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FiiO E17 "ALPEN" - First Impression + Final Thought - Page 336

post #5026 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by ippudo View Post

Hi, guys!

I haven't posted on here before but have been reading this thread with interest, so much so that I just got the E17/E09K combo, which makes for a nice upgrade from my previous Behringer UCA222 soundcard, which I had connected to a solid state amp. My headphone is a Beyer DT880 (600 ohm), which went straight into the SS amp's headphone input.

At the moment the E09 acts as a pre-amp for the SS amp, using an RCA connector cable from the PRE-AMP outs to the AUX ins of the SS amp and I still use the SS amp's headphone input. Not sure if this was answered elsewhere but I would like to use the E09's supposedly superior headphone input, without losing the SS amp's added amplification but, as a technophobe, I have no idea how to achieve this. My guess would be a second RCA connector cable via some adaptor style device, feeding the end signal  from the SS amp's AUX back to the E09. Is there a simple solution to this? Is it possible at all?

Many thanks for your help!

 
Basically switch your setup over. Instead of using the E09 as preamp, switch that SS amp to the preamp task, or dual amp it.

But then you lose functionality of the E17's DAC. In which case is you really want to chain the E17, the SS amp, and the E09 then you might need to get the L7 attachment for the E17. This will give a Line Out option for the E17.

So Computer-> E17 with L7 --> SS amp --> E09 by a 3.5mm cable or RCA to stereo mini --> headphone.
post #5027 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

 

What SS amp are you referring to. Please use exact models.

 

Of course you aren't using the AKM DAC when using SPDIF

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

Looks like I ain't the only one who is confused!

LOL!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post


Basically switch your setup over. Instead of using the E09 as preamp, switch that SS amp to the preamp task, or dual amp it.
But then you lose functionality of the E17's DAC. In which case is you really want to chain the E17, the SS amp, and the E09 then you might need to get the L7 attachment for the E17. This will give a Line Out option for the E17.
So Computer-> E17 with L7 --> SS amp --> E09 by a 3.5mm cable or RCA to stereo mini --> headphone.

 

Thanks for all your responses, it's much appreciated.

Like I said in my first post I'm using the headphone socket of the SS amp at the moment but would like to use the headphone input of the E09, which may or may not be better. At least worth a try, I think.

I have to say that soundwise I don't notice much of a difference when the E17 is connected to my fairly recent Lenovo laptop (probably to do with the built-in ATI Radeon card, unlike my old desktop PC, where the E17 makes a lot more sense). I expected much better amplification, not just from the E17 by itself but especially in combination with the E09; I mean the sound is definitely more detailed but it lacks the oomph and soundstage the added SS amp provides, especially at higher volumes, no matter which gain setting I use.

 

The SS amp is a very average model from the late 90's (Sherwood AX-7030R, with AUX, 2x TAPE, PHONO, TUNER and connections for 2 pairs of speakers, kind of similar to newer models like the Marantz 6004, which will be my next purchase). Since this is a fairly average setup but way superior-sounding to the FIIO unit by itself, I'm kind of disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much. That said, the E09/17 combo makes for a great DAC/pre-amp.

Kalbee's suggestion makes sense (even to me! smile.gif), so unless, considering the additional amp specs, anyone has a different idea, I think I might order the L7...


Edited by ippudo - 12/15/12 at 10:24pm
post #5028 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by ippudo View Post



Thanks for all your responses, it's much appreciated.


Like I said in my first post I'm using the headphone socket of the SS amp at the moment but would like to use the headphone input of the E09, which may or may not be better. At least worth a try, I think.


I have to say that soundwise I don't notice much of a difference when the E17 is connected to my fairly recent Lenovo laptop (probably to do with the built-in AMS Radeon card, unlike my old desktop PC, where the E17 makes a lot more sense). I expected much better amplification, not just from the E17 by itself but especially in combination with the E09; I mean the sound is definitely more detailed but it lacks the oomph and soundstage the added SS amp provides, especially at higher volumes, no matter which gain setting I use.

The SS amp is a very average model from the late 90's (Sherwood AX-7030R, with AUX, 2x TAPE, PHONO, TUNER and connections for 2 pairs of speakers, kind of similar to newer models like the Marantz 6004, which will be my next purchase). Since this is a fairly average setup but way superior-sounding to the FIIO unit by itself, I'm kind of disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much. That said, the E09/17 combo makes for a great DAC/pre-amp.


Kalbee's suggestion makes sense (even to me! smile.gif ), so unless, considering the additional amp specs, anyone has a different idea, I think I might order the L7...
Awesome, another audio receiver user wink.gif

Before taking the dive on the L7 you can always try simply using the Headphone Out port of the E17. That would be triple amping it, but does not cost anything for the moment. You'd just have to make sure that your computer volume is maxed, and E17 also set pretty high. The Sherwood also, but not too high to prevent distortion. You can play with the volume balance at each stage to attain your preferred sound.
post #5029 of 6504

.


