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Fostex HP-P1 or a Pico Slim for custom IEMS?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all!


I recently obtained some high quality custom IEMs, and am looking for a good amp/DAC setup for them. For amplification purposes, is a Fostex HP-P1 going to give me significantly better sound compared to the Pico Slim? The HP-P1 is significantly more expensive and larger, but it is also serves for DAC. From an amplification standpoint, it seems like the HP-P1 might be a bit of overkill, and I don't want to spend more money than I have to. Should I get the Pico Slim, or is the extra money on the HP-P1 worth it? 


I'll be playing my music for the time being from a 160GB Ipod Classic, and maybe upgrading my source later. 


These - http://www.acscustom.com/us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30&Itemid=45 - are the IEMs I purchased. ACS T1.


Let me know your thoughts,



Edited by Aethernum - 6/2/12 at 6:47pm
post #2 of 7

The HP-P1 will better pick because it's works as DAC/AMPs with iPods and Pico will only accept lineout signals through iPod and iPods internal DAC will work same in the chain which is inferior compared to HP-P1 DAC.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I understand that the DAC is going to see an improvement in the HP-P1, I guess my question is one of cost/value. The HP-P1 costs $250 more than the Pico Slim, and is significantly larger. Is it worth the boost in audio quality that I would get over the Pico Slim, especially since I'm using Custom IEMs, not a portable, larger headphone? How significant is that difference? If I spent $400 on the Pico Slim and then $250 on some DAC, are there options that would be preferable to the HP-P1, or as an all-in-one package does it offer the best bang for the buck?

Edited by Aethernum - 6/2/12 at 9:51pm
post #4 of 7

I have a Pico Slim and it pairs quite well with my Custom IEM's. This, along with the NYC Spring Head-Fi Meet Up where I tried out generic versions of UE's CIEM's with the Pico Slim and other sources allows me the ability to inform you it will perform quite well with any type of CIEM setup. The Fostex HP-P1 might be overkill if an amp is all you need. What you may not realize is that the Pico Slim is ridiculously small. The Fostex HP-P1 is huge, and thats not when doing a side by side comparison of the two.

post #5 of 7

I use both the Pico Slim and the Fostex and i think the size of the Slim is perfect when you are looking more for a portable Device. The Fostex is more detailed and offers a more open soundstage with more bass, but for me, the Pico Slim is not much behind. It´s unbeatable for it´s very small size.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
If I went with the Pico Slim, would it be worth purchasing a good DAC? I'm using IEMs, not headphones, so am I going to see any major benefit? I would need a DAC for under $250 to keep the price competitive with the HP-P1.
post #7 of 7

The only i know Nuforce Icon iDo is competible with iDevices and it's not battery powered portable as HP-P1 but sound so goood and it's under your price range(you can use your pico with iDo throug RCA to 3.5mm for even better soundquality).

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