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Fostex HP-P1 Portable Amplifier and DAC for iPod/iPhone (Short REVIEW and Impressions Thread) - Page 3

post #31 of 1291

This is not exclusive to iDevices, is it?

Can we use it with other players?

Maybe the answer it's too obvius...sorry bout that.

 

And the real question is: does this really worth the price they're asking for it? For that kind of money you could buy a nice pair of monitors for instance..just sayin'

 


Edited by Vitor Teixeira - 8/10/11 at 3:49am
post #32 of 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

This is not exclusive to iDevices, is it?

Can we use it with other players?

Maybe the answer it's too obvius...sorry bout that.

 


Yes, it is exclusive to iDevices as a DAC.

 

You can use it as just a headphone amplifier with any source via the line in.
 

 

post #33 of 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

And the real question is: does this really worth the price they're asking for it? For that kind of money you could buy a nice pair of monitors for instance..just sayin'

 



I think it is worth if it, especially if you compare Fostex to its only rival.

 

Algorythm cost 580$, to that you must add price for some reasonably long usb cable, interconnect cable and headphone amplifier.  

Fostex is between 600 and 700$ and you get everythihng in one box. 

post #34 of 1291
Bina, have you decided to buy the loaner pair?
You haven't got an iPod 5G to see if it works with it?
Does it read 24/96 HR files?
post #35 of 1291

Great thread. I can not wait to read more impressions!

post #36 of 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vitor Teixeira View Post

Bina, have you decided to buy the loaner pair?
You haven't got an iPod 5G to see if it works with it?
Does it read 24/96 HR files?


I will not be buying it, I use just small portable rig of iphone and some great IEMs, I just dont want to cary another device with it.

 

I dont have any other ipod. I will stop in local apple store and try to test it with ipad.

 

iPhone cant play 24 bit, so answer is no.

post #37 of 1291

Oh WTF, just pulled the trigger!

Let's wait and see..popcorn.gif

post #38 of 1291

So, today I visited local Apple store and tried it with ipad 2. It worked without any problem.

post #39 of 1291
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bina View Post

So, today I visited local Apple store and tried it with ipad 2. It worked without any problem.



Great!  I wonder why they didn't put the iPad logo on their list of compatible devices like Cypher did.  I wonder if it is 'officially certified' for the iPad.  It seems like there is a fairly stringent process to get your stuff certified.  Perhaps it's like using an external DAC with the iPad via USB (CCK), where it will probably work but was not made to do so and therefore is not guaranteed.

 


Edited by Mkubota1 - 8/12/11 at 12:03pm
post #40 of 1291

First post, so be gentle with me!

 

I love my 160GB iPod classic, as it's the only player out there that holds all my music. I actually think that the headphone amp on the classic sounds pretty good - my headphones are Shure E500s and B&W P5s, and through both of those, the bog-standard classic sounds great to me. The previous generation did sound a little better in terms of tone, but that was offset by a level of hiss that I found unacceptable.

 

Anyway, I've got fed up with the number of times I've read people online claiming that Cowons etc all sound orders of magnitude better than the iPod. I was sceptical, but I was keeping an open mind, and did wonder if my iPod could actually sound better. I listen to it a lot at work, and have toyed with various external amp options in order to get the best from it, but as soon as I saw the HP-P1 was being introduced, I decided I had to have one. I was onto the UK distributor about 20 minutes later, and I suspect I may have had the first one in the UK - I've had it about a month.

 

So - the verdict? Well, bear in mind this is the first dedicated headphone amp I've tried, but I have been using headphones that cost more than the iPod does for several years, and my home system is high-end Arcam/B&W. Music on my iPod is in high bit-rate VBR AAC - about 200 kb/s, as to me that is past the threshold of audibility. I listen to mostly rock and acoustic music.

 

With the B&W P5s, the HP-P1 makes, as far as I can tell, no difference whatsoever compared to the iPod's own headphone socket. If there is an improvement in the sound, it is so tiny as to be imperceptible. This was a bit of a disappointment, so I tried my Shures...

