Electric Avenues PA2V2: Best Budget Amp Ever?
05/11/2011 19:58 Filed in: Portable Headphone Amps | $1-$100
The Electric Avenues PA2V2 might just be one of the best amps I have tried that does’t exceed the triple digit price threshold. In fact, the PA2V2 is so good I was surprised that it was only selling for a mere $60 on eBay. Yep, Gary’s PA2V2 may just be one of the best budget amps you could ever own, even beating out the likes of FiiO. So, with that being said, how good is the PA2V2?
I first heard of the PA2V2 a few months back from a fellow Head-Fier who’d said (along with multiple other forum members) that it was one of the best budget friendly amps that he had ever tried, even beating out the likes of the SoundMAGIC A10 and even the FiiO E11. Wanting to know the big deal about this little amp, I sent Gary an email asking if he’d be willing to send out a sample for a review, and here we are today. It’s been over 6 months since I have gotten the amp, and I do apologize for the delay. However, we are here now and there’s no stopping me from dragging on and on with the PA2V2.
Electric Avenues clearly had a simple design in mind when making the PA2V2. It’s neither overdone nor underdone. It’s quite literally just right, a square box that’s pretty darn small (albeit it’s not the most pocket friendly), all the basic functions of a regular portable headphone amplifier (audio in, audio out, volume knob, and charging slot), and a simple and sleek design to finish up the package. Oh, and the PA2V2 isn’t an amazingly loud amp. It takes about a half amount of gain for my HD650’s to start to open up. But once you start creeping this puppy toward that increment, you should be just fine volume wise.
If I could, all I would do is talk about the sound this little guy pumps out. To get started, let’s get a few things cleared up. The PA2V2 isn’t an amp that focuses on one part of the frequency range, it focuses on all parts of the frequency band, which makes for a more resolved and refined sound signature. Powering the Sennhesier HD650 off the PA2V2 results in slightly brighter and speedier experience overall. The bass, which was already great on the HD650, surges a little more, and become a tad bit tighter, but almost no punch is added, which frankly isn’t needed.
The mids also seem to become forward a little bit more and disappear from the HD650’s cliche laid back sound. The midrange seems to be a bit sweeter, with more pronounced acoustics, and better PRaT. The high end is also not to be taken lying down as well, since the extra sparkle and extension seem to be showing up quite well with the PA2V2. The soundstage, while not significantly improved like the other parts of the spectrum, does seem to be a tad bit wider, a little bit deeper, and a bit more layered.
I have completely fallen in love with this amp. Sure, I’ll still be using my $350 TTVJ Slim over this, but with that being said, I think Electric Avenues has created one of the most phenomenal budget amps ever to hit the market, possibly even the best one that I have ever heard. Gary’s made a good choice in making awesome sounding products at an unbelievably low price.
Note: If you would like to see more full resolution photos of this product, please take a few minutes and visit the Audio Excursions Flickr page.
Electric Avenues PA2V2 @Electric Avenues