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FiiO E17 "ALPEN" - First Impression + Final Thought - Page 357

post #5341 of 6544

I'm assuming that you've checked in system preferences and selected it like below? Btw, mine is set to Optical link to my macbook.

 

 

post #5342 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSARider View Post

I'm assuming that you've checked in system preferences and selected it like below? Btw, mine is set to Optical link to my macbook.

 

 

 

 

In system preferences I could see only 'Internal Speakers' as option. no other option available. I think it is not detecting E17 but I don't why it suddenly not working. Yesterday it was working fine

post #5343 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post

Does anyone know if you are still getting some gain out of the E17 even with the gain setting at 0db? Would having the unit set at 0db considered "low gain" 6db being a mid level and 12 being high gain?

I think something had been mentioned previously about this in the thread but I can't find it redface.gif

 

I'd like to answer this.

But I'm not too sure what you are asking.   confused_face_2.gif

 

Does it matter?

One way to answer this is to say that the output of a typical CD player or DAC has more than enough voltage to drive just about any headphone. (Typical CD Player or DAC may not output enough current to drive a headphone, though.)

Normally you have to reduce the voltage to listen at a reasonable volume.

 

BTW,  0 dB is low gain, 6 dB being a mid level and 12 dB being high gain. As you know, many headphone amps have a gain of 20 dB.

 

Normally, I set gain to 0 dB and adjust the volume control.


Edited by Chris J - 1/18/13 at 9:47am
post #5344 of 6544

Thanks so much Dale!

 

Sounds like a winner. I'm sort of debating this como or getting the E 17 and/or one of the little dot amps that seem popular w/ a lot of Grado owners.

 

If I get the Little Dot 1+ as a desk amp, I think I'd want something protable as well, since I do about 80% of my listening w/ an IPOD moving around the house-the portability of the E17 combo is pretty appealing. And, then the e9 would give me a desk amp as well-all in one shot.

 

Yeah, and then as you say, maybe waiting a bit and investing in a higher end desk amp in the future. Decisions, decisions!

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentXXL View Post

 

Welcome to the forum as a poster! And of course the usual salutary greeting 'Sorry about your wallet!!' :)

 

As far as the E17/E9 combo, I can't say I've been more pleased. For the money, the combo has to be one of the best deals going for a portable DAC/amp that some call 'mediocre' but is really quite impressive and well-featured. I've compared it to much higher priced models using the same Wolfson DAC and to my ears, the DAC does as good of a job as most of the pricier models. The feature set supporting coaxial and optical SPDIF, USB DAC and AUX in is pretty hard to come by at this price point. And add the desktop E9 (now E09K) to the bundle, and the combo shines even more! Docking the E17 in the E09K gives you the extra power to drive headphones that are typically harder to drive, i.e. 250 ohm and above. And you still get to use all the features of the E17. The only aspect that isn't used when docked is the AUX in, but the E09K has it's own line in so it's not missed.

 

If it's your first headphone amp/DAC, you might be happier with just the E17, especially since your Grado 225s have a low impedance of 32 ohms. That said, a lot of the comments I've read about the 225 (and others by Grado) is that they really benefit from an amp. Certainly adding the E09K to the bundle won't disappoint, and in the absolutely worst case scenario that you don't feel you like or need it, the E09K can be easily resold by itself or as part of a bundle with the E17 should you decide to move up to a higher end amp/DAC. Personally I don't see myself selling the E17/E9 until something better comes along at a similar price point. I do have plans to buy a better desktop amp and possibly DAC (looking at the Schiit Mjolnir and Gungnir combo) but the E17/E9 will remain part of my arsenal for quite a while.

 

Dale

post #5345 of 6544

Forgive the digression: I just compared the amp in the E17 with my Arrow.  

I used my new L7 line out dock.  Optical connection came from my MacBook Pro.

 

The E17 amp seems a bit more literal and detailed.  Bass is better defined and treble is a tad more extended.  It is flat or a bit v-shaped, with no added euphony in the midrange.  For those who value solid-state clarity (as opposed to tubes or low-feedback SS like Nelson Pass amps), the E17 amp would probably be preferred.  

 

The Arrow 4G advantage is in the midrange, which is a bit more forward.  By midrange I mean male voice fundamental and lower harmonics, or cello.  There is not a v-shaped frequency response.  Everything is a bit smoother, but in a very realistic way.  The slide dobro, for example, in Dire Straits' "You and Your Friend" has less emphasis on the wiry buzz and transients in a way that seems more realistic and at the least more pleasant.  The E17 tries to reproduce it more accurately so to speak, possibly due to difference in the op-amp or greater feedback.  But in the process it seems to make additive errors not present on high-end systems.  

