Eleven Audio XIAUDIO Formula S Headphone Amplifier
Mar 27, 2021 at 8:50 PM Post #46 of 365

qboogie

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I just got my Powerman and hooked it up to the Formula S. Now on the Formula S instead of a solid white light it's flashing red/white. Does any know what this means?
Just wondering if you saw this and avoided making this mistake.

"NOTE: When connecting the Powerman to the Formula S, AC power should be disconnected from both units. First, connect the supplied umbilical cable between the Formula S and Powerman and hand snug the connectors. Then connect the AC cable ONLY TO POWERMAN. The Formula S amp should NEVER be connected to AC power while connected to the Powerman supply else damage will occur."
 
Mar 27, 2021 at 9:10 PM Post #47 of 365

Slim1970

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Just wondering if you saw this and avoided making this mistake.

"NOTE: When connecting the Powerman to the Formula S, AC power should be disconnected from both units. First, connect the supplied umbilical cable between the Formula S and Powerman and hand snug the connectors. Then connect the AC cable ONLY TO POWERMAN. The Formula S amp should NEVER be connected to AC power while connected to the Powerman supply else damage will occur."
Hey @qboogie yes I did and it's how I have the units hooked up. The issue is a delayed reaction. When I first turn on the Powerman, the LED on the Formula S is solid white. Then after a few minutes of playing the LED starts flashing red/white. I'm beginning to think that it's a thermal issue? It only happens when I connect the Powerman to the Formula S. When I disconnect the Powerman and power up the Formula S on its own the the LED stay solid white. I have reached out to Abyss about the issue, but I probably won't hear back from them until Monday at the earliest.

It's definitely related to the Powerman and/or the umbilical cord. One or the other is causing the problem.
 
Mar 27, 2021 at 9:28 PM Post #48 of 365

Slim1970

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It’s weird because even with the blinking red/white LED on the Formula S it doesn’t shutdown, get hot, or stop playing music. It doesn’t seem to be affecting anything. I‘m sure the blinking red/white LED on the Formula S is an indication of something is awry. I just don’t know what. Can't find a manual anywhere online.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 4:35 AM Post #49 of 365

AnaKinDV8

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Looked a long time at this amp for my Abyss 1266TC but couldn't pull the trigger. As much as it is sold and endorsed by Abyss, i couldn't find enough information about the amp beyond descriptions like smooth powerful Class A sound, high quality design and components and designed specifically to drive the 1266. I'm not an engineer but I appreciate it when manufacturers describe what it is exactly they did in their products to command such a price, even if half of what they say is marketing bs. At least they give us a chance to verify, dispute or compare the tech with other products. At this price point, or at any for that matter, I'd like to know more about the product I'm buying and I don't think that's too much to ask. Pass, Moon Audio, Headamp, Burson, Bryston etc. are all good examples of this. Looking at the inside pics, nothing really stands out (again I'm not an engineer), and the Alps potentiometer is a bit of a letdown at this price point. They also boast of an R-core tranny for the power supply and immediately recommend a Powerman ps upgrade for better sound. Ultimately the sound will be the true test and I'm not hating here, just sharing my thoughts.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 5:00 AM Post #50 of 365

Slim1970

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Looked a long time at this amp for my Abyss 1266TC but couldn't pull the trigger. As much as it is sold and endorsed by Abyss, i couldn't find enough information about the amp beyond descriptions like smooth powerful Class A sound, high quality design and components and designed specifically to drive the 1266. I'm not an engineer but I appreciate it when manufacturers describe what it is exactly they did in their products to command such a price, even if half of what they say is marketing bs. At least they give us a chance to verify, dispute or compare the tech with other products. At this price point, or at any for that matter, I'd like to know more about the product I'm buying and I don't think that's too much to ask. Pass, Moon Audio, Headamp, Burson, Bryston etc. are all good examples of this. Looking at the inside pics, nothing really stands out (again I'm not an engineer), and the Alps potentiometer is a bit of a letdown at this price point. They also boast of an R-core tranny for the power supply and immediately recommend a Powerman ps upgrade for better sound. Ultimately the sound will be the true test and I'm not hating here, just sharing my thoughts.
I can agree that the lack of online information on these products is a letdown. It was one of the reasons it took me awhile to give them a try. Once I did, all of my fears subsided because what I heard was high fidelity sound. I’ve owned and heard a good number of headphone amps, including some you just named. I can unequivocally say that for the Abyss TC’s you’d be hard pressed to find a better performing amp combo than the Formula S with Powerman for them.

