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REVIEW: Firestone Audio Tobby DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 117

Excellent review

 

I wonder what is the true price for Tobby&Bobby?very_evil_smiley.gif

post #17 of 117

I saw this link on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Firestone-Audio-Tobby-192k-D-A-Converter-DAC-/121047084821

 

Pretty awesome price; no idea how reliable that seller is, though.

post #18 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPSRA View Post

Excellent review

 

I wonder what is the true price for Tobby&Bobby?very_evil_smiley.gif

 

I believe the MSRP for the Tobby is $1099 and for the Bobby is $799. That may vary by region though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

I saw this link on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Firestone-Audio-Tobby-192k-D-A-Converter-DAC-/121047084821

 

Pretty awesome price; no idea how reliable that seller is, though.

 

The company, HIDEF Lifestyle, is listed here as an official dealer of Firestone products. They are one of the few who happen to have the Tobby - seems most carry the older/smaller Firestone products, but not many carry Bobby or Tobby yet. 

 

I asked this dealer who promptly replied "We were doing an introductory price for the product which is ending, the regular MSRP is $1099.00. We do have them in stock and we only ship it within the US at this point."

 

That implies the sale price is already over, but if it's still listed on eBay then one could theoretically still grab it. That's an amazing deal. 

post #19 of 117

Wow, pretty amazing deal, then! US people should definitely get on that!

post #20 of 117
Thread Starter 

Just realized - the Tobby sound signature is very much in line with the house sound of the Danish company GamuT. Their amps, as well as their CD players (or at least the ones I've heard), all have a lovely sound with excellent detail retrieval, speed, delicacy, and air. They aren't bass monsters but do a credible job at presenting tight, clean lows without ever losing control. I'd say the Tobby is better than the older CD-1 and approaches the $9,000 CD-3 in overall abilities. Not too shabby for a DAC costing $1100.

post #21 of 117

whoa John.... first you call it perfectly competitive in its price range and now you say it is close to a $9000 CD player....make up your mind. All jokes apart, I wish I had the money right now to get my hands on the extremely sweet deal from hidef lifestyle. At $500, it is almost as if they forgot the MSRP.

post #22 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium1085 View Post

whoa John.... first you call it perfectly competitive in its price range and now you say it is close to a $9000 CD player....make up your mind. All jokes apart, I wish I had the money right now to get my hands on the extremely sweet deal from hidef lifestyle. At $500, it is almost as if they forgot the MSRP.

 

Well, keep in mind the CD-3 was released in 2007. Digital playback has come a long way since then. Also, at one point the CD-3 was "merely" $6k. Also, some people didn't think it was very competitive at that price.

 

Lastly, the Tobby and CD-3 use a lot of the same components - both use the same ASRC processing, but Tobby has more advanced clocking and an FPGA as well. CD-3 uses a PCM1792 DAC, Tobby uses dual PCM1794 which is nearly the same chip. CD-3 has more extensive power supply but is not a true balanced design like the Firestone unit. So I can totally see how they would sound similar, despite the price differences. 


Edited by project86 - 5/22/13 at 1:03pm
post #23 of 117

I feel DACs as a segment have progressed exponentially in the last 3-4 years and your observation just highlights how much improvement there has been in the price-performance ratio of the segment in general. Maybe it is time you start reviewing a slightly lower segment of DACs between $400-800 (i.e, i am pushing my own agenda on the side).

post #24 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium1085 View Post

I feel DACs as a segment have progressed exponentially in the last 3-4 years and your observation just highlights how much improvement there has been in the price-performance ratio of the segment in general. Maybe it is time you start reviewing a slightly lower segment of DACs between $400-800 (i.e, i am pushing my own agenda on the side).

 

Totally agree. There are certainly older DACs out there that sound quite good, and some of them are nice values on the used market. But for true high-end, state of the art sound, the newer stuff is just better, period. My Resonessence Invicta at $4k is way better than some of the more expensive players and DACs I've owned in the past from MBL, Esoteric, Mark Levinson, Theta, Lexicon, and others. 

