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iCAN Amp Review: A New Amp that Gives You More: More Bass, More Soundstage and More Detail - Page 18

post #256 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel View Post
 

I have to chime in.

I recently purchased an LCD-3 (the original plan was to go for the LCD-2, but I got a good deal on a s/h LCD-3).

I have heard it with the Woo WA6-SE, Lehmann Black Cube Linear and the iFi iCan.

The Lehmann was not a good match with the LCD-3, they sounded very sterile together.

With the Woo the LCD-3 sounded very relaxing, a bit bloated and on the VERY warm side.

With the iCan the LCD-3 came alive! Dynamic swings, big BASS and airy highs - a match made in heaven (and the iCan goes for only $250!).

 

If it wasn't for the dealer I would not have had looked at the iCan, he insisted that I'll try them (as he also represents Audeze and knows they are a very good match).

My budget was $1000 but I settled for a $250 head-amp - I think this says a-lot...

 

Hehe...I don't know if it is the size or the price that make most people think that this is not a great amp. 

post #257 of 629
Indeed. I'm using my iCAN to drive Beyerdynamic T1's and this is a match made in heaven. The iCAN is every bit the equal of the headphone amp in my Audiolab 8200CDQ and every bit the equal of the Beyerdynamic A1 which costs almost 4 times the price.

That you get useful 3D, crossfeed and two-stage bass boost features as well and with no loss of sound quality is icing on the cake.

I have since obtained iUSB Power, iDAC and iTUBE and I can honestly say they all punch well above their price points. The iTUBE is perhaps the most subtle and difficult to tie down what sonic difference it makes. All I can say is that spending a period of time with it and then another without, it is definitely missed. Longer listening sessions ensue when the iTUBE is in use.

My iDAC is still running in so I can't fairly compare it to the CDQ yet but early listening is very promising.
post #258 of 629
I was curious about the pairing of the Custom One Pros with the iCan. On paper it seems like it would be interesting to be able to adjust BOTH the hp and the amp with varying types of music. Anyone have any direct experience with this combo?
post #259 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeakez View Post

I was curious about the pairing of the Custom One Pros with the iCan. On paper it seems like it would be interesting to be able to adjust BOTH the hp and the amp with varying types of music. Anyone have any direct experience with this combo?


Everything I've plugged into my iCan, including my T1s, sounds incredible, so I don't see why your COPs should be the exception.

post #260 of 629

I have the Ican since 3 month and I love it. i prefer it to the bottlehead SEX and the CK2III amp. I use the 3d EQ only with acoustic music like jazz, classical, rock, but for electronica, its better without

cheers

post #261 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by technobear View Post

Indeed. I'm using my iCAN to drive Beyerdynamic T1's and this is a match made in heaven. The iCAN is every bit the equal of the headphone amp in my Audiolab 8200CDQ and every bit the equal of the Beyerdynamic A1 which costs almost 4 times the price.

That you get useful 3D, crossfeed and two-stage bass boost features as well and with no loss of sound quality is icing on the cake.

I have since obtained iUSB Power, iDAC and iTUBE and I can honestly say they all punch well above their price points. The iTUBE is perhaps the most subtle and difficult to tie down what sonic difference it makes. All I can say is that spending a period of time with it and then another without, it is definitely missed. Longer listening sessions ensue when the iTUBE is in use.

My iDAC is still running in so I can't fairly compare it to the CDQ yet but early listening is very promising.


I'm really interested in the IDAC, please report your impression and how it compares to other DAC

post #262 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphythecat View Post

I'm really interested in the IDAC, please report your impression and how it compares to other DAC

After 200 hours burn-in, I did compare the iDAC to the 8200CDQ. It wasn't close. In fact the iDAC wasn't even in the same ballpark. If it can't compare to a CDQ then it won't compare to an Audiolab M-DAC either.

I was very disappointed by this. I really expected a better performance from the iDAC after all the rave reviews. I also got static-like clicks from it (through the headphones) and was unable to eliminate these so I sent it back for a refund. Nobody else has reported this problem to my knowledge so I guess it was faulty.

I still have the iCAN and still use it with the 8200CDQ because I find the 3D and bass boost very useful. I think the iCAN is good value against most of what is out there.

Trouble is value for money gets redefined when I look at my Topping TP20 mkII. Against that, every other piece of hifi I own or have ever owned is ludicrously over-priced. The new Mini-T from Amptastic is twice the price of the Topping and it shows in the quality of the parts used but even compared to that, everything else including all the iFi line look overpriced.

The iUSBPower makes no difference I can hear between the PC and the Audiolab so I now use it in a second system to power the Arcam rPAC (another piece that looks overpriced compared to the T-Amps). This it does very well and makes a nice difference to that unit but as the iUSBPower costs more than the rPAC it can't really be said to be a good value pairing.

Then we have the iTUBE. I still struggle to hear this device do anything at all. The 3D makes a difference of course but I find that much less useful with speakers, a bit of a gimmick really, perhaps more useful if your speakers are not very good. If I needed a simple pre-amp, perhaps to control some powered monitors, this would do the job very nicely as it appears to be completely transparent. Between the Audiolab and the iCAN, I can't honestly say it makes any difference at all. Considering its cost, I think I probably wasted my money here.

