That I can totally agree, the Z1 have pretty terrible output, at least compared to using a good amp+dac vs the headphone socket. It manage to make both my MH334 and 1R sounding rather boring from it. Lifeless and weak dynamics.
Sorry purk I must have misunderstood your post, I thought that's what you were stating when you said pico amp/dac is not as good as the ZX-1. I'm on the fence but I'm sure I'll cave.....there's a reason why I'm still subscribed to this thread hah. If nothing else the device/battery time looks really slick and I know the F887/Z1070 sounds really good already.
think you'll find that most are buying this for 'sound quality'... the UI is a unexpected bonus for those coming from other brands.
no grinder or blender allowed... to show my support of what you're proposing to do, I'll eat my F887 if the Israelites win the Prem' this year.
Oohh.. Me luv such statement..
In San Francisco custom now..
For the first time today I tried my portable Vorzuge Duo amp with the ZX1 as I thought I would not need to until I found the ZX1 is at times struggling with 24 ohm Sony cans I have (see post #2790 on P185 for "why?") and decided to try the amp with my Jh16's first and have to say was surprised that their was further improvement pairing it with this amp in certain areas one of which if I had any criticism (which I do) is the ZX1 mids are a bit to laid back or recessed for another word which may be due to the way Sony have spread out the soundstage on this vast and expansive plain of a picture they have managed to paint in our heads.
The Vorzuge has added control and refinement with the upper mids bringing them to the fore more and adds a bit more body & definition to the top end and as a result female vocals have also become a little less shrill when hitting highs combined when in a band.
One track, a bass guitar on a Nickleback track from Take the long road album (flac HDCD rip) which was noticeable in background but getting a bit lost in the crescendo of other instruments belting out found it's own place, more forward in presentation and could hear the rumbling vibration of each chord's been played coming through, it was not subtle in difference either.
With any thing that brings improvements though using an amp there is always some other change in presentation which negates adding the amp and with the Vorzuge tightening up and refining on the previous mentioned areas whilst bringing the mid's to the fore more , some of the magic of the ZX1's super wide soundstage is lost to an extent and feels narrowed down, more centre focused all though in reality the Vorzuge is not a narrow soundstage by any means which is a compliment to the ZX1's unique signatures of this Walkman.
What the ZX1 has also nailed is the sub bass region which on the Vorzuge does not go quite as low as the ZX1 with a little more noticeable roll off and also losses that visceral low bass rumbling on James Blake "Limit your Love"
Amping can still benefit some areas to my surprise but may take away with the other hand in other areas to a degree.
This is of course been quite analytical in comparisons as without the amp using this as a standalone Walkman this is one special player still and with a good mastered recording this player can sing and that is just with red book cd's.
I can vouch King's of Leon, Riva Sons, Michael Jackson 25th Anniversary editions, London Grammer, Lana Del Ray, Joe Bonamassa, John Hopkins & Birdy all sound synergistically magic with the ZX1 un-amped from today's session on the ZX1.
Also for first time tried listening to my X1060 properly since getting the ZX1 and have to say that is a story for another time....
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
At least I know from today not to get rid of my portable Vorzuge amp but have lost an emotional tie with the X1060 today by a fraction or two.
Nice, I just mixed up what you were saying in my head. I took it to mean the ZX-1 > that other devices with good line outs+Pico amp (like Pico Power or Pico Slim). I'm pretty jealous.....maybe not for long. Thanks for posting your impressions purk!