Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › What is the best Portable DAC for iPod Classic 160GB to buy?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is the best Portable DAC for iPod Classic 160GB to buy? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post



 
If I may, I'd like to clarify something for jcw-mini.

ALO Solo  (aka Cypherlabs Algorhythm Solo or CLAS for short) is not the same as the Fostex HP-P1. I have both. I don't know if jcw-mini is aware of this cos I re-read the thread twice and it wasn't clearly mentioned but :-


CLAS = DAC mode or transport mode
Fostex HP-P1 = DAC mode, Transport and/or Amp

i.e. if you buy the HP-P1, it's a DAC and an Amp. But if you buy the CLAS it's only a DAC and you'll still need to buy another amp. You cannot plug your headphones straight into the CLAS. That is why the HP-P1 has a volume knob whereas the CLAS doesn't.

So with the Fostex HP-P1, you carry only your iPod+HP-P1+headphones. But for the ALO Solo you carry iPod+CLAS+Amp+headphones.

If you guys are aware of this, then my apologies but as mentioned, I don't recall this being clearly stated in earlier posts of this thread.


Thank you for clearing that up. I didn't think the AOL CLAS has an amp built-in.
post #32 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kepic View Post

Nice Demo!!!!bigsmile_face.gif


 



 



I am leaning on purchasing the Fostex HP-P1 but not sure if the amp will be compatible with my Sennheiser HD650? Please advice.

I bought a Electric Avenues PA2V2 for my Shure SE535 and it sound excellent and I am liking more as day goes by.  I hope to use the Fostex HP-P1 will be a good match for the HD650.

Please give me your input.  Many Thanks.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post


 

If I may, I'd like to clarify something for jcw-mini.

 

ALO Solo  (aka Cypherlabs Algorhythm Solo or CLAS for short) is not the same as the Fostex HP-P1. I have both. I don't know if jcw-mini is aware of this cos I re-read the thread twice and it wasn't clearly mentioned but :-


CLAS = DAC mode or transport mode

Fostex HP-P1 = DAC mode, Transport and/or Amp

 

i.e. if you buy the HP-P1, it's a DAC and an Amp. But if you buy the CLAS it's only a DAC and you'll still need to buy another amp. You cannot plug your headphones straight into the CLAS. That is why the HP-P1 has a volume knob whereas the CLAS doesn't.

 

So with the Fostex HP-P1, you carry only your iPod+HP-P1+headphones. But for the ALO Solo you carry iPod+CLAS+Amp+headphones.

 

If you guys are aware of this, then my apologies but as mentioned, I don't recall this being clearly stated in earlier posts of this thread.



 

post #33 of 67

Unfortunately I'm unfamiliar with the HD650. Have a look at Jude's video review :-

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/570149/fostex-hp-p1-portable-dac-for-iphone-ipod-and-ipad-with-built-in-headphone-amp-head-fi-tv-episode-011

 

He talks about difficult to drive headphones around the 8:55 mark, and easy to drive headphones around the 11:00 mark. Although the HD650 isn't mentioned, he talks about the other headphones. If you know where the HD650 lies amongst the models he's mentioned, you may be able to determine if the HP-P1 is suitable for your headphones or not.

post #34 of 67
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Unfortunately I'm unfamiliar with the HD650. Have a look at Jude's video review :-

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/570149/fostex-hp-p1-portable-dac-for-iphone-ipod-and-ipad-with-built-in-headphone-amp-head-fi-tv-episode-011

 

He talks about difficult to drive headphones around the 8:55 mark, and easy to drive headphones around the 11:00 mark. Although the HD650 isn't mentioned, he talks about the other headphones. If you know where the HD650 lies amongst the models he's mentioned, you may be able to determine if the HP-P1 is suitable for your headphones or not.



Yes, I watched the video.  But did not hear that it is a good match for the HD650.  Do you like your Fostex HP-P1?  What are you paring it with?  Thanks for your input.  I appreciate it very much.

post #35 of 67

For pretty much the past 6 weeks it's been the iPad1+HP-P1+Pico Slim+Ultrasone Ed8's. When I first bought the HP-P1, I wasn't all that impressed with the amp as it sounded dark and the highs were veiled. My friend loaned me his Predator (which I used as the amp) and since then I had used the HP-P1 almost exclusively in DAC mode only. I immediately went out to buy a Pico Slim soon after as I couldn't borrow my friends Predator forever.

 

As Jude said, if one were to use the HP-P1 with an external amp, then you're better off with a CLAS since DAC2DAC, the CLAS is a smaller form factor, so I picked up the CLAS after the Tokyo Headphone Festival from Ken/ALO.

