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Sony PHA-1 portable DAC/amp - Page 33

post #481 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

The Pico Slim is also probably not a fraction as advanced as the PHA-1. 

(Before the flame starts: I said advanced, not better.)

Perhaps! But I still enjoy the PHA-1 compared to the pico slim!
post #482 of 495

Very good point. battery duration is not all that matters. I hate to say that the PH-2A does have much better battery life than the PH1A. I wonder if maybe we can swap out the battery for the new version and get same life

post #483 of 495

So I just acquired a PHA-1...

 

Very good and clear amplifier. It easily outpaces many devices around its price point.

 

Battery life is not poor at all. I get 4.5 hours with digital input from my iPhone.

 

As an amp, it lasts for 11 hours with my Vita, which is not shabby at all.

 

The selling point? That BASS! Oh god... I have not heard bass this good from any portable device at all! It's impactful, visceral, textured, and super solid without any hint of giving up. I'm truly floored. This should be a default basshead amp.

 

Man, I've long forgotten how good bass sounded like. This is a very pleasant awakening indeed.

 

Edit: digital input from my MacBook lasts... forever. I have kept the PHA-1 plugged in today for... 14 hours, and it's been used sporadically without being turned off during that time period. So it looks like the PHA-1 still charges from USB input of a computer. Unless I'm missing something. The charging indicator is also off by the time I turn the amp off, hinting that the battery is full.

 

So it's just that LED that's not lighting up.


Edited by Bill-P - 4/20/14 at 12:46am
post #484 of 495

Can I use the iPhone charger to charge the PHA-1? 

post #485 of 495
I think it would as long as you're connecting it to the mini usb on the amp,although it will take longer to charge the sony unless it's one of the more power full ipad chargers.
Sony do mention there is a optional charger for the pha-1(the AC-UD20)I looked up the specs for it on sony's website and managed to find a sony/Ericsson one on eBay with the same specs(5v-1500ma)
.Couldnt find the proper sony one for sale anywhere.
I hope this helps.
post #486 of 495

I used the PHA-1 as a desktop amp for lack of a desire to upgrade to be honest for the past year or two. My experience from forgetting to turn it off has been interesting. It seems like after several hours of no input it just shuts off. I have no idea the exact timeframe as it only happened a couple times when I was really tired. The next day after work I just turned it off, back on, and it worked just fine the whole night. It seems like being plugged in while on maintains charge. My basis on that theory is when it was dead I charged it for about 20min used for the evening on pc and when I went portable the battery died about an hour later. 

post #487 of 495

It strikes me that as far as the used market is concerned the PHA-1 is probably the best value out there in portable DAC/Amp combos.

Can anyone think of anything better for the same price?

post #488 of 495

If no iDevice compatibility is necessary, then the Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II can be had for much cheaper, and IMO, it's about on par with the Sony PHA-1. Plus it has coaxial and optical input, which still sound better than USB to my ears.

post #489 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post
 

If no iDevice compatibility is necessary, then the Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II can be had for much cheaper, and IMO, it's about on par with the Sony PHA-1. Plus it has coaxial and optical input, which still sound better than USB to my ears.

 

 

Yeah, I was asking if there was anything better out there for the same price. I think the idevice compatibility is quite a feature set to lose. This makes it less of a machine or bargain IMHO.

post #490 of 495

Well, iDevice compatibility also means a downgrade in sound quality since you are losing out on sampling rate and bitrate, so you are stuck with CD-quality at most.

 

Not to take anything away from the PHA-1, of course, since it is still one of the better gears that I have owned for a while. But just to say... you could get better from the PHA-1 if they had included optical input instead of an iDevice input.

post #491 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post
 

Well, iDevice compatibility also means a downgrade in sound quality since you are losing out on sampling rate and bitrate, so you are stuck with CD-quality at most.

