Originally Posted by adydula
The Odac is well built in that it is 'layed' out for optimal performance...being well built doesn't mean that its performing well...there are many audio devices that are built like a brick you know what and don't perform well or perform "mediocre"..
Also IMO amps or dacs that are totally transparent, have to sound the same....or there not transparent...
I don't know if I'd agree with this part based on my experiences so far with amps. For example, both my Magni and Headroom Micro never alter how a headphone sounds in any dramatic way. If a headphone is too bright or too bassy and warm it won't alter that.
With both amps they sound almost exactly like what's attached to them. If I use a crappy Clip+ connected to them it sounds like a Clip+ with minor improvements. It's like the amp itself disappears. For the longest time I blamed my amp for a small soundstage and it was the HRT MSII's fault. There's no way that thing could be transparent. Unless a DAC can still be quite warm and still transparent
When comparing the Magni to the Micro Amp it seems like the Micro is a bit fuller sounding, but this is nearly inaudible. I guess the difference is so minor that they'd still be considered transparent. They both measure ruler flat and the Micro isn't a warm amp and doesn't have any rolled off treble. That was when I was using the ODAC.
The question though I always had is which one was more revealing of what's attached to it? I have no clue. I'm going with the Micro.
Both the ODAC and Modi are transparent, but I always felt like the Modi had better imaging and better soundstage depth and height. Other than this they sounded identical. How do you measure soundstage depth and height on paper anyway? I would have NO clue how a DAC gets the soundstage of a recording accurate.
I wonder also what makes the Fiio E9 less transparent when it measures completely flat? It seems that thing sounds good but when switching sources it's a LOT tougher to hear the differences in sources. When I used the HRT MSII with it it sounded like the E9 was almost adding it's own coloration.
I do believe the ODAC, Modi and Magni/Micro are really transparent, but there's some slight differences. None of the differences are enough to alter my music or headphones. I would say the Micro is like a Magni that's less cold and analytical, but probably very transparent.
Strangely my Ipod Touch 2G seems colder than the ODAC. I wonder if it's DAC is considered transparent. Hardly likely, but it sounds pretty flat except for some slightly edgy treble.
Also..I wonder why people always called transparent DACs "bright"? I heard that first with the O2, then the ODAC and now the Magni! I think they should blame the music instead or something. Some of my songs sound pretty bad on almost any setup.
Still trying to figure all this stuff out. I also found that with some headphones I can hear the difference in equipment changes, but with my DJ100, HD-650 and Q701 it's very easy.