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iCAN Amp Review: A New Amp that Gives You More: More Bass, More Soundstage and More Detail - Page 23

post #331 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post
 

The Nano battery is rated for 70 hours of use!


Wow...impressive.

post #332 of 629
Thread Starter 

I had my first listen to the iCAN Nano amp after letting it burn in overnight with my Isotonic CD.

It is a wonderful baby brother to the bigger iCAN. The same overall sound signature and of course the great enhancements of the 3D and XBass features. It does not quite have the same authority as the bigger iCAN as should be expected at half the size and 2/3 the cost. The bigger amp just takes a little firmer control of the headphones and gives a little more body to the sound. The smaller amp also has only one setting for both the 3D effect and the bass boost. The one level of bass boost seems to be about the same as the lower setting on the larger iCAN, and the single 3D setting is a slightly more subtle version of the three dot 3D setting on the larger iCAN

 

The difference between the two amps is surprisingly slight, but this was with the Sony MDR-MA900 headphones which are not very demanding. It is possible that the difference would be greater with headphones that are a heavier load on an amp. Unfortunately, I do not currently have any more demanding headphones as I have been whittling down my collection.

 

The difference was greater if I included the TDS202 sound enhancer with the larger iCAN. The best sound to my ears today was with the TDS202 and the larger iCAN with the 3D turned off (Note: the TDS does something very similar to the sound as the 3D effect on the iCAN) and the xBASS on the higher setting. The TDS202 did not pair up well with the Nano amp as it seemed to create a hollow thinned out sound, but I doubt I would put together a system around the TDS202 and the Nano as it would not be very portable, which would defeat the purpose of using the Nano.

 

I was also able to compare the Nano to the Mini-Box amp card in the Hifiman 802, which is a $250 add on to the 802 ($200 if you buy it at the same time). It has a good reputation as it is based on the OPA627 OP-AMPS. But compared to the Nano iCAN the MIni Box card sounded a little closed in and muffled. Once you turn on the 3D effect and the xBass on the Nano, it pulls away and is simply cleaner and more spacious sounding, while also having more body and low end oomph. Quite a nice showing for the $149 Nano to outperform the $250 Mini-Box amp card.

 

If I do end up simplifying and making my setup much more portable, I will probably be keeping the iCAN Nano amp. It will depend on how I like the JVC HA-FX850 iems that I should be receiving any day now, and also on how they match up with the amps I have on hand.

 

I may end up with the bigger iCAN combined with the TDS202 as my desktop setup, and then the Nano for a more portable setup with the Hifiman 802 as source in both cases. Nice to have such great choices to pick from.

post #333 of 629

Good words and impressions!. The micro iCan is a great amp, and nano iCan is a great little amp ...!. Thanks.


Edited by cesalru - 4/6/14 at 4:10pm
post #334 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 


Wow...impressive.

Hi,

 

We ran 2 pairs of iFi Fostex T50RP with the nano iCAN - both ran the nano iCAN to ~ 65hours (comfortably). And then with Shure 530s they went to the 75 hours.

 

It varies with load and level. At low power (meaning high impedance headphone at low playback levels) it is 70 Hours.

post #335 of 629

Hello all!

I have been using differen FiiO amps and dacs and finally ended with the E18 for my V-Moda M-100. This one got my attention as it has bass boost which is a must for me and then the 3D option which is intriguing.
Anyone tested it with the V-Moda? Has anyone compare them to the E18 or similar?

 

This will be to use with an Android phone so I will need a DAC unless I keep the E18 as dac only.


Thanks!

post #336 of 629
Thread Starter 

Funny how changing one element in your systems can shift things so dramatically. Yesterday, my new JVC HA-FX850 iem's arrived from Japan. They are amazing little headphones. They were immediately clearly better than my Sony MDR-MA900s, even before they had any time to break in, which is supposed to improve the JVC's noticeably.

