here's the new portable amp by Qes labs :
I've had the chance to test for some days this brand new product made by QES Labs, from the new 'FUGA' series.
The Portable/Desktop Amp, as the name says, finds it's application in this product rage.
It's rugged in construction, built like a tank. It features an analog 1/8" input and an optional digital mini-usb input on the front panel, headphone 1/8" jack, speakers binding posts on the rear (it can even drive 8-ohm small speakers).
Amplifier topology is S.E. Pure Class A, powered by a hefty 3.4Ah Lead-Gel rechargeable battery, you need a common 0.5A smart charger, commonly available in stores, or you may order their own battery charger (there's an option made with a solar panel!).
To be honest, coming from the Professional Audio world, and being a more than happy owner of that fantastic piece of gear named HPBA-2-S, a reference balanced monitoring system for mid-high Z headphones, I've never had the chance to test a battery operated device. Honestly I hooked practically any headphone I had around, AKG 272, Beyerdynamic DT-880 600 ohms, Sennheiser HD-600, even those crappy cheapo Sony mdr-xd200.
My analog source was a pc with the ESI Juli@ soundcard, digital connection was pc into Fuga usb input.
I just wanted to recreate the 'usual' environment we all use at home or office.
I must say that, in comparison with the amp I normally use (a head box SE II), I was able to notice immediately the integrity of the sound and the precisely controlled transient response. Even that crappy Sony headphone was superbely driven.
The Fuga Portable/Desktop Amp is able to deliver big amount of power, making move in ideal state the transducers of any headphone I was able to connect. I was positively impressed by the USB DAC quality and the sound you can get out of it.
I could hear the usual sound marks from QES Labs products: sound integrity, fast transient response, no distortion even at high volume levels, correct stereo image reproduction.
An 'all round' amp able to drive just any headphone, low to high impedance, even 8 ohms. Suitable to the veteran audiophile or the occasional listener, looking for the portable or desktop soution, contained dimensions, high performance.
The volume this amp can deliver is high enough for any headphone, timbrical response is net and precise, very neutral and natural.
Good jobs Qes labs!
For futher info and questions :