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post #31 of 277

Thanks. I sent a message via eBay

post #32 of 277

Is there anybody who compare Fiio E11 with the neco soundlab v2 or v3 ?

Thanks a lot !

post #33 of 277

Judging from your impressions of the i-Fuzen, wouldn't it pair very well with the HD25s? I'm about to get one for myself (albeit the original version) , and I'm hoping to hear your thoughts so I can have more to look forward to tongue.gif

post #34 of 277

Hi,

 

I'm currently in a position to get either the Stepdance v1, IQube v1, Pico Slim or TTVJ Slim but I have no idea which is better or superior after reading so many reviews of each amp. Based on Skylab's review I can see that the Stepdance and IQube are very highly rated. So I will like to know your personal view on each of these amps and then make my final decision.

 

Currently using an ipod classic and Westone 4R/SM3v2.

 

Thank you.


Edited by Matter - 2/1/12 at 9:54am
post #35 of 277


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

Hi,

 

I'm currently in a position to get either the Stepdance v1, IQube v1, Pico Slim or TTVJ Slim but I have no idea which is better or superior after reading so many reviews of each amp. Based on Skylab's review I can see that the Stepdance and IQube are very highly rated. So I will like to know your personal view on each of these amps and then make my final decision.

 

Currently using an ipod classic and Westone 4R/SM3v2.

 

Thank you.



 

I seem to recall my old iQube having some hiss with more sensitive iems like Westone ES3X. I'm not sure how the W4 would be but it is something to consider. 

post #36 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

@project86, I think you posted a short time back that you felt that things had dropped off a little in the portable amp market - they may have dropped off at RSA, Meier (semi-retired) and a couple of the other 'usual suspects', but somewhere between Fiio and iBasso there seems to be a new portable (mostly DAC/amps) every month. Mike at Headfonia finally got around to reviewing Triad's L3 and I suspect that many here are eagerly awaiting the arrival of ALO's  balanced portable amp, the Rx MkIII. I also think there is a commercial future for the Objective2 if someone can put the internals into a smaller, lighter casing - my EHP-02 just isnt going to fit anyone's idea of 'portable', but then neither would the L3.

 

I dont know what TTVJ or Headamp are up to, but I suspect that we will see several new portable amps in the first quarter of 2012.


You are, of course, correct.

 

I remember saying that (though I don't recall the context) but I take it back now - the market didn't go away, just shifted. It used to be more focused on the growing state of the high-end, with everyone trying to one-up each other with balanced designs, more and more power, more and more battery life, built in DACs, socketed opamps, crossfeed, etc. Now it is more focused on good sound for a good price, in a reasonably compact enclosure. Yes, there are still some fairly expensive units on the market, but the glory days for those are gone. With iBasso launching one quality design after another for ~$200 or less, I can't see us going back to the old ways, though obviously there will be a few specialty models here and there. 

 

post #37 of 277

@project86, I know you cant listen to every new gadget on the market, but it would be fantastic if you could put together a review of the DX100. If I had one, I'd send it to you for review.  biggrin.gif

 

All levity aside, I think your reviews are very balanced, and you have the benefit of having heard an absolute mountain of kit - not always the winning formula for a good review, but I enjoy every review you've written. I have some inkling of how hard it is, particularly given the subjective nature of the beast, but I hope you wont let that stop you from writing more reviews.

post #38 of 277
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theThirty3rd View Post

Judging from your impressions of the i-Fuzen, wouldn't it pair very well with the HD25s? I'm about to get one for myself (albeit the original version) , and I'm hoping to hear your thoughts so I can have more to look forward to tongue.gif


At the very least the i.Fuzen should help tighten the overall sound of the HD25, however I don't have one at my disposal to compare at the moment.  It did increase bass extension and presentation width with the headphones I did use.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matter View Post

Hi,

 

I'm currently in a position to get either the Stepdance v1, IQube v1, Pico Slim or TTVJ Slim but I have no idea which is better or superior after reading so many reviews of each amp. Based on Skylab's review I can see that the Stepdance and IQube are very highly rated. So I will like to know your personal view on each of these amps and then make my final decision.

 

Currently using an ipod classic and Westone 4R/SM3v2.

 

Thank you.