 

The amp qualities matter most perhaps in conjunction with a specific DAC.  I compared the E17 DAC to the DAC in my iPad 3.  The comparison parallels that of the amps above -- the E17 is very detailed and extended, particularly in the bass definition, but also in treble.  I find the treble slightly annoying as if the filter used optimized flatness as opposed to minimizing ringing on square waves, for example.  

 

I should say that the Arrow amp sound depends on gain setting.  I use the middle gain setting because HD650s occasionally need it to reach robust volume.  Also, the middle gain setting seems a bit more dynamic.  The lowest gain setting (highest negative feedback) has a similar treble annoyance to my ears and sound less present and realistic.  Treble and midrange don't integrate in a graceful and realistic way -- I become more aware that I am listening to electronics rather than to the music. 

 

In combination, I prefer slightly the iPad plus Arrow, but the E17 DAC plus Arrow is a good best of both worlds compromise, even though the roll-off in the bass is evident often.  There is no clear winner; I think it depends on preference and on headphones used.  Mine were a slightly modified HD650.  

 

So, for convenience, my transportable rig will continue to be the iPad DAC to the Arrow to the HD650.  At home, I prefer chaining the Mac to the E17 to the Arrow, as opposed to the E17 amp, but that is a judgment call based on preference -- a bit more detail but with acceptable realism with grace.  Headphone selection matters more.  The E17 DAC + amp is not bad at all, and quite a bit better to my ears than the E7.  

 

PS: I am told there is a way to access digital out on an iPad (but not on an iPhone without a licensed dock or such).  I might explore that sometime.  That would allow the E17 DAC to be used in portable situations.  

 

Does anyone know the types of DACs used in the E17 and the iPad 3?  


Edited by Stoney - 1/18/13 at 1:17pm
post #5346 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

Forgive the digression: I just compared the amp in the E17 with my Arrow.  

I used my new L7 line out dock.  Optical connection came from my MacBook Pro.

 

The E17 amp seems a bit more literal and detailed.  Bass is better defined and treble is a tad more extended.  It is flat or a bit v-shaped, with no added euphony in the midrange.  For those who value solid-state clarity (as opposed to tubes or low-feedback SS like Nelson Pass amps), the E17 amp would probably be preferred.  

 

The Arrow 4G advantage is in the midrange, which is a bit more forward.  By midrange I mean male voice fundamental and lower harmonics, or cello.  There is not a v-shaped frequency response.  Everything is a bit smoother, but in a very realistic way.  The slide dobro, for example, in Dire Straits' "You and Your Friend" has less emphasis on the wiry buzz and transients in a way that seems more realistic and at the least more pleasant.  The E17 tries to reproduce it more accurately so to speak, possibly due to difference in the op-amp or greater feedback.  But in the process it seems to make additive errors not present on high-end systems.  

 

The amp qualities matter most perhaps in conjunction with a specific DAC.  I compared the E17 DAC to the DAC in my iPad 3.  The comparison parallels that of the amps above -- the E17 is very detailed and extended, particularly in the bass definition, but also in treble.  I find the treble slightly annoying as if the filter used optimized flatness as opposed to minimizing ringing on square waves, for example.  

 

I should say that the Arrow amp sound depends on gain setting.  I use the middle gain setting because HD650s occasionally need it to reach robust volume.  Also, the middle gain setting seems a bit more dynamic.  The lowest gain setting (highest negative feedback) has a similar treble annoyance to my ears and sound less present and realistic.  Treble and midrange don't integrate in a graceful and realistic way -- I become more aware that I am listening to electronics rather than to the music. 

 

In combination, I prefer slightly the iPad plus Arrow, but the E17 DAC plus Arrow is a good best of both worlds compromise, even though the roll-off in the bass is evident often.  There is no clear winner; I think it depends on preference and on headphones used.  Mine were a slightly modified HD650.  

 

So, for convenience, my transportable rig will continue to be the iPad DAC to the Arrow to the HD650.  At home, I prefer chaining the Mac to the E17 to the Arrow, as opposed to the E17 amp, but that is a judgment call based on preference -- a bit more detail but with acceptable realism with grace.  Headphone selection matters more.  The E17 DAC + amp is not bad at all, and quite a bit better to my ears than the E7.  

 

PS: I am told there is a way to access digital out on an iPad (but not on an iPhone without a licensed dock or such).  I might explore that sometime.  That would allow the E17 DAC to be used in portable situations.  

 

Does anyone know the types of DACs used in the E17 and the iPad 3?  

