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Amp or Amp/DAC? - Page 2

post #16 of 41

I also have the Fiio E12 and am a happy camper. It's "married up" to a 160 Gb iPod Classic which has my ALAC format music stored on it. I just run the line out from the iPod which still uses the internal DAC, but bypasses the internal amp. The E12 is driving a pair of HiFiMAN HE-500s without breathing hard. It's a great (reasonably) portable set up. I frankly doubt I could hear the difference between the iPod DAC and an external one. 

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post
 

 

I'm actually in the exact same scenario as you are (except for the iPod/iPhone part). The reason I bought the E17 is because I was originally looking to get a separate DAC and E11 for portable use. I listen to music at home and at work so portability or at least transportability is a must for me. So after a TONNE of research I concluded that a portable DAC/amp would be the best decision for me. I've never regretted it for a second. I was sceptical at first about how much of a difference the DAC was going to make versus the modern onboard PC DAC but boy was I wrong. The difference is astronomical. And once you compare the difference in audio passed through the just the amp of the E17 compared to the the DAC/amp you'll never want to use the amp on it's own again. Of course that's hard to say for "i" devices because Fiio products are not Apple certified, and who knows it might actually be possible to use it as a DAC with an iPhone, but it works flawlessly with Android phones over OTG. The E17 has 3 gain settings: 0db, 6db and 12db. I typically just run it off 0db as it's powerful enough to drive my Takstar Pro80 at higher volume setting and 6db feels more right but I feel like to my ears that the 0db setting sound just marginally more clear with more controlled punchier bass. With the flexibility of multiple gain setting and the built in equalizer plus the other digital inputs you get it was kind of a no brainer about getting it. Some people have said that's it's capable enough to drive hard to drive cans at 12db setting. So in conclusion it was a future proof buy, and for $140 I could never have got a better separate amp and DAC with the same power and features that is this flexible and portable.

 

My next step is to go to our next local Head-Fi meet, already arm with the E17 as a DAC for my phone and audition some of the more well known cans out there. The last thing you want is to audition an expensive can on an amazing rig and buy one for yourself just to realize that you've just spent $300 on a pair of cans that you can't even drive properly at home or don't have a good enough DAC to get the clarity of what you heard when you were auditioning them. This is why I will only want to rate cans through what is available to me, ie my phone and E17. Otherwise you're going to be setting yourself up for either disappointment or be prepared to fork out a lot of money for an amazing rig.

 

Hi, I owned a FiiO E17, just to make sure I am using OPTICAL.3.5mm jack as my audio input instead of USB OTG cable, and it's work. So what is the difference between both of them? does OTG makes it sound much better?

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by racounter View Post
 

 

Hi, I owned a FiiO E17, just to make sure I am using OPTICAL.3.5mm jack as my audio input instead of USB OTG cable, and it's work. So what is the difference between both of them? does OTG makes it sound much better?

 

Coaxial and optical has a better transfer rate so it's able to stream at 24/192 and USB is 24/96 limited, all-in-all when you compare the optical and USB in terms of quality, theoretically, the difference is inaudiable. I've used the coaxial and you can pick up some interference in the feed if you cable is not high quality. But optical and USB is really good.

post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post
 

 

Coaxial and optical has a better transfer rate so it's able to stream at 24/192 and USB is 24/96 limited, all-in-all when you compare the optical and USB in terms of quality, theoretically, the difference is inaudiable. I've used the coaxial and you can pick up some interference in the feed if you cable is not high quality. But optical and USB is really good.

I see. Then why you stick with OTG cable? but with OPTICAL i can heard some buzz buzz with my beats tours. earbud is not suitable with amp/dac right? 

post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by racounter View Post
 

I see. Then why you stick with OTG cable? but with OPTICAL i can heard some buzz buzz with my beats tours. earbud is not suitable with amp/dac right? 

 

USB seems to be the easiest and cleanest overall.

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post

Fiio E12 will be too much for your current cans. Unless you're planning on upgrading to some hard to drive cans there is no need for it. You'd more likely want an E11 instead.
I personally own the E17 which is a great DAC/AMP (some say comparable to the E11 amp-wise). It does make a HUGE difference over the craptastic onboard soundcards on PC motherboards. Its also usable with Android devices and other devices which have a digital optical or SPDIF output. Though not much use for portable Apple devices as far as I'm aware.
So if you're looking into just using it for your iPod/iPhone with your current cans then the Foil E11 would do you wonders.

Sent from Moto G XT1033 w/ Faux kernel.

