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RSA The Lightning F-35, fully balanced portable amp Review: 35 more F-35 amps at intro price . . . - Page 15

post #211 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post

Huh, I wonder why they did that?  thanks for the clarification.

Keith,

Apple included the Wolfson chip because when you use the line out from any lightning iDevice you get a pure digital signal so either you have to use an external DAC or the Wolfson in the adapter.

Edit: I debated buying the RSA Intruder but then I would have needed to use the CCK camera kit to feed the Intruder a pure digital signal and I wanted to keep my rig as simple as possible. Also, the Lightning has received such great reviews.
Edited by spook76 - 3/22/14 at 5:58pm
post #212 of 251

learn something new every day

 

I'm still using my non lighting iPod with my rig.  with the f-35 as well.  great amp.


Edited by Keithpgdrb - 3/22/14 at 6:09pm
post #213 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post

learn something new every day

I'm still using my non lighting iPod with my rig.  with the f-35 as well.  great amp.

Do you use an LOD? If so, get an interconnect so you can let the Lightning push the volume not the iPod.
post #214 of 251
The lod I use takes line level and bypasses the amp in the iPod. It's the old kind.
post #215 of 251

I was the first to post a year and a half ago that the "lightning to 30-pin" adapter sounded like crap vs the headphone out of the iPhone 5.  It was dull with more midrange than bass or treble, and a small soundstage. 

 

Unfortunately, the iPhone 4s line-out is still superior to whatever the iPhone 5 and 5s has in it that feeds the headphone out. The 4s LOD sound a little more refined and detailed, with better imaging, while the 5 and 5s are a little more mid-forward and aggressive sounding.  Not terrible, but not audiophile anymore.

 

Because Apple doesn't have analog signal coming out of the lightning port, we were 1st stuck with whatever cheap POS DAC chip they put in the 30-pin adapter, until digital docks became abundant, including portable ones, although the cost was fairly prohibitive.  Then Apple started to allow the lightning>USB adapter to work with iPhone 5 and iOS 6 (aka Camera Connection Kit), and even my Pico DAC work with iPhone now.  That is a great source for the F-35 when portable.

 

So, we have many more choices for feeding an iPhone 5 and 5s/5c into the F-35 lightning than the headphone out, which is still my second choice.  I still don't understand why apple can't offer a "30-pin adapter Pro" for 2x the cost that sounds as good as the LOD on an iPod 5th gen or 6th gen or iPhone 4s.  I have no idea what a current Nano ir Touch sound like these days.  The iPad air actually sounds a bit better than my iPhone 5 and now 5s, so maybe there is hope for Apple.

post #216 of 251

Can the F35 be a decent desktop amp replacement ? Is there any comparable desktop amp it is similar to in overall quality ?

post #217 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohb View Post
 

Can the F35 be a decent desktop amp replacement ? Is there any comparable desktop amp it is similar to in overall quality ?

 

I think that it could certainly be a desktop replacement amp.  It's hard to compare to other desktop amps because there are many areas to compare, such as power, sound signature, detail, soundstage.  So, while it's on the same level as many desktop amps, that doesn't mean they sound the same.

 

It's warmer than my DACmini with a warm tone that's similar to the EF5 or Icon DAC.

It's more powerful than my Woo WA6 but less powerful than my DACmini.

It's soundstage is a little wider than the WA6 or EF5, while the DACmini probably comes close to it.

It's not as bright as the DACmini in comparison, but on it's own it's not dark sounding.

It's detail is probably very close to my maxed WA6 or DACmini, which are both slightly more detailed than the EF5.

It's more forward sounding than the DACmini, but not as forward as the EF5.

etc etc etc

post #218 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
 

 

I think that it could certainly be a desktop replacement amp.  It's hard to compare to other desktop amps because there are many areas to compare, such as power, sound signature, detail, soundstage.  So, while it's on the same level as many desktop amps, that doesn't mean they sound the same.

 

It's warmer than my DACmini with a warm tone that's similar to the EF5 or Icon DAC.

It's more powerful than my Woo WA6 but less powerful than my DACmini.

It's soundstage is a little wider than the WA6 or EF5, while the DACmini probably comes close to it.

It's not as bright as the DACmini in comparison, but on it's own it's not dark sounding.

It's detail is probably very close to my maxed WA6 or DACmini, which are both slightly more detailed than the EF5.

It's more forward sounding than the DACmini, but not as forward as the EF5.

etc etc etc


Excellent. It is also great it can take a SE input and make it balanced.

Not seen any other portables that do that, though not sure how different it would be in SQ to a truly balanced DAC input.

post #219 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohb View Post
 


Excellent. It is also great it can take a SE input and make it balanced.

Not seen any other portables that do that, though not sure how different it would be in SQ to a truly balanced DAC input.

 

In my review (link in my signature) I found it very hard to discern a difference (with the F-35) between my PS Audio Perfectwave DAC's balanced XLR output vs the single-ended RCA output.  

 

Others have commented that there is a difference in the PWD DAC's outputs if the amp is high-end enough to reveal all the subtleties.  Unless the amp has both XLR and RCA inputs it's hard to compare one DAC with one AMP with both inputs.  I do KNOW that the Woo WA22 amp is a bit worse with the RCA inputs vs the XLR inputs (regardless of DAC used, and regardless of which output is used).

 

There are probably some DACs that are clearly better with XLR out vs RCA, but I can't recall which ones those are.  So, the F-35 doesn't seem to care about the input, unless you get one of those DACs with inferior RCA outputs.  Some balanced output DACs are just not as good as other single ended DACs, such as DACmagic balanced vs DACmini single ended.

post #220 of 251

Does the male RSA-type connector click into the F-35 ? Is it easy for it to come out on its own if the cable is caught by accident etc ?

post #221 of 251

you should consider comapre the porthphile 627x against the rsa lighting 

 

check it out

 

http://www.headfonia.com/portaphile-micro-untexan/

 

http://www.headfonia.com/possibly-the-best-the-627/

post #222 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lohb View Post

Does the male RSA-type connector click into the F-35 ? Is it easy for it to come out on its own if the cable is caught by accident etc ?

The RSA connector is VERY securely connected to the Lightning. I am more worried about breaking the cable than the connector coming out if I catch the cable on something. I once had my portable rig dangling from my IEMs and the connector stayed in place.
post #223 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by listen4joy View Post
 

you should consider comapre the porthphile 627x against the rsa lighting 

 

check it out

 

http://www.headfonia.com/portaphile-micro-untexan/

 

http://www.headfonia.com/possibly-the-best-the-627/


Though it got too hot, had a big popping sound when the battery got too low ?

post #224 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by listen4joy View Post
 

you should consider comapre the porthphile 627x against the rsa lighting 

 

check it out

 

http://www.headfonia.com/portaphile-micro-untexan/

 

http://www.headfonia.com/possibly-the-best-the-627/

I didn't see that either of these are balanced.  so why would they be chosen over the lightning?  the sr71 maybe.

post #225 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post

I didn't see that either of these are balanced.  so why would they be chosen over the lightning?  the sr71 maybe.

I would not even go that far. That comparison is 2 years old and they compared the 627 against the old SR-71A.
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