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Isabellina HPA - Owner's Thread and Impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 529
Quote:
I am very satisfied with the usb cable that Vinnie sent along with the Isabellina HPA. I don't want to start an oem versus custom cable war here
I agree. Im not trying to start a cable war.
post #32 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLeo View Post
Thanks Vinnie.

So basically the Isabellina shouldn't be run continuously and should run coninuosuly for 6-8 hours at most in any sessions, right? After SMART shouts down the Isabellina, will SMART switch it on again after fully charging up the battery? Finally, for the loading of the HP out, should I use a headphone with large impedance or a headphone with small impedance and how large is large?

Thanks.
The Smart system will not re-start the Isabellina HPA. After the first three days to get 60+ hours I am about to start a regime of 16 hours per day of burn in. This will put me at about 250+ hours of burn-in by Sunday 8/16. This will allow me a full two weeks of testing the unit after burn-in.
post #33 of 529
Thats what I m doing. 8am to midnight. I will have 75 hours by the end of tonight.
post #34 of 529
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLeo View Post
Thanks Vinnie.

So basically the Isabellina shouldn't be run continuously and should run coninuosuly for 6-8 hours at most in any sessions, right? After SMART shouts down the Isabellina, will SMART switch it on again after fully charging up the battery? Finally, for the loading of the HP out, should I use a headphone with large impedance or a headphone with small impedance and how large is large?

Thanks.
Hi GreenLeo,

In theorgy, the lower the headphone impedance, the more current will flow and this will accelerate the burn-in. For example, a 32-ohm headphone will draw twice the current than a 64-ohm headphone (with all other conditions being equal - such as volume setting).

Regarding the SLA battery, no SLA battery likes to be deep cycled. So to get the longest life out of the battery (the most amount of cycles), it is best to play for shorter durations and make sure you turn OFF to charge the battery every time.

If you let the battery run down to the point where the SMART board shuts the unit down, it will not turn itself back on automatically. You will need to do this after it recharges...


All,

Thanks for your continued posts and feedback!

Best regards,

Vinnie
post #35 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post
I was using a locus usb straight into the isabellina. Now Im using the usb into the offramp and a bnt to bnt cable between the offramp and isabellina. One nice thing about the offramp, it allows you to upsample to 24/96 if you want to.
Can Isabellina handle 24 bit data? My query because the manual said that it uses 16-bit, non-oversampleing.
post #36 of 529
Thank you everybody's input for answering my questions on burning-in. Is the burning-in time the same as for the DAC and the Amphora?
post #37 of 529
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLeo View Post
Can Isabellina handle 24 bit data? My query because the manual said that it uses 16-bit, non-oversampleing.
Hi GreenLeo,

See: Isabellina

It'll handle 24-bit files just fine, but the 16-bit NOS dac truncates to 16-bit.

For further reading, here are some some links to Isabellina dac user feedback from our Audiocircle forum (a lot of this goes into the 16-bit NOS approach):

Isabellina first impressions (and some background)

Isabellina

Isabellina - reviewed by Positive Feedback Online

The NOS issue bugs me, help please

Quote:
Is the burning-in time the same as for the DAC and the Amphora?
Not sure about exact times (it definitely varies with load, volume level, etc) but I'd say the majority of the burn-in happens in the first 200 hours. Many will tell you that Vcaps take even longer, and while I agree, the majority of it happens in the first 200 hours...

Best regards,

Vinnie
post #38 of 529
My Isabellina HPA has about 75 hours of burn in. It in no way sounds like it did straight out of the box.

- Highs are more extended and are clearer.
- The mids are more detailed and they have more decay. I still wish for a bit more air between the notes.
- The bass has tightened and it is punchier.
- Soundstage is deeper and wider.

I am still hoping for more improvement specially after at least 250 hours of burn in. I should mention these impressions are using a coaxial cable for input. I hope to try the USB input this coming weekend (at about the 110 hour burn-in mark).

Thanks.
post #39 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
My Isabellina HPA has about 75 hours of burn in. It in no way sounds like it did straight out of the box.

- Highs are more extended and are clearer.
- The mids are more detailed and they have more decay. I still wish for a bit more air between the notes.
- The bass has tightened and it is punchier.
- Soundstage is deeper and wider.