 

With the Shures, the P1 does make a difference - the sound gets a bit less warm in the upper midband, which has the effect of making different instruments easier to separate and giving a small improvement in clarity. It isn't a huge effect, but it is noticeable. That said, in some ways I actually prefer the sound of the iPod's headphone out - the P1 sounds a bit light in the bass by comparison, and I think I prefer the slightly more bassy sound of the iPod itself.

 

All in all - quite disappointing for the money. (I paid £500 for mine.) Also, there is a silly design flaw with the P1 - even when plugged into a USB power source, it doesn't charge the iPod via the USB connection, so you can't just leave the iPod and P1 combo plugged into a mains adaptor for use at your desk - you still have to keep unplugging the iPod to charge it.

 

No complaints about the construction or build quality, although the supplied carrying case seems designed to fit a much bigger player than even the largest iPod, and is pretty badly thought out.

 

I'm probably going to sell mine, to be honest - it just doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth the rather high asking price.

 

Happy to answer questions if anyone has them - I feel like a bit of a guinea pig on this product to be honest!

post #41 of 1291
Thread Starter 

Great to hear your impressions- sorry to hear you're not thrilled by the HP-P1.  We share similar ears in that I think the current crop of iPods sound pretty darn good by themselves with a good set of IEMs.  If I weren't so wacky, I'd probably just have an iPod and some ER-4Ps and be happy! 

I've been doing some comparisons with my various IEMs and found that the effect the Fostex has on them can vary quite a bit.  I'm guessing it has something to do with different impedance curves.  (I don't consider this is a fault with the amp- I get similar differences with my iQube.)  With my UE RMs and TripleFis, the Fostex seems to emphasize the lower frequencies and downplay the upper midrange.  With my ER-4Ps I get a different result.  To my ears, the Etys are pretty even across the frequency spectrum with maybe an ever so slight emphasis on the entire midrange area.  But when used with the Fostex, it seems to bend that spectrum in almost the opposite direction- in that of a very mild 'V'.  I still get the full midrange delivery, but I also get some added fun!  

So right now my favorite IEM to listen to straight out of the Fostex is the ER-4P.  If I'm listening to the UEs, especially the TripleFis, I use the line out from the Fostex into the iQube.  I know- this makes for sort of a large stack for a portable.  But I use this exclusively inside my home.

As for the charging of the iPod while connected to the HP-P1, I remember reading a technical reason in the Cypher Labs Solo thread why they don't do that- it does not do it either.  And I agree that it would be fantastic if they could do it.  There is an interesting conversation about this topic here:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/497384/cypher-labs-algorhythm-solo/780#post_7640104

 

Quote:
I'm probably going to sell mine, to be honest - it just doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth the rather high asking price.


I wouldn't say that the HP-P1 is a bargain (or even a great value) by any stretch.  High-end or leading edge things rarely are.  What I do like so far is the sound I am getting from it with certain IEMs and the noise-free interface that I can use to connect to a different amp if I want.  It seems practicality and cost will almost always take a back seat to other things when you approach the extremes of any hobby.  If I wanted true portability, I'd probably go for something like a TTVJ Slim, Headstage Arrow, or Pico Slim.

Were you able to hear any difference between the two Filter positions?  I'm still having trouble telling the two apart!

And oh yeah- the carrying case.  confused_face.gif  I thought of it as more like packaging.


Edited by Mkubota1 - 8/13/11 at 5:36pm
post #42 of 1291

wish i could buy this right now. someday i will.

post #43 of 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by spl237 View Post

First post, so be gentle with me!

 

I love my 160GB iPod classic, as it's the only player out there that holds all my music. I actually think that the headphone amp on the classic sounds pretty good - my headphones are Shure E500s and B&W P5s, and through both of those, the bog-standard classic sounds great to me. The previous generation did sound a little better in terms of tone, but that was offset by a level of hiss that I found unacceptable.

 

Anyway, I've got fed up with the number of times I've read people online claiming that Cowons etc all sound orders of magnitude better than the iPod. I was sceptical, but I was keeping an open mind, and did wonder if my iPod could actually sound better. I listen to it a lot at work, and have toyed with various external amp options in order to get the best from it, but as soon as I saw the HP-P1 was being introduced, I decided I had to have one. I was onto the UK distributor about 20 minutes later, and I suspect I may have had the first one in the UK - I've had it about a month.

