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Should I run away from a high end DAP because it lacks a line out? I use a baby Stax with its own amplifier..Help needed

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I have the fiio X3 and I am considering trying the Colorfly c4. But the sole thing that puts me off is the lack of a line out.

I always use a baby Stax SR-001 with its own driving unit (amplifier). I always have considered that using the hedpahone out plus the Stax amplifier would increase the distortion in an unnecessary way. But I am not sure whether my reasoning is faulty.....

So, in short, would you stay away from the C4 because it lacks a line out I can connect to the Stax driver or, on the contrary, I could use the headphone out to connect the Stax driver without loosing sound quality?

Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Your reasoning is correct. Using the headphone out to feed into an amp results in amplifying the noise of the DAP's amp, thus raising the noise floor of the signal going into the headphones. Whether the final result has *audible* noise is hard to say - but your theory is sound.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks. It is pretty clear….

 

but why on earth would you release a high end DAP without a silly Line Out? What a way to waste a good product….

post #4 of 9
Honestly, I have never seen the appeal of the Colorfly. It reminds me of the old Archos DAPs from the early days of MP3 - which is not a compliment... tongue.gif It's big and ugly (to me). People can call it "steampunk" if they want to - but I just call it fugly. The Fiio X3 can play FLAC and has a digital output, so you can feed a digital signal into an external DAC & amp that can handle whatever HD bitstream you want. What else do you need?




Or, just get an idevice and a CLAS (or similar) set-up.
Edited by billybob_jcv - 2/3/14 at 4:19pm
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, I had the Archos.... Now I know why I like the Colorfly...

You are right on the Fiio.... It has everything you need for 200 bucks......

I was looking for greater sound quality for my baby stax... And also greater storage capacity......
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Or, just get an idevice and a CLAS (or similar) set-up.

I am not familiar with the terminology.... Can you explain what is an idevice and CLAS set up?

thanks....
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by angeche View Post
 

Thanks. It is pretty clear….

 

but why on earth would you release a high end DAP without a silly Line Out? What a way to waste a good product….

 

If I designed that DAP, my reasons would be:

1. I might assume that since I already gave it a very powerful amp that can push anything that is considered "portable," which by my definition won't need a special carrying case with customizable foam to carry the headphones that should go with it, then stacking won't be a priority (since it's about as thick, just not as unwieldy in the pocket, as a Classic and a slim amp)

 

2. I might assume that most of my buyers for a near-$1,000 DAP probably have a $1,000 DAC or CDP at home that has a discrete Class A output stage instead of one that I needed to make compromises for so people will shut up about its battery life...oh, wait, they wouldn't anyway :D

 

My apologies for the OT, but I think a better question would be "if my company's mantra was style, why release a $2,000 DAP that looks less sleek aside from looking like an F117A because it looks like it was a larger version of our other DAP permanently grafted onto an amp?" (Like when Tony Stark can't get out of the sentient Iron Man suit) :tongue_smile:

 

--------

 

In any case, does it have to be the C4? Fiio has the X5 for less; then there's supposedly an X7 in the works.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by angeche View Post

I am not familiar with the terminology.... Can you explain what is an idevice and CLAS set up?

thanks....

Sure - some bright propeller heads figured out that if you created an audio device that would fool the idevice into thinking it was a PC connecting via USB, then that audio device could directly access the media files stored on the idevice. The audio device is essentially treating the idevice as a USB memory stick. If you then put a DAC and an amp in that audio device, you have created a way to completely bypass the idevice's DAC and AMP, *without* requiring any HW modifications to the idevice - and in addition, this method will work with all ipods, iphone 3/4/5 or ipads.

One of the first (might have been the first) companies to produce a product that can do this was Cypher Labs, and their product was called the Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo (CLAS).
http://www.cypherlabs.com/

There are now other companies with products that do the same thing. I think there is an "official" name for this type of set-up, but I can never remember it - and on head-fi the name "CLAS rig" sort of stuck. smily_headphones1.gif

It is a really clever idea and an elegant solution to the audiophile's desire to get the most from their mobile rig, while still having all the advantages of the huge market of 3rd party products for idevices.

I tip my head-fi hat to those engineering propeller heads! tongue.gif
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post


Sure - some bright propeller heads figured out that if you created an audio device that would fool the idevice into thinking it was a PC connecting via USB, then that audio device could directly access the media files stored on the idevice. The audio device is essentially treating the idevice as a USB memory stick. If you then put a DAC and an amp in that audio device, you have created a way to completely bypass the idevice's DAC and AMP, *without* requiring any HW modifications to the idevice - and in addition, this method will work with all ipods, iphone 3/4/5 or ipads.

One of the first (might have been the first) companies to produce a product that can do this was Cypher Labs, and their product was called the Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo (CLAS).
http://www.cypherlabs.com/

There are now other companies with products that do the same thing. I think there is an "official" name for this type of set-up, but I can never remember it - and on head-fi the name "CLAS rig" sort of stuck. smily_headphones1.gif

It is a really clever idea and an elegant solution to the audiophile's desire to get the most from their mobile rig, while still having all the advantages of the huge market of 3rd party products for idevices.

I tip my head-fi hat to those engineering propeller heads! tongue.gif

 

All I can say is: I will study more…..Thanks for explaining…… ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

If I designed that DAP, my reasons would be:

1. I might assume that since I already gave it a very powerful amp that can push anything that is considered "portable," which by my definition won't need a special carrying case with customizable foam to carry the headphones that should go with it, then stacking won't be a priority (since it's about as thick, just not as unwieldy in the pocket, as a Classic and a slim amp)

 

2. I might assume that most of my buyers for a near-$1,000 DAP probably have a $1,000 DAC or CDP at home that has a discrete Class A output stage instead of one that I needed to make compromises for so people will shut up about its battery life...oh, wait, they wouldn't anyway :D

 

My apologies for the OT, but I think a better question would be "if my company's mantra was style, why release a $2,000 DAP that looks less sleek aside from looking like an F117A because it looks like it was a larger version of our other DAP permanently grafted onto an amp?" (Like when Tony Stark can't get out of the sentient Iron Man suit) :tongue_smile:

 

--------

 

In any case, does it have to be the C4? Fiio has the X5 for less; then there's supposedly an X7 in the works.

 

Thanks. My problem is that I am a) constructing my portable system around the Stax Sr-001 Mk II, I mean, I will never abandon the Stax and b) I need a portable system, because the sole time I have to listen to music is either during business trips or during holidays away from home (so no interest in connections of the gear back home, either via computer or via Hi Fi gear).

 

Regarding the Stax, I fell in love with their sound when my father bought one, probably 35 or 40 years ago. I even bought a "portable" (well, sort of) driver for my Stax Omega. I understand that either you love it or you hate it, but in my case it is adoration….

 

 

And you are right regarding the X5: the X3 sounds great, so I may go for the X5….

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