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JDS Labs C5/C5D (pg96) portable amp/amp+DAC - Page 30

post #436 of 3339
the bass boost brought meaning to bass on my dba 02 lol. nice deep rumble (tho it can get quite annoying when the track has accented the bass)
post #437 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

It is a very attractive colour in my opinion. Not very many companies offer portable amplifiers with different colour options, so having something other than the regular 'ol black or silver is a neat offer.

 

I tried the K 701's with "Crysis Warhead" and boy does that bass boost switch do wonders for explosions! I'm loving it so far; the K 701's detail retrieval + imaging + C5's bass boost "theater-effect" explosions.

I was thinking of getting the akg q701 & the c5 - Would you say they have some decent synergy??

The C5 works well for the K 701 for the most part.

 

I was doing some testing between the C5 and O2 again and the C5 seems to be a tad bit brighter than the O2. So in terms of synergy, the O2 might be a better choice for the K 701, but it doesn't sound all that bad. I'm not too familiar with synergy with the K 701, but they do sound good with the C5.

 

Test tracks:

Battles - Futura

Dj CUTMAN - 8-Bit Brawl (ft. S&CO)

post #438 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by jseaber View Post


It's hard to predict the future!

Hahaha...sure John nobody can predict the future, I'm just curious to see if you've got any plans for one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradyoactive View Post

Has anybody tried the C5 with 250 ohm headphones?  I plan on buying Beyer DT250's and I need an amp that can power their 250 ohm impedance.  
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisdent View Post

I have the hd600 and those are 300-ohm.  I haven't tried them yet, but john said the C5 will handle them just fine. smily_headphones1.gif
Driving the DT250 or any high impedance phones shouldn't be a problem just don't forget to change to the high gain setting by pressing the volume control inwards to toggle between 2.5x to 6.5x gain setting.
post #439 of 3339

Since my comparisons between the O2 and C5 are kind of scattered at this point, I'll re-compile them here. I guess this can be a mini-review too since the O2 is kind of my reference amp.

 

(the first amp listed in each bullet-point has the advantage, in my opinion; the order of bullet points is irrelevant)

* Sound:

  • O2 gives the sense of a larger soundstage with more air between instruments; C5 sounds more boxed-in
  • O2 sounds a bit more dynamic; C5 sounds a little duller (not boring dull, but instruments don't sound as "full")
  • O2 has a smoother treble (I don't think smoother is the right word for this, nor is rolled-off, but it's not as fatiguing compared to the C5); C5 sounds a tad bit brighter
  • C5 has a midrange that is is a tad bit more forward and engaging; O2 sounds more laid-back

 

* Features:

  • O2 has adjustable gain settings with removable resistors (1.0x, 2.5x, 6.5x); C5 has fixed gain settings (2.3x, 6.5x)
  • C5 is much more portable in terms of footprint/size; O2 is often considered more transportable than truly portable
  • C5 has a claimed 14-hour battery life (I will need to do a more careful log of the hours I use the C5 for a real-world test); O2 has around 7 hours of battery life from when I tested it
  • C5 has a bass boost switch (+6.5 dB at 80 Hz); O2 doesn't have such a feature
  • C5 has no channel imbalance at even the lowest volume levels; the O2 has a channel imbalance before the ~8 'o-clock position
  • C5 has a re-programmable digital potentiometer (bass boost switch and gain amount are not re-programmable); the O2 doesn't have such a feature
  • C5 has various colour options for the anodized aluminum enclosure; the O2 has a fixed enclosure but with options for the colour of the faceplate

 

To me, the biggest difference in sound between the O2 and the C5 is the larger soundstage. The slightly forward midrange and slightly brighter sound of the C5 are noticeable, but they don't jump at me as being the first difference of sound. For $190 USD, I think the C5 is a great portable amplifier that offers a similar sound to the O2. Unfortunately I can't compare it to anything else worthy of being compared to (JDS Labs c421, Leckerton UHA-4, and FiiO E12 all come to mind), but I do like how the C5 sounds next to an O2, and it is good enough for me to recommend the C5 to someone looking for a more portable O2.

 

Don't forget, the C5 wasn't built to sound like the O2 according to the design priorities of the C5; the THD+N measurements happened to line up with that of the O2 though:

Quote:
C5 is not a response to the Objective2, nor to competitors’ products

 

 


And this might boil down to what I've been curious about recently. Do amps with more power make headphones sound "bigger" and more "full"? The O2 is my reference amp and it packs a lot of power. From the designer's blog, the O2 was built specifically to address the needs of the K 701, or similar hard-to-drive headphones. The slightly "smaller-sounding", less dynamic C5 didn't have such a design goal, but it does supply enough power for the K 701 based on linear extrapolated values.

 

From other threads in other places around Head-Fi, I have received various replies about this. Some people say the O2 supplies ample power to most headphones; other people say higher power amps do indeed sound "fuller" than amps that supply less power and that even if the O2 supplies enough power, sometimes it doesn't sound as "full" as other amps that offer more power. Of course, the way in which the circuit is designed makes a difference too, but I am wondering if anyone here can offer some insight to add to the information I have been gathering about this subject. Again, I do find the O2 to sound more full and dynamic than the C5, but I can't completely say it's due to the power difference.


