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HeadAmp Pico has arrived.. (LARGE unpacking pictures) - Page 5

post #61 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
^^ i doubt it, as the power supply will always be crippled/limited due to its small size.
When using low output impedance batteries, power supply enormity isn't quite as paramount as in a home unit which must deal with dirty and fluctuating AC line voltage, not to mention keep EMI from invading. I think part of what makes the Pico such a great performer is the deft use of the advantages of battery power. The limits of course come in in terms of maximum power consumption versus runtime versus size, where trade-offs must be made
post #62 of 151
What is the run time of the Pico on battery power when just using the amp and can the battery be user replaced?
post #63 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
but the amp portion still runs though, right? i mean, there is no line out for strict DAC only use.
This was my thinking as well, but I have heard of at least a couple members stating that the amp stage is not much different than the output stages used in most dacs.
Mr. Wilson, the Pico designer, also stated that using the Pico in this manner is not dissimilar to using the variable output on the Benchmark Dac1.
I'm just looking for some confirmation of just how true these claims are.
post #64 of 151
"You can't bypass the headphone amp, you can only use the output as a volume controlled "variable output" which is very transparent when connected to another amplifier."
-Justin Wilson

I just now saw this quote on the Pico pre-order thread.
post #65 of 151
I could live with that. How many extremely fine preamps have far more between the input and output than the Pico with a dac. I would like to hear from someone who has used the Pico as a preamp/dac. What is the output impedence of the Pico?
post #66 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
I could live with that. How many extremely fine preamps have far more between the input and output than the Pico with a dac. I would like to hear from someone who has used the Pico as a preamp/dac. What is the output impedence of the Pico?
i've thought about using my pico as a preamp at home leading to the sig30 for my k1000. and then taking it with me to work as a headamp/dac. i imagine it would function pretty well as a preamp...i mean, justin's other amps are pretty darn good preamps as well...
post #67 of 151
Most of the desktop stuff out there contains at least an LPF stage, followed by a buffer stage (e.g. at least two stages worth of op-amps in most cases). Many designs contain even more stages than that. I don't know what the output impedance is on this specific amp, but the spec is 0.2 ohms at DC for the AD8397, and it probably doesn't rise particular far from there in the audio band. I've hooked the Pico up as a source to another amp many times now to no ill effect. Its linearity may be a bit higher in such a configuration since the load is easier (at least in a general sense).
post #68 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
...while the Pico is really the only one that uses a high-end DAC chip & topology that until now has only been found in home units like the Benchmark DAC1/Bel Canto DACs.
Interesting. Are you referring to the Bel Canto Dac 2 or Dac3? I would love to get the sound of my Dac3 in the office
post #69 of 151
I think Justin's amps are the one of the best packed in the headphone amplifier industry, anyone else agree?
post #70 of 151
Boy, this little amp is quite nice. The more transparent sound mates quite nicely with my new fav mid-fi can - the M-Audio Q40. They are also a wonderful match with my Denon C700 canalphones. Claims about soundstage certainly seem to hold. Mine is still very young as I only started listening last night and only have a few hours on it. But OOTB experience is quite nice. Mine is the amp only version. I had no need for the DAC.

I'll be trying my DT990/600 with it sometime soon which I expect to be a nice match with this little wonder.
post #71 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by SR-71Panorama View Post
Interesting. Are you referring to the Bel Canto Dac 2 or Dac3? I would love to get the sound of my Dac3 in the office
Hrm maybe I should have put a disclaimer. I wouldn't say the Pico sounds exactly like either DAC. Merely that I have read that they also do this or something very similar to this (Some don't do directly to I2S but first into spdif): "The optional USB DAC converts USB straight to I2S and is then upsampled to 24/96 with an ASRC often said to create a jitter-free design. D/A conversion is done by a flagship 24-bit DAC chip and then passed to an analog output stage that uses a new zero-crossover MOSFET op-amp for extremely low distortion"

Imo doing that stuff is really what takes the resolution to the next level while maintaining clarity/purity of signal path (Less steps)... as for rest of sound signature that generally has a lot to do with things like DAC chip (And other parts) used and most of all the output stage which is sure to differ.

P.S. Jamato8 the battery life is 20 hrs for the amp. The DAC when used is completely powered by the USB cable and so doesn't affect the total battery life of the unit.
post #72 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaedrusX View Post
If possible, can some of you folks run the Pico out to a dedicated amp and share your impressions of how the Pico performs as a source only?
I'm really curious if the comparisons to the ~$1k dacs still apply when used in this manner.
Good questions. Basically what I am doing is comparing the Pico as DAC and amp, my Wavelength DAC through the pico amp and my wavelength dac through my SS-1 XLR (The last comparison was just for fun and I haven't really posted any results)

That the Pico doesn't turn different sources into the same sound already speaks highly of the transparency of its amp. And differences I heard I think I've already mentioned.

I've always been leery of doing a A/B between sources through a portable amp because well most portable amps will force their sound signature on the sound. It's like.. is it more likely that your DAC sounds exactly like a Meridian G08 or that your portable amp doesn't scale highly enough to let the G08 shine...

Well when you can actually hear the differences between two sources through a portable amp (One of which being my used market value $1200-1400 Wavelength DAC)... then you know you have a good amp and when it slightly pulls ahead of the other DAC with a completely different sound coming out of the same amp... well then you know you probably have a good DAC.

Of course for me to really do a solid test I would have to test the two sources with a different amp to verify things... But I am personally certain enough what the outcome will be that I can say with enough confidence that if a properly priced DAC only version of the Pico comes out with a line out and /or maybe RCA outs i will most likely invest in at least one.
post #73 of 151
I think it would be awesome if Justin would begin to offer the DAC section of the PICO built into his other amps, like an add on. I would love to put it in the GS1 I ordered a while back. That would make for a sweet office all-in-one.
post #74 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmtn4aj View Post
I think Justin's amps are the one of the best packed in the headphone amplifier industry, anyone else agree?
No kidding, such a neat package, and plenty of foam packing, no UPS gorilla could harm the Pico even. (OK, maybe if they ran it over with the truck).

-Ed
post #75 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
No kidding, such a neat package, and plenty of foam packing, no UPS gorilla could harm the Pico even. (OK, maybe if they ran it over with the truck).

-Ed
Doubt it =].
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