Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › C&C Box Portable Headphone Amp: not really a compete review.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

C&C Box Portable Headphone Amp: not really a compete review.

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
I received this amp yesterday, well today in the US and many other countries. The case is the same as the LD Micro+ but about 6 or 7mm longer. It comes with a small IC, adapter for 100 to 240, instructions, nice velvet bag and a card identifying who made the amp. It came from the manufacturer here in China and not a reseller.

On first listen the sound was surprisingly good and then it went soft and ill defined, which is normal, at least to me, as all the electrical components settle in and the caps form. After a couple of hours it opened back up and after about 8 hours the bass firmed up and got out of the way of the music. The highs are clean and articulate, the mids are neutral and the bass solid and correct within the frequency range. There is very good transparency and spatial information leading to an open and airy presentation. It drives the HD650's and IEM's equally well with no noted deficiencies.

There are three controls on the back for voice, bass and an increased perception of an expansive stage or recording venue. I don't care for the first two but the last works well, seeming to add a slight reverb, that is not noticed as such, which opens up many recordings and adds to the auditory enjoyment and excitement.

Downside is that I don't care for the build quality very much. It has the same case as the LD M+, which means it has the same type of screws that have no real hole to tap into and two were already loose and ready to fall out. I took off the faceplate and pulled the internals out to have a look around. The batteries are just 4 NiMH, nothing special and the caps, which were supposed to be some good Sanyo type is an inexpensive Nichicon. The board is ok but not of very high quality and could have been cleaned better. If you don't pull the guts out of your amp none of this really matters. The "Alps" pot is maybe one but I can't tell for sure.

As to the sound alluded to up the page, I find nothing lacking. I am disappointed with the build but so what? For 65 or 115 dollars, the prior here in China, you get an amp that should, unless it changes for the worse, compete with anything out there including some home amps or maybe many home amps as it has the "big" feel/sound that you often get with the higher output units for desktop use.

It is your call but I can't see many being unhappy with the sound they get and frankly the aural fantasies we all like to embrace may well be satisfied at least until the next outing of another newcomer.

One additional note: At this time, which very little time has been allowed for break-in/burn-in, the bass has a bit of emphasis. Experience has taught me that this normally clears up with 100 or more hours of use. If not then I will report back on this but at this time it is my only caveat, besides the build of the unit but I am more picky than many.

Recharge time: about 3 hours after an initial 4-5 hours though mine took about 30 minutes with the “on” light extinguishing if the unit is off after full charge and changing to a green from slightly amber if on.

Gain: set gain but I don’t know what it is set at.

Finish of mine: Black with front and back plates silkscreened.
post #2 of 104
Thanks for the excellent preview, jamato8. Can you give any indication at this point how it generally compares to the LDMT in terms of sound?
post #3 of 104
I asked about the gain and the response I got was 4.7.
post #4 of 104
Thread Starter 
At this time the LD Micro Tube has more of everything but it is mostly burnt in with over 400 hours of use and the C&C has not even 24 hours. What I heard at first on the C&C is what I often hear after burn-in, very good in all aspects but what I find is that once the electrons start flowing things settle, form and generally change and revert to what was first heard. This is not always the case but i have found it true about 90 percent of the time.

As noted there is a small emphasis of bass with the C&C, which was not there in the beginning and I hope not built into the curve. With IEM's the amp rocks.
post #5 of 104
I've had one of these for about 10 days and it has between 150 and 200 hours on it now. I agree with Jamato8 in general about his observations. The bass on this amp is big and at times I thought it was a bit too overpowering, but as I listen to it right now (I haven't picked it up in about 48 hours, it's been playing continuosly that whole time) it seems to have settled down to a more balanced state, but it is producing among the most powerful bass responses of any portable amp I have ever heard. Also, this amp is very, very smooth. The mids and highs are very liquid , and grain free. This was true right out of the box. They also drive full size cans very well, and didn't seem as bass heavy with K 701s or HD 600s, which sounded really excellent with them (and I am someone who usually prefers IEMs out of portable amps and not full size headphones). Anyway I think this is a high quality product.
post #6 of 104
vorlon1,