Edited by miceblue - 3/5/13 at 1:30am
post #440 of 3339

Thanks that is a a very useful review. I hope the soundstage is not that much different as I believe O2 soundstage is already just right, any less would have been just congested. I just have to wait and see. 

post #441 of 3339

Thanks for the detailed comparison miceblue! I've been wondering about getting a little higher quality amp to use beside ZO too. I've mostly been looking at O2 vs C5 vs C&C BH. I think I will rule out O2 even if it's perhaps the most impressive one technically because it has no bass boost option and the battery life is very poor and these other two remains still very impressive at their price point it seems.

 

Now is the question, C5 vs C&C BH? :P BH comes also with a SF switch (soundstage/soundfield modification) which may or may not come handy, haven't heard it so.

post #442 of 3339

C5 definitely. If it's anything like C421, then it sounds better than BH. C421 has both a larger soundstage and more solid bass compared to BH.

post #443 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Thanks for the detailed comparison miceblue! I've been wondering about getting a little higher quality amp to use beside ZO too. I've mostly been looking at O2 vs C5 vs C&C BH. I think I will rule out O2 even if it's perhaps the most impressive one technically because it has no bass boost option and the battery life is very poor and these other two remains still very impressive at their price point it seems.

 

Now is the question, C5 vs C&C BH? :P BH comes also with a SF switch (soundstage/soundfield modification) which may or may not come handy, haven't heard it so.

Dooh, I knew I was missing an amp in my list of amps I hear about but haven't heard in-person before. I'm not sure about the BH amp unfortunately.

post #444 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Thanks for the detailed comparison miceblue! I've been wondering about getting a little higher quality amp to use beside ZO too. I've mostly been looking at O2 vs C5 vs C&C BH. I think I will rule out O2 even if it's perhaps the most impressive one technically because it has no bass boost option and the battery life is very poor and these other two remains still very impressive at their price point it seems.

 

Now is the question, C5 vs C&C BH? :P BH comes also with a SF switch (soundstage/soundfield modification) which may or may not come handy, haven't heard it so.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

C5 definitely. If it's anything like C421, then it sounds better than BH. C421 has both a larger soundstage and more solid bass compared to BH.

 

+1

 

I don't even think the two should be compared. It'd be interesting, but I have a feeling the C5 will outclass the BH everywhere but maybe soundstage, and the sometimes superficial size/portability, I can't say for certain because I haven't heard the C5, but based on objectivity, it's close comparisons with O2, and it's neutrality, as well as the fact I consider the BH a 'fun', configurable amp, they're different amps altogether.

 

That said the BH is a great value at $100; the fun factor, size, dual outputs with diff imp and slightly diff sound, GC - gain control, LF - bassboost/v-shape, and SF- SoundField switches with all their combinations, and the 80 hour invincible battery..... The C5 just seems less 'fun' to me. So I think it all comes down to preference. 

 

I do want a C5 though, it does sound impressive and I've always considered a  C421, I just ended up hopping on the BH train for it's price, and I've been so satisfied with it since, that I haven't even thought about getting a different amp for any reason yet. 

post #445 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apo0th3karY View Post

I don't even think the two should be compared. It'd be interesting, but I have a feeling the C5 will outclass the BH everywhere but maybe soundstage, and the sometimes superficial size/portability, I can't say for certain because I haven't heard the C5, but based on objectivity, it's close comparisons with O2, and it's neutrality, as well as the fact I consider the BH a 'fun', configurable amp, they're different amps altogether.

 

That said the BH is a great value at $100; the fun factor, size, dual outputs with diff imp and slightly diff sound, GC - gain control, LF - bassboost/v-shape, and SF- SoundField switches with all their combinations, and the 80 hour invincible battery..... The C5 just seems less 'fun' to me. So I think it all comes down to preference. 

 

I do want a C5 though, it does sound impressive and I've always considered a  C421, I just ended up hopping on the BH train for it's price, and I've been so satisfied with it since, that I haven't even thought about getting a different amp for any reason yet. 

 

Yea I was figuring you'd say something like that but TBH, I'm not truly looking for "neutrality" I'm a person that is a great fan of "engaging" / fun listen. To me that means a mixture of reasonably strong bass response (not single-note boomy bass, but strong punchy textured bass) with as forward / "in-your-face" mids as possible you can get while still having a big bass coupled with it (I actually hate laid-back / distant sound or hollow midrange for that reason) and pretty neutral and maybe even very slightly relaxed highs but just very little bit, think moderately warm tonality. I hate emphasized/sparkly highs, when it's more sparkly than in real life, then it's too much even if it doesn't cause any sibilance issues etc. I can stand mellow highs better than edgy/harsh highs.

 

ZO v2.1 that I have actually has a bit that kind of signature why I like it (it has more fullier/forward mids than ZO2.3 but equally slightly smoothed out highs), I just would like to have something complementing that amp that is a little less colored in that way with more detail but especially slightly bigger soundstage (ZO make it quite a lot "in-your-face" why there's not much room for soundstage) and slightly more accurate but still has a similar sound signature (just a bit less so).

