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About Me

  1. Again bad news for the established brands like Cambridge, Moon or Bluesound that offer veritable AIO devices at equally veritable pricepoints. WIIM, the Linkplay brand with an impressive pipeline of affordable and (inter)-connectable products, like the WIIM mini. WIIM Pro and WIIM Pro+, during the last 2 years, have launched the pre-sales information for their latest product: An amplifier using the TI TPA325x chipset - well known from Aiyima, Fosi and Topping (you may want to have a look chez @Archimago ) - in combination with their Pro+ platform). That device ships to you for 349€. Couldn't find announcements from North America, yet. While the WIIM Support clearified some mystical mistakes in the first @Audiophonics announcement, they also discussed the design options of the new device, as you can see in the pics up here. Looking at them my only concern would be about heat dissipation from that sweet outfit. Topping did work on that topic specifically for the 2nd incarnation of their PA5 amplifier with the same chip. I've bought one of them last week - thus I am so happy to read the first part of Arch's review today. ;-) I may agree that the powernode offers a lot of functionality for short of 1k bucks - thus not the performance we may see with Audiophonics of Cambridge AIO devices using nCore amplification, but at least it was still exiting in 2021! However, fitting your house for multitoom purposes with Bluesound technology or Sonos devices is without doubt a budget intensive project. Multiplying it by 4 - i.E. - may give you a financial advantage of 2.6k € for the WIIM Amp (x4) with perhaps a more performant amplifier section and a already proven technolgy-base, accompanied by an exciting support forum plus an amazing company culture (listen and learn!) to be perceived by customers (until now!). Looking over the EDGE allows us to gain 1.2k Euros approximately- in comparison. Assuming that the device - perfomance wise - will match the levels we have seen from the other WIIM products, all seems to be well in multinode audio lamd ;-) .. for the budget focussed minds. You may want to think twice before it's allright to buy something else ;-)
  2. My good friend and fellow audiophile Gerald k and I have made a compilation of music files which we feel are perfect for testing new equipment. We wanted to use music that we not only enjoy listening to but which also has the abillity to reveal flaws in the signal chain. I listen mostly on Headphones (Sennheiser/ Audeze/ Audio Technica) while Gerald listen only on speakers (Tad, Kharma/Linn/Naim). We have spend many an evening and several bottles of Cotes de Rhone wines arguing and eventually agreeing on this list of audio equipment test music. This is what we came up with, please feel free to comment or post alternatives, if possible with a link as to where to purchase the music that you feel is ideal for this purpose. We also looked for reviews that we felt agreed with what we hear in the recordings. Sound stage and definition 1. Carmen Gomes inc; '' I'm on fire'' from Thousand Shades of Blue Sound Liaison Music Shop Placement is perfect on this young audiophile classic as well as the near perfect natural recording of the voice, but the real test for audio equipment when listening to this recording is it's ability to separate the kickdrum from the upright bass. The two instruments are playing the same pattern. On less than optimum equipment it might be difficult to separate the two, but with good setup you clearly hear the upright at 10.00 and the kick dead center with a nice decay that one generally do not hear on commercial recordings. There are lots of speakers and headphones with ''extended lows'' but low with definition is a whole different ballgame. Hifi; 2 Alban berg Quartet; Bartok String Quartet no.1 in a minor 1th movement. (LP,EMI) in the beginning of this movement the 4 instruments all play mainly in the same middle and upper register. Despite all that mid and high information the music should not sound harsh. This recording has the same perfect sound stage as the Carmen Gomes recording. We believe that this kind of sound stage with such a sense of depth and realistic placement is only attainable when you are recording the musicians in one room at the same time. Amazone Intelligible representation 3. Frank Sinatra; ''What's New'' from Only the Lonely. Frank is maybe a bit too prominent represented but one should still be able to notice all the different lines played by the various instruments in this incredible Nelson Riddle arrangement. 4. Me'Shell Ndegéocello; ''Levictus:Faggot'' from Peace beyond Passion. Here we have the opposite, the voice is a bit too soft in this optimum funk piece yet you should still be able to hear every word. easily optainable http://www.amazon.com Depth and Space When talking about depth and space we had to include a couple of Reference Recordings tracks. This label has allways done justice to it's name and consistently produced recordings of very high quality. 5. The Concord Chamber Music Society;''Danza del Soul'' from Brubeck and Gandolfi works. 