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Fostex HP-P1 Portable Amplifier and DAC for iPod/iPhone (Short REVIEW and Impressions Thread) - Page 9

post #121 of 1305
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert View Post

I received my HP-P1 from Moon Audio on Wednesday and am enjoying this greatly!  Two years ago I took the plunge and bought an Ipod Classic 160G.  I LOVED the capacity of this thing and loaded it with my entire collection of lossless CD’s.  And I have been dissatisfied ever since.  I have good headphones (Audio Technica W1000’s and Etymotic ER4-P/S).  They tend to be detailed and analytical and they expose the flaws of the source.

 

Lots of agreement on the match between the Ety ER-4 and the Fostex, self included!  BTW Norbert, you wrote "ER4-P/S".  Do you have the 'P' with the 'S' adapter, or just the 'S'?  I have the 'P' myself and was just wondering what the extra ~75ohms does for the Etys- specifically with the Fostex.  I will eventually get that adapter off of ebay, but I'm curious to see what your impressions are.  Thanks!

post #122 of 1305

Right.  I've got the Er4-P with an S adapter cable.  Before the Fostex I didn't use the S adapter much because the ipod headphone jack couldn't do it justice and using the S with the amp + Ipod through the line out, well, that just caused the Ety's to reveal the poverty of the Classic internal DAC.  Honestly, I haven't even tried it without the S cable.  I'll do that and get back to you.

post #123 of 1305

I liked your review Norbert, thank you. Just what I wanted to hear.

 

The

Etymotic ER-4P are recommended it seems.

I saw the `S` cable on amazon, what does it do?

 

Has anyone tried the triple fi 10 with the Fostex, or the ATH-ESW9?

post #124 of 1305
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatinJapan View Post

Has anyone tried the triple fi 10 with the Fostex, or the ATH-ESW9?


To me, when hooked up to the Fostex there is a definite roll-off of the high frequencies with the TripleFis.  So you know where I am coming from, I think the TripleFis sound quite good straight out of the iPod (Touch 4G/Nano 6G).  So using that as a reference, I think I actually prefer the sound coming straight out of the iPod.  My uneducated guess is that for whatever good the HP-P1's DAC is doing, it's negated by the (impedance) match between the amp and the TripleFis.  However, to those who think the TripleFis are a little too bright, this might be a good thing?

post #125 of 1305

Thank you, again.

post #126 of 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert View Post

Ironically, now that I am enjoying my Ipod like never before I am now presented with rumors about Apple discontinuing the Classic!  I might have to go out and buy another as a back-up!

 

[note: I posted this "review" at Moon Audio's website]

 


That 7g 160gb is destined to be a legend, I was also thinking of getting another one. For some reason people are happy with 16gb of lossy music and thus the market responds.....

 

post #127 of 1305
How about with unique melody's Merlin or miracle? Any review with fostex?
post #128 of 1305

1). It seems everyone is very happy with the Fostex hp_p1 DAC.

 

2). There are conflicting reports/reviews on the quality of the Fostex hp_p1 Amp.

 

-Opinions on the Fostex Amp from owners please.

 

__________________________________________________________________

 

*Has anyone tried different USB LODs with their Fostex. Say the stock cable and ALO cable?

-If so any differences in sound or quality?

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

:I think these are my final questions before I myself also buy a Fostex hp_p1.

(And act like its a cheap purchase to the wife heehee).

 

Thanks.

post #129 of 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatinJapan View Post

I liked your review Norbert, thank you. Just what I wanted to hear.

 

The

Etymotic ER-4P are recommended it seems.

I saw the `S` cable on amazon, what does it do?

 

Has anyone tried the triple fi 10 with the Fostex, or the ATH-ESW9?



Now now, not so fast.  My review was for the Fostex paired with ER4-S not the P, or more specifically, the ER4-P with an S cable adapter.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.  So, this morning I did some pretty intensive A/B testing between the ER4-P with the Fostex and the headphone jack of my latest generation Classic Ipod.  The results are more mixed.  Keep in mind the ER4-P was created to play straight from the headphone jack.  They are easy to drive and don't need an amp.  So, does the ER4-P improve with the Fostex?  I give that a weak and qualified "yes."  But boy did I have to work to be able to finally arrive at this conclusion!  Back and forth for over an hour with all sorts of music, and I had to listen exhaustively carefully.  If I only had the 4-P without an S adapter I would be disappointed with the improvement, which does not surprise me given what the 4-P was designed for.  Out of the Ipod headphone jack it does quite well, that's why I never bothered to buy a portable amp for it.  My advice for all you ER4-P owners looking at the Fostex:  buy an S adapter cable.  Without it I, personally, wouldn't bother.  Think about it.  It makes sense because the 4-S was made to sing with an amp and the 4-P was not.  Why spend that much money and not get the S cable?  Also, keep in mind I'm commenting on music from all (lossless) ALAC files.  I cannot speak to how lower bitrates would fare.

