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iBasso DB2 has arrived

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Just go the little beastie from China, complete with a balanced jumper.  I have only had enough time for first impressions of the DB2 with the PB2, using Grado SR225i and Senn HD650 phones (the later balanced).

 

I compared to my reference Sugden CD/Preamp system output - the DB2 took a digital feed from the CD player and played via balanced cable into the PB2.  My reference system is still the best, just. Even its single ended configuration has an authority and ambience over the DB2/PB2. (Christy Baron CD). The most notable difference was a slightly leaner presentation with the iBasso system. The difference is getting slim though and probably down to the decoupling capacitors. (I have a feeling that the Sugden is DC coupled)

 

I then compared an iPod Gen 5, via Kimber dock cable - single ended and the same audio file, via SPDIF from the iMac, through the DB2.

 

From worse to best: (using SR225i's - single ended  - since they are very revealing)

 

iPod 5.5 - dock single ended output - reasonable ambience, frequency extremes not particularly well defined, certainly in the bass. Reasonable presence and ambience.

 

iMac - DB2 -via SPDIF, single ended coupling int PB2 - much better bass definition, could hear the double bass being plucked and pick up subtle undertones. Tighter transients and considerably better presence and ambience around the vocals

 

iMac - DB2 - balanced coupling to PB2 - about half the improvement again - in the same areas too - better and deeper bass control - further clarity and presence. Seems slightly sharper too. I was veering towards ditching the SR225i's but the DB2/PB2 combination has improved the overall balance in a most alluring way.

 

I guess the DB2 has caps in there , so I had better do a burn-in and repeat this next week sometime. Once the burn-in is complete, I will also wheel out the HD650's so that I can find out just how better the bass is.

 

kind regards

 

Chris

post #2 of 12

I just got mine as well. I'm hoping that i can go home soon and pair it with my ATH-AD700 as opposed to my HD280pro.


 


 

post #3 of 12

after playing around with it for a couple hours. I've found that if you'll be using it for single ended headphones, PB2/DB2 combo won't actually help you much aside from better bass/treble.

 

Single Ended PB2/DB2:

Bass is better on low/mid bass

treble is very nice

lacks soundstage.

 

Single Ended PB2:

better instrument separation than PB2/DB2 combo

bass is slim

treble is a bit "muffled/veiled"

 

I have no balanced headphone "yet" so, i can't speak for those area.

 

Test gear:

Macbook Pro > stock DB2 > balanced IC from iBasso > stock PB2 > ATH-AD700

music player used: itunes latest

 

Any comments from other DB2 owner?

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

DB2 also works with USB camera connector and an iPad. Comparisons with the iPad sound direct to the headphones was a little surprising. In the brief time I had to compare, the two results were quite close.  I need to do further work to find out if the iPad output via headphones is good, or if it's digital output is somehow degraded.  I'm doing some burn-in and will hold fire on any other evaluations.  I'm a bit puzzled by the kit parts - no quite sure what I'm supposed to do with them, or why. The instructions don't offer any advice either.

 

Chris

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I did a couple of days of burn-in and compared sources again. Added to the mix was a newly acquired iRiver H140, with Rockbox, via the optical line out.

 

Using the DB2/PB2 with ipad/adaptor/usb and the iRiver H140/optical outputs - I was surprised, for the same source file, to detect a difference.  The Rockbox output sounds better. This might be the difference between USB/Optical or something more sinister going on in the iPad.

 

I spent a pleasant afternoon, sitting in the Spring sunshine listening to fantastic, involving music.  Thanks to this forum - you have helped me achieve my aim. 

 

On the DB2, picture below, there is a rolling kit - assumed to replace the AD8656. The rolling kit has an unmarked blue chip. Nothing from iBasso to suggest what and why....I'll ask

 

_1000169.JPG

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

iBasso confirmed that the charge rate through the USB cannot keep up with the operating current and that the battery slowly depletes.

 

When I asked them about the rolling kit - they just said to swap over components - not really helpful, since I am not able to identify the alternatives.

 

Chris

post #7 of 12

Swapping the AD8656 opamps for the included blue opamps is supposed to change the bass response of the DB2 slightly, adding a bit more depth.  Depending on the amount of bass actually in your recordings and the headphones used, you may or may not be able to hear a difference between the 2 different sets of opamps.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVinyl View Post

iBasso confirmed that the charge rate through the USB cannot keep up with the operating current and that the battery slowly depletes.

 

When I asked them about the rolling kit - they just said to swap over components - not really helpful, since I am not able to identify the alternatives.

 

Chris



 

post #8 of 12

Subscribed, despite the years gone by. . .

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopaminer View Post
 

Subscribed, despite the years gone by. . .

do u havea db2? i find it to be a excellent dac

post #10 of 12

No, but I`m thrashing around trying to choose the best portable rig for travelling from December to March.  The balance ibasso set looks really interesting, also the ClassA aha-120....  

 

Just hoping some DB2 owners share their experiences/impressions.  Are you pairing yours with the PB2 ?

post #11 of 12

The DB2 is an excellent portable dac. Very open and dynamic sounding. 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
 

The DB2 is an excellent portable dac. Very open and dynamic sounding. 

have you rolled the extra opamps for the low pass frequency ? any noticable difference?

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