Originally Posted by KLJTech
I'm curious to see what your finding are. I like the E12 a lot, its my primary portable amp...I don't know that its the equal of the Asgard 2 but its certainly a great amp for the money. Of course, the DAC is rather important here too, I enjoy the FiiO X3 (my primary DAP) but I don't know that anyone claims that its on par with the Gungnir or the Bryston BDA-1. Low price digital is getting pretty damn good.
Anyway, I was simply saying that I was surprised by the level of sound quality I was getting from the W40's by plugging them into the office setup after thinking I had a handle on what they were capable of. The post I was responding to commented that the C5's and/or IEM's didn't seem to improve much from being used with home audio gear. Maybe in most case he's correct, I don't know, I simply know that the W40's sounded noticeably better from my office setup than from my portable setup. I don't think that's too outlandish a statement.
I think ones state of mind when they're listening matters as well, I was working and NOT listening for an improvement from my IEM's but they certainly got my attention. I look forward to your findings with the A/B switch and both amps. Take care.
I just gave it a quick shot, ahh the temptation. I used my HE-500's which need some measure of power. I had my Asgard 2 on high gain with the volume at 11 O'Clock, which is a touch on the loud side for most people. I volume matched the E12. I did a quick listen with the choral in Beethoven's 9th 4th movement and some fusion jazz.
Damn E12 sounded great. I'll have to listen more carefully when I have some more time to see how it handles peak dynamics. Flipping the switch didn't reveal any differences and I really like that Asgard 2. I've been A/B comparing all sorts of amps and I'm begining to feel that this field is overloaded with excessive imagination. There are amps that sound like crap but those a poorly designed and not a good representation of the field at large.
I didn't compare the noise with sensitive IEMs or SQ with higher impedance cans like my HD600's, I'll have to listen more carefully for IM and TIM (Transient Intermodulation Distortion) but so far the damn thing works better than anyone might expect. Contrary to what some folks say about soundstage limitations, that didn't pan out, but I will listen more carefully to be more certain of this The HE-500's require more power than most typical headphones and the E12 did a good job of it. If one tries an HE-6, neither amp can really deliver enough power, but that's in a smaller field of power hungry cans.
It is vital to match volume very carefull or else one will hear differences due to the way we perceive FR at different volumes (Fletcher-Munson). Fail to match it one wrong way and you might think the E12 sounds better.