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New Portable Amp/Dac: iBasso D1 **with updates on the first page** - Page 71

post #1051 of 2626
I was thinking about ordering the iBasso D1 for the Beyerdynamic DT770/80 headphones. Does anybody have any experience with listening to this combo? I am not particularly picky about the sound quality, as long as it doesn't sound horrendous. I thought this would be a perfect entry level buy because I don't have a DAC or amp yet.

I'm also wondering by chance if anybody has a Zhalou DAC to compare the iBasso DAC to. If anybody could answer 1 or both of the questions, I would be quite pleased. Just a new head-fi'er trying to attain my first headphone nirvana.

Haile
post #1052 of 2626
i have the same doubt as well
i have zl , but my d1 hvnt arrived....canot do comparison.
post #1053 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post
John is using the 8066 in the LR, not the DAC. The 8066 is a good sounding opamp. It is in my top 5. IMHO, it does not have enough output current for optimum results in the DAC amp.
Wow, I posted my edit that made it clear that I knew we were talking about the DAC almost a full 30 minutes before you posted with my original note quoted.

How'd you manage to fo that?
post #1054 of 2626
The items in red represent my first edit 10/25/07 of this post since I wrote it 6 weeks ago. A lot has changed since then. One - I discovered that with new opamps the stock D1 isn't as good as I thought, but until I heard better I couldn't know that. Two - as the amps burn-in things change. Three - I am discovering the value of a GOOD interconnect cable, and without one (that is as good or better than the internal interconnect between the D1 DAc and AMP) that comparisons may not be accurate when plugging other amps into the DAC.

Okay,

I spent about 2 more hours A/B testing the iBasso at over 275 hours vs my 150 hour Penguin Royal, and 720 hour Tomahawk. I used my E500's and ER6i's with the Sony D-EJ2000, with optical out, line out, and headphone out. I listened to Jazz at the Pawnshop, Tord Gustavson Trio "Being there" and Al Dimeola Chaos. I don't have any lossless DAP files yet, so I didn't use a DAP for this. Here are a few areas where I noticed the most change.

I started with using only the iBasso amp section.

Soundstage: the iBasso sounds the best, the most open, most "realistic" - It was a hair better than the Tomahawk, which was a bit nicer than the Penguin. The Tomahawk was my reference up to this point as far as "how good is the soundstage and imaging and presence on this new amp, or these new headphones."

Bass response: The iBasso finally beats the Tomahawk, and so does the Penguin which has changed a lot in 24 hours so it might not stay there. Yes, "the penguin has grown some balls in the past 24 hours". The D1 is so tight and controlled with details using the E500's, ER6i and HD600's, and yet not overpowering either. Meanwhile, the Penguin was actually a little too much on some material (same caps as the Hornet non-M so it needs 250 more hours), and the Tomahawk remained powerful but more neutral/still adequate. The Penguin did indeed level out, and after 350 hours had very good bass without being too much. The Tomahawk just needed a good ALO Jumbo Cryo X Silver LOD to produce awsome bass, but I don't have a high quality interconnect with 3.5mm connector on each end - will try to get one later.

Upper mids: As I've posted before, the ER6i with pianos have been piercing or painful to me with certain recordings. The CMoy bass boost seemed to tame a bit of that early on, vs the other amps, while adding in some of the missing bass. The piercing improved over time, seeming like burn-in was helping them. But. the iBasso and Penguin are less harsh with the ER6i now, but the Tomahawk doesn't seem to like these earphones. NOTE: when I first switched to DAC optical input from EJ2000 pcdp I almost thought the ER6i grew another woofer! The D1 really makes these tiny ER6i a keeper. The E500 and HD600 seem to like the D1 just as much.

