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FiiO E17 "ALPEN" - First Impression + Final Thought - Page 399

post #5971 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdfeede View Post

Maybe you guys can help. I was originally looking at getting the e12 headphone amp to be paired with my ipod but after realising my macbook (white, 13", 2008) sounds pretty pants compared with a better headphone amp (old, i know but a technics su-v460 on board headphone amp) I started looking at the e17, as an all in one amp/dac for the macbook and amp for the ipod.

 

What I want to know is how does the sq of the e17 stack up against the e12? It would be powering my akg k701's so not sure how they will also sound with either. Any advise would be great!

I like to listen a bit louder than average. The E17 and X3 has just enough power to power my Q701's to loud levels, but on oldie songs, there wasn't enough power

 

However it should be enough for most people

 

The E12 imo is the better amp. The E17 was a bit warmer and bassier which could benefit the Q701, but ultimately for a reference headphone like the Q701 (I don't have K so I'm using Q as a close enough comparison) the E12 with its cleaner sound and power worked great.

 

But of course, the E12 doesn't have a DAC and thus the E17 will probably actually be the 'cleaner' amp if used with the MBP

post #5972 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

I like to listen a bit louder than average. The E17 and X3 has just enough power to power my Q701's to loud levels, but on oldie songs, there wasn't enough power

 

However it should be enough for most people

 

The E12 imo is the better amp. The E17 was a bit warmer and bassier which could benefit the Q701, but ultimately for a reference headphone like the Q701 (I don't have K so I'm using Q as a close enough comparison) the E12 with its cleaner sound and power worked great.

 

But of course, the E12 doesn't have a DAC and thus the E17 will probably actually be the 'cleaner' amp if used with the MBP

Quick reply! So it could be the e17 might be the one for me. Does the e17 have a line out feature? In a veiw to use the e17s DAC and the e12s amp? Or would it not really be worth it or a good enough improvement to warrant combining the two?

post #5973 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdfeede View Post

Quick reply! So it could be the e17 might be the one for me. Does the e17 have a line out feature? In a veiw to use the e17s DAC and the e12s amp? Or would it not really be worth it or a good enough improvement to warrant combining the two?

Yes it does. With an adapter, the FiiO L7 ($7) you can use the E17 as a DAC only and use whatever other amp you want*

 

The output from the L7 is 3.5mm TS so you need an amp that supports an input that will somehow work with that.

 

Most use RCA so you could just get a 3.5mm to RCA cable and you should be fine.

 

It's not that it wouldn't be good as much as it wouldn't be as cost effective or worth your money.

 

At that point of $250, you could start looking at ALO, Leckerton, iBasso etc for their portable combined units.

post #5974 of 6558

I thought as much, I think for now I will prlly go for the e17 and see how I get on. Cheers for your help!

post #5975 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdfeede View Post

I thought as much, I think for now I will prlly go for the e17 and see how I get on. Cheers for your help!

Thanks and again, it really depends on how loud you listen to. If not very, the E17 has more than enough power.

 

I know many already say the E17 have enough power for them but of course its all about how loud you listen.

 

The E17 is frequently on massdrop for $98 which makes it a really good deal.

 

It's warm and bassier sound doesn't compliment the Q701's, but at this price range, its really all universal anyway and will help you until you want to delve deeper(if you even want to later on)

post #5976 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBirdfeede View Post

Maybe you guys can help. I was originally looking at getting the e12 headphone amp to be paired with my ipod but after realising my macbook (white, 13", 2008) sounds pretty pants compared with a better headphone amp (old, i know but a technics su-v460 on board headphone amp) I started looking at the e17, as an all in one amp/dac for the macbook and amp for the ipod.

 

What I want to know is how does the sq of the e17 stack up against the e12? It would be powering my akg k701's so not sure how they will also sound with either. Any advise would be great!

As an amp, e12 is better. It makes sense. E17 is a DAC/amp. E12 is just an amp. If you need an DAC for your computer though, E17 sounds like a better choice.

post #5977 of 6558

Thought I'd post a first impression of the E17. By way of introduction (first post here lol) I'm a member of Team XBMC who contributed to the new audio engine in place for v12 "Frodo" and an ardent audio junkie.

 

A couple of test scenarios:

1) as a portable amplifier essentially double-amping my faithful iRiver H10 (RockBox'd ofc), and

2) as a USB DAC/amp connected to a PC

 

Test gear can-wise was the ol' Koss Porta-Pro's, some middling Pioneer closed over-ears, and the Sennheiser HD558's. First off, I'll rule out any serious review of the first two cans. The Porta-Pro's are so easy to drive they benefited little over the stock 18mW output of the iRiver, let alone when powered by PC soundcard. And the Pioneer's are just to tainted to my ears to really convey much improvement, so I'll focus only on the Sennheiser HD558's, partly because they seemed lacking with the iRiver DAP and partly because they are such a hot seller of late. Lesson here is: if you have very easy-to-drive cans like the PP's or just lacklustre gear like the Pioneers, this unit won't help you much.

 

Okay, onwards with the HD558's.......

