Best amp for ipod

I am looking for the best cable/interconnect for my iPod for under $100 and the best portable amp for $350 or less. I have an iPod 60G/photo third generation, use the line out with with PocketDock and Apple lossless files. I listen with the Sure E5c ear phones or Ety ER-4P, and the Grado SR80 at home. So far this what I have heard about and I have a few questions:

First portable amps:

How does the new Xin Super Macro-3 differ from his SuperDual Mini iteration, especially with regard to the noise issue? Xin claims it is quieter but at night can still hear slight low level hiss???

Of the amps listed below which would be the best long-term investment?

1. Xin Super Macro-3 amp ($349) to the:


3. Emmeline SR-71($395)?

4. Emmeline "Hornet" ($295) soon to be released ????

5. HeadRoom Total BitHead ($269.00)

6. Meir audio Porta Corda MK III ($215)

Is there a real difference between the high end cables? So far I have seen a few custom types listed below but need help selecting the best one (to go from iPod to portable amp)
Mini-mini interconnect cables:

A) CARDAS Silver Dragon mini-to-mini 1.0 ft $65, Blue Dragon $45

B) Zu Pivot cable mini-mini, $79

C) Highflyin9 VRAY and XEV mini cables $49, $42 right angle

D) RnB Audio Black Diamond Mini-to-mini, 12" $74.00

E), Ear Candy pro cable $119, Panorama $149

Have there been any reviews yet for the above amps ??

Are there any others you would recommend??

Thanks for any help

All the best Dan
There really is no best amp, just what amp is best for you, which takes into consideration what types of music you like, how loud you like to listen, what type of sound do you prefer i.e bright/dark, punchy/laid-back. I personally like the SR-71 because its laid-back and slightly dark yet detailed. Check out for some opinions and you can get a general consenus on the characteristics of each amp and choose one to start with. Usually what happens is your may not be 100% satisfied, so you buy something else, usually used as Head-fi has a very active classified section, and then you have a playoff, and you end up selling the loser and putting the winner up against some other new competition. Its a vicious cycle, but there are very few ways of getting to try unless you buy, other than head-fi meets, which are gatherings in various cities that happen a couple of times a year per city. Here you can sample many different products and make more informed choices and eliminate some of the field. As far as cables go, get an amp first, the cables can only improve things so much, around the 2% area. Now head over to, you've got a lot of reading to do.

P.S. Check out Norm Dalgarno's Go-Vibe V3 amp, for $69usd, it may be all the amp you ever need. I bought that amp as my first and I will never get rid of it because it performs 98% as well as amps costing several times as much and its smaller than a deck of cards. You can roll opamps too, (like tube rolling) which can tailor the amp to the sound you prefer to some degree. Again, read about it at Head-fi.