6. Doug Macleod '' the Night of the Devils Road'' from There's a Time here you have two completely different pieces of music, one by The Concord Chamber Music Society and one by blues legend Doug Macleod accompanied only by guitar and kick drum. But the depth and the space of these two recordings is simply outstanding. Enjoy the music.com; Audiophilia; Reference Recordings Complete Audiophile Classical Music Orchestra and Jazz HDCD Catalog 7. Andre Heuvelman; ''Oblivion'' from After Silence 8. Joni Mitchell; ''Comes Love'' from Both Sides Now Andre Heuvelman's rendition of Astor Piazzolla's master piece have a great sense of depth. Every instrument sounds rich and full with a gorgeus natural decay. On lesser equipment the sound of each instrument can become a bit of a blur while on good equipment the sound of each instrument should be clearly defined with a clear sense of the room this recording have been recorded in. Same goes for Joni's wonderfull standards collection, it is a big hall you are listening to. Sound Stage on the Sound Liaison recordings; Sound Liaison Music Shop Both Sides Now won a Separation 9. Miles Davis; ''Stella by Starlight'' from the Complete 1964 Concert 10. John Scofield; ''Just Don't Wan't to be Lonely'' from Uberjam Deux we use these recordings to check for spill between left and right channel. The Miles recording was done on a 3 track tape machine and therefore there is this very wide sound stage and separation between the instruments; piano complete left, horns and bass dead center, drums completely right. drummer Tony Williams sometimes does not play at all and on those moments all one should hear on the right channel of the piano is a faint echo. All Music; John Scofiel's cover of the old Main Ingredient hit has a complete left right separation. The organ is audible on the left channel only and the rhythm guitar is on the right. The separation is so extreme that if you were to disconnect the right channel you would not hear any rhythm guitar at all, just like on the early Beatles stereo LP's. Jazztimes; Imaging 11. Trevor Pinnock; Mahler symphony no. 4 this delicate chamber orchestra arrangement of the great Mahler Symphony is a real beauty. the all music review said; Linn Records - Mahler: Symphonie No. 4 12. Iona Brown and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra;''the Spring'' from Grieg two Elegiac Melodies. the Grammaphone review puts it well; http://http://www.naimlabel.com/recording-grieg--tippett--beethoven.aspx Batik; '' The Bird'' from the Old Man and the Sea just about perfect imaging, left to right evenly laid out for your eyes and ears to see, piano, bass, drums, guitar and again a one room recording. Unbelieveable why sofew companies do this when it can yield so very satisfactory results. http://http://www.soundliaison.com/ Audio Stream; John Scofield;'' Never Turn Back'' from Piety Street the drum intro has a small imperfection, there is a soft ringing sound on the left channel probably coused by a sympathic resonance in the drum set or in the room. The moment the organ enters it kind of cover up the problem, although if you really listen for it you can hear it through out the track. Wonderful old fashioned sound stage. All Music;
  3. View Classified Focal Arche headphones Amp Used Focal Arche headphones Amp. Comes with the Stand and Outer shipping box. everything works and it is in a good condition. Payment Via PayPal or WiseTransfer - Fees included in the price Shipping - Via DHL or FEDEX express also included in the price Direct contact via WhatsApp +972-54-9333389 Seller Jacob Date 07/05/22 Price 1,300.00 USD Category Digital to Analog Converters  
  4. View Classified FOCAL ARCHE headphones Amp Used Focal Arche headphones Amp. Comes with the Stand and Outer shipping box. everything works and it is in a good condition. Payment Via PayPal or WiseTransfer - Fees included in the price Shipping - Via DHL or FEDEX express also included in the price Direct contact via WhatsApp +972-54-9333389 Seller Jacob Date 07/05/22 Price 1,300.00 USD Category Headphones  
  5. If I use good quality equipment, like a good dac, a good amp and speakers (with good measurements) and a good acoustic treatment, do I really need a power conditioner or power regenerator? will I get sonic benefits? Don't good devices already have great filtering for noise or pollution that degrades the sound? Basically I don't know if I plug everything straight into the socket or use some ''filter''. I think this question is valid and I think that many have it too, since spending money testing each product is not at all viable for me. I've been researching recently about power conditioner, power filter and etc, I always think about not very expensive solutions to improve the quality of my setup or at least have stable power without much noise. When reading in other forums and reading reviews, it seems encouraging, but it is very relative and depends on the setup of each one. I see that the question is not as simple as saying whether ''need'' (or not) from the moment you identify ''a problem'' as noise, hum or audible ground loop in the sound, often the noise may not be very noticeable and we think everything is ok (with degraded sound quality), until we test a product like that. Everything gets more confusing when we see that it's not enough just to buy a suitable power conditioner and ok, certain products alter the sound and can compress soundstage, bass or harm the treble, because the power is cut a little, the solution for this they say it's the ones' 'power regenerators'', but which are too expensive.
