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Udac-2 - Page 2

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

alright so I have decided that the imbalance is bothering me too much to stick with this dac as I often listen to my music at lower volumes.    Both my ATH-M50 and HD555 don't really need an amp so that really isn't a priority.  Would you recommend any other portable DACs?  Fiio e7?

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by medbeats View Post

alright so I have decided that the imbalance is bothering me too much to stick with this dac as I often listen to my music at lower volumes.    Both my ATH-M50 and HD555 don't really need an amp so that really isn't a priority.  Would you recommend any other portable DACs?  Fiio e7?


If you're not in a hurry I'm going to be testing more USB DACs in the price range of the uDAC-2. I did test the little $20 FiiO E5 amp and it blows the uDAC-2 away in many areas. The E5 has a much lower output impedance so it can drive IEMs much better, even more output, and much lower distortion. So if FiiO can do that well with a $20 product I'm anxious to get my hands on the E7. Beware the E7 disables the Windows volume control which is an issue for some.

 

It's not a practical solution, but I also published the results of modifying the Behringer UCA202 with $5 worth of parts to show what can be done for $35, and it makes an impressive portable headphone DAC.

 

The Firestone Fireye2 also might be a good choice. There's a review here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/450750/review-firestone-fireye-ii-headphone-amp-full-metal-amp It does mention some slight noise and channel balance issues but it doesn't sound as bad as the balance on the uDAC-2.

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Isn't the E5 just an amp?  I am definitely interested to see your results with the E7.

post #19 of 19

I just got my uDac-2 yesterday, and I hear a subtle but real difference in sound quality over my onboard iMac audio. This, coupled with the HUGE boost in power makes this seem like a real winner. The box itself is solid and cleanly finished, and if you take off the front panel (as I did) you'll find that they didn't waste a cubic centimeter inside. It's packed solid with two PCBs, chips and big capacitors laying down between the boards.

 

I haven't noticed the volume imbalance on my example, just 3/4 of a pot worth of headroom (presumably to drive much more demanding headphones) and a sleek, inconspicuous aluminum box.

 

So far, I like it.

 

*EDIT* Previously, I had only used this amp for a full day with my DT-770 Pro-80 and later for a few hours with my SR-225. Just now, I plugged in my set of trusty Portapros and the improvement in treble detail (over the unamped Portapro) is dramatic. The bass also feels generally bigger, although I can't say for certain if it's any tighter.

 

This is a layman's assessment. I don't consider myself to be an audiophile, I'm just someone who couldn't go back to $10 Sony earbuds (or $100 Bose buds) after listening to my friend's SR-325i's.


Edited by DocBlasto - 3/29/11 at 9:17am
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