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Official Audio-gd Sparrow thread - Page 37

post #541 of 725

The line-in isn't a matter of grammar, but of whether or not the current version of the sparrow actually has it. Don't worry about it though, I will help them figure it out.

post #542 of 725

Yeah pls, contact him, and let us know. If it really will have line in, i'll be able to spare 100-150 euros. Line in is actually the only real reason i'm going to get the fun.

post #543 of 725

I think he copied the Fun web page for the Sparrow and adjusted it (as I've seen him do that in the past with other things) but forgot to remove that bit.

post #544 of 725

Yeah, I suspected that may have been the case Currawong .

 

I've now read every page of this thread (thanks for the lols Crazy*Carl... your crusade is fanatical but it did heighten some doubts I already had). The discussion throughout seems to have centred on the impact of the DA chip to the sq and considering I already have a Fiio E7 which also uses the WM8740, I wondered if the Sparrow would be much of an upgrade. Granted the amp section of the Fiio is different (and it is a much cheaper unit), I suspect it may still have similarities with the Sparrow sound signature as you guys seem to overlook discussion of the Sparrow's amp section and it's affect on the sound. In the early pages haloxt also outlined his findings of the Sparrow coupled with the WM8740 module which accurately described the sound I get from the Fiio E7 using usb from my macbook and Alessandro MS-1i headphones. To my disappointment, and I hope someone else can provide another insight, another user also pointed out there wasn't a significant gain in sq when pairing the MS-1i with the Sparrow.

 

I had considered ordering the B version upgraded to WM8741 but am now unsure if it'd be worthwhile. Others have also commented that the Sparrow shares many qualities with the FUN. If I go the Audio-gd FUN (version B with WM8741) instead, would I only be paying extra for it's versatility?

 

post #545 of 725

Yes, that's right, you'd only be paying for the versatility.  I did try my old MB Quart QP55s (equivalent to low-end Grados) with my MacBook Pro (which has a quite decent line out) and the Sparrow A and there wasn't much more than an increase in available volume. Compared to onboard PC sound cards it's a lot better, however (I have two PCs here and their onboard sound is nasty, much worse than my iPods, for example).  With my high-end cans the differences are noticeable, however.  Though I wouldn't recommend it as a pairing due to the disparity in SQ capability (the headphones deserve much better), the Sparrow will drive the Audeze LCD-2s well, where the MacBook Pro wont.

 

So, where we usually talk about headphones scaling with better amps and sources, it's rather the inverse here, with the Sparrow scaling reasonably considering.  It's better, IMO, than one of those OPA2134-based eBay whatevers (too many to remember), but no $200 DAC/amp is going to be a revelation unless you've been using a crappy soundcard to begin with.  To its credit though, it's the cheapest amp you can get with a current gain stage (think Krell-style) and discreet output stage instead of OPAMPs*.  That's quite classy, despite the above.

 

In the end, if I'd bought one of these when I started (it didn't exist, but hypothetically) I wouldn't have been unhappy I think.  I was always hitting max volume on my MacBook Pro with the MB Quarts, so at the very least I would have had better volume control.  I do understand where CrazyCarl was coming from though.  It's easy to end up expecting too much from gear and regularly people get excited with their first purchase, making it hard to get a more realistic idea what to expect.


Edited by Currawong - 9/11/10 at 11:28pm
post #546 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Yes, that's right, you'd only be paying for the versatility.


Not what I wanted to hear, as I'm trying to justify purchasing the FUN over the Sparrow, but thanks for your frank response. There is a discernable difference in clarity on top of the volume increase when employing the Fiio E7 instead of the macbook line out. My frustration is that, while vocals and mainly guitar tracks have a grungy and emotive quality that's great for certain genre's, there is a universal lack of separation and clarity in background details. That gritty signature is also detrimental in acoustic vocal tracks and I think the WM8740's tonal limitations are exposed in dense passages (no matter the genre) when definition is lost and the result is a fatiguing mess.