 

So - the verdict? Well, bear in mind this is the first dedicated headphone amp I've tried, but I have been using headphones that cost more than the iPod does for several years, and my home system is high-end Arcam/B&W. Music on my iPod is in high bit-rate VBR AAC - about 200 kb/s, as to me that is past the threshold of audibility. I listen to mostly rock and acoustic music.

 

With the B&W P5s, the HP-P1 makes, as far as I can tell, no difference whatsoever compared to the iPod's own headphone socket. If there is an improvement in the sound, it is so tiny as to be imperceptible. This was a bit of a disappointment, so I tried my Shures...

 

With the Shures, the P1 does make a difference - the sound gets a bit less warm in the upper midband, which has the effect of making different instruments easier to separate and giving a small improvement in clarity. It isn't a huge effect, but it is noticeable. That said, in some ways I actually prefer the sound of the iPod's headphone out - the P1 sounds a bit light in the bass by comparison, and I think I prefer the slightly more bassy sound of the iPod itself.

 

All in all - quite disappointing for the money. (I paid £500 for mine.) Also, there is a silly design flaw with the P1 - even when plugged into a USB power source, it doesn't charge the iPod via the USB connection, so you can't just leave the iPod and P1 combo plugged into a mains adaptor for use at your desk - you still have to keep unplugging the iPod to charge it.

 

No complaints about the construction or build quality, although the supplied carrying case seems designed to fit a much bigger player than even the largest iPod, and is pretty badly thought out.

 

I'm probably going to sell mine, to be honest - it just doesn't make enough of a difference to be worth the rather high asking price.

 

Happy to answer questions if anyone has them - I feel like a bit of a guinea pig on this product to be honest!


You might try ripping some music you're familiar with to lossless and trying your iPod/Fostex setup again.  The weak link in what you're doing now is your lossy music.  What is not audible with your old iPod/IEM rig could be extremely audible with the new rig.  I have the Solo and there's a large, very clearly audible difference between 320kbs files and lossless files.  Give it a try before you give up on the Fostex.

 

post #44 of 1291


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

Great to hear your impressions- sorry to hear you're not thrilled by the HP-P1.  We share similar ears in that I think the current crop of iPods sound pretty darn good by themselves with a good set of IEMs.  If I weren't so wacky, I'd probably just have an iPod and some ER-4Ps and be happy! 

 


 

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who can't hear much wrong with decent IEMs and an iPod classic! My general feeling is that if there was anything fundamentally wrong with the classic's headphone out, it would be pretty obvious via the $500 Shures...

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

As for the charging of the iPod while connected to the HP-P1, I remember reading a technical reason in the Cypher Labs Solo thread why they don't do that- it does not do it either.  And I agree that it would be fantastic if they could do it.  There is an interesting conversation about this topic here:  http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/497384/cypher-labs-algorhythm-solo/780#post_7640104

 


Interesting link - thanks for that. I wonder if that means that it might be possible to enable charging with a firmware upgrade? I don't know if Fostex included any means to update firmware - there's no mention of it in the manual.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mkubota1 View Post

 

Were you able to hear any difference between the two Filter positions?  I'm still having trouble telling the two apart!
 



None whatsoever! But then again, that's pretty much as expected given my experience with switchable digital filters on other products - I've never heard one that makes a noticeable difference. The HDCD spec includes switchable filters in HDCD compatible DACs, and I understand that the codes to switch filter are hardly ever used even then...

 

post #45 of 1291
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbes View Post




You might try ripping some music you're familiar with to lossless and trying your iPod/Fostex setup again.  The weak link in what you're doing now is your lossy music.  What is not audible with your old iPod/IEM rig could be extremely audible with the new rig.  I have the Solo and there's a large, very clearly audible difference between 320kbs files and lossless files.  Give it a try before you give up on the Fostex.

 

That's interesting - I might give it a go. Although if I have to rip to lossless, the classic becomes far too small to hold my library!
 

 

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