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JDS Labs C5/C5D (pg96) portable amp/amp+DAC appreciation + discussion thread - Page 160

post #2386 of 2693
What were you using before the C5D?
post #2387 of 2693

I compare with ODAC/O2, which I have ready to compare at all times.  :D

post #2388 of 2693
I've been researching the C5D and the consensus seems to be that it's a fairly transparent amplifier and...

Hang on, idea. Do you actually have the ODAC/O2 there with you? If so, is it possible for you to route the signal from the ODAC to the amplifier section of the C5D, thus bypassing the O2 and the DAC in the C5D? My Fiio allows that.
post #2389 of 2693

Of course I have it, how would I test it if I didn't? :p Yes, I've tested that, and the C5D amp recesses the sound of the ODAC.  Dunno why.:confused: 

post #2390 of 2693
So it's the amp section that's the problem and not the DAC? I kinda expected the reverse if anything.
post #2391 of 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

So it's the amp section that's the problem and not the DAC? I kinda expected the reverse if anything.
The C5D's DAC does indeed sound different than the ODAC to me. The ODAC sounds more open and transparent, the C5D a tad bit warmer and more congested.

The amp part is a bit brighter than the O2, as I indicated in my C5 review (which shares the same amp section as the C5D).
post #2392 of 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

So it's the amp section that's the problem and not the DAC? I kinda expected the reverse if anything.

 

I've a/b switched between the c5d and my other amps, including my apogee audio interface, which includes a very nice apogee dac. I find the c5d to be the same excellent flat response as the apogee. The apogee is used in music studios for it's reference quality. I don't hear any differences at all. I believe most people would find the same is true of the odac and o2 if they did a blind test.

 

If you have a headphone that requires the greater power of the o2 you might hear a difference, but most of the earphones and headphones mentioned thus far are more than capable of being driven by the c5d. I think the biggest difference people here between amps and phones comes down to two main factors. Output impedance and expected response of their earphones.

 

As an example, someone might have an earphone that has recessed treble. They pair it with an amp that is brighter than normal with a less than optimal high output impedance and find the sound to be reasonably neutral to them. They get the c5d, which is flatter than most rulers, and the the low output impedance results in their earphones sounding as they were designed under optimal conditions. This reveals the recessed treble and sounds more warm to them. Thus, they then think the c5 is a warmer amp.

 

Or similarly, with a different earphone and amp, the earphone may have boosted treble. The amp's high output impedance dampens the treble so it sounds reasonably neutral to the user. When they switch to the c5d, the low output impedance reveals the true boosted treble response, and they think the c5d is a bright amp.

 

I have compared over at least 30 high-end phones in the last year with various amps and devices. I believe the c5d is an incredibly neutral amp and dac. I find no audible difference comparing it with any other good quality amp. This is based on double blind switching. The c5d will give you reference sound if you have phones that it can properly power. Sure, you can discuss "synergy" and things like that, but it is my opinion that if you are going to describe the sound of an amp itself and call it bright or warm, you need to take it out of the context of one single phone. I personally take reviews with a grain of salt if I don't know the reviewer well or they don't do any blind testing. It is too easy, even when you're aware of the effect, to think you hear something because you are expecting it. This has been scientifically shown to happen with audio comparisons.

 

The c5d is a neutral amp/dac with a well chosen double bass boost selection and a reasonable amount of power for most phones on the market. I don't see any problem matching an amp to an earphone you like and be happy with the sound, however, I'd get an accurate amp first and then match an earphone to the amp personally. The change in earphone will make more difference than the change in amp. And some earphones are very customizable with simple mods, resistor adapters, etc.


Edited by luisdent - 3/22/14 at 12:52pm
post #2393 of 2693

Have you tried leckerton?  What is most high end iem you tested it with?

post #2394 of 2693

Could someone please confirm if this is a good match with UERM's?!?

post #2395 of 2693
Thread Starter 

I must agree with luisdent, with all the headphones i've tested over a long time, i have never found the C5/C5D to be unnatural in bass, mids or highs. The highs are not over pronounced or bright, the bass is not unnatural, it is all just very linear and neutral. It doesn't alter the signature as such, just tightens and refines. Never taking away any body of the core sound signature. 

