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Is there a portable amp with an s/pdif input?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in finding out if there is a portable amp with an s/pdif source input. If so, are there any advantages over using the digital optical output compared to the analog output from a mini plug (e.g. would this help skip the amp in my portable music player)?

This may be a stupid question. However any input would be appreciated (even if it just confirms that this is, in fact, a stupid question).

Thank you,
Mark
post #2 of 14

I Have a Fiio E17 "Alpen" portable amp, which doubles as a DAC.

As far as I know it supports s/pdif input, but I've never used it. 

AFAIK the only difference between using the DAC via USB or using it with the s/pdif in is that the USB will only give you a max quality of 24bit / 96kHz, where the s/pdif should be able to give you 24bit / 192Khz. However, I think the difference between the two is inaudible, except if you're mr GoldenEars. 

 

As far as I know, the only way to skip the internal amp in your music player is using the line-out (if it has one) and plugging that into the Fiio's aux in port or using a LOD cable.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm quite new to these things.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you the reply controllerboy. Yup - it does look like the fiio E17 has an optical input, but it also has a lot of other things I don't need which makes me suspicious of the amp quality (at that price) and would make for a pretty thick stack. I've seen a lot of thin dedicated portable amps for the 3.5 mm line in source, but I have an amp already in the player that I want to skip (and i'm not sure of the gain required for a level line out).

Are there any other suggestions for a portable amp with an optical in?
post #4 of 14
The Leckerton UHA-6S has an optical in( supports 24/96), and a very good amp section. The Fiio E17 is a very good value for it's price, although it doesn't have as refined a sound. The Centrance Hifi M8 has optical in and is my favorite portable DAC/amp, but is pretty big. I have all 3, let me know if you have any questions about them.
post #5 of 14
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for the suggestions ... They hit at about the same time and listed the Leckerton UHA-6S. It looks like what I need without a lot extra. I looked up the reviews on it on this site and they look pretty good. I can't tell yet from the pictures on their website or the ones I've found here what the size is relative to portable daps.

SDBiotek - can you supply a picture of it with another portable unit (I have an iPod touch and an AK100)?

Thanks again,
Mark
post #7 of 14
It just so happens that there is a Leckerton UHA-6S currently for sale in the buy/sell forums. There are some pictures there that might help. However, I'm not sure if it is still available. The seller is a very experienced head-fier and a nice guy:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/698528/uha-6s-mkii-usb-dac-and-headphone-amplifier-with-spdif
post #8 of 14
[IMG]

The Leckerton is just slightly longer and wider than the AK100, and nearly the same thickness.
post #9 of 14
Here's another view:
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate the pictures SDBiotek, particularly with the AK100. You must have quite a large collection of gear.

Billybob_jcv - Thanks for the pointer to the used amp for sale. it appears the unit is sold but that would have been a sweet deal with all the extra op amps. I'm still learning about all the different forums on this site. It has a wealth of information.

I'll keep checking to see if another becomes available or perhaps purchase new.

Mark
post #11 of 14
No problem, Mark, glad to help. I paid full price for my UHA-6, but I still feel it is a great value. There are very few portables that have the same flexibility with inputs, good clean sound, solid build. I like the bit of extra soundstage and low level detail from the M8, but the Leckerton is much nicer to carry around. The only minor complaint with mine is channel imbalance at low volume, but it's normally not an issue.

Yes, too much portable gear...

The newest Leckerton (can't recall the model), will have an additional option that will also include optical input, although at a higher cost.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I opted for the RWAK100 mod to drive my low impedance IEMs instead of using a separate amp. It now sounds fantastic with my Shure SE5353s. It also can drive my Grado RS1is are a reasonable gain / sound level.

I'd like to check out the advantages of a separate portable amp in the future, but for now I think I have a good sounding setup.

Thank for for the suggestions and pictures.

Mark
post #13 of 14
Thanks for letting us know, hopefully the "one box" solution will work well for you.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
As long as I don't know what I'm missing, I will be satisfied (plus I spent a lot on audio this month - new headphones and mod).
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