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Pico vs Predator...Decission time

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
It's a toss up between the Pico and the Predator. Both will fit my portable headphone amp needs. Both are TINY, and from what I have read here, both produce great sound. Every day I come here and I read all the great threads about the Pico, people experiencing eargasms, etc. I decide, ok, Pico it is.

Then I go to the Predator threads and read about all the great experiences and eargasms those folks are having. Then I think Predator it is.

Then the cycle of indecision repeats itself.

Pico and Predator owners, why did you choose one over the other? I am doing a balancing act on the fence, and I need a little nudge to put me over the edge between the Pico and Predator.
post #2 of 67
If you need just a portable amp, there are better or equally good offerings on the market that are less expensive.
If you need DAC/AMP combo, Pico has better DAC chip with 24/96 upsampling and USB receiver that converts to I2S.
See if this helps any with the decision
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3778127-post70.html
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3778245-post71.html
post #3 of 67
One way to think of is this. If you will be on the go most of the time then battery longevity is more important and in that case go for the Predator. If you will be using the Dac more often then not then I say go for the Pico since it has the better Dac of the two. Dont under estimate the importance of the source.
post #4 of 67
I have just crossed the 400 hour on my Predator. It truly is a wonderful piece of equipment. I have always owned the low to mid-fi setups previously. The Predator is one of the best amps in the 300-500 price range, home included, that I have owned. I do not believe that you could go wrong with either the Pico or the Predator. It boils down to a matter of flavor. Both have a 30 day return policy. The Predator does need some time to stretch its leg but I feel you get a good idea of the direction its heading by the 250 hour mark. Hope it helps.
post #5 of 67
Thread Starter 
I do travel a lot, and mainly listen through IEM's like E2's, and E4's, and on occasion through the HD 650's. Sources include iPod Nano, iPod Classic, and Sony portable CD player, as well as a PC (desk and laptop). Battery life is important.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dash View Post
The Predator is one of the best amps in the 300-500 price range, home included, that I have owned.

Can you list these other home amps, please?
post #7 of 67
Given those sources, DAC part is of less importance for you, than battery life? In this case, Predator may better fit your needs. I checked Predator's battery life with my AKGs, and it has taken about 48 hours to fully discharge the battery. With IEMs one can expect it to work even longer.

I like Predator's DAC, too, but I haven't heard the Pico.
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zweroboi View Post
Given those sources, DAC part is of less importance for you, than battery life?
What's the point of paying hefty premium for Amp/Dac combo then when you can get equal or better quality amp only for cheaper?
BTW, Pico can be ordered in amp only configuration, not something I would ever do myself as that's missing the best feature, but it'll save you $200 if your choice is limited to just these two. As amps, the difference between two is just a matter of taste.
post #9 of 67
I'd say the reason to order it with the dac even if you don't plan on using it immediately is you can't upgrade it later, and for $200 you're getting a dac that nothing else touches for a lot more money.
post #10 of 67
get both and sell the one you like the least, or flip a coin.
post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
If you need just a portable amp, there are better or equally good offerings on the market that are less expensive.
Such as??
post #12 of 67
an m3 with a deep cycle marine battery for a power supply
post #13 of 67
Isnt the predator supposed to get 50 hrs or battery time as apposed to 20 hrs for the pico?
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorito123 View Post
Isnt the predator supposed to get 50 hrs or battery time as apposed to 20 hrs for the pico?
Slightly off-topic question, but how the battery lifetime is measured on amps?
Do all manufactures use the same headphones and volume/gain settings when measuring or just connecting some standard dummy load with predefined impedance?
post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

Can you list these other home amps, please?
CKIII
Mad EAR
Pimeta
HeadFive

Those are the home based amps that pop immediately to mind. I also owned the MusicHall 25.2 with three of those as the source. Its hard for me to separate the amp from the DAC. I only use the Predator via USB. As an overall package, I am happy.
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