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Toucan and Boomslang (IBasso Audio) Balanced Review Thread - Page 18

post #256 of 330

Sounds great!

post #257 of 330

I'm really intrigued by the iBasso balanced system. It seems it sounds really nice used as desktop as well? Today I use HD650 with Nuforce HDP at home and like the sound of it, but am of course plannig for something better smily_headphones1.gif

My idea is to buy a proper cable for the HD650 that fits the Toucan/Boomslang and of course get the Boom/Touc also. It's nice to be able to use the Toucan for portable use with an ipod also. Have anyone compared the Touc/Boom against the HDP?


Edited by trentino - 10/19/10 at 4:39am
post #258 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post

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


Off topic I know, but what do you think of your Zodiac+ so far if you do not mind my asking?

post #259 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post




Off topic I know, but what do you think of your Zodiac+ so far if you do not mind my asking?


It's awesome (although mine is only shipping this week).  I heard it first at Can Jam and then I have listened to Craig's own demo unit (he sells them) at the NC Can Fest a little bit more with this setup:

 

DSC_0075.jpg

 

On top of the Zodiac+ sits the Sonic Diverter connected thru that monster Locust Design Cynosure Reference USB cable I call "The Snake" because it's simply insanely big, but the sound was just too darn good to resist.  I'm not a fan of the Buda amps, but Craig likes them.  Either way, the Cynosure is simply beyond my reach, but I'm trying to get the lower tier Nucleus cable.  This is a pretty awesome demo gear, I presume that's why Craig uses it.

post #260 of 330

Yeah I was just wondering, I have one and quite like it.  I really question the use of the sonic diverter here though, besides as a means to show off your fancy usb cable that is thick enough to be used as a deadly weapon (and also the bnc -> rca cable).  Seeing as the sonic diverter re-clocks the spdif output and then the zodiac again re-clocks the input, (from usb or spdif,) unless you use a word clock.  In which case it still re-clocks the input, just to the external clock instead.  I actually have been having a hard time telling apart the spdif input and usb inputs so far.  Though I haven't really tried the optical input yet or even really compared the usb/coax that closely as I am still burning it in.

 

Slightly more on topic, I have run the toucan off the balanced outputs for a laugh.  Really wasn't too bad, all things considered.

post #261 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post

Yeah I was just wondering, I have one and quite like it.  I really question the use of the sonic diverter here though, besides as a means to show off your fancy usb cable that is thick enough to be used as a deadly weapon (and also the bnc -> rca cable).  Seeing as the sonic diverter re-clocks the spdif output and then the zodiac again re-clocks the input, (from usb or spdif,) unless you use a word clock.  In which case it still re-clocks the input, just to the external clock instead.  I actually have been having a hard time telling apart the spdif input and usb inputs so far.  Though I haven't really tried the optical input yet or even really compared the usb/coax that closely as I am still burning it in.

 

Slightly more on topic, I have run the toucan off the balanced outputs for a laugh.  Really wasn't too bad, all things considered.

No, that's not my cable, but that's how it was setup.  When I have my own set, I'll experiment with the different inputs, but the diverter does allow the 24/96 without a special driver out of the USB-port and then onto SPDIF.

 

So, how much better was the Zodiac+=>PB1 balanced combo vs.. the DB1/PB1 balanced combo?

 

post #262 of 330

I realized that was Craig's setup I am just wondering about the need for the diverter in this case (the Zodiac+ accepts async 24/192 over usb with no drivers, and might potentially have better clocking than the diverter, seeing as Antelope's main products are professional clocks / distributors).  The main problem might be the lack of good USB B-mini cables available.  The Zodiac should work in the same capacity as the diverter, only with 2 rca coax outputs and 1 aes output and requiring external power.  Maybe it does sound best that way though, I haven't heard it through the diverter so who knows.

 

It was quite a bit better to me but it would be hard to quantify right now, I'll try it some more and get back to you.  I had run it through the Toucan when I first got the Zodiac+ and the balanced outputs on the back had come set to be on the higher end of its gain range (there are little trim pots to adjust them from +4dBm to +22dBm).  It was so unbelievably loud and hadn't burned in at all yet, at the time I recall thinking the Zodiac+ was slightly strident but do not feel that way now at all.  I'll try some coax vs coax this time... I'm not entirely sure how meaningful my comparison of the usb implementations really was, when to me the Zodiac's usb is much more well thought out and implemented (and costly.)  I still think the Boomslang is a good value.

 

Also, the construction of my interconnects for boomslang -> toucan and my 1 zodiac (or other balanced source) -> toucan cable are wildly different;  I'll see if I can do something about that but I am out of the little hirose connectors.

post #263 of 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by BebopMcJiggy View Post

I realized that was Craig's setup I am just wondering about the need for the diverter in this case (the Zodiac+ accepts async 24/192 over usb with no drivers, and might potentially have better clocking than the diverter, seeing as Antelope's main products are professional clocks / distributors).  The main problem might be the lack of good USB B-mini cables available.  The Zodiac should work in the same capacity as the diverter, only with 2 rca coax outputs and 1 aes output and requiring external power.  Maybe it does sound best that way though, I haven't heard it through the diverter so who knows.

