Having a habit of using portable amplifiers might still tempt you to amp the Mage, just to squeeze that extra bit of HiFi out of them. I certainly enjoy the Mage out of the TTVJ Slim more than I do straight out of the Ipod. However, the Mage is a sensitive IEM, and when using a portable amplifier, I recommend you to use the newer generation amps such as the RSA Shadow, the TTVJ Slim, and the ALO Rx. Older generation amplifiers, though many have a superb sound, tend to have higher noise floor and bigger channel imbalance, which can be a big annoyance for pairing with the Mage. Also, amplifiers without a low-gain setting need not apply as well, as the volume control will be severely limited. The Mage is roughly as sensitive as a Westone UM3X, and low gain amplifiers are best for these.
Priced at a strategic $600 price point, the Mage really offers a kickass value for the price. It’s really a class above the $300 universal IEMs, and driven straight from a DAP, the Mage still offer better performance than a $300 universal IEM attached to a portable amplifier. People who has been hesitant to pay $1099 for the JH13, would be happy to find a much more reasonable, $600 Mage.
On a sidenote, though this is not meant to be a Mage vs JH13 shootout, I can’t help to keep mentioning the JH13. I know, you too would be asking the question: “How does the Mage compare to the JH13”.