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Oh where, oh where has my slim Arrow gone, oh where, oh where can it be? - Page 3

post #31 of 892
9,8cm x 5,4cm x 0,8cm!
post #32 of 892
Here is a picture with an iPod Nano picked up.

post #33 of 892
Any additional news/comment/reviews (?!) on this very sleek looking amp ?
post #34 of 892

Sounds great

I just received mine in a "trade and pay less" for my Lyrix.
Initial impressions are outstanding. This thing has pretty much overcome all the arguments against having a portable amp. It's so thin (1/4")! it will hardly be noticeable in transport. IIRC it's the same op-amp as the Pico and the Lyrix before it. It seems many portable amp builders use it. I've heard quite a few and there may be some different sounding, but none better IMO (yet). Implementation is better than the Lyrix. I have to go by memory, but the sound impresses me like the Pico did when I first heard it. The additional features and small form factor impress me more. I'm going to a meet on Saturday so I'll have a chance to do some direct comparisons with a few amps.
I'm using it in conjunction with the new model line-dac (Wolfson dac chip) and HD650s. It's hard to believe the definition, clarity, soundstage and PUNCH this little thing has!
I'll be back with more impressions when I've listened a little more (maybe after the meet).
post #35 of 892
I can't wait to hear about it!
please do come back with your impressions !
post #36 of 892
I have one " Nice shape,Excellent sound".

That's my first impression!!!
post #37 of 892
Thread Starter 
definitely tell us more... i have a lyrix at the moment and thinking of getting the standard version...
post #38 of 892

Do it

Originally Posted by Shauntell47 View Post
definitely tell us more... i have a lyrix at the moment and thinking of getting the standard version...
I wouldn't hesitate a minute. With the trade in allowance it's a no-brainer for a better sounding, better looking full featured amp. I got the hi-end one as it gives a whopping 12 volts when needed and the auto power-off saves battery life/duration and charging frequency. I guess if you use cans that don't require the voltage swing (and you have a good memory) the standard version would be fine.
I'll write a comparative review once it's burned in a little more and I've A/Bd it with other amps at the meet this weekend. I know people are skeptical about portables and full sized cans, but I could use this amp with my HD650s and be content (at least until I have $500 or more to blow on a desktop) I'm pleasantly surprised even though I had high expectations. I believe the high voltage capability in this model has a lot to do with how well it drives the "voltage hungry" 650s.
post #39 of 892
^ Looking forward to reading more. This does look like a nice portable. I loved my Lyrix and I'm hoping I'll like the Arrow even more. I had the socketed opamp Lyrix and I couldn't find any opamp that sounded better than the one that came with it. Great deal for sure on their trade in Cash for Clunkers.
Again I'd be really interested in reading about your impressions after the meet.
post #40 of 892
As a matter of fact, Robert told me he uses the HD 650 in his home with this amp as well. Go figure, he must have good taste, LOL. I know you guys are gonna love this amp.
post #41 of 892