  6. Hey, (sory for the poor english hope u understand) I am a gamer and i also l listen a lot to youtube.. I realy want to spend money on a good headphone and i found out the hd600 is a realy good headphone, but just if u give him a good amp or dac. I dont know much on this topic. Do i realy need dac for games and youtube? Can u recommend for a good amp / dac. i can't spend more than 300$ for this. And also the black friday is soon and probabaly will be a sale for these right?
  7. Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere, but my question is fairly simple. Here is my setup: - iMac 27" 5K 2015 with mostly lossless music (ALAC) on iTunes/Audirvana; - Marantz HD-DAC1 DAC; - Denon DRA-F109 amp/receiver (connected to B&W stereo speakers and Planar turntable). I am about to purchase new (most probably open back) headphones, probably the Beyerdynamic DT-1990, or the closed back B&W P9. I could not find the exact answer on Google, so here it is: WHERE should I plug my wired headphones, particularly if they are of high impedance? To the DAC directly, or to the Denon amp? So far I have used them directly with the DAC, but realize that this may not be very convenient, as the amp is the end device for all other outputs... Tks!
  8. AURALiC Polaris Wireless Streaming Amplifier ($3799) “POLARIS defines the AURALiC brand: innovative technology, great sound, superb user experience, and excellent value. It is a wireless streamer, a music server, a DAC, a pre-amplifier and a stereo power amplifier – the ultimate solution for music lovers seeking high quality streaming from a single, compact audio component” The POLARIS offers seventeen inputs channels comprising streaming, digital and analog sources. The internal DAC, incorporating AURALiC Flexible Filters and Femto Master Clock, supports Quad-Rate DSDand PCM up to 32Bit/384K. The powerful internal stereo amplifier module can deliver 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 180 watts per channel into 4 ohms continuous power with exceptionally low distortion- sufficient for the most demanding loudspeakers. The internal DAC, incorporating AURALiC Flexible Filters and Femto Master Clock, supports Quad-Rate DSD and PCM up to 32Bit/384K. The powerful internal stereo amplifier module can deliver 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 180 watts per channel into 4 ohms continues power with exceptionally low distortion- sufficient for the most demanding loudspeakers. POLARIS utilizes AURALiC’s award-winning Lightning Streaming Platform. Launched in 2014, Lightning Streaming is industry’s first streaming solution that supports Quad-Rate DSD, PCM up to 32Bit/384K through Wi-Fi network. Lightning Streaming offers several innovative and unique features such as Gapless Playback, On-Device Playlist, Memory Cache and Bit-Perfect Multi-Room functions. This on-going platform is maintained, and continually developed by AURALiC’s in-house software R&D team to ensure customers are regularly updated with new features through the product’s automatic software update system. The products streaming function is operated by AURALiC’s Lightning DS control App which is at the heart of all the companies streaming products and available on iOS platforms, with Mac and Windows versions in development. It is also compatible with other third-party OpenHome or UPnP control software for playback and also works as a RoonReady endpoint to use with Roon software, bringing you an alternative way in which to discover and listen to music. AURALiC is introducing another innovative technology: Hybrid Volume Control for POLARIS. The Hybrid Volume Control uses both analog and digital volume control together for optimum audio performance and the best possible sound quality. The analog attenuators reduce the signal level in 12dB steps whilst the DAC's internal digital volume control handles small amounts of volume change within each step. By using this technology, the DAC chip always operates in the best performance range, bringing much lower distortion, better dynamic range and high sound quality at low volume levels. POLARIS is equipped with two pairs of multi-function RCA connectors - these two stereo pairs of analog channels can be configured as a phono stage input, a line stage input or pre-amplifier output through the product settings menu. Digital inputs include AES/EBU, Coaxial, Toslink and a USB connection to a computer working as a standalone USB DAC. When purchasing POLARIS, you can specify a 1TB SSD for internal music storage as an option at extra cost, turning POLARIS into a fully functioning Music Server. To purchase, arrange for a home trial or for more info click here
