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iCAN Amp Review: A New Amp that Gives You More: More Bass, More Soundstage and More Detail - Page 4

post #46 of 373

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nirmalanow View Post

Wow, what a great thrift shop find!



Tell me about it. Normally you read stories like this and think "Yeah, the guy is full of the proverbial".

I got it so cheap because the battery was dead and I don't think anyone figured it needed one. It had leaked a bit but being notionally leakproof (Duracel) it was not that bad...

Makes you wonder what particular chest this amazing chestnut came out of.

I sincerely hope it was from the estate of a fly guy who died at 95 shagging the tit's of a 18 Year old and not taken out of the poor hands of some fuddy daddy packed off by his kids into some rotten old peoples home so he'd be no bother and who then sold all his treasures cheap, I'd hate that, no matter how much I like bargains.

This set has been cared for incredibly well and the age bare shows!

Cheers Rich

post #47 of 373

Sneek for the triad :P

 

 

 

post #48 of 373
Thread Starter 

So, I got carried away and tried some Speltz Anti-Cable RCA interconnects between the TDS202 sound enhancer and the iCAN. Turns out they are kind of bright detailed ICs and suddenly there was too much of a good thing. A truly incredible level of details is there, but sometimes there is too much echo or the tone gets too breathy and airy, especially on female vocals. Fortunately, I can just switch off either the TDS or the 3D effect on the iCAN and things come back into balance. While it is sometimes fun to listen to an over the top spacious, and almost spacey sound effect of the TDS and the 3D iCAN effect together with the Anti-Cable interconnects, it is tiring after just a little while.

 

And since I am finding I like the added detail and widened soundstage of the TDS202 a little better than the same effects of the 3D on the iCAN, I generally switch off the 3D and leave the TDS turned on when I want to smooth out the sound. The TDS is a great option for someone who does not want to go out and buy a new amp like the iCAN with its soundstage enhancement, but who wants some more detail and soundstage in their system. Trying it out seems like a no-brainer at only $30 on Amazon. Overall, the combination of added detail along with the added bass of the X-Bass boost of the iCAN is a real treat. And it also seems the whole combination works because of the beautiful analog sound of the Tera Player which can take some added detail without losing any of its warm full bodied presence. I have tried the TDS in some other headphone setups and often found the sound too bright, or if there was any noise or hiss in the source, the TDS would boost those sounds also. But the Tera has a very black background, and the treble rolls off a bit, so it is more of a match with the effect of the TDS, or alternatively, the 3D on the iCAN.

 

Edit added: With more listening with the Anti-Cables ICs, I am finding that I can pretty much tell as a song starts playing if I will like the full on TDS and 3D space enhancing effects, or if it will be too much (in which case I just switch off the 3D). However, when the song can take the full on boost in details, it can be quite amazing and sound incredibly live. It seems to work best with neutral and simply recorded music like chamber music, live jazz or just any music that has not had a lot of processing or effects added in the recording process. Then the sound is nicely spread out and out of my head with amazing detail and clarity.

 

And in contrast, it is the music that already has a lot of reverb, echo, added brightness (like a lot of pop music) or other sound enhancements already in the mix that has me reaching over to turn off the 3D and just listen with the TDS engaged. I am back again to really appreciating how I can shape the sound out of the iCAN depending on the particular song I am listening to. It is like having three or four amps in one! I do not have to swap equipment to match the music I am listening to. Instead I just flick a switch. And since I listen to all of my music in shuffle play, there is often a wide range of music that I listen to in any one session. So this setup with the iCAN is ideal for me.


Edited by Nirmalanow - 3/27/13 at 1:30pm
post #49 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

 

By my reckoning, iCAN makes 260 mW into 300 Ω, same as Schiit's Magni and original Asgard. 

What about 600 Ω?

post #50 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asylum Demon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

 

By my reckoning, iCAN makes 260 mW into 300 Ω, same as Schiit's Magni and original Asgard. 

What about 600 Ω?

My DT880 600 ohm runs just fine from my iCAN, sits about 11 oclock with off being abut 7 oclock.

post #51 of 373

I sold mine. I agree that the 3D technology is a worthwhile endeavor, with it the sound is much more open. Once you heard it is difficult to go back. That said, I found it surprising that some are driving the HE-6 with this amp. I guess the 400mV output no suprise here, it is more suitable for moderately efficient phones. While it still goes loud with phones of lower sensitivity, it is somewhat lacking in control, solidity and texture. I hope iFi would come up with a bolder amp with the same technology with higher output in the future. 


Edited by Greeni - 3/25/13 at 1:57am
post #52 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

My DT880 600 ohm runs just fine from my iCAN, sits about 11 oclock with off being abut 7 oclock.


How do you think my DT990 600ohm will work with it? I'm fairly interested in it just want to make sure it'll have enough power and then some. Got a Creative Sound Blaster ZXR and it turned out I didn't research the output of it (says 80mW is what the card can put out, can't even do 50mW apparently, then didn't realize my 990's were 100mW, yea still learning heh). I'm nervous as to what amp I should get for this to get some great bass out of them without losing the clarity of the mids (softer non ear screeching highs would be nice) for my music/movies/games. Currently using a JVC RX-815V receiver to power them and it's great and all but it's already getting too hot in my room here. frown.gif

post #53 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asylum Demon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

My DT880 600 ohm runs just fine from my iCAN, sits about 11 oclock with off being abut 7 oclock.


