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Synergy between Portable Amps and IEMs - 9 IEM compared with 9 portable amps = 81 chances to mess... - Page 3

post #31 of 83
Thread Starter 
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 have the D2 Viper, but not the Boa. To the other person wishing for the 2MOVE to be included - I borrowed one from Skylab for a previous review, but that was with full size cans.

See my post #2 about rolling opamps in the D2 for the Freq Show. For Freq Show I swapped the LM6172 into the ground channel and THS4032 into the main channel. I have to swap the opamps back to the other way when using the Grado RS-1, as the Freq setup is too bright with the Grados. I am gonna try the Freq Setup with my Edition 9, D2000 and HD600 tomorrow. Maybe it will be only the RS-1 that I don't like that way, in which case I will leave it that way.

I find the LM6172 in both opamp sockets to be too mids-centric, but in the ground channel it gave me many good combinations for main channel opamps. With the Freq Show I did try the LM4562 in the main amp today, and the sound was nice but I got some noise with it at low volumes (sounded like tube rush and quieted when I moved from 7 o'clock to 8 o'clock). The AD8397 was very nice, as was the LT1364 and ISL55002 and THS4032, when using one LM6172 in the ground channel socket. The AD8397 with LM6172 in ground is what the Lyrix uses.

I gave my LMH6643 and OPA2111 away with my D1 that I traded for Stax stuff, so I couldn't try them. The LMH6655 I had left over from the D1 was okay in the D2 ground channel but nothing special. I didn't bother to try my AD8656, AD8066, or ADA4841-2, also left over from my D1.

I did try the OPA627x2 on a SOIC to DIP in main, with THS4032 in the ground channel, and it was nice, but I couldn't close the D2 viper case with them. I also tried OPA627 in both main and ground opamp sockets, and it was also too mids-centric in the frequency balance, like when using two LM6172. I wanted to try my second set of AD743 in a DIP 2:1 on a riser, but couldn't find them until tonight - again, this would be a setup where the case could not be closed over the 2:1 board. The guy that made the OPA627AU SOIC soldered adapter decided to solder it onto a riser to clear the battery, based on photos I sent him, but that wasn't needed. I could cut the riser off the adapter, to lower it, and then I could close the case and spend more .
post #32 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthecup View Post
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......
Well, the stock D2 viper is good enough that you may find the Pico only improves on it by being a little smoother and slightly more open. The D2 new out of the box was much worse than the used Pico with tons of hours on it, but once I got 300 hours on the D2 it was pretty close to the Pico.
post #33 of 83
Thread Starter 
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~
No hiss with any of them, using my iMod and ALO jumbo cryo silver X LOD for this review.

The DC adaptor for the Pico DOES accept all world voltages. Pico adapter is an automatic voltage switching 100-240v AC, to 12v 1amp DC. All you would need is an adapter to change the flat blade prongs for USA to whatever european round prongs that you need.
post #34 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_ah1 View Post
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!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to you for the above!

I noted a bump with turn on with most, but none were painful with the Freq Show in my ears. I did not note or record which was the quietest turn-on pop or bump. I did not have hiss problems with any but the LM4562, and with no source it made noise until the volume went up from 7 o'clock to 8 o'clock, then got quiet.

The main reason I did not leave the AD8397 in the D2 was to keep good battery life. Since the LM6172 in ground with THS4032 sounds very similar to when I have the ISL55002 or the AD8397 in the main amp, I will probably switch to the ISL tomorrow and take out the THS.
post #35 of 83
Thanks for the nice review!

Based on your update, I think I will wait a little before buying an amp for my triple.fi
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
No hiss with any of them, using my iMod and ALO jumbo cryo silver X LOD for this review.

The DC adaptor for the Pico DOES accept all world voltages. Pico adapter is an automatic voltage switching 100-240v AC, to 12v 1amp DC. All you would need is an adapter to change the flat blade prongs for USA to whatever european round prongs that you need.
Nice, thanks.
That's what I wanted to know.
post #37 of 83
Thanks HA.
Given the whole thing about synergy, I must also add that if you use a high impedance or high current can, then that will affect your choice more based on current output than noise levels or draw. at 300ohm these opamps exhibit less current and voltage noise than at 32ohm. They also give less current too.

From what you've said LT1364 seems to be a good compromise on the part of ibasso for Sony SA5000 fanboys and other bright headphones people might be using. Good power draw and rolled highs and smooth. Perfect for a SA5000 (which is almost shrill with my xin reference making it more fatiguing than most cans).

Then again from what you've said, LT1364 is going to be pretty poor in comparison with other opamps mentioned with UM2s, or senns or anything with a warmer sound sig.

AD8397 would be good for big cans I guess - since it would be a much less portable setup anyway power draw isn't an issue. It also has high power output.

For high sensitivity IEMS I guess you have to decide whether to sacrifice some ma for the THS4032 and its low noise or sacrifice some noise for the ISL55002 and it's lower power draw.

NE5532 draws 4ma per amp so 8ma.
LT1364 draws 15ma.
Total - 23ma opamp footprint at max. (38hours est.)

If we stick 6172 in ground, that is 4.6ma then add 22 for THS or 15 for LT1364 then you get 26.6ma (32.9hours est) and 19.6ma (44.6hours est) respectively....not bad for a quick mod!!!