1) As much as I was thrilled with my initial audition of the 558's, their performance when driven by the iRiver was underwhelming. The DAP just couldn't drive them to their full potential. Soundstage was somewhat lacking (despite it being a forte of these open-ear cans) and bass was muddled. The only thing that shone when driven by the iRiver was the stellar mid-highs of female vocals and brass instruments. Enter the E17. Even though we're just utilizing the iRiver's dated DAC, the amplifier power of the E17 was just enough to really make the 558's shine. Bass was tighter and punchier (and the 558's lack bass), the air or seperation improved, soundstage widened to the full potential and the mids and highs kept faithful to the Sennheiser signature, albeit brighter with the 558's than some of the darker Senn's. Outside of the more pronounced and improved bass, the overall effect was very lively and bright. Accoustic guitar is always a great test of fidelity and timbe, and the E17 brought it out wonderfully. Electronica was clear to a fault, often revealing recording and intrument-quality issues not heard without the amp. Top marks here. The E17 made this combination sparkle, and made the pairing (tripling?) a portable powerhouse to be reckoned with. FLAC's at 24/96 were pristine, punchy and powerful indeed. No audible hiss until far over-driven and distortion point passed. Highly recommended for a portable kit.

 

2) Powered from a PC with a bog-standard RealTek audio chipset, the Senn's sounded great, much better than with the iRiver DAP above. The E17 took it another step, although the improvement was less than with the underpowered iRiver above. Using the digital USB DAC things obviously are much different. Now the E17 is judge, jury and executioner, and it performed admirably for such an economically priced and versatile unit. Tempering my expectations to keep in line with pricing, I found the E17 to be a robust performer, and a stauch improvement over the obvious issues with motherboard audio. Combined with the 558's expect to hear every flaw of poor recordings and poor lossy rips. With quality sources expect fantastic sound, with every nuance clearly presented and minimal noise or other distortions. The unit is more than capable of powering the 558's (a forgiving 50ohms impedence) to unhealthy levels before significant distortion, to the point were it is as likely the distortion is more pronounced from the Senn's drivers than the amp. High-quality 24/96 material soars with this combo. Via the E17's DAC I found some of the brightness noted above smoothed out, and the presentation was quite neutral, and an excellent pairing with the 558's. The tightening of the bass is also a boon to these cans. Highly recommended when you consider the price.

 

Overall:

Pros: versitility, price, build-quality, packaging (nice felt bag, digital adaptors, rubber feet), compliments 558's well

Cons: no support for 88.2khz - a major issue for those with SACD material, can't easily update firmware

 

With the caveat of no 88.2khz sample rates, this is a real sweet-spot unit for price/performance ratio, and an extremely versatile unit. Highly recommended for those who are looking for a great all-rounder for both desktop and portable use. Makes me wish for more DAPs with digital outputs (USB/optical/coaxial). A hit out of the park for FIIO in brnging together so much for such a pleasing price.

 

Recommend.

post #5978 of 6558

Hi mate and welcome to Head-Fi. A good read and agree with what you have written. The amp produces a clean black background and doesn`t suffer from interference, well not with my SD3 anyway.

post #5979 of 6558
Quote:

Originally Posted by DDDamian View Post

...

Cons: no support for 88.2khz - a major issue for those with SACD material, can't easily update firmware

....

 

Good read.  Thanx for taking the time.  But I have to ask why is it you say this?  Because I'm looking at the User Manual I received with the item I assume you have too, reading:

 

Menu Description

  -> (2) 44.1k and 48k will both display 48k; 88.2k and 96k both display 96k

 

88.2K is definitely supported per the specs and the caveat regarding the UI display is referred to in the manual.  Seems their software/display doesn't do decimal points, or given the 2 extra digit spaces necessary to display it they didn't have they opted to display the shorter whole digit closest to the actual sampling rate.

 

Now if what you implied with your statement instead is DSD isn't supported, yes that's a truism.  But 88.2K sampling of PCM is supported.


Edited by m8o - 7/3/13 at 8:55am
post #5980 of 6558

A few weeks ago I reported that the GS4 works with the E17, just simply plug and play with no USB audio recorder pro app required. I had tested it on wifi, and 3G, and reported that 3G was dead silent, and that wifi made some light interference with the E17. Well tonight I was sitting at home bored and decided to drive a few miles down the road where there is a 4g signal, I can finally report that the E17 is dead silent with Verizon 4G LTE on the GS4. I was a bit worried that there would be some interference from the 4G signal, but I did not hear any noise at all.   

post #5981 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by m8o View Post

88.2K is definitely supported per the specs
Now if what you implied with your statement instead is DSD isn't supported, yes that's a truism.  But 88.2K sampling of PCM is supported.

The driver fails to report 88.2kHz as a supported mode thus WASAPI Exclusive Mode fails. Tested with Win7 x64. Using DirectSound or WASAPI Shared Mode results in resampling. Check under Supported Formats in the Audio Properties panel and that sample race is not listed. This is a driver issue hopefully as the DAC itself should support it.
Edited by DDDamian - 7/3/13 at 7:49pm
post #5982 of 6558

Last I checked it was. 88.2 and its sibling 44.1 aren't shown on the Alpen but rather 48 and 96 are the ones shown.

post #5983 of 6558

Has anyone had problems starting e17? I tried to start my e17 and it didn't react no matter how or how many times I pressed power button it finally started when I unplugged it few times from USB and red ring appeared. It had almost full battery so it was not out of juice. I have it connected to computer 24/7 via USB, but I close e17 everytime I close my computer. I am not sure if my USB ports are powered even if computer is closed as they are front ports and I have not tested it. I tried to start it after computer had already booted to windows, but I don't see how that can be relevant. 

post #5984 of 6558

Anyone have experience driving the HE-400s with the E17? Also, what would be the next step up from the E17 for driving these cans?

post #5985 of 6558
Quote:
Originally Posted by stjj89 View Post

Anyone have experience driving the HE-400s with the E17? Also, what would be the next step up from the E17 for driving these cans?

An E09K to dock the E17 into if your looking for a desktop solution.

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