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D7 Sidewinder....Initial impressions - Page 45

post #661 of 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post  Thank you for your advice. May I ask which version of TUSB you are using? My control panel (v 1.22.0) has no such options....

 

I'm using 1.61, but it has had it since 1.48... maybe you should download the latest drivers: http://ibasso.com/en/download/index.asp

 

EDIT: Direct Link in my older post: http://www.head-fi.org/t/587361/d7-sidewinder-initial-impressions/645#post_9110043

Thanks, the driver update has fixed the problem. It also sounds slightly better (more transparent).

post #662 of 671
The D7 is suitable for SR80i and MS2? Does it adds warmth? How it is compared to the D42 mamba and the schiit stack (vali/modi combo)
post #663 of 671

D7 vs D6 Impressions

 

So I purchased a used D7 from fellow Head-Fier yesterday afternoon, moved the D3 to the children's computer, and now run the D7 at home and the D6 at the office/on the road.  But before committing to all that did some head-to-head listening just to see:

 

2011 uMBP-15 / itunes with a variety of different file formats

USB to stock D7 and stock D6 both set at 24/96

Klipsch Promedia 2.1 (DACs only)

AKG 702 & 550 (DACs + amps)

TF10 (DACs + amps)

 

As one would expect, the DACs in the two units are awfully close.  The D6 had a wee smidgen better resolution and maybe the D7 bass was a tiny bit fuller but I wouldn't want to bet on being able to discern either difference consistently.

 

There was a huge difference when running the DAC/amp combos however.  For clarification purposes I ran the D6 in battery mode.

 

With the K702, the D7 is vastly outclassed.  It just can't drive the K702 to anywhere near its potential.  It's thin and reedy with a miniscule soundstage and no authority.  Not recommended for hard to drive headphones.  The D6 is a passable amp for the K702.  Not great, but decent.  It'll drive them, but its a little hard, cold and remote sounding.  In stock configuration it's not as good at getting the lush spaciousness out of them as my RSA Hornet was.

 

The K550 is much friendlier on amps and the difference really showed itself in this listening comparison.  Same with the TF10s.  I'd swear the D7 is quieter than the D6, but that could just be that its got a slightly "darker" tone.  Midrange body is fuller and thicker in the D7, somewhat reminiscent of my old P3+ which also had awesome PRAT at the expense of some soundstaging and presentation of dynamic range.  The D7, however, doesn't make that compromise as soundstaging and dynamic range presentation are quite good though slightly edged out by the D6.  Bass is equally well controlled on both units, but the D7 bass has more body to it.  The big difference was on the highs.  I'm finding the D6 a bit harsh and fatigue inspiring with some tizziness on the high end.  It's too bright.  To my ear, the D7 handles the highs much more naturally.

 

I was surprised to discover that I prefer the D7, hands down (except for with difficult to drive cans).  It could be that my D6 really isn't fully burned in (it does kind of sound fresh out of the box), but the Head-Fier I purchased it from assures me that its has been and I've put a good 100 hours on it and not noticed any difference in sound quality.

 

Going to try a Topkit and see if I can get this thing into my comfort zone.

 

>

post #664 of 671

As a follow up to the ^^^^^above ^^^^^:

 

If you own a D6, get a TopKit.

 

>

post #665 of 671
Guys.. Does the D7 will still prove its worth right now when compared to newer ibasso products or other DACs at similar price?
post #666 of 671

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post #667 of 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aradea View Post

Guys.. Does the D7 will still prove its worth right now when compared to newer ibasso products or other DACs at similar price?
Anyone?
post #668 of 671
Thread Starter 
If you still like the sound of your D7, by all means keep it, however iBasso has continued to make significant improvements in their DAC/Amps, with the D14 being the latest edition. Unfortunately, the D7 is not easily modified by opamp rolling, so your SQ options are limited. IMO, the D14 is an excellent product at a very reasonable price.
post #669 of 671

Here is the experience I can share:

 

As a headphone amp/DAC combination the D7 is decent but not great. I have the newer D14 which is much better (in this configuration) to my ears. I would say there is better out there than the D7 these days, due to advances in technology and ibasso's time to improve on their designs. The D14 is quite nice as a headphone amp/DAC for the pricepoint.

