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Fire Phoenix USB DAC.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I am looking for an affordable USB DAC/headphone amp for my desktop set up.


I am currently using a Hotaudio DAC Destroyer which feeds both a T-amp and a CMOY but the output jack is past it's usefull life. (and I fancy trying something different).


Did anyone ever consider this one?:




On paper it seems very decent but I have so far been unable to find any kind of feedback on this unit.


This is why it's on my short list:

  • Integrated power supply (as opposed to an adapter or powered by USB)
  • Cirrus CS4398 DAC chip
  • Rollable Opamps (and I allready have a few for my CMOY)
  • Line out for my T-amp


This is why I have doubts:

  • The name "Fire Phoenix" sounds like a Chuck Norris movie which went straight to video.
  • Good core components are not a guarantee for a good product.


Does anyone want to share their experience or view on this one?

post #2 of 3

I just received mine. First the good news, it sounds great. It drives my 150 ohm Senn HD535s comfortably, how it behaves with lower/higher impedance cans I cannot say nor have I tried it with my better headphones (Senn HD580 or Beyerdynamic DT880) . Optical/Coax/USB and headphone amp for $105 shipped is an absurd bargain. I tested it with USB and Coax


As a DAC feeding a speaker amp - Line-out at full (see below) - great.



Some oddities worth mentioning.


1. Inserting headphones into the headphone socket does not cut the line out, both run at the same time I assume this is a cost cutting meaure. Nor is there a line-out/headphone switch as there is on the Zero (the Zero with shipping is however costlier by about $50 - $70 depending on config) .


2. The volume switch attenuates both line-out and headphone volume. I tend to leave line-out at full whack so if you plug-in headphone while music is playing and the volume is on full you might damage them, I did this switch accidentally but the 535s suffered no damage from this momentary error but it may be an issue with other headphones.


Other comments: There is a channel imbalance at low volume settings  (7 O'clock) (below listening levels for me with 150 ohm headphones, agaim ymmv)  gone by 7:30


I'll try it with some different headphones and update this report.


It is hard to be too critical of something with so many features at just over a ton shipped !

Edited by nick_charles - 9/25/12 at 8:38am
post #3 of 3

Hi, I'm thinking of getting the Fire Phoenix amp/dac. I want to pair the Fire Phoenix with my Beyer DT880s, but I have the 600 ohm model. Is the 300ohm max on the Fire Phoenix enough to drive the Beyers?

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