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Review: Fiio E12 (comparison to C&C BH + JDS Labs O2 + JDS Labs C421) - Page 2

post #16 of 232

Many thanks for the review!

 

Didn't know the C&C BH came in a silver casing (from Pollychen).  All previous postings I've run across showed it as black.  Reviewed Polly's ad and noticed no instructions as to specify color.  Prefer the black casing myself.

post #17 of 232
Thank you for this comparison, it is exactly what I have been waiting for. I thought I was sold on the BH but you've brought me back to an E12. Seems like you can't go wrong either way.
post #18 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apo0th3karY View Post

I'm curious to compare the bass between these two on my M-100. I wouldn't say the LF switch muddies the bass on the BH, but it should also be noted that the LF switch also boosts highs a bit. If what you say about the E12's bass is true, It might be my go-to over the BH, but the E12 has a lesser bass boost at +3dB @ 80hz diminishing, and the BH is kind of unknown, but I'm certain it's more than +3dB but I have no idea what the frequency peaks and valleys are.

I think you'll have to decide between having just more bass (quantity)... or having more bass quality.

 

By that, I mean the E12 has noticeably better bass texture, body, and definition. Bass in the E12 sounds legitimately... "like bass". It sounds like Fiio secretly strapped an OPA627 in there somewhere. Well, maybe not that refined, but if you've listened to the OPA627, then you get the idea.

 

The last time I heard bass this good in a portable headphone amp was with the $500 Portaphile 627 when I was at a meet. The cmoyBB 18V with OPA627 also comes pretty close, but it's no match to the clean output and soundstage of E12.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pngwn View Post

I'm truly curious to see how my AD900X will sound through the BH and E12. I'll get the E12 in a month probably after I've spent a good deal of time with the BH. The soundstage of the 900X is already pretty incredible, so I'm anxious to test how OUT 1 and 2 sound with SF on and off. I'm most interested in the bass boost as the 900X could use a bit more, even if they're not exactly anemic. Would be nice to see how my old 700 does, though.

As far as soundstage goes, as I noted, E12 is already about 80-90% the soundstage of BH with SF switch on and Output 2. If BH didn't have that SF switch on, then E12 would have a larger soundstage.

 

It's just that BH also has clarity boost (LF switch) that gives it that little edge over E12 in busy music... like Two Steps From Hell's "To Glory". Instrument separation is much better in BH over E12 in that regard, but it also makes BH sound cold and too analytical in other not-so-busy songs. The echo effect (cavern-like) is especially distracting while listening to acoustic. E12 does a pretty good job of having a large soundstage without any echo effect. And even then, E12 has a lot more depth and layers than BH.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcallen View Post

Didn't know the C&C BH came in a silver casing (from Pollychen).  All previous postings I've run across showed it as black.  Reviewed Polly's ad and noticed no instructions as to specify color.  Prefer the black casing myself.

Yeah? To be honest, the BH is not mine. My brother got it on a trip to Asia about 2 years ago. And he just somehow conveniently "forgot" to mention it until now.

 

They probably stopped making it in silver during that time span.

 

Considering the BH is now 2 years old, and the E12 is a brand spanking new amp, the BH did very well.

 

It's just that E12 is that much better. I don't just lightly consider any amp better than the O2 without good reason.


Edited by Bill-P - 2/2/13 at 9:47am
post #19 of 232

Better than O2. OMG...!
 

post #20 of 232

I couldn't help myself. Just ordered the E12. Will probably arrive before my BH. I'll be sure to post my own impressions between the two amps later as well later this month.

post #21 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by pngwn View Post

I couldn't help myself. Just ordered the E12. Will probably arrive before my BH. I'll be sure to post my own impressions between the two amps later as well later this month.

 

Please let us know. I'm a potential E12 OR BH buyer. Your impressions will make me decide.

post #22 of 232
Thread Starter 

Just a bit of an update.