  9. No, not Nelson Pass (!) But I thought this was an interesting article... https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/power-amplifiers-the-importance-of-the-first-watt
  10. I hope this is the right section to ask this. If not please move to correct section. OK my current setup is my desktop PC-->JDS O2/ODAC-->Fiio A1-->Andrew Jones Pioneers I want to replace the A1 with something a little more powerful (25-50w ch.). Currently the A1 is about 14w ch. It sounds great and no issues with it whatsoever. (BTW, apparently Fiio reused the model name A1 for a small headphone amp. The A1 I am talking about is a discontinued speaker amp) Decided to pick up a Dayton Audio DTA-120 on sale ($78) and try it out. Sounded awesome, seemed a little clearer and great separation. Problem is I sometimes listen at low volumes at my desk and I am experiencing channel imbalance. Driving me nuts. So looking for an amp with a similar foot print to these 2, and has RCA inputs and speaker terminals. I just want an amp, no integrated DAC. $200 or less. Thanks.
  11. Here's what I currently have: A pair of wireless Audioengine A5+ powered speakers with an Airport Express that I stream my iTunes library to from my MacBook Pro via Airfoil, which also lets me play to my old Yamaha stereo system with two wired speakers through our Sony TV/Apple TV at the same time - giving me four speakers in our main living space. We also have a Denon turntable hooked up to the stereo. It, and the TV/BlueRay/Apple TV play through the stereo to the two wired speakers only. Here's what I want: The stereo is old and I'd like to replace it with a new amp and a decent pair of speakers - something as good as the A5+s. I want to be able to play everything through all four speakers - iTunes/Spotify and anything else on my Mac, as well as the turntable and TV/Apple TV. What do I buy? A new amp (suggestions for amps under $600) with a bluetooth adapter (suggestions?) to send to the A5+s, and a new set of passive speakers (maybe the Audioengine P4s?). Or do I even need an amp? Can I buy another set of A5+s and is there some kind of hub that will take all the inputs and then output to the wireless speakers, which have built-in amps? Does such a thing exist? I'm also considering setting up an older MacBook Pro as a music server, and it could be physically or wirelessly attached to any/all of the above. Also, should I add in a DAC for better sound? Thanks for your help.
  12. I've been looking around for about 2 months and I've come up with some good suggestions to what I could get, but I'm not completely sure yet ofc. Idk if it affects anything but i mostly game when using headphones I've been looking at the AT2020 for the microphone (XLR version), and maybe the Scarlett 2i2 with it. Then I've looked at many headphones and can't come up with anything, i know i like some bass (but that is also the only I've ever heard from headphones other than cheap earplugs) PS. I dont have a specific budget, and if you have any other suggestions please let me know.
  13. I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-AD700X with an impedence of 38 ohms. I currently have them plugged in to my PC with a SoundblasterX G5 soundcard. Lowgain on the soundcard is rated 32-150Ohm and high gain is 150-600Ohm. Of course I generally run on low, but if I hear a song I really like I occasionally wanna turn it on high to listen to max volume. Is there *really* any long term issues I can run into by doing this? (Completely new to higher quality audio) I'd appreciate any input. Thanks.
  14. Hello I am a complete newbie to the HiFi world. I am planning on getting a pair of T50RP MkIII and Mod them if I didn't like how they sounded as stock. I have watched and read a lot of reviews and most people say they are extremely hard to drive and need a good amp/dac to sound good. and then read some people being able to drive it with Fiio E10k. I know the differences between amps and dacs but am not quite sure what do I need to power these sufficiently on a PC and maybe on long flights played though a phone and if there is an option for such need. My budget is £50-£100 I have looked at some of the Fiio products and they seem reasonably priced for the hardware but not sure if I need an AMP/DAC combo or just an AMP.
