How good is the built-in DAC in fiio e17?
Jan 20, 2013 at 7:44 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

davidsh

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I am debating with myself whether I need a new DAC, probably at a budget of approximately 200$. For now, I am using the DAC in my e17. Now I am wondering how good the DAC is, compared to other of the well known DAC's.
 
At the moment my main can is the HE-500, and my amp is the Musical Fidelity X-can V8P which has a built in DAC, but I have heard many bad things about it, and the design isn't new anymore. So I guess the DAC in my fiio must be better.
 
Jan 20, 2013 at 4:23 PM Post #3 of 10

davidsh

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I think the general consensus is, that it is a step below the ODAC. But not by THAT much
 
Jan 20, 2013 at 10:45 PM Post #4 of 10

jasonb

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It sounds great to me. My last amp/DAC was the $850 HeadRoom desktop amp/DAC. This obviously isn't technically in quite the same league, but I honestly am just as happy with my E17 now, of course I've never heard the same headphone with both or compared side by side. I'm sure the hardware inside the HeadRoom is much superior. I've never compared the two side by side, since I sold the HeadRoom amp/DAC well over a year ago and got the E17 3 months ago. I guess what I am trying to say, is that I am not disappointed with the little E17, after using the much more expensive HeadRoom amp/DAC in the past.
 
Everybody has to realize that with this hobby, especially with amps and DACs, is that the rule of diminishing returns kicks in pretty hard. An amp or DAC that costs 5 times as much, won't sound 5 times better, it would be more like 10-20% better if you are lucky. Of course saying 5 times better or 20% better is just as useless to say because these things can't be measured like that anyway. If you're happy with the E17, live and listen happily.
 
Jan 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM Post #5 of 10

Mani ATH 87

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Quote:
 
Everybody has to realize that with this hobby, especially with amps and DACs, is that the rule of diminishing returns kicks in pretty hard. An amp or DAC that costs 5 times as much, won't sound 5 times better, it would be more like 10-20% better if you are lucky. Of course saying 5 times better or 20% better is just as useless to say because these things can't be measured like that anyway. If you're happy with the E17, live and listen happily.


This is a very true statement. I love my headphones and my Fiio E17, and I love this hobby. Nothing quite like relaxing at home and listening to music in your own little bubble. But I have this war going with myself over these statistics constantly, and it keeps me out of that summit fi arena. If I had a ton of disposable income it wouldn't really be an issue I suppose, but as is those diminishing returns are punishing when your deciding on whether or not to spend even more on that next upgrade. It's exciting to think about having that next new sexy piece of gear, but how much better is your experience going to be going from $200 to $800? Is that investment going to be worth it? Are you going to get 4X the quality in exchange for 4X the cost? The answer here is always a resounding NO, and that makes it impossible to justify spending the money, at least for me. I don't feel like the tech when it comes to audio enjoyment, especially with headphones, has really made that big of a leap forward, more like a tiny step. Of course new great products continue to come out, but people still swear by headphones that are 20-30 years in production as being top of the line. What other tech out there is 20 years old and still considered top of it's class?

 
 
Jan 21, 2013 at 2:26 AM Post #6 of 10

davidsh

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Well, I experienced my first feeling of what I will call high-end when I got my new amp, upgrading from the e17. To me, high-end is when you can't nitpick anything in the sound, that is so bad it starts to be annoying.
 
Jan 21, 2013 at 4:33 PM Post #7 of 10

chrislangley4253

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I compared a friends e17 with my odac and o2 setup last night, and I heard no difference. Just to be completely honest.

Like, I wasn't even willing to try A/B'ing them.. it was much too close. Both setups sounded very transparent and uncolored.

Using modded t50rp.
 
Jan 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM Post #8 of 10

ozarkcdn

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Well... back in the day they used to sell seperate transports for DAC's.  I never understood that one either - $K's for a CD reader.  There there were little wooden blocks cut to the 'golden ratio' that you put on your equipment.  I mean, I'm suprised the multi-level marketing folks didn't get in on the action.  Well.. there's Bose... but that's not really muli-level then.. the Budwiser of the audio world, but not the Amway.. I better stop before I get carried away.
 
Jan 22, 2013 at 3:02 AM Post #9 of 10

davidsh

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Quote:
I compared a friends e17 with my odac and o2 setup last night, and I heard no difference. Just to be completely honest.

Like, I wasn't even willing to try A/B'ing them.. it was much too close. Both setups sounded very transparent and uncolored.

Using modded t50rp.

 
I like my amp much better than my e17 for the HE-500 :O
Seriously, I would be disappointed getting the magni/modi stack or O2/ODAC and finding it not to be better than my e17.
 
Jan 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM Post #10 of 10

chrislangley4253

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Quote:
 
I like my amp much better than my e17 for the HE-500 :O
Seriously, I would be disappointed getting the magni/modi stack or O2/ODAC and finding it not to be better than my e17.

Aren't the he-500 quite a bit harder to drive?

Also... Expectation bias is kind of a big deal. I expected to hear no significant difference, so I didn't. Someone who expects a difference might.
 

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