 

Now, other things to consider:  If I had a nice portable amp that I was happy with, I wouldn't buy the Fostex HP-P1.  I'd buy the CLAS Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo, which is just the DAC and save some money.  Right now you only have those two choices for using the Ipod as a portable digital transport.  If you're gonna park it on your chairside table then there are other options (maybe better options, but I didn't consider those because I wanted portable).  As Jude pretty much said in the Fostex video the CLAS and the Fostex DACs are on par with each other.  So, if you've got an amp why spend more for the Fostex?  Now, there are alot of questions about how the Fostex amp section compares to other amps but I can't help anyone with that because I have nothing to compare it to.  I've only heard music through portable amps briefly at a head-fi meet in Chicago years ago (I remember being blown away by the Ray Samuels units).  I can say I'm plenty satisfied with what I'm hearing with the W1000's and the ER4-S.  I also can't comment on using other cables.  Unmoved by the whole cable upgrade mystique, which I consider to be a bunch of hocus pocus voodoo, I'm not a cable guy.  Clearly, not the right person to ask on that topic (don't even get me going on this, I mean, it's a digital cable people.  1's and 0's.  It either works or it doesn't.  Please don't flame me on that!).  I've checked the prices for those upgrades and I'm not into it.

 

Furthermore, you need to take into consideration that you will put out some serious cash on an accessory for an Ipod which may be discontinued shortly.  Those rumors are flying around all over the internet.  There's a thread on it here at head-fi.  Just to play it safe I bought another 160G classic and will put my current one in storage as a backup.  I figure they still sell parts and even fairly pristine 10 year old ipods on ebay.  So I should be ok.  And if you have an Ipad or Iphone you'll be ok too.

 

So, there it is.  I've had my Fostex for 4 days now and I've given it a good shakedown and I'm happy.  Now I'll be shifting into a less analytical style of listening and simply enjoy my music.  That is finally what it's all about.

 

post #130 of 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

 

Lots of agreement on the match between the Ety ER-4 and the Fostex, self included!  BTW Norbert, you wrote "ER4-P/S".  Do you have the 'P' with the 'S' adapter, or just the 'S'?  I have the 'P' myself and was just wondering what the extra ~75ohms does for the Etys- specifically with the Fostex.  I will eventually get that adapter off of ebay, but I'm curious to see what your impressions are.  Thanks!



Mkubota1, trust me.  If you like the 4-P with the Fostex definately get the S adapter.  You won't be disappointed.

 

post #131 of 1305
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert View Post

Now now, not so fast.  My review was for the Fostex paired with ER4-S not the P, or more specifically, the ER4-P with an S cable adapter.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves here.  So, this morning I did some pretty intensive A/B testing between the ER4-P with the Fostex and the headphone jack of my latest generation Classic Ipod.  The results are more mixed.  Keep in mind the ER4-P was created to play straight from the headphone jack.  They are easy to drive and don't need an amp.  So, does the ER4-P improve with the Fostex?  I give that a weak and qualified "yes."  But boy did I have to work to be able to finally arrive at this conclusion!  Back and forth for over an hour with all sorts of music, and I had to listen exhaustively carefully.  If I only had the 4-P without an S adapter I would be disappointed with the improvement, which does not surprise me given what the 4-P was designed for.  Out of the Ipod headphone jack it does quite well, that's why I never bothered to buy a portable amp for it.  My advice for all you ER4-P owners looking at the Fostex:  buy an S adapter cable.  Without it I, personally, wouldn't bother.  Think about it.  It makes sense because the 4-S was made to sing with an amp and the 4-P was not.  Why spend that much money and not get the S cable?  Also, keep in mind I'm commenting on music from all (lossless) ALAC files.  I cannot speak to how lower bitrates would fare.

...

 

Furthermore, you need to take into consideration that you will put out some serious cash on an accessory for an Ipod which may be discontinued shortly.  Those rumors are flying around all over the internet.  There's a thread on it here at head-fi.  Just to play it safe I bought another 160G classic and will put my current one in storage as a backup.  I figure they still sell parts and even fairly pristine 10 year old ipods on ebay.  So I should be ok.  And if you have an Ipad or Iphone you'll be ok too.