Uh, actually, any sample rate higher than 44.1 kHz is strictly worse because it allows supersonic (inaudible) frequencies to exist, which then intermodulate with frequencies we can hear, causing (audible) distortion. Furthermore, bitrate is dependent on the encoder and has almost nothing to do with the source itself, and every iDevice I know of can handle uncompressed WAV @ 44.1/16 (1411 kbps) just fine.

 

So yeah, I don't see how you could possibly be losing anything sound-wise based on what you just said.


Edited by takato14 - 8/20/14 at 11:17am
post #492 of 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

Uh, actually, any sample rate higher than 44.1 kHz is strictly worse because it allows supersonic (inaudible) frequencies to exist, which then intermodulate with frequencies we can hear, causing (audible) distortion. Furthermore, bitrate is dependent on the encoder and has almost nothing to do with the source itself, and every iDevice I know of can handle uncompressed WAV @ 44.1/16 (1411 kbps) just fine.

 

So yeah, I don't see how you could possibly be losing anything sound-wise based on what you just said.

 

There is no guarantee that ultrasonic intermodulation would actually exist in any given system when ultrasonic information is present. A good amp (or pre-amp circuit in a DAC) should be able to filter ultrasonic information out by employing a properly designed low pass filter, but even that may not be necessary if the whole chain can faithfully reproduce these ultrasonic frequencies, and then they will be inaudible either way.

 

Ultrasonic intermodulation might be a problem with lower-end "just work" gears as you say, but it should not be a problem with higher-end audio-centric gears, and it should not be a problem that Sony engineers can't overcome in a product of the PHA-1's caliber.

 

Employing higher sampling rate allows for easier and more elaborate anti aliasing filters to be used. The end result may not be "accurate" or "faithful" to the original, but at least it is more "agreeable" in the analog domain than some sharp digital steps and spikes within the music that are very unnatural. Also better anti aliasing filter helps with ringing, and since ringing is already such a problem with most headphone systems, I don't think anyone would like to exacerbate that.

 

Also the 16-bit bit depth may be causing dynamic range to shrink... depending on the recording, so at least there are benefits to going "higher" than 44.1KHz/16-bit. 44.1KHz/24-bit should be the norm if "accuracy" is the goal, ignoring analog benefits mentioned above. The bit depth is where we are losing things... sound-wise.

 

Last but not least, I implied the difference in data transfer quality between USB and fiber optic... Sony does not mention asynchronous USB mode for iOS, only for PC, and I don't think we need to go into another debate regarding async USB. In practice, I do hear a difference between 44.1/16 on my iPhone 5 and 44.1/16 on my MacBook when using the PHA-1, so I would assume that USB input for iOS on the PHA-1 does not include async USB.

 

And beyond that, 44.1/16 sounds harsher and grainier than 96/24 on my MacBook (in fact, Macs seem to have an issue where the PHA-1 may not work at all without it running at 96/24), so...

post #493 of 495

hi folks,

does anyone know how/where to get a replacement charger for the PHA-1.  Mine was accidentally thrown out in a cleaning.  Bummer.

Sony indicates that there is an optional USB AC adaptor AC-UD20.  If anyone knows where to get one I'd appreciate it.

thanks,

Cantastic

post #494 of 495

I charge my pha-1 with a usb to micro usb cable and let it charge while i sleep since my comp streams power to certain slots even while shutdown. Not sure if you're referring to something more specifit but any usb to micro usb should work just fine to charge the amp. 

 

*edit for clarification* there are tons of wall plugins with usb outputs. with a usb to micro cable any of those should work. a replacement shouldn't require much of a hunt. i have no clue what happened to my original cable i've just used whatever usb to micro cable is closest to charge the amp. 


Edited by betamix - 8/23/14 at 1:34am
post #495 of 495

many thanks.  I ended up tracking down an AC charger on a Sears website of all places.  

http://www.sears.com/new-ac-wall-charger-power-adapter-cord-for/p-SPM8197586217

 

good to have it back in operation.

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