I ordered one a couple of days ago (oct. 2e), but haven't even received a tracking number yet. Maybe 2 weeks is optimistic.
I did pay with Paypal, and today I got my traking number. The package is still in Hong Kong, and will be shipped on oct. 9..
I'm not saying this is an unreliable shop, I don't know that (yet). Let's hope this DAC is worth the wait the fact it is coming from the other side of the world, and when customs will tax it extra, it will have cost me just about the same as a brand new Pro-Ject USB Box, which I could have bought here in town.
So you ordered it on the 2nd of October and it's shipping on the 9th of October, international shipping with tracking for around $15 USD.
It depends on where you live of course, but for $90 USD I don't think customs will add very much tax.
His seller feedback is normal and you are protected by paypal.
Just buy it and enjoy the heavenly sound.
Here it is in China - http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=14615697064
Tailor the sound to your liking by replacing the JRC chip (it's easy, you only need a tweezer) -
The links above are to classic high-end choices, AD797AR and OPA627AP.
Thx for the information. I am not worried about this shop if you should think so, I was just thinking that 2 weeks delivery time may be a bit optimistic. There will probably be some tax, up to about 30 euro (I'm in Utrecht, The Netherlands-Europe), so overal costs will be about 120 euro.
About those replacement chips, that does look interesting, but I haven't even got the package yet, so it is a bit to early for me to start thinking about modding it. ;-)
Anyway, once it arrives I will post my 'review', but it won't be very useful because I have no other DAC's, so I can't compare it to another. I want to use it mainly as a DAC, not as a headphones amplifier, connected to an old Technics receiver, driving my recently bought headphones Sennheiser HD558 (modded).
The sound coming from an equally old Technics CD-player is good, not mindblowing but good, however the sound coming from the computer connected to the receiver is, well, rubbish. So if this DAC lifts the quality of the sound to at least that of my antique CD-player, I would be happy.
Maybe in the link computer-DAC-receiver/amplifier-headphones, the receiver is the weakest link, so maybe it is better to leave it out of the link alltogether, and use the DAC's headphones amplifier instead.
We'll see how it turns out.
I'm sure your review will be perfectly useful to users in a similar situation to you.
Welcome to the forum.
P.S. If you want to blind evaluate the Fire Phoenix compared to your CD player or sound-card you can perhaps use a switcher box like this one - http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Way-Audio-Video-AV-RCA-Switch-Switcher-Splitter-Cable-/320987949321
4 ins, 1 out.
I find it easier to play the song from the start on each device, rather than switch while the song is playing - I think that may create an illusion of sameness just my point of view.
It seems like the Fire-Phoenix really isn't known well here, I've searched high and low for anything on this dac/amp and this forum is the only thing I could find on it.
I just ordered the Shiyun DAC-05 for $180 from eBay to use with my new Beyer DT-880 600ohm. Can't wait for it to come in!!!
I'm just worried if something breaks or malfunctions, it's going to be a MAJOR hassle to exchange or fix.
My FP has arrived, I'll share some impressions. It arrived in a plain box, together with a photo-copied sheet of paper which is the manual. In the box there were an USB-cable, powercord and headphones adapter (to 3,5).
The unit looks and feels well made, weighs exactly 670 grams, its LED's are blue and it's about the size af two packs of cigarettes, installation on Windows XP was plug and play, and it makes a 'tick'-sound when you switch it on.
I'm testing it with the equipment I mentioned in an earlier post. All sorts of music, from Sonic Youth to Bowie to Kraftwerk to Tom Waits. First something about the headphones amp. It appears to sound a little more precise then then when I'm using the Technics as amp, but maybe a little thinner. Although with tiny adjustments using foobars equalizer it gets better, but at this moment I don't know yet which I prefer, both are sounding great.
Compared to the CD-player, this DAC clearly wins. Although the CD-player doesn't produce a bad sound, especially in the higher frequencies it sounds 'harsher' then the DAC, not to be confused with a more 'clear' sound, because the DAC sounds very clear indeed.
However, for all I know every modern DAC sounds this way. Basically all I can definitely report for sure is that it outshines an old CD-player. And that it does. It turns my computer in a giant CD-player of, in my view, very good quality. That is exactly what I wanted. Much happier now with my new headphones too, the Senn 558 turnes out to be pretty good.
Can I recommend it Fire Phoenix? That depends, again, I cannot compare it to other DAC's, and If something similar can be bought for the same price in your neighborhood, then that would be better of course. Can I recommend it for what it is as a machine? Yes, I can, it does what it is supposed to do, and does this very well.
To be honest, I didn't have to pay extra taxes, something which probably has something to do with the fact that the seller marked the box as containing an 'ÚSB-soundcard', value 20 US dolars, and that it was a gift. So all in all I got it for a little less then 90 euro. Considering its, in my small opinion, excellent sound quality, that was a very good investment. I would have bought a similar DAC much earlier if I had known they existed.
Final thoughts: As mentioned earlier by someone else, the volume knob also affects the DAC's output, which is something to think about if you switch headphones alot, my 'tests' were alle being done via USB (I'll make sure that my next computer has an optical output), and finally, the problem someone reported, being that the DAC overheated due to a poor USB cable (the one they supply), I cannot reproduce. Even after hours it doesn't get hot, not even warm, ok, maybe a slight touch, but that would be caused by the built-in power transformer (I think).
Anyway, overall pretty happy with this device. I've seen DAC's of over 5000 euro, and they MUST be alot better, but how they can ever be 5000 euro better then this little device, no idea, not a clue.
I also have 2 questions, the first one is @kiteki: The replacement chips you mentioned earlier, what do they improve, the DAC-part or the headphones amp-part, or both?
Second question is if it would serve any use, on a machine with a Realtek HD audiochip (on Windows XP), to install ASIO-drivers as some recommend?
Fingers crossed. still waiting for my unit.
Oh wow sorry to hear that. That sucks. You try optical or Coax if you have way of hooking that up? That does sound like you got a lemon. Also I know for a fact they throw in crap cables with that dac. I would try a different cables and once you do let music play through the system for the day. You never know it might fix whatever issues your having. The only problem I had with mines was the packed in usb cable was making my DAC warm up a bit too much. Causing it to shut off by itself. I ended up using an older cable I had on hand that fixed the issue..