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FiiO " Flagship " portable amp Mont Blanc/E12 discussing thread. - Page 84

post #1246 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminy View Post

Anyone going to comment on the bass boost remark?

I think what's happened is a couple of people who don't own the amp complained about the lack of boost so it has been changed.
From what I have read, everyone who has this amp likes the current bass boost and does not want it changed. I've tried to buy v1 because it looks like the superior option, to no avail.
Maybe James fiio should have a vote as at the moment this change seems to be turning people of this amp.

 

Well, I maintain my previous position: the current bass boost is good enough. It should not change. It's addressing the low-bass roll-off of certain headphones and systems quite elegantly while keeping frequency response elsewhere even and balanced.

 

I hope that if Fiio is changing the bass boost, then they at least offer the old version alongside the new version. Maybe call the new version E13, or E12B, or something.

post #1247 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by campj View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Bassheads tend to associate quality with almost only how much bass there is and usually go for the cheap stuff because that's often taken advantage of as a gimmick...

 

Say what? blink.gif Sounds like plain bigotry to me.

 

Not that I typically care to take sides in stupid headphone arguments, as I think it's a silly thing to argue about, but this comment irked me.

 

Bassheads are shamed for not accepting a neutral headphone, like we're not 'true audiophiles'. I think there's two kinds of bassheads; Those who want gobs of bass and that's it, and those who wants lots of fidelity along the entire spectrum, but wants more bass than anything else, and many of us fall in the latter, but all bassheads are lumped within the former. 

But when you're presented with head-fi, a virtual menu of every headphone under the sun, and so many different people listening to so many different kinds of music, it's entirely subjective how people wish to enjoy their music.
I'll take bass please, with a healthy side serving of sparkling detailed highs, gorgeous mids, and style to boot.... Oh why my waiter has served me M-100s! How delightful
deadhorse.gif

post #1248 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apo0th3karY View Post

 

Bassheads are shamed for not accepting a neutral headphone, like we're not 'true audiophiles'. I think there's two kinds of bassheads; Those who want gobs of bass and that's it, and those who wants lots of fidelity along the entire spectrum, but wants more bass than anything else, and many of us fall in the latter, but all bassheads are lumped within the former. 

But when you're presented with head-fi, a virtual menu of every headphone under the sun, and so many different people listening to so many different kinds of music, it's entirely subjective how people wish to enjoy their music.
I'll take bass please, with a healthy side serving of sparkling detailed highs, gorgeous mids, and style to boot.... Oh why my waiter has served me M-100s! How delightful
deadhorse.gif


Well said.  If the M-100 has a high Zagat rating in your basshead restaurant, then the Signature DJ would have a top Michelin rating.

post #1249 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Typhoon, your 2nd narrative paragraph got away from me a bit.
1. I don't recall stating the freq response as being cold. Out of the box, by ear, I thought it sounded restrained, the detail was a smidgen held back compared to my brighter tube amp, so instead of cold I thought I was describing a signature erring on the side of dark. I'm newish to finding the vocabulary others use to describe sound (plus I'm really tired at the moment), but I'm more familiar with bright, emphasized mids/highs and dry anemic bass (which I heard with AD700), than I am with a dark, thick bass with recessed highs, type of sound (which I heard with my V-MODA LPs and woah! someone's Sony XB500), and with my Ety's, AKGs, Audio Technicas, and what I learned from other headphones, I call the Mont Blanc, overall and after burn-in, neutral because it imparts little coloration consistently noticeable between different headphones.

2. The revised E12 boost is basically in the middle between the E11's mode 1 & 2.

3. Where do you see recessed mids in the amp charts? The freq response mostly levels out after the boost effect, if anything it bows upward at the center.

Anyway, the end all result is I like my Mont Blanc.

1. "Lastly, when I first got the amp, I was honestly a little disappointed. It sounded technically very accurate, but there was a sort of "coldness" to the sound and I wasn't feeling very emotionally involved. Like the amp was holding back somehow."  

