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Predator Amps overpriced or worth it? - Page 2

post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Why do you say this? If you are using a laptop as a portable source (airport, airplane, sometimes office, sometimes home) then how is it worthless for portable rigs?

If this is true, then the Bithead and Pico w/Dac would fall into the same category.
I fully follow the usage of a DAC if the portable rig is equipped with hardware compatible with the DAC. In that case it would be great. But when I say portable, and what I mean by portable rig, is a DAP (D2, i7, Sony NWZ-A818, Samsung T10 etc) and canalphones being toted around like I do. The Pico allows for this. I would buy a Pico over the Predator because i can get a Pico without the DAC that would be of zero usage in my "portable rig" and I wouldn't be spending hard-to-come-by money for something I didn't need. The Predator comes in one configuration, with a DAC only.
post #17 of 85
OK, but that's your definition of portable.
Even limiting portabilty to canalphones is against what a good amount of people would call portable (ATH-ESW9's, Sennheiser PXC 250/300, HD25-1, KSC75's or PX100's, etc.)
post #18 of 85
I really enjoy my Predator and voted that it is worth it. As mentioned before, the battery life is phenomenal, sounds great and really small. Build quality is also solid and the lifetime warranty is refreshing. I don't think I own anything else with a lifetime warranty. The aesthetics is nice too. No hint of cheezeballitis.

The only thing I wish it could handle is 24bit/96khz on the DAC. From what I've read, iTunes locks onto the system sample rate so it's limited to 16bit/48khz on the Mac. It's minor though since I can't really hear any deficiencies.

No other issues. It's convenient with no fuss and it always works as expected between my MacBook Pro and the iPod nano.
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
OK, but that's your definition of portable.
Even limiting portabilty to canalphones is against what a good amount of people would call portable (ATH-ESW9's, Sennheiser PXC 250/300, HD25-1, KSC75's or PX100's, etc.)
Maybe so but I've seen picture after picture in the "Pictures of your portable rig" thread never include anything compatible with a DAC. It's always been various forms of headphones, canalphones and a DAP with an interconnect.
post #20 of 85
Why is this even being debated? You don't need a DAC so it's wasted. There's nothing to debate here. Forget "portable rig". It's just not for you.
post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvessel View Post
Why is this even being debated? You don't need a DAC so it's wasted. There's nothing to debate here. Forget "portable rig". It's just not for you.
Then why is the Headamp Pico configurable with and without DAC. It's a concern to me because I'd love to have a Predator, but without the DAC.
post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmyers View Post
...I've plugged my Predator into my laptop and the line out of my Ipod simultaneously and switched back and forth on the same song. The Predator DAC has significantly better soundstage and detail than the amped iPod.
That is a fascinating experiment and conclusion. With all else being equal (i.e, the track on the laptop is the same file as on the iPod), what you are saying is that the Predator DAC beats the iPod DAC. The amp is a tie by definition (same amp), and let's assume you get a bit-perfect copy off your USB port, so the bitstream is identical.

This boils down to the generation of your iPod. The newest ones have the fab Wolfson DAC which I would have thought would be the equal of whatever is in the Predator. What is the vintage of the iPod?

Well there is one more remote possibility -- your LO cable is poor, adding distortion. Very unlikely. So -- if your iPod has the Wolfson, this is a real puzzle.
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewislink View Post
Then why is the Headamp Pico configurable with and without DAC. It's a concern to me because I'd love to have a Predator, but without the DAC.
I'm sorry, everything doesn't work like Burger King. If you want it your way, try getting enough people who want the same so there's more demand then make sure Ray notices. Who knows but debating over what a "portable rig" is, is ridiculous. Good luck.
post #24 of 85
I'm very sorry, my bad, I thought I was in a free society where freedom of speech and expression was allowed. I will now go to my corner awaiting punishment...
post #25 of 85
I was comparing to the latest Nano. My understanding was that the latest generation of iPods did not have Wolfson dacs. But I've also heard that the Wolfson dacs in the iPods aren't that great anyway, even though they carry the Wolfson name. I have to plead total ignorance on this however, as I know virtually nothing about dacs. All I know is what I hear. And what I hear is a noticeably wider soundstage from the Predator dac, which makes it easier to hear the subtleties in the music and to feel wrapped up in it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
That is a fascinating experiment and conclusion. With all else being equal (i.e, the track on the laptop is the same file as on the iPod), what you are saying is that the Predator DAC beats the iPod DAC. The amp is a tie by definition (same amp), and let's assume you get a bit-perfect copy off your USB port, so the bitstream is identical.

This boils down to the generation of your iPod. The newest ones have the fab Wolfson DAC which I would have thought would be the equal of whatever is in the Predator. What is the vintage of the iPod?

Well there is one more remote possibility -- your LO cable is poor, adding distortion. Very unlikely. So -- if your iPod has the Wolfson, this is a real puzzle.
post #26 of 85
@lewislink: Seriously, try contacting Ray to see what he say's about it.
post #27 of 85
I own one, and yes, they are overpriced. They perform great but soooo expensive.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
This boils down to the generation of your iPod. The newest ones have the fab Wolfson DAC which I would have thought would be the equal of whatever is in the Predator. What is the vintage of the iPod?
Both Dacs on the 5th and 6th generation of the iPod are severly inferior to that of the Headroom MicroDac. I believe Apple dropped the Wolfson lineup in their latest version, but either way, when I compare my 4th and 5th generation iMods with and without the dock (4th has the BG included in the thicker housing), they don't even come close to the H120 optical out into the MicroDac into the same amp (Hornet, Tomahawk, Portaphile, etc.) using both setups.
post #29 of 85
dvessel and lewislink -- you're both great head-fi'ers and I always read your posts.

I think the economics shake out this way: Ray had to have a USB DAC to stay competitive with Justin and the Pico. He decided that he could not support two models, could not offer an option. So he didn't, but the price inflation is pretty small, and no increase in size.

And the proof is: RSA ships these immediately, there is no wait list, no hassle. Yes, HeadAmp gives you the option, but you "pay" in waiting time, since no dount having the option makes the process more complex for Justin.

I don't use the DAC, but I figure well someday maybe I will. In fact, since when I travel I always have my laptop, the experiment done by mcmeyers means maybe I use the PMP while actually on the airplane, but in the hotel room plug into the laptop and listen via the DAC!

I never use the HP out jack on my big TV -- dumbest thing in the world given a typical setup with the audio of the TV plugged in to a system -- but I don't ding the manufacturer for including an option some folks might want. I don't expect to be able to order "without HP jack".

You would save less than you think if Ray offered the option -- the fact that he does not have to offer an option saves him money (he can bulk order the DAC chips, pre-make the Predator insides without having to guess, etc.); he passes the savings on to you.
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavoman View Post
Ray had to have a USB DAC to stay competitive with Justin and the Pico.

Just for clarification (slam away if you wish), Ray has publicly said that the Predator was in the works at the same time as the Pico. I'm not sure which one hit the ground running first (Justin had the chassis at meets before Ray), but I don't believe that Ray created the Predator to stay competitive with the Pico.
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