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Which do you feel is the best portable amp & dac? - Page 2

post #16 of 38
I love me some pico.
post #17 of 38
Between the Pico and the Predator, both are colored, but to me the Pico definitely much less so. The Predator is nowhere near neutral or uncolored.
post #18 of 38
Do you really want to wait 500-1000 hours for the Predator to burn in as has been claimed? The Pico sounds great out of the box to begin with. There also is no "best" portable DAC/amp but I can say that the Pico is the current state-of-the-art in the portable DAC/amp market. It's an extremely well-made product inside and out.
post #19 of 38
Pico for sure. The predator sounds infinitely less refined where I define refinement to involve details/soundstage/imaging/over all aesthetic.


I don't know what the "burn-in" was on the one I listened to but considering I own an amp with capacitors that are 8 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter... and DON'T believe that they take 10000000 years to burn in... my willingness to believe that a portable amp with a "huge" capacitor takes 2000 hrs to burn in is lacking.

I like the book Snow Crash a lot. I've reread it ~5-10x. Each time I reread it I discover something new. Generally its something subtle that I missed before or glossed over in the past. Is this because the book changed due to "burn in"? Nope.
post #20 of 38
Out of the box I was not impressed with the Predator.

By 300 hours of intentional burn-in (often going days without listening) the Predator was in my top 3 amps - that's simply running it for 2 weeks straight, with an occasional rest.

By 600 hours it was my best portable, which was only another 2 weeks.

By 900 - 1100 hours I was enjoying it more than half my desktop amps, which was just 2-3 more weeks of burn-in.

At that point intentional burn-in was complete. Certainly less than the silly jest of 15 years stated here.

I could sell my Pico tomorrow and be okay with, but I can't imagine being without the predator. The Predator is in my pocket with 3G Nano, and the Pico is back home in a drawer. I still keep the Pico for comparison, and as a spare desktop DAC for the laptop, feeding it into a desktop tube amp if I spend some time in the basement.
post #21 of 38
Here we go again, every time a thread starts about Pico/Predator, all bets are off either your a Pico guy or a Predator guy, my problem is I'm neither yet, I'm waiting for the Pico and thinking about giving Ray a buzz for a Predator. When will it end? Pico/Predator/Pico/Predator/Pico/Predator.............
post #22 of 38
If you want to listen to your music, get the pico, if you want to listen to your amp, get the predator.
post #23 of 38
In my opinion, you cannot beat the features of the 'Swiss Army Knife' of portables - iBasso D1. With optical, coax, analog and USB inputs, it cannot be beat for flexibility. The amp can also be used as a stand alone DAC. Op amp rolling possibilities make this a top ;ick on my list.
post #24 of 38
A d1 replacement is due out in the next few months.

All I know is it will feature an optical out like the original.

*edit* if this is old news I apologise in advance
post #25 of 38
ive had my pico for a little less than 2 months. i had a chance to borrow a predator(600~700 hours matured) from another local member. predator sounded very sweet with some great bass that i've never heard from other portable amps and i enjoyed it very much. pico simply sounded more "pure".
i wish pico came in predator's case. its case feels very prone to scratches, and i am scared to carry it around. for now, it's working as my desktop dac/amp.
it was a tough decision to pick one between pico and predator. i decided to stick with pico because i am planning on getting a tube amp in the near future, and pico will work better as dac/preamp.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjumper78 View Post
ive had my pico for a little less than 2 months. i had a chance to borrow a predator(600~700 hours matured) from another local member. predator sounded very sweet with some great bass that i've never heard from other portable amps and i enjoyed it very much. pico simply sounded more "pure".
i wish pico came in predator's case. its case feels very prone to scratches, and i am scared to carry it around. for now, it's working as my desktop dac/amp.
it was a tough decision to pick one between pico and predator. i decided to stick with pico because i am planning on getting a tube amp in the near future, and pico will work better as dac/preamp.
Have you decided on which tube amp yet? Just curious.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjumper78 View Post
ive had my pico for a little less than 2 months. i had a chance to borrow a predator(600~700 hours matured) from another local member. predator sounded very sweet with some great bass that i've never heard from other portable amps and i enjoyed it very much. pico simply sounded more "pure".
i wish pico came in predator's case. its case feels very prone to scratches, and i am scared to carry it around. for now, it's working as my desktop dac/amp.
it was a tough decision to pick one between pico and predator. i decided to stick with pico because i am planning on getting a tube amp in the near future, and pico will work better as dac/preamp.
I doubt scratching will be a problem but what works well is to take the leather bag, which fits snug, and cut the bottom off and remove the drawstring. Then you can use it as a sleeve that fits over the Pico, with the front/back panels exposed. If you want I can offer extra bags to do this

