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[Review] Nuforce Icon HDP - Page 3

post #31 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpua View Post

I can answer the part about the RCA outs . . . the volume control still functions and controls the RCA outs.  Also, I believe if you have headphones plugged in, that cuts off the signal to the RCA outs.


Thanks for the info...bumping this because I have to decide between this and a Music Streamer soon.

post #32 of 172

Thanks for the review, SouldSyde.  And everybody else for the comments.

 

I´m considering getting one.  I need an external DAC and could use another headphone amp. :-)

 

Does anyone know how it sounds with the Audio Technica W1000?

 

[]s

Walfredo

post #33 of 172
Thread Starter 

walfredo, you're welcome.. and I'd love to have an answer for you on that one.  I could only imagine it would be an award-winning combination.

post #34 of 172
Thread Starter 

12345142, Not having ever heard the Music Streamer I can't offer an opinion on which is better - although I have heard good things about it.

 

That being said, do you only need a DAC, because that's all it would be.  You would need a separate amp - but I figured you already knew that. wink_face.gif

post #35 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harpua View Post

I can answer the part about the RCA outs . . . the volume control still functions and controls the RCA outs.  Also, I believe if you have headphones plugged in, that cuts off the signal to the RCA outs.


That it does.  It's a great feature for those who use the HDP as a dedicated headphone amp and connect the RCA outs to a set of speaker monitors.  As soon as you plug in your headphones your speakers turn off automatically.

 

BTW, this is my 1,000th post! 

post #36 of 172

What if I want to use both RCA and headphone output for an added soundstage?

post #37 of 172
Thread Starter 

Huh?  Please explain.

post #38 of 172

I was thinking of listening to the music from both my headphone and my speakers.

post #39 of 172
Thread Starter 

OK, that's interesting. blink.gif

 

Unfortunately, it isn't possible.  The RCA line is shut off when you connect headphones.

post #40 of 172

Yes, I also actually wish that use of the headphone jack d/n automatically cut off the RCA outs because there are many times I want to personally use my headphones but also let others in the room listen via speakers at the same time.  It would nice to have the option to disable the auto cut off for that situation, or just have some kind of manual overide.

 

A typical example of why I want to be able to use both the RCA outs and the headphone outs at the same time is that when watching videos, my wife prefers to have the volume much lower than I do, so I would like to listen through the phones cranked up to the level I prefer and let my wife listen through the speakers at a considerably lower volume.  But the auto cut off makes this difficult.

 

A work around I sometimes use that is far from satisfactory is to use some adapters that allow me to connect both my headphones as well as speakers to the headphone jack.  But this seems to result in degraded SQ to both the speakers (probably because the headphone out signal is not as good for the speakers as the RCA out signal is) and the headphones (probably due to degraded signal caused by low quality adapters I'm using when I rig up this work around).


Edited by harpua - 12/29/10 at 5:38pm
post #41 of 172


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonitus mirus View Post

Our experiences might be the same, but I think I just did a poor job of expressing my point.  In the vertical position, the volume pot on my Nuforce does not make any sound until about the 8:30 clock position, and the left and right channels are not equal until about the 9 o'clock position.  And for the loudness, most of the increase is found up until around 11-12 o'clock, and any increase in volume beyond this point does not really make a significant increase in the sound level, especially with the lower frequencies.  I normally listen at the lowest possible level where both channels are even, and this amp is plenty loud enough for me, just something I observed.

 

It seems that an overwhelming majority of the volume increase can be found in the first section of the volume pot's movement, and the impact is significantly reduced the more it is turned.  I only raise the volume to about 10-11 for very short periods of time, and I simply noticed that I could increase the level with no real impact on the sound level after a specific point with my headphones.  


I had measured this recently but don't remember all the numbers perfectly but you'll get the rough idea.  Considering full volume as 0db attenuation, the lowest volume had around 80db of attenuation.  From the lowest volume to about 8:30 where the volume just begins changing, it is around 80db attenuation the whole time.  From 8:30-9 where the channels equalize and the volume ramps up fast, around the 9 o'clock level it is around 40db of attenuation.  So that tiny turn has a 40 db change in volume.  It's hard to get a precise volume in there because there is a 40 db swing in a very short stroke, but the bigger problem is the channel is imbalanced in that range anyway.  So the real volume control appears after that point and is where most people use it.  There is a 40 db swing between 9 o'clock and full output.  I do remember there was still more of a change in the first half of that last 40 db than the last half, but this is where I'm a bit fuzzy about how the breakdown was. 

 

Anyway, I agree with you that my listening volume for most of my headphones is right when the channels equalize.  It is actually too loud with some things, and I can adjust upwards for other recordings that are much quieter.  It's way too loud for IEM use in all cases.  If only the attenuation was linear all the way through it would be nice, but I think analog volume pots all have their limitations.

 

I don't doubt turning up the volume more is actually raising the volume, but I think our ears start adjusting to it and loud sounds loud no matter how much louder it is.  But those peaks hurt more when it's louder even though the overall volume may not sound much louder.

post #42 of 172

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walfredo View Post

Thanks for the review, SouldSyde.  And everybody else for the comments.

 

I´m considering getting one.  I need an external DAC and could use another headphone amp. :-)

 

Does anyone know how it sounds with the Audio Technica W1000?

 

[]s

Walfredo


For the record, the Nuforce Icon HDP does not have a particularly good synergy with the W1000.  I guess the W1000 does need tubes to sound its best.

 

However, the Nuforce is a very clean source.  Using it as source to my tube amps does improve listening the W1000!

 

Moreover, it does goes beautifully together with my AKG K501. :-)

 

[]s

Walfredo

post #43 of 172

The HDP has a particularly great synergy with the HD650's also, imo.

post #44 of 172

Hey soul, have you tried the Fiio E7+E9 combo? I can't decide what my first amp will be.

post #45 of 172

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gorgatron View Post

Hey soul, have you tried the Fiio E7+E9 combo? I can't decide what my first amp will be.

 

If you have a limited budget, go for Fiio E7+E9 but if you have a bigger one, absolutely Nuforce Icon HDP. But if I were you I will choose Nuforce HDP. Though I also love my E9.
 

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