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Fire Phoenix DAC-02 / the odac->o2 desktop rival - Page 8

post #106 of 244

Got the Fire Phoenix in today. It shipped on 10/19, so that was pretty fast. The ebay seller was really good about communication. I hope that the quality control issue LaRzZa had was a fluke cause this is a good seller with a good product.  

 

Initial impressions: I plugged into a PC via USB (used an Amazon Basics USB cable I already had and didn't test the included USB). I did a quick 15 minute comparison with my Sansa Clip+ using Ultrasone HFI-780s and various flacs. The bass in the 780s benefit from amping beyond what the Clip can do. Definitely helped in that regard, and had a least as much clarity as the Clip (if not better--but don't want to say more without more critical listening).  The reason I tested this first was that it's going to be a gift for my son who has a Clip+, a PC with crappy onboard audio, and an HFI-580. Now that I heard it, I know he'll love having the Fire Phoenix hooked up to his computer. I have no doubt it will make the bass on the 580s sound great.  

 

Next, I plan to spend a little time with it and the Xonar STX and FiiO E17 and other phones. My "guess" (based off audio memory) is that it will at least be comparable to the E17, if not better. For a desktop DAC/amp definitely seems worth the $105.

post #107 of 244

Took a half hour tonight to listen to the Fire Phoenix in comparison to my Xonar STX. I couldn't tell much difference. With the HFI-780 and ATH-A900X, it was nearly identical. With the SR225i, I thought I could hear slight differences in bass response, but it could be my imagination (I'm a little tired and suffering some listening fatigue). But I am fairly confidant others would probably find the Fire Phoenix and the STX more comparable than different. 

post #108 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Took a half hour tonight to listen to the Fire Phoenix in comparison to my Xonar STX. I couldn't tell much difference. With the HFI-780 and ATH-A900X, it was nearly identical. With the SR225i, I thought I could hear slight differences in bass response, but it could be my imagination (I'm a little tired and suffering some listening fatigue). But I am fairly confidant others would probably find the Fire Phoenix and the STX more comparable than different. 

A common occurrence in my audiophile experience. Thank you for being honest.
post #109 of 244

@kiteki:

 

Thanks for the technical explanation. Since changing those chips would improve the amp only, I decided to leave the FP as it is and not fiddle with it. I am happy with it as a DAC only.

 

What I do have on my wishlist, is a dedicated headphones amplifier. In fact I have no loudspeakers at all (well, I have some small ones for the computer), I use the old receiver solely as a headphones amp.

 

So although I am happy with the sound, I think this DAC gets close to the maximum you can get out of my headphones, maybe a better amp could improve sound a little bit more, and after that I guess you need a better set of headphones, etc. etc.. wink_face.gif

 

Guess I'll be watching Dsnuts' posts closely , looks cool, one of those 'lamp'- amps'.  tongue.gif

post #110 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryname View Post


A common occurrence in my audiophile experience. Thank you for being honest.

 

Well, I'm not in the camp that all DACs and amps sound the same. But I do think there becomes a point where DACs and amps are designed in such a way that the sonic differences can be below the threshold of hearing such that the audble coloration introduced by the entire electronics path of the DAC/amp is negligible. Different independent tests of the STX indicate that it is pretty much at that point or better (assuming in a a PC that doesn't add noise) except for the low impedance output (around 10 ohm) that could add some minor audible coloration to 32 ohm phones like the Grados. Given what Kiteki has said about the components of the Fire Phoenix, I fully expected it to have the potential to be a neutral sounding device. 

 

So that's my bias. And that amount of testing is good enough for me. I figure if you can't easily tell a difference with electronics, it's not worth worrying about it to the point of having to do ABX testing. I'm more interested in the difference between headphone/speaker models since that is a change/upgrade that will often be very audible. 

post #111 of 244

700

700

Burning a new FP-02 and my new Bravo amp. I know these tube amps need several hours of use before they bring out 100% sound. Paired with the FP-02. It takes away some of the clinical tuning of the FP and adds a bit or warmth to the sound which was what I wanted the amp for.  The sound is more fuller just as detailed but with even a wider sound and fullness with a touch of warmth. So far so good this combo sounds great using my UE6000 and my earphones.. I also tried this amp with my Sony Z1060 plugged into it..Great deals on both the FP-02 and this Bravo Ocean tube amp.

 

Ya 2 is better than one. Actually I like these FP-02 so much I bought another one for a bday gift for a friend of mines.

post #112 of 244

I am having issues with my FP.   Seems like there is a volume imbalance,  right side sounds louder.

Cant touch the jack/plug on the FP , makes noise and i loose volume.

post #113 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdohc View Post

I am having issues with my FP.   Seems like there is a volume imbalance,  right side sounds louder.

 

At all volumes or just at low volume?

post #114 of 244

At any level,   rough estimate is   100% right side    80% left side.
To the trash it goes, i am not sending these back, it would be expensive for me..... you live, you learn.............

 

i am not the first with quality control issues, so i cant recomend it.