 

I have covered a decent number of units in that price range. I've done the Yulong D100 (original and MkII) and D18, the Parasound Zdac, the Resonessence Concero, the Matrix Quattro.... most of them are nice for the price. Upcoming reviews in the segment include the new Asus Xonar STU and the upcoming Concero HP. You can get a lot of bang for the buck even at $400 or so. 

post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Totally agree. There are certainly older DACs out there that sound quite good, and some of them are nice values on the used market. But for true high-end, state of the art sound, the newer stuff is just better, period. My Resonessence Invicta at $4k is way better than some of the more expensive players and DACs I've owned in the past from MBL, Esoteric, Mark Levinson, Theta, Lexicon, and others. 

 

I have covered a decent number of units in that price range. I've done the Yulong D100 (original and MkII) and D18, the Parasound Zdac, the Resonessence Concero, the Matrix Quattro.... most of them are nice for the price. Upcoming reviews in the segment include the new Asus Xonar STU and the upcoming Concero HP. You can get a lot of bang for the buck even at $400 or so. 

I know you have John....you do an absolutely great job with your reviews and my favourite part are the comparisons which are just invaluable. I was just getting extra greedy...LOL

post #26 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium1085 View Post

I know you have John....you do an absolutely great job with your reviews and my favourite part are the comparisons which are just invaluable. I was just getting extra greedy...LOL

 

Thanks!

 

 

I'll continue to cover stuff in that range as interesting opportunities present themselves. You may have noticed - I tend to only cover stuff I like, with a few rare exceptions. If someone sends me a DAC or amp or whatever, and it sucks, I usually politely return it without a write-up. No point in wasting my time tearing something down, when there's other good stuff I could be covering instead. This doesn't always apply over at InnerFidelity as we sometimes have to smack around gear that is popular and doesn't deserve it....

post #27 of 117

It's nice to see review base on their original  MSRP.biggrin.gif

 

You see, I live in Taiwan, where Bobby&Tobby both sale at their half price, around 400$beyersmile.png

But that leads to few people here can see their ture potential, because the elder audiophile isn't really interesting in DAC in this price range.redface.gif

post #28 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPSRA View Post

It's nice to see review base on their original  MSRP.biggrin.gif


You see, I live in Taiwan, where Bobby&Tobby both sale at their half price, around 400$beyersmile.png

But that leads to few people here can see their ture potential, because the elder audiophile isn't really interesting in DAC in this price range.redface.gif

How strange! If I saw the Tobby and Bobby sold for such a low price, they would move to the top of my list for recommendations. People need to stop judging by price and start actually listening to this stuff.
post #29 of 117

This is typical FSA behavior; they basically sell their products in Taiwan for minimal cost (nearly zero profit), but they price their stuff on the international market according to what they believe is their market worth, in accordance with product feature sets and the subjective experience. The ILTW DAC, which was $150 locally, sells for $390 retail overseas. It was an unbelievable performer at $150, IMHO. They want to retain their local customers with good value, while not undervaluing their stuff internationally. It's a matter of pride, I suppose, as few things other than computer components are well-recognized as distinctively "Taiwanese". While the industry has definitely fallen off a bit in recent years, Taiwan has had a decent long-running history with hi-fi; perhaps not as prominently as Hong Kong, but in the speaker world, Taiwan has been connected for a while. For example, USHER speakers is a well-regarded brand that started off as a repair station for the high-end German hi-fi brands. With Taiwan having no official international standing, products like the ILTW are Firestone's way of overtly showing the island some love. IIRC, my Fireye HD's box has a very prominent "Made in Taiwan" graphic printed in the front.

post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPSRA View Post

It's nice to see review base on their original  MSRP.biggrin.gif

 

You see, I live in Taiwan, where Bobby&Tobby both sale at their half price, around 400$beyersmile.png

But that leads to few people here can see their ture potential, because the elder audiophile isn't really interesting in DAC in this price range.redface.gif

I'll be visiting Taiwan next week, and would definitely pick these guys up at that price. Would you happen to know a good place to buy them? I'll be all throughout the country, but will spend a majority of time in Taipei.

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