While going over to see the v-moda booth along with centrance I stopped along the burson audio/firestone audio booth and sat down for a listen. The burson amps were predictable in that they were amazing in both sound and build quality. But what was more interesting was the firestone audio side of the booth. First thing I saw was the firestone mini series of small ultra portable amps; I was actually pretty impressed with the depth of sound that this little amp can give and at just $39.99. As compared to the fiio e5 I thought is was a livelier more adept at handling rock music amp. What was cool is that we were both handed one of these amps for free! Which made it an even better amp. As far as aesthetic it wasn’t the best looking product due to the fact that it is encased in a silicone covering and was not the typical plastic or metal cover for the internals so you may want to take that into consideration. But I would say the thing that gravitated me to this booth was the new firestone audio bobby amp. It was housed in a gigantic wooden box accompanied with a felt/padded internal housing. The amp itself was beautiful with balanced front jacks, a stepped attenuator, and an LCD display that displayed source, stage and gain. Unfortunately this model was a display item only so I asked the gentleman running the booth if I could display the unit and he said not at this time but you can win it. So my buddy and I who attended the show with me were like yeah right nobody wins these things so we both entered the contest and went about our merry way visiting the centrance, v-moda and schiit booths and having grins on our faces for the rest of the show. Well a week after the show my buddy gets a call from firestone audio that he won the amp and that he should have it in a couple of weeks. Well it arrived yesterday in an enormous box that put a smile on both our faces as we pulled it out and connected it. Below are my very noob findings on the amp and my experience with it. We will both post in this thread with what we liked and disliked about it.
Ok here goes, I have been using a schiit Asgard amp for the last year with a combo of headphones, the AKG q701, AKG 272 mkii and beyerdynamic DT 1350’s. I will also be using the same headphones for this comparison. Now as everyone knows by now the schiit asgard is a terrible match for the q701’s so I was looking forward to getting in some time with the 701’s and this amp. What I can tell you is wow finally I have listened to a solid state fully class a amp that can properly power the 701’s. There is depth and detail in albums (cd's) such as wilco summerteeth, norah jones come away with me and o’brother that I have not heard with the schiit and after hooking the asgard back up and listening to the same tracks I can tell you that it is not just my brain playing tricks on me, this is one serious amp. Now the AKG's are not the most base heavy headphone but i found that the mid base of the 701's was improved with this amp along with detail in the midrange. I will post more findings as more time plays on and I get more time to audition (remember this amp isn’t mine) but I can tell already that this is a truly quality amp.
Oh yeah this is what i am using for my sources:
Emotiva USP-1 preamp
Toshiba sd-9200 cd player
Likes so far:
• Push volume for mute, I really like this function, instead of turning it down like on the Asgard.
• Quality and accurate LCD display which shows volume, source, stage and gain.
• Stepped volume control which is very accurate so there are no huge volume gaps between the steps this may have something to do with the fact it is using a PGA2311 volume control chip, there were no clicks between steps.
• Deep detailed presentation does not have a shrill sounding top end with the q701’s.
• Looks amazing and I love the form factor.
More findings to come so stay tuned!!
If firestone wants to send another one to us that would be greatly appreciated so we can both enjoy this quality amp more lol!!