That's the comment I was referencing.  Now as to your response here on that matter, now YOU have lost me, because the descriptions you are giving are essentially exactly the opposite of what makes sense.  And well, I mean, it's as you stated; you're still getting familiar with the jargon.  The most potentially relevant/accurate description of the sound you are perceiving is in the text that I quoted from your review.  I could go into detail as to specifically what the things I'm talking about are but I don't feel there'd be a point to that as it'd only come off as belittling.

 

2. Was I confused about that?  I pretty much stated my conclusive standpoint on what I now understand the graph is actually showing.  So like I said, I'm not actually happy about the revision.  It creates more of an unbalance whereas the original, as you yourself mentioned, conforms to the very common roll-off that many cans have, including closed ones actually like usually ones which have a neutral signature (like the Brainwavz HM5's for instance).  

 

3. Did you look at my list representation of the charts?  Relative to 1 KHz and higher, the lower mids are curving downward.

 

I never tried to tell you that you thought otherwise of the amp - that you didn't like it.  That is something nobody can do anyway.  I didn't even say that there was anything especially bad about it as not to like it.  In any case, I will probably like it too if I get it.  Overall, I'm just looking for something better for my personal needs at this point, that's all.  That's honestly probably also the reason I'm getting into such detail about it as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Bones View Post

 

I have found in the few hours I have used it that the bass is too much for majority of my IEM's or lower impedance phones, but for my Q701 it's just right and I wouldn't want it any other way. I really purchased the E12 for the gain since my A/V receiver on max volume wasn't really all too audible. Honestly, a desktop amp would obviously be best for the Q but buying a portable is much easier on my wallet for right now, so I'll stick to that lol.

That makes sense that this would happen.  It's less to do with the amount of boost itself than it does on how it's implemented, and as you said, the effect it has on low impedance headphones/inputs.  Furthermore, you also said it all right there.  I may be in a similar position as you are at the current moment, unfortunately.  I've just been using the E17 as it stands thus far.  It's still OVERALL better than any crap I've ever come across, including studio gear (BS studio gear, but nonetheless...).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

Where did you get these numbers from?

A lot of these numbers are low enough to be tolerance and calibration errors.

While that may be true, if I were doing the testing I would've taken that into account and otherwise not have posted, believe me, but, those numbers are actually just based off of the charts provided by FiiO.  I think it's the projected frequency response and it's likely in favor of what the goal is rather than true measurements of the result.  It's way too smooth for that.  BUT REGARDLESS OF THE CASE, the bumps and dips in frequencies line up WAAAY too well with the effects that such an amp design would have so whatever tolerance for error there may be, it would probably be more accurately represented with even more emphasis of those curves.  There could actually be many causes for it but one of them in this case is odd-ordered harmonic distortion.  There are more audible characteristics to a reproduction of a sound (due to an amp in this case) than just frequencies, and that's just one of the things I was trying to hint at.  May have been too subtle...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSatch View Post

Would this amp be a good match for Brainwavz Hm5 headphones?  I use a C421 now.

I'd wager that yes it would be.  The Brainwavz HM5's are largely what I have been thinking about this amp relative to, just because of its incredibly neutral and revealing signature.  If you want an amp at home though for casual listening purposes, I'd strongly recommend pairing the HM5's with a low impedance output TUBE amplifier.  I have yet to do the research to find one that fits the mark and is reasonably priced.  If you would like, whenever I may do the research, I can get back to you.  PM me if you'd like that (no promises as to when that may be though because I don't even know for myself).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiminy View Post

Anyone going to comment on the bass boost remark?


I think what's happened is a couple of people who don't own the amp complained about the lack of boost so it has been changed.
From what I have read, everyone who has this amp likes the current bass boost and does not want it changed. I've tried to buy v1 because it looks like the superior option, to no avail.
Maybe James fiio should have a vote as at the moment this change seems to be turning people of this amp.

I would say the same.  Hopefully that happens.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by campj View Post

 

Say what? blink.gif Sounds like plain bigotry to me.

