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wanted: Pico Slim review

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Can anyone point me to a review of the Pico Slim? I've serched. I know it is not out yet, but I figure someone has heard it, maybe with JH13s? Anyone? Or are all of you in line to order it "sound unheard"? If so, what makes you confident that it will be a good amp? Just a friendly question.
post #2 of 73
I'm not sure that too many people have heard a production run yet. Justin is a perfectionist, so it might be that the Slim hasn't rolled off the soldering table yet. Who knows, but I think it is safe to say that at least headfi is waiting.
post #3 of 73
I have heard prototypes four times now and it is clearly my choice for a portable amp now that I have heard the similar amps from the big players.

I have listened with both my UE-11s and my JH-13s. I typically find the UE-11s more finicky and have found with many amps they can sound worse than when unamped. Bloated, poorly controlled bass was the norm. I have not found this to be the problem with either the Pico Slim or the ALO Rx and think both sound great with the UE-11s.

I would think you will probably see a few new reviews in the near future as Justin seems to be pretty close to getting this thing out there.
post #4 of 73
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner View Post
I have heard prototypes four times now and it is clearly my choice for a portable amp now that I have heard the similar amps from the big players.

I have listened with both my UE-11s and my JH-13s. I typically find the UE-11s more finicky and have found with many amps they can sound worse than when unamped. Bloated, poorly controlled bass was the norm. I have not found this to be the problem with either the Pico Slim or the ALO Rx and think both sound great with the UE-11s.

I would think you will probably see a few new reviews in the near future as Justin seems to be pretty close to getting this thing out there.
Thanks for the info. My decision is between the ALO Rx and the Pico Slim for JH13s. I hope to order the JH13s tomorrow and then an amp. You said the bass sound was great for the UE-11s. I'm assuming you thought the same for the JH13s? (And for the overall sound?) Thanks.
post #5 of 73
Yeah, I have been impressed with the JH13s out of most amps I have heard them. I just mentioned the bass with the UE11s as it can get a bit hairy with many amps. It is similar to a speaker amp that doesn't control bass well so it gets big and boomy and well out of proportion to the rest of the spectrum.

I have not found this to be the case with either the ALO or the Slim.
post #6 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundBite View Post
You said the bass sound was great for the UE-11s. I'm assuming you thought the same for the JH13s? (And for the overall sound?) Thanks.
No interest in the JH16's for that little (2dB) extra bass?
post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by LintHart View Post
No interest in the JH16's for that little (2dB) extra bass?
Where did you get that information from? Do you have a graph showing where that is centered on the fr?
post #8 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3NTAL View Post
Where did you get that information from? Do you have a graph showing where that is centered on the fr?
From here: 2dB@50Hz. Sorry i dont know where that sits on the graph.
Evidently no one has really heard them and even the review units wont be produced until closer to march

post #9 of 73
I have gone through about 90% of the high end portable amp line up here at headfi and found that most are NOT able to drive balanced armature earphones to their full potential. I have NOT heard the Pico slim but have heard its direct competitors which are some off and some on in terms of driving capability. If you think the JH13Pro sounds good from a DAP, you are missing the best. If you think it sounds good from a mid-tier amp, you are missing out.

The Pico Slim is from all I know engineered for low Ω performance for earphones. If any amp should upset the ALO Rx, it will be the Pico Slim, but waiting is better than touting!
post #10 of 73
The ALO Rx is (as Shigzeo wrote in his review) a perfect amp for the JH13. Listening to some demanding recordings like "Dead Already" from American Beauty soundtrack the bass on the 13's goes as lowest as I've ever heard out of any Head-Gear without starting to distort.
post #11 of 73
I owned the ALO Rx amp and I liked it. The only complaint was when using it with my iPhone. There was too much interference from the phone that I ended up using it only with my ipod. I have a Pico Slim sample that I have been using for the last couple of days and it does not appear to have the same problem with my iPhone. I have to say, when you consider the form factor of both, the Slim is the easy choice. It is every bit as good and better. I will qualify this by saying that I am hesitant to say one is better as my findings will not equate to others will experience. The choice between the two, however, is an easy one for me. Justin has a winner on his hands. I've been using it with my JH13's and I'm loving every minute of it.

post #12 of 73
beauty




.
post #13 of 73
I had a chance to test the pre-production model at a local meet both with my iAudio 7 and Clip running rockbox with UE-11’s and I am looking forward to receiving mine soon. The slim is impressively small; I was impressed with its overall size and its thinness, all with the same build quality as the other headamp gear, top notch! The potentiometer attenuation is impressive, I had to go past ¼ to actually hear the music to the level I like and the steps are very minor as already stated, which allows you to adjust your music to a more precise/appropriate level for iem’s. But I’m not sure if that’s the same adjustment that will be in the production model, either way I’m sure it will be set appropriately. The channel matching is dead on and probably impossible to tell the difference with human ears, but then again I have older ears so I might not be the best judge of that. I do wish he would have included the ability to adjust the pan via pc, as at times I really need it, but if you run rockbox or use cowon’s I guess it’s not the most important thing.

One of the coolest features is when you turn the amp off to speak with someone and when you repower, it starts back up at zero volume and slowly increases volume to the level it was previously at. The battery life is staggering, Justin told me he was getting almost 70 hours, now let’s just hope the DAP manufactures step up to the plate too.

Now onto sound quality, nothing wrong here and it does what it’s supposed to do very well without coloring the sound at all. I honestly can’t say that it improves the treble, mids or bass as others have written, I believe that’s going to depend more on the iem’s you use, but I certainly have no complaints after testing it with my ue11’s

Without knocking it, I prefer the standard pico sound signature or I’ve just become so use to its sound that I appreciate it better. Although very faint, I believe that the standard pico on low gain has much less of a hiss at full volume (yes I know an un-realistic test, but one I try on all portable amps and the Slim passed with flying colors) with the music on pause vs the slim’s hiss. But that’s not to say that you hear any hiss during normal listening volumes with either unit, btw the standard pico on high gain has none to my ears but could be the use of higher ohm phones.

All said, this is a great portable amp and yes I did order one ...




Edit: I have to add that I liked the TTVJ much better than the ALO Rx, I didn’t like the ALO Rx build quality at all and IMO it’s not in the same league as the Pico Slim. That said, I did like the sq and performance of the TTVJ and would certainly own it as well, but for my use the Pico won out, can’t wait to get mine

Edited for clarifying some points.
post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Although very faint, I believe that the standard pico on low gain has much less of a hiss at full volume with the music on pause vs the slim’s hiss. But that’s not to say that you hear any hiss during normal listening volumes with either unit, btw the standard pico on high gain has none.

Hmm, why would high gain at the same volume level ever have less hiss than low gain?

At max volume, could the pico slim be actually louder and amplifying the signal more than the pico?

I'm kinda afraid now that with the most sensitive IEMs that I might be able to hear hiss out of the pico slim at normal listening volumes. Could you comment on that?
post #15 of 73
I am glad to read some impressions of the Pico slim... I'm relatively new to the HP world, so am not as willing to buy blind when it's not a brand that has "mainstream" exposure (yeah, that's an admittedly murky term). Anyway, the form factor alone makes the slim appealing to me, just not sure of committing $350-$400 to something I'm unsure will even "improve" the sound of my ESW9's (have read several comments that portable amping doesn't seem to improve them, but that could be a/c the amps used); the ESW9 straight out of my 6th gen iPod Classic sounds pretty damn good anyway. But, liek everyone lese here, I'm always looking for cost-effective improvements.
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