*** Remember everything I've written might be utter bllcks in the real world - it's all spec and theory based. ***

HA - Which was the best for soundstaging though given that is probably one of the most important aspects to me???
post #38 of 83
H.A. did you use the regular headstage lyrix for the review? The one that costs $70? Also for the livewires with the 7x price differrence between the lyrix and predator is there really that big of a jump in SQ? Thanks.
post #39 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ok computer View Post
H.A. did you use the regular headstage lyrix for the review? The one that costs $70? Also for the livewires with the 7x price differrence between the lyrix and predator is there really that big of a jump in SQ? Thanks.
No, I used the Lyrix Total Pro USB (which uses a socketed AD8397 main opamp and LM6172 in the ground channel, 4-channel technology and upgraded caps). My son is currently using the regular Lyrix Pro, which doesn't have the 4-channel technology or the good caps.

However, the Caffeine Pro I used for this is supposed to be the basis for the circuit of the Lyrix Pro, and it sounds extremely close to the Lyrix Total version. For the audiophile wanting to eek out every last bit of performance the Total version is very slightly more transparent and open. I could be very happy with the Lyrix Total Pro as my only amp if I had to, especially since I can roll opamps in that too, just in case I needed to fine tune the sound. I like the amp section enough that I have never felt the need to open it up and roll opamps! However, the Headstage DAC is not quite as good as the one in the Predator, Pico, iBasso D1, D2 or 2MOVE.
post #40 of 83
Predator = top of the proverbial audio food chain hah
post #41 of 83
thanks for the reviews HeadphoneAddict - your reviews are always a worthwhile read. i can't however say that my wallet thanks you .
post #42 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by channum View Post
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.
This has been bothering me for a few days, seems a bit harsh. I did post a clarification of my feeling on the Super.fi but didn't know if you saw that.

So, today I happened to look at your recent posts - the most recent 25 (the whole first page of recent posts) were all about the Ultimate Ears. In another thread I found there, one post in particular that you made, that I happen to agree with 100%, which makes me think that you mis-interpreted what I was saying about the Super.fi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by channum
I used to hate them. I went through a bunch of cheaper ones and could never get a reliable fit, and when I did, sound quality wasn't anything compared to good earbuds or cans.

For some reason, in spite of never finding a cheap IEM I liked, I took my birthday money from last year and blew it on SF5s... The OP's 5-10 minutes is nothing, it took me six months before I finally reached a point I could wear them comfortably with something other than Comply tips.

At that point I was a believer. I'm a detail slut. Give me a semi balanced sound spectrum with good detail and I'm happy, and those SFs gave me more detail than anything I'd ever heard had. Now I've got triple.fis and they're hands down the best sounding headphones of any kind I've ever heard, and they're comfortable enough that I wear them anytime I don't have to be able hear things going around me.

Comfort/fit issues aside, a lot of it is going to come down to what your personal priorities in sound signature are - being a detail slut and not ashamed to admit, I'll gladly trade the open airiness of big cans and the better comfort of earbuds for this immersive ocean of musical detail.
Points in agreement:

* UE are difficult or take time to make comfortable (comfortable enough once I discovered Complys)
* "semi balanced sound spectrum"
* "good detail"
* triple.fi are better (I do like triples better than my q-JAYs, just not better than my customs)
* "it is going to come down to what your personal priorities in sound signature are"
* they sound good from the iBasso when I swap the LM6172 and THS4032 into the opposite opamp sockets, or return the D2 to stock (same opamps that make the Freq Show sound better)

Just wanted to clear things up.
post #43 of 83
erg - I need to disagree with the headsix being that bad with the FreQShow. I have tried a few different amps with it and yes, I do think that the predator would be king.....but the headsix did fare much better than the Lyrix to me.

I am starting to think that the ear canal shape has a lot to do with the sound. My canal has a VERY sharp bend I think that lends to the slight deviations in SQ and Sound Sig to different users.

It is great to see someone come out and do a review!

Enjoy the equipment!
post #44 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Germania=- View Post
erg - I need to disagree with the headsix being that bad with the FreQShow. I have tried a few different amps with it and yes, I do think that the predator would be king.....but the headsix did fare much better than the Lyrix to me.

I am starting to think that the ear canal shape has a lot to do with the sound. My canal has a VERY sharp bend I think that lends to the slight deviations in SQ and Sound Sig to different users.

It is great to see someone come out and do a review!

Enjoy the equipment!
Interestingly, when I did my first review of the Headsix vs Lyrix, I used my HD600 with high gain and liked for forward mids of the Headsix a lot. Both did a decent job with the HD600. It's those very same forward mids that give me more trouble with the Freq and q-JAYS.

If you recall that resonance issue I had when I first got the Freq, it can still plague me with the wrong amp (although before the refit even an amp change didn't help). So, it's clear that the fit and ear canal shape affect the sound. I remember being scared of aliens when I saw the shape of your ear impressions/Freq Show (j/k)
post #45 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
This has been bothering me for a few days, seems a bit harsh. I did post a clarification of my feeling on the Super.fi but didn't know if you saw that.
Well, my point wasn't to say anything personal, and my apologies if you took it that way, just being honest about how I read these boards. Until a recent spate of posts, mostly spurred by my growing obsession to upgrade the SF5s followed by getting the TF10s, I've mostly been a lurker these past few years. When I read these sort of reviews, I look for people who's comments about gear I'm familiar with agree with my take - those people I listen to. Those people who seem to express preferences and dislikes different than mine, I don't listen to so much. I might compare their reviews to those I feel I should be able to trust to see what I can learn from the comparison, but that's about it.

In the end, I feel I can only draw so much useful information from your posts, not because you don't know what you're doing, but just because after reading a lot of posts from you I feel pretty confident that we could sit down at a meet and listen to a couple of table's full of gear and we'd both have very different takes on the majority of it. It's interesting to read about how different people perceive different gear, but when they're evidently approaching things with different priorities, different standards, and different goals than you are, there's not much sense in using those reviews for making your own decisions.
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