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Fire Phoenix DAC-02 / the odac->o2 desktop rival

post #1 of 244
Thread Starter 

Discovered this yesterday.

 

1000

 

 

 

Looking at the internal components, this looks like an excellent all-in-one unit.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FIRE-PHOENIX-DAC-02-CS4398-LM4562-MINI-USB-DAC-Headphone-Amplifier-/180738679826

post #2 of 244

I've read that the CMedia USB chip they are using is really poor in terms of jitter. Way below the Tenor unit in the odac. And without an ESS dac chip to help clean it up, the result probably suffers. Just a guess though. 

post #3 of 244
Thread Starter 

I'll agree with you that is one of the suscpicious components, all I have to convince me otherwise is this,

 

"USB digital receiver: CM102 , SPDIF signal output is adopted for this product.( CM102 part of the digital output , JITTER is superior than PCM chips)"

 

...from their ebay listing, and then this -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mhdt-Labs-192-24-USB2-0-to-SPDIF-Converter-USBridge-/120892829053

 

If you look at page 2 here -> http://dhost.info/mhdtlab/USB%20Driver/USBridge%20User%20Manual%20R1_3.pdf,

 

 

Anyway, this uses optical and coax IN, not out, so you can easily bypass the USB chip if desired, for example with the Tenor chip you like featured in the SMSL SD-022 -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMSL-SD-022-DAC-USB-input-coaxial-optical-output-TE7022-24Bit-96K-/290710781463


Edited by kiteki - 8/4/12 at 1:43pm
post #4 of 244

I think they are saying the CM102 performs better than the Texas Instrument PCM2702 and others in that series. But that's like saying your car is faster than an 88 Toyota Camry 4 cyl. It may be true but it isn't saying much.

 

You're right though, using a different input would solve that particular problem. A lot of these ebay units have the popular chips though, and for a layperson like me, there's no way to know if it is a good layout or not. 

post #5 of 244
Thread Starter 

The important component in my view is the Cirrus Logic CS4398, that's the flagship Cirrus Logic DAC chip.  I've been hunting for the Colorfly CK4 which also uses it and gave up and went for a DIY desktop DAC which uses it to try it out, then I discovered this unit the next day.

 

On top of the Cirrus Logic flagship it uses the LM4562, and then JRC5532 (same as in the objective2 amplifier).  If you include the SMSL SD-022 it comes to $105 + $46 = $151 total.

 

The ODAC+O2 costs $285 from JDSlabs so I decided to shine light on it in this thread.

post #6 of 244

I just got my Fire Phoenix. OMG!! The sound is un freaking believable out of the box. If this improves with more use I can't see how this can sound better. Kiteki. This beats everything I have used to date not by a little either. 

post #7 of 244
Dsnuts, can compare the Fire Phoenix with any other DAC/amps?
post #8 of 244

Edit - Sorted.


Edited by Gee Simpson - 9/5/12 at 10:22am
post #9 of 244

can this use as a portable.
 

post #10 of 244

I don't have one (yet), but it's got a power adapter, so I would say no.

post #11 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnuts View Post

I just got my Fire Phoenix. OMG!! The sound is un freaking believable out of the box. If this improves with more use I can't see how this can sound better. Kiteki. This beats everything I have used to date not by a little either. 

A review possible dsnuts?  alsowhat other usb Dacs have you used that this is better than?

 

Thanks

post #12 of 244

Well Try n keep my space not so cluttered with sound equip at my business where this was purchased for so I have been just using my Titanium HD in my desktop for music which has a nice Burr-Brown PCM1794 sound chip. Does the job and I have not had reason to upgrade much as I also use this card for gaming which is still the best card for gaming imo.

 

So while I was happy I know there is much better sounding chips out there in audioland and I also keep a laptop with an external Crative card for a burn in station. I decided to leave that set up alone as it does the job perfectly which lead me to this Fire Phoenix.

 

I don't know what it was about Kiteki's post and wanting to try a newer DAC that had me get it but I bit.

 

So what's the sound difference from my Titanium HD?. The Titanium HD sounds nice enough but I wouldn't consider it to be hi fi by any stretch. This Fire Phoenix? I am not surprised this sound chip on this is used in much higher end DACs. What I am hearing right now is Hi fi for certain..From the same HA-S500 that I have been using just the instant change in SQ is as follows.

 

Bigger stage for one. Much bigger sense of stage especially using the ATH velours. These now do sound like a higher end semi open phone more than anything closed. Sound has much more space to work with.. Better textured. Tighter bass, tighter much more defined mid section with 3D image like layering. Much better articulated highs. Some of the best I have ever heard ever from any headphone and that is from the same HAS-500..The instrument separation is perhaps the most shocking. Think FXD80 but much grander scale. It does sound like I am standing in the middle of a room full of high end speakers. I would try out my FXD80s on this but it is on loaner right now. Timing. lol.

 

Vocals have so much depth and fullness. Everything sounds simply more high end. Like going from a Cassette to a CD..I told Kiteki on a PM that I would give this a go. I might as well. Wow am I glad I did.. I give huge props for finding this one. This DAC is not just a little leap in sound from my previous set up at my business but a big one..Props to you Kiteki!.

 

Don't let the stale boxy looks fool you guys. The sound that I am hearing from this DAC is all class. I simply can't believe how this sounds from a Cheapo dac. It is without a doubt simply one of the best audio purchases for me in a while.


Edited by Dsnuts - 9/5/12 at 3:20pm
post #13 of 244

If possible I would like to know what other dacs you are comparing this to for reference/preference over? what is your ownership history with usb dacs etc? it would just make it easier to quantify.

 

the impressions sound good, and actually i quite like the looks, simple and industrial.

 

 

thanks stozz

post #14 of 244

Beyond my stereo set up I use at my home. I have just used my Titanium HD on my desktop at my shop. I have a E11 I use with my Sony Z1060 but beyond that I have a big collection of headphones and earphones so I wanted something new to use them with. This Fire Phoenix is excellent sounding and that is just from the USB to one of my laptops. I am hardly a Dac expert but I love what I am hearing. It beats up on the old Titanium HD that is for sure.

post #15 of 244

Thanks for the fast response dsnuts, ill hold off for now until a few more dac experienced users pick it up which im sure they will do.

 

Thanks for the impressions and taking the plunge on something that looks quite promising.

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