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Portable amp... best bang for buck?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've been reading this section of the forum with great interest and want to buy my first portable amp. I had been considering the C&C BH or F1 but would also consider spending much more to get a really good amp that I'd hopefully never feel the need to upgrade from and that would save me money in the long run... or is trying out all the different amps as you upgrade the most enjoyable part?

 

I'll be using it for ba TF10 (& future Heir 5ai) and various dynamic iem's initially but will no doubt buy a decent full sized headphone for home use at some point.

Battery life isn't uber important but a full days use at least would be nice. If it has an inbuilt DAC for pc audio use then great... but it's not really a necessity.

 

Amps I'm considering..

 

 

 

 

Leckerton Audio UHA-4 or UHA-6S (mkII)

Pico portable Amp (or DAC version)

Pico slim

Meier Corda Quickstep (or 2 stepdance) 

RSA Mustang P-51

JDS C5

C&C BH, F1 or XO2

 

 

With so many to chose from its very difficult... if your budget was around the $400 mark what would you chose and why?

 

 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 19

1. you would never be sastified at all, as you continue and stack more and more gears

2.upgrading your amp will at some point become a matter of pref instead of a straight improvement

 

if I have 400 bucks (+-)

I would get an apex glacier, or a d12, or RSA P-51, android dacs is also interesting if you have the phone

post #3 of 19
If it was me? It go straight for the XO2 personally, the BH has been a sure winner for me enough to want to venture deeper into C&C territory. XO2 has a mode especially for IEM if I understand correctly, battery time on low gain is still around 70 hours. There's just something about the XO2 that really appeals to me so that's my choice.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 3/19/13 at 7:32am
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post

1. you would never be sastified at all, as you continue and stack more and more gears

2.upgrading your amp will at some point become a matter of pref instead of a straight improvement

 

if I have 400 bucks (+-)

I would get an apex glacier, or a d12, or RSA P-51, android dacs is also interesting if you have the phone

 

I suspected someone would say that I'd never be satisfied :/  Jude.. you will be the ruin of me! :D

 

I'll check out the others you mentioned, thank you.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

If it was me? It go straight for the X02 personally, the BH has been a sure winner for me enough to want to venture deeper into C&C territory. X02 has a mode especially for IEM if I understand correctly, battery time on low gain is still around 70 hours. There's just something about the X02 that really appeals to me so that's my choice.

 

I know how impressed you are with the BH and the X02 is supposed to be significantly better. Maybe I should just buy a BH to start off with then go on an upgrade journey as my collection gets bigger. :) 

 

Thank you.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've just been reading loads of reviews on the XO and it is said to have slightly recessed mids.. hmm, not gonna pair well with my already mid recessed TF10's then.

 

Can any BH owners tell me if it also has recessed mids? 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post

I've just been reading loads of reviews on the XO and it is said to have slightly recessed mids.. hmm, not gonna pair well with my already mid recessed TF10's then.

Can any BH owners tell me if it also has recessed mids? 

This mids on BH aren't recessed, bass and treble does come forward a touch when you engage the LF switch, though no-one is reporting recessed mid range in the main thread to back up my answer. I can tell you now BH and TF10 get along really well together, they react very positively to the LF and SF switches more so than other IEM's I have tried, imaging is good using the combination as is detail and refinement. If someone wanted an amp for their TF10 I would recommend the BH, which would also give you a chance to test C&C water levels without jumping in the deep end.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 3/19/13 at 6:16pm
post #8 of 19

I just bought the C&C (awaiting arrival). 

I thought if I get into this more I can relegate it to the wife and upgrade to something else  beyersmile.png

post #9 of 19
Up to $400?

Leckerton UHA-6S Mk.II for sure.

Some reasons:

1) The stock version (mine comes with OPA209) is insanely clean and detailed to a fault. I also have a C&C BH, and the UHA-6S is significantly better than the BH in every way conceivable even if just the amp section is taken into account. The only thing that BH does slightly better is with battery life. I get about 2-3 days out of the UHA-6S, and approximately 4-5 days out of BH.

2) If you don't like the sound, you can replace the opamp and get a different sound

3) Also comes with a DAC that takes optical and coaxial input

4) Works with both Android and iPad as a DAC/amp. Doesn't work with iPhone because iPhone doesn't support any USB adapter natively, but the amp section is still very good.
Edited by Bill-P - 3/20/13 at 2:46am
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post


I get about 2-3 days out of the UHA-6S, and approximately 4-5 days out of BH.

Members are reporting over 85 hour run times with BH, and yours only gets you 4 - 5 days? I thought I remembered you saying somewhere you hadn't' charged it in a month?

Edit: Here,

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review/810#post_9178914
Edited by H20Fidelity - 3/20/13 at 3:13am
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post


Members are reporting over 85 hour run times with BH, and yours only gets you 4 - 5 days? I thought I remembered you saying somewhere you hadn't' charged it in a month?

Edit: Here,

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review/810#post_9178914

I hear some got 100 hours out of the BH?

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Curiosity9 View Post

I hear some got 100 hours out of the BH?

Members are reporting a months use ,mine alone doesn't get charged for two weeks (14 days) and that's only to top up.without letting it go flat.
post #13 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post


I get about 2-3 days out of the UHA-6S, and approximately 4-5 days out of BH.
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post


Members are reporting a months use ,mine alone doesn't get charged for two weeks (14 days) and that's only to top up.without letting it go flat.

Hmm..same here. Bill-P, are you sure your BH was fully charged? It appears that no one else has even come near to a required charge within 5 days, unless it was on, flat out - day and night. 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Curiosity9 View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill-P View Post


I get about 2-3 days out of the UHA-6S, and approximately 4-5 days out of BH.

Hmm..same here. Bill-P, are you sure your BH was fully charged? It appears that no one else has even come near to a required charge within 5 days, unless it was on, flat out - day and night. 

 

Yes. It was fully charged.

 

Disclaimer: my brother got that BH over 2.5 years ago. Back when it was still offered in silver casing. I don't doubt that its battery capacity has diminished somewhat during that time, so that may explain the run time. Also I'm a heavy music listener. You probably wouldn't believe it, but I spend easily 6-7 hours having the amp plugged in a day.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Members are reporting over 85 hour run times with BH, and yours only gets you 4 - 5 days? I thought I remembered you saying somewhere you hadn't' charged it in a month?

Edit: Here,

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review/810#post_9178914

 

Yeah, but I hadn't turned it on during that one month. If I did the same to a Fiio E7, it would be flat out dead. I was using BH a lot more recently.

 

Also I don't listen with high sensitivity IEMs. I listen with my ES10, and the volume knob on the BH is almost always close to max. As noted, this is a 2.5-year-old BH. It's probably not representative of a brand-new freshly taken out of box BH in terms of endurance.

 

But for what it's worth, I use the UHA-6S more than BH... so that sort of equalizes out.


Edited by Bill-P - 3/20/13 at 6:13am
post #15 of 19

Hallo Everyone,

 

 

Why don't you mention the ODAC & O2 (as a combo or two standalone units)?

I've got them as two separates. The sound is fantastic.

But, ... but I'd like to explore more, namely to try the UHA-6S mkII (swap op amps)

or perhaps buy the C5 only, or the Dragongly (excellent Dac and so-so amp), or ???

Any comments?


Edited by JakeJack_2008 - 3/20/13 at 9:39am
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