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Toucan and Boomslang (IBasso Audio) Balanced Review Thread - Page 17

post #241 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfen68 View Post





The Toucan is green, and I agree that burn-in may help.

 

I bought the Toucan/Boomslang exclusively to dabble in balanced...but it's hard to watch it sit there unused as I wait to reterminate headphones.

I mean, you don't really have to balance your headphones to burn it in...  Just hook up some crappy free IEMs and leave it by a computer or something, checking the battery status every so often?
 

post #242 of 330


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvu View Post





I hope this helps

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P1018197.JPG


Thank you for taking those photos HVU, helps a lot. 

PB1 still relatively small then when term "portable" is used as the Protector is very small anyway.

 

 

 

post #243 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post



I mean, you don't really have to balance your headphones to burn it in...  Just hook up some crappy free IEMs and leave it by a computer or something, checking the battery status every so often?
 


I've made the effort to burn in a lot of equipment over the years.  In this case....I'm just going to listen and enjoy. 
 

post #244 of 330

I spent about an hour listening to the iBasso Toucan/Boomslang combo fed via an optical cable from an iRiver H120. The UE TripleFi10 did not sound this good before even w/ a Lune cable. Now that Ron helped by re-terminating the Lune with a Hirose plug the sound is more open and the detail is  up a couple of notches. There is more air between the notes and it is much easier to pin point the instruments.

post #245 of 330

I agree with you, Miguel that the optical input is not as good as the SPDIF or the USB.  Since my recent--currently unresolved OSX driver stability issues of my M2Tech HiFace--I have switched to a Locus Design Polestar USB cable and started burning in today.  I also have a XLR3->Hirose TWag adapter so I could hook up my balanced cans such as my favorite Qualias.

 

The Polestar cable needs about 150 hours additional burn-in, as recommended by the User "Manual" even though they did some pre-burn in in the factory.  The strangest thing was that they did not recommend hot-plugging the cable into any devices that's already powered on.  Never heard of that before but that's what they recommend.

 

The sound is already amazing and even though the PB1's gain setting set to the lowest possible level, I can only go about 35% of attenuation, but the Qualias are super-sensitive cans.  Very impressed with the iBasso setup so far.

 

Sorry about the iPhone pictures, I'm without a DSLR until next week 

 

IMG_0151.jpgIMG_0152.jpgIMG_0153.jpg

post #246 of 330
I don't think that's what he said about the optical input at all. While I do think the coax is better I personally feel the USB is the weakest input on the boomslang. Maybe the stock cable is not so great for me or the netbook I was using wasn't good enough, but I think all he really said was switching to balanced was an improvement.

Regardless, nice setup heh.
post #247 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post

I don't think that's what he said about the optical input at all. While I do think the coax is better I personally feel the USB is the weakest input on the boomslang. Maybe the stock cable is not so great for me or the netbook I was using wasn't good enough, but I think all he really said was switching to balanced was an improvement.

Regardless, nice setup heh.
 

Oh, I definitely agree that switching to the Hirose balanced output is the single biggest improvement you can make concerning the Toucan.  iBasso had confirmed this as I had several email exchanges with them.  If you notice in the specs they do not even mention the type of Opamp they use and it is, in fact, sanded off on the chipset.  But they did say that the amp performs best in balanced mode, which is why I went to the extra expense of having custom adapters made since virtually all my IEM and HP cables are TWag.  I did order the iBasso IC as well for comparison, which I think is made of TWcu, but I'm not positive on that.

 

When the HiFace did not cause a kernel panic, I had great results in terms of sound quality from the SPDIF output myself.  Now I'm waiting for a new USB-A to B cable from Locus called the Axis, so I can use my Sonic Diverter that does not need custom drivers and then I can offer some more info between the two from my perspective/ears.  For now, the Polestar cable is still being burned in according to what Locus recommended, but I can't promise I won't hot-plug the cable ever.  That still baffles me, but it is not an inexpensive cable...although not the most expensive either they make.

 

I've been working with Marco at M2Tech to troubleshoot the software issue and he has been very responsive.  Sent several crash dumps to him and his developer suspects some sort of low-level conflict between the HiFace driver and some other service that's running but they could not pinpoint the issue yet.

 

Once everything comes together, I put together a little review, since I promised them.

 

post #248 of 330
Thread Starter 

I wanted to let everyone know that after A/Bing with the LISAIII, and yes the lisa is a SE amplifier...in my opinion in balanced mode the Toucan simply provides a much nicer sound...its not that the LISA is not good, she is awesome, as analytical as they come, perfect reproduction...but I cannot listen to the LISA for extended periods of time, its simply exhausting, fatiguing...the Toucan I can listen to for hours, which I do quite often (along with the boomslang at the office)...however for the A/B testing I did I used a single well CD source...IBASSO has hit a homerun with this...for the money, if you like to listen to music and have the time to spend listening to music (and I dont have that much time), it is a fantastic investment in your listening pleasure...I also really like the HD650s, I couldnt be happier with the synergy of these phones with the PB1 as well! 

post #249 of 330

Pauly...