...

 

So, there it is.  I've had my Fostex for 4 days now and I've given it a good shakedown and I'm happy.  Now I'll be shifting into a less analytical style of listening and simply enjoy my music.  That is finally what it's all about.

 


Interesting- because now when I go back and look at my notes on comparisons between the stuff I have, I noted that there is a miniscule difference (if any) between the Fostex HPA and my Nano 6G.  I'm still happy with the noise-free output that I'm getting from the DAC, but yeah- iPod > ER-4Ps are a fantastically cheap (it's all relative here), simple portable listening solution.  Your comments on the 'S' cable make me want to order that adapter right now.  (I'm waiting a few more days for my ebay Bucks to kick in.)  And for <$20, it's a no brainer if only to try out.

 

Good idea on hoarding the Classic- although I think replacing the hard drive (the most likely thing to fail) seems almost trivial.  Where I live there are even shops that will do it for you for a minimal charge.  But then those Classics can be had for so cheap (again, relative) that you might as well just have a back up.  Dang... now you've got me thinking.

 

Hey ExpatinJapan- we all know where you live.  You should probably just take your favorite IEMs/cans to the nearest dealer and do a demo.  I say this because it's definitely a case of YMMV here- especially with different IEMs.  For me, the Westone 4s and Etys sound very similar (meaning 'good') running out of either the HP-P1 or my Nano.  The TripleFis are not my favorite out of the Fostex, but you might like it.  With my UE Reference Monitors, I'd say it's either a small difference or a lateral move.  For me, it's a mixed  bag.

 

Back to Norbert- Congratulations!  It's nice to finally 'get there'.  smile_phones.gif

post #132 of 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikitub View Post

How about with unique melody's Merlin or miracle? Any review with fostex?

I'm just waiting on my Merlin's to arrive and I'll do a review of the Fostex. iPod Classic 160gb > Fostex HP-P1 > Miracle and Merlin. I've also got a TWag v2 cable for the IEM's.
post #133 of 1305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

 

Hey ExpatinJapan- we all know where you live.  You should probably just take your favorite IEMs/cans to the nearest dealer and do a demo.  I say this because it's definitely a case of YMMV here- especially with different IEMs.  For me, the Westone 4s and Etys sound very similar (meaning 'good') running out of either the HP-P1 or my Nano.  The TripleFis are not my favorite out of the Fostex, but you might like it.  With my UE Reference Monitors, I'd say it's either a small difference or a lateral move.  For me, it's a mixed  bag.

 

  smile_phones.gif



Yeah I have done a couple of in store demos already, but not fully convinced, If it was half the price, yes.

And I am still worried about a few points.

 

-The quality of the hp_p1 amp section.

-Would I notice the upgrade in sound quality whilst riding the train?

-Whether the supplied USB cable quality is high enough.

-Are my ATH-ESW9 and Triple fi10 good enough for this upgrade?

post #134 of 1305

Any impressions on Earsonics SM3 through the Fostex?

post #135 of 1305


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

 

I'm not touching that topic with a 10ft pole.  wink.gif  

 


 

Haha I don't blame you! ;) I work in video sometimes, and I find it absurd that no other area of media but consumer audio is infected with this stuff! As long as it meets spec no-one in vid would ever claim that using a different USB or Firewire or HDSDI affects the colour frequencies, frame rates, or anything to do with the reconstruction of the image or sound, unless it's defective. Oh well...

 

I had the popping and clicking issue once so far in a good week's use with the iPhone 4. I just switched it off and on again and it stopped. It doesn't appear related to processor or memory incidentally, as I have a jailbroken device and freed-up both to no avail: a restart alone will fix this.

 

This is yet another DAC that proves to me the much more 'real' sound of minimum-phase filters as opposed to linear-phase filters. Filter 1 is much more 'smeared' than filter two. Of course, it compliments some music more, but in the time domain it's a long way behind. The phase problems of a well-designed minimum-phase filter only rise above a few samples of discrepancy as the audio frequency goes above 14kHz — the point around which human hearing can't really determine differences in pitch. It's more like noise up there really, we're not that sensitive to a few samples of phase!

 

I'm not sure if it's the minimum-phase filter that's used in the HP A3 though... shame this DAC doesn't have SPDIF in...

 

 


Edited by jgharding - 10/4/11 at 6:18am
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