 

If any1 got any idea which one would fit best, please share! It does sound like C5 would be the best fit, it also has a pretty suitable +6.5dB bass boost for my basshead-in-me-that-will-never-cure needs.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/5/13 at 10:51am
post #446 of 3339
Thread Starter 
Mine just arrived! Will update with impressions later
post #447 of 3339

Totally, I don't think the BH is for everyone, where the C5 is probably more suited for you. I lost interest in the E12 since the C5 came out and impressions arose. It'd be nice to have a more objective amp than the BH, but the BH is still great. Heck I might start losing interest in C5 if I figure I'd rather an O2 for home use and just the BH for portable use, the 80 hours can't be beat.

 

For me, I do love my boosted bass (and it's incurable like yourself), midrange is very important, but I also like sparkly treble; I like warm tonality, but love sparkle and air in the treble region, which is why I love the M-100/BH combo. 

post #448 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Yea I was figuring you'd say something like that but TBH, I'm not truly looking for "neutrality" I'm a person that is a great fan of "engaging" / fun listen. To me that means a mixture of reasonably strong bass response (not single-note boomy bass, but strong punchy textured bass) with as forward / "in-your-face" mids as possible you can get while still having a big bass coupled with it (I actually hate laid-back / distant sound or hollow midrange for that reason) and pretty neutral and maybe even very slightly relaxed highs but just very little bit, think moderately warm tonality. I hate emphasized/sparkly highs, when it's more sparkly than in real life, then it's too much even if it doesn't cause any sibilance issues etc. I can stand mellow highs better than edgy/harsh highs.

 

ZO v2.1 that I have actually has a bit that kind of signature why I like it (it has more fullier/forward mids than ZO2.3 but equally slightly smoothed out highs), I just would like to have something complementing that amp that is a little less colored in that way with more detail but especially slightly bigger soundstage (ZO make it quite a lot "in-your-face" why there's not much room for soundstage) and slightly more accurate but still has a similar sound signature (just a bit less so).

 

If any1 got any idea which one would fit best, please share! It does sound like C5 would be the best fit, it also has a pretty suitable +6.5dB bass boost for my basshead-in-me-that-will-never-cure needs.

 

Not a basshead but I do prefer clean sub-bass(100hz and below) that gives you the impact,weight of a song and a punchy,chest-thumping for the  bass itself but fairly neutral mids and highs...reason for me liking the M-100 so much. Had the BH and E11 and now the Apex Glacier,an old Xenos X0HA-REP and lastly the C5.
Not really sure what would fit you best but will definitely steer you to the C5 biggrin.gif. But I do miss the BH(don't ask me why it's no longer with me).Heck it!! why don't you just get both as the BH is really a fun amp to play with.

post #449 of 3339
Quote:
Originally Posted by rckyosho View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Yea I was figuring you'd say something like that but TBH, I'm not truly looking for "neutrality" I'm a person that is a great fan of "engaging" / fun listen. To me that means a mixture of reasonably strong bass response (not single-note boomy bass, but strong punchy textured bass) with as forward / "in-your-face" mids as possible you can get while still having a big bass coupled with it (I actually hate laid-back / distant sound or hollow midrange for that reason) and pretty neutral and maybe even very slightly relaxed highs but just very little bit, think moderately warm tonality. I hate emphasized/sparkly highs, when it's more sparkly than in real life, then it's too much even if it doesn't cause any sibilance issues etc. I can stand mellow highs better than edgy/harsh highs.

 

ZO v2.1 that I have actually has a bit that kind of signature why I like it (it has more fullier/forward mids than ZO2.3 but equally slightly smoothed out highs), I just would like to have something complementing that amp that is a little less colored in that way with more detail but especially slightly bigger soundstage (ZO make it quite a lot "in-your-face" why there's not much room for soundstage) and slightly more accurate but still has a similar sound signature (just a bit less so).

 

If any1 got any idea which one would fit best, please share! It does sound like C5 would be the best fit, it also has a pretty suitable +6.5dB bass boost for my basshead-in-me-that-will-never-cure needs.

 

Not a basshead but I do prefer clean sub-bass(100hz and below) that gives you the impact,weight of a song and a punchy,chest-thumping for the  bass itself but fairly neutral mids and highs...reason for me liking the M-100 so much. Had the BH and E11 and now the Apex Glacier,an old Xenos X0HA-REP and lastly the C5.
Not really sure what would fit you best but will definitely steer you to the C5 biggrin.gif. But I do miss the BH(don't ask me why it's no longer with me).Heck it!! why don't you just get both as the BH is really a fun amp to play with.

I think the ZO2 has the best rumble for the sub-bass, but I like the wide-band "theater" bass of the C5's bass boost. The ZO2 definitely sounds great with the M-100 and is a better bass boost in the sense that it can be adjusted, but the C5's bass boost is actually quite handy for the M-100 as well for noisier environments.

post #450 of 3339
Thread Starter 
+1 on C5 bass boost, very well done.
First impression, cleaner than C421, more sparkle in the highs. Will be updating as I listen more
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