iBasso D2 Boa - First Impression and Questions
Nov 1, 2008 at 12:07 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

audioqueso

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Day 1:
Just received my D2 on Friday. I tried it out with Yuin PK3, Sennheiser PX100, and Audio-Technica A500. Very first impression, I'm not too impressed. Build quality is great. Sound quality was... I'm not sure. Bass was a bit more defined and a bit tighter. That's about it.

Day 2:
After I stopped listening to it on Friday, I left it burning in with some Linkin Park all throughout the night. So now it's been 24-hours playing Linkin Park.
It's still just about the same. The PX100 don't really sound any smoother, the mids are SLIGHTLY more forward, and the bass is still a bit more defined and tighter. With the Audio-Technica, I don't really hear a difference. With the PK3 though, wow... those headphones really do change with an amp. Unfortunately, no matter how good the PK3's change, it will not make a difference to me as those are my wife's headphones. Not mine. I will leave the amp playing through the rest of the weekend. I will see how it sounds once it has 96 hours of burn-in on it.

DAC:
The nicest thing I like about this amp is using the DAC with my laptop. Makes a huge difference. But when using my Panasonic S230 CD player, if I compare the headphone out vs the lineout+amp, there is barely a difference in sound quality.

Any specific way to burn-in a headphone amp? After how many hours does everyone really start to notice a difference? Or is there a big difference?

Day 3:
Well, it's been almost 48 hours. I wasn't really going to listen to anything until 96 hours, but I just wanted to plug in my A500's and see if there is any difference. Now keep in mind, I'm not trying to compare if there is a difference in the sound of the amp today versus the sound from yesterday. I am trying to compare if there is a difference in the sound of the amp versus the sound of my original sources.

My sources are my Panasonic cd player (very good SQ) vs the D2 amp. My other comparison is my laptop output vs D2 DAC+amp.

Honestly, using my A500's, I still don't find the amp a big deal. Yes, the deep frequencies are a bit more defined. It has a SLIGHTLY more spacious soundstage. It emphasizes just a tad on the highs, but it does not smooth out the upper end (which is what I was ultimately going for).

Day 5:
Well, the amp has had well over a 100 hours of burn-in time.
I've been playing with it with my different headphones for the past hour or two. Most listening has been with my Audio-Technica ATH-A500's. Comparing my Panasonic headphone output vs the lineout+D2... I really don't here much difference. I still hear the same with the D2 as I heard before:
-Deep frequencies are a bit more defined
-SLIGHTLY more spacious soundstage
-Highs just a tad bit emphasized in details, but not any smoother.

Yes, the biggest advantage is using the USB DAC vs my laptop's onboard audio, but for me, it doesn't justify the cost. Not to sound cheap, but honestly, the improvement that I heard using the D2 Boa, I would expect from a mod costing about $50-70 dollars.

I'm sorry to say, but I was not satisfied with this amp and will be returning the amp back to iBasso.
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Nov 1, 2008 at 1:27 AM Post #3 of 13

audioqueso

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I can't say I've ever really heard much difference in burning in electronic components. In my home system, none of my amps or pre-amps have ever really shown a significant difference after burning it in. The amps maybe have ever so slightly, but not enough to say that burn-in helped. Speaker and headphones on the other hand have always improved after burning in. I'm just letting it burn-in because that's what I read on these forums. 100, 200, 9999 hours... something like that. ha ha
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 5:04 PM Post #7 of 13

mrarroyo

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The Senn PX100 is a very nice can, specially in its price range. However you may need a more revealing can to hear some of the subtle changes brought on by burn-in.

It is important to use a good source. For example if you use an iPod use a line out and lossless files (or at least high bit rate files).
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 10:08 PM Post #8 of 13

audioqueso

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Senn PX100 is a very nice can, specially in its price range. However you may need a more revealing can to hear some of the subtle changes brought on by burn-in.

It is important to use a good source. For example if you use an iPod use a line out and lossless files (or at least high bit rate files).




Thanks for the bit of info Mr Arroyo.
I'm use three pairs of headphones.
Yuin PK3
Sennheiser PX100
Audio-Technica ATH-A500

My source, as mentioned, is my Panasonic redbook cd player. On my laptop, it's all FLAC or APE files.

