Hi Sorensiim, I think it would be very helpful if you would add all the amp that you've already tried out with the DX50.
To avoid redundancy!
Oh that's a darn short list: The Heir Rendition 1. Being a DX100 owner I'm completely out of the loop when it comes to portable amps.
"Tubelike" is really not something I'm looking for though, if by that you mean warm and "creamy" sounding. I'd like something as clear and neutral as possible, with power enough to really slam the bass when needed. Another vote for the Leckerton 6... Do you find the gain to be low enough for (c)iem use?
Thanks again for all the input, this forum is great for helping one get rid of any disposable income!
Hi Sorensiim... I would like to hear your views on the pairing of DX50 with the Rendition-1. Thanks and appreciate it.
Sorensiim. You already know I have and like the Intruder very much. I haven't heard the International so won't comment.
I will tell you the reasons why I have chosen the Intruder. Many of the reasons fall in line with what you have posted. This is all personal preference and MY decision making process.
I wanted a high quality amp that would enhance my listening experience. (was ipod touch>LOD>amp>Grado) I started life with a headstage arrow to AKG701/SE530/TF10. Then purchased the Grado RS1i and shortly after a Neco V3. Then got the intruder. Intruder is ^10 IMO. Note: I listen to all kinds of rock, blues, metal. No classical, country, rap, or pop. All of my listening is portable/transportable. I don't have any desktop dac/amps, etc.
Here are my reasons for getting the Intruder
1. I listened to a friend's SR71B at a meet and fell in love with the sound. Very full and deep. Accurate representation. Bass is not bloated, but is definitely present. And to me it tames the harshness of the Grado RS1i upper treble. (Now I love my treble, and the Grado has that in spades.) I don't think that I would say the intruder colors the sound, but maybe it does. I just know I liked the sound of the SR71b and hearing that was as close as I could get when thinking about going for the intruder.
2. It is balanced. At the time I didn't have anything balanced, but with the way this hobby goes, I knew that I would have to balance something. Just to try it out. But it also has all of the single end inputs and outputs you could want. That was very versatile to me. Any combination could work. Future proofing. I was also reading about the Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm solo dB. And if I moved in that direction, I could do balanced out of that to balanced in to the Intruder. Again, future proofing.
3. It has an internal DAC. It is limited to 16/44, but I didn't/don't see myself buying a bunch of high res music when I have over a thousand CDs. So the dac limitations didn't bother me. And at the time I had just purchased a Samsung Galaxy S3 with 64G internal memory with the intentions of using it as a FLAC player. That didn't happen though. But I can. If I ever find a micro to mini OTG cable I want. So for me if I was looking at SR71B and Intruder, they are about the same price, and the intruder has an internal DAC. Trying to future proof again.
4. Power. It has all the power you could want. I have been eyeing Top Of the Line cans and wanted the ability to power almost anything I want to try. Since Ray states it will power HE-6, I liked the option to have this power if needed. But can still run iem as well. Someday I hope to get custom iem and a high end can too. D@mn hobby...
5. It fits nicely with the ipod touch and now the DX50. Form factor was definitely a decision. Probably should have put that at number 2.
Those are the reasons I selected the intruder.
Do I use the DAC? No. Do I use the high power? Not at the moment. I'm pretty much on Mid for RS1i and TF10 when I plug in. Do I use it balanced? You betcha! I want to balance more cans/iems.
As far as balanced goes...
YES! You should. I had my Grados terminated in a 4pin mini male xlr by Moon Audio and bought 2 jumpers. RSA kobiconn to female mini xlr, and 1/8" to female mini xlr. So far covers all my needs. Noticed an immediate improvement. Now some of that is the inherent increase in power you get by balancing, so louder always "seems" to sound better. But after getting over that, I can definitely notice a difference in sound stage. And since the RS1i is so close and in your face, any improvement in sound stage is welcome. That balancing is what made me start to search out FLAC. Before that I was exclusively 320 mp3.
Is it black? Yes. Just tested with TF10. According to quick check someone says the impedance is 32 ohms. So it's not like they are 10 or less or anything. But I'm checking with what I have.
Baseline: Intruder volume starts at 7:00 position = 0. I listend at 9:00 to 10:00 with Mid gain on TF10. And we'll call that 15 to 25%. I tested for blackness with DX50 plugged in>turned on>paused.
On Mid. Have to turn to 3:00 or 75% to hear any appreciable "power". That is my term for it. It isn't white noise. It isn't hiss. It sounds like an amp that is waiting to blast your ears.
On Low. Cannot hear the power hiss/sound at all.
On High. I hear power at 10:00 when silent. Can only listen between 7:30 and 8:30. Maybe 5 to 10% at high level. Not recommended with iem, imo.
Are there things I don't like? Yes. But they are minor.
It is expensive! You got that right. The Volume pot has a bit of scratch to it. Whenever I turn it on, I turn it back and forth a few times. I can hear the scratch in the headphones. But when making slight adjustments while it is on, it doesn't scratch. I don't know if that is my unit or inherent to the Intruder. I wish I had a second power converter for work. But now I just make sure to charge it overnight whenever I use it. Converter doesn't travel with me.
Hope this helps. Hope I didn't bore you. Sorry for the length.
DX50 + The R1 made me put my DX100 up for sale... The R1 is way underappreciated on these forums and the battery life is impressive. I get about 40 hours on a charge. Sonically it is neutral-ish, and a nice improvement in soundstage and separation compared to the HP out of the DX50. The extra power helps give the bass that little extra kick without being bloated. Then I made the mistake of wondering if things would get even better if I threw more money at this link in my chain and this thread was born
Damn right it helps! You're the main reason that the Intruder is at the top of my list! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and helping me decide. I will be ordering a spare charger with the amp, as per your recomendation. (If I settle on the Intruder, that is) Thanks a ton for your thoughts on balanced drive as well!
This is going to sound silly, but the size of the Lightning really bugs me. It's two full centimeters narrower than the DX50, leaving me with a V-shaped stack. I know this would annoy me to no end, even though I would be savning money. Oh and I'd be soldering those cables myself, Ray quoted me $7 for two Kobiconn connectors so that's not really a concern. I do appreciate the input though, and besides from the size and the lack of single-ended outputs it would have been great.
I've heard a great deal of great things about Meier, I'll dig in to see what they have! That Quickstep lines up pretty well...
Ok, in that case I will let you know how it pairs with the JDS C5. Even though it's fairly cheap :)
Ibasso, the amp manufacturer, might not be entirely impartial in this matter