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FiiO E11 Review - Loud Things Come In Small Packages - Page 3

post #31 of 83

Probably the best review I've read on a portable amp ever. Seriously. regular_smile%20.gif No-nonsense, no esoterics, heaps of photos and detailed information about every aspect of the amp. Excellent work. Can't wait to read your future contributions. 

post #32 of 83

Nice review, in words we can all understand !!!

post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negakinu View Post

Probably the best review I've read on a portable amp ever. Seriously. regular_smile%20.gif No-nonsense, no esoterics, heaps of photos and detailed information about every aspect of the amp. Excellent work. Can't wait to read your future contributions. 


I miss Skylab's reviews - brief, concise and informative. My upcoming review will be none of those :)

 

post #34 of 83

Love that disclaimer!

post #35 of 83
Very nice review...thanks for putting in all the effort. I must question the lack of benefit easy to drive phones get from amps like the E11 and JDS cMoy however. I own both the TripleFi 10 and AT M50 (32 and 38 imp respectively) and both benefit tremendously in power, clarity, instrument separation and soundstage being run through amps such as this hooked to an iPod 5g with an LOD. Heck, I noticed a difference running an E1....when mine failed and I needed something new I was stuck listening LOD only for a week and wanted to kill myself it sounded so much worse.
post #36 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucdavisboy View Post

Very nice review...thanks for putting in all the effort. I must question the lack of benefit easy to drive phones get from amps like the E11 and JDS cMoy however. I own both the TripleFi 10 and AT M50 (32 and 38 imp respectively) and both benefit tremendously in power, clarity, instrument separation and soundstage being run through amps such as this hooked to an iPod 5g with an LOD. Heck, I noticed a difference running an E1....when mine failed and I needed something new I was stuck listening LOD only for a week and wanted to kill myself it sounded so much worse.

 

Have you done any serious A-B testing between the amp and the HPO on your iPod? Just out of interest, does the sound get noticeably better or is it just different in tone? Also don't slight the improvement from tapping the LO from the iPod rather than the HPO.

As for listening LOD only, what drove you to that? Line outs aren't designed to drive loads, they're designed to carry a reasonably pure signal. In that situation I'd rather use the headphone out on an iPod, since that means that you're using the internal amp (rather than no amp at all) to power your headphones and you also have the advantage of a volume control.

post #37 of 83

FiiO are on a roll :D

 

I really like the volume dial on the amp.

post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fistulator View Post

FiiO are on a roll :D

 

I really like the volume dial on the amp.


Fiio build gateway drugs - sure, its just E11 now, but soon you'll be mainlining RSA and Woo. I'd like to put a few 'before' and 'after' photos of your bank account together as a warning to others.

 

Remember, kids, only dopes do portable.

 

post #39 of 83

 

Good review. I got to try this out at the Headfonics meet last Saturday. I was honestly not impressed. I agree with a lot of your points on your sound assessment. 
 
Treble I found to be grainy, and very subdued. It also didn't have any sense of air, like you mentioned.
The mids were a disaster, it was a huge gaping hole to be honest. 
Bass was huge, even at lowest it was bassier than the E7. But it's a dirty, messy bass. I don't want anything to do with it. 
 
You got it right on the imaging: it's severely limited. That's actually the main issue with this amp, no sense of space, air, imaging, or soundstaging. It's like a flat sound all throughout. Sounds smear together with very poor separation. It's a lousy sound in my opinion.
 
 
This amp is great for its price, form factor and build, and easy to change battery, but not much else honestly. I may be a little biased and disappointed because I already have the E7 which I felt was vastly superior.
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Nonsense. It's not a second volume control, It's changing the overall amp gain, likely dropping it with added feedback. It's subtle and being slightly different doesn't at all mean poor design. More like revealing enough to notice. I took the dog for a walk and after 1 minute I noticed it didn't sound quite as I was using. It was the gain switch. Try switching to low power under the battery with High gain on the side and see what you think overall instead of worrying about theory. Oh and I quite liked the review overall.bigsmile_face.gif



Agree on this one.

