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REVIEW: PenguinAmp Caffeine portable headphone amp w/BASS BOOST - Aka HEADSTAGE LYRIX - Page 4

post #46 of 138
Thread Starter 
I've ordered 3 items, and it never took more than 2 days for confirmation, and it would take another 1-2 weeks to arrive in the USA.
post #47 of 138
Thread Starter 
All the old links broke after the great head-fi crash of 2007

Here is the new REVIEW LINK

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/re...ml#post3398212
post #48 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I've ordered 3 items, and it never took more than 2 days for confirmation, and it would take another 1-2 weeks to arrive in the USA.
Waiting since december 15th now...no idea where the thing is

(BTW the guy who makes these lives 500km away from me...)
post #49 of 138
Thread Starter 
I went and looked at my records - my PenguinAmp Royal too 14 days, my Caffeine took 17 days, and my Lyrix took 7 days after the 2 day notice of shipping.
post #50 of 138
Received it today. So that's 19 days, but whatever, it sounds great

I use it with a Senn HD485 and by far the greatest improvement is that it 'tightens up' the bass, it removes 99% of the 'flubbyness' of the bass, which is AFAIK the biggest problem with the HD485.

Also I'm very happy with the fact my amp has 0% fat
post #51 of 138
Thread Starter 
I'm glad you like it. Like I said before, I liked it right out of the box, and it just got better from there.

And, it will improve with age. Without going back to read the review, I think it was around 70+ hours that the sound stage opened up even more and it got even smoother and more refined.
post #52 of 138
I'm looking into getting the Caffeine Ultra Pro. Is there any difference between that and Biosciencegeek's CMOYs?
post #53 of 138
Thread Starter 
No idea.
post #54 of 138
Your review was very helpful. In your opinion, is the Penguin Caffeine the best amp under $100 for the HD580/600?
post #55 of 138
Thread Starter 
I think so, but I haven't heard that many under $100 amps (Caffeine, Royal, JSEABER, Boostaroo). The fact that it holds it's own vs a $290 RSA Tomahawk says a lot.

To beat the sound of the Caffeine at $69 shipped, among those that I've listened to, you'd have to spend at least $120 shipped for a Lyrix Total (no bass boost), or $140 shipped iBasso P2 (bass boost), $160 for Lyrix Total Pro (bass boost) or $165 shipped for Headsix (no bass boost). The Total option for Lyrix has internal upgrades that improve sound, otherwise the Lyrix would be like a Caffeine.

If I could only have one of these, I'd be happy with any of them sound wise.
post #56 of 138
Ok. Thanks
post #57 of 138
Does anybody know what the performance difference is between the new $49 bare-bones Caffeine and the old $69 Caffeine Ultra? The boards sure look different, and the caps are much smaller on the new version.
post #58 of 138
HeadphoneAddict, I see that you use the Macbook as a source. How would you connect the Macbook to the Caffeine Ultra amp? I believe the headphone out also acts as an optical out - is this what is referred to as a line out? What type of cable do I need? Do I need a DAC as well? I want to keep the setup as simple as possible so if there is a way other than using the headphone out to go straight from the Macbook to the amp, then that would be best.
post #59 of 138
Thread Starter 
The optical out needs a DAC to go into. Otherwise the jack works as a headphone out, not line out, and suffers the distortions of the laptop's headphone opamps and caps and resistors in the signal path. An optical input DAC will be more bulky than you want, but will give the best sound. However, a USB DAC comes close enough that the convenience can outweigh the difference in sound.

If I use my Caffeine or any other other amp with my Macbook, I often use the Headstage USB DAC cable, due to convenience. It is basically a $39 cable with a USB plug on one end, a hump in the middle that is a 5v 16-bit USB DAC running entirely off the USB power, and a 3.5mm mini plug on the other end that plugs right into the amp. The same guy make both PenguinAmp and Headstage products.

The sound from this cable DOES beat the sound from a regular 3.5mm interconnect, while not being any less convenient. Most of the time, I am just using the Caffeine Pro with my electric guitar now, since I bought the Headstage Lyrix and RSA Predator with built-in DAC's. But, the Headstage DAC Cable sounds the same as Lyrix built-in DAC, and it's very close to the Predator's built-in DAC. So I would get the $39 DAC to use with your amp if I were you.

I will note that the optical out into iBasso D1 DAC is an audible upgrade, just like the USB DAC is an upgrade over headphone out. It's just that the USB DAC's sound so good that I only use the opitcal out into iBasso DAC if I need to wring out that last little bit of air and space that is hiding in the recording. The iBasso DAC is a little more 3D sounding than the Predator or Headstage USB or Lyrix DAC, and is good enough that it has become my home/bedside DAC. I feed the iBasso D1 DAC optical or coax spdif signals from my CD players and DAP, and then this goes on to my tube amp or electrostatic headphone driver.

Hope this helped.
post #60 of 138
Just ordered one. Another impulse buy. It looked really cool, and $50? that's nothing.

that other thread kind of got me scared though. I hope there aren't any problems :S
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