From a hiss standpoint, the Pico Slim is the best and very good for portable use.  I have not heard the TTVJ, but it is on the warmer side which is very different than the PS.  The Stepdance is probably between the two in sound tendencies and has a better bottom end than the PS.  The iQube is about on par in overall performance with the SD, but iQube, while it does have a bit of hiss, hisses less than the SD.  If you look at my scores in the first post, the PS is tops for high sensitivity IEMs, the iQube 2nd, and the SD 3rd, but not far behind.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post


You are, of course, correct.

 

I remember saying that (though I don't recall the context) but I take it back now - the market didn't go away, just shifted. It used to be more focused on the growing state of the high-end, with everyone trying to one-up each other with balanced designs, more and more power, more and more battery life, built in DACs, socketed opamps, crossfeed, etc. Now it is more focused on good sound for a good price, in a reasonably compact enclosure. Yes, there are still some fairly expensive units on the market, but the glory days for those are gone. With iBasso launching one quality design after another for ~$200 or less, I can't see us going back to the old ways, though obviously there will be a few specialty models here and there. 


Thanks for sharing...it seems that amps may be getting better for less, but is part of that because headphones/IEMs are getting better also?  Maybe they are easier to drive and therefore the differences in the amps is less?

post #39 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 


Thanks for sharing...it seems that amps may be getting better for less, but is part of that because headphones/IEMs are getting better also?  Maybe they are easier to drive and therefore the differences in the amps is less?


There is a lot of history behind the need for headphone amps, joe - the often ridiculed 120-ohm 'standard' and the general acceptance of high impedance/low sensitivity headphones in many studio applications.That said, I have encountered only one two DAP where I believe the headphone out drives my modest collection of phones to their potential, and that is the idiosyncratic Teclast T51. (The Sony X1060 was the other one, but I havent heard mine since it was stolen in 2010 so I have no way of comparing the two). When the 'biggest' phones in that collection are the 150-ohm RE262, I think it augurs well for the future of the portable headphone amp - the instant people realise an amp isnt about increased volume, the clasp on our wallets begins to loosen  ;)

 

post #40 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post


There is a lot of history behind the need for headphone amps, joe - the often ridiculed 120-ohm 'standard' and the general acceptance of high impedance/low sensitivity headphones in many studio applications.That said, I have encountered only one two DAP where I believe the headphone out drives my modest collection of phones to their potential, and that is the idiosyncratic Teclast T51. (The Sony X1060 was the other one, but I havent heard mine since it was stolen in 2010 so I have no way of comparing the two). When the 'biggest' phones in that collection are the 150-ohm RE262, I think it augurs well for the future of the portable headphone amp - the instant people realise an amp isnt about increased volume, the clasp on our wallets begins to loosen  ;)

 


Sir you just made me feel better about spending all my money on small boxes biggrin.gif

 

post #41 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

@project86, I know you cant listen to every new gadget on the market, but it would be fantastic if you could put together a review of the DX100. If I had one, I'd send it to you for review.  biggrin.gif

 

All levity aside, I think your reviews are very balanced, and you have the benefit of having heard an absolute mountain of kit - not always the winning formula for a good review, but I enjoy every review you've written. I have some inkling of how hard it is, particularly given the subjective nature of the beast, but I hope you wont let that stop you from writing more reviews.



Thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

 

I have to say that there are a few people around here (average_joe certainly being among them) whose reviews I really enjoy, to the point where I trust their ears more than many/most "professional" writers from magazines and such. 

 

I did shoot an email to iBasso about possibly borrowing the DX100 to review at InnerFidelity. Their response was basically "Buy one and review it if you want". So I guess that won't be happening any time soon. It's their loss really - although there is an obvious crossover, I think InnerFidelity reaches a bit of a different crowd than HeadFi, specifically some of the older folks who would come over from sister-website Stereophile. Those well-to-do potential customers probably won't hear about the DX100 from reading this forum. 

post #42 of 277
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

There is a lot of history behind the need for headphone amps, joe - the often ridiculed 120-ohm 'standard' and the general acceptance of high impedance/low sensitivity headphones in many studio applications.That said, I have encountered only one two DAP where I believe the headphone out drives my modest collection of phones to their potential, and that is the idiosyncratic Teclast T51. (The Sony X1060 was the other one, but I havent heard mine since it was stolen in 2010 so I have no way of comparing the two). When the 'biggest' phones in that collection are the 150-ohm RE262, I think it augurs well for the future of the portable headphone amp - the instant people realise an amp isnt about increased volume, the clasp on our wallets begins to loosen  ;)


I was referring to the consumer products, not the studio applications.  There are plenty of studio, or pro amps out there and I know there are also lots of headphones that need an amp in that situation.  I was referring to the consumer products that seem to be getting easier to drive, at least in general.  