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post #28 of 38
btw it's the pico for me by a wide margin, mainly what I have seen at meets is people with higher end amps seem to prefer the pico and newer members with entry level amps tended to prefer the predator. My observation is relatively anecdotal but just by looking at this thread what you mainly see is newer folks preferring the predator and longer term members with greater experience preferring the pico.

So what does that tell you, mainly that the predator has a sound and that sound created a sonic fingerprint on the music you play. This is not a bad thing if you like that sound. The pico tends to let the recording come through with much less adulteration or sonic fingerprint. Bassy recording sound bassy, good recordings sound good and crap recording sound crap. This may not be for everyone but there is a tendency for headfiers (not all) to evolve to products that get out of the way of the music more. If neutral is not to your liking and a bit of mid range compression and bass boosting do it for you then who is anyone else to tell you different.

I would not look to burn it to be a cure all on the amp unfortunately this just does not hold up in the real world (1200 hours is just silly). Another way to go is to see if you could have tried both before plunking down $550 on a portable amp.

Unless you were a laptop user and wanted to amp headphones from a laptop source really a dap with easy to drive iems is a better route. I know the "portable" crew like amps and line out docks and cryoed everything but really a good set of iems out of a decent dap is very close to an external amp. The emperor has no clothes in this case and most of this are users justifying $1000 plus portable rigs with more than half that coming from the amp. I'd take UE11s and an ipod over shure 530s and an amp. This is coming from someone who has been there and done that with the imod and a hornet/sr71.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
btw it's the pico for me by a wide margin, mainly what I have seen at meets is people with higher end amps seem to prefer the pico and newer members with entry level amps tended to prefer the predator. My observation is relatively anecdotal but just by looking at this thread what you mainly see is newer folks preferring the predator and longer term members with greater experience preferring the pico.

So what does that tell you, mainly that the predator has a sound and that sound created a sonic fingerprint on the music you play. This is not a bad thing if you like that sound. The pico tends to let the recording come through with much less adulteration or sonic fingerprint. Bassy recording sound bassy, good recordings sound good and crap recording sound crap. This may not be for everyone but there is a tendency for headfiers (not all) to evolve to products that get out of the way of the music more. If neutral is not to your liking and a bit of mid range compression and bass boosting do it for you then who is anyone else to tell you different.

I would not look to burn it to be a cure all on the amp unfortunately this just does not hold up in the real world (1200 hours is just silly). Another way to go is to see if you could have tried both before plunking down $550 on a portable amp.

Unless you were a laptop user and wanted to amp headphones from a laptop source really a dap with easy to drive iems is a better route. I know the "portable" crew like amps and line out docks and cryoed everything but really a good set of iems out of a decent dap is very close to an external amp. The emperor has no clothes in this case and most of this are users justifying $1000 plus portable rigs with more than half that coming from the amp. I'd take UE11s and an ipod over shure 530s and an amp. This is coming from someone who has been there and done that with the imod and a hornet/sr71.
Very good post, it has taken me off the fence for perhaps the 4th or 5th time. I'm heading back to the waiting list for the Pico, #577 I just hope I get to enjoy it before October.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthecup View Post
Have you decided on which tube amp yet? Just curious.
i've had littledot mk4se not too long ago. sold it to make more space on my desk, and i had sold my hd650. when it was fed by pico, the sound was excellent. now i just got hd600, so i must ponder about getting a good tube amp again.
if i do get another tube amp, i'll prob go with the same again. or normal mk4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin w. View Post
I doubt scratching will be a problem but what works well is to take the leather bag, which fits snug, and cut the bottom off and remove the drawstring. Then you can use it as a sleeve that fits over the Pico, with the front/back panels exposed. If you want I can offer extra bags to do this
thanks for the kind offer. however, pico is way too attractive to be hidden in a leather pouch. i'm actually thinking about buying the bse skin, cutting it in proper size and putting it on my pico.
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