Edited by FLACvest - 2/27/14 at 12:24pm
post #5030 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLACvest View Post

Nope, of course not. Those are bypassed and the bitstream is sent out to the E17's WM8740, as would be expected. I was merely giving the info about the board for folks to use as a reference point to compare it to, say, onboard REALTEK HD AC'97 audio with SPDIF out.

 

The X-Meridian as source, It has a dedicated 2-channel 24-bit/192kHz IEC958 SPDIF transmitter and 2-channel 24-bit/192kHz IEC958 SPDIF receiver built into the C-Media CMI-8788 Oxygen DSP. You can use optical or coaxial cables with this board (I've only used the POF (Plastic Optical Fiber) type TOSLINK cable with mine, haven't had any reason to try glass fiber, or occasion to try Coaxial.

 

Just wanted to be super clear about that bit about SPDIF source. I didn't want anyone thinking the signal was misunderstood as coming from the AKM4396VF DAC chips, et cetera. by me; nor give anybody any misleading information.

 

If you're still unclear, here is a PDF of the block diagram of the CMI8788.

 

The point of it all wasn't to boast about my soundcard, or nitpick about what does what. It was merely to point out that for some reason, across multiple DAC/Amps (FiiO E17, iBasso D10. et cetera) the WM8740 tends to sound somewhat better via SPDIF input rather than USB.

 

My post was intended to be helpful, and to perhaps encourage folks to try that input mode if they have not yet done so, and hear for themselves. That's all. End of story. Happy Listening! xD

Hold on their shotty! LOL. I was just claryfying as some newbies may take it as the AKM being used with the WM. tongue.gif

post #5031 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post


Awesome, another audio receiver user wink.gif
Before taking the dive on the L7 you can always try simply using the Headphone Out port of the E17. That would be triple amping it, but does not cost anything for the moment. You'd just have to make sure that your computer volume is maxed, and E17 also set pretty high. The Sherwood also, but not too high to prevent distortion. You can play with the volume balance at each stage to attain your preferred sound.

Sorry, I don't quite get the triple amping. confused.gif  My understanding is that if I plug the headphones in the H/O of the E17 (while docked in the E09, which is AUXed to the Sherwood), all I get is the sound of the E17 as there is no lead going back from the Sherwood - unless there's a possibility of using the AUX port on the E09 somehow - wouldn't I need something like an AUX splitter (if that actually exists) on the Sherwood to be able to plug in 2 separate RCA leads, one going from the E09 to the AUX port of the Sherwood and one leading back into the E09?


Edited by ippudo - 12/15/12 at 4:49pm
post #5032 of 6504

.


Edited by FLACvest - 2/27/14 at 12:24pm
post #5033 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by ippudo View Post

Sorry, I don't quite get the triple amping. confused.gif   My understanding is that if I plug the headphones in the H/O of the E17 (while docked in the E09, which is AUXed to the Sherwood), all I get is the sound of the E17 as there is no lead going back from the Sherwood - unless there's a possibility of using the AUX port on the E09 somehow - wouldn't I need something like an AUX splitter (if that actually exists) on the Sherwood to be able to plug in 2 separate RCA leads, one going from the E09 to the AUX port of the Sherwood and one leading back into the E09?
By plugging anything through the H/O you are using it's amp.
Line Out will be full signal.

What I was suggesting was if you take for example:
Computer ---USB---> E17 ---H/O 3.5mm to RCA---> Sherwood ---H/O 1/4" to 3.5mm AUX IN---> E09.
In this case the E17 should not be docked to the E09.

Perhaps you can call that using the E17 as a DAC and also a preamp? I don't know.
If the E17 is plugged to the E09 (and the USB cable plugged to the E09) then you would not be able to use the AUX IN from the E09. There's no source selector (at least not in the E9) so you can only use either of the two.
With the E17 docked, the E17 H/O should be bypassing the E09 altogether I think.

Not really an ideal situation but given the inclusion of the Sherwood receiver things get a bit more complicated xP
post #5034 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

As said, the software volume control is now enable due to popular demand, even though it is better not to. You just have to stop yourself from trying to adjust the volume on the PC....

Someone may have already asked this question. Sorry if I ask this question again.

 

I am curious why the software volume control will affect the SQ. What is the mechanic behind the software volume control? I thought it was just an option which allow us to control the volume without pressing the buttons on E17. All signal came out from the computer should be digital, and the only amplifying part is E17's amp, so, why the software volume control can affect the SQ. Puzzled.

post #5035 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by duyu View Post

Someone may have already asked this question. Sorry if I ask this question again.

