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Upgrade for a Fiio E17

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was wondering what a good DAC/AMP combo for my portable setup (Lumia 920>Fiio E17>DT770 Pro 80ohm, also used with laptop via USB), to replace my Fiio E17 would be? I'm getting an O2+ODAC for my desktop setup, but I want a battery powered, portable combo headphone amp and dac.

I don't know what I'll have to spend to upgrade but I'd like to keep it within $200 at the very most. Open to suggestions.

Just a note, my DT770's have been blu-tack insulated, and I have leatherette pads on them. I prefer warm over bright.


EDIT:
I'm looking into the Eckerton UHA-4 and the iBasso D-Zero, iBasso D42, and the iBasso D2+ Boa. Any thoughts?
Edited by phillyd - 1/15/14 at 6:29am
post #2 of 22
Unless there is something you don't like about the E17, I think I would stay where you are. IMHO, other under $200 portable amps aren't going to be much of an upgrade.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
It isn't all that powerful or very clear. When I listen to music loudly on my 80 ohm beyers from my phone>aux>E17>headphones, i have to turn on the gain and I can hear a clear reduction in clarity. Bass EQ also distorts horribly.
post #4 of 22
If you can stretch your budget, the Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MKII is a nice step up from the E17, and it has a very good amp section. Pickings are very slim under $200 for a battery powered DAC/amp combo.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good find. I'd be willing to buy lightly used as well.
post #6 of 22

More value in buying a better headphone IMO.

post #7 of 22
The blu-tac in your beyers might have made them considerably harder drive. The same thing happens to the T50RP when you mod them. You lose the backwave on the driver due to the damping (which in general is a good thing) but the increase in air pressure due to the loss of volume means the driver has to work harder.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweden View Post

More value in buying a better headphone IMO.
Then suggest an upgrade for $200 lightly used. How would it make sense to get a better upgrade if the beyers are good enough to show the weakness in the Fiio?
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

The blu-tac in your beyers might have made them considerably harder drive. The same thing happens to the T50RP when you mod them. You lose the backwave on the driver due to the damping (which in general is a good thing) but the increase in air pressure due to the loss of volume means the driver has to work harder.
Makes sense. I've noticed myself turning them up more but I never connected the dots.
post #9 of 22
An iBasso D12 is a definite upgrade in sound quality.
You'll loose that muddy fog you don't like.

The bad news is a new one is approx. $285.00
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm looking into the Eckerton UHA-4 and the iBasso D-Zero, iBasso D42, and the iBasso D2+ Boa. Any thoughts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDBiotek View Post

If you can stretch your budget, the Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MKII is a nice step up from the E17, and it has a very good amp section. Pickings are very slim under $200 for a battery powered DAC/amp combo.
What OP-Amp would I be best off getting? What is the sound signature like?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

An iBasso D12 is a definite upgrade in sound quality.
You'll loose that muddy fog you don't like.

The bad news is a new one is approx. $285.00
Can you describe the sound from this amp/DAC? I want to hear some opinions.
Edited by phillyd - 1/15/14 at 6:22am
post #11 of 22
I have the OPA 209 in my Leckerton, but I am sure the standard op amp is just fine. Not sure how much of the sound signature is due to the op amp itself (and I don't want to start that debate in this thread), but the designer is very experienced and I trust his judgement).
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Any thoughts on the other options I listed?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyd View Post

I'm looking into the Eckerton UHA-4 and the iBasso D-Zero, iBasso D42, and the iBasso D2+ Boa. Any thoughts?
What OP-Amp would I be best off getting? What is the sound signature like?
Can you describe the sound from this amp/DAC? I want to hear some opinions.

The iBasso D12 is a definite upgrade from the E17.
More transparent, cleaner, clearer purer sounding.
A more neutral sound.
By comparison the E17 has some mud and fog in there.
I don't think the E17 is a piece of junk, the D12 costs twice as much.

I've also compared the D12 headphone amp to the Matrix M Stage headphone amp (using the D12 as a DAC).
Not to confuse the issue even more, but the Matrix is a slightly clearer and fuller headphone amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDBiotek View Post

I have the OPA 209 in my Leckerton, but I am sure the standard op amp is just fine. Not sure how much of the sound signature is due to the op amp itself (and I don't want to start that debate in this thread), but the designer is very experienced and I trust his judgement).

I would guess it's very much due to the skill of the Leckerton designer.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. Anything on the D2+ Boa? I love the form factor.
post #15 of 22
That's the only iBasso I've heard so I can't comment on any other iBasso product.
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