 

What I didn't realise was the HP-P1's amp just needed more time for burning in to open up. So recently when I went back to just using it as a DAC/Amp, I was surprised it has improved so much - despite me using it only as a DAC-only, I did inadvertently burn it in over the past few weeks. The difference between the HP-P1 DAC/Amp now and HP-P1+Pico Slim has narrowed considerably and if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have been happy enough with the HP-P1 and didn't need an external amp.

 

One thing to know though is that there is still a difference of the HP-P1's amp vs the Pico Slim, in that the soundstage with the Pico Slim is still a little wider and deeper. However, at this point, since the gap is narrowed so much compared to a month ago, it's merely a question of personal taste and budget if that difference is worth a Pico Slim (6 weeks ago, I'd say yes...but now, not so).

 

 

What's my personal final setup? Once I get my UM IEMs back from repair (and new ones made) I'll test again but I think there's a very high chance I'm going for the CLAS+Pico Slim setup for now, and for the Rx MkIII Balanced instead (and get my Ed8's balanced too). Portability is not an issue for me as I have another alternative for portability (the Go-DAP 4.0 + iPhone 4S). Therefore the iPad+CLAS+PicoSlim/RxMkIII+Ed8s will just get thrown into my satchel.

 

From what you've written before, if you want portability for your iPod, the only official way is the HP-P1 but I'd say give it a chance to burn in to get the most out of it. If you opt for SQ over portability/price, then the CLAS+whatever amp you choose.

 

P.S. I wrote "official" 'cos there are ways to interface your iPod/iPad/Touch with the VentureCraft Go-DAP 4.0 and I've done it myself with just a very simple dock extension cable. This is also extremely portable - but officially, the Go-DAP is meant to be for iPhones.

P.P.S. I'm also trying another unofficial combination of Dock->USB converters to try to use the iPad with a -standard- USB DAC. This is to bypass Apple's 20mAh limitation on the iPad. And if this works, it expands the choices of USB DACs considerably.

 

post #36 of 67

I've been listening to a wide variety of DACs and the CLAS is the one I am zeroing in on.  It's a bit pricey but really offers some real high end audio sound based on several listening sessions I have had with a variety of cans.  The LCD plus Rx2 plus CLAS sounded fairly amazing at Rocky Mountain.

post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcw-mini View Post

Hello everyone,

 

I am a newbie to the portable headphone amps.  I just bought an Apple Ipod Classic 160GB and a pair of Shure SE353 and Sennheiser HD 650.  I am looking for a portable DAC with amplifier but not shure what to buy.  I was leaning toward the Fostex HP-P1 and not sure if this is a good fit with the gear I have.  I just bought a PAV2 Headphone Amplifier from Gary due to it ranked #1 in the forum and price was affordable.  Any advices would be greatly Appreciated. 

 

Thanks.

 

Travis.

 

There are only two portable DACs for the iPod in the world today. One is the HP-P1, the other is the CLAS.  There are currently no other options outside of rigging an iDo or i20 with something like an Energizer battery pack.
 

 

post #38 of 67

Hey guys. since the ipod classic has a DAC already if I'm correct. is there a major difference if u bypass the built-in DAC and use a DAC/AMP? i have a 8th generation ipod classic by the way


Edited by bevano - 2/25/12 at 5:17pm
post #39 of 67
The biggest difference would be getting a proper line out signal and being able to go from one digital format to a different digital format (IE usb to optical or coax). The secondary difference would be in how finnicky the output can be in relation to the load it is driving. For example the ipod's headphone jack performs a bunch better on a high impedance load (80 ohms) than it does with a low impedance load (16 ohms). With the low impedance load the roll off is horrid, with the 80 ohm load the roll off isnt as bad. However with a dedicated external dac, you can offload this sort of problem to the dac/amp combo itself.

Honestly though with the quality of the ipod's internal DAC, I dont see why one wouldnt just get an LOD and plug that into an amp. It isnt ideal for using the ipod as an input source but the ipod isnt really designed to be a dedicated input source anyways.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

The biggest difference would be getting a proper line out signal and being able to go from one digital format to a different digital format (IE usb to optical or coax). The secondary difference would be in how finnicky the output can be in relation to the load it is driving. For example the ipod's headphone jack performs a bunch better on a high impedance load (80 ohms) than it does with a low impedance load (16 ohms). With the low impedance load the roll off is horrid, with the 80 ohm load the roll off isnt as bad. However with a dedicated external dac, you can offload this sort of problem to the dac/amp combo itself.
Honestly though with the quality of the ipod's internal DAC, I dont see why one wouldnt just get an LOD and plug that into an amp. It isnt ideal for using the ipod as an input source but the ipod isnt really designed to be a dedicated input source anyways.

