firestone audio
Jul 31, 2008 at 8:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

obobskivich

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ok so I was reading in the "list of all DACs ever" thread (amazing, amazing I say)

and I found this firestone DAC, the price looks very nice, and then I realized they make headphone amps, and the price on those looks very nice as well

so basically, I'm wondering if this is the holy grail of amp and DAC that i've been looking for

so far here's what I'm considering:
Firestone Cute Beyond headamp
Firestone Spitfire DAC
2x Supplier PSUs (one for each)

I know they have integrated USB DACs, but i'm not using it just for a PC, its also going to take the digital out from my CDP (mostly because, I can, and the price isn't so bad)

so, am I totally over-ordering here, or have I found what I've been questing after for some time (something that provides a decent amount of power, with no distortion, can take optical input, and isn't huge like a boat)


currently have: Denon AH-D2000 headphones, and a Sony CDP-X111ES transport, and I'm prolly buying a second pair of headphones in a week or two (haven't decided quite what I want quite yet, alas, thats another thread, but they likely won't be anything crazy to drive)

so, is this the right equipment for me, or can I ditch the Supplier PSUs, or one of them, or is this totally not going to do what I'm hoping for it to do?
 
Jul 31, 2008 at 8:44 PM Post #2 of 15

DemonicLemming

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I don't see how an external/upgraded power supply would do anything for the DAC, as it's just converting. I'd personally try the setup without the Supplier and see how it sounds, and then decide after that if you want to spend $100 on an external power supply.
 
Jul 31, 2008 at 9:02 PM Post #3 of 15

obobskivich

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ok, since its only $100, i'm thinking grab one, for the amplifier, and try it with and without (its not like the Musical Fidelity X-PSU's that are like $400 to go with a $600+ amp)

but I see your point on the DAC, maybe it improves performance by helping reduce jitter? (i have no idea, the thing suggested it, obviously to sell me more stuff, but at $100/ea, I'm thinking maybe just get one, and I can test it out on both components, see if it really helps at all?)

idk, the amp on its own is like $170, and with the PSU its like $270, which is still a lot less than I was originally planning to spend on Musical Fidelity or Little Dot, so I guess my biggest question is, is the PSU worth it for the amp?

for the DAC, i'd just be interested to see a comparion I guess (although I'm guessing you're right, and it doesn't do much)
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 1:37 AM Post #4 of 15

PWilson

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I've got one of said DACs (and one of their tube headphone amps - which has a horrible, horrible cable between the power section and the amp section, which is always loose and causing a hum until I jiggle it back into place).

It's definitely an upgrade from my DVD player in terms of bass response and overall dynamics, but I find it a little shrill (it's not that bad though). While I don't really have anything other than an expensive CD player to compare it to, I'm not convinced I couldn't have done better for the money.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 1:54 AM Post #5 of 15

ClieOS

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I have one answer to the OP: Travagans, designed by the original amp designer of FireStone Audio, David Lin, plus you will find great reviews on all the travagans' amp here if you search around.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 6:24 AM Post #7 of 15

PWilson

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K701's and AT AD700's. Running through a Talisman T-35HP or Firestone Little Country (the tube amp).
It's really not too bad, but I wanted to mention it as while the bass and dynamics are an upgrade from the stock DVD player, I found the treble a bit of a downgrade. If I'm laying down money for a DAC, I want it to improve on the sound in all areas. It's not as bad out of the tube amp, but I like SS, and I don't think this is a case of the Spitfire being neutral and the Talisman being bright.
701 treble was fine out of the DVD player analogue out.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 6:31 AM Post #8 of 15

synaesthetic

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the dac in your CD player may be better than the firestone one.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 7:29 AM Post #9 of 15

PWilson

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Haha, that'd be pretty crappy considering the DVD player probably cost less in total. It's not that flash though. It's just some Panny I bought because I wanted HDMI, prog scan and DVD-A support (before I realised the whole DVD-A doesn't run through SPDIF thing).

All in all it works out okay. The Spitfire is definitely an upgrade in a couple of areas. But the reason I got it, and where it sees its main use, is on my PC, and there, coupled with the tube amp (which doesn't really impress me as a high end headphone amp), they sound quite nice together and work to each other's strengths and weaknesses.

I have a much better CD player for normal listening, but that's been in the repair shop for a long long time, so I fairly recently pulled the Spitfire away from PC duty and hooked it up to the DVD player just to see how it goes.

Overall, I'd say it's better out of the Spitfire. I do want to emphasise that the bright highs aren't very pronounced. But I do find it noticable on the AKG's. My main point is that I think for the price of it, I'm sure there's a better budget DAC out there. For a DAC that cost more than transport + DAC + dvd features, I expect better performance across the board.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 9:40 AM Post #10 of 15

ClieOS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PWilson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's really not too bad, but I wanted to mention it as while the bass and dynamics are an upgrade from the stock DVD player, I found the treble a bit of a downgrade..


Are you using the stock tubes? The stock EH tubes used are know to be dark sounding. I used a NOS 12AU7 tube and I find it more detail than any SS amp I have.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 12:10 PM Post #11 of 15

obobskivich

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wait, you're using a tube amp, so does that mean the firestone ss amp (the cute beyond or whatever its called) would have a massively different sound? (i just realized you said tubes, lol, sorry)

and thanks for posting information using phones i can actually relate to, instead of something insane, lol

so you think the firestone would be lower qual than my cdp then? (older sony, like ~1991) meaning I could just get an amp and experience better quality, or what? (like, is the spitfire itself adding brightness and a tinny sound? (i'm thinking thats what i'm reading, unfortunately))
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 12:29 PM Post #12 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Quote:

Originally Posted by obobskivich /img/forum/go_quote.gif
wait, you're using a tube amp, so does that mean the firestone ss amp (the cute beyond or whatever its called) would have a massively different sound? (i just realized you said tubes, lol, sorry)

and thanks for posting information using phones i can actually relate to, instead of something insane, lol

so you think the firestone would be lower qual than my cdp then? (older sony, like ~1991) meaning I could just get an amp and experience better quality, or what? (like, is the spitfire itself adding brightness and a tinny sound? (i'm thinking thats what i'm reading, unfortunately))



I don't know about "massively different" but there should be some noticeable difference in a solid-state amp vs a tube amp.

The home receiver thing is hard to judge....some are good, some aren't. You very well could get much better quality out of a dedicated DAC and amp compared to the home receiver, but unless someone on here has used that specific model and could jump in with their thoughts, it might be something you'd have to try for yourself to determine.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 2:00 PM Post #14 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Well, if I had an extra $100 to play with, I'd think about buying it for the amp, but it wouldn't be a major concern of mine.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 3:26 PM Post #15 of 15

obobskivich

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ok, i read the 6moons review/comparison of the Cute Battery to the Creek OBH and a Blueberry Emotion+, reviewer said its roughly between the two, and added on to the review stating the new AC version (Cute Beyond, that I'm looking at) should be a little cleaner sounding, vs the battery op'd one, i'm thinking this'll be a good amp to pull the trigger on, and at $270 with the PSU, why not just go for it, worst case scenario, its just an interesting paperweight that happens to power my amplifier, lol
 

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