Highs: Cymbals seem to "float" in the air better than the Penguin, and just as well as with the Tomahawk. I don't have any issues or problems with sibalance (sp?). The edge to brass instruments in classical, and strings when the bow drags across them are just right, they sound like they can "cut but not hack at you". Don't know how else to describe this. Interestingly, the E500 with supposedly "rolled off highs" did better with this than the HD600's with 250 hours on them.It appears there is indeed a synergy between the stock opamps and the SE500's, that is not there with the HD600. With different opamps OPA2111/AD8397, the HD600 clearly benefit from the improved sound signature, while not hurting the sound with the SE500's.

LINE-OUT to AMP VS Optical to DAC: WOW!! Okay, I did all the above with just the amp sections, and I used headphone out and line-out. While I have previously been happy with headphone out, it was clear that the line out was better than headphone out. I don't think I could hear a difference in the ALO cryodock line out vs ZY cable line out dock, but I didn't really try. But, I came out of this thinking I won't want to go back to headphone out with line out that much better.

Switching over to optical going into the D1 was, well I wont say eargasm, but eye opening (eyegasm). It was very clear to me that listening through the optical/D1 that I could REALLY forget that I was listening to earphones and be right there in the music. It was so engaging, and real, and spacious, and "LIVE".

Going back to line-out to amp (ipod or cd player) sounded more like I was listening to a really really good recording of live music. I've used this comparison before in my CMoy head to head battle review, but this is a whole new order of magnitude. Now when I think back, it was like "the better amp made it sound less like it was done in a studio", but I can't say one made it more real than another - none of them does that with the sources that I have at hand. Switching to the iBasso's DAC takes it that other direction. I felt like I was actually there listening to the musicians. Okay, so now when I get something nicer than this, where will I go from here in the new description? I'll have to say, "Well, now that I think about it, the E500 with D1 and Sony pcdp optical out wasn't that "real"... NOT.

ALL the amps improved with the D1's DAC, but the D1 still comes out on top of the Tomahawk and Penguin Amp. I believe this was due to the inferior $5 and $10 interconnects that I was using to connect the other amps to the DAC, as opposed to the superior "internal" interconnect inside the D1. A better cable is clearly showing the superiority of the Tomahawk and Penguin amp sections to the Stock D1. However, the D1 shines again with upgraded opamps. Now that I have had a chance to listen to the Commercial version of the PenguinAmp Caffeine, called the Headstage Lyrix Pro Total, I can say the Headstage is on top, with the Penguin close by, and the D1 stock amp section below that. The Meier HEADSIX equals the Headstage in every way, but with a more pleasant forward sounding soundstage.

My problem is that I am now spoiled with the sound of a CD to the D1 via optical. I can't carry around a lot of CD's everywhere, but I do now have a stack of my favorite CD's at my bedside - with the Sony CD player and iBasso living next to the bed to supply me with soothing tunes. When my H140 arrives I hope to have more music ripped into it as lossless files, and knowing that it can hold my favorite 50 CDs in lossless is a comfort when I am going out and want to bring it with me.

DE-programing the moonies: After the testing, I had to plug my Senn PX100 into my 8gb nano and listen unamped to de-sensitise myself to such good sound - after about 30 minutes it was more enjoyable again, but now I know it doesn't sound real.

PS: I am also impressed with the Penguin Royal Amp which seems to be maturing nicely and for $89 it was a real steal. The $69 Caffeine seems to improve upon the Royal just slightly in sound, and certainly in features, PLUS the addition of a $29 Headstage external USB DAC, makes them an even better steal. But, for just over $140 more you can have the whole world at your beck and call, women will swoon at your feet, and you will live forever. Okay, maybe I'm exagerating just a little
post #1055 of 2626
Anyone with the D1, can u guys list out what opamp you recommend the most for the D1, and the one you're using right now.
post #1056 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
...I started with using only the iBasso amp section...
Excellent writeup Larry! Can you do us a favor and edit that to list your opamp/buffer chips you were using in the test? I know you've posted it in other messages but it would be good to nail down the config there vs. rereading the massive thread to figure it out. Glad it is agreeing with you and that Penguin sounds promising.
post #1057 of 2626
I think there might be a problem with my D1. There is an LED on the front, which looks like a 'Power On' light, but it never comes on. The only reference to it in the instructions is to say that it flashes when the battery is low, but I haven't got that far yet. Can anyone tell me please whether the light on the front of their unit is on when the unit is switched on?