 

So I was back to trying out every possible combination of sources and amps I have on hand to see what would sound best with the JVCs. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the Nano amp was not going to be a good match, as it has a very definite hiss with such low impedance and high sensitivity headphones. I was kind of disappointed that it was not going to work, as I just got it in on trial from Avatar Acoustics and iFi. Otherwise it is a great little amp with the nice extra features that make the iCAN amps so special. But if you use high sensitivity headphones, then I would look elsewhere unless you are really not bothered by hiss. Of course, it is much less noticeable when music is playing. But I listen to a lot of simple acoustic music and so I could always hear the hiss in the quieter passages and silent pauses. As much as I enjoyed the sound of the Nano, I am not going to put up with hiss in the long run.

 

This problem does not arise with the regular sized  iCAN micro amp, even with the TDS202 in the chain which does give a boost to the signal and so could accentuate any hiss. And the JVC's do sound very nice with the regular iCAN amp. The 3D and Xbass as always bring an added level of detail and body to the sound. But I finally found that with these easy to drive iem's, the best sound was straight out of the Tera player. There is something so easy and natural about the sound of the Tera, and I think I may have finally found a pair of headphones that do it justice. I am also sending back the Hifiman 802 as it can't quite match the organic naturalness of the Tera, even though it comes very close.

 

So I am down to the simplest and most portable of systems: the Tera and a pair of tiny iem's. Simplicity is good....especially when it sounds so great.

 

I am somehow not ready to part with the larger iCAN amp yet as I still have my Sony's....but maybe I will find that I do not listen to them enough to justify having them around. Time will tell, and/or my curiosity will kick in and I will want to try another set of headphones that the Tera can't drive.

post #337 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post

 

 

I am somehow not ready to part with the larger iCAN amp yet as I still have my Sony's....but maybe I will find that I do not listen to them enough to justify having them around. Time will tell, and/or my curiosity will kick in and I will want to try another set of headphones that the Tera can't drive.

 

I tried to like IEMs, but the best I could do was to tolerate them.  I could never completely switch to an IEM.   I own a couple of them for travel and portable needs -- gotta love how much SQ you can fit inside a jean pocket with them little suckers. 

post #338 of 629
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

 

I tried to like IEMs, but the best I could do was to tolerate them.  I could never completely switch to an IEM.   I own a couple of them for travel and portable needs -- gotta love how much SQ you can fit inside a jean pocket with them little suckers. 


I could never get used to iems that I had to stick way down into my ear canal in order to get a good seal. But these JVCs sound amazing with a light seal while just sitting in my ear outside the actual ear canal. They do not block sound as well as an iem that sits deeper in the ear, but they do block some sound, and they are much more comfortable than any other iem I have used. People on other threads have compared them to a lot of top of the line full sized headphones, and I can see why. For example, someone compared the soundstage to the K1000 and someone else compared the bass to the LCD2.
 

The sound of the JVC HA-FX850's are just that good, especially out of my Tera. I may not keep any of my other gear.

post #339 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post
 


I could never get used to iems that I had to stick way down into my ear canal in order to get a good seal. But these JVCs sound amazing with a light seal while just sitting in my ear outside the actual ear canal. They do not block sound as well as an iem that sits deeper in the ear, but they do block some sound, and they are much more comfortable than any other iem I have used. People on other threads have compared them to a lot of top of the line full sized headphones, and I can see why. For example, someone compared the soundstage to the K1000 and someone else compared the bass to the LCD2.
 

The sound of the JVC HA-FX850's are just that good, especially out of my Tera. I may not keep any of my other gear.

 

Well, if you like the FX850 so much...I'm looking for a used MA900.  :L3000:

post #340 of 629
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

 

Well, if you like the FX850 so much...I'm looking for a used MA900.  :L3000:


Seriously, check back with me in a week or two. I want to be sure before I do anything drastic, but I might be listing my MA900s soon if I find that I do not miss them at all with the JVC's around. The Sony's are wonderful headphones and also sound much better than they should given their price. I recently decided I liked them better than the HD700s.

post #341 of 629
Thread Starter 

I am back to listening to the JVC's with my big iCAN with the battery. It is not super portable, but it does add a degree of realism with the 3D effect on the iCAN and really makes the JVC's shine. So for longer focused listening, I will pull out the iCAN, and then for less serious listening at the computer or the like, I will just use the Tera by itself. As good as they sound with the Tera, they are at another level with the iCAN.  Too bad the portable iCAN Nano had a problem with hiss with the sensitive JVC's as it would have been the best of both worlds: more portable iCAN goodness.