 

But once I set it up the D7 as a DAC only with my Emotiva 4s Studio Monitors/NHT sub - it just clicked. Nice soundstage width and particularly depth. Voices and instruments are nearly life-like - a major step ahead of any headphone setup I have had. Sounds come out of a black background from everywhere. Even recordings that I found to be relatively pedestrian with previous setups just pop now. It's seems to be tuned slightly warm, likely due the Wolfson DAC chip it utilizes, so you won't get that super airy/cool thing, but everything separates beautifully and there is great weight/presence to everything. More like a slight fog hanging over, but in an inviting way. This is my preferred tuning anyhow. I get that slightly sparkly/inviting presentation that brings me into the music. I should try the D14 as a DAC only in this setup, but I like the D7 so much I decided to leave it alone for now. Synergy between components is key (once you find some capable equipment), I believe. I think it also speaks to the virtues of a decent set of speakers.

 

I will note that I also used the D7 as a DAC only with a C5 headphone amp into some Fidelio X2 headphones - it was good, but nothing like my above setup. 


Edited by SLCanhead - 1/17/16 at 8:57pm
post #670 of 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCanhead View Post

Here is the experience I can share:



 



As a headphone amp/DAC combination the D7 is decent but not great. I have the newer D14 which is much better (in this configuration) to my ears. I would say there is better out there than the D7 these days, due to advances in technology and ibasso's time to improve on their designs. The D14 is quite nice as a headphone amp/DAC for the pricepoint.



 



But once I set it up the D7 as a DAC only with my Emotiva 4s Studio Monitors/NHT sub - it just clicked. Nice soundstage width and particularly depth. Voices and instruments are nearly life-like - a major step ahead of any headphone setup I have had. Sounds come out of a black background from everywhere. Even recordings that I found to be relatively pedestrian with previous setups just pop now. It's seems to be tuned slightly warm, likely due the Wolfson DAC chip it utilizes, so you won't get that super airy/cool thing, but everything separates beautifully and there is great weight/presence to everything. More like a slight fog hanging over, but in an inviting way. This is my preferred tuning anyhow. I get that slightly sparkly/inviting presentation that brings me into the music. I should try the D14 as a DAC only in this setup, but I like the D7 so much I decided to leave it alone for now. Synergy between components is key (once you find some capable equipment), I believe. I think it also speaks to the virtues of a decent set of speakers.



 



I will note that I also used the D7 as a DAC only with a C5 headphone amp into some Fidelio X2 headphones - it was good, but nothing like my above setup. 


I am also considering the D14 as a DAC+amp.

I dont know whether or not I should get a separate DAC and amp worth a total $500 OR get a $500 integrated DAC+amp
post #671 of 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aradea View Post


I am also considering the D14 as a DAC+amp.

I dont know whether or not I should get a separate DAC and amp worth a total $500 OR get a $500 integrated DAC+amp

I don't have listening time to these particular options, but here are a few comments based on my research (since nobody else has responded.) Take it for what it's worth. 

 

I haven't found a definitive answer (one route is better than the other). That said, I would say that for 500 there look to be some solid options for a one box solution - stretch it to $600 and you are at a Chord Mojo which has quite a thread going (outstanding DAC with a solid amp.) If you need to stay under/at 500, there are the Cypher Labs Picollo (DAC),  Leckerton UHA760, Headstage Arrow 5TW to name a few with a following. I didn't see any separate box solutions for a combined $500 which caught my eye - someone else may have suggestions. The only other alternative is to go used, which could get you into something like a Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Chord Mojo, or something along those lines.

 

My findings is that there are ultimately trade-offs to some extent no matter which route you go, unless you throw more money at it. It depends on your preferences and needs as well. 


Edited by SLCanhead - 1/18/16 at 7:10pm
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