E17=Wolfson WM8740

iPad 3: Custom Cirrus Logic.

post #5347 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by visanj View Post

 

 

In system preferences I could see only 'Internal Speakers' as option. no other option available. I think it is not detecting E17 but I don't why it suddenly not working. Yesterday it was working fine

 

 

Before beating your head against the wall trying to figure out why, try doing a hardware reset of the E17 by pushing the reset switch with a small paperclip or something like a SIM card ejection tool from an iPhone. The hardware reset of the E17 may solve your issue quickly. If not, have you tried the E17 on another computer via USB? What about via SPDIF (coaxial or TOSlink)? I'm hopeful that the hardware reset will correct the issue, but otherwise you may be contacting your dealer about a repair. Let's hope not!

 

Dale

post #5348 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post

PS: I am told there is a way to access digital out on an iPad (but not on an iPhone without a licensed dock or such).  I might explore that sometime.  That would allow the E17 DAC to be used in portable situations.  

 

 

Check out this post I made almost a year ago, showing how to connect the iPad via the Camera Connection Kit USB adapter, a powered USB hub and the E17:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/587912/fiio-e17-alpen-first-impression-final-thought/990#post_8108286

 

To my knowledge, the same thing should be possible on the new iPad with Lightning connector by using the new Lightning to USB camera connector cable..

 

Dale

post #5349 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

 

BTW,  0 dB is low gain, 6 dB being a mid level and 12 dB being high gain. As you know, many headphone amps have a gain of 20 dB.

 

Normally, I set gain to 0 dB and adjust the volume control.


Thanks for the response Chris, this is primarily what I was looking for.

post #5350 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentXXL View Post

 

Windows XP handles audio differently in that it by default will send audio bit for bit, i.e. no sample rate conversion. This actually provides the best sounding audio as your 96/24 audio files will play at that rate/bit depth and your 44.1/16 audio will play at its rate/bit depth. Some programs (like Foobar2000) allow you to lock the output to a higher sample rate/bit depth (i.e. upsampling), but this can cause all sorts of issues. On a system with well written drivers, upsampling won't hurt the audio, but leaving XP configured to automatically adjust playback rate/bit depth is preferred. XP natively only handles up to 96/24 so anything above that will either be downsampled or not play at all, depending on the player software you use. See this article on the Benchmark wiki about XP's handling of sample rate and bit depth:

 

http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_XP_Audio_Playback_-_Setup_Guide

 

Thanks for the help, Dale.

I listened to my "John Hiatt: Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns" album, encoded in 96 kHz.24 bits.  Surprise, surprise!

My HP notebook outputs it in 96/24!  wink_face.gif

E17 display shows 96/24!

 

For some stupid reason known only to Sony, my Blu Ray player outputs it in 48/16 because it is "copy protected". Thanks Sony!   angry_face.gif

Time for a new Blu Ray Playa! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani ATH 87 View Post


Thanks for the response Chris, this is primarily what I was looking for.

 

Does this mean that I'm not as stupid as my wife says I am?  confused_face_2.gif

post #5351 of 6544
Y
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

Thanks for the help, Dale.
I listened to my "John Hiatt: Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns" album, encoded in 96 kHz.24 bits.  Surprise, surprise!
My HP notebook outputs it in 96/24!  wink_face.gif
E17 display shows 96/24!

For some stupid reason known only to Sony, my Blu Ray player outputs it in 48/16 because it is "copy protected". Thanks Sony!   angry_face.gif
Time for a new Blu Ray Playa! 

Does this mean that I'm not as stupid as my wife says I am?  confused_face_2.gif
unfortubately you are ALWAYS exactly as stupid as your wife says you are..
post #5352 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Tc View Post


unfortubately you are ALWAYS exactly as stupid as your wife says you are..

 

Yeah,

That's what I figured!  wink_face.gif

post #5353 of 6544

Is the battery always charging when the E17 is docked on the E09k? You see, I received this combo today and I don't want to mess up the battery, as I intend to use the devices for desktop only, meaning that the E17 will always be docked.

post #5354 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack117 View Post

Is the battery always charging when the E17 is docked on the E09k? You see, I received this combo today and I don't want to mess up the battery, as I intend to use the devices for desktop only, meaning that the E17 will always be docked.

 

Depends on whether the "USB Charge" setting is set to "OFF" or "ON".

You will see this indicated on the E17 display, i.e. lightning bolt disappears when charge is off.

 

Even if USB Charge is set to ON, you will not charge the E17 when the E09K is off.


Edited by Chris J - 1/19/13 at 2:43pm
post #5355 of 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack117 View Post

Is the battery always charging when the E17 is docked on the E09k? You see, I received this combo today and I don't want to mess up the battery, as I intend to use the devices for desktop only, meaning that the E17 will always be docked.

Is the light on the E17 blue, red or purple blend?

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