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Synergy between Portable Amps and IEMs - 9 IEM compared with 9 portable amps = 81 chances to mess... - Page 2

post #16 of 83
great stuff! makes me happy about my predator buy for my FreQs...
post #17 of 83
yeah and sad for my impending buy of the headsix for my freqs..
post #18 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowth View Post
yeah and sad for my impending buy of the headsix for my freqs..
Eh, you've also go to consider the "synergy" with the reviewer relative to your ears. While I'm glad there are people with the pockets and patience to play with all this different gear, I've read enough of HeadphoneAddict's comments and reviews to know that we have very different preferences. As a related example: I loved my super.fi 5s, I loved my super.fi's amped out of my iBasso - and this was very nearly the absolute worst combo in his opinion he reviewed. I have to conclude no matter how earnest he is, that his reviews are useless to me.
post #19 of 83
yeah i know... haha I don't have the resources to really go all out on a hunt though.. and since i'm new to this amp thing.. the headsix did sound great to me... that's why i should stay away from all other amps....
post #20 of 83
No 2move??????

Either way, fantastic roundup!!! I've found the same myself with 'synergy' It is pretty irritating, especially if a good amp brings out the true nature of a can that has been shielded by mushy amping. What it does mean is that the Predator is probably the least neutral in shaping cans to it's own image. But that can be a good thing - until you plug in something that already has the sonic qualities of the predator and they start to double up in effect. HD650+predator might only exagerate HD650 'issues' if you find it's sound signature an 'issue'.

Was this the D2 boa in the review????

I must say that what people should remember is that it's safer to try the D2 and then upgrade rather than shortcircuit the discovery process by going straight to the $500 amp XD


For the realists and impoverished ------->
ibasso D2 - £83.
2Move - £156
Pico+DAC - £260
Predator - £260

You might save money and not mind with a D2, or you might always be wondering 'what if' though if you go the cheapest option...then again, the sensation of being so happy with something so cheap is also incredible.

p.s. I've never personally like the LM6171/2 opamp based devices. Had terrible oscillation with GV5. Never liked the sound even when it worked.
AD8599, AD8656, AD8397, LM4562, LMH6643 are the gems imo from memory. OPA2111 apparently is nice too for soundstage on D2.

Shame with the boa there are no dip sockets, then again most chips are soic anyway.
post #21 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ah1 View Post
No 2move??????

Either way, fantastic roundup!!! I've found the same myself with 'synergy' It is pretty irritating, especially if a good amp brings out the true nature of a can that has been shielded by mushy amping. What it does mean is that the Predator is probably the least neutral in shaping cans to it's own image. But that can be a good thing - until you plug in something that already has the sonic qualities of the predator and they start to double up in effect. HD650+predator might only exagerate HD650 'issues' if you find it's sound signature an 'issue'.

Was this the D2 boa in the review????

I must say that what people should remember is that it's safer to try the D2 and then upgrade rather than shortcircuit the discovery process by going straight to the $500 amp XD


For the realists and impoverished ------->
ibasso D2 - £83.
2Move - £156
Pico+DAC - £260
Predator - £260

You might save money and not mind with a D2, or you might always be wondering 'what if' though if you go the cheapest option...then again, the sensation of being so happy with something so cheap is also incredible.

p.s. I've never personally like the LM6171/2 opamp based devices. Had terrible oscillation with GV5. Never liked the sound even when it worked.
AD8599, AD8656, AD8397, LM4562, LMH6643 are the gems imo from memory. OPA2111 apparently is nice too for soundstage on D2.

Shame with the boa there are no dip sockets, then again most chips are soic anyway.
I did go for the D2, now the problem arises, how much better is that Pico I have ordered at almost 3 times the cost of the boa. My boa sounds incredible but it is my 1st amp. Just don't know where to go from here......
post #22 of 83
Totally love this review H.A.! This should be THE if not A standard for reviewing products on this forum. Outstanding, as you have helped me greatly in a few amp/iem considerations.
Now if you could only figure out a way to be compensated for your effort, aside from having so much hardware on the table at one time.
Thanks so much,
Scott
post #23 of 83
Really nice!!! Thanks a lot! Since I don't have knowledge in the amp field and I am planning on buying one for my SE530 I'll suscribe to this thread in order to make a wise decision!

Thanks again! Helps a lot!
post #24 of 83
Wonderful review and it really does shine a light on the topic of synergy which would help explain the vast differences in opinion of some products Great review once again HA
post #25 of 83
Thread Starter 
There is a copy of this in post #2.

Update 06/26/08 4:30PM

Clarification of Ranking:

Just because an amp with an IEM is ranked #6 or #7 with a particular IEM doesn't mean it sounded bad unless I specifically labeled it as such. I may have made some comments in the paragraph just before the rank list, explaining my thoughts when I ranked them, so look there for help. I think there was only one IEM that sounded good with other amps but not the HeadSix. The Super.fi results are not the fault of the HeadSix.

