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Galaxy Nexus + DAC/AMP or just AMP?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I recently bought some sennheisers hd 518 and i wasn't totally satisfied with them, i know that i have to give them some break in time and the source is not the best (macbook pro) even though all my tracks are 320 kbps, but i still know that i won't be getting the best out of them until i get some good dac, amp or chipset.

the question is this, i'm planning on getting a galaxy nexus (free with a carrier plan) and install voodoo sound in it; the phone, having a wolfson dac, is regarded as near to audiophile quality, but i am still not sure if i will be getting the best out of my sennheisers.

so should i still buy a dac/amp or is it pointless? should i instead just get a fiio e6 and save some bucks? i don't mind risking a bit of quality if it means saving lots of money, and i really mean it when i say i don't mind saving some bucks, i spent all my money on those senns.


Edited by rprieto5 - 1/27/12 at 5:38pm
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

bump

post #3 of 15

The Samsung Nexus S has a Wolfson DAC, Not the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Two diffrent animals) the Galaxy Nexus has a Texas Instruments DAC. The Voodoo app requires a compliant ROM and Kernel to work, and only works on the Nexus S ( and other Samsund/Wolfson devices).

 

There is a Loudness+ app the will increase your gain, but this does not effect the DAC in any substansial way like the Voodoo app does.

 

As it is at the time of this post Android Ice Cream Sandwich ( the OS on the galaxy Nexus) does not handle digital audio out via USB { Vote for this issue to be resolved here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614} We must wait for either google to update ICS or wait until Cyanogen Mod 9 comes out for the GN.

 

That being said I have owned all three Nexus devices and the Galaxy is comparable to the Nexus S, albeit with less gain. I thisn the Galaxy Nexus with a decent external amplifier sounds outstanding( equipment listed below) . Very spacious soundstage, ample headroom accurate detail.

 

 

 

Equipment List:

 

AKG Q701

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10

Fanmusic BL-1 Portable Tube Amp

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Nook Color-Cyanogen 7 MOD

Fiio E7 External Dac


Edited by chazman1117 - 1/30/12 at 6:01am
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I always thought those phones were the same one... this changes things a lot because that was the only phone i could get in my country that actually has (or at least i thought had) a wolfson DAC.

I have another question then, does the Samsung Galaxy S Plus have wolfson DAC? today i went to the carrier and saw they had that one too, but i'm not sure if it has the same DAC as the Galaxy S.

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazman1117 View Post

The Samsung Nexus S has a Wolfson DAC, Not the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Two diffrent animals) the Galaxy Nexus has a Texas Instruments DAC. The Voodoo app requires a compliant ROM and Kernel to work, and only works on the Nexus S ( and other Samsund/Wolfson devices).

 

There is a Loudness+ app the will increase your gain, but this does not effect the DAC in any substansial way like the Voodoo app does.

 

As it is at the time of this post Android Ice Cream Sandwich ( the OS on the galaxy Nexus) does not handle digital audio out via USB { Vote for this issue to be resolved here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614} We must wait for either google to update ICS or wait until Cyanogen Mod 9 comes out for the GN.

 

That being said I have owned all three Nexus devices and the Galaxy is comparable to the Nexus S, albeit with less gain. I thisn the Galaxy Nexus with a decent external amplifier sounds outstanding( equipment listed below) . Very spacious soundstage, ample headroom accurate detail.

 

 

 

Equipment List:

 

AKG Q701

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10

Fanmusic BL-1 Portable Tube Amp

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Nook Color-Cyanogen 7 MOD

Fiio E7 External Dac

What do you think about the Fanmusic BL-1? I have seen it advertised here in China, but have never seen a review. It looks similar to the Continental - is it? How does it compare to the C&C TU (probably the only competiton at the price)?
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazman1117 View Post

The Samsung Nexus S has a Wolfson DAC, Not the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ( Two diffrent animals) the Galaxy Nexus has a Texas Instruments DAC. The Voodoo app requires a compliant ROM and Kernel to work, and only works on the Nexus S ( and other Samsund/Wolfson devices).

 

There is a Loudness+ app the will increase your gain, but this does not effect the DAC in any substansial way like the Voodoo app does.

 

As it is at the time of this post Android Ice Cream Sandwich ( the OS on the galaxy Nexus) does not handle digital audio out via USB { Vote for this issue to be resolved here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614} We must wait for either google to update ICS or wait until Cyanogen Mod 9 comes out for the GN.

