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JDS Labs C5/C5D (pg96) portable amp/amp+DAC appreciation + discussion thread - Page 58

post #856 of 2656

Can I assume that when connecting my laptop to the C5, I should tell the laptop that I'm using Line Out?  Whenever anything is plugged into that jack, I get a pop-up asking what I've plugged in.  Usually it's Headphones, but I'm guessing Line Out would be the right choice for the C5.  TIA.

post #857 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

1. I would say an external amp for a car stereo system isn't necessary based on my experience with the O2 and C5. With my setup (iPhone, FiiO L3, C5, cassette tape adaptor, car stereo system), the C5's bass was really distorted at high volume levels out of the C5, and was even worse with the bass boost on.

Adding an amp has only helped in every case I've seen. Many car auxiliary inputs expect 1V, 2V or even 4VRMS line input, and have a high impedance input. So, pre-amplification is generally helpful in reaching the maximum signal input.

Huh, I didn't know that. I wonder what kind of input I've been using then with the cassette tape adaptor. It was originally bought to connect an iPod Video to the car's speaker system but the sound quality was bever up to par with CDs.
post #858 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by cujobob View Post

hifimeDIY has a USB hub for iPad that may work for an iPod so that you can connect a DAC.

 

Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I'm 95%+ sure that only the iPad allows connection to a regular DAC (via the camera connection kit IIRC) and that the same technique does NOT work for iPod and iPhone.

post #859 of 2656

I can confirm John's statement that the sound is improved when adding an amp.  I triple amp using my Cowon Z2 > C5 > car stereo and it sounds great.  Even when I was using the CmoyBB it sounded good.  Definitely better than going directly from DAP to car stereo.  Also, from the Ipod Classic Rockbox thread, Saratoga mentioned that even when you use a LOD, the signal is still amped when coming out of the Ipod, it's just that Rockbox automatically sets the volume to 0db.  So in fact, you will be triple amping, just like me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post

Just got the tracking # for my RED C5 smily_headphones1.gif  This is my first headphone amp, but based on everything I've read herein, I have great expectations. I'll be using it with a 160 GB Rockboxed iPod Classic (all FLAC, all the time wink.gif ) and a Toshiba Qosmio laptop (probably at 24/96, though it'll do 24/192), with, mainly K550s, and occasionally Phiaton PS210s (iPod only). I expect the Bass Boost may come in handy with both.

 

I do have a couple questions that I'm sure y'all can answer.

 

  1. Is there any point/value in using the C5 with a car stereo? Normally I just go from the iPod's phone jack to an AUX in I hooked up for the Pioneer. Now I'll be using the LOD I got along with the C5, but I'm not sure the C5 is really needed. That would be double amping, yes? Anyway, curious to hear what you have to say.
  2. What about a DAC, like the ODAC? I've done a bit of research, and I gather it could improve the sound out of the laptop. Can the ODAC be used in a portable setup with the iPod? Aside from power issues, my guess is NO, as the iPod is Rockboxed.

 

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who asked pertinent questions and posted reviews and advice.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post

 

Adding an amp has only helped in every case I've seen. Many car auxiliary inputs expect 1V, 2V or even 4VRMS line input, and have a high impedance input. So, pre-amplification is generally helpful in reaching the maximum signal input.

post #860 of 2656

 

Figured I'd show off my portable rig in here since the c5 has a lot to do with how good it sounds. Not sure if it was intentional, but the ipod classic and the c5 housing are nearly the same color....I personally love how they look and sound together.

post #861 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonbmet View Post

 

Figured I'd show off my portable rig in here since the c5 has a lot to do with how good it sounds. Not sure if it was intentional, but the ipod classic and the c5 housing are nearly the same color....I personally love how they look and sound together.

 

What fiio line out are you using? I have one but it's too long so that it I feel like it is putting too much stress on both ipod and amp; I haven't stacked them for that reason...

post #862 of 2656
Looks like the FiiO L9.
Here is a picture of my setup with the FiiO L9 (from the other side):
http://www.head-fi.org/content/type/61/id/805087/

I am using a Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 LOD now though.. and it sounds very good by the way! :-)
post #863 of 2656

Any one pair the C5 with a Colorfly C3?  If so, I would love to hear your impresions.

post #864 of 2656

I posted my impressions in the FiiO E12 thread, but I definitely think the C5 is worth the price difference.

 

Comparisons to C5:

In short, I'd say the C5 is worth the price difference between the E12 ($60 USD).

