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Fostex HP-A4 - Page 10

post #136 of 289

Hello,

I am maybe interested in the HP-A4, but I have a few questions... :)

I am hoping some of you here on this thread can help me out...

I want to buy a new DAC-Amp combo for my desktop.

I currently use just a Fiio E17 with either IEMS (JVC FX700) or Over-hears (Citispace Uptowns).

I recently pulled the trigger on some Mad Dogs 3.2 and those are the headphones I will be mostly using on my desktop.

That is until the upgrade bug bites again...

 

Anyway... I have a few options I am considering.

The first one is the least expensiva and it is to keep my current E17 and pick up a Fiio E09K to complement it.

The E17 would be used only as a DAC and the E09K would do the Amplification.

 

Next option is to buy a new DAC-Amp combo and here I am torn between either the HP-A4 or the Asus Essence One (The non muses edition).

The Fostex costs 3 times what the E09K costs and the Asus is even a bit more expensive than the Fostex.

Both of these go to 24/192 over USB and that is an upgrade over the E17 24/96.

 

From what I read around the web, both the FOstex and the Asus use the same brand of DAC chips, so sound should be similar.

The Asus has the upsampling feature that I am not sure is good or useful. What makes me think about the Asus is because I read here that the Amp on the HP-A4 is on the weak side... So the asus  might be better as it is rated to drive phones up to 600 Ohms.

 

Anyway...

Based on what I said, what can you tell me?
Are either the Fostex or the Asus worth the premium over the E09K for sound quality?
How does the HP-A4 drive the Mad Dogs? Will the Asus do a better job?

On a general note, what is your opinion about E09K vs HP-A4 vs Essence One?

 

Cheers and thanks!

post #137 of 289

Hi there, I used to own the asus essence one. my recommendation to you is, don't buy it if you plan to use it with headphones with low impedance. such as the fostex th600 that i am using. technically it can drive it but it sounds very dull for some reasons. you can give the a4 a try, i plan to do that too once prices in japan start coming down in a bit.

post #138 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahhui90 View Post
 

Hi there, I used to own the asus essence one. my recommendation to you is, don't buy it if you plan to use it with headphones with low impedance. such as the fostex th600 that i am using. technically it can drive it but it sounds very dull for some reasons. you can give the a4 a try, i plan to do that too once prices in japan start coming down in a bit.

Hi,

Thank you for your reply.

I plan on using it first with the Mad Dogs that are 50 Ohms. Later, I might try something like HD650s, or something like that...

Would you say that for the Mad Dogs at 50 Ohms, the HP-A4 is a better match?

 

Cheers!

post #139 of 289
Quote:
 I plan on using it first with the Mad Dogs that are 50 Ohms. Later, I might try something like HD650s, or something like that...

Would you say that for the Mad Dogs at 50 Ohms, the HP-A4 is a better match?

I can't speak to comparisons. However, I acquired the HP-A4 a few days ago and it pairs well with my MDs. Nice kick.

post #140 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schopenhauer View Post
 

I can't speak to comparisons. However, I acquired the HP-A4 a few days ago and it pairs well with my MDs. Nice kick.

Thanks for your insight. :)
Anyone have a comparison between the HP-A4 and the Asus One?

Is the Asus One upsampling worth it? Or just a gimmick?

 

Cheers!

post #141 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdourado View Post
 

Is the Asus One upsampling worth it? Or just a gimmick?

 

In general I don't understand upsampling (and similar attempts): where should valid information come from if not from the source material? And if that uses lower resolution... whats the point?

 

A DAC already calculates a waveform fitting the binary information... doing that beforehand and adding artificial sample points based on that calculated curve (i.e. interpolating) won't make it any better... And No: there are no steps in the reconstruction of the analog signal anyway.

 

So I'd never pay extra for that kind of data generation. You'll hear much more difference between a well done recording and a bad one. And the latter won't be saved by mathematical tricks (that don't add anything of real value).

post #142 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by plakat View Post
 

 

In general I don't understand upsampling (and similar attempts): where should valid information come from if not from the source material? And if that uses lower resolution... whats the point?

 

A DAC already calculates a waveform fitting the binary information... doing that beforehand and adding artificial sample points based on that calculated curve (i.e. interpolating) won't make it any better... And No: there are no steps in the reconstruction of the analog signal anyway.

 

So I'd never pay extra for that kind of data generation. You'll hear much more difference between a well done recording and a bad one. And the latter won't be saved by mathematical tricks (that don't add anything of real value).

 

Thank you for that explanation. :)

It goes in line with what I already thought...

So, between the HP-A4 and the Asus One, the main difference is that the One has balanced XLR outputs and a more powerfull headphone amp?

 

Cheers!

post #143 of 289

I guess not everyone will agree with me ;-)

 

XLR out is something nice (I have a background in professional audio), but if you don't have active speakers or other equipment with +4dB balanced inputs they won't give you any advantage (using those with an adapter to chinch etc. will reduce the symmetrical signal to an asymmetric one). What I'm missing on the A4 is a coax digital input (it only offers Toslink).

 

Do you have any hard to drive headphones you want to use with your new DAC/Amp? I can't comment on the Asus but I don't find the A4 to be underpowered. Schopenhauer noted above that the A4 can handle the Mad Dogs, it also brings the 600Ohm T1 to more than enough volume. Maybe it won't master the HE6, but many amps won't...

post #144 of 289
Quote:
Do you have any hard to drive headphones you want to use with your new DAC/Amp? I can't comment on the Asus but I don't find the A4 to be underpowered. Schopenhauer noted above that the A4 can handle the Mad Dogs, it also brings the 600Ohm T1 to more than enough volume. Maybe it won't master the HE6, but many amps won't...
 

​The HP-4A drives the HE-500s very well -- at least to my ears. I've been very impressed with the pairing. In fact, I think the 500s pair better with the A4 than the MDs, although my thinking so could be chalked up to the fact that I prefer the 500s to the MDs. Even on the low gain setting, I can't push the dial past noon and keep it there for any considerable amount of time without hurting my ears. 

 

Of course, the 500s aren't the most difficult headphones to drive, but in my experience they're finicky.

post #145 of 289

Hi, can any of the current HP-A4 users tell me if the RCA output behind a line level output? does it bypasses the internal amp and able to feed into external amp or powered speakers?

post #146 of 289

Has anyone tried a pair of 250ohm Dt990 beyers yet?

post #147 of 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whizz View Post
 

Hi, can any of the current HP-A4 users tell me if the RCA output behind a line level output? does it bypasses the internal amp and able to feed into external amp or powered speakers?

The RCA out is preamp out with a max output voltage of 2Vrms. There is no way you can by pass the preamp part. Some users use this RCA out to hook up w/ another amp and like the results. I myself like to use the headphone out as it is. 

post #148 of 289

I run the RCA out to my WA7 and like the results. 

post #149 of 289
Quote:
 I run the RCA out to my WA7 and like the results. 

I should have said "WA6". 

post #150 of 289

Just pulled the trigger on one from Moon should be here later this week. I am very curious on the differences between my old stack Bifrost uber >corda aria > V6 Stage compares to this version. 

 

The question I have is in the player that Fostex offers. Is there a big difference between that player and iTunes. I am streaming hi-res files (24/192 and 24/96) What is the value of the Fostex player? 

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