Thinking more about this post drove me to do more testing - was I just imagining the improvement I thought I heard when I first got the new amplifier? or was it real? Was I in the process of wasting a lot of money over nothing? or was there something more to the story?
I very carefully spent the last hour or so testing and comparing my old amplifier to the new one. I tested youtube videos, mp3’s, FLAC files, etc. - on a multitude of different genres of music and other forms of audio - And there is definitely a difference. On some things, it didn’t show up, but on others (especially in some of the FLAC music I have), there is definitely an easily detectable change. Same DAC, same headphones, but testing the differences on two different amps.
The new amp seems to have a more rich fullness to the sound that was definitely not present in the old amp. The new amp does sound better.
So I wasn’t just imagining it.
At this moment I am sitting here wondering if it is worth it. and i’m waffling. I have another week to decide if I want to keep the new amp or return it. - If I return it, I get to keep about a thousand dollars in my pocket.
- (why so much? because I also ordered a new DAC to match with the new AMP, but the new DAC has not arrived yet, if I return the new AMP, I will also cancel the order for the DAC)
If I keep it, i’ll likely have it for the rest of my life and will be very unlikely to get anything else. And then there is the question of what to do with my old headphone amp, it’s a solid unit, but was just lacking the power I wanted. I’m thinking I should keep it just in case something happens to the new equipment, so i’ll always have a fallback bit of hardware if something blows up.
And so I waffle on. Which way to go? Stand pat and save money? Or spend money and move on?
I’m going to spend a few more days thinking it over.
- it is very difficult to choose. About 2 years ago I spent a heck of a lot more on a computer, so why am I relegating my audio hardware into a lower price bracket when I use it so much? I don’t really have a good answer to that one. Especially when I easily justified a fairly baffling amount on my computer hardware. 1500$ on the monitor, easily over 5,000$ on the computer, and that was just parts, I put it all together myself, and for some reason, that was easier and took less self-convincing than upgrading my audio system.
Yep. (that took less than a few days…) I’ve decided, i’ll keep the new Amp and get the new DAC, i use it every day, and it will likely far outlive my computer. As an essential piece of gear that contributes to my daily life, it’s worth the cost.
I hope these questions and topic of self reflection helps others come to their decisions, and whichever way you decide to go is OK. =) Only you can make the choices for your own life.