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[IMPRESSION] GoVibe Derringer - low budget ultraportable face-off!!!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Finally got a chance to visit Singapore lately, so here is something I brought back with me: GoVibe Derringer.

I am a sucker for cheap ultraportable amps, here are a few for your eyes' pleasure.


FiiO E3, E5, Travagan's Colors, iBasso T4 and GoVibe Derringer.









Impression
I think it is fair to describe Derringer as the coldest, cleanest, most analytical and uncolored ultraportable amps I ever heard, but not necessary in a bad way. Most ultraportable tend to sound warmer by adding a fuller mid to the overall sound. they also tend to add more reverberation to give a sense of space and create a wider soundstage. Derringer is different in way that it doesn't really add any warmness to the mix nor does it have any extra reverberation. Besides extending the treble, Derringer will just throw back whatever you feed it, amplified.

So what is the big deal with an amp that sound "not-so-fun"? The answer is what you can pair it with. Ultraportable is meant for IEM and earbud user on-the-move, but in many way they are also a lot more picky on synergy. Some IEM just don't sound right pairing with ultraportable amp - While cold analytical IEM can be a bliss when pairing with most ultraportable, the mixture of warm amp and warm sounding IEM (such as s-JAYS) usually doesn't add more than the headphone-out alone. In some case, there is more harm than good. What I find Derringer to perform very well at is with those warm sounding IEM that can benefit from a bit more detail. For once, RE1, UM2 and s-JAYS finally sound right from an ultraportable.

As you have seen in the pictures, the placement of the sockets and switches are a bit strange, probably due to the fact that this amp take AAA battery. That said, it doesn't have that high of a gain for demanding headphone but it can still push RE1 (150ohm) to very loud volume. The low gain actually is a good thing for IEM user as I can set UM2 (which has a very low impedance) on 4/10 and still listen on comfortably volume. The other good news is Derringer has almost no hissing at all. I can hardly tell the very faint hiss with my UM2 when the volume is max'ed out even when no music is playing.

SQ wise, I think it is hard for me to say in definite that Derringer is better or worst than T4. They both have their pros and cons especially on the issue of synergy. Nonetheless, it is an interesting amp to own.

The local price is SG$99, which is around US$70.
post #2 of 17
Interesting. So, if say on a bassy IEM like Atrio, the Derringer would actually help bring out more detail?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkchaser View Post
Interesting. So, if say on a bassy IEM like Atrio, the Derringer would actually help bring out more detail?
Yes. Atrio actually sound quite nice out of Derringer.
post #4 of 17
good pair of amp to get then, hmmmm, you got it from jaben right?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is only available at Jaben AFAIK.
post #6 of 17
The Derringer also appears to be well shielded against RFI. Have been using it for 2 days with iphone but did not detect any RFI chatter.

In comparison, the amount of RFI chatter on the T4 is so bad that I gave up on it during the audition.

If the icon mobile can be added to the mix for comparison, it'd be great!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
Yes. Atrio actually sound quite nice out of Derringer.
I bought the Derringer based on this one sentence from ClieOS. And I must say I wasn't disappointed. The Atrios sound like a completely different beast now. Bass is slightly refined, but more importantly I can hear more detail with better instrument separation. Incredible.
post #8 of 17
finally, an amp that can pair with Atrio~ sigh, time to spend again. thanks ClieOS for the impression. wonder if it improves Atrio soundstage? (although it is already quite good)
post #9 of 17
I got a GoVibe Derringer (a prototype, I assume) today, and of course had to put it through some tests right away. Here's a few RMAA results, and a few comparisons Derringer vs. FiiO E5.

GoVibe Derringer - Various Loads
GoVibe Derringer - Vol. 8 vs. 10
FiiO E5 vs. GoVibe Derringer
FiiO E5 vs. GoVibe Derringer - 16 + 52 Ohm Loads

Furthermore, here's a few hi-res photos of the amp (incl. innards), if anyone's interested: The GoVibe Derringer - Headphone Amplifiers (Portable) - abi>>forums
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
I got a GoVibe Derringer (a prototype, I assume) today, and of course had to put it through some tests right away. Here's a few RMAA results, and a few comparisons Derringer vs. FiiO E5.
Very interesting graph. Quite a lot of distortion on high volume (10/10) which I guess could very well be clipping due to the choice of AAA battery as power supply. I didn't notice distortion on UM2 (27 ohm) but I were only using it on 4/10. This makes me wonder whether the noise increases with volume?
post #11 of 17
Indeed, up until volume 8/10 all is fine, louder than that and all hell breaks loose. Guess the 1.5V rail can't hold up. Interesting also that the Derringer actually isn't very loud, the E5 for example can get about ~10dB louder with the same source.

I did try my 300 Ohm HD650 on the Derringer (only phone I can stand at volume 10/10), and it's not pretty what I heard.
post #12 of 17
How would you compare it to Linearossa w1?
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goranilic View Post
How would you compare it to Linearossa w1?
I like W1 better. There are some mellowness and musicality in W1 that just make it a joy to listen.
post #14 of 17

Hmm ClieOS / Tai do you think the Derringers might also work for Monster MD and e-Q7? =)

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Synergy wise, it works fairly well with e-Q7 by giving it more detail and sparkle, but it also adds a faint background hiss to the mix, which I don't like.

 

Never heard any Monster before, so no comment.

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