I do not believe this to be correct. The line out of an iDevice is analog. The USB out, which requires a chip in the DAC to communicate with the device, is the only way to get a digital signal out. The benefit of this is due to the poor bit/sample rate of the internal DAC chip in iDevices, which seems to be 16 bit/48Khz. The DAC in the Solo, for example, provides 24 bit/96Khz. I believe this is CD quality. Don't hold me to any of this, as I am no engineer, but I believe it is correct.
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankATL View Post

I do not believe this to be correct. The line out of an iDevice is analog. The USB out, which requires a chip in the DAC to communicate with the device, is the only way to get a digital signal out. The benefit of this is due to the poor bit/sample rate of the internal DAC chip in iDevices, which seems to be 16 bit/48Khz. The DAC in the Solo, for example, provides 24 bit/96Khz. I believe this is CD quality. Don't hold me to any of this, as I am no engineer, but I believe it is correct.

1) At some point in time, you have to get the analog signal out of the DAC. This is what an LOD does.

2) CD quality is 16 bit, 44.1 khz or 16 bit, 48khz.

3) Ipod's own sync mechanism and internal audio will support up to 24 bit audio but only 44.1 or 48khz sampling rate, and I'm not too sure about 48khz either.

4) I'm fairly sure itunes will not transfer files that are incompatible with ipod format, nor will itunes play formats incompatible with ipod itself. This makes items like clas and hpp1 completely useless unless you have a true problem with ipod dac's output.

5) iDevice like CLAS or HPP1 makes it impossible to use rockbox for ipod classic (which is now stable enough for day to day use)

Now for the pros:

1) if you use an iDevice like clas or hpp1 or a wadia iTransport, you are essentially using the ipod as a simple external hard drive.

2) iDevice will give you very close to proper line level voltages

3) iDevice will do a better job with input/output impedance and work better overall with gear

4) iDevice DAC FAR outperforms ipod built in DAC, and provides an exceptionally more clear signal

So basically, if you have no problem with .7 volts RMS out of the ipod's stock DAC, you might as well get the line out dock for 10 bucks and call it a day with whatever amp. However, if you do feel that you have a high end enough rig to warrant a different DAC than ipod's own internal DAC, you should get the HPP1 or CLAS or whatever iTransport you want.
post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

1) At some point in time, you have to get the analog signal out of the DAC. This is what an LOD does.
2) CD quality is 16 bit, 44.1 khz or 16 bit, 48khz.
3) Ipod's own sync mechanism and internal audio will support up to 24 bit audio but only 44.1 or 48khz sampling rate, and I'm not too sure about 48khz either.
4) I'm fairly sure itunes will not transfer files that are incompatible with ipod format, nor will itunes play formats incompatible with ipod itself. This makes items like clas and hpp1 completely useless unless you have a true problem with ipod dac's output.
5) iDevice like CLAS or HPP1 makes it impossible to use rockbox for ipod classic (which is now stable enough for day to day use)
Now for the pros:
1) if you use an iDevice like clas or hpp1 or a wadia iTransport, you are essentially using the ipod as a simple external hard drive.
2) iDevice will give you very close to proper line level voltages
3) iDevice will do a better job with input/output impedance and work better overall with gear
4) iDevice DAC FAR outperforms ipod built in DAC, and provides an exceptionally more clear signal
So basically, if you have no problem with .7 volts RMS out of the ipod's stock DAC, you might as well get the line out dock for 10 bucks and call it a day with whatever amp. However, if you do feel that you have a high end enough rig to warrant a different DAC than ipod's own internal DAC, you should get the HPP1 or CLAS or whatever iTransport you want.

Thanks for clarifying. I currently use an LoD and Fiio E11. I think it sounds good enough with my current headphone/earphone inventory (my 250 ohm DT880s leave me wanting more volume at times, but that's an amp issue), but am saving for a CLAS in hopes of improvement now, and with an eye toward future can upgrades. Most of what I've read, external DACs using the digital signal from an iPhone/iPad make for a fairly large SQ improvement. I haven't gotten mine yet, so all I can go off of are others impressions.
Edited by FrankATL - 4/1/12 at 4:55pm
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankATL View Post

Thanks for clarifying. I currently use an LoD and Fiio E11. I think it sounds good enough with my current headphone/earphone inventory (my 250 ohm DT880s leave me wanting more volume at times, but that's an amp issue), but am saving for a CLAS in hopes of improvement now, and with an eye toward future can upgrades. Most of what I've read, external DACs using the digital signal from an iPhone/iPad make for a fairly large SQ improvement. I haven't gotten mine yet, so all I can go off of are others impressions.

