Is an amp really necessary?

 

Bronze Member
Username: James_the_god

Doncaster, South Yorkshire England

Post Number: 77
Registered: Jan-05
I was thinking..i want some new speakers, some that play music very nicely unlike my old surround system. I will be connecting my speakers to my computer, and I was wondering if its going to make a big difference if i do or don't have an amplifier. If I used a decent sound card...say the Audigy 2ZS then what big difference would an amplifier make apart from controlling volume easily etc. I know this question may seem silly as amps refine sound and make dynamics better but u know...im just wondering if £170 is worth spending.
Another question...Varney ull probably know this. If you've ever heard the standard ipod earphones, what amplifier would you say is the 'equivalent' to the sound quality produced with the ipod. Personally I think the ipod earphones are fairly decent quality and I've noticed i can hear much more dyamically and more instruments, fx etc.. than with my speakers. Hope you get my drift, thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 122
Registered: Feb-05
:-)

I recommend going to a hi-fi audio dealer and asking them to demonstrate several systems at different price ranges.

Bring CDs of music you like and are very familiar with.

You can then get a sense of what your requirements are and whether or not dedicated components are required.

Cheers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Tevo

Chicago, IL USA

Post Number: 123
Registered: Feb-05
Regarding the iPod, with the typical iTunes 128kbps AAC files, we are talking good FM radio quality or "near CD" quality.

The headphone output on the iPod is driven by a fairly cheap op-amp. Fine for use with ear buds and low cost headphones but not exactly hi-fi.

Connect the iPod via the Dock's line out to an amplifier (1/8 mini - RCA cable required) and see if you can hear a difference.

When I run mine into a Musical Fidelity X-CAN V3 headphone amp driving Sennheiser's with 192kbps+ (or preferably Apple Lossless or uncompressed AIFF) files, there is a significant audible difference.
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