  15. I want a pair of open back headphones to supplement my ATH-M40x's for mixing electronic music. I wanted a second pair with a really wide soundstage and a different sound from the M40s and, after some research, landed on either the K701s or the HE-400is. Whichever pair I get, I'd also like to buy a cheap headphone amp and landed on the E1, but I'm open for suggestions on a different cheap amp. Which pair do you guys think is better?
  16. I am considering the purchase of a DAP that can function as a DAC/AMP as well. In other words, I would like to use this as a portable source to drive my Etymotics ER4XR iems *AND* as a DAC/AMP source to connect to my NAD C370 amplifier (connected to my B&W 602 S3 speakers). So far I have found this one, the TEAC HA-P90SD. Its price tag is around 470$. Ideally, my budget would be 400-500$, more towards 400$ than to 500$. So what other DAPs that are DAC/AMP at the same time are regarded as the best in terms of sound quality here in 2018?
  17. I am planning to again start using my B&W DM603 S3s (old, I know, but I have always enjoyed them). My Rotel finally bit the dust after many years of service. I am starting to do my own research, but thought I would see if anyone has a suggestion for a capable, but good-value-for-money amp to use with these speakers. I really don't know anything about amps/receivers. Here are the specs from an old Stereophile review B&W DM603 S3 loudspeaker | Stereophile.com: Description: "2½"-way vented-box loudspeaker. Drive-units: 1" (25mm) aluminum-dome tweeter, 6.5" (165mm) woven-Kevlar cone bass/midrange, 6.5" (165mm) aluminum-cone woofer. Crossover frequencies: 150Hz, 4kHz. Frequency response: 44Hz–22kHz, ±3dB on reference axis. Frequency range: –6dB at 34Hz and 42kHz. Dispersion within 2dB of response on reference axis: over 40° arc horizontal, over 10° arc vertical. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m. Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 3 ohms minimum. Power handling: 25–150W into 8 ohms on unclipped program. Harmonic distortion: second and third harmonics, <1%, 55Hz–20kHz (90dB SPL, 1m). Maximum recommended cable impedance: 0.1 ohm. Thanks!
  18. I've not seen much written about this DAC/AMP here or on Head-Fi, but I wanted a portable to stack with my DAP and to run balanced output to my 64 Audio A6, that would also serve me well as a USB DAC for PC. I took a leap of faith on this unit, bought from Moon Audio, and thus far pleasantly surprised by it's quality. The unboxing and ergonomics are nothing special, rather plain and uncluttered in appearance: That said, implemented thus far as a USB DAC from PC (still waiting for proper interconnect to stack w/my DAP using the KEB-03 Toslink input) I am impressed with it's sound signature. Using the 2.5 mm TRRS, AK-type plug on my IEM's, the balanced output achieves wonderful, wide soundstage, although depth and height are less impressive. Layering, instrument placement and separation are also strong points. I do feel it lacks some of the detail retrieval of my iDSD Micro., and whereas the Micro. brought out the lower frequencies in my A6, KEB-03 synergy with these IEM's provides a more neutral frequency response overall. The iDSD / A6 combo. has visceral, impactful bass but bleeds sometimes into mids. With KEB-O3 I hear a bit cleaner, grain-free and more forward mids (vocals sound terrific) and greater top end sparkle. The Micro. doesn't have balanced out put, so this may account for the soundstage / separation difference in part, but the overall signatures sound different beyond that as described. Both have Sabre DAC's, which I sometimes find a little sterile, but as implemented in the KEB-O3 signature is overall more balanced across the frequencies, quite musical, and less "digital" sounding than I sometimes perceive with the iFi Micro. I'm not very well-acquainted with "tube" sound but from the auditioning I did last month at CanJam SoCal. of the Woo Audio and other products, the KEB-O3 sounds more "tube-like" to me than the Micro. and suits most of my material well. I listen to a lot of classical piano, and the sound is nicely balanced, engaging across the frequencies but never shrill or strident. For classic rock or acoustic jazz featuring standup string bass, I do miss the low end "punch" the Micro. coaxes out of my A6 that the the KEB-03 can't quite replicate. Overall, I'd conclude that the KEB-03 offers great value for a moderate price, and strengths are the balanced output producing wonderful soundstage and instrument separation. Weaknesses are that it falls short in detail retrieval and bass impact, and I would add that it is not a powerhouse (balanced output is 131mW/channel @22 ohm load) and may be best suited for IEM's or low impedance / high-sensitivity cans. Lastly, a question: The manual (here) indicates it can decode native dsd via USB but I can only get it to do DoP in Foobar. I have foo_dsd-ASIO installed, works fine with iDSD Micro. The manual appears to be translated from Japanese so I may be misreading it (it could be indicating that native DSD is implemented for Android USB OTG), or perhaps I have Foobar configured incorrectly. Any help would be appreciated.
