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Initial Impressions of the Fostex HP-A8 DAC Amp - Page 2

post #16 of 38

I'm doing something wrong. After flashing with 2.01B and running a number of Blue Coast DSDs  through HQPlayer(DoP Marker selected), then FooBar2000 1.1.6 with DSD and DSP converter libs, then JRiver - I still get only a crummy 192.0k showing. Under the A8 menu, I tried enabling DSD over PCM and back again - no joy, then Direct>On - no joy. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hmmm...I am not familiar with HQPlayer but this is good feedback for Fostex. I use Audirvana+ and after I set Native DSD Compatibility to DoP (standard 1.0), I have no problems and get the USB DSD 2.8MHz on my HP-A8 display.

 

There's a possibility that Fostex may not have tried all software players for the HP-A8.

post #18 of 38

So, how does the HP-A8 perform as a headphone amp? 

Has anyone compared it to a Luxman DA-200, P-1u, AT-HA5000 or the phones out from a Marantz SACD or UD Player?

post #19 of 38

I have a Marantz SA8003 and have plugged in a LCD2 rev.2 into the headphone out - no contest. Compared with (OK, this is not fair but the SA8003 feeds it through Kimber Silver Streak) my Lebel CS300X and the A8C, the soundstage and dynamics are compressed. It's actually not bad - depending on what you're comparing it to.

post #20 of 38

All is well after advice from HQPlayer's Jussi - DSD 2.8MHz! Fischer's interpretation of Mahler's 2nd - spellbinding! Channel Classics - good production values + 2L's free downloads..

post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPManiac View Post

I have a Marantz SA8003 and have plugged in a LCD2 rev.2 into the headphone out - no contest. Compared with (OK, this is not fair but the SA8003 feeds it through Kimber Silver Streak) my Lebel CS300X and the A8C, the soundstage and dynamics are compressed. It's actually not bad - depending on what you're comparing it to.

 

So if I get it right the HP-A8 is way better than the SA8003 as a headphone amp?

The LCD2 is pretty hard to drive though and needs a lot of juice. Any low impedance (closed) cans you tried both amps with?


Edited by AppleheadMay - 11/19/12 at 8:36pm
post #22 of 38

By the way, does the HP-A8 handle all sample rates natively or does it upsample some? 44/48/88/96/176/192

post #23 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

By the way, does the HP-A8 handle all sample rates natively or does it upsample some? 44/48/88/96/176/192

Native & upsample. Options are up to you.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post


Native & upsample. Options are up to you.

 

Ah thanks. I always use native and hate it if one of the sample rates isn't supported.

post #25 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post


Native & upsample. Options are up to you.

 

Ah thanks. I always use native and hate it if one of the sample rates isn't supported.

The menu options basically offer 1x, 2x & 4x but a max of 192kHz. i.e. if you had 96 it'll just 2x up sample. & at 192 it wouldn't up-sample at all.

But I'm kinda with you. Mine is set at 1x native.
post #26 of 38

Have you tried some tube amp? I know for sure Benchmark is not hard to beat SQ wise. All in one unit always has its drawback.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay View Post

 

So if I get it right the HP-A8 is way better than the SA8003 as a headphone amp?

The LCD2 is pretty hard to drive though and needs a lot of juice. Any low impedance (closed) cans you tried both amps with?

That's my take on it as far as sound quality is concerned. The SA8003's headphone output is (to my mind) a little more than just an afterthought but it really is out of its league in the company mentioned. As far as closed 'phones are concerned, I have tried a ATH-ESW10Jpn, a Senn HD280Pro, a Beyer DT1350 and the AKG K550s with the SA8003. The K550s were the most listenable.

post #28 of 38

Understood. 

I know the SA-KI Pearl's output but don't have one. It should be on par with the 8003.

The NA7004 I have would probably be a bit less.

And the PM-KI Pearl less again, I found the quality of the phones output of Marantz amps (not talking about the vintage gear) not to be as good as the ones on their players.

 

So either it'll be a HP-A8 or a NA-11S1 with a Zana ... again.

Bit of a price difference though. :)

post #29 of 38

Just got this baby. Am listening to it on my LCD2s. One track I used to hear clipping (using HD650s and other gear) in the voice of a female singer is now smoothed over which makes me happy not to hear this annoying imperfection as I did before.

post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by navii View Post

Just got this baby. Am listening to it on my LCD2s. One track I used to hear clipping (using HD650s and other gear) in the voice of a female singer is now smoothed over which makes me happy not to hear this annoying imperfection as I did before.

 

Welcome to the HP-A8 bandwagon! It's actually quite a decent DAC/Amp. What firmware are you on?

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