I use ipod classic with fiio E11 also, though I use ath-m50 with srh-840 earpads (slightlyreduced and very controlled bass, harsher treble, sounds like beyerdynamics). Make sure your E11 is set to high power mode, the switch is underneath the battery. I wouldnt save for a CLAS if I were you, there are MUCH better options. The CLAS will give you closer to line level voltages but it would make more sense to simply get an amp that can amplify the ipod's signal to acceptable levels. I think CLAS and whatnot would definitely make an SQ improvement, but what I dont agree with is buying a 300 dollar ipod, pairing it with a 500-600 dollar CLAS, and then having ANOTHER amp, probably a 100-200 dollar portable one, to pair with the CLAS, which cant be used standalone because it is a DAC only. The HPP1, likewise, is 800 bucks and costs about the same as getting the CLAS and a worthwhile amp. The ipod wasnt designed with audiophile quality in mind in the first place. It doesnt make sense to buy 1000 bucks total worth of gear when you can easily get, for example, iBasso's dac, or any nice tablet/laptop/netbook with a halfway decent external dac/amp combo, or one of the multitude of high end sources. Hell, teclast T51, nationite S:flo 2, colorfly ck4, hifiman 601, 602, 801. Theres tons of hifi alternatives to getting a ****ty ipod and trying to fix it for 800 bucks.

EDIT: I did use my ipod LOD as a source going to RSA Darkstar -> Hifiman HE-6. I had to turn the darkstar up to 75% to get the volume to comfortable listening levels. RSA blew up his HE-6 at around that volume, so that was not a good thign to do, but since the output of the LOD is so low it makes it hard to get respectable volume out of any amp. This is where the CLAS is especially useful. However, at that point you might as well use a laptop or a wadia iTransport.

I dunno, clas and hpp1 dont really make any sense to me.
Edited by shrimants - 4/1/12 at 5:11pm
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimants View Post

I use ipod classic with fiio E11 also, though I use ath-m50 with srh-840 earpads (slightlyreduced and very controlled bass, harsher treble, sounds like beyerdynamics). Make sure your E11 is set to high power mode, the switch is underneath the battery. I wouldnt save for a CLAS if I were you, there are MUCH better options. The CLAS will give you closer to line level voltages but it would make more sense to simply get an amp that can amplify the ipod's signal to acceptable levels. I think CLAS and whatnot would definitely make an SQ improvement, but what I dont agree with is buying a 300 dollar ipod, pairing it with a 500-600 dollar CLAS, and then having ANOTHER amp, probably a 100-200 dollar portable one, to pair with the CLAS, which cant be used standalone because it is a DAC only. The HPP1, likewise, is 800 bucks and costs about the same as getting the CLAS and a worthwhile amp. The ipod wasnt designed with audiophile quality in mind in the first place. It doesnt make sense to buy 1000 bucks total worth of gear when you can easily get, for example, iBasso's dac, or any nice tablet/laptop/netbook with a halfway decent external dac/amp combo, or one of the multitude of high end sources. Hell, teclast T51, nationite S:flo 2, colorfly ck4, hifiman 601, 602, 801. Theres tons of hifi alternatives to getting a ****ty ipod and trying to fix it for 800 bucks.
EDIT: I did use my ipod LOD as a source going to RSA Darkstar -> Hifiman HE-6. I had to turn the darkstar up to 75% to get the volume to comfortable listening levels. RSA blew up his HE-6 at around that volume, so that was not a good thign to do, but since the output of the LOD is so low it makes it hard to get respectable volume out of any amp. This is where the CLAS is especially useful. However, at that point you might as well use a laptop or a wadia iTransport.
I dunno, clas and hpp1 dont really make any sense to me.

Yeah, I found the hi/low power switch pretty quickly after getting the 880s, but thanks smily_headphones1.gif. As for other sources, I am very sure that is absolutely true. Unfortunately my iPhone and iPad had become pretty intricately woven into my life, before I caught the audio bug. I use them daily for work, watching movies web surfing, etc. I guess that is one thing apple does really well. Becomes a part of your life, for better or worse. Another source is an option, but would be another device to carry. It's either iphone+CLAS+amp+cans, or iPhone+DAP+amp+cans, since I have to carry my phone and pad anyway. Plus I already have those, and would need to purchase another hifi source. It certainly isn't the most affordable portable solution, but being where I am at this point...
post #45 of 67

I'll suggest you to save money on the dac and spend it on a decent amp. The iPod DAC is pretty good in terms of performance (http://homepage.mac.com/marc.heijligers/audio/ipod/comparison/measurements/measurements.html), and if you're using lossless files you're not likely to gain a lot by spending on the DAC than you would by changing your Headphone/amp.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › What is the best Portable DAC for iPod Classic 160GB to buy?