 

That being said I have owned all three Nexus devices and the Galaxy is comparable to the Nexus S, albeit with less gain. I thisn the Galaxy Nexus with a decent external amplifier sounds outstanding( equipment listed below) . Very spacious soundstage, ample headroom accurate detail.

 

 

 

Equipment List:

 

AKG Q701

Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10

Fanmusic BL-1 Portable Tube Amp

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Nook Color-Cyanogen 7 MOD

Fiio E7 External Dac

What do you think about the Fanmusic BL-1? I have seen it advertised here in China, but have never seen a review. It looks similar to the Continental - is it? How does it compare to the C&C TU (probably the only competiton at the price)?
post #7 of 15
Sorry, seems to have been submitted twice - unstable Internet connection!
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post


What do you think about the Fanmusic BL-1? I have seen it advertised here in China, but have never seen a review. It looks similar to the Continental - is it? How does it compare to the C&C TU (probably the only competiton at the price)?



I like it alot, Very low noise floor, very airy and spacious soundstage that compliments my Q701's extreamly well. Build quality is good, i wish the tube was better stabilized. I have never listened to the Continental so i cant compare the two, but for the money it was well worth it.

 

 

 

post #9 of 15

Thanks! Just three more questions, though:

 

(i) You say you wish the tube was better stabilized. Do you mean it is micrphonic? If so, how bad is it - is it usable on a train or plane, for instance?

 

(ii) Is the battery life really only 6 hours from fully charged? Can you at least listen while it is charging? How long does it take to charge from empty?

 

(iii) Is it suitable for use with IEMs (e.g. Ety HF5s), or is the gain too high?

post #10 of 15

Actually I find that the Galaxy Nexus is very good with its headphone out, as far as IEMs are concerned. I use its headphone out with my UE18 Pro and ES5 a lot these days, and this goes a long way given what other portable gear I currently own (iPhone 4S, CLAS, Fostex HP-P1, iBasso DB2, SR71A, SR71B, Stepdance, Hifiman 801)

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post

Thanks! Just three more questions, though:

 

(i) You say you wish the tube was better stabilized. Do you mean it is micrphonic? If so, how bad is it - is it usable on a train or plane, for instance?

 

(ii) Is the battery life really only 6 hours from fully charged? Can you at least listen while it is charging? How long does it take to charge from empty?

 

(iii) Is it suitable for use with IEMs (e.g. Ety HF5s), or is the gain too high?


I havent had any microphonics from the tube itself, but It would make me feel better if it were better secured although there could be arguements for it NOT being secured as well. I guess since it is not really giving me an issue, it's not an issue :-)

 

I have gotten 5+ hours out of it; I dont like to run a battery until it is dead. I have not listened while charging. There is no indicator as to when the unit is fully charged, so I usually charge it overnight (6+ hrs)

 

I have a pair of Ultimate Ears Triplefi10's and they are outstanding.

 

The only cavaet I can think of is heat. This sucker gets WARM, nearly hot. I could envision overheating the unit if it was placed in to a less than ideal ventilation situation.

 

I dont want to hijack this thread any further- I am considering making a new thread about this amp, PM me if you have any more questions.

 

 

 

 
 

 

post #12 of 15

what did you end up doing OP?  I'm about to get a nexus tomorrow...hopefully it's a nexus S.  

 

 

post #13 of 15
From my experience, the Galaxy Nexus (I own one) doesn't need an amp, not with low impedance / high sensitivity headphones anyway. I couldn't find out its output impedance but it's very loud, much louder than my Galaxy S (which has the Wolfson DAC). With PowerAMP + EQ I think it still sounds better than my FiiO E7 (and much better than my laptop).

In short, my Galaxy Nexus is my best source right now, un-amped.
Edited by skamp - 2/25/12 at 2:45am
post #14 of 15

Is that your Nexus Prime?

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

From my experience, the Galaxy Nexus (I own one) doesn't need an amp, not with low impedance / high sensitivity headphones anyway. I couldn't find out its output impedance but it's very loud, much louder than my Galaxy S (which has the Wolfson DAC). With PowerAMP + EQ I think it still sounds better than my FiiO E7 (and much better than my laptop).
In short, my Galaxy Nexus is my best source right now, un-amped.


+1.  It is the first time since 2006 that I am without an iPhone after I got the Nexus.  It can really rival the iPhone as a dedicated music player.

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