 

It may sound this way if you have come from a relatively warm source, or from a source with higher output impedance.

post #2396 of 2693

I dunno, I'm comparing it to ODAC/O2 which the goal was lowest distortion, output impedance, neutral sound possible.  There is a blog that proves that measurements(image captures of the FR and triggers), and my listen sessions with very high end iems such as the 334 and 836 backs it up.  Higher end phones are very revealing  of sources so it's easier to decern performance of the sources.


Edited by SilverEars - 3/22/14 at 3:26pm
post #2397 of 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

I dunno, I'm comparing it to ODAC/O2 which the goal was lowest distortion, output impedance, neutral sound possible.  There is a blog that proves that measurements(image captures of the FR and triggers), and my listen sessions with very high end iems such as the 334 and 836 backs it up.  Higher end phones are very revealing  of sources so it's easier to decern performance of the sources.
And you are comparing them how? Are you unplugging phones and switching gear? You'd be surprised how much that can affect comparisons. If you think the difference is great enough to be "easily" noticeable, then even the designer of the o2 would disagree. And if the differences are smaller, i wouldn't be so sure without a more proper test.
post #2398 of 2693

To me difference is easily decernable when I compare them.  To me the difference matters, to others it may not matter as much.  By no means am I saying this is a bad DAC/Amp, but ODAC/O2 tops it.  None of my gears have yet to match ODAC/O2 yet in terms of what like to hear out of the headphones.  I was a bit let down because I'm searching for ODAC/O2 level or better for a portable.


Edited by SilverEars - 3/22/14 at 3:39pm
post #2399 of 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I've a/b switched between the c5d and my other amps, including my apogee audio interface, which includes a very nice apogee dac. I find the c5d to be the same excellent flat response as the apogee. The apogee is used in music studios for it's reference quality. I don't hear any differences at all. I believe most people would find the same is true of the odac and o2 if they did a blind test.

If you have a headphone that requires the greater power of the o2 you might hear a difference, but most of the earphones and headphones mentioned thus far are more than capable of being driven by the c5d. I think the biggest difference people here between amps and phones comes down to two main factors. Output impedance and expected response of their earphones.

As an example, someone might have an earphone that has recessed treble. They pair it with an amp that is brighter than normal with a less than optimal high output impedance and find the sound to be reasonably neutral to them. They get the c5d, which is flatter than most rulers, and the the low output impedance results in their earphones sounding as they were designed under optimal conditions. This reveals the recessed treble and sounds more warm to them. Thus, they then think the c5 is a warmer amp.

Or similarly, with a different earphone and amp, the earphone may have boosted treble. The amp's high output impedance dampens the treble so it sounds reasonably neutral to the user. When they switch to the c5d, the low output impedance reveals the true boosted treble response, and they think the c5d is a bright amp.

I have compared over at least 30 high-end phones in the last year with various amps and devices. I believe the c5d is an incredibly neutral amp and dac. I find no audible difference comparing it with any other good quality amp. This is based on double blind switching. The c5d will give you reference sound if you have phones that it can properly power. Sure, you can discuss "synergy" and things like that, but it is my opinion that if you are going to describe the sound of an amp itself and call it bright or warm, you need to take it out of the context of one single phone. I personally take reviews with a grain of salt if I don't know the reviewer well or they don't do any blind testing. It is too easy, even when you're aware of the effect, to think you hear something because you are expecting it. This has been scientifically shown to happen with audio comparisons.

The c5d is a neutral amp/dac with a well chosen double bass boost selection and a reasonable amount of power for most phones on the market. I don't see any problem matching an amp to an earphone you like and be happy with the sound, however, I'd get an accurate amp first and then match an earphone to the amp personally. The change in earphone will make more difference than the change in amp. And some earphones are very customizable with simple mods, resistor adapters, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ostewart View Post

I must agree with luisdent, with all the headphones i've tested over a long time, i have never found the C5/C5D to be unnatural in bass, mids or highs. The highs are not over pronounced or bright, the bass is not unnatural, it is all just very linear and neutral. It doesn't alter the signature as such, just tightens and refines. Never taking away any body of the core sound signature. 