There is no doubt that the Toucan really sings when using the balanced output.  Like a vocalist suddenly discovering that they have an extra set of lungs!

Ron

post #250 of 330

You two should really stop gushing...as I don't have a set of balanced phones yet smily_headphones1.gif

post #251 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulybatz View Post

I also really like the HD650s, I couldnt be happier with the synergy of these phones with the PB1 as well! 


The HD650s are great cans, no doubt.  But the HD600s are more revealing, more balanced and not as dark on the top end.  I spoke to Ray Samuels at the NC Can Fest in August when I bought his A-10 demo unit from him.  He has all kinds of Sennheiser headphones all the way to the HE90s and he uses the HD600s to tune his dynamic amps.  That is how I got into the HD600s since I also have one of his 2nd generation Apaches. So, unlike Ron, I'm stuck with the hefty XLR3s, but I don't mind.

 

At any rate, different sound sig than the HD600 but they are awesome with the Toucan as well.  

 

I agree also that the PB1/DB1 combo is going to be hard--if not impossible--to beat in terms of value for the dollar. 

post #252 of 330

That is a really nice setup, Warp. It is a great testament to the Ibasso's value that they are a fraction of the price of the Sony Qualia, but work with them very well. I do not know much about cables, but I am inclined to think there has to be some difference with better cables. My question is, how much of a difference is there between the stock Ibasso interconnect for the Boomslang/Toucan and the Twag one? How much more performance are you getting for three and a half times the price? This knowledge may come in handy if I decide to get a Boomslang later (right now I am just trying to get a Toucan). I am not knocking your choice of the interconnect at all, in fact I rather admire that you like to go to the peak of things equipment wise. 


Edited by GeorgeGoodman - 10/18/10 at 3:50pm
post #253 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeGoodman View Post

That is a really nice setup, Warp. It is a great testament to the Ibasso's value that they are a fraction of the price of the Sony Qualia, but work with them very well. I do not know much about cables, but I am inclined to think there has to be some difference with better cables. My question is, how much of a difference is there between the stock Ibasso interconnect for the Boomslang/Toucan and the Twag one? How much more performance are you getting for three and a half times the price? This knowledge may come in handy if I decide to get a Boomslang later (right now I am just trying to get a Toucan). I am not knocking your choice of the interconnect at all, in fact I rather admire that you like to go to the peak of things equipment wise. 

 

Thanks, George.  My iBasso IC hasn't arrived yet, but it's on the way.  The retail price on the Whiplash Hirose ICl is $120 vs. $39 of the iBasso model, but the iBasso uses OCC, so I would expect it to be cheaper.  I will wrap my impressions of that into the review, as well as the Locus Design Polestar USB-B to USB-mini cable vs. my existing Virtue Audio USB cable, which I thought was good enough up until now.

 

Yes, not even digital cables are alike when it comes to sound and that was my last bastion of skepticism.  This hobby is killing me financially, but I enjoy every moment of it.

 

The Qualias are so revealing and detailed--the stock cable is horribly bad--that it's easy to hear every sliver of difference in how the sound spectrum is presented and a great revealer of an enormous, spherical headstage.  This is unique to them, no other cans can do this type of imaging.  So it's like the sonic equivalent of an MRI diagnostic scanner, in a way.

 

I'm listening to my HD600s now, which require a lot more juice (this isn't the one for sale).  Drives them easily even at the lowest gain setting.  I'm having an XLR4 to Hirose adapter made also, so I can test this gear with the mighty AKG K1000s and my balanced R10s.  It should be cool.  It'll take me a 2-3 more weeks until I finish my tests on this thing.  But I don't see anyone going wrong with them, especially at this price.  It's a bargain for sure.
 

post #254 of 330

I am looking forward to your review! Do you go to any meets? I am in New York and am probably going to be at the White Plains meet on November 20th. All of your setups look so amazing, I just want to hear them. 

post #255 of 330

I may not make it to the Nov 20th one, but plan to be there--weather permitting--in January.  I'll certainly bring some stuff, because it will be great to see others to experience just how amazing these TWag cables and ICs sound paired to the gear I have.  Very difficult putting some of this stuff to words but I put my money where my mouth is...

 

Besides the iBasso gear, I also plan to take an Antelope Zodiac+ DAC/amp and my newly acquired Sonic Diverter, which I haven't even heard yet, because the cables for that combo are still being made.  But once this is all together, I'll be set for a while...I hope

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