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post #421 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Good chart! But for those that don't know about it, this chart represents the portable side of things. There are sub hundred dollar devices(like i river) and a few others along the range(albeit not very known) that can and has lisencing ability to bypass the iPod or iOS devices own DAC and amp , although they are desktop use which at that point in my case..would be redundant for my use.

 

 

Not to knock on WiR3D, as this chart is a good starting point, but it's also somewhat simplified. e.g. to me. There are a few points of which I may not necessarily agree with the chart (e.g. I personally wouldn't consider the iPhone's DAC to be a "good internal DAC", & in the Android world, none are official DAC/Amp supported (will see when JB 4.1 actually open to the greater public).

 

So far, I've not come across many USB DAC/Amp portables that I like. I personally haven't been impressed iBasso D-Zero, almost all of Fiio range (except E17, they may have something there), and even the RSA Predator (average DAC but great Amp).

 

IMHO, for now, the iDevice DAC/Amps have more of an edge over Android are more mature and currently the real competitors to the iDevice DAC/Amps are the DAPs (Sony NW-Z, iBasso DX100, Studio-V, etc) but most of the DAPs have UI challenges.

 

Once Android's JB 4.1 is in production, then I'm guessing a new range of USB DAC/Amps will appear to raise the bar to be competitive with the iDevice DAC/Amps.

 

P.S. note that I'm referring specifically to DAC/Amps. Amp-only would be an entirely new topic.

post #422 of 691

AnakChan you are correct, it is oversimplified. I actually wrote too much into the cells and it just didnt work so I chopped it up a bit, I was also in a rush, so I haven't had the time to elaborate, but you are spot on the money, I agree with everything you said.

post #423 of 691

So my Impressions:

 

Introduction

I have said before, I am against selling what you win or are given, and I am not an apple fan, and have no interest in getting an iPhone. So what was I to do with the VAMP I just won? Well the original idea I had was to give it to my mother to troll around with with her K550's. But it seems fate had other ideas, my friend, helped me win the competition, he was the photographer. But recently he got committed to a psychiatric institution, and I went to visit him. He has an iPhone 4, and I was going to test it with my AKG K242HD and my Denon D7000. But i planned like a prized nob, his iPhone was just replaced, he had no music, and the VAMP was not charged. So it didn't happen. But he did enjoy the AKG's straight out of his iPad, I decided bugger it and left the AKG's and the VAMP with him. 

 

The next morning I get 2 messages. "Holy Jesus!" "Thats all." 

 

This particular friend of mine could not discern in quality between my D2000 and his skull candy Ink'd buds using my Xonar (albeit with stock opamps and no impedance adapter at that stage, which means it was harsh and had horrible bass bloat.) So I was quite confused. He says the AKGs sounded great just out of the iPad or the iPhone, but that VAMP, he said it even made the skull candies not sound like turd.  

 

Headphones

I feel I have to talk a bit about the AKG K242HD (same as the K240mkii with velour pads and no detachable cable.) They are underrated around here, and I know why, since this is out of scope I will keep it short (if anyone would like a full review, ask and it shall be done.) 

Anyway, these $90 bargains I bought are transparent, they sound like whatever you plug them into, their sonic characteristics and quality is a direct reflection of the source/amp. That was very useful when opamp rolling. And in comparison my Denons (D2k or D7k) barely change at all, they are only affected by impedance mismatches, and having enough current and clarity from the source/amp.

 

Gear

I will be comparing to normal iPhone w/ Golden Ear and my HTC HD2 w/ 64bit NEON enhanced Neutron player, and my Asus Xonar essence stx (with THS4032 opamps in I/V) and an impedance adapter with the denons. The Asus Xonar STX + THS4032 opamps + AKG K242HD combination is a combo I think is particularly synergestic, and I recommend highly to anyone looking for a low budget high quality all rounder system.

 

Headphones: as stated above AKG K242HD, and Denon D7000.

 

Impressions

So after getting all the music onto his iPhone in flac format using Golden Ear, we got down to business. I brought my D7000 along aswell, but unless otherwise stated, this is with the AKG K242HD

 

I used songs I knew very very well, and out of the box, the imaging and soundstage is magnificent, the detail retrieval was the biggest killer, it was amazing, I have heard some songs so many times I know every hit and echo backwards, and I was hearing almost double the details I have ever heard with either the AKG or the Denons, and thats the part that hurt, I couldn't help but think why the hell would I buy the D7000's if this is so good. 

 

All the songs had a much more intimate feeling, and despite everything that the AKGs could show it was always musical, and the bass was the biggest surprise, it was beautifully textured, and the subbass just got the extra little push it needed on the AKGs (although I will note for heavy electronica an equalizer is still useful.)

 

I never felt the VAMP was slow, or hiding anything or overly bright, which the AKGs can be. 

 

When I plugged in my Denon D7000, there was improvement, but my time was much too little to give an affirmative answer, but I do think the improvement WAS NOT so great. The reason is because in the AKG's + VAMP combo the VAMP follows the single colourating (yes I just made up a word) component rule, where with the denons both are adding colouration, and the result was still great clarity, but nowhere near the wow of the AKGs and tbh, I would rather have the VAMP + AKG combo, there is no way I would be able to justify the D7000. But I would need more time to say how close they actually are, but from the brief experience:

AKG K242HD + VAMP >> Denon D7000 + VAMP/Asus >> AKG K242HD + Asus

 

Conclusion

This has taught me (actually just reinforced my belief) that just as implementation matters more with a DAC then the chip itself, that synergy matters greater then the sum of the components.

