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NuForce Icon iDo - Mini Review - Page 6

post #76 of 87
Hi guys
The replacement came today and so far so good. I have the coaxial going to my avr and that works great too. Just to let you know unlike the rca jacks the coaxials volume is fixed at 100%.
Thanks again
PS (edit) happy to see the $8 apple remote works with the ido
Edited by Kozic - 2/4/14 at 12:49pm
post #77 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACDOAN View Post
 

Sorry abt the audio jargon.

 

1. If the RCA line out of the iDo can be adjusted ( +/-) by the front volume control knob, then it is called variable line output. In this case one does not need a pre amp.

2. If the RCA line out of the iDo cannot be adjusted (+/- ) by the front volume control knob ( on the front panel), then it is fixed. In this case one will need pre amp.

 

I've got you. So it has the RCA variable line output.Thank you.


No need for you to apologize - it was me who was daft.

 

Anyway, yes, you did understand my simpleton approach.  I love these things....................

post #78 of 87
So... I got an opportunity I could not resist to upgrade my bed-side rig with a tube amp. I now have a Little Dot MKIII headphone amp to drive my Sennheiser HD600 cans. I didn't burn-in the tubes yet. I still use my iPad or iPhone to play FLAC lossless files from my NAS using DS Audio, and have the Nuforce iDo between the iPad and the Little Dot.

Yes, I notice a difference, of course it would be a shame if I didn't. But to be honest, the difference is still not the world to me. Not by far as much as when I got the iDo. Moving from iPad's or iPhone's headphone out to the iDo made a huge difference. Adding the Little Dot now gives me more power, slightly deeper bass and increased soundstage. But overall, I almost just as much enjoy listening to the iDo's headphone out as through the Little Dot. Then again, I still need to burn in the tubes; they only have 10 hours or so now. But to me it confirms my earlier post that the iDo's headphone amp is really not that bad for driving the Sennheiser HD600's.

Question is: is it a good idea to use the iDo as a DAC? As mentioned here above, the iDo's RCA outs are variable, which means my audio signal first goes through the iDo's preamp before going to my tube amp. I would actually reckon less is better- meaning bypassing the iDo's preamp would be preferable. Is there a mod to the iDo to do that? Or... Should I trade my iDo against a DAC only? I still love the convenience of using my iPad/iPhone as source for FLAC's. Are there DAC's without preamp that support iDevice's in the price range of the iDo?
post #79 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcee View Post

So... I got an opportunity I could not resist to upgrade my bed-side rig with a tube amp. I now have a Little Dot MKIII headphone amp to drive my Sennheiser HD600 cans. I didn't burn-in the tubes yet. I still use my iPad or iPhone to play FLAC lossless files from my NAS using DS Audio, and have the Nuforce iDo between the iPad and the Little Dot.

Yes, I notice a difference, of course it would be a shame if I didn't. But to be honest, the difference is still not the world to me. Not by far as much as when I got the iDo. Moving from iPad's or iPhone's headphone out to the iDo made a huge difference. Adding the Little Dot now gives me more power, slightly deeper bass and increased soundstage. But overall, I almost just as much enjoy listening to the iDo's headphone out as through the Little Dot. Then again, I still need to burn in the tubes; they only have 10 hours or so now. But to me it confirms my earlier post that the iDo's headphone amp is really not that bad for driving the Sennheiser HD600's.

Question is: is it a good idea to use the iDo as a DAC? As mentioned here above, the iDo's RCA outs are variable, which means my audio signal first goes through the iDo's preamp before going to my tube amp. I would actually reckon less is better- meaning bypassing the iDo's preamp would be preferable. Is there a mod to the iDo to do that? Or... Should I trade my iDo against a DAC only? I still love the convenience of using my iPad/iPhone as source for FLAC's. Are there DAC's without preamp that support iDevice's in the price range of the iDo?

