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Nuforce Icon usb Dac, preamp, headphone amp, power amp ... Everything in one~ - Page 2

post #16 of 86
One last thing. My SRM-1 Mk2 Pro and Travagans Red with AD743 and SRD-7 Pro transformer are both more "airy" than the NuForce when it is used with the SRD-7 Pro, which has more impact driving the Lambda Sig and HE60.
post #17 of 86
Keep in mind that what HeadphoneAddict is doing has nothing to do with the headphone output of the Icon. He is using the speaker output into transformers to drive electrostatics. Even his source is optical into a external DAC then the Icon. I am speculating that most people that inquire about the Icon are like me who need a all in one unit with a small foot print. The headphone and speaker out of the Icon are two seperate circuits so there is no comparing the two. Again let me repeat, I did not say that Icon sounds bad. It adds a airiness to my headphones that is not my taste.
post #18 of 86
I'll try to spend more time with the headphone out this weekend.

Is there a preference in cans found in my profile people would want me to try? I was thinking RS-1, HD600, D2000 and Proline 2500.
post #19 of 86
D2000 please. thank you.
post #20 of 86
No thanks to HeadphoneAddict's set up of his Icon tickling my curiosity. I unpacked my Icon and dug up a old Stax SR-80 Lambda Jr and SRD-4 to see if it would pair up.

The set up is Apple lossless -->DAC707-USB --> Icon speaker out -->SRD-4 adapter --Stax SR-80.
Sound: absolutely mud. Terribly terrible sounding. In this case it was not the fault of the Icon but the old Stax equipment. Okay, out with the Stax.

Next up, same input set up but Icon headphone out to HD600 and SA5000.
Sound: they both sound just wonderful. Almost like a tube, more warm and lush.

Last set up. Removing the DAC707 and run the built in DAC.
Sound: Less forward and direct. Bit less detail then external DAC. Still a wonderful sound. More open and wider sounding and a bit airy.

The airy sound I mentioned in earlier post is not there. The sound is a lot more focused. The Icon has been packed for about 3 weeks. I wonder if the airy sound before was because of being left running for 10 days straight when I was away. I don't know.

Conclusion: I am keeping it and would highly recommend to anyone in need of a all in one amp. 3 ins including USB DAC, 1 out, headphone and speaker amps at a steal of a price.


P.S.
I curse you and thank you Headphone Addict for making me unpack this amp.
post #21 of 86
One more thing. No turn on pop, more like a click.
post #22 of 86
post #23 of 86
Thx for unpacking the usb amp and giving it a second go, really appreciate it :-)

Anyways, you seemed pleased you did it, too!
post #24 of 86
About three of us here are using it with a Stax adapter like my SRD-7 Pro. It works fairly well in this fashion.
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capunk View Post
D2000 please. thank you.
I have just now started burning in the headphone amp section, since it had less than 1 hour on headphones with it, being that I have only been using the speaker amp section for driving Stax headphones. The burn-in is because I listened to the Nuforce tonight and compared it against my Travagans Red with AD743, Apogee mini-DAC headphone out, and Woo WA6 - using my APS V2 re-cabled Denon D2000.

All the amps were fed from my Marantz CD5001 via coax out with a Synergistic Research digital coax cable into Apogee mini-DAC. From the Apogee to WA6 via XLR to RCA tranformer and Neutrik XLR and anticables IC's. The Nuforce was fed from the 1/8" line-out of the Apogee via Jenna Labs mini-mini cryo cable with Canare F12 plugs. Travagans Red was fed from the 1/8" line/pre-amp out of the Nuforce with an ALO Jenna Labs cryo interconnect, so I could have all three running at the same time with the same source. (If the Travagans was worse than the NuForce, being fed by the Nuforce pre-amp out, the plan was to go direct to the Travagans in place of the Woo WA6).

With the Nuforce, what I found using the D2000 was a nice and enjoyable sounding headphone amp section, but with slightly recessed highs that were missing a little sparkle, and with slightly forward mids. Bass was slightly behind the other amps as well, but not rolled off - it was just not quite as punchy as the other amps. It was not extra-airy sounding at all, as previously reported, rather it seemed slightly dark. The Nuforce Icon headphone-out was somewhat below these other amps, sounding more like a Meier HeadSix portable when used with the D2000 - meaning very nice but not #1 (certainly worth the money considering all the features and the excellent speaker amp section, being only $20-30 more than Headsix after shipping). The Travagans Green sounds like a Red, but only has USB input so I didn't test it. I have the Firestone Cute Beyond packed up to ship to another reviewer, so I didn't test it this time, but having compared it to the Travagans I have to say my guess is that it beats the unburned-in Nuforce as well.

I will wait to see how the Nuforce sounds with 100 hours on the headphone section, so I will report back this weekend. Almost every amp I have burned-in has opened up with 200-300 hours on it (except the Predator needed 400-600 minimum to really open up, and usually 1000 or more to stop changing). The Travagans took 250-300 hours for the bass to fully appear with the stock LM4562 opamp. During the burn-in I will try it with the HD600, Edition 9 and RS-1 too. Then if not raised to a higher level of performance, I will give it another 100 hours of burn-in, and so forth.
post #26 of 86
I have to say, with just 1.5 hours additional time on the headphone section it is already opening up nicely. I had set the headphones aside at about 11:00PM, posted some notes, and just now put them on 1.5 hours later, and I had to double check that they were plugged into the Nuforce Icon. Wow!

Much improved. I don't know if it is the warm up, or burn-in, and wont know till I turn it off to cool down every 24 hours to rest it for an hour or so (Jamato8 says that helps the caps form faster).
post #27 of 86
Well, an hour and a half later I am still listening to the D2000 with the Nuforce, and it is enjoyable. I've had them on my head too long to really say what has changed since my last post, having become acclimated to them.

I am gonna put them aside till tomorrow night 11PM or so, and let the Nuforce continue to burn-in, and see how it sounds then. bye now.
post #28 of 86
Headphone, great review, you have renewed my faith in the Nuforce, although i don't know it'll be the route i take.

So the Nuforce requires a Burn-in, same as amp with bulbs? I had no idea.
post #29 of 86
Quote:
The Travagans Green sounds like a Red, but only has USB input so I didn't test it
IYO, would you say it's better than the nuforce, without having tested the Travagans green?
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoarmani View Post
Headphone, great review, you have renewed my faith in the Nuforce, although i don't know it'll be the route i take.

So the Nuforce requires a Burn-in, same as amp with bulbs? I had no idea.
It doesn't seem to need more than those first 2-3 hours of running headphones to burn-in. Fastest headphone amp burn-in ever.

It sounds almost as good as my Apogee mini-dac headphone out already. The travagans Red with AD743 opamps is only slighty ahead, while the green doesn't quite match the micro-detail and ambience due to it's DAC not being as good as the Apogee.

Next up is to start testing the Nuforce Dac vs Green DAC tonight. Also see http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...easure-321463/ and http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ar-iii-334293/
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