As a basic rule you want one colourating component in a chain. With the denons, they have their own strong natural sound so you want a neutral and transparent amp, which explains why except for the odd exception they are suited best for solid state amps. With the AKGs they are transparent in their sound and benefit from the added musicality of colouration in an amp. The HD800 fits into the same category from my reading.

 

The synergy between the AKGs and the VAMP is utterly disgusting (in a good way) and because of the transparent nature of the AKGs I can conclusively say the VAMP is a great product. So great infact that I almost considered getting an iPhone, and I would have, but I thought the VAMP would find a good home with my friend, so I gave it to him.  And I will buy the Go-dap X based VAMP when its released. Now I just haveto tell my mother I have given way the VAMP I was going to give her.... gulp....


Edited by WiR3D - 7/16/12 at 7:38am
post #424 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

 

The synergy between the AKGs and the VAMP is utterly disgusting (in a good way) and because of the transparent nature of the AKGs I can conclusively say the VAMP is a great product. So great infact that I almost considered getting an iPhone, and I would have, but I thought the VAMP would find a good home with my friend, so I gave it to him.  And I will buy the Go-dap X based VAMP when its released. Now I just haveto tell my mother I have given way the VAMP I was going to give her.... gulp....

Given away.........a $500 ...,,,.........

Thanks for the read though!

post #425 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Given away.........a $500 ...,,,.........

Thanks for the read though!

You don't understand how much I hate apple.... and I was going to buy one literally, but yeah, its better off with him. Another convert :)

post #426 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

This has taught me (actually just reinforced my belief) that just as implementation matters more with a DAC then the chip itself, that synergy matters greater then the sum of the components.

 

Synergy with the kind of music one likes too. I enjoyed reading your review and the story behind it -- good work! Don't forget it to post it under the VAMP in the Head Gear section if you haven't already. smile.gif

post #427 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Synergy with the kind of music one likes too. I enjoyed reading your review and the story behind it -- good work! Don't forget it to post it under the VAMP in the Head Gear section if you haven't already. smile.gif

Thanks normal_smile%20.gif

I will do so, after I get more head time with the Denons, I am still in disbelief. And ofcourse this has forced me to save up for a Yulong D18, and a suitable amp for the denons (which despite all the poorly answered threads is difficult to find.) The only one on the list thus far is a Gilmore Dynalo, and I would love to build one, but parts are not available.

post #428 of 691

FYI for anyone considering Vamp and wanting the Iphone 5, but also wanting one device to use for everything including music, assuming the link below is accurate.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57472842-37/iphone-5-leaked-photos-show-tall-white-frame-with-center-camera/?tag=nl.e703
 


Edited by Craigster75 - 7/16/12 at 11:14am
post #429 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post

FYI for anyone considering Vamp and wanting the Iphone 5, but also wanting one device to use for everything including music, assuming the link below is accurate.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57472842-37/iphone-5-leaked-photos-show-tall-white-frame-with-center-camera/?tag=nl.e703
 

Let's not start worrying, when was the last time pictures of what things that"appeared" in a plant or production facility actually came to be the real one? I mean...the 4S "leak" photo's were plain right outrageous!

post #430 of 691

Question for other VAMP / Go-DAP owners... Has anyone else noticed that the volume knob is kind of "wonky" on their device? Mine is definitely tilted off-center so that when you look at it from the front it points a bit to the right. (It's obvious enough that my wife can see it too.)  In addition, it doesn't seem to rotate smoothly--there is more resistance near the beginning of the volume range than later.  I'm not sure if it's because of the tilt or it is intentional.  It's not extreme by any means and doesn't seem to affect operation at this point, but feels weird to me. Has anyone else experienced this?

post #431 of 691

Ask V-Moda support! I'm sure they'd replace it if it were a defective unit, it is rather expensive after all. :P

post #432 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by brumma View Post

Question for other VAMP / Go-DAP owners... Has anyone else noticed that the volume knob is kind of "wonky" on their device? Mine is definitely tilted off-center so that when you look at it from the front it points a bit to the right. (It's obvious enough that my wife can see it too.)  In addition, it doesn't seem to rotate smoothly--there is more resistance near the beginning of the volume range than later.  I'm not sure if it's because of the tilt or it is intentional.  It's not extreme by any means and doesn't seem to affect operation at this point, but feels weird to me. Has anyone else experienced this?
The 2xnewer Go-DAPs I have don't have any issues (straight, smooth & consistent at all ranges).

My oldest Go-DAP the knob is a little loose/wobbly but smooth/consistent at all volume ranges.

The VAmp is straight, no wobbles. But the volume resistance increases as the volume goes up - whether it was a "fault" or "problem" I actually like this cos as the resistance increases it prevents accidental volume increase - so to me it's more a welcoming "feature".
post #433 of 691

Getting mine tomorrow, will post thoughts on how it sounds with my Ultrasone 900 Pro!

post #434 of 691

Durability update:

 

My friend dropped it 4x from chest height, onto concrete, no noticeable damage unless you look really closely, and then there's one knick and a little scratch on the bottom.

Thing is built like a tank. 

post #435 of 691
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiR3D View Post

Durability update:

 

My friend dropped it 4x from chest height, onto concrete, no noticeable damage unless you look really closely, and then there's one knick and a little scratch on the bottom.

Thing is built like a tank. 

Cool... but be careful!

 

we do have spare parts in USA for repairs, but definitely we do not recommend dropping VAMP on purpose!

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