 

I even use the lower level of bass boost on the iCAN as the effect is limited to the lowest frequencies and it fills in the sound in a nice way, even though the JVCs are known to have plenty of bass. I guess I truly am a basshead :)

post #342 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

 

I tried to like IEMs, but the best I could do was to tolerate them.  I could never completely switch to an IEM.   I own a couple of them for travel and portable needs -- gotta love how much SQ you can fit inside a jean pocket with them little suckers. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post
 


I could never get used to iems that I had to stick way down into my ear canal in order to get a good seal. But these JVCs sound amazing with a light seal while just sitting in my ear outside the actual ear canal. They do not block sound as well as an iem that sits deeper in the ear, but they do block some sound, and they are much more comfortable than any other iem I have used. People on other threads have compared them to a lot of top of the line full sized headphones, and I can see why. For example, someone compared the soundstage to the K1000 and someone else compared the bass to the LCD2.
 

The sound of the JVC HA-FX850's are just that good, especially out of my Tera. I may not keep any of my other gear.


I got one word for you guys CUSTOMS. Trust me, you'll love em, I sure do.

post #343 of 629

T-minus 1 day: Crowd-Design (NOT Crowd-Funding) of the micro iDSD


Guys and gals. ONE more day left for all entries to be submitted. There are a few who have contributed a heck of a lot but at the other end, there are some neck and neck entries.

It is really difficult to to pick those at the moment as it is a real close-call.

If you are one of those, keep chiming in as it is likely to make a difference.

See you on the other side!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/711217/t-minus-1-day-idsd-micro-crowd-design-this-dac-hp-amp-is-beyond-awesome-some-last-minute-entries

post #344 of 629
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post
 

 

 


I got one word for you guys CUSTOMS. Trust me, you'll love em, I sure do.


Here are the reasons I have not gone the custom route lately:

1-The hassles of getting a good fit (been there, done that)

2-The loss in value if you do resell them.

3- Like universals that require a deep insertion, customs can be tricky to get in and out of my ears. It is a pain when my wife walks into the room and wants to talk to get the iems out of my ears so I can hear what she is saying. While some people want or need the ultimate in isolation, I actually like that the JVC universals only block some sound. I can carry on a conversation just by pausing the music. But then I am not riding on airplanes or trains with my iems.

4-Not necessarily the ultimate in SQ. These JVC's sound amazing, and someday I might try the Tralucent 1plus2 which supposedly can rival the top customs in SQ...as well as price :)

 

So for now, I am a happy camper with my new JVC's.

post #345 of 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post
 


Here are the reasons I have not gone the custom route lately:

1-The hassles of getting a good fit (been there, done that)

2-The loss in value if you do resell them.

3- Like universals that require a deep insertion, customs can be tricky to get in and out of my ears. It is a pain when my wife walks into the room and wants to talk to get the iems out of my ears so I can hear what she is saying. While some people want or need the ultimate in isolation, I actually like that the JVC universals only block some sound. I can carry on a conversation just by pausing the music. But then I am not riding on airplanes or trains with my iems.

4-Not necessarily the ultimate in SQ. These JVC's sound amazing, and someday I might try the Tralucent 1plus2 which supposedly can rival the top customs in SQ...as well as price :)

 

So for now, I am a happy camper with my new JVC's.

 

This!!

 

5- After going to through all the hassle, you might not like the sound signature of that particular model and then you are stuck with it. 

6- Most of them are expensive.

 

If you can get over problems 1-6 then I bet you are in sonic heaven.

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