The benefit the iDo gives you IS the DAC compared to the iPod DAC. It's a huge step up.
post #80 of 87
I understand and fully agree, it IS a huge step-up. What I am also saying is that the amp is even so good it drives my Sennheiser HD600 nearly as good as my Little Dot amp. The only thing I doubt is whether there is a way to bypass the preamp of the iDo when using another amp, because the iDo has a variable out. I would prefer getting the audio signal straight from iDo's DAC into my Little Dot or look for another DAC that has no preamp stage following the DAC.

One thing on the DAC of the iDo, albeit good, it is not the best DAC out there. Sometimes I hear low basses cause clipping. A good example of that is a song called 'Orbits' which is track 8 of Ludovico Einaudi's "In a Time Lapse" (a very good CD by the way). It is clipping like crazy where when listening through my Nuforce AVP-18 there is no clipping at all.
post #81 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcee View Post

I understand and fully agree, it IS a huge step-up. What I am also saying is that the amp is even so good it drives my Sennheiser HD600 nearly as good as my Little Dot amp. The only thing I doubt is whether there is a way to bypass the preamp of the iDo when using another amp, because the iDo has a variable out. I would prefer getting the audio signal straight from iDo's DAC into my Little Dot or look for another DAC that has no preamp stage following the DAC.

One thing on the DAC of the iDo, albeit good, it is not the best DAC out there. Sometimes I hear low basses cause clipping. A good example of that is a song called 'Orbits' which is track 8 of Ludovico Einaudi's "In a Time Lapse" (a very good CD by the way). It is clipping like crazy where when listening through my Nuforce AVP-18 there is no clipping at all.


That's really cool to know (the amp within it).  I use the iDo exclusively feeding vintage amps and have no issues with the clipping. 

post #82 of 87
Reading your review I'm buying the icon Ido thanks great review plus audio advisor has them for 99.00
post #83 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonian View Post


That's really cool to know (the amp within it).  I use the iDo exclusively feeding vintage amps and have no issues with the clipping. 

When you feed vintage amps from the iDo through the RCA variable outs, where do you put the iDo's volume control? I read best is to put the iDo at max volume, but I notice deeper bass when I leave it halfway (at the volume set when turning on the iDo). I accidentally discovered that when forgetting to turn up the iDo's volume after switching it on. What is your experience?
post #84 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcee View Post

When you feed vintage amps from the iDo through the RCA variable outs, where do you put the iDo's volume control? I read best is to put the iDo at max volume, but I notice deeper bass when I leave it halfway (at the volume set when turning on the iDo). I accidentally discovered that when forgetting to turn up the iDo's volume after switching it on. What is your experience?

I've been putting it to max volume to match the output of my CD player and turntable so I won't have to adjust the iDo. Set it and forget it. It's feeding a Spec system so bass is not an issue.
post #85 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjfeb View Post

Reading your review I'm buying the icon Ido thanks great review plus audio advisor has them for 99.00

Excellent...great value for only $99 no doubt!

post #86 of 87
A few weeks down the line now, I feel I have to make an update on my previous statements. Yes, the iDo is still a great amp and it has no trouble driving my HD600's. But I cannot say that the tube amp doesn't make a big difference anymore. My Little Dot MKIII is now equipped with Mullard EF95's and Electro Harmonix 6H30Pi Gold Pins and I have done lots of hours burn-in (except for the Electro Harmonix's, they only have 6 hours or so). And the difference is substantial. Deeper, much deeper and more controlled bass. With the iDo alone I thought the HD600 was very gentle on the low end, now I know better. It has great bass with the tube amp. Plus, the sound stage is so much wider with the tube amp. It is as if everything comes out of the headphones and is really outside, around my head. It is still not in front of me though, as I would have wished, but it is still really beautiful.

So, don't get me wrong. The iDo is great. But upgrading with a tube amp is really a step up. And then upgrading tubes is also a step up. All small steps but comparing the end results will not go unnoticed to anyone.
post #87 of 87

I have been using the ido for about a year now. Probably 95% of the time for late night listening through IEMs, my favorite are the Klipsch X10s for sound and comfort. The ido line out feeds an old Harman Kardon amp which I updated the innards a bit. I love this little device as a dac/pre.

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