My E12DIY should come in on the 26th. I have some MUSE01 and MUSE02 around and I can give you some impression if you are interested.
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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs)
Last edited: 11/28/16
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FiiO E12DIY Limited Edition Version---DIY your own sound ! - Page 28
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Yes please, I'd really appreciate it. I also want to try opa627
Sorry for ignorance, but what kind of output power do the MUSE amps have compared to the ones provided by fiio?
You will need to get the SO8 package and mount 2 onto the adapter yourself as OPA627 is single channel and the DIP8 package just won't fit.
The overall output power is determined by gain (voltage) and current. Since gain is set by the gain switch while the current is handled by the buffer, changing opamp will not affect the output power by much. You don't really need more power anyway as E12DIY should be able to drive over 90% of all the headphone out there except for those that are known to be really difficult-to-drive. So why change the opamp, you might ask? Well, opamp are not all created equally. Some are just better sounding than the others, such as those included by FiiO. MUSES are probably among the best of the best. But MUSES series also cost about US$40~50 each (and sometime more) so they are not included
Im totally interested.
Can you kindly test the Muses and the opa627?
Thanks for sharing! Sounds right up my alley. I'll give it a try!
I put the OPA604 in an Adcom GFP-565 stereo preamp some years ago and thought it sounded too dark and closed in. But this is a different application. I was curious about how this chip would perform when I found it was included with the set. Glad to hear it's working out!
My bad. The chip I tried in the GFP-565 was the OPA627, not the OPA604. It was a number of years ago, so the details blur. The original op amp in the 565 were LT1056. The output buffer is the LT1010CT.
The Adcom GFP-565 is a full sized stereo preamp, but it's conceptually the same as the E12 portable headphone amp: a high quality audio op amp with a buffer behind it. In the case of the GFP-565, however, the stationary nature of it allowed for the use of a beefy power supply and beefy voltage regulators for the chips and buffers. The buffers were also high current and biased into class A. The E12 does not have volatage regulation, as far as I know (I could be wrong).
When I was researching chips for upgrading the preamp, I did consider the OPA604. From what I recall, it was a well regarded op amp, but was not considered the best sounding chip one could get in absolute terms.
There was some debate about the OPA627. It was considered among the elite of op amps, but opinions were split. Some thought it was supremely musical, others thought it was dark and murky with no treble.
Curious, I gutted the stock chips from the 565, installed sockets, and inserted the OPA627. I hoped for the best, but the sound was thick and dark with no real air to it. Not so great.
Of course, I didn't have time to optimize the circuit for the OPA627. There was some talk about how this chip needs a lot more decoupling capacitance than is suggested in the application sheet, otherwise it would, indeed, sound way too dark. I just didn't have time to explore this.
So I'm curious, now, to hear that the OPA604 sounds great in the E12. That may totally be the case, as this application may be well suited to the chip. I'm also very interested in how the OPA627 will fare.
For those interested, here is some good reading on how various chips perform in headphone amps:
According to this write up, some chips of note are the: OPA627, AD843, and the AD8610/AD8620
Edited by K.T. - 12/24/13 at 11:40pm
Thanks for the info! Interesting read.
After spending more time with the OPA604, I admit that it does have a warm flavor to it, but nothing dark and murky. Having tried all of the opamps, I now believe the AD8620 and OPA1611 are technically better than OPA604. It's just that the OPA604 happens to have so much synergy with one of my headphones which led to my gushing about it in my previous posts. After experimenting opamps with more headphones and IEMs, it seems that AD8620 and OPA1611 both will work better than OPA604 for most headphones/IEMs out there, with a more neutral/less warm sound and more detail. So unless your headphone has a magical synergy with OPA604, AD8620 or OPA1611 will sound better to most.
Currently it's a tie between AD8620 and OPA1611, both are so similar that I'm hard pressed to pick out which is better...
Please let us know how it compares to the AD8620 and OPA1611. Very curious!
btw, i need to milling down the inner portion of the metal case tonight. it is too tight and it hit the IC
Edited by hkfriends - 12/25/13 at 1:23am
AD797 is warm and dark sounding to me. It ranks the lowest out of the 4 opamps in my book, but don't get me wrong it is still pretty good.
- FiiO E12DIY Limited Edition Version---DIY your own sound !
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