  19. Hi, I'm a Linux nerd, new to CA and just getting my Audiophile feet wet. I have a project in mind and could use some pointers, I have many questions. I've gone thru the FAQ. What I'd like to know is, do people have strong opinions on the following? I'm looking for an ideal setup. Options for a PC platform in a DIY solution: Raspberry Pi B+ (w/Raspbian OS) and the I2S-based HiFiBerry DAC+ (RCA version) Intel NUC and *some Linux audio OS and **some DAC BeagleBone Black and **some DAC I like the RPi version b/c the RPi is: ubiquitous cheap reliable familiar to me (i have several) *Linux Audio-ish OSs AudioPhile Linux Daphile (x86_32/64 only) VortexBox (Fedora-based) any experience w/these OSs? Here, I would lean towards VortexBox only b/c I'm used to RH products. ** I'm at a loss as to which DAC to use Or do I go for a COTS/turnkey solution? For all-in-one solutions: VortexBox Appliance Totaldac d1-server (yeah, right...cha-ching!) SOtM sMS-100 The DIY is more attractive to me b/c I foresee much customization in the future. E.g., being able to autorip CDs when you insert them would be nice. Uploading media from hand-held devices would also be good. I imagine lots of 3rd party plug-ins would come into play, too. However, if there is a COTS product out there that fits the bill, then I'd be interested in looking at it. Also, for the audio power amplifier...any suggestions? Anything wrong with the Pyle PTA1000 1000W Professional Power Amplifier? Also, should I care a *lot* about S/PDIF vs AES/EBU? Another question: if I'm using a DAC, will I not be taking proper advantage of it if most of my music files are lossy (low bit rate MP3s)? One other thing to mention, this setup would not require cloud/internet radio connectivity. Again, I want decent SQ, nothing insane.
  20. Hey everyone, I'm pretty new to the entire audio field. I recently decided that I was interested in music professionally and am now pursuing training in the audio engineering field through an intensive class. I've enrolled to start in the next two months, so I'm just using my time now to buy all of my needed equipment (payed for graciously by a small-medium sized trust appointed for school purposes). I purchased a MacBook Pro, Pro Tools + Mbox combo, and am about to purchase a set of Shure (1540) headphones. I've also read as much as I could about impedance, and I realize now that I need to get a headphone amplifier as well. My question, however, is about whether or not I need to purchase some sort of a DAC. I've searched as much as I can and I've seen some threads quoting 'Headphone amp or DAC', and then on the opposite side I've also seen a lot of people talk about using an amp with a DAC. My question is, do I need one? Is there some kind of connector that comes with an amp that connects from the amp to my output (computer, interface, etc.), or is that where I need a DAC? Basically, can I buy an amp as a standalone and be okay? Thank you guys so much for all of your input, sorry if I posted this in the wrong thread.
