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Is Hornet M still the King with iMod?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have been enjoying my Hornet M with iMod and E500's for several years now.

I get confused by the new portable amps/dacs out there now.

For balls and SQ, does the Hornet M still reign supreme?
post #2 of 19
No. IMO the Voyager, iQube and (properly working)Diablo trounce the crap out of a Hornet. A PRII is still one of my favorites, but you run into the size issue, as you do with the LisaIII.

As far as the smaller amps go, I think a GoVibe Petite and GoVibe Magnum trounce a Hornet as well. I think the amp name carries it's past of a "good amp, but not great" aura, but since it's been picked up by Uncle Wilson, I think it's quite the opposite and are now formidable amps. No, the can't drive fullsize cans, but honestly, WTF are you doing trying to drive K701's with a tiny amp????

Yeah, it's an amp, but that's like me asking you to tow a boat with a Geo Metro. Sure, it's a vehicle and can haul crap, but it's not exactly the application it was intended for. You're asking WAYYYY too much for something so small to do.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Wow, they trounce the crap out of it? They must be good!
post #4 of 19
Well, I preferred the Non M to the M Hornet. Just personal preference.

I think they trounce them in that they're MUCH smoother in comparison, especially the iQube and Lisa, and most definitely the Voyager. I got the chance to listen to a properly working, late mod Diablo and LOVED the sound. Apparently there were some revisions to the design just before they went out of production (which the website, doesn't reflect) and they sounded wonderful. And considering the prices of these 4 amps, they are expected to out perform the Hornet.

The Hornet is a good amp, but with all the recent releases, I think there are more/better options now, and sometimes for less. but most of all, if you've been enjoying the combo you have...stick with it and enjoy the music. Unless of course, the bug is biting you
post #5 of 19
Well since you have said you still enjoy the combo you have, why change it? Don't fix what isn't broken I say. Plus whatever new portable amp you buy may take time (burn in) to catch up or surpass what you currently have. Though I have to admit the burn in can be quite satisfying.
post #6 of 19
I'm close to pulling the trigger on an iQube. I've read the reviews and looked at it exensively. What is it that separates it? The chip? Build quality while good isn't heads and tails above others. What's unique?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEat View Post
I'm close to pulling the trigger on an iQube. I've read the reviews and looked at it exensively. What is it that separates it? The chip? Build quality while good isn't heads and tails above others. What's unique?
The iQube uses a pretty radically different circuit design; it's a Class-D amplifier. That's pretty unique. Build quality looks top-notch as well. I can't comment on the sound as I haven't listened to one, though.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The iQube uses a pretty radically different circuit design; it's a Class-D amplifier. That's pretty unique. Build quality looks top-notch as well. I can't comment on the sound as I haven't listened to one, though.
Same here and that's true I noticed the class D nature of the design. Which is of course unique. As I recall the class D design should be significantly more efficient than class A as the output stages will vary between off an on as opposed to the linear, pedal to metal nature of class A. Presumably that would require MOSFETs in class D design. I'm never quite clear whether and to what extent that could compromise sound quality. One thing is certain efficiency should be greatly enhanced which would also presumably translate into power consumption efficiencies, and while mostly insignificant in a small portable, a slightly "cooler" operation. I'd like to hear it first, but for $500, I'll probably try it.
post #9 of 19
I just got an iQube and i am absolutely in love with it. Sounds so neutral with no added colouring, details and clarity are top notch!
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralfale View Post
I just got an iQube and i am absolutely in love with it. Sounds so neutral with no added colouring, details and clarity are top notch!
Where did you buy it and how much?

Do you use it with DAP?

Can you be more specific about how it improves sound ... I found that the Hornet made an iPod come to life with slam and presence.
post #11 of 19
Hornet Non M is great with Imod and Alo cables.
Warm, detail, smooth.
Enjoy yours M, excepted if you want change, but it'll be more for the fun than for the sound, because you have soon a great Amp.
post #12 of 19
Keep everything and if you want a different sound, get better headphones.
post #13 of 19
I recently went through a spat of trying several of the new portables to see if I could find a smaller companion to my historical favorite, the SR71. After owning a Corda2Move, Pico, and auditioning a Hornet and Predator, I tried a Hornet M and was very impressed. This amp is small, sounds great, and has no problem running with some of the new supposed "better" amps.

I know I'm not alone as I have seen a few of the multi-portable amp reviews on these forums that still rate the Hornet M among the top third of available amps. As far as the other competition, the Voyager looks like a first time DIY project, the LISA is not portable by any current definition, and the Diablo comes from a questionable vendor. I would love to try an iQube, but for the money it costs, a used Hornet M at $230-250 offers a better bang for the buck ratio.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnylexus View Post
Where did you buy it and how much?

Do you use it with DAP?

Can you be more specific about how it improves sound ... I found that the Hornet made an iPod come to life with slam and presence.
The iQube presentation is hard to describe, but it definitely adds slam and an amazing bass quality that just unreal. It's impeccably smooth. But, like stated, at it's pricepoint, especially if you already have a Hornet, it makes it a hard purchase to swallow.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
The iQube presentation is hard to describe, but it definitely adds slam and an amazing bass quality that just unreal. It's impeccably smooth. But, like stated, at it's pricepoint, especially if you already have a Hornet, it makes it a hard purchase to swallow.
I just received my iCube and couldn't agree more with this overview. Smooth, utterly transparent and very, very neutral. I have a Headroom mini portable; really not much comparison. Also, the iCube is amazingly quiet. That said, I am using it with an iMod, which makes a nice companion.
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