Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Firestone Audio Fubar IV+ worth the extra ?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Firestone Audio Fubar IV+ worth the extra ?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I've had the Asus Xonar Essence ST on my list for a good long while for headphone audio listening (obviously it's a built in DAC/AMP unit) but I was wondering if the Firestone Audio Fubar IV+ is worth the extra money (also a DAC/AMP unit but has digital in and costs twice as much) in terms of pure DAC/AMP quality and therefore audio quality. I imagine it would be, but never can be sure until....so if anyone has any experience with both of these products it would be a big help to gain your opinion.

 

EDIT

 

Just to be clear, I don't need digital in or portability, both are nice but unecessary for me, I'm simply asking if the DAC and AMP on the Firestone product is £150 better than the DAC and AMP found in the Essence sound card which is £150 cheaper. 

 

I think I know the answer deep down, but it's always best to ask questions first because he who shoots first tends to regret.....useful opinions more than welcome. smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by Thommohawk - 9/30/10 at 4:50am
post #2 of 12

I've tried a F3 that was really lousy(the volume pot was also working on the line-out), and a friend of mine has a F4...it's got a soldered non-swappable OPA2134 on its line-out and the pot is cheapish and not stepped.

 

If I were you, I'd look into the Travagan units...they're made by the founder of Firestone, have fully swappable opamps and some of them use stepped attenuators.

 

And to answer your question, upsampling is only nice if you can toggle it, a mandatory upsampling can quickly become boring IMO...192kHz upsampling is a lot of data to interpolate.

 

Another option is the Littledot DAC_II, it's got a reclocker and fully swappable opamps off a clean PSU...I've asked questions to their boss but they're on national holiday.

 

A clean external DAC will sound far less shrill than the Essence cards(I've owned both).


Edited by leeperry - 9/30/10 at 2:22pm
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info leeperry. smily_headphones1.gif

 

I hope you don't take this personally as it's certainly not aimed at you or anyone in particular and I do enjoy hanging around this place most people seem to be cool but I have to say if there's one frustrating thing about head-fi it's that when you ask a question you get 3 totally different answers as an aside to the question you actually asked which leaves you with more questions than answers - that and when folks get headphones and proclaim them to be awesomes - and yet a couple months later they're sold on lol. So technically that's 2 peeves I have of head-fi - you haven't gotten to my wallet yet you saucy seductress and I'll be damned if you will!  (but we all know it's inevitable)....I'm just being resistant. 

 

Seriously though, thanks for the info I do appreciate the effort and taking the time for sure. smily_headphones1.gif

post #4 of 12

hehe, the rabbit hole goes deeper indeed. And I think that the F4+ needs some more thoughts to it, because there's many other units in the same price range...and w/ better sounding volume pots and fully rollable opamps at that.

post #5 of 12

I own Fubar 4 and also Asus STX and no doubt Fubar 4 is better choice. As a DAC and also as a DAC/AMP. Definitely you can also hear the difference between  inputs on Fubar 4. Try to not use USB input if you can :-)

post #6 of 12

FWIW you can swap the op-amp in the Fubar IV+.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfscoll View Post

FWIW you can swap the op-amp in the Fubar IV+.

Does Firestone Supplier make a big difference with Fubar 4 and what DAC/AMP do you use with Grado SR325i?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mentt View Post

Does Firestone Supplier make a big difference with Fubar 4 and what DAC/AMP do you use with Grado SR325i?
I've always used the Fubar 4+ with the Supplier so I can't answer your first question. Right now I'm just using the DAC section of my Fubar (Bravo to Fubar to Valhalla). I use my Bifrost and Asgard with my Grados -- I heard some hiss from the Fubar's amp with my more sensitive headphones (can't remember if the issue was with the Grados though).
post #9 of 12

I', sorry that I can't give you specific advice on the Fubar IV, but as a very content owner of the Fubar III for the last three years or so I'll share some thoughts that hopefully might help on your quest.

 

I've owned both the Fubar III and Headroom's "Micro Stack" (micro DAC + micro amp) - the micro stack has tons of accolades and was about 2.5x the cost of the Fubar III, but after months of close listening I could in no way say that the micro stack sounded 'better'. Point of the story is that my Fubar III sounds great and was relatively inexpensive.

 

Can't speak to how the Fubar IV sounds, either by itself or compared to the III, however I would recommend the III as it is cheaper and will sound, if this is even possible, more 'natural' than an upsampling DAC. Upsampling is at best controversial technology, and many many many educated audio persons see it as nothing more than a marketing tool without any possible benefits. If you're interested in spending money on upsampling tech, I suggest doing a little research and finding some objective sources on the matter.

 

As far as the aftermarket PSU and op-amp rolling for the Fubar IV, I would recommend against both of them as well. I have both the extra PSU and have rolled my opamp to the OPA627, which is one of the most expensive, "golden-standard" op-amps in the audio world. Neither of these extras makes what I'm listening to sound any better. Actually, neither one makes what I'm listening to sounds any different, either.  And of course at the time of buying them, I was totally convinced they would be making a positive impact (duh, why else would I spend the money), so this is not a biased case of self-confirming pessimism.

 

What you are going to get in spade here on head-fi are tons and tons of people crawling out of the wood work saying things like:

'ZOMG, i increased the humidity in my room by 3.7% and now my phones sounds AMAZING; the highs now produce an iridescent glow and the micro-clarity has extended in length but not so much in height, which is just what I wanted!!!'

ie, it's a place where you're going to hear a lot of very dramatic, totally exaggerated opinions and ideas on any/everything. However, this is not how I see the world, and especially the hi-fi audio world, working. Unless you're talking about different headphones or incredibly cheap or faulty equipment, the differences between what a human can actually distinguish is not like how it's made out here on head-fi, where even the most inconsequential of details produce the most incredible of affects on the listeners.

Exagerated opinions of sounds and exagerated opinions on brands, too. Unfortuntely for Firestone company, if they were ever a 'flavor of the week' I dunno, but they certainly aren't popular here anymore, and you'll find a lot of people recommending against them, probably without ever hearing them for themselves. I've heard my fair share of amps, dacs, amp/dacs, some cheap and some expensive, and for the cost, I see the Fubar III as an amazing product.

Of course I'm not talking about anyone who reads this, just about some of the other head-fi members of course *winking smilely face*.

 

My real recommendation though will be to google the O2 amp and buy that. The O2 dac just came out and you will be able to but the combo amp/dac shortly. The O2 combo I think will be selling for slightly less than the Fubar IV and is in a whole other league of awesome-sounding awesome-soundness. They are being sold out of JDS labs. The "O" stands for "objective" and what you will be buying is a combo amp/dac with proven ie OBJECTIVE capabilities.

 

Sorry about your wallet,

 

Cheers


Edited by oaklandrkg - 5/8/12 at 6:50pm
post #10 of 12

holy crap, the op was from '10.

 

lolzzzzz

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaklandrkg View Post

holy crap, the op was from '10.

 

lolzzzzz


And I thought that you wrote the whole essay for me :-D

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mentt View Post


And I thought that you wrote the whole essay for me :-D

Seriously now, I never heard Fubar 3, but Fubar 4 is without doubt excellent buy!!! I like "sound" of  Fubar 4 more than sound from Nuforce Icon HDP...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Firestone Audio Fubar IV+ worth the extra ?