How does the C&C Box compare to your Headfive, preferably with your Senn HD600's? Thanks
post #7 of 104
I don't have the Headfive hooked up right now, so I will get back to you. From memory, I can tell you the C & C is a little darker sounding, but very liquid and smooth, not a "bad" kind of dark. I'll hook up the headfive and get back to you. Any particlar type of music you want me to use for the comparison?
post #8 of 104
Thread Starter 
I agree about the big sound. It is more like a home amp than a portable. Also the bass is starting to settle in already and becoming more of the music and not calling attention, which is a very good thing. Amps have realllly come a long way.
post #9 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by vorlon1 View Post
I don't have the Headfive hooked up right now, so I will get back to you. From memory, I can tell you the C & C is a little darker sounding, but very liquid and smooth, not a "bad" kind of dark. I'll hook up the headfive and get back to you. Any particlar type of music you want me to use for the comparison?
That would be great! A variety of classical may be best. No rush, but I REALLY will be looking forward to your comparison. Thanks
post #10 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post
vorlon1,

How does the C&C Box compare to your Headfive, preferably with your Senn HD600's? Thanks
Using the same source and interconnect with the HD 600s the Headfive was a bit warmer sounding, with a sweeter high end and a slighlty larger soundstage. The C & C was more detailed and not quite as smooth in the highs, but had a nice open and airy soundstage. Still quite good for a small portable amp, but if I had to pick one for HD 600 use it would be the Headfive.

One consideration. This is with an after market cable that really brings out detail and and the high end more than the stock cable. WIth the stock cable reinstalled the C & C sounds a bit warmer and more pleasant, although the detail is still quite good, but not as "etched" as it sounds with the recable. The Headfive sounds a bit more "plump" with the stock cable, and not as smooth in the highs. Strangely enough, with the stock cable, I prefer the sound of the C & C Box. Go figure.
post #11 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by vorlon1 View Post
Using the same source and interconnect with the HD 600s the Headfive was a bit warmer sounding, with a sweeter high end and a slighlty larger soundstage. The C & C was more detailed and not quite as smooth in the highs, but had a nice open and airy soundstage. Still quite good for a small portable amp, but if I had to pick one for HD 600 use it would be the Headfive.

One consideration. This is with an after market cable that really brings out detail and and the high end more than the stock cable. WIth the stock cable reinstalled the C & C sounds a bit warmer and more pleasant, although the detail is still quite good, but not as "etched" as it sounds with the recable. The Headfive sounds a bit more "plump" with the stock cable, and not as smooth in the highs. Strangely enough, with the stock cable, I prefer the sound of the C & C Box. Go figure.
Excellent comparison. This is much as I suspected the differences might be (and why I bought each of these amps). I will be using HD580's with a HD650 stock cable and a Headfive for a couple weeks until I get my C&C Box. It will be interesting to see if I too prefer the C&C Box. Thank you very much, vorlon1.
post #12 of 104
You're quite welcome.
post #13 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
the caps, which were supposed to be some good Sanyo type is an inexpensive Nichicon.
This is curious... do you feel misled?
What type of Nichicon, not a Muse?

In any case, aside from the possible deception, I wouldn't have a problem with Nichicon caps, as they in general, seem pretty highly regarded as reliable long term... unlike some (even cheaper) varieties.

This is a very good preliminary review, and I'm looking forward to further impressions. I hope that the unit I have ordered will perform equally well. I'll be sure to inspect ze innards when it arrives.
post #14 of 104
Thread Starter 
I did ask if it was a Sanyo before i bought and was told yes, so i do feel misled but time will tell if the cap settles in as a power supply cap that isn't top notch can add grit and poor performance, as we all know. It is the smallest 6.3v 1000uf cap I have seen.

The best determination will be after a full burn-in of 200 to 300 hours. I don't care if some don't believe in settling in of caps and other components or not. I have heard it over the years and keep around well seasoned amps to use as controls and for me and some others, it is real. Anyway, I will post as I hear changes.
post #15 of 104
I agree that burn-in of devices such as these does have an effect. I wouldn't be too inclined to believe an interconnect or power cable would have any audible effects after burning in. But with an amplifier, theres good logic behind why this phenomenon exists.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › C&C Box Portable Headphone Amp: not really a compete review.