard it. The Pro-ject is fast and bright - wouldn't suit certain headphones, though from what I heard of the P5's in an apple store, they're pretty warm so would be ok and metal would sound good. Having said that, the P5's are intended to be used with a portable device, a headphone amp is simply a luxury. If anything, a FiiO E5 would do just as well; I feel this guy is trying to sell you something you don't strictly need, unless you buy harder to drive headphones.

By the way, I use and really like the NJC Monitor Audio II, made by one-man operation Nick Clarke in Cornwall. I bought it in the summer, about £270 (roughly same as Graham Slee Novo but I have heard it equals or probably beats that amp). Thing is, just after I bought it, he added a new circuit board, and a line out stage so it's also a pre, and added a hundred quid to the price! No longer quite the giant killer it was, but I recommend you look at his site.

I recently got one of those amps as an early Christmas pressie from the wife (I knew she would come in useful one day), everything that ive seen & heard suggests that your probably right it does seem to take other amps on like the Slee Solo & wins out, but I wouldnt say its become less of a giant killer since its just got even better, I think if anything its become even more of a giant killer as you call it what with all the new improvements, (I remember looking at these amps about 6 months ago & to me it looks like everything has been improved, internals, spec, power & those are just the bits we can see, there may be other tweaks that are not visible), I think the pre amp part is just an extra, after all a couple of extra connectors at the back would not be a reason for the extra price, I see its also now physically larger in size).

Since I have now heard it for myself I suspect it now has what it takes to take on the real big boys at their own game, its certainly much better than my Musical Fidelity amp & WAY better than my Creek amp which doesnt like my D5000's which I have in the bedroom, the insane thing is the Musical Fidelity amp cost me the same money as the Monitor II yet all my headphones have shown a marked improvement since I got the Monitor II, so given the chance again I wouldnt have got the Musical Fidelity since the Monitor II costs the same price & for what it does & how it sounds represents excellent value for money.

I think short of buying the beautful but very expensive SPL Phonitor I doubt even then whether the differences would be that great to be worth the extra, you say that you have the previous version? well if past history with other high class British made HiFi is anything to go by because these are obviously so niche & made by hand in small numbers anyone who has an original version like yourself may find it becomes collectable in the future, you never can tell as I have some 70's HiFi such as a Garrard turntable which has become quite collectable now, good quality never really ages & always stands the test of time.

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