Crossroads Edge Amp --- A Review by 2 people (with High res pics)
Dec 16, 2008 at 9:51 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Nocturnal310

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Hi guys,


noticed not many know of this value for money Solid state amp..which drives most high impedance headphones easily with a sound quality which u can appreciate.

I wanted to do a review but a friend from Jaben.net has already done it..so i thot of posting the review here.

Enjoy.

Review:

Quote:

Hello everyone. just got a edge amp and thought i'd do a small review for it.

the unit (picture from uncle wilson's post in annoucements)
edgeamp1rq0.th.jpg


First Impressions:

The crossroads edge amp doesn't break new ground here. its boxy shape looks boring, but makes handling and fitting it on your desk very easy.

At the front there is the volume control knob and headphone jack. next to the headphone jack is a small blue led that glows when the unit is on.

pic0019ed8.jpg


At the rear there is the RCA inputs, gain (hi/low), on/off switch and the power input. Sadly, there isn't a 3.5mm line-in so people who take they're inputs from computers or portable playes will have to purchase a audio connector - RCA converter.

pic0020iz2.jpg


The transformer that comes with the unit is um... well let the pictures explain themselves =)


Its not the most impressive looking. but its small and surprisingly, it doesn't become hot or even warm after hours of usage. and unlike other electronic transformers (which i suspect it is) you get from the local hardware shop, it does not let out a high pitch buzz.

Using it:

The edge amp is really easy to work with. although the switches at the back can be a little difficult to operate, especially when you've got your cables running around them.

Build quality is fantastic. Its metal case gives it a very solid feel, the volume knob doesn't shake and feels very secure, jacks/connectors firm in place. And to top it off the exterior is very well finished with no sharp edges or uneven coatings. overall the amp feels and looks very good.

There are however a few small issues, starting with the headphone jack, its much tighter than i expected, and can be quite a nuisance when changing connections or when you accidentally tug the cable and your whole amp moves along with it =(

The other is the blue LED which glows really bright and becomes a little distracting when working at night or in dim environments.

Music Performance:

I have very high expectations from any equipment i purchase, and the Edge Amp does not disappoint.

Currently it receives its input from my macbook and outputs to a BD DT990 (32ohm).

I'll be comparing the sound directly from my macbook to that of the amp.

The most noticeable difference would be the extra bass that the amp provides. listening to "Bounce" by timberland was enough to justify the need for the amp. Bass was tight and well controlled compared to my macbook's direct output which sounded a little muddy and weak.
This base performance was even better when listening to Yim Hok-Mun's "Poem of Chinese Drum", there was a clear distiction between the different drums and they're tones. Even the beats were very distict during the drum rolls.

The mid-range was exceptional, listening to "Miscommunication" by timberland on my macbook was good, but i was shocked to hear so much more detail from the amp. The "click clack" sounds made by flicking your tongue and finger snapping was now much clearer and distict.

However, nothing could beat the improvement in vocals. Listening to "I left my heart in san francisco" by jean frye Sidwell was almost as good as sitting next to her as she sings.

The highs were not as much of a surprise, although there were still significant improvements to the clarity and detail. Mariah Carey's high pitched introduction to "Migrate" was smoother and i was also able to hear the triangle's ting in the introduction to "Touch My Body"

The run-in period seems to be very short too. The amp sounded a little harsh for the first few hours, and had a soft hissing sound at higher volumes (with nothing playing) but all that has faded after having used it for almost a day.

The Edge amp also produces very little distortion at high volume levels, though i've tested it only to a point which i find humanely possible to listen to. Its volume control is very linear and its large turn makes it possible to control volume levels very accurately.

Overall i'd recommend this amp to anyone looking for a good quality amp to improve they're audio outputs from standard/basic outputs players. And its fairly reasonably priced as well, making it a very cost effective upgrade for everyone.

Summary:
Pros;
-Functional
-Good Sound quality
-Reasonably priced
-Very short run-in period

Cons;
-Power Switch could have been located in-front.





Okay i am adding some of my pics which are slightly clearer and of the new batch of edge amp.

n617976166_1425830_9393.jpg


n617976166_1425831_66.jpg


n617976166_1425829_8647.jpg


n617976166_1425838_1964.jpg


n617976166_1425832_704.jpg


Some more Pics by another friend:

DSCF2165Large.jpg


DSCF2169Large.jpg



Notice the blue switch next to the volume knob..no idea what it does yet
DSCF2173Large.jpg




Some of my Observations:


Headphones used: HD600 & HD555

Apparently my Edge amp doesnt have any noise issues even at full volume.

The Sound is very crisp..kinda sharp but warm like Tube amps..a true solid state amp trait.

Bass control is their forte....the bass for my HD600 sounds almost like that of a closed headphone but very layered..i can easily distinguish between kickdrums and the Bass synthesizer.

Mids are very clear but not very Fluid..i tried Little country Tube amp and it has more desirable mids but of course its more expensive and a tube amp.

Highs..well extended and the Cymbal crash sounds good, little sharp sometimes but lacks the sparkle, ..maybe thats cause i am using Sennheiser which are by default warmer.
........i ll add more shortly.. rite now preparing for exams.
 
Dec 16, 2008 at 5:06 PM Post #5 of 19

peanuthead

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Is this a re-badged Cute Beyond amp?
 
Dec 16, 2008 at 5:19 PM Post #6 of 19

J.D.N

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Looks like a re-branded firestone, even the internals are identical (well, the parts that can be seen...)

The little blue switch by the pot is on the Firestone Cute amps too, it changes from Shunt type to Series type... something to do with the pot.

Just for reference:
http://www.audiophileproducts.com/cutebeyond
 
Dec 16, 2008 at 5:26 PM Post #7 of 19

EnOYiN

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jellojoe /img/forum/go_quote.gif
looks just like the firestone products.


Quote:

Originally Posted by peanuthead /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is this a re-badged Cute Beyond amp?


Those were my first thoughts when looking at this amp. Is this a rip-off?
 
Dec 16, 2008 at 6:49 PM Post #8 of 19

Nocturnal310

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If u guys have seen my older pics..there is a pic of Cute amp and Crossroads lying side by side.

the Edge amp has a 6.3 mm output..whereas Cute has a 3.5mm.

also, the sound quality is slightly different on both.
 
Dec 26, 2008 at 6:49 PM Post #15 of 19

vcoheda

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never heard of the amp, but as said looks like a firestone.
 

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