To sum up, I still think the iCAN is wonderful. In my opinion, the rest of the line-up are really too expensive for what they offer.
post #263 of 629

thanks a lot for that, thats dissapointing considering the designer of iFi has done a wonderful job with his cdplayer at AMR. Did you do the test with only the built in DAC headphones?

 

Yes, hifi prices is ridiculous, just plain ridiculous. Price in amps and DACs vary so much, and most of the time, its based on nothing.

 

About the topping, I use the topping tp-20 also, and I agree it sounds tremendous. You have to understand that any class D that will output more then 15 W/PC will be problematic The problem with digital amp's is the power. If you raise above 15Watt's output, the trebles are ruined by the switching noise.

 

Also, the topping use one of the best digital chip, the TA2020, so yes the topping is really incredible for the price.

If I may suggest you a better amp, go with the arto chip amp. it uses the same chip as the topping, but the design is better. I have the topping and the art0 amp, and the art0 is much better.

http://www.art0.de/

Not a lot of guys knows about those amps, but its amazing, not only for the price, but for any price.

 

build a dedicated psu, and it will wipe the floor of the topping and any hypex stuff.


Edited by murphythecat - 1/3/14 at 11:01am
post #264 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by technobear View Post


I have since obtained iUSB Power, iDAC and iTUBE and I can honestly say they all punch well above their price points. The iTUBE is perhaps the most subtle and difficult to tie down what sonic difference it makes. All I can say is that spending a period of time with it and then another without, it is definitely missed. Longer listening sessions ensue when the iTUBE is in use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technobear View Post


Then we have the iTUBE. I still struggle to hear this device do anything at all. The 3D makes a difference of course but I find that much less useful with speakers, a bit of a gimmick really, perhaps more useful if your speakers are not very good. If I needed a simple pre-amp, perhaps to control some powered monitors, this would do the job very nicely as it appears to be completely transparent. Between the Audiolab and the iCAN, I can't honestly say it makes any difference at all. Considering its cost, I think I probably wasted my money here.

To sum up, I still think the iCAN is wonderful. In my opinion, the rest of the line-up are really too expensive for what they offer.


I think that's the point, the itube difference is there but very hard to quantify. I like it.
post #265 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphythecat View Post

thanks a lot for that, thats dissapointing considering the designer of iFi has done a wonderful job with his cdplayer at AMR. Did you do the test with only the built in DAC headphones?

I didn't listen to the iDAC headphone output as I didn't buy it for that. I used the iCAN.

I was hoping, given the stellar reviews and the obvious difference in material costs between the iDAC and M-DAC, that the iDAC would be comparable in sound quality terms. The M-DAC packs a lot more hardware and functionality for your extra cash.I was hoping iDAC would be good enough to replace my CDQ but it simply wasn't. It was closer to the rPAC.

Thanks for the heads-up about the art0. I'll check it out.
post #266 of 629

To those that follow the thread and own an iCAN, I have a question about the 3D effect switch.

 

I have had my unit for about a month and have been generally pleased with the performance. However, the 3D effect doesn't operate as I would have expected. If am listening with the effect turned off, then switch it on I get a pretty huge reduction in bass and lower mids. The treble seems to stay the same level but is a bit cloudier and less crisp. The effect does seem to make everything sound further away, but not in a good way (to me anyway.) Based on what I've read I did not expect this and am wondering if my unit is functioning properly. Does my description of the change in sound seem to describe the functionality correctly?

post #267 of 629

I dont know how your set up sounds, but i've experienced a very bad time with the combo iDac + iCan. Harsh, painful, and a lot of peaks in the treble range. I used AKG K702 to test and really regreted buying ! 

post #268 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 

To those that follow the thread and own an iCAN, I have a question about the 3D effect switch.

 

I have had my unit for about a month and have been generally pleased with the performance. However, the 3D effect doesn't operate as I would have expected. If am listening with the effect turned off, then switch it on I get a pretty huge reduction in bass and lower mids. The treble seems to stay the same level but is a bit cloudier and less crisp. The effect does seem to make everything sound further away, but not in a good way (to me anyway.) Based on what I've read I did not expect this and am wondering if my unit is functioning properly. Does my description of the change in sound seem to describe the functionality correctly?

 

Hmm.   I use level three of the 3D switch, and while the bass gets spaced a little farther out I don't notice a "pretty huge reduction in bass and lower mids."  Also, on level three 3D the treble becomes more airy and sparkly sounding, not cloudier or less crisp (basically the opposite of what I hear).

 

I don't use level two of the 3D effect very often.  That sounds more like a standard crossfeed. 

post #269 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

 

Hmm.   I use level three of the 3D switch, and while the bass gets spaced a little farther out I don't notice a "pretty huge reduction in bass and lower mids."  Also, on level three 3D the treble becomes more airy and sparkly sounding, not cloudier or less crisp (basically the opposite of what I hear).

 

I don't use level two of the 3D effect very often.  That sounds more like a standard crossfeed.

The descriptors "airy and sparkly" is what I expected but distinctly opposite of what I hear. It sounds on my unit like you stuffed a little cotton in your ear, everything is a bit muffled. Thanks for your response.

post #270 of 629

If anything, I find the treble boosted with the 3D effect which is about the only fq response difference I notice.

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