The Arrow: A comparative impression

Well I went to the meet over the weekend and was happy to see there was a Pico there to refresh my "audio memory".
It seems both my memory and the Arrow are just fine as the comparison revealed at the very least equality with the Pico, when not taking the Arrow's feature set into consideration. A similar sound signature is to be expected in well designed portables using the same op-amp, but to my ears the Arrow pulled slightly ahead. Maybe it's newer components or implementation; I can't really say why.... I just listen and try to be as objective as possible about what I hear. When making comparisons we leveled the playing field by not using any features absent on the Pico. The smart technology and adjustable bass, gain, impedance and cross-feed, along with it's slim size and considerably lower price IMO make the Arrow the hands down winner.
Someone using the >$1000 JH13 IEMs said if he heard any difference (no sound optimization used) it was in favor of the Arrow's "wider" soundstage. We use different terms when describing our perception of sound, and being no expert I think that is close to what I meant by "definition" when I made the short comment in a previous post in this thread. The instruments and vocals are all "well defined in their position" on the recording with no sense of anything being squashed together or in the middle of your head. In short, he Arrow is very good at presenting a "big" sound. It has excellent imaging, bass depth and impact and solid performance across the frequency range. As this is my first review of audio hardware I'm afraid I don't have much more of a technical nature to say. That's pretty much why I needed to give a comparative type of impression.
I haven't been using my desktop much since owning the Arrow. At first I thought it was because of the WOW factor for such a small device. Now I'm beginning to believe the Arrow's sound is actually as good. Granted it's not an expensive desktop, but I have read a great deal on this site about how portables can never be as good at driving full sized (high ohm) headphones as an equally priced desktop. It might end up that I start using my small desktop again, but for now I'm so impressed with the sound of the Arrow I haven't taken the time to do a critical comparison. I know for a fact that the Arrow drives the Senn 650s to a louder level than the desktop but that is not always a sign of equal SQ. I'll report back on that if anyone is interested.
I didn't have a chance to compare it to any other portables at the meet as the one person with a Ray Samuels amp (might have been a Tomahawk) couldn't get it to work. I was primarily looking to see how it stacked up against the Pico as I've owned one and wanted to see if I'd given anything up. I don't believe I have. The line dac I use from Headstage uses the same chip as the Pico amp/dac. I forgot my line-dac at home in the rush to get to the meet but again from memory (which has now proved pretty accurate) the Arrow/line dac combination sounds as good to me, and that combo is quite a bit less money).
There are all kinds of arguments for and against the kind of sound enhancement technology available on the Arrow. The key word here I think is "available". If you are a purist run it flat, but even purists run into bad recordings that can use a little help sometimes and I personally like to have it at hand.
IMO altering the sound a little to suit the recording does not necessarily degrade it, especially if it is a poorly mastered recording.
Each headphone has it's attributes and shortcomings (except the JH13s from what I've heard ). The ability to compensate to get the sound you prefer is a bonus in my book, not a liability as some claim.
A few years ago I owned a Xenos X1HA-EPC. It was a great amp that I only sold to get a desktop because I didn't have need for portability. I have regretted the decision to sell it until now. The Arrow gives me everything the Xenos did and more with nearly no weight or bulk for about the same price.
You might not get the bragging rights you get with Ray Samuels or Head Amp, but I'd rather save money for music and gear than brag .
All in all a fine example of German engineering/production.

Thank you Headstage!

P.S. As there are plenty of good pictures in posts 14 & 15 (on the bottom of the first page of this thread) I don't see the need to post any more. Thanks EagleEye!

Here's a link to the meet impressions thread for anyone interested:http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f45/sa...2010-a-469885/
post #42 of 892
Great writeup Hellenback Very enjoyable read and its very apparent you tried to be objective in your comparison to the Pico. Well done !!
post #43 of 892
Any comments on the attenuation qualities of the volume dial?

How is the channel separation and frequency response at low volumes with sensitive IEMs?
post #44 of 892
I received my "Arrow" 29 days ago, and I have fallen asleep with it every single night after that! I am so satisfied with it that my RSA Tomahawk, iBasso D10, iBasso P3+ and my Corda 3Move has been forgotten in the drawer! I use it with several hadphones I got: Sennheiser HD595, 600, 650, Denon D2000 DeLuxe "marklmodded", AKG K601 and Ultrasone HFI580. The sources I am using is an "imod" and a ipod Classic 120GB.
post #45 of 892

NEW INFORMATION: Alps analog volume control

Originally Posted by grokit View Post
Any comments on the attenuation qualities of the volume dial?

How is the channel separation and frequency response at low volumes with sensitive IEMs?

I stand corrected. After my initial response I got to thinking I better be sure when making definite sounding statements. Upon further investigation I discovered that the Arrow uses an Alps analog volume control. I was told it had to be digital due to the nature/dimensins of the amp but in fact it is not. My apologies to the manufacturer who apparently went to some length to achieve the best sounding volume adjustment. What got me to re-thinking was that I have digital volume controls on a CD player and a CD recorder that are digital and they are both stepped (with a "click" between incremental adjustments). As the Arrow has a very smooth and consistent scroll, I had to be sure I hadn't misspoken. As it turns out I had and am sorry for assuming the information I received (and passed on) was correct. I don't personally know if there are step-less digital controls, I just haven't heard any (yet).
The comment from the person using the JH13s about digital volume controls being as good, is from someone who although knowledgeable is not an amp builder, so take it as you will. I know that up until I heard this from him I was under the impression that digital control can degrade the signal somewhat. I have also heard that Alps is one of the best when it comes to volume adjustment so I'm happy I double-checked.
As I mentioned, this person is not the least bit shy when it comes to giving his opinion and uses very high-end portable gear. I'm sure if there had been any imbalance or frequency degradation I'd have heard about it!
I couldn't borrow his custom IEMs and as no-one else offered to lend me their universals I didn't check myself. (To be honest, as I don't own any I didn't even think to.)
The Arrow received only positive comments from a pretty tough audience, some of whom use IEMs exclusively.
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