How do you think my DT990 600ohm will work with it? I'm fairly interested in it just want to make sure it'll have enough power and then some. Got a Creative Sound Blaster ZXR and it turned out I didn't research the output of it (says 80mW is what the card can put out, can't even do 50mW apparently, then didn't realize my 990's were 100mW, yea still learning heh). I'm nervous as to what amp I should get for this to get some great bass out of them without losing the clarity of the mids (softer non ear screeching highs would be nice) for my music/movies/games. Currently using a JVC RX-815V receiver to power them and it's great and all but it's already getting too hot in my room here. frown.gif

I can't imagine the 990/600 being all that much different in power requirements than the 880/600.  I owned the 990 and had no problems but didn't have the iCAN at the time.  iFI doesn't give the power output for 600 ohms but does at 32 ohms, it's 400mW.  If it were me, I wouldn't worry although you might not need the Xbass feature since I found the 990/600 to have plenty of bass.smile.gif

post #54 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

I can't imagine the 990/600 being all that much different in power requirements than the 880/600.  I owned the 990 and had no problems but didn't have the iCAN at the time.  iFI doesn't give the power output for 600 ohms but does at 32 ohms, it's 400mW.  If it were me, I wouldn't worry although you might not need the Xbass feature since I found the 990/600 to have plenty of bass.smile.gif

Looks like they're both 100mW. I just want to make absolutely sure before making the decision to get one. Don't want to end up hearing less than what I do now on my receiver. Being a bass head and all it's important to feel everything. beyersmile.png

post #55 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asylum Demon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

 

By my reckoning, iCAN makes 260 mW into 300 Ω, same as Schiit's Magni and original Asgard. 

What about 600 Ω?

 

Sorry, I found a spreadsheet error that rendered my calculation incorrect. I'm just using the formulas I found on the old nwavguy blog. iCAN specifies >400 mW into 32 Ω, which should work out to 3.6 Vrms. Assuming constant voltage, that's 43 mW into 300 Ω, not 260 mW, as I previously posted. At 600 Ω, we get 21 mW. Not pretending to understand all the theory and caveats here, just plugging and chugging. That puts iCAN's output power into 300 Ω below Head Box at 60 mW and above Dragonfly at 13 mW, for example. Also well above iDAC at 7.5 mW.

post #56 of 373

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

Sorry, I found a spreadsheet error that rendered my calculation incorrect. I'm just using the formulas I found on the old nwavguy blog. iCAN specifies >400 mW into 32 Ω, which should work out to 3.6 Vrms. Assuming constant voltage, that's 43 mW into 300 Ω, not 260 mW, as I previously posted. At 600 Ω, we get 21 mW. Not pretending to understand all the theory and caveats here, just plugging and chugging. That puts iCAN's output power into 300 Ω below Head Box at 60 mW and above Dragonfly at 13 mW, for example. Also well above iDAC at 7.5 mW.


iFi specify 5V into loads of 600Ω or higher:

http://ifi-audio.com/en/iCAN.html (click on tech specs)

I know because iFi told me in their answer when I asked: "How comes your headphone amp can drive my Electrostatic Headphones that are supposed to need a speaker amp"...

They pointed out their amp did 5V from very low impedance, so it could do very well driving my battery box rated at 8V maximum. Their boffin wrote something that the difference between 5V and 8V is only 3dB, near the limit where people can tell difference in loudness, he wrote.

Not sure I followed that part. Surely 8V is nearly twice 5V so almost twice as loud, innit?

Past that, if I work this right 5V & 600Ω is 42mW, should be double for 300Ω right, but iFi don't specify for 300Ω, so we can't be sure.

Also, the iDAC is rated at 3.3V > 100Ω:

http://ifi-audio.com/en/iDAC.html

That should be 36mW for 300Ω for the iCAN if I get the math right.

So both should play much louder than what you get.

Certainly I have not found headphones yet the iCAN cannot drive to quite high levels, even some everyone says it cannot drive based on the numbers...

Maybe we are overlooking something or maybe all this numbers game is just a load of old bollocks?

Cheerio Rich

 

post #57 of 373

Probably much easier to ask the manufacturer for that information which they would have gained from measuring the actual results. It would be cool if somebody sold a small little electronic device with a built-in headphone jack that you could just plug into an amp and get those readings directly as well as the output impedance of the headphone jack.  I have wanted something like that on several occasions when looking at A/V and stereo receivers available locally for example.


Edited by runswithaliens - 3/28/13 at 12:46pm
post #58 of 373

Right, would certainly be better if the manufacturer specified all this information, rather than leaving us to hack at it with formulas we found on the internet. 

 

Sorry, again, for not looking down one more line item in the spec sheets. I just saw "output power" and stopped there. Using the voltage figs, I get what Rich gets for output into the higher loads. 

 

For what it's worth, this looks similar to the curve that Schiit specifies for its Magni and Asgard 2. That is, calculated voltage based on given output powers into different loads scales up from a baseline into 32 Ω load, up a bit into 50 Ω, up a bit more to 300 Ω then remains the same for 600 Ω. Which puts output power into 300 Ω double that of 600 Ω, as Rich said. 

post #59 of 373

Well I have mine on the way, will try it out whenever it gets here. If it can't seem to power my DT990's should I just get a Little Dot Mk III and call it a day? Or would there be something better? New to all of this and am having to learn on the fly heh.

post #60 of 373
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asylum Demon View Post

Well I have mine on the way, will try it out whenever it gets here. If it can't seem to power my DT990's should I just get a Little Dot Mk III and call it a day? Or would there be something better? New to all of this and am having to learn on the fly heh.

I see no problem.  Drives my 880/600 great.  You'll like the perks, too.  XBass and 3D.

 

Good decision.beyersmile.png

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