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Sony's DSD-capable PHA-2 portable headphone amp/DAC - Page 35

post #511 of 597
Subbed. New owner and connected to iPod driving my w4rs and mad dogs 3.2. Happy camper so far.
post #512 of 597
Been using a while now with either Nexus 5 or my Sony ZX1. Great bit of kit. Adds a new level to the ZX1, very happy with the PHA-2
post #513 of 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by McCol View Post

Been using a while now with either Nexus 5 or my Sony ZX1. Great bit of kit. Adds a new level to the ZX1, very happy with the PHA-2

Could you please share what "new level" was added to your sony zx1? My curiosity is piqued.

Although I bought it to drive my ipod , I tired connecting my ak240 line-out to the PHa-2 as an amp and I must say the amp adds more punch and dynamics to the internal amp of the ak240 when driving the mad dogs planar headphones. Differences were less obvious on iems as the ak240 has a mighty enough amp section for iems.

Now I can't wait to A/B the PHa-2 driving my iPod with my Chord Hugo at home, though I do suspect I know the winner already in this case.
post #514 of 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayboy76 View Post



Could you please share what "new level" was added to your sony zx1? My curiosity is piqued.



Although I bought it to drive my ipod , I tired connecting my ak240 line-out to the PHa-2 as an amp and I must say the amp adds more punch and dynamics to the internal amp of the ak240 when driving the mad dogs planar headphones. Differences were less obvious on iems as the ak240 has a mighty enough amp section for iems.



Now I can't wait to A/B the PHa-2 driving my iPod with my Chord Hugo at home, though I do suspect I know the winner already in this case.

 



Difficult to pinpoint the exact differences but I'll try.
If I use my Ety er4s with the amp section it gives a bit more volume but for me doesn't change the signature of the Zx1, which is no bad thing. However when I use the dac section it seems to add more volume power but also gives a smoother sound. Now this isnt to say that the ZX1 needs this as it sounds stellar without the PHA-2 esp with my AKG K3003 but the PHA-2 does seem to just add a little something very nice to the mix.
I wouldnt say it adds loads of extra bass or anything else amazing just kind off smooths everything and makes it sound a bit more amazing.

I know some would rather a more in depth description but I cant put into words the very subtle difference it makes.
post #515 of 597
Wow... received mine today. Paired with my Note 3, improved nicely. Paired with my zx1...bliss. Sounds so incredible. Amplifies the music so perfectly. To me, so worth $600. I need more time, but my expectations were exceeded.
post #516 of 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior1975 View Post

Wow... received mine today. Paired with my Note 3, improved nicely. Paired with my zx1...bliss. Sounds so incredible. Amplifies the music so perfectly. To me, so worth $600. I need more time, but my expectations were exceeded.

I love mine too, but could not get it to work with my Note 3 (rooted). I presume your's is stock?

post #517 of 597
I'm rooted as well. Used the HO. I didn't try usb out as I believe I read you have to use the DAC of your Android phone. Not sure how true it is, I'll try later tonight and let you know.
post #518 of 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by johangrb View Post

I love mine too, but could not get it to work with my Note 3 (rooted). I presume your's is stock?
Have you tried UAPP?
post #519 of 597

Yip - no go.

post #520 of 597
Read it in this article:

http://m.electronista.com/articles/14/04/14/sony.rolls.out.the.pha.2.portable.headphone.amp.for.smartphones.pcs/
post #521 of 597
Was looking around for more info and found a website that sells these for $509...new. Not sure if I can post the link, but it's called smart imports. They accept PayPal. Anyone familiar with them?
post #522 of 597
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

I just wish they weren't constrained by the mass market demands for light weight, small form factor, long battery life, and convenience.  Those factors surely have something to do with the PHA-2's limited power output.

Mike 
I would not consider this accurate. Firstly everyone else selling an external DAC seems to offer better battery life.

Secondly the enthusiast market has gone cyclical back to daps and away from bulkier stack rigs. Modern "audiophile" daps do not suffer in the battery dep
post #523 of 597

My debate is as follows PHA-2 VS ADL -X1.

 

I have Ultrasone Edition 9 (30 ohm impedance) with APS recable

Also a  TTVJ Millet portable tube amp- that can really drive headphones like these well.

 

So I am really most concerned with the DAC quality. If the amp is better than my TTVJ Millet Tube amp ...well great.

 

The main difference between the Sony PHA-2 VS the ADL-X-1 seems to be:

 

Sony has DSD

ADL-X1 has Optical digital out 

 

Since I will Snowboard with this and need iPhone lightning compatibility...it is a plus for both.

 

I have a DAC in my car and would welcome the optical output so I could do a decent stream (ground loop free digital signal) in my car. (not happening  with the PHA-2...unless I feed it to my Nakamichi TP-1200 Special shop remote pre-amp in my car as an analog source by passing my DAC)

 

For the Sony PHA-2 ....I have a MSB Analog DAC (GF's system), and my Wadia 860x GNSC statement level CD player in my system does not do anything over 24/96 or DSD so this might come in handy to be able to play everything in my collection... except for hi-rez DSD.

 

In terms of harmonics with strings and piano and convincing vocals and live concert crowd noise cues... how does the PHA-2 stack up?

 

Could I expect the Sony PHA-2 to better a Apogee Mini DAC in tonal quality? The Apogee Mini DAC uses the 17x converters from what used to be one model down from the Apogee Symphony. When powered by the Battery and using firewire (Which I prefer to USB) the Mini DAC can sound a lot better than when plugged into a wall.

 

Anyone know??


Edited by Golden Ears - 5/29/14 at 9:29am
post #524 of 597

I am at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2014 this weekend. today I am doing a room tune and set up for room 822 (Chapman loudspeakers- as well as running their demos)..and I hope to find a Sony PHA-2 there. The Furutech is DIRECTLY ACROSS The hall...and I asked him yesterday to bring a ADL-X1 for me to compare.

 

Now I just have to find the Sony PHA-2 at the show.

post #525 of 597

Okay, I found both of these at T.H.E. Newport Beach audio show. 

 

The Sony had a very neutral sound signature, it's hard to do a true evaluation because I had a very poor quality 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm cable, and I did not have an iOS device with me. It did not sound immediately like it had a lot of current reserve to drive my Edition 9 Ultrasones. I found myself plugging my  TTVJ tube amp in series to get the bass drive I was accustomed to. 

 

-as an aside... I find that in the portable arena... it is nice to have lots of battery reserve. So though this might not seem apparent to some, I compared a iMod 5.5 gen 80gb (thick case- stock has 20 hours of playtime) case vs an iMod 5.5 gen based on a 30GB (Thin case 12 hours play time) with a 256GB SSD drive (which consumes more power than a 30Gb drive ). The thicker iMod was clearly superior in SQ and bass heft and bass delineation. Mind you these are being run with the same amp... and output only line level....and you still hear a difference.

 

The first day of the show I did find the ADL– X1 and oddly enough they didn't have an IOS device that was working with it. So the following day I returned with an external  Apogee mini DAC so I could do a comparison of that DAC with the DAC inside the ADL – X1, or with the PHA-2.

 

Much to my frustration, for some reason they sold that ADL-X1 to some random person at the show… which unfortunately made any sort of comparison impossible , A friend of mine who is one of the vice presidents of the Los Angeles and Orange County audio society was all excited to have me do the comparison –unfortunately we will have to wait.

 

On the bright side we are arranging to get me a ADL-X1  review sample. And I will try to get the Sony PHA-2 as well. 


Edited by Golden Ears - 6/7/14 at 7:19am
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