Firestone Audio is really stepping up its game these days, with increasingly higher-end products, like the Tobby/Bobby.
As a followup to their previous HD offerings, they're coming out portable balanced amplifiers: the HDB amp and DAB combination DAC/amp.
These pictures were posted on their Facebook Page:
Looks like they're using the Kobiconn/RSA/ALO 4-pin connector, which is a nice choice for portable.
Apparently, they're not skimping on parts quality, using PCOCC wire for the battery hookup; while details are sparse about the DAB, after asking around with people in the know, I've heard that it uses a WM8741 and supports DSD decoding as well as Android OTG support.
The HDB looks to be a fully-differential design with a pair of LME49724 as buffers and TPA6120 as voltage amplifiers.
The outward design seems to be an evolution of the Fireye HD, which is nice. The volume knob looks chunkier/solid and the plugs are no longer recessed, which makes connectivity better. I also like that it has a three step gain stage.
If these units can perform on par or better than the current balanced products from ALO and/or RSA, then they'll present themselves to be a pretty good value, especially with DSD support on the DAB, which is a rare feature only seen on single-ended products so far like the iFi Nano iDSD and the new upcoming portables from Korg and JVC.
Hopefully, both will start off at a reasonable cost, as I think Firestone products are plagued with unstable pricing. They set different prices for different markets. It'll be affordable here in Taiwan (from what I've heard, price in New Taiwan Dollars translates to around $300 and $350 USD for the HDB and DAB, respectively), as FSA always gives the local market preferred pricing, but who knows how much they'll price it for foreign markets.
Edited by tomscy2000 - 11/12/13 at 7:01pm