Now, you mentioned that I should use more revealing cans, but that's just it... I shouldn't have to to be able to hear a difference an amp can make. I bought the D2 to try to make the most out of my existing headphones. I mainly bought it to use with my Audio Technica A500's at home with either my cd player, or while using my laptop. I would use them with my PX100 if I ever go on the train or something. But that's about it. And even though the Yuin PK3 have benefit the most from the amp, those my wife's headphones, so I'll never really use them. I just tried them out for testing purposes.


I've updated my first post to include my 3rd day findings.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 11:24 PM Post #9 of 13

tomjtx

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IMO, you have gone at this backwards.
There is far more sonic difference between phones than between amps.

Get the PK1 or even the 2 and you will hear a significant improvement with a good amp.

there is also a considerable step up in SQ going from the PK3 to the PK2.
That would have been a much more cost effective step.

But now that you have a good amp, get some good phones so you can enjoy it
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Nov 2, 2008 at 12:31 AM Post #10 of 13

audioqueso

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tomjtx, please don't misunderstand and think that I am completely disregarding your advise. I really do appreciate it. But here is how it stands from my point of view:

I didn't say there was more sonic difference in amps than in headphones. I know there is more difference in heaphones. Of course.
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But as I've mentioned, I only used the PK3 for testing purpose. They are not for my own use. They are my wife's. Even though they are nice, I don't plan or intend on getting a pair for myself.

For me, IE cans are for portable or gym use. I wouldn't buy them for home use. Sure, I can buy a pair of PK1s and they may sound great with this amp... but I would barely use them with the amp. You see, I use my portable headphones mostly for the gym. I am NOT going to the gym with an amp. I WOULD, however, use portable cans with the amp if I travel like on a train or something. But that is rare. So it doesn't make much sense for me to buy a pair of PK1's since I would rarely use them with an amp. Agree or disagree?
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Lastly, as previously mentioned, the main use of the amp would be at home use with my Audio Technica A500's. These are pretty nice headphones. Depending on my findings with the D2 Boa, I am thinking about getting the A700 or A900. But after extensive reading through these forums, owners have said that they didn't heard much improvement using an amp with the A900 or A700. So now I'm thinking that if I barely hear a difference with my A500 + amp, then I'm going to believe those who've owned the A700/A900 and said it didn't benefit much from an amp.

If I buy a pair of A700 or A900, would they benefit from the D2 Boa? Sure, maybe a lot, or maybe slightly. I'm comparing apples to apples. I've read that the A500's don't really benefit much from an amp, and so far I'm finding that to be true. I've read that the A900's don't benefit much from an amp, and so I'm thinking that it's probably going to be true as well.

I do want a nice setup, but unlike many here, this is not for critical listening or something of that importance. My main goal has been to get smoother high ends. My critical listening is with my home sytem, B&W setup. The highs that I'm use to are very smooth and silky. So of course, being use to these kind of highs, when I listen to my headphones, it's noticeably a lot less smooth than my B&W setup. That's why I am trying out an amp to see if I can get my A500's to sound a bit smoother.

Wow... that was long. Sorry.
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Nov 4, 2008 at 7:32 PM Post #12 of 13

shrisha

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With any device You will never get big difference, like day and night, after burn in process. I would say it's giving nice improvements on subtle level. A bit more here a bit more there. It's noticeable but not like totally new. I wish if we could have 200$ Boa and after 1000 hrs burn in will get Pico-like sound which is 500$ worth.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 12:19 AM Post #13 of 13

audioqueso

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shrisha /img/forum/go_quote.gif
With any device You will never get big difference, like day and night, after burn in process. I would say it's giving nice improvements on subtle level. A bit more here a bit more there. It's noticeable but not like totally new. I wish if we could have 200$ Boa and after 1000 hrs burn in will get Pico-like sound which is 500$ worth.
smily_headphones1.gif



That may be true with headphone gear. I can't agree with you on that with real stereo gear though.

However, I also can't agree that an electronic audio device will need 1000+ hours of burn-in time. No offense to anyone, but I believe more that the differences that you hear after a 1000 hours seem improved because the individual has adapted to that sound. (I know that's not what you're saying shrisha. I'm just pointing that out.)

Giving improvement on subtle leve is one thing, but the difference I heard with the amp after 100+ hours of burn-in were not sublte. They were minimal, if any. I am just not satisfied with it to justify the cost.
 

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