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iBasso PB-2 Pelican fully balanced portable, DB-2 Dac . . HiFlight recommended op amps page 16. . - Page 60

post #886 of 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

That's awesome, Tom!  

I love seeing a content audiophile!   Rarer than hen's teeth.  biggrin.gif


Enjoy!
Thanks Mike and Nigel for all your help with this new hobby of mine. Am I to expect big changes like this on the PB2 when the Topkit arrives? I hope so because the mad dogs are sounding a little flat after hearing the speaker taps
post #887 of 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by spurxiii View Post


Thanks Mike and Nigel for all your help with this new hobby of mine. Am I to expect big changes like this on the PB2 when the Topkit arrives? I hope so because the mad dogs are sounding a little flat after hearing the speaker taps

 

Haha!  biggrin.gif

 

You're suffering from the phenomenon of "adaptive hedonism" - that tendency of human nature to quickly adapt to new, higher standards - which applies to any and all things that are found pleasurable - such that going back to a lesser quality experience is next to impossible.  

 

I have to look no further than my coffee-drinking habit to acknowledge the truth of adaptive hedonism.  I can no longer stand to drink the stuff they brew in the employee break room at work, but I used to drink it all the time.  And the list goes on forever, to include just about everything we enjoy in life!

 

But do not despair regarding your PB2. I'm really glad you ordered Ron's (HiFlight) TopKit for PB2. Isn't he a great guy?

 

You're in for a wild ride of op-amp rolling!  Sorry about all the free time you used to spend doing other stuff!  biggrin.gif  I was truly obsessed with rolling op-amps in the PB2 for about three months, going just a few days at a time with each of several combinations.  Ask Nigel to show you a picture of his op-amp collection!  He has really been there and done that!

 

Nigel and I just recently discussed how we are sometimes amazed at how well the little PB2 competes with our desktop rigs.  I've yet to build any rig, either desktop or portable, in which I cannot find room for improvement.  My iBasso PB2 equipped with LME49990 and dummy buffers, when used with my source, my headphones, and for my personal tastes, is nearly "perfect" except for its inability to compete in terms of dynamics and bass control that my speaker amp's 8 Watts into 50-Ohms can deliver with the LCD-2, which scales very nicely to the additional power.  But man, the PB2 with LME49990 is nearly flawless in every other regard and the dynamics it delivers, as is, are superior to what I experienced with the Burson Soloist's 1.28 Watt's into 50-Ohms.  The Soloist is too laid-back (10th-row seating) and unassertive for my tastes.  I kid you not, the PB2 (with LME49990), balanced out to LCD-2, smokes the Soloist, in my opinion - and that's without buffers!

 

I don't really know what Ron (HiFlight) is including with the TopKit for PB2, lately, as he constantly improves the selection of op-amps, but you haven't begun to hear what the PB2 can do for you until you've moved past the stock op-amps that iBasso ships with it.  I'm pretty sure Ron now includes a slightly more powerful and less analytical-sounding version of the LME49990 in his TopKit - the LME49860.  If you put those in L/R and drop his TopKit's HA5002 in as buffers, I think you'll find that a hard combination to beat, in terms of power and dynamics from a little portable amp.  

 

And then, of course, there's the improvement you could hear when going balanced - to get the benefit of twice the power that you have now - which again, only reveals itself with headphones that can scale to more power - which you've now proven is the case with your Mad Dogs and speaker amp.

 

Mike

post #888 of 1123

Mike, I thought I had tried the 49990's with dummy buffers. I gave in to temptation last night and rolled that configuration. Now I don't know what has changed since I tried that combo but I don't ever recall it sounding this good. I even tried different buffers but they all seemed to add a veil of some degree. Without the buffers the PB2 does offer amazing transparency with the LCD-2 in balanced mode. I am content to leave it set up like this for a while, it may suffice as both portable with my ES-5's and transportable with LCD-2's.

 

Man I forgot how good this amp is!!

post #889 of 1123

Nigel!   I had figured our different assessments were just a difference in taste, so either way, I respect your preferences, but it's GREAT to hear you like the LME49990's with dummy buffers.  As you've reiterated, I can't find a real buffer that doesn't take away some transparency.  Without question, the HA5002 are the best, but even they smother the micro details that add so much to imaging and sound stage.  Dummy buffers let us hear nothing but what the op-amps in L/R have to offer and in the case of the LME49990, that's a lot.

 

Thanks to Ron (HiFlight), I'm now resisting the urge to try what he prefers over the LME49990.  (Will the rolling of op-amps ever come to an end?)  

 

He says the LME49860 duals offer about 20% more current and have a more analog, less analytical sound.  That might be great for headphones other than the Audeze offerings - for something like AKG 5xx or 7xx, or some of the ATH, or Beyerdynamic offerings - but I'm thinking it might be too tube-like for my tastes with LCD-2, which sound "perfect" to my ears with the more analytical LME49990.  But I'm thinking about trying them just the same.

 

Have you ever tried LME49860 in the PB2?

 

Mike

post #890 of 1123

Haha, got them in now!

 

Report back later....

post #891 of 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

 

Haha!  biggrin.gif

 

You're suffering from the phenomenon of "adaptive hedonism" - that tendency of human nature to quickly adapt to new, higher standards - which applies to any and all things that are found pleasurable - such that going back to a lesser quality experience is next to impossible.  

 

I have to look no further than my coffee-drinking habit to acknowledge the truth of adaptive hedonism.  I can no longer stand to drink the stuff they brew in the employee break room at work, but I used to drink it all the time.  And the list goes on forever, to include just about everything we enjoy in life!