 

I am curious why the software volume control will affect the SQ. What is the mechanic behind the software volume control? I thought it was just an option which allow us to control the volume without pressing the buttons on E17. All signal came out from the computer should be digital, and the only amplifying part is E17's amp, so, why the software volume control can affect the SQ. Puzzled.

Controlling software before it reaches DAC may and will usually depending on how much volume is lowered affect the bits being sent. This is ok if the signal is 24 bit and you don't extremely lower it but 16bits has just enough to accomadate the needed(audio theory subjective thought on what is needed and what isn't, there is debate on this but let's just say 96 for now) 96dB of dynamic range needed to full fill the entire audio spectrum. Decreasing before DAC stage on computer through software will reduce the bits being sent and thus this will have an effect. That is why 100% is recommended. Controls was disabled at first but due to popular demand(from people that aren't as knowledgeable or from people that don't care and want ease of use) FiiO brought it back. It sets to 100% when you plug it in USB auto anyway but you can still change it.

 

Edit: It was answered in this thread many times but I won't discriminate. I wouldn't read this thread if I was interested in it either. I'll read the first 10 pages, and then the 10 pages after the product comes out(if it didn't when thread was created) and then the final 10 pages and if I still have some questions on its features, I will use the kinda useless search function and Google as well as manufactuers website. And then I ask. I am breaking it out so it looks long but this doesn't take me too long as I am a Panda Google Web Wizard.


Edited by bowei006 - 12/15/12 at 11:04pm
post #5036 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Controlling software before it reaches DAC may and will usually depending on how much volume is lowered affect the bits being sent. This is ok if the signal is 24 bit and you don't extremely lower it but 16bits has just enough to accomadate the needed(audio theory subjective thought on what is needed and what isn't, there is debate on this but let's just say 96 for now) 96dB of dynamic range needed to full fill the entire audio spectrum. Decreasing before DAC stage on computer through software will reduce the bits being sent and thus this will have an effect. That is why 100% is recommended. Controls was disabled at first but due to popular demand(from people that aren't as knowledgeable or from people that don't care and want ease of use) FiiO brought it back. It sets to 100% when you plug it in USB auto anyway but you can still change it.

 

Edit: It was answered in this thread many times but I won't discriminate. I wouldn't read this thread if I was interested in it either. I'll read the first 10 pages, and then the 10 pages after the product comes out(if it didn't when thread was created) and then the final 10 pages and if I still have some questions on its features, I will use the kinda useless search function and Google as well as manufactuers website. And then I ask. I am breaking it out so it looks long but this doesn't take me too long as I am a Panda Google Web Wizard.

I can't understand why reducing bits being sent can affect the volume. Maybe, it is too theoretical.

Bowei, thanks for your reply.

post #5037 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by duyu View Post

I can't understand why reducing bits being sent can affect the volume. Maybe, it is too theoretical.

Bowei, thanks for your reply.


In a more visual way (may not reflect 100% the reality; this is only for explanation purposes):

Music are waveforms, and the amplitude will grow with volume. Basically a sound with really low volume will almost be a flat wave.

An amplifier will take that sound wave and magnify the amplitude/magnitude. If the waveform is already very shapely, then the amplifier can very easily retrieve details. But if the waveform is of low amplitude, the amp WILL still increase the amplitude but with less details since the original sound wave less details to begin with. This is especially true since digital signals are not true waveforms.

 

700

Excuse me for the terrible TERRIBLE drawings.

But I guess this is the very crude but general idea?

 

Another example you can think of is if you have two JPEG pictures.

700

The two top pictures are IDENTICAL, and look fine. One is just smaller than the other.

Say you want to enlarge the picture. If you take the one that is bigger, then when you enlarge it you will not lose as much quality or detail. If you take the small one, you get a lot of loss in detail.

Top left --> bottom left

Top right --> bottom right


Edited by kalbee - 12/16/12 at 12:06am
post #5038 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post


In a more visual way (may not reflect 100% the reality; this is only for explanation purposes):

Music are waveforms, and the amplitude will grow with volume. Basically a sound with really low volume will almost be a flat wave.

An amplifier will take that sound wave and magnify the amplitude/magnitude. If the waveform is already very shapely, then the amplifier can very easily retrieve details. But if the waveform is of low amplitude, the amp WILL still increase the amplitude but with less details since the original sound wave less details to begin with. This is especially true since digital signals are not true waveforms.

 

700

Excuse me for the terrible TERRIBLE drawings.

But I guess this is the very crude but general idea?

 

Another example you can think of is if you have two JPEG pictures.