I am still hoping for more improvement specially after at least 250 hours of burn in. I should mention these impressions are using a coaxial cable for input. I hope to try the USB input this coming weekend (at about the 110 hour burn-in mark).

Thanks.
Glad to hear things are moving along. I'll be interested to hear your comments re. USB. Assumedly you're using the supplied adaptor to go from RCA female to BNC male for the coax (off the back of your player). If so, the RCA is not true 75 ohm.

I run the same with a DVD player and get good results. But the USB with lossless streaming definitely is my best sounding source.

Kent
post #40 of 529
Kent, as you stated I am using the BNC male adapter. The fact it is not a true 75 ohm is why I want to try the USB. Thanks.
post #41 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
Kent, as you stated I am using the BNC male adapter. The fact it is not a true 75 ohm is why I want to try the USB. Thanks.
6Moons, in their full review of the Isabella with DAC, compared USB to a mega, mega buck CD transport (assumably equiped with BNC). Sarjan still choose USB by a small margin.

EDIT: Don't get me wrong, I think it takes a pretty good system to hear the difference between USB and and coax. But if you got the right gear, the difference is there.
post #42 of 529
i would say that i have about 100+ hours on my isabellina hpa now. i have been listening to the shmcd(japanese version) set of led zeppelin and as the hours go by i have found the isabellina hpa to be getting more precise in detail from the bottom end to the top end. drums, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, etc. all sound so very realistic in the shmcd set that again i feel as though i am actually right there in the studio with the group. now, if only i could go back in time and relive those moments again... oh well! at least i got to see and hear many of the great bands of the sixites and early seventies.
another thing i've noticed about the isabellina hpa is that i have felt nothing in the fatigue factor. i can listen to my hd800 thru it all day long.
my source is windows 7 using media player with wma lossless. i am using the usb connection and have no plans to use the optical or coaxial. i have using the amp for about 16 hours a day.
for the money i just can't imagine trying to put something together that comes close to what the isabellina hpa offers.
post #43 of 529
Well, today I finally got to try the USB input into the Isabellina HPA. The source of the files is my almost 5 year old Dell using iTunes and Apple Lossless files. First I had to go from the optical line out (Chaintech AV710) that normally feeds my Monarchy Audio NM24 DAC to USB. Boy did I feel like a fool, I could not make it work for a long time and then I realized the Isabellina HPA uses a toggle switch on the back instead of automatically detecting how it is being fed music. Yes, like a fool I wasted half an hour.

I tried my heavily modded Denon D2000 first and I was pissed! The sound was horrible to the point I was about to forget it, pack it, return it, and ask for my money back. I mean the unit had at the time I switched sources about 115 hours of burn in and it was sounding congested, poor extension, and no definition/clarity. Well I stuck with it and now about 7 hours later I can say that the sound is much nicer. I have tried several cans and they all sound good. Examples are: Grado RS-1, AKG K701, and Denon D2000 w/ lots of mods.

I believe it will take a few more hours of burn in but tomorrow I will revert to burning it in w/ the coaxial feed due to simplicity and less wear and tear on my PC since I use an old Philips DVD player as a source. In closing I was very surprised that the USB seems to need its own burn-in time. I would have thought that the burning of the DAC via the coaxial would be sufficient but that was not the case. Has anyone else experienced the same?
post #44 of 529
Maybe the usb cable needed burn in. My high end cable supposedly needed 150 hours of burn in stated by the manufacture. Also, itunes on a pc isnt going to be the best quality. I would suggest foobar or jriver jukebox. Jriver has an easier controll and config. There both free. You can also try the free 30 day trial of jriver media center too if you want. Use the asio playback output if you can and also bypass the kmixer. That should also improve on your sound quality. Itunes is awesome for macs but on a pc there are a lot better platers that will give you better sound.
post #45 of 529
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post
Maybe the usb cable needed burn in. My high end cable supposedly needed 150 hours of burn in stated by the manufacture. Also, itunes on a pc isnt going to be the best quality. I would suggest foobar or jriver jukebox. Jriver has an easier controll and config. There both free. You can also try the free 30 day trial of jriver media center too if you want. Use the asio playback output if you can and also bypass the kmixer. That should also improve on your sound quality. Itunes is awesome for macs but on a pc there are a lot better platers that will give you better sound.
i agree! itunes on a pc sounds like crapola!!
itunes on my mac is awesome!
my isabelina hpa has about 80 hours and improving every day.
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