 

But do not despair regarding your PB2. I'm really glad you ordered Ron's (HiFlight) TopKit for PB2. Isn't he a great guy?

 

You're in for a wild ride of op-amp rolling!  Sorry about all the free time you used to spend doing other stuff!  biggrin.gif  I was truly obsessed with rolling op-amps in the PB2 for about three months, going just a few days at a time with each of several combinations.  Ask Nigel to show you a picture of his op-amp collection!  He has really been there and done that!

 

Nigel and I just recently discussed how we are sometimes amazed at how well the little PB2 competes with our desktop rigs.  I've yet to build any rig, either desktop or portable, in which I cannot find room for improvement.  My iBasso PB2 equipped with LME49990 and dummy buffers, when used with my source, my headphones, and for my personal tastes, is nearly "perfect" except for its inability to compete in terms of dynamics and bass control that my speaker amp's 8 Watts into 50-Ohms can deliver with the LCD-2, which scales very nicely to the additional power.  But man, the PB2 with LME49990 is nearly flawless in every other regard and the dynamics it delivers, as is, are superior to what I experienced with the Burson Soloist's 1.28 Watt's into 50-Ohms.  The Soloist is too laid-back (10th-row seating) and unassertive for my tastes.  I kid you not, the PB2 (with LME49990), balanced out to LCD-2, smokes the Soloist, in my opinion - and that's without buffers!

 

I don't really know what Ron (HiFlight) is including with the TopKit for PB2, lately, as he constantly improves the selection of op-amps, but you haven't begun to hear what the PB2 can do for you until you've moved past the stock op-amps that iBasso ships with it.  I'm pretty sure Ron now includes a slightly more powerful and less analytical-sounding version of the LME49990 in his TopKit - the LME49860.  If you put those in L/R and drop his TopKit's HA5002 in as buffers, I think you'll find that a hard combination to beat, in terms of power and dynamics from a little portable amp.  

 

And then, of course, there's the improvement you could hear when going balanced - to get the benefit of twice the power that you have now - which again, only reveals itself with headphones that can scale to more power - which you've now proven is the case with your Mad Dogs and speaker amp.

 

Mike

Adaptive hedonism, quite an interesting concept but I guess its true. Does it apply to the wife also? bigsmile_face.gif

 

All this op-amp rolling talk has got me quite scared actually. What have I gotten myself into.

 

Can I safely say that my desktop setup is now better sounding than any portable setup I could achieve (assuming the same headphones)?

post #892 of 1123
Mike, I bet you have sat there biting your nails waiting to hear about the LME49860.

Well, rest easy pal. To my ears the 49990 is still king, although it's close. Indeed the 49860 is nice and will appeal to some over the 49990 as it is slightly more laid back but with the LCD2's at least, the 49990 nails it. Transients in electronica/psy(dub/trance) are unmatched as is soundstage. The 49860 is more analogue but also more personal, probably more suited to IEM's which is a shame given it's increase in current over the 49990.

Anyhoo, if you are curious? Ping me your address and I will send you a couple to test.

Listening with LCD2's (balanced) and PB2 with 49990 and dummy buffers in high gain (20db) and I doubt the LCD2's have sounded much better.

I feel another beer coming on biggrin.gif
post #893 of 1123

Sheesh!  That's great news!  Your description of the LME49990 reinforces my perception with the LCD-2.  So, I find your assessment of the LME49860 to be very credible - good enough to forgo testing them myself - but thanks so much for volunteering to lend them to me (all the way from the UK, no less!)  

 

beerchug.gif

post #894 of 1123

With the dummy buffers, are the op-amps in L/R pushing less than the 2w of current?

post #895 of 1123
I suspect that most combinations of op-amps in the PB2 (not using dummy buffers) supply less than 2W per channel into balanced headphones (despite iBasso's unqualified spec of 2.5 Watts.)

But, for sure, dummy buffers supply zero current gain.

What headphones are you thinking of using?
post #896 of 1123

I was going to try pairing the HD800 in the future.

post #897 of 1123

Uchiya,

 

You might want to run with HiFlight's favorite op-amp - the recently discussed (above) LME49860.  The HD800 will appreciate the more analog sound and the additional power of the the LME49860 (over the more analytical sounding LME49990 that works so well with the LCD-2.)

 

Send a PM to Ron (HiFlight) and ask him to send you his TopKit for PB2 (which I think will include the LME49860 and HA5002 buffers, as well as some other op-amps you can try), but ask him what he thinks would work best in the PB2 with the HD800.

 

Mike

post #898 of 1123




Just got the Topkit and as you can see I've dropped in the LME49860s and the buffers included. Can someone tell me what the left over chips are. Also have I installed it correctly?
Thanks, Tom
post #899 of 1123
Here's a chart I created when I bought one of Ron's TopKits a couple of years ago. There may be some overlap with the op-amps you've received, so try to match the appearance, but your best bet is to just send Ron a PM and ask him what you've got in the latest version of his kit (which constantly evolves).



If you want to know others' opinions of each, just search this thread or the op-amp thread.

So, how does the currently mounted set sound?

Mike
post #900 of 1123
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Here's a chart I created when I bought one of Ron's TopKits a couple of years ago. There may be some overlap with the op-amps you've received, so try to match the appearance, but your best bet is to just send Ron a PM and ask him what you've got in the latest version of his kit (which constantly evolves).



If you want to know others' opinions of each, just search this thread or the op-amp thread.

So, how does the currently mounted set sound?

Mike
Just had a quick 1 minute listen and it definitely sounds fuller. The bottom end sounds wider, the mids have smoothed out and sounds more mellow, less cold and metallic and less fatiguing.
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