Edited by rickdohc - 11/1/12 at 1:23pm
post #115 of 244

Ya this is a shame as I got 2 perfectly working ones..QC seems to be an issue with these DACs. 3 people I know already with issues. Not good at all.

post #116 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdohc View Post

At any level,   rough estimate is   100% right side    80% left side.
To the trash it goes, i am not sending these back, it would be expensive for me..... you live, you learn.............

 

i am not the first with quality control issues, so i cant recomend it.

 

You are right, you can't recommend it if there are too many failures. Someone before you also had inbalance probs, maybe a technician would know where to look with this problem.

 

Before thrashing it I would check if both the amp AND dac are faulty, maybe it works wel as a dac only. You almost think they use a dodgy potmeter, but what do I know. ;-)

post #117 of 244

ok,  you guys know that my english s$cks and i am in a bad mood, so i will try to explain here.

 

in the picture, thats how i have to set it to have a "balanced" sound.  if i move the slider to the exact oposite side, i almost cant hear the left side cause the right side is louder, something i would expect, the right side is louder.

 

SQ is good, no issues there, but.........................

 

700


Edited by rickdohc - 11/1/12 at 2:06pm
post #118 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

 

At all volumes or just at low volume?

 

Both of mine have slight channel imbalance at low levels, my 2nd is better in this respect but on both the imbalance is very slight with 150ohm (HD580) and 250ohm (DT880) and at listening levels (above 8'Oclock) the imbalance is gone. Still not good especially if using small volume range. With the DT880s I have to put the volume to at least 1/2

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsnuts View Post

Ya this is a shame as I got 2 perfectly working ones..QC seems to be an issue with these DACs. 3 people I know already with issues. Not good at all.

 

Have you tried yours at low levels ? It is not a big enough flaw to put me off as it does not become a problem with my headphones , but I also have the same slight issue on my Zero - cheap pots I guess

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickdohc View Post

ok,  you guys know that my english s$cks and i am in a bad mood, so i will try to explain here.

 

in the picture, thats how i have to set it to have a "balanced" sound.  if i move the slider to the exact oposite side, i almost cant hear the left side cause the right side is louder, something i would expect, the right side is louder.

 

SQ is good, no issues there, but.........................

 

700


Edited by nick_charles - 11/1/12 at 5:18pm
post #119 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

Both of mine have slight channel imbalance at low levels, my 2nd is better in this respect but on both the imbalance is very slight with 150ohm (HD580) and 250ohm (DT880) and at listening levels (above 8'Oclock) the imbalance is gone. Still not good especially if using small volume range. With the DT880s I have to put the volume to at least 1/2

 

It sounds like a problem with the volume control; I have the same problem with my Audioengine A2. AE said the volume control (potentiometer) which they use may, at low levels, have (audibly) mismatched resistance in the two channels. Better pots apparently don't have this problem but they're much more expensive than the ones we're getting in our hardware. This particular symptom doesn't appear to affect every A2.

 

AE apparently won't replace the pot under warranty -- not that I tried -- but instead provide work-around instructions similar to this:

 

Reduce the gain setting and increase the volume setting into the region where the channels aren't imbalanced. I'm not familiar with the DAC-02, so this may not be possible (or you may not want to do it.)

post #120 of 244

@rickdohc I understand you are in a bad mood that your FP is not working properly, been there done that. I have not got my FP back yet so i can not say if it's worth sending it back, but you can look up how much it would cost you and from there see if it is worthwhile. I had some luck when i sent back my FP i paid the wrong price on shipping. it cost only for me to send it to Hong Kong. It was not traceable and not insured but was worth it. so i grab a MH1C for the price i saved on shipping! Now it remains to see when i get back my FP and how it sounds. Maybe it arrives before Christmas. I hope everything works out with your FP. 

beerchug.gif

It is sad that many others have problems with their FP:s too. I have sent back my FP to "it.box" for a replacement and it arrived to him yesterday. bigsmile_face.gif

He has listened to it but could not see any problem with it except that OPT light not working. 

I'm pretty sure that if he turns the volume down to zero so can he hear the imbalance between channels, then he should hear the difference in sound if he listens first to the right and then the left side because it is much less bass in the left channel on my unit. 

 

I did a test on my girlfriend before i returned my FP. biggrin.gif

 

1. When play music throught FP.  (she could not notice anything wrong)

I can not blame her for that when it sounded ok, but very thin and a bit strange to me. If I compared it with my O2 amp (my first DIY), it was a big difference and it blew the FP out off the water!

 

2. Let her listen only on the right side (she say: ok)

 

3. Let her listen only on the left side. (she say: it's less bass on this side!)

There was one problem that caused it sounded weird and she also find it.  bigsmile_face.gif

 

4.Turn the volume down to zero, still playing music. (She noted the imbalance between channels)

I can also hear some noise, but I did not tell her about it.   

 

5.Only have the power cord and headphone connected to the FP, no USB or other cables. (she could hear the noise in the left channel)

Mission complete!

 

The day i get back my FP, I will replace the pot if it's still a bit unbalanced. which I think it will be. I would also like to reduce the gain to get more out of the volume control and not blow out my eardrums if i slip on the volume control, but will see what happens with it when i get back my FP.  

 

Good luck to all with your FP's and happy listening 700

 

To be continued....


Edited by LaRzZa - 11/2/12 at 5:54am
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