 

After 2 days, E12 has opened up its sound signature a lot. I personally don't believe in amp burn-in, but... this is exactly what I hear. And I'm comparing to BH, so it's not just in my head.

 

Additionally, I have noticed after using E12 with various sources (my Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 as pictured above, plus plugged directly into my MacBook), that the little amp seems to perform different depending on source. Very noticeably so.

 

Out of my Galaxy S3, E12 has a relatively large soundstage, with a bit of warmth, and smooth treble.

 

Out of my iPhone 5, E12 has also relatively large soundstage, with a hint of sibilance, and edgy treble with lots of air.

 

Out of my MacBook, E12 has massive soundstage. It's easily twice the width and depth of what BH is capable of, which really surprised me. The rest of the sound signature is a mix between the S3 and the iPhone 5. This is the best I have heard out of any portable device... ever!

 

Battery life is indeed around 10-12 hours (note that I'm always at about half-way on the volume knob or above). In comparison, BH can run for days without being turned off.

 

So now I think BH has the portable advantage (smaller size, MUCH longer battery run time), but if it's sound quality, I don't think anything under $200 can touch E12 yet. Maybe JDS Labs C5 will be up to that task, but... until I hear C5, I can't really say.

post #23 of 232

Interesting findings. I think I'm sold to the E12. But please tell me: isn't detail on the BH as much as on the E12? Or is it just about soundstage? Personally I don't care much about soundstage as I like forward mids. And how about the treble? People on the BH thread says the treble resolution is fantastic. Would this be true? Sorry about all these questions, but I'm in the process of buying one of the two amps. Or maybe both and compare myself.

post #24 of 232
Thread Starter 

BH is actually more detailed than E12. E12 sounds smoother, but if I want to be analytical about my music, I'd pick BH.

 

Treble is also better on BH as both the SF and LF switches boost treble to some extent.

 

But if you like a forward midrange, then E12 is more forward.

 

I think it's just a matter of what you prefer. I personally prefer E12's smooth signature over BH, but that's just me.

post #25 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post

BH is actually more detailed than E12. E12 sounds smoother, but if I want to be analytical about my music, I'd pick BH.

 

Treble is also better on BH as both the SF and LF switches boost treble to some extent.

 

But if you like a forward midrange, then E12 is more forward.

 

I think it's just a matter of what you prefer. I personally prefer E12's smooth signature over BH, but that's just me.

 

Thanks a lot. In that case I will prefer BH.

post #26 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atilio View Post

Better than O2. OMG...!
 

 

+1 and thanks for the review Bill.

post #27 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpking View Post

 

+1 and thanks for the review Bill.

 

No problem. I'll be attending the SF Bay Area meet in 2 weeks. There should be at least one O2, and some other portable amps there. Plus more headphones. I'll write up more comparisons after the meet then.

post #28 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by pngwn View Post

I couldn't help myself. Just ordered the E12. Will probably arrive before my BH. I'll be sure to post my own impressions between the two amps later as well later this month.

Awesome! I just got the ad900x headphones as well, so I'm really looking forward to your impressions of the ad900x's with both the BH and E12.
post #29 of 232
Any comparisons to the headstage arrow 4g/3g?
post #30 of 232
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atilio View Post

Thanks a lot. In that case I will prefer BH.

 

By the way, I forgot to mention this, but the ATH-M50 plays better with BH than with E12. And I think I should give BH points for playing nice with warm and closed headphones.

 

Well, it's just another week until I get to do another writeup.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAYNENUMM View Post

Awesome! I just got the ad900x headphones as well, so I'm really looking forward to your impressions of the ad900x's with both the BH and E12.

 

I think there's very good chance that I'll have the chance to audition an AD900X at the meet, so I'll be sure to write up more about that as well.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleDappleman View Post

Any comparisons to the headstage arrow 4g/3g?
 

Sorry, I don't own any of those. So...

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