 

I may be over critical of these entry level components but my initial experience with the MS-1i and another RA-1 clone was an eye opener. Even just going line out of the macbook into this amp provided very good sound stage, with shimmering clarity and precision. There was no harshness in the upper frequencies and muddiness in the mids or bass. Although a clone, the seller apparently used quality components in addition to the stock JRC4556 dual opamp. Unfortunately that amp developed a fault and the replacement I've received has not matched the original.

 

I'm not sure if what I encountered is what you guys would describe as a neutral amp but I suspect it was. Everything I threw at it was pleasing and I enjoyed the music rather than criticising the way it was colouring the sound as I now do with the replacement clone as well as the Fiio E7. I may be greatly mistaken but everything I've read about the amp sections of the Sparrow/FUN matches what I may looking for.

post #547 of 725

The possessive of it is its. It's a real problem online. 

 

In any case, going from a series of more expensive portable amps to the less expensive sparrow was definitely an increase in SQ for me - mainly in the bass thickness, but also in overall smoothness of timbre.  

 

post #548 of 725

I'm going to pull the trigger and find out for myself. One question that hasn't been answered in my emails to Audio-gd is whether the ACSS module and diamond output stage is the default configuration for both B versions of FUN and Sparrow. The first few pages of the FUN thread suggests ACSS is only default on the A version. The Audio-gd website isn't entirely clear either. Can someone clarify this before I take the plunge?

post #549 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

I'm going to pull the trigger and find out for myself. One question that hasn't been answered in my emails to Audio-gd is whether the ACSS module and diamond output stage is the default configuration for both B versions of FUN and Sparrow. The first few pages of the FUN thread suggests ACSS is only default on the A version. The Audio-gd website isn't entirely clear either. Can someone clarify this before I take the plunge?



Yes, I'm sure it is the same.

 

The main differences in A or B are the default DAC and the specifications of the Caps and resistors.  The underlying circuit is the same.

post #550 of 725

The original Fun A and B were different in that the latter didn't use ACSS.  That changed to the differences being in the quality of the capacitors and resistors used in construction instead.

post #551 of 725

SOLD! Thanks guys. This is the wrong thread but I got the most help here. Ordering the FUN now.

post #552 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I think he copied the Fun web page for the Sparrow and adjusted it (as I've seen him do that in the past with other things) but forgot to remove that bit.


Yeah that's correct, he just removed the part about sparrow having line-in.

post #553 of 725

I'm trying to decide which version of the Sparrow to get. I'm using a uDAC now and contrary to what Crazy Carl was ranting about it made a significant difference. The headphone out on my PC iswas just not very good and the uDAC solved my problem. I just got some MS2's though that I prefer the sound of using my Clip as the source versus the uDAC. Which even further contradicts Carls contention at least AFAIC. So I'm trying to figure out which version of the Sparrow I would like better. I dont plan on adding a dedicated amp because it seems the Sparrow's headphone out has a much better amp than the uDAC.

 

I'm primarily concerned with which DAC chip will synergize better with MS2's. I'm leaning toward version A.
 

post #554 of 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneelJung View Post

I'm trying to decide which version of the Sparrow to get. I'm using a uDAC now and contrary to what Crazy Carl was ranting about it made a significant difference. The headphone out on my PC iswas just not very good and the uDAC solved my problem. I just got some MS2's though that I prefer the sound of using my Clip as the source versus the uDAC. Which even further contradicts Carls contention at least AFAIC. So I'm trying to figure out which version of the Sparrow I would like better. I dont plan on adding a dedicated amp because it seems the Sparrow's headphone out has a much better amp than the uDAC.

 

I'm primarily concerned with which DAC chip will synergize better with MS2's. I'm leaning toward version A.
 


I'm sure you would Love either version with the 8741 installed in it.

 

For most folks, that's all the Headphone amp they'll ever need.

 

Of course the inhabitants of this forum aren't most folks...
 

post #555 of 725

Audio gd's site says two different Woolfson chips are available, the 8740 and the 8741. The difference in the descriptions appear to be identical except for the use of  "quite neutral," versus "much neutral."

 

What's the difference?

 

The other contender in my search for a new DAC / amp combo is the Audinst which uses the 8740 chip too.

 

So is the 8741 the one that sounds sort of "tubey?"


Edited by KneelJung - 9/13/10 at 5:46am
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