 

Not that I typically care to take sides in stupid headphone arguments, as I think it's a silly thing to argue about, but this comment irked me.

Really?  Out of all the statements, THAT'S the one that irked you and came across as bigotry?  That's pretty much the only one that was based most off of the reality of how it actually is.  Before I knew anything about headphones (probably about 8 years ago), before I even had a decent pair of anything, even then it smelled fishy to me when people were raving about the $10 SkullCandy IEM's that had "amazing bass for the price", which at the time I bought and used btw.  

 

There are many things though which go behind the entailment of what it means to be a "bass head", none of which at all have anything to do with any sense of "bigotry".  There's nothing wrong with liking bass.  I love it!  At times I may really be in the mood just to be bombarded with it.  A "bass head" where more bass is the overall preference for all there is when it comes to sound implies much more...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

 

Well, I maintain my previous position: the current bass boost is good enough. It should not change. It's addressing the low-bass roll-off of certain headphones and systems quite elegantly while keeping frequency response elsewhere even and balanced.

 

I hope that if Fiio is changing the bass boost, then they at least offer the old version alongside the new version. Maybe call the new version E13, or E12B, or something.

I've agreed and now the only quirk I have is that, well, being the high end of their line and all, I can't imagine that there would especially need to be a major trade-off to have built in a multi-step switch option for the bass boost, to the likes of which I described in my original post (the one where I listed what the charts represent when thinking in relative terms).  If there is a trade-off, what was it then like in the example of the E11?


Edited by Typhoon859 - 2/15/13 at 3:56pm
post #1250 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post


While that may be true, if I were doing the testing I would've taken that into account and otherwise not have posted, believe me, but, those numbers are actually just based off of the charts provided by FiiO.  I think it's the projected frequency response and it's likely in favor of what the goal is rather than true measurements of the result.  It's way too smooth for that.  BUT REGARDLESS OF THE CASE, the bumps and dips in frequencies line up WAAAY too well with the effects that such an amp design would have so whatever tolerance for error there may be, it would probably be more accurately represented with even more emphasis of those curves.  There could actually be many causes for it but one of them in this case is odd-ordered harmonic distortion.  There are more audible characteristics to a reproduction of a sound (due to an amp in this case) than just frequencies, and that's just one of the things I was trying to hint at.  May have been too subtle...

The very slightly rising frequency response surprises me.
With the bass boost switched out, I would have thought that the frequency response would have been ruler flat from 100 Hz to 10 kHz
The only reason why the amp wouldn't be falt right down to DC would be the input coupling caps.
post #1251 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


The very slightly rising frequency response surprises me.
With the bass boost switched out, I would have thought that the frequency response would have been ruler flat from 100 Hz to 10 kHz
The only reason why the amp wouldn't be falt right down to DC would be the input coupling caps.

You're really surprised by that?  That's pretty much the hardest region to get right with most if not all solid state designs.  The distortion of those frequencies though is merely an effect of the odd-ordered harmonic distortion which occurs most often and largely because of typical methods used for controlling noise (or in essence, for lowering the noise floor).  The most commonly used (and largely accepted) method is known as negative feedback.  Are you aware of these things?  If not, that's probably why it seems to be out of nowhere.  I need to look into the O2 amp more to know for sure about that one, but for instance, the Benchmark DAC1 has the only amp I know in it that achieves practically no harmonic distortion of the sort (although admittedly, I collectively only know so many compared to the amount of different amps there are out there).  As for the technical details for how it's done, I have no idea.  I wouldn't know any better than to even believe if I were told that they somehow perfectly integrated the negative feedback circuit with some sort of variation to it...  I know enough to understand why, but not how, lol.


Edited by Typhoon859 - 2/15/13 at 6:50pm
post #1252 of 2994
Typhoon,
I'm not quite sure what I was thinking this morning, I hadn't slept at all. Kept confusing myself more and more as I tried to focus, lol. I was just trying to figure out what you mean by my "brain burning in the wrong way." I, as anyone, don't like to be "wrong," though instead of asking for you to explain that further I tried to backpedal and say that I don't feel the amp, in it's current state, is boring, dull, or what I would call "cold." And I don't think you were disagreeing with me overall. But, could you explain what you meant by my "brain burning in the wrong way?" Thanks!