 

Gain is different from volume. I've found that lower gain settings tend to have less full mids and highs compared to high gain, but has a smoother and darker, warmer sound. I've seen this happen with all the amps I've had that have gain switches. High gain is typically more energetic especially in the highs.

 

I've also seen this phenomenon happen on the E9 which has two headphone plugs. It's not a gain setting but rather there are two plugs, one is low volume and the other is higher volume. The lower volume sounds like what I described above while the higher volume plug sounds like how I described high gain above. They weren't just one high and one low volume of the same sound, the two jacks definitely sounded different. (and note that the E9 also has a gain switch which exacerbates the effect even further).

 

 

 

 

post #41 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

I've also seen this phenomenon happen on the E9 which has two headphone plugs. It's not a gain setting but rather there are two plugs, one is low volume and the other is higher volume. The lower volume sounds like what I described above while the higher volume plug sounds like how I described high gain above. They weren't just one high and one low volume of the same sound, the two jacks definitely sounded different. (and note that the E9 also has a gain switch which exacerbates the effect even further).

 


I'm pretty sure the mini-jack on the E9 just has a resistor on it for attenuation which will increase the output impedance and mess with the FR of most headphones.

post #42 of 83

This resistor thing probably has something to do with it. If Gain switches are basically also just changing the resistor maybe adding resistance tends to have the effect of damping out the highs and mids while keeping more bass intact.  Because that's certainly what I keep hearing with gain switches and the E9.

post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

This resistor thing probably has something to do with it. If Gain switches are basically also just changing the resistor maybe adding resistance tends to have the effect of damping out the highs and mids while keeping more bass intact.  Because that's certainly what I keep hearing with gain switches and the E9.


A gain switch should just change the resistors that bias the opamp and change its gain.  Since those resistors are out of the signal path it really shouldn't change the quality of the sound but who knows how its actually implemented.  A resistor in series with the output will probably change the FR.  How much it changes (if any) will depend on the impedance curve of the headphone.  It will also reduce the damping factor which usually makes the bass more boomy.  Since most dynamic headphones have at least a mild peak in impedance the bass region it usually boosts the bass a bit.

 

You can get a look at different impedance curves at Innerfidelity.  The graphs there are scaled better than at headroom so you can see the differences more clearly.

post #44 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

 

Good review. I got to try this out at the Headfonics meet last Saturday. I was honestly not impressed. I agree with a lot of your points on your sound assessment. 
 
Treble I found to be grainy, and very subdued. It also didn't have any sense of air, like you mentioned.
The mids were a disaster, it was a huge gaping hole to be honest. 
Bass was huge, even at lowest it was bassier than the E7. But it's a dirty, messy bass. I don't want anything to do with it. 
 
You got it right on the imaging: it's severely limited. That's actually the main issue with this amp, no sense of space, air, imaging, or soundstaging. It's like a flat sound all throughout. Sounds smear together with very poor separation. It's a lousy sound in my opinion.
 
 
This amp is great for its price, form factor and build, and easy to change battery, but not much else honestly. I may be a little biased and disappointed because I already have the E7 which I felt was vastly superior.


More or less the opposite of ClieOs impression.....(something seems severely wrong)

 

Head-Fi confuses me again and again....so it the cMoyBB 2.03 better?

 

post #45 of 83
Thread Starter 

Here's an interesting petit factoid that may be of some interest to people: I was messing around earlier with my RE-ZEROs and figure I'd try them without the TRRS to TRS adapter. And to my immense shock, I got even stereo sound! I was wondering whether it's was just that the two ground wires in my year-old IEMs had managed to meld together, but plugged into an iPod I had the regular occurence of a much louder signal on one side. To my perception on the E11 the sound was the same whether the adapter was used or not.

 

If this is true for other units too, it's good news for people with RE-ZEROs, RE-262s and HE-500s who don't want to use the balanced to unbalanced adapter (though you still might want to use the channel switcher on the 262). Can anyone with any of those 'phones and an E11 confirm that for me?

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