JDS Labs C5D Headphone Amp + DAC - Page 2
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Thanks, I think I will give it a try as it is less than $2. This should solve the extraneous wire making things less portable.
When I do, however, I will definitely take pictures of the whole process!
- 3 Posts. Joined 1/2014
- Select All Posts By This User
Hello everyone! Sorry for my absence!
OK. So, as for the USB adaptors, they SHOULD work. The Apple lightning to mini or micro USB adaptors will not work since they only pass the power for charging, and were only made to comply with Apple's agreement with the EU re: charging of cell phones. But a general usb type adaptor will (or should) pass all four (or five) conductors and so would be fine.
Personally, for me, the problem with them is all that lever arm sticking out of the C5D. Too easy to put too much force on your mini-USB connector on your C5D. But still, given that the C5D is shorter than the iPhone 5/5S, you could stack them in such a way as to minimize that issue. So it looks like a good solution.
Which brings me to two things:
1. I have decided not to keep my C5D. Don't get me wrong. It's damn fine and it sounds great and I'll post my impressions below. It's just that the iPhone 5S, with my current favorite headphones, sounds about 90 percent as good--more than good enough--and so the extra hassle of an outboard DAC and Amp has turned out to be--for me--not worth it. So I'll be selling my C5D and Lightning camera connector cable (optionally). As well as my Grado SR225's and original Sennheiser PX-100's.
2. So, given (1), I'm not going to take the time and effort to mod my Lightning cable. It looks like it won't be easy to do and I'm very busy with work right now and for the foreseeable future.
However . . .
I will be happy to put one of these in a legal or letter envelope and mail it to you free of charge so you can do-it-yourself if you want. Here is what the connector looks like dissassembled:
The middle piece has the solder pads shown up on the right. There are gold connector pins hiding on the underside on it's left. Here is a picture of that side revealed and of the top and bottom pieces assembled:
Finally, here is the whole thing assembled:
They look to be good quality connectors and not too difficult to solder up, although it will be tricky to solder the small wires onto the small solder pads without melting the plastic below. A light touch will be needed. If it were me, I would tin both the connector pads and wires separately first and then solder the tinned pads and wires together, probably with the whole deal taped down or otherwise secured to the work surface. Also keep in mind that the Lightning connector end DOES have electronics in it, and thus it would be a good idea to use an ESD safe iron as well as a grounding wrist strap--probably not necessary, but worth doing anyway. Finally, I would heatshrink both under the wire crimp as well as over it, and then with a final larger shrink wrap around most of the body of the connector itself.
I'm sorry to disappoint people, but I know how much time I would spend on these and how I would stand behind my work and worry about how they were holding up "in the field" and so on, and I'm not willing to commit to that.
BUT, if you PM me with your address I'll put one of these bad boys in an envelope and send it out to you. I have 10 of them as of this post.
OK. Now on to sound impressions of the C5D.
The C5D is clean, clear, precise and pristine. I hear the biggest differences between my iP5S and the C5D in the highs, which are smooth and yet fully present and detailed, and, with my Senn HD-595's also in the bass, which seems "tighter" and more extended. With my Ety ER-4S's I can't hear a difference in the bass, only in the highs. The 5S has a fairly forward or even aggressive high end. It's detailed and resolving and I like it. But the C5D has all the good aspects of the 5S without the bit of edge or harshness that the 5S can impart.
It's the kind of thing that's easy to miss with an A / B test, back and forth, but which becomes pretty clear over an extended listening session. It sort of creeps up on you and you realize--wow, that's a beautiful high end! I bought the C5D to be sure that I wasn't missing out by listening straight out of my 5S, and I'm selling it because I don't think I am. Or not by much, anyway. As I said in a post above, if the C5D + E-4S is a 100, then the 5S + ER-4S is a 90 or 95. I thoroughly enjoy my music straight out of my 5S with my ER-4S or HD-595's.
Now, this is with the ER-4S's and the HD-595's, both of which have 50+ ohms of impedance.
With the Grado SR-225's and the PX-100's there's no contest and there is way more than a small difference between the C5D and the 5S. If I were stuck on either of those two phones I would definitely keep the C5D. Given its specs--especially the low output impedance--I would guess that this thing would work beautifully with most any conventional headphones. It won't add any sort of coloration to or interact with your phones and will almost certainly be loud enough.
So, I could add more words, but I think that pretty much covers my extended impressions of the C5D. Please feel free to ask questions if you want more info or clarification on something! And don't wait, because I won't have the C5D for very much longer. I hope. :)
Bass is way more controlled and instrument separation is better with my C5D paired with the Shure SE846. With my Phonak PFE 132s, I'd say the bass is more impactful and the treble more clean. The iPhone 5S is a bit messy in the upper treble, kind of splashy.