Hi there sorry to jump in but how do you find the bass with the e17 does it pump it up well? I got some dt770s (32ohm) stupidly I thought they would be enough to run off my galaxy s3 and someone told me so but they are pretty quiet in some situations :( so I need a bit of amping and something to make the sound come alive! I will also use it on the PC of course :) . Thanks

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbangaman View Post

Hi there sorry to jump in but how do you find the bass with the e17 does it pump it up well? I got some dt770s (32ohm) stupidly I thought they would be enough to run off my galaxy s3 and someone told me so but they are pretty quiet in some situations frown.gif so I need a bit of amping and something to make the sound come alive! I will also use it on the PC of course smily_headphones1.gif . Thanks

The inbuilt equalizer does wonders for most can. I've got some pretty flat freq response cans and set the bass up to 4. It sounds pretty good. Overall the E17 is a pretty warm amp in the first place but it sounds much better through the DAC.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post


The inbuilt equalizer does wonders for most can. I've got some pretty flat freq response cans and set the bass up to 4. It sounds pretty good. Overall the E17 is a pretty warm amp in the first place but it sounds much better through the DAC.

Thanks yes I am just wondering if its worth just getting the e18 but im unsure what is the difference apart from a few minor things...

 

ps how long does it last with dac and amp on?

 

im thinking the e18 will last longer has less control over equalizer has playback control and a few other things not sure about sound though :S ...


Edited by bobbangaman - 6/18/14 at 8:06am
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbangaman View Post
 

Thanks yes I am just wondering if its worth just getting the e18 but im unsure what is the difference apart from a few minor things...

 

ps how long does it last with dac and amp on?

 

im thinking the e18 will last longer has less control over equalizer has playback control and a few other things not sure about sound though :S ...

 

I haven't not heard the E18, but I was considering it as well. In the end I chose to get the E17 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, looking at reviews and comparisons here on head-fi most people who have A-B the E17 and E18 said that they preferred the tone of the E17 better. Secondly, both E17 and E18 are compatible with Android devices. Thirdly, the E17 is much more flexible with it's user interface and control. Lastly, who needs music controls on the DAC when it's going to be back to back with your phone/DAP anyway.

So, for me, the choice came down to: E18 = volume pot and slightly more powerful VS flexibility, EQ, $60 cheaper. The latter won every time I thought about it.

 

The battery on the E17 when on USB lasts 2-3 days for me and I listen to it for a good 5-7 hours a day because I listen to my cans at work. When on optical or coaxial SPDIF the battery drains much faster, maybe 4-5x faster. But the beauty is that you can play and charge at the same time AND once the battery is fully charged you have the option to disable the charging circuit to save you from ruining the battery from constant micro charging.

post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post

I haven't not heard the E18, but I was considering it as well. In the end I chose to get the E17 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, looking at reviews and comparisons here on head-fi most people who have A-B the E17 and E18 said that they preferred the tone of the E17 better. Secondly, both E17 and E18 are compatible with Android devices. Thirdly, the E17 is much more flexible with it's user interface and control. Lastly, who needs music controls on the DAC when it's going to be back to back with your phone/DAP anyway.
So, for me, the choice came down to: E18 = volume pot and slightly more powerful VS flexibility, EQ, $60 cheaper. The latter won every time I thought about it.

The battery on the E17 when on USB lasts 2-3 days for me and I listen to it for a good 5-7 hours a day because I listen to my cans at work. When on optical or coaxial SPDIF the battery drains much faster, maybe 4-5x faster. But the beauty is that you can play and charge at the same time AND once the battery is fully charged you have the option to disable the charging circuit to save you from ruining the battery from constant micro charging.
Thanks ah well. I actually came across about 50 50 with the sound being better on one or another e17/e18 it seems it's just personal preference. There's more battery I guess and you can charge off it not that I'm bothered to use that. Some people were talking about it being better with Android but I am not sure why exactly I think it's just some phones. Anyway I just went for it as it wasn't much more (£20). I suppose I was worried about later on when the battery gets worn down. And unforseen compatibility problems but maybe there's no difference to the e17 anyway never mind! I started this journey looking for a nice pair of headphones for game music n films for £40 - £60 I'm now £280 in with headphones and this amp I hope it's worth it :O !
Edited by bobbangaman - 6/18/14 at 3:35pm
post #26 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post
 

 

I haven't not heard the E18, but I was considering it as well. In the end I chose to get the E17 for a couple of reasons. Firstly, looking at reviews and comparisons here on head-fi most people who have A-B the E17 and E18 said that they preferred the tone of the E17 better. Secondly, both E17 and E18 are compatible with Android devices. Thirdly, the E17 is much more flexible with it's user interface and control. Lastly, who needs music controls on the DAC when it's going to be back to back with your phone/DAP anyway.

So, for me, the choice came down to: E18 = volume pot and slightly more powerful VS flexibility, EQ, $60 cheaper. The latter won every time I thought about it.

