Source : AK 120
Amp : Pico Power
Headphone : LCD 3
Cable : Norse Audio Reign Seies 24 brid x 24 awg
Ventura Craft mini to mini LE Audiophile grade Quality
Edited by rudi0504 - 6/7/13 at 8:57am
So, I finally got some free time away from work to unbox and try out the Pico Power after it was sitting in my closet for the past few months. Pretty late to the party but might as well chime in...
Some unboxing pictures first (notice the neat little optional small volume knobs):
The sound quality of this amplifier is phenomenal. I use a Pico DAC/Amp every single day at work, and while with my Westone 4Rs there isn't much of a difference between the Pico DAC/Amp and the Pico DAC => Power, there is a significant difference when it comes to driving more power hungry cans (as its name suggests!)
The Pico Power drives my HD800s with absolute authority and is a huge improvement with respect to clarity and detail over the stock headphone out of my RME Fireface UC. Unfortunately, due to the HD800's innate lean sound signature the Pico Power still isn't that great of a fit, especially through my RME which is extremely neutral -- a good tube amp is still the king with the HD800s since it hides most of its low-end flaws, but then again I'm comparing a $500 pocket amplifier with a $2000+ Zana Deux.
However, when I plugged in a pair of HD650s to the Pico Power, the resultant sound is absolute bliss, and HeadAmp's signature wire-with-gain house sound fits the HD650's dark SS perfectly. It reminds me a lot of how the GS-1 (and the GLite w/ DPS) sounded with the HD650 from way back when, and it's quite astonishing how much headphone amps have progressed over the past 7-8 years. Something that used to require a separate rack to get benchmark-level sound is now possible in the palm of my hand!
It is a shame that the Power runs solely on 9V batteries and can't be plugged in all the time, otherwise I'd definitely use it in place of my Fireface UC's internal amp. As it currently stands, while there is a noticeable improvement with both the HD650s and HD800s with this amplifier, the annoyance of having to rip out the batteries every few days to recharge them just isn't worth the hassle for me. Perhaps it's more suitable for semi-portable setups at, say, work, where you can use full-sized headphones, but that's a pretty small subset of an already niche market.
...the annoyance of having to rip out the batteries every few days to recharge them just isn't worth the hassle for me. Perhaps it's more suitable for semi-portable setups at, say, work, where you can use full-sized headphones, but that's a pretty small subset of an already niche market.
Try two sets of rechargeable batteries for fast swapping. Perhaps the hassles of opening the amp every couple of days really is too much for you. I have been using that system with other amps for years so I don't really get it but to each his/her own.
Battery power has its advantages. It is very clean.
Wow, this is a true audiophile setup! Although it was setup for portable, I am sure it sounds much better than many people's home setup.
it is better, but is not going to have the extreme precision of channel balance as the digital volume control of the Pico Slim. so for sensitive IEMs, the Pico Slim is still recommended
Thinking about getting can someone compared how well this with RWAK100 work with something like HD800 vs RWAK100 with HD800? I expect improvement but unsure how/how much. Thanks!
I don't have HD-800s handy, but using high-impedance headphones and my Mezzo-modded AK100 the Pico Power seems to do a better job with the M-AK100 by itself sounding less clear.
Thanks guys Im pretty sure ill get this in a few weeks time now the hardest part is to get it in blue or black? I wonder one over the other shows fingerprints more or less, if anyone got any idea please let me know, hopefully it will help me make up my mind on color choice :/