It may sound this way if you have come from a relatively warm source, or from a source with higher output impedance.

From what you guys are saying it would seem my original plan to swap out my Fiio E18 and replace it with the C5D in a bid to tone down the treble and add overall warmth to my AKG Q701's might be fruitless.

That's fair enough I guess. I buy the argument that the ideal amplifier is a straight wire with gain.

Valves it is then.
post #2400 of 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I've a/b switched between the c5d and my other amps, including my apogee audio interface, which includes a very nice apogee dac. I find the c5d to be the same excellent flat response as the apogee. The apogee is used in music studios for it's reference quality. I don't hear any differences at all. I believe most people would find the same is true of the odac and o2 if they did a blind test.

If you have a headphone that requires the greater power of the o2 you might hear a difference, but most of the earphones and headphones mentioned thus far are more than capable of being driven by the c5d. I think the biggest difference people here between amps and phones comes down to two main factors. Output impedance and expected response of their earphones.

As an example, someone might have an earphone that has recessed treble. They pair it with an amp that is brighter than normal with a less than optimal high output impedance and find the sound to be reasonably neutral to them. They get the c5d, which is flatter than most rulers, and the the low output impedance results in their earphones sounding as they were designed under optimal conditions. This reveals the recessed treble and sounds more warm to them. Thus, they then think the c5 is a warmer amp.

Or similarly, with a different earphone and amp, the earphone may have boosted treble. The amp's high output impedance dampens the treble so it sounds reasonably neutral to the user. When they switch to the c5d, the low output impedance reveals the true boosted treble response, and they think the c5d is a bright amp.

I have compared over at least 30 high-end phones in the last year with various amps and devices. I believe the c5d is an incredibly neutral amp and dac. I find no audible difference comparing it with any other good quality amp. This is based on double blind switching. The c5d will give you reference sound if you have phones that it can properly power. Sure, you can discuss "synergy" and things like that, but it is my opinion that if you are going to describe the sound of an amp itself and call it bright or warm, you need to take it out of the context of one single phone. I personally take reviews with a grain of salt if I don't know the reviewer well or they don't do any blind testing. It is too easy, even when you're aware of the effect, to think you hear something because you are expecting it. This has been scientifically shown to happen with audio comparisons.

The c5d is a neutral amp/dac with a well chosen double bass boost selection and a reasonable amount of power for most phones on the market. I don't see any problem matching an amp to an earphone you like and be happy with the sound, however, I'd get an accurate amp first and then match an earphone to the amp personally. The change in earphone will make more difference than the change in amp. And some earphones are very customizable with simple mods, resistor adapters, etc.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ostewart View Post

I must agree with luisdent, with all the headphones i've tested over a long time, i have never found the C5/C5D to be unnatural in bass, mids or highs. The highs are not over pronounced or bright, the bass is not unnatural, it is all just very linear and neutral. It doesn't alter the signature as such, just tightens and refines. Never taking away any body of the core sound signature. 

It may sound this way if you have come from a relatively warm source, or from a source with higher output impedance.

From what you guys are saying it would seem my original plan to swap out my Fiio E18 and replace it with the C5D in a bid to tone down the treble and add overall warmth to my AKG Q701's might be fruitless.

That's fair enough I guess. I buy the argument that the ideal amplifier is a straight wire with gain.

Valves it is then.

 

Yes, that would be my opinion of a great amplifier. Something so transparent you don't know it's there. It just makes things louder. With the dac as well. Deliver the audio files as they are with no alteration. In both cases, it is possible to improve a source and therefore have it change the sound, and vice versa. But in the most basic sense, it should be as if this is no amp in the chain, just more power as tim the tool man taylor used to say. :-) (Just don't let him mod your amp)

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