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iCAN Amp Review: A New Amp that Gives You More: More Bass, More Soundstage and More Detail - Page 11

post #151 of 374
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsync89 View Post

I recently get to know this product while searching for FA-003 Ti. Some had coupled this with it and apparently it had a pretty good result.

 

Just some background of my current not-so-audiophile audio setup. I myself owned the original FA-003 and FiiO E-17 DAC/Amp and I am very tempted to upgrade to this iCan for its much wider soundstage (3D-like). What keep me puzzles is the connection with my PC. Can I extend my setup and use the following connection to channel the sound?

 

Laptop <--> Fiio E17 DAC <--> iCan Amp <--> Fischer FA-003.

 

Hope to get some feedbacks before I go along this route. Thanks.

 

It is usually fine to use a DAC/Amp as just a DAC. Most stand alone DACs still have some amplification, so the extra amplifier  in a DAC/Amp is not a problem. It is usually recommended to set the volume on the DAC/amp to full volume, and then use the volume control on the stand alone amp (iCAN) to control the listening level. The iCAN has both 1/8" and RCA inputs, so you should have no problem hooking it up to the Fiio E17.

post #152 of 374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post

It is usually fine to use a DAC/Amp as just a DAC. Most stand alone DACs still have some amplification, so the extra amplifier  in a DAC/Amp is not a problem. It is usually recommended to set the volume on the DAC/amp to full volume, and then use the volume control on the stand alone amp (iCAN) to control the listening level. The iCAN has both 1/8" and RCA inputs, so you should have no problem hooking it up to the Fiio E17.

 

I see. Thanks a lot for the explanation. Actually I even have a crazy thought to purchase the combo of iDac and iCAN but I don't think the purchase is justified since I really should extend my setup instead of changing it altogether. In fact my FiiO E17 ages not even half a year old.

 

In your comment, I assumed that there shouldn't be any major difference in just using FiiO E17 instead of iDAC? What keep me thinking is whether the E17 DAC is good enough to provide a clean sound signal to the end side of iCAN.

 

In short, I imagine that basically what I need to do is connect the headphone jack output in my E17 to the input port of iCAN and then everything is set?

 

PC <--> [USB] Fiio E17 [3.5mm to RCA cable] <--> [RCA port] ICAN <--> [Headphone Jack output] FA-003

post #153 of 374

If I'm not mistaken, the Fiio E17 has a 3.5mm line out so the iCAN will work with the E17 performing DAC duties. I'm currently testing the iCAN amp myself and it accepts 3.5mm and RCA inputs.

post #154 of 374

Yea you are right. The Fiio E17 do have a 3.5mm line out. I would assume the performance wise the E17 and iDAC should not cause much impact to the final sound? Care to share your experience on using it with and without the iCAN? The highly touted X-Bass and 3D is the main reason I'm going for it for my Fischer FA-003 (the original, not the Ti) as it is said to bit a bit shy on the low frequency range. I also read somewhere that it is not recommended to turn both of these features at the same time as it will cause the sound to be muffled?

 

So far iCAN is priced at around NTD 8300 here in Taiwan. Although a tad bit pricier than the retail but that's the easiest and fastest route to get it without having to resort to oversea delivery.
 

post #155 of 374
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsync89 View Post

Yea you are right. The Fiio E17 do have a 3.5mm line out. I would assume the performance wise the E17 and iDAC should not cause much impact to the final sound? Care to share your experience on using it with and without the iCAN? The highly touted X-Bass and 3D is the main reason I'm going for it for my Fischer FA-003 (the original, not the Ti) as it is said to bit a bit shy on the low frequency range. I also read somewhere that it is not recommended to turn both of these features at the same time as it will cause the sound to be muffled?

 

So far iCAN is priced at around NTD 8300 here in Taiwan. Although a tad bit pricier than the retail but that's the easiest and fastest route to get it without having to resort to oversea delivery.
 


I do think the source can affect the sound quite a bit, but check it out for yourself. If you can buy the iDAC and return it, maybe you could do some comparisons with the Fiio. I use a Tera Player to feed the iCAN, so I do not have any experience with the Fiio.

 

I almost always use the x-bass and the 3D at the same time. The sound is not muffled at all, and in fact is wonderfully clear.

post #156 of 374

Thanks for the feedback Nirmanalow.