Meier HeadSix:

The Meier HeadSix is still one of my favorite amps - I have these 7 amps because I still like them, otherwise I would have sold some of them. It was only with the q-JAYS that I didn't like the HeadSix, but with good IEM it was acceptable, including the Freq Show (while not my favorite with those it was very acceptable). It just wasn't good enough to make my least favorite IEM sound good - no surprise there.

Super.fi 5 Pro:

I do not have a hate for the Super.fi 5 Pro. If I had not heard better than those, I would not know they didn't sound great. They sound decent and fair to me, just not great. I look for transparency and believability in an IEM. Any coloration that throws off the illusion drops the IEM's rank.

iBasso D2 and Freq Show:

I spent hours rolling opamps in my iBasso D2 today, trying to find the best sound from the Freq Show, and succeeded this afternoon. I swapped the LM6172 in the main socket for the THS4032 in the ground channel, and bingo!

At this point I find that with the LM6172 in the ground channel that several opamps in the main socket are great with the Freq, and bring out the treble the way it should be - including the THS4032, AD8397, LT1364 and ISL55002. They all sound similar with very small differences, and work well with the Freq Show - with the THS4032 being my preferred one, followed by the AD8397 and ISL55002, and last but still good was the LT1364 the smoothest but slightly rolled off treble (vs the others). I liked all these a little better than the ISL55002 main/THS4032 ground that I was using yesterday.

The stock configuration of LT1364 main, NE5532 isn't bad with the Freq Show, but removing the stock NE5532 for the LM6172 gives the D2 a little richer sound when used with the stock LT1364.

Triple.fi 10 Pro:

I had these back in January, and they were not bad, but I had trouble with the fit because I had not discovered Complys T400 tips yet. I spent an hour making one pair of Shure black foam tips that could work with them, and they still put too much pressure on my ear canals, so I traded them for some Electrostatics (mapstec). I would still rank them at the top of the list for the Universal Fit IEM, and just below all my customs. The Triple.fi didn't seem to care much about the amp, but sounded good with the Predator, HeadSix, Lyrix, Caffeine and iBasso D1 that I had at the time. I didn't have the Pico, D2 or Headroom then.

Sleek and Image:

I would be willing to review loaners with all these amps. Just PM me to trade information.
post #26 of 83
This is one kinda review that has been lacking here. Kudos to you
post #27 of 83
Hi HA, got a question:

Can you tell me if the Livewires exhibit any hiss with the Pico with just the amp turned on at reasonable volumes (say estimated at 70dBA> range) and no source connected?

And another one, does the DC adaptor for the Pico accept all world voltages?

Thanks~
post #28 of 83
For anyone who wants to know the spec redux of the opamps mentioned:
LM6172 draws 4.6(2*2.3ma) and runs 5 to 36v. you can see why it is so popular in mobile applications.

ISL55002 draws 17ma(2*8.5) and runs 5V to 30V with output of 140ma
(12nv and 1.5pa voltage and current noise)

LT1364 draws 15ma(2*7.5) and runs 5V to 30V with output of 50ma min (9nv and 1pa v and c noise)

AD8397 draws 30(2*15ma) and runs 3V to 24V with output of 310ma into 32ohm (4.5nv and 1.5pa voltage and current noise).

THS4032 draws 22(2*11ma) and runs 10 to 30V with output of 90ma typical. I think the THS4032 has the lowest noise specs for voltage and current noise. (1.6nv and 1.2pa)

All voltages just half for the +/- values.
Of course take specs with a grain of salt because they all measure noise at different frequencies and have different conditions in which they test other specs.

I guess for lowest power it would be LT1364 and ISL55002. lowest noise of course is THS4032.

other ones of interest might be:
LM4562 - 5 to 34V, incredibly good PSRR and CMRR, 2.7-->6.4nv and 1.6-->3.1pa for noise. 2*10ma for input current.
AD8066 - 7nv and 0.6fa for voltage and current noise. 2*6.4ma for input current. 5 to 24V.


HA - direct question - similar to the above - which of the amps with the IEMs exhibit a bump when you turn on, any hiss (especially freq and livewires) and of course do they make a sound when you adjust volume?????
THANKS!!!!!!!!!
post #29 of 83
Kudos to you! Great Job!

I want to share my experience with ibasso D2.

It is really good with my im716 (undepodded). Good synergy, wonderful high, mids and decent bass.
It is bad with pk1 (I know it is not IEM), a little too warm. Pk1 is supposed to be very detailed, but the strong mids and bass of the combo make the pk1 less detailed.
post #30 of 83
I have seen many reviews mentioning the Pico having a hiss. Can this be confirmed??


Quote:
Originally Posted by tk3 View Post
Hi HA, got a question:

Can you tell me if the Livewires exhibit any hiss with the Pico with just the amp turned on at reasonable volumes (say estimated at 70dBA> range) and no source connected?

And another one, does the DC adaptor for the Pico accept all world voltages?

Thanks~
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