Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528
How does the TEAC compares to the Sony PHA-2? Build and sound.
Push comes to shove, I give the (very) tiny edge to the Sony for build, but the two are absolutely on the same level for build quality; I find the TEAC much more aesthetically appealing. The Onkyo version is a sexy matte black, too.
Sound-wise, the TPA6120A2 with 10 ohm output resistors in the Sony is hampering its performance with IEMs. With full-sized headphones, the difference is not so clear. I haven't directly compared the two, so it's hard to say subjectively.
The PHA-2 supports DSD2.8/5.6, so that's an advantage. The PCM1795 technically has a higher performance ceiling than the PCM5102A, and the I/V conversion stage seems like a pair of OPA1662 feeding into the LME49860 for voltage gain before feeding into the TPA6120A2 as a buffer. The PCM5102A's performance ceiling is capped by the noise floor modulation caused by the charge pump (for the line driver) built into the chip; the PCM1795 isn't limited by that, but requires separate I/V conversion.
Keep in mind that the PHA-2 is differential output all the way until headamp IC, whilst the HA-P50-B is the traditional ground-centered voltage output.
If I had to predict, under an ideal headphone load, the Sony would probably sound more wide-open with better instrumental separation than the TEAC --- how much more, don't know.
The Sony probably provides better absolute performance. Its line-output is almost surely superior to that of the TEAC. But on a practical level, when used as a single DAC/amp unit with IEMs and low-impedance (portable-ish) headphones, my tingling spidey sense tells me the TEAC is a better buy at 60% the price.
- AP SYS data from GoldenEars shows us that PHA-2 performance is invariably superior from the line-out --- it's physically impossible for the PCM5102 to get above 112 dB DNR, whilst the PHA-2 gets a real-world 115 dB DNR from its line out.
- For headphone out, the 16 ohm load test on the PHA-2 gets nice performance, with 112 dB of dynamic range. The THD+N is only 0.005% and at a weak 1 Vrms, which is a sore thumb, but that's with a challenging 16 ohm load (~60 mW power dissipation). I'll bet that with a 32 ohm load, that distortion goes down to 0.003% (a guess) or so.
- Then again, the HA-P50-B gets 0.001% THD+N with a 32 ohm load and 100 mW power dissipation, which should end up superior to 32 ohm performance on the PHA-2, but whether anyone can hear the difference between 0.001% and 0.003% is debatable. At the same time, <0.001% THD+N is a bit of a holy grail for audio designers and is something they all target.
- With IEMs like the Nuforce Primo 8 or UERM, these multi-BA IEMs get progressively darker with increasing output impedance because their varying input impedance drops to <10 ohms in the treble region. The 10 ohm OI of the PHA-2 is a poor fit with these types of IEMs.
- There's no OI data for the HA-P50-B, but from what I'm hearing, it should be no more than 5 ohms, but more than 1 ohms. Probably around 2-3 ohms, which is acceptable for me, personally. (Take this with a grain of salt; I'm no SYS2722 --- just judging from the level of brightness I hear with my UERM)
Edited by tomscy2000 - 7/16/14 at 1:14am
- From a measurements-only standpoint, the Sony gets more format support and better line-out performance, but the headphone-out is better and more versatile on the TEAC.
- Subjectively, it's anyone's guess. One man's trash is...