  21. I've been researching for a solid week and I've been finding a lot of conflicting information and need some help. I've been reading and some people say that as long as you dont hear any background noise from PC interference and your volumes are loud enough, you will not benefit from a DAC+Amp. Anything Above $2 Buys More Features, Not Better Quality - What Does It Take To Turn The PC Into A Hi-Fi Audio Platform? NwAvGuy: Headphone Amps/DACs Explained Right now I'm using my PC (Realtek ALC889 codec) to play FLAC files through my modded Fostex T50RP headphones and they sound great. The volume at 60% is comfortable to listen to for hours and these headphones are just the best headphones I've ever heard. There is no static or hissing that I can hear either. Since I've never listened to a high end pair of headphones through a DAC+Amp, I want to know if I can improve on the sound that I'm currently getting with my setup. So with my listening experience now (clear audio + comfortable volume @ 60% max volume) will I perceive any noticeable changes in sound if I buy a DAC + Amp? Will I hear things or experience sound differently so that I'd call the DAC+Amp a necessary upgrade? Thanks PS I was looking into the O2/ODAC if that matters
  22. I'm pretty new to this type of thing so am looking for a few different viewpoints to help me out. I currently own a pair of Sennheiser on-ear momentums, and may look to upgrade slightly in the future. I'm relatively happy with the sound given by my laptop and ipod but wouldn't mind improving the clarity and adding some punch to the bass if this is possible. Would prefer a portable DAC that I could use without my laptop as a power source. I Have had a look at a few FiiO products specifically the e17 but I'm interested in whatever you have to say. The price range I'm looking at is <£150, preferably around the £100 mark but lower is fine too. Thanks in advance James
  23. My current PC is not talking to my amp. I have the correct USB driver and programming installed. I posted a question about it in the 'software' section, if you think you might have a suggestion. I am wondering: should I not get this computer to work, I am going to buy a computer with Windows 7. Do different computers work better than others for streaming music through a USB into an amp? Are there computers that have this activity specifically in mind? Thank in advance
  24. I am thinking about small scale mini system which will be based on mac mini + DSD DAC which I already have. I can add small Sonus Faber Toy speakers which I can get on affordable price. My question is: what is the good way to fill the missing link between DAC and speakers? Is it possible to get a nice sounding amp here for a budget within $700? I am looking for neutral, delicate and natural sound, and my preferences in music are mostly classical (piano, string quartets, chamber and opera) and acoustic jazz. Most of the time I listen music on low to mid volumes. Any ideas will be appreciated. Thank you.
  25. The iDAC2 – spilling the secret sauce (part 1) The iDAC2’s musicality has wooed – most recently the iDAC2 + iPurifier2 + Pro iCAN at the Fujiya AVIC Headphone Festival in Tokyo where the market is probably the most demanding on the planet. Source: iFi Retro Stereo 50 + iPurifier2 at Fujiya Avic 2015 | DAR__KO The Pro iCAN was one of the show ‘best sound winners’ so the small but mighty iDAC2 + iPurifier 2 combo deserve some credit for producing the digital-to-analogue conversion to feed the Pro iCAN. At the show, the quite technically proficient Japanese press asked us on more than one occasion why the recently-launched iDAC2 sounded so nice. And this is a press pack that has turntables in heavy rotation so they know their onions. This gave us the idea to put finger to keyboard. Source: 【候補多すぎ】ヘッドフォンç¥*アワード2015秋は週末までに公開致します! | 目福耳福 Fujiya Avic BLOG Bake-Off: the iFi recipe behind a really good DAC The following are our thoughts only. The application of the parts budget as common industry practice is similar to what we did in the iFi iDSD nano which is more indicative of <US$1,000 DACs. Often a very large part of the budget is needed for the digital platform (after all, we need a DAC Chip that headlines and a good USB processor). Power supplies and analogue stages receive the remaining budget. Hence, the three key cost areas in the electronics of a digital-to-analogue converter: Digital section cost - is much the same across the board, chipsets/clocks vary but slightly and software is usually ‘off the shelf’ like the XMOS firmware and off the shelf DAC Chips of usually comparable cost. In a USB DAC the USB Processor is usually the biggest ticket item before the DAC. Clocks and their power supplies often cost as much as a DAC Chip. Analogue section cost – from a simple double Op-Amp for 20 cent to things done much more extensively cost varies. The iDAC2 has BB Soundplus integrated amplifier and a discrete JFet and BJT Class A output stage. Further it employs C0G Capacitors and MELF Resistors for all signal positions, all this adds cost. Power supply section cost – Often USB DACs have minimal power supply arrangements with generic 3-pin regulators. If done more extensively, then the cost is higher eg iDAC2 uses ELNA Silmic Capacitors and Active Noise Cancellation® to eliminate the USB power noise. iDAC2 is no piece of cake Things are different in the iDAC 2: we started with a larger budget, we could have spent it in a number of ways, like more DAC Chips or different ‘fashionable’ DAC Chips or fancy clocks. Instead we chose to put the extra budget where it impacts most, namely analogue stages and power supplies. The iDAC2 has a similar cost digital section as with other DACs out there (and to our iDSD nano) but its analogue and power sections are more extensive hence its overall cost is greater so its pie chart area is larger. The proof is in the listening. Next time: Part 2. The Digital section
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