  • More pocket-friendly interface
  • More portable form-factor
  • More space for jacks on the front-plate
  • Easier-to-use volume controls
  • Deeper, larger "theater" bass boost [perhaps pre-mass-release E12 would have been like this]
  • Larger soundstage with better instrument separation
  • Closer in sound to my reference amp, Objective 2
  • Clearer midrange
  • More detail in the treble
  • More fatiguing during long listening sessions
  • No channel imbalance
  • No noise on high-gain mode

Edited by miceblue - 4/18/13 at 1:22am
post #865 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

 

What fiio line out are you using? I have one but it's too long so that it I feel like it is putting too much stress on both ipod and amp; I haven't stacked them for that reason...


It's the fiio L9. It fits pretty well, but I think I'll replace it soon...its the weak link in the line now. I really like the moon audio cable on the m80's so I might pick up one if their LODs.

post #866 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

I posted my impressions in the FiiO E12 thread, but I definitely think the C5 is worth the price difference.

 

Comparisons to C5:

In short, I'd say the C5 is worth the price difference between the E12 ($60 USD).

  • More pocket-friendly interface
  • More portable form-factor
  • More space for jacks on the front-plate
  • Easier-to-use volume controls
  • Deeper, larger "theater" bass boost [perhaps pre-mass-release E12 would have been like this]
  • Larger soundstage with better instrument separation
  • Closer in sound to my reference amp, Objective 2
  • Clearer midrange
  • More detail in the treble
  • More fatiguing during long listening sessions
  • No channel imbalance
  • No noise on high-gain mode


I have the fiio e11...not sure how it compares to the e12, but the C5 definitely has the e11 beat in detail. The volume control (looks similar to the e12) is hard to turn when stacked on my ipod. Power wise they seem about the same to me. The only thing I like better on the e11 is the multiple bass boost settings. Even on the highest e11 bass boost I find it listenable. The C5 is just too much for me. I like your term 'theatre' bass boost as that's all I could use if for....actions movies.

post #867 of 2656

Does the bass more controlled than JDSLabs C421 OPA2227 based and does the bass more punchy than O2 without toggling the bass boost on? Still wondering about the bass performance in stock form, since that is one reason I avoid O2. I like to have more punch than O2 provide, and if C5 repair that, I'll consider getting this.

post #868 of 2656

Here is my impression so far.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Some quick impression on JDS Labs C5 vs C421 and O2 - First, C5 is definitely an overall improvement over C421-AD8620 and much closer to the neutrality of O2. The bass boost however is also noticeable boomier than C421, likely because C5 bass boost is wider. Not bad per se, but I prefer C421's bass boost a little more. C5 sounds like a 'baby O2', the only difference I have noticed so far is on the soundstage. Depth is comparable but width is about 5%~10% smaller. The small compression might leave an impression of warmth - but in close listening, it really isn't warmth or forwardness. It is in fact a smaller image IMO. However, the difference is not something most will take note of unless listen to both side by side. Overall, I'll call C5 a solid winner for now. More detail will be covered in the review.

post #869 of 2656

Oh, forgot to mention that the initial measurement puts output impedance at 2 ohm.

post #870 of 2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Here is my impression so far.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Some quick impression on JDS Labs C5 vs C421 and O2 - First, C5 is definitely an overall improvement over C421-AD8620 and much closer to the neutrality of O2. The bass boost however is also noticeable boomier than C421, likely because C5 bass boost is wider. Not bad per se, but I prefer C421's bass boost a little more. C5 sounds like a 'baby O2', the only difference I have noticed so far is on the soundstage. Depth is comparable but width is about 5%~10% smaller. The small compression might leave an impression of warmth - but in close listening, it really isn't warmth or forwardness. It is in fact a smaller image IMO. However, the difference is not something most will take note of unless listen to both side by side. Overall, I'll call C5 a solid winner for now. More detail will be covered in the review.

Nice impressions ClieOS.

 

 


I was browsing JDS Labs's blog page yesterday and it looks like they updated the measurements section to include a 32 Ω load.

Quote:
THD+N (20-20kHz, 32 Ω) 0.0045%
Max Output @ 32Ω 1.010 VRMS

 

Output impedance (slightly different from the original measurement of 2 Ω):

Quote:
Output Impedance 2.2 Ω

 

The battery life specs have also been updated:

Quote:
Battery Run Time 11-14 Hours

 

I still find disagreement with the battery charging time though (it takes approximately 2.5 hours to charge my C5 from dead to fully-charged from the two times I tested; unless the charging LED turning off doesn't really indicate the battery is fully-charged):

Quote:
Charge Time 2 Hrs to 80%, < 4 Hrs to 100%

 

The firmware for the C5 has also been slightly updated (v1.0.4 or v1.0.5 now):

It looks like the main change is the delay for the C5 to turn on and stabilise

Quote:
delay(200); [instead of the original 50]   // Wait for power to stabilize
digitalWrite(PWRVOLLED, LOW);   // Turn Power LED on, turn gain and bass LEDs off [bass and gain LEDs? possible D.I.Y. things since there is no bass nor gain LED]
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