 

It was quite a bit better to me but it would be hard to quantify right now, I'll try it some more and get back to you.  I had run it through the Toucan when I first got the Zodiac+ and the balanced outputs on the back had come set to be on the higher end of its gain range (there are little trim pots to adjust them from +4dBm to +22dBm).  It was so unbelievably loud and hadn't burned in at all yet, at the time I recall thinking the Zodiac+ was slightly strident but do not feel that way now at all.  I'll try some coax vs coax this time... I'm not entirely sure how meaningful my comparison of the usb implementations really was, when to me the Zodiac's usb is much more well thought out and implemented (and costly.)  I still think the Boomslang is a good value.

 

Also, the construction of my interconnects for boomslang -> toucan and my 1 zodiac (or other balanced source) -> toucan cable are wildly different;  I'll see if I can do something about that but I am out of the little hirose connectors.


Cool, I get it now.  The Locust Design Polestar USB-B to USB-mini is the best cable they make that can be terminated into a B-mini connector, all their others are far too thick.  I'm curious now, so I will ping Craig to ask what his rationale was with this particular setup.

post #264 of 330

So, I kinda guessed why he set it up that way and Craig confirmed it.  The answer lies with the Sonic Diverter's unique ability to pass thru bit-perfect 24/96 files thru USB using nothing but USB bus power.  The Zodiac cannot do that by itself and it requires AC power anyway, which represents other challenges.

 

To back to the original thread, once I have a decent USB-B to USB-A cable, I will be able to integrate the Sonic Diverter into the DB2 signal path.

 

More info on the Diverter is here:  http://www.whiplashaudio.com/sonicweld-diverter-24-96-usb-to-sdpif-converter.html          

post #265 of 330
Thread Starter 

More listening finally this AM...

 

Anyone that has ever critiqued the HD650s likely has not used an amp that could power them properly...the TOUCAN and the HD650 were and are an arranged marriage, but perfect for one another too!  HD650s were made for a powerful yet refined amp and balanced is just what they were made for...the sound is simply amazing, the bass is not overbearing, the highs not too high and the mids are not lost...everything is in perfect proportion and one thing that really got me this AM was the bass on a vintage coltrane track (yes, I was paying attention to the bassist), the decay of the sound was just simply amazing, like I was right there in the studio, hearing him strum the bass...it was fantastic!

post #266 of 330

I agree paulybatz, I can't believe what the Toucan does to my HD600/650. And I haven't even heard it with the Boomslang, I listen to the Toucan with lossless fom my Ipod Classic..

I guess the Boomslang will take the sound up even another notch. I will buy the Boomslang and sell my Nuforce HDP. I won't be needing it anymore.

post #267 of 330

I  will be picking up my Toucan & Boomslang from my delivery address tomorrow and cannot wait to hear what they sound like with my Sony X Walkman and JH16Pros fully TWagged also for any one that may have that dap/ iem combo.  

 

It's one thing to hear my X & 16pros through a good desktop amp such as my Naim Headlineamp with NAPSC power supply i have ,but an amp that is portable/smallish as well as been balanced will be intriguing given the accolades it is getting for how god the SQ is for the $ given it can drive full size cans effortlessly. 

 

Will post my euphoria no doubt once i have a few hours first impressions under my belt even though obviously it will be some time before i hear the full potential from burn in with the Toucan.

 

post #268 of 330
Thread Starter 

Welcome to the club Trentino and FortisF...is just simply cannot be beat, considering it doesnt break the bank...much more bang for your buck...and its tiny footprint is deceiving for sure!

I use my boomslang single ended, with my other amps too, just have a DIYr make you an interconnect!

post #269 of 330


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FortisFlyer75 View Post

I  will be picking up my Toucan & Boomslang from my delivery address tomorrow and cannot wait to hear what they sound like with my Sony X Walkman and JH16Pros fully TWagged also for any one that may have that dap/ iem combo.  

 

It's one thing to hear my X & 16pros through a good desktop amp such as my Naim Headlineamp with NAPSC power supply i have ,but an amp that is portable/smallish as well as been balanced will be intriguing given the accolades it is getting for how god the SQ is for the $ given it can drive full size cans effortlessly. 

 

Will post my euphoria no doubt once i have a few hours first impressions under my belt even though obviously it will be some time before i hear the full potential from burn in with the Toucan.

 


I am getting customs and I'm not sure if I'm ready to drop the dough on a balanced cable and the toucan instead of running them SE. Hoping your impressions will help me make a decision.

post #270 of 330

Guys, I finally ordered a Boomslang after searching for a portable balance Dac unsucessfully.  I reread this thread (Toucan and Boomslang Balanced Review Thread--all 18 pages of it) and I cannot find a single review on the Boomslang.  Most of the comments are on the Toucan.  Can anyone help in giving some idea with regard to the Boomslang's ability and how good it is compare to other Dac?  Thanks.

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