700

The two top pictures are IDENTICAL, and look fine. One is just smaller than the other.

Say you want to enlarge the picture. If you take the one that is bigger, then when you enlarge it you will not lose as much quality or detail. If you take the small one, you get a lot of loss in detail.

Top left --> bottom left

Top right --> bottom right

 

Thanks Kalbee, the graphs are helpful. They illustrated why the more the amplification we add the more distortion we get.

If the the software volume control can indeed flatten the wave form, then since we need more amplification we in the end have more distortion. 

 

 

I have done some testing.

It seems true that having 100% output with lower volume in E17 gives me a better SQ. I didn't do a blind review for this.

The reason that I did not use 100% before is that my modded T50rp has low impedance. If I set it to 100%, volume 15-20 at gain 0 is sufficient for me.

Now, when I plugged the L7 and tried listen using the line out, I found that it is much louder than volume 20 at gain 0. It seems that the amp section also responsible for reducing volume, right? 

post #5039 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by ippudo View Post



Thanks for all your responses, it's much appreciated.


Like I said in my first post I'm using the headphone socket of the SS amp at the moment but would like to use the headphone input of the E09, which may or may not be better. At least worth a try, I think.


I have to say that soundwise I don't notice much of a difference when the E17 is connected to my fairly recent Lenovo laptop (probably to do with the built-in ATI Radeon card, unlike my old desktop PC, where the E17 makes a lot more sense). I expected much better amplification, not just from the E17 by itself but especially in combination with the E09; I mean the sound is definitely more detailed but it lacks the oomph and soundstage the added SS amp provides, especially at higher volumes, no matter which gain setting I use.

The SS amp is a very average model from the late 90's (Sherwood AX-7030R, with AUX, 2x TAPE, PHONO, TUNER and connections for 2 pairs of speakers, kind of similar to newer models like the Marantz 6004, which will be my next purchase). Since this is a fairly average setup but way superior-sounding to the FIIO unit by itself, I'm kind of disappointed. Maybe I was expecting too much. That said, the E09/17 combo makes for a great DAC/pre-amp.


Kalbee's suggestion makes sense (even to me! smile.gif ), so unless, considering the additional amp specs, anyone has a different idea, I think I might order the L7...


PLEASE try this for ONE WEEK!

computer >>> USB port on E09K >>> put E17 into E09K dock >>> plug headphones into E09K jack

or

computer >>> SPDIF port on E17 >>> put E17 into E09K dock >>> plug headphones into E09K headphone jack

it may take your ears a week to get used to this sound. You may just be used to the thick, heavy, muddy sound of the old SS amp. I used to use an old Yamaha CR-2020 receiver, compared to a good amp it sounded very thick and full and mellow. Sort of appealing in some ways, but not the world's most transparent amp. Thru a really good pair of speakers it sounded overly full and mellow. A good modern headphone amp will sound faster, cleaner, purer, the bass will be tighter and punchier and more accurate, clearer mids and highs.
Try it out, what do you have to loose?


Edit:
At the end of one week, then go back to the Sherwood and see what you think.
If you still like the Sherwood more, keep it simple:

computer >>> USB or SPDIF into E17/E09K combo >>> line out jacks on E09K into Aux jack on the Sherwood and use the Sherwood headphone jack.
Don't do anything more complicated that that, things will only sound worse if you complicate it further.
Edited by Chris J - 12/16/12 at 5:24am
post #5040 of 6504
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalbee View Post


By plugging anything through the H/O you are using it's amp.
Line Out will be full signal.
What I was suggesting was if you take for example:
Computer ---USB---> E17 ---H/O 3.5mm to RCA---> Sherwood ---H/O 1/4" to 3.5mm AUX IN---> E09.
In this case the E17 should not be docked to the E09.
Perhaps you can call that using the E17 as a DAC and also a preamp? I don't know.
If the E17 is plugged to the E09 (and the USB cable plugged to the E09) then you would not be able to use the AUX IN from the E09. There's no source selector (at least not in the E9) so you can only use either of the two.
With the E17 docked, the E17 H/O should be bypassing the E09 altogether I think.
Not really an ideal situation but given the inclusion of the Sherwood receiver things get a bit more complicated xP

 

I tried your suggestion (not in a million years would I have thought of using the H/O in of the SS amp as an out) and lo and behold, the SQ is even more impressive now (more headspace, more depth, more punch, more everything; vocals sound crystal clear). I bet it will sound out-of-this-world awesome with a better power amp. Shame though that it takes extra amplification to make the E17/E09 combo truly shine. I was close to asking for a refund, so thanks a bunch for sorting this problem and keeping me from spending more cash.gs1000.gif
 

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