 

It's too bad that they didn't have product refund after purchase in this country of Taiwan. I supposed I will purchase iCAN first and see how well it fares with the Fiio E17. Hope will get it arrived soon.
 

post #157 of 374
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsync89 View Post

Thanks for the feedback Nirmanalow.

 

It's too bad that they didn't have product refund after purchase in this country of Taiwan. I supposed I will purchase iCAN first and see how well it fares with the Fiio E17. Hope will get it arrived soon.
 


I use the for sale section on headfi to fund my hobby. If I buy something and do not like it, I can almost always find someone who will buy it from me. Of course, I lose some money if I buy it new, but it is still works out to a lot less than I would have spent over the years :)

post #158 of 374

Has anyone compared iCAN to the amp part of HDP?

 

For a transportable setup my Concero and HDP amp sound OK with my LCD-3, but I have a problem with digital noise at some volume levels, most certainly due to the switched power supply for HDP and another switched power supply for my laptop (the noise disappears when running on batteries). I don’t know if iCAN would be a better investment than a Sbooster (from Squeeze-upgrade, €134,95) linear power supply for my HDP. I guess iCAN will be lighter with its power supply, but I already own HDP... and I don’t know if there will be any digital noise or not with iCAN.

post #159 of 374

Just realized that Fiio E17 has a LO (Line Out) bypass switch that requires another additional L7 accessory. Just wondering whether the line out is needed to prevent double amping if I combo it with iCAN? Or can I just simply use the headphone 3.5mm jack output and directly connect it with iCAN?

 

FYI the E17 also has its own amp.

post #160 of 374
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsync89 View Post

Just realized that Fiio E17 has a LO (Line Out) bypass switch that requires another additional L7 accessory. Just wondering whether the line out is needed to prevent double amping if I combo it with iCAN? Or can I just simply use the headphone 3.5mm jack output and directly connect it with iCAN?

 

FYI the E17 also has its own amp.


You can use the headphone output as mentioned, or the line out would of course also work. Maybe try the headphone out and see how it sounds before paying for the accessory, although I see the line out dock is only $9.46 on Amazon.

post #161 of 374

I see. Yea thanks for letting me know. I don't think the differences would be subtle unless the Fiio E17 has a bad internal amp that result in a huge distortion which is later amplified by iCAN.

post #162 of 374

Hey guys, finally got my hand on both iFi iCAN and Sennheiser HD 600 together today!! ** Happy ** Just a quick review here.

 

At first glance, the packaging of iCAN really looks like Apple iPhone style design. And I meant the whole packaging, even in the interior ones. Seriously, even the smell of the box itself is very similar to Apple box! 

 

Anyway the packaging is not the main interest here. Just listening to almost half an hour now and I'm really impressed with the overall sound signature and 3D feature. It really does expand the HD600 soundstage by some degree and make listening to vocal and orchestra music very pleasing. I haven't really used the X-Bass switch as I think HD600 really handles the bass well, and I'm not a basehead XD Now by all means I'm not a seasoned audiophile but I can easily compare the soundstage different by turning the 3D switch on and off.

 

One thing I realized is that when connecting Fiio E17 to the iCAN via headphone jack, I need to max out the volume on the E17 (i.e. 60) and tune the volume knob on the iCAN to almost half way down to achieve a normal listening level. I wonder whether it is normal. Anyways it's not a big issue here. 

 

 

 

 

Edit: Upload photos.


Edited by dsync89 - 5/24/13 at 3:22am
post #163 of 374
Thread Starter 

That is great! Enjoy your new amp!
 

post #164 of 374

I just picked up an iCan amp the other day. normal_smile%20.gif

 

Curiosity about the soundstage feature got the better of me (I'm a soundstage whore redface.gif), and I had to try it out myself.  So far this seems to be an excellent little amp, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

 

Thanks for your review Nirmalanow.  It was really detailed, and I agree with a lot of what said in terms of how the Xbass and 3D switches tend to behave.  I also agree that it pairs quite well with warm headphones since it gives them a welcome boost to soundstage and air on the 3d setting.

After I've spent more time with it I will post some impressions of my own... 

 

 

FYI the version I have (and I assume all of the latest versions) comes with selectable gain via dip switches on the bottom.  The gains choices are 0dB, 10dB, and 20dB.  This should be a welcome feature.


Edited by chicolom - 5/25/13 at 10:49pm
post #165 of 374
Hi,

Can you take a picture of the switch at the bottom for the selectable gain? Mine doesn't have that.

Thanks.
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