Oh & point 2 I (also) am still saying I think the current boost is more versatile & generally useful, point 3 I did read your numerical list but I'm more of a visual person anyway, and the E12 graphs are relatively flat (especially compared to headphones) without the boost switch toggled. Where do you define the Hz beginning and endpoints of mids? I avoid describing where one "segment" starts and ends as much as I can.

Edit: the Wikipedia article on THD makes for a decent introduction to negative feedback. Or at least that was my jumping point. I still don't know how to recognize it from a freq chart though.

Apocalypse & Craigster,
As you know from the M-100 thread, there is the technical reality that as the bass levels go higher you sacrifice some tightness and detail (and overshadow the rest of the freq range), BUT I agree with you that good bass and more bass isn't the same thing, and if you favor the bass experience that doesn't necessarily mean you only like one-trick ponies. And that's why I've been telling you guys, the E12 has good bass (& all the rest), but if you want "more" bass then it may not be your cup of tea. I think that when I said a more balanced amping approach works more universally, I ticked off MoeRee (not my intent, but we started arguing a little), but I don't think your bassheads are "wrong."
Edited by Evshrug - 2/15/13 at 7:13pm
post #1253 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Apocalypse  Apo0th3karY wink.gif & Craigster,
As you know from the M-100 thread, there is the technical reality that as the bass levels go higher you sacrifice some tightness and detail (and overshadow the rest of the freq range), BUT I agree with you that good bass and more bass isn't the same thing, and if you favor the bass experience that doesn't necessarily mean you only like one-trick ponies. And that's why I've been telling you guys, the E12 has good bass (& all the rest), but if you want "more" bass then it may not be your cup of tea. I think that when I said a more balanced amping approach works more universally, I ticked off MoeRee (not my intent, but we started arguing a little), but I don't think your bassheads are "wrong."

 

I'm still want the E12v1 for the QUALITY bass, and the fact that it's a sub bass boost, rather than mid bass, which lends to be more atmospheric and rumbling than it being as bass cannon switch. 

post #1254 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apo0th3karY View Post

 

I'm still want the E12v1 for the QUALITY bass, and the fact that it's a sub bass boost, rather than mid bass, which lends to be more atmospheric and rumbling than it being as bass cannon switch. 

 

Are you getting v1?

post #1255 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apo0th3karY View Post

I'm still want the E12v1 for the QUALITY bass, and the fact that it's a sub bass boost, rather than mid bass, which lends to be more atmospheric and rumbling than it being as bass cannon switch. 
Sry for misquoting your name, it was on the last page and I concentrated more on what you said... No offense? Can I just call you Apoth or some other nickname, it would save a lot of time. However, if you demand me to type Apo0th3karY on my iPad every time (takes almost as long as a full sentence, or just this parenthesized thought), then my name is Bannakaffalatta!
But on a more serious note, yes, I do feel the E12 has quality, punchy bass along with similar qualities across the freq spectrum smily_headphones1.gif
post #1256 of 2994

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Typhoon,
I'm not quite sure what I was thinking this morning, I hadn't slept at all. Kept confusing myself more and more as I tried to focus, lol. I was just trying to figure out what you mean by my "brain burning in the wrong way." I, as anyone, don't like to be "wrong," though instead of asking for you to explain that further I tried to backpedal and say that I don't feel the amp, in it's current state, is boring, dull, or what I would call "cold." And I don't think you were disagreeing with me overall. But, could you explain what you meant by my "brain burning in the wrong way?" Thanks!

Oh & point 2 I (also) am still saying I think the current boost is more versatile & generally useful, point 3 I did read your numerical list but I'm more of a visual person anyway, and the E12 graphs are relatively flat (especially compared to headphones) without the boost switch toggled. Where do you define the Hz beginning and endpoints of mids? I avoid describing where one "segment" starts and ends as much as I can.