There are reviews out there that say the Formula S isn't as impressive with other headphones as it is with the TC’s. That is simply is not the case. The Formula S impresses and works it’s magic with every headphone I play through it. It’s not all about power that makes an amplifier good. The Formula S has the right blend of power and sonic characteristics that brings out the best of all my headphones. It really is an amazing amp that is made better with the addition of the Powerman.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 5:13 AM Post #51 of 365

AnaKinDV8

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I can agree that the lack of online information on these products is a letdown. It was one of the reasons it took me awhile to give them a try. Once I did, all of my fears subsided because what I heard was high fidelity sound. I’ve owned and heard a good number of headphone amps, including some you just named. I can unequivocally say that for the Abyss TC’s you’d be hard pressed to find a better performing amp combo than the Formula S with Powerman for them.

There are reviews out there that say the Formula S isn't as impressive with other headphones as it is with the TC’s. That is simply is not the case. The Formula S impresses and works it’s magic with every headphone I play through it. It’s not all about power that makes an amplifier good. The Formula S has the right blend of power and sonic characteristics that brings out the best of all my headphones. It really is an amazing amp that is made better with the addition of the Powerman.
You're probably right, to be honest if I had access to a demo unit and got to test it with the Abyss 1266 I probably wouldn't bother with the manufacturer info. :D
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 9:25 AM Post #52 of 365

qboogie

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You're probably right, to be honest if I had access to a demo unit and got to test it with the Abyss 1266 I probably wouldn't bother with the manufacturer info. :D
I agree that there isn't a lot of quality information out there about this gear. The XI Audio website is not optimized. What encourages me is that the professional and enthusiast user reviews are universally positive. When in audiophilia does one encounter that? Abyss/JPS are obviously incentivized to recommend it, but it's hard to imagine they would want their prized headphone to sound anything less than at its very best.

I recommend that folks read @project86 tremendous amplifier shootout. He gives a glowing review of the Niimbus US4+, but basically states that the FS/P combo edges out the US4+ when used with the 1266. He recommends the FS/P if you're exclusively listening with the Abyss and other hard to drive planar.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 8:31 PM Post #55 of 365

Slim1970

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What gain you usually used on Formula S, any differences between low/high gain on 1266?
The AB-1266 TC’s need high gain. On low gain, the volume know is well past the 6 o’clock position. That because the volume wheel starts at 11 o’clock on the Formula S. On high gain, I’m around the 3 - 4 o’clock position with the TC’s. A little higher for the Susvara’s.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 9:38 PM Post #56 of 365

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The AB-1266 TC’s need high gain. On low gain, the volume know is well past the 6 o’clock position. That because the volume wheel starts at 11 o’clock on the Formula S. On high gain, I’m around the 3 - 4 o’clock position with the TC’s. A little higher for the Susvara’s.
Any differences on dynamic and background noise?
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 9:43 PM Post #57 of 365

DJJEZ

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I just got my Powerman and hooked it up to the Formula S. Now on the Formula S instead of a solid white light it's flashing red/white. Does any know what this means?
How long did you have the formula S before adding the powerman. Sounds like a night and day difference from everything I've read.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 10:09 PM Post #58 of 365

Slim1970

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Any differences on dynamic and background noise?
None at all. It’s dead quiet on both high and low gain. Dynamics do get better on high gain, but that’s to be expected because of the boost in gain. Majority of the time I use low gain with no perceived loses in musical attributes.
 
Mar 28, 2021 at 10:20 PM Post #59 of 365

Slim1970

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How long did you have the formula S before adding the powerman. Sounds like a night and day difference from everything I've read.
I had the Formula S close to 3 months before I got my Powerman last week. The boost in sound quality is fairly noticeable. The blacker background gives the Formula S a greater sense depth to the music, more perceived clarity, more space around the notes, adds more weight to sounds, and improve dynamics. It’s a great addition to an already stellar amp.

Abyss is sending me out a replacement Powerman tomorrow. Hopefully, this fixes my issue because it’s causing my Formula S to heat up.
 

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