 

After thinking more about it, I wanted to share some of my observations...the lower end IEMs, especially dynamic driver IEMs benefit more from an amp than the higher end BAs, including custom IEMs.  Of course, there are always exceptions, but for example, if you like the Copper, an amp will work wonders for cleaning up the entire presentation by controlling the bass.  The Stepdance, and AMP3 Pro2 (when used as an amp or player) to an extent, has made $30 IEMs and ear buds sound more like $100+ versions.  But, the iBasso T1 really didn't do anything the SM3 and the E5 actually degraded the sound a bit.  And depending on the source with some of my custom IEMs, there is not much difference between the amps.

 

For the high end, easy to drive BA IEMs, source quality is much more important so something like a 801 will make a large difference, even over my modded iPod with the best amp, or the TTD V2 to an amp.  While I think the S:flo2 I had was good overall, I did hear an improvement when using it with an amp, at least with the collection of universal IEMs I had that included the e-Q7, Copper, CK10, FX700, etc.  But you are correct, it can drive many IEMs and headphones well.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I have to say that there are a few people around here (average_joe certainly being among them) whose reviews I really enjoy, to the point where I trust their ears more than many/most "professional" writers from magazines and such. 

 

Thank you, I enjoy your reviews also!  And man, I sometimes am amazed by just how bad some of the reviews out there are by "professionals."  Some of what they write is admitting they didn't do their research, or they are just blatantly wrong.  The contrast makes me appreciate the good reviews more, but I feel bad for the general public.

post #43 of 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

 

 And man, I sometimes am amazed by just how bad some of the reviews out there are by "professionals."  Some of what they write is admitting they didn't do their research, or they are just blatantly wrong.  The contrast makes me appreciate the good reviews more, but I feel bad for the general public.



Bolded for truth.

 

It's especially bad when it comes to headphones. Often times I've read reviews of expensive gear, like a multi-thousand dollar integrated tube amp or something. The reviewer has speakers in the 5 figure range, and several thousand dollars in cables alone (which I'm sure they didn't actually pay for....), yet when it comes to testing the headphone out they use whatever they happen to have laying around - in many cases it is a Grado SR60, or the old version of the DT770, or even some ancient Sennheiser HD540 type thing. Really?!?!? That's the best you could do? I don't expect you to become Jude and be an expert on headphones.... but at least a few solid paragraphs and some decent evaluation equipment. They'll spend more time talking about which power cable sounded best in their setup.

 

Anyway, rant over, continue with the relevant portable amp discussion.

post #44 of 277

I suspect that headphones are still a very poor cousin to speakers in the minds of many in the seriously high end of this crazy hobby, and I'm surprised you have found *any* observations of the headphone out in a speaker amp review. Of course, that attitude is the opposite of the sales figures, and there is no question that some reviewers realise that headphones are big business. The infantile need to list the pricetag of every cable/power conditioner/oral hygiene product used in the course of the review used to annoy me - now I just look at the pretty pictures. The exception is when the reviewer actually finds negatives in a piece of kit beyond the color scheme ;)

post #45 of 277
Thread Starter 

I have found there are some reviewers that actually know what they are talking about, but that is rare.  I think the last publication I read that had something good was Sound & Vision, but then they also have not so good (or sponsor swayed?) reviews.  What really surprised me is not just the people for the smaller publications that seem to miss the mark because they have a very heavy bias toward a specific sound signature, but some of the people that are supposed to be the experts admitting they didn't actually A/B something, but it is great!

 

 

Quote:
The exception is when the reviewer actually finds negatives in a piece of kit beyond the color scheme ;)

 

Unless it is a negative because the sound isn't up to their basshead liking.

 

Hmmm, how do we jump back on the amp topic?

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