Edit: the Wikipedia article on THD makes for a decent introduction to negative feedback. Or at least that was my jumping point. I still don't know how to recognize it from a freq chart though.

Oh, lol, my bad.  Yeah, I wasn't really disagreeing with you.  What I meant by the whole brain burning in the other way thing was simply to say that rather than hear truly the effect that the amp had on the sound over time, you heard it right initially and over time started to hear more what you wanted to.  In regards to the actual burn-in of the components, I can't really comment on that, but I can promise that it wouldn't effect the overall sound you were perceiving.  The harmonic balance between even and odd multiples is actually one of the most influential factors on our perception, more so than frequency response, and that's why many (including myself before I understood what was happening) find it a hard time to express how they're perceiving the sound since it feels wrong to state the factually contradicting (like frequency charts).  That lack of presence you were trying to describe in your review had exactly to do with this - the fact that the odd-ordered harmonics are being distorted and are creating a disproportion in the balance of the sound/timbre, creating more prominence over the even ordered harmonics.  It even makes sense that Muse sounded good (at least comparatively) wink_face.gif 

 

Our ears use that harmonic content to determine very different things.  I'll leave it very vague by saying that even harmonics are what's pleasant to us, and when distorted (like tube guitar amps), they create that perceived fullness.  I think you would actually be interested in this so I'm going to make an attachment of an article that goes over pretty much these characteristics and how they directly play into our perception of them.  Many new things may start making sense due to what I can tell the good ears that you have.  Things you very likely perceived will now line up with the some of the actual technical stuff going on.

 

You mentioned that you're not able to tell this apart on the graph.  That's because you can't.  There are so many factors that play into the sound and that's why I always hate people that don't know how to use their ears and rant on how good or bad something else based on some random measurements they found somewhere which usually have little to no baring towards what they're arguing.  

 

Finally, in terms of where one section ends and the other begins, there are actually generalizations but unless you know the effect frequencies have already, describing it only works IMO by actually demonstrating the effects first.

 

EDIT: Attachment removed due to misunderstanding of what was it's current purpose.


Edited by Typhoon859 - 2/18/13 at 2:57pm
post #1257 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

 

Is there something you don't like about the C421? 


I like the C421.  I just wondering if this is worth trying with easy to drive Brainwavz Hm5.

post #1258 of 2994
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSatch View Post


I like the C421.  I just wondering if this is worth trying with easy to drive Brainwavz Hm5.

Not sure if you saw my reply to you in the long list of quoted posts here.

post #1259 of 2994
Typhoon859,
On the other end of not liking to read "wrong," is the positive response to someone saying "you've got good ears." Lmao, thanks, but of course I just hear what I hear, and honestly I know that I don't have great hearing (you should hear my sister's ability to sing! I'm convinced she can have such great pitch & tone in part due to her ears).

But on a more serious note, thanks for taking the time to explain and share info. That's my favourite part about head-fi, so many people willing to share experience and "pay it forward." I'm going to study that PDF, and may even take a crack at trying to explain it (or just repost it) in my Iif I knew then..." thread I've been working on to "pay forward" things people have shared with me.

I do happen to prefer the tube hybrid amp I have, but that's a wall-powered desktop amp that cost twice as much, and it's just a prototype for what the builder intends to release to everyone via eBay some day. Anyway, I'm going to enjoy some Cowboy Junkies and sleep now, be bright and sharp tomorrow wink.gif

Ps can I measure output impedance using a digital multimeter (and headphones)? I happen to have one for tube rolling, would be great to put it to more uses wink.gif
Edited by Evshrug - 2/15/13 at 10:30pm
post #1260 of 2994

Evshrug,

 

Well, I mean, that would depend on the digital multimeter now wouldn't it?..  I can't really give a definitive answer on that.

 

In terms of the PDF, there's no need to study it.  One good dedicated read through it I think would be enough unless there are some specifics in there you could just look back at later when and if you forget something maybe specific.

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