 

The battery on the E17 when on USB lasts 2-3 days for me and I listen to it for a good 5-7 hours a day because I listen to my cans at work. When on optical or coaxial SPDIF the battery drains much faster, maybe 4-5x faster. But the beauty is that you can play and charge at the same time AND once the battery is fully charged you have the option to disable the charging circuit to save you from ruining the battery from constant micro charging.


I have read up on the Fiio's quite a bit. As I recall, the E17 interface was designed for the iPhone, the E18 was designed for the Android. I have an E11 that should arrive tomorrow. I would have preferred the E12 I think due to its ability to drive power hungry headphones, but budget is minimal at the moment.

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbangaman View Post


Thanks ah well. I actually came across about 50 50 with the sound being better on one or another e17/e18 it seems it's just personal preference. There's more battery I guess and you can charge off it not that I'm bothered to use that. Some people were talking about it being better with Android but I am not sure why exactly I think it's just some phones. Anyway I just went for it as it wasn't much more (£20). I suppose I was worried about later on when the battery gets worn down. And unforseen compatibility problems but maybe there's no difference to the e17 anyway never mind! I started this journey looking for a nice pair of headphones for game music n films for £40 - £60 I'm now £280 in with headphones and this amp I hope it's worth it :O !

 

Im with you mate! Im down about AU$250 so far. That includes the can, dac/amp and various other electrical components for my custom cables and mods.

 

You won't be disappointed with the E17 that's for sure. I auditioned the E11, C&C BH and the Just Audio AHA 120 yesterday. Lets just say that the AHA 120 is a "not so little and portable" beast of a amp and it pair well with everything I tried but it's about $500. Putting that out of the way, I was auditioning the E11 and C&C BH using my Moto G and then comparing it to the E17 using the OTG cable. The E17 blows them out of the water, not by a tremendous margin but a definite victor to my ears. 

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmwoodward View Post
 


I have read up on the Fiio's quite a bit. As I recall, the E17 interface was designed for the iPhone, the E18 was designed for the Android. I have an E11 that should arrive tomorrow. I would have preferred the E12 I think due to its ability to drive power hungry headphones, but budget is minimal at the moment.

 

 

The Fiio DAC hardware is not Apple certified, so should not work with latest iOS products. YAY Apple! -_-

 

The E12 is an impressive looking circuit, that's for sure. With twin OPA1611 mono amps and power regulators it's definitely a beast. But with only 2 gain settings it would might be too much of some sensitive cans and IEMs. I bet it would sound very punchy though. But it's twice the price of the E11. It's definitely worth it if you can afford it.

 

 

post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJScope View Post
 

 

The Fiio DAC hardware is not Apple certified, so should not work with latest iOS products. YAY Apple! -_-

 

The E12 is an impressive looking circuit, that's for sure. With twin OPA1611 mono amps and power regulators it's definitely a beast. But with only 2 gain settings it would might be too much of some sensitive cans and IEMs. I bet it would sound very punchy though. But it's twice the price of the E11. It's definitely worth it if you can afford it.

 

 


DJScope, you are correct sir! I got the E17 confused with the E02i Rocky. It is the E02i that has iPhone functions. Of course, the E02i is an amp only, no DAC. My apologies for the misinformation. And, yes I agree with you about the whole Apple cert thing. Although I am a bit of an Apple fan, this cert thing irritates me. And although this is another topic, Apple's announcement about future 'i' devices being only 'Lightning' only connection is irritating beyond words. Seriously, the entire industry has used either 1/4" or 3.5 mm connections for the last hundred years or so. Does this really make any sense? Do they honestly expect the entire industry to make Lightning connectors for Apple only? A connection that is useless for anything but Apple! Universal standards are a wonderful thing in my book.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmwoodward View Post
 


DJScope, you are correct sir! I got the E17 confused with the E02i Rocky. It is the E02i that has iPhone functions. Of course, the E02i is an amp only, no DAC. My apologies for the misinformation. And, yes I agree with you about the whole Apple cert thing. Although I am a bit of an Apple fan, this cert thing irritates me. And although this is another topic, Apple's announcement about future 'i' devices being only 'Lightning' only connection is irritating beyond words. Seriously, the entire industry has used either 1/4" or 3.5 mm connections for the last hundred years or so. Does this really make any sense? Do they honestly expect the entire industry to make Lightning connectors for Apple only? A connection that is useless for anything but Apple! Universal standards are a wonderful thing in my book.

 

I doubt that Apple will be daft enough to actually go through with it. It would mean that you need to have headphones with a DAC inbuilt, and the point of that is beyond stupidity. The current connection types we have are more than adequate to stream analogue audio. Instead of being retarded, they could just include a good credible, 24/192 enabled DAC/amp combo into their products. If they did, that would most probably blow every DAP straight out of the market. But that would be going in the right direction which Apple has really not been doing lately.

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