Thanks.
post #1058 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyL View Post
I think there might be a problem with my D1. There is an LED on the front, which looks like a 'Power On' light, but it never comes on. The only reference to it in the instructions is to say that it flashes when the battery is low, but I haven't got that far yet. Can anyone tell me please whether the light on the front of their unit is on when the unit is switched on?

Thanks.
Hi,

Mine lights up when switched on (a bit too bright really). I was not there when it ran out of juice so can't yet say if mine flashes when it's supposed to.

So far it works as per the spec - fingers crossed I got a good one.


Steve
post #1059 of 2626
What? instruction?
I don't get any manual book at all???
post #1060 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post
I have felt for some time that the DAC of the D1 sounded brighter than I preferred. Some types of music sounded rather shrill in the treble
How could it possibly not sound shrill in the treble when you use AD8397? It is a shrill opamp. It has it's virtues for sure with increadible soundstage and bass slam and a kind of harsh, overly forward, but warm and pleasing mid, but the treble is shrill.
post #1061 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by NelsonVandal View Post
How could it possibly not sound shrill in the treble when you use AD8397? It is a shrill opamp. It has it's virtues for sure with increadible soundstage and bass slam and a kind of harsh, overly forward, but warm and pleasing mid, but the treble is shrill.
The AD8397s in Ron's configuration are employed only in the buffers, so I imagine that the unfavorable characteristics that you describe are mitigated by his using either the OPA2111, LTC6241HV, or AD8066 as the main L-R op-amp.
post #1062 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haile View Post
I was thinking about ordering the iBasso D1 for the Beyerdynamic DT770/80 headphones. Does anybody have any experience with listening to this combo? I am not particularly picky about the sound quality, as long as it doesn't sound horrendous. I thought this would be a perfect entry level buy because I don't have a DAC or amp yet.

Haile
I have been used my still stock D1 with the DT770/80. The sound quality is very good (actually the best I have heard from those phones), and there is plenty of power. I think you will be very happy with that combination.
post #1063 of 2626
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
Tomorrow I am scheduled to receive the replacement D1 from iBasso. For those that do not remember it will replace the one I have had since 9/4 and on which the blue light on the front panel stoped working before the 12 hour mark. Excellent customer service by iBasso.

The funny/sad thing is that the blue ligth started working today on its own. ??? Besides a gremlin, any idea why a light that went out a week ago just started working w/o any work done to it? I mean I feel bad that iBasso spent money to send me a new D1 and the one I have starts working on its own 24 hours before the arrival of its replacement. Thanks.
I received my D1 about a week ago, and I've just noticed that there is a light on the front panel, and it never comes on. Also, when the unit is charging, and I as much as touch the power connector, the light next to it seems to flicker between red (it's normal state under charge) and yellow. Has anyone else seen this?
post #1064 of 2626
Quote:
I received my D1 about a week ago, and I've just noticed that there is a light on the front panel, and it never comes on. Also, when the unit is charging, and I as much as touch the power connector, the light next to it seems to flicker between red (it's normal state under charge) and yellow. Has anyone else seen this?
Yes, I've had a similar problem. The blue led in front is SUPPOSE to be lit when the unit is turned on. It starts blinking when the battery needs to be recharged. The red charge light in back is SUPPOSE to be lit (not blinking) when the unit is charging. Once fully charged the red light SHOULD turn green. From my experience and other comments here there seem to be some issues with the lights and charging circuits on some of the D1s.

iBasso has very good customer support, so if you think you have a problem. Just send them an email.

One question: Is your D1 actually charging?
post #1065 of 2626
Just received shipping confirmation from iBasso on my D1. Hopefully they have sourced some better LEDs by the time mine was made.
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