Impressions Thread about obscure BUDGET Chinese DAC-AMP (Best finds Reference List)
Jun 21, 2017 at 12:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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SO i'm here again, lost and confuse about all this Chinese Amplifier & Audio DAC that market is flooded with.

We find it on amazon, Ebay and Aliexpress, sometime with promising component like great tube or OPamp but rarely do we find reviews or impressions about them....after hours of search here on headfi I finally try my chance and ask to all of YOU, yes, YOU that got a nice chinese amp (portable or not) to share impressions and advice here and I will personally try to make a Reference List of trustworthy chinese brands (or seller when it's DIY) so headfier like me will be able to choose a amp with a little more confidence.

I'm willing to find the very best deal at less than 200$ and personally find a great portable amp for myself as well as perhaps a tube amp like the Xduoo TA-02 or Little Dot MK2.

Reference list will be done as objective as possible, reading reviews and suggestions, as well as what I can hear (futur buys to find the best amps for my personal need), I really need your help to make this list because i'm not an amp connoisseur (just have the Fiio E5 and E7 and a old Sansui AU-D5, and heard Topping NX1 and Bravoaudio V3) but I really want to see a little better in the dark. This list will be of great help for beginner like me that do not know where to start and want to try entry or mid level amp of best value possible.

10-50$:
Xduoo XQ-10 (rail to rail)
Fiio E6:
FiioE7(K) DAC-AMP(Wolfson WM8740 DAC+ADI AD8692 OP +TI TPA6130A):
Fiio K1 DAC-AMP:
Topping NX1:
Topping NX1S
Topping NX1A

Topping NX2:
Breeze S2 (USB DAC with SA9023+ES9018K2M!!)

Douk Audio 6j9 Tube Amp-Preamp
Zhilai D1 Tube Amp

50-100$:
Fiio E10:

Topping NX3 DAC-AMP (TPA6120A2+OPA2134UZ):
Topping NX4 DAC-AMP (OPA1642+LMH6643):
Topping VX3
Auglamour GR-1 (OPA2604)

Fiio Q1
Xduoo XD-01 DAC-AMP
Nobsound NS-02E Mini Class A tube amp
Little Bear B5-B6 Portable Tube amp
Bravo Audio V2 mini Tube amp
Bravo Audio V3 tube amp with Tone control
FENGRU Amp (bluebird, Jazz etc)
Bluebird U3: (Review:https://www.head-fi.org/f/showcase/bluebird-u3-mini.22138/)

100-150$:
Xduoo TA-01 Tube DAC-AMP (2xWM8740+OPamp+12AU7 tube+xmos receive)

Xduoo TA-02 Dual tubeamp+class A Buff

Xduoo XD-05 DAC-AMP
Little Dot 1 Hybrid Tube Amp (Review:https://www.head-fi.org/f/showcase/little-dot-i.12096/)
Little Dot MK2 Vaccum Tube AMP (Review:https://www.head-fi.org/f/showcase/little-dot-mk-ii.12097/)
Topping NX5
Topping A30 Amp ( OPA1611 and TPA6120)
Topping D30 DAC-AMP (CS4398+OPA2134)
Bravo Audio Ocean Class A Valve Amp (Review:https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/r...valve-headphone-amp-budget-brilliance.700676/)


150-200$:
Xduoo XD01 DAC-AMP (WM8740+TI Opamp+TI TAS1020B)


Cayin C5 Class A portable AMP
Cayin C6 DAC-AMP
Aune B1 Class A AMP (Reviews:www.head-fi.org/products/aune-b1/reviews/12574)
 
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Jun 21, 2017 at 12:11 PM Post #2 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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Jun 28, 2017 at 11:40 AM Post #4 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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Jun 28, 2017 at 12:53 PM Post #5 of 310

TwoPalms

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I have NX4 & NX5. As an amplifier I think the NX5 is better. Both have the same power, low noise, but the NX5 has a tighter bass, better imaging. Vocals are more prominent. NX4 sound neutral & NX5 more bright. When bass bost is turned on, NX4 bass feels bigger than NX5, but NX5 bass is more controlled.
 
Jun 29, 2017 at 9:48 AM Post #6 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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I have NX4 & NX5. As an amplifier I think the NX5 is better. Both have the same power, low noise, but the NX5 has a tighter bass, better imaging. Vocals are more prominent. NX4 sound neutral & NX5 more bright. When bass bost is turned on, NX4 bass feels bigger than NX5, but NX5 bass is more controlled.

Both look nice but for little price difference NX5 is perhaps a better buy, it tempt me but it do not have DAC like the NX4. What about this DAC?

As I plan to use the AMP with a Ibasso DX90 wich is quite bright perhaps a more warm sound would be adequate. NX5 is perhaps too bright....

I see that you have the intriguing Little bear B5 portable tube amp too, read mixed reviews about it, especially for durability because I think the tube are not changeable. What's your final opinion about it? Did it get too hot to be really portable? Did it really have a clear and warm tube sound?
 
Jun 29, 2017 at 10:13 AM Post #7 of 310

Oscar-HiFi

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Jun 29, 2017 at 10:58 AM Post #9 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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Yeah, I read about Bravo Ocean in a Xduoo TA-02 review, wasn't expecting better impression for the Bravo but look like it have a clearer sound : '' the Ocean has more inputs and outputs, and also sounds slightly smoother and quieter (less hiss) overall but the differences are not huge''

I really wonder how the Bravo Ocean compare to the cheaper Nobsound NS-02E, the design is really impressive and beautifull! Barely buy it 2 days ago cause of Ebay 15$ rebate on 75$ purchase but there were so much amp that time pass and when I was ready to buy coupon code didn't work!
413VQawJqmL.jpg
 
Jun 29, 2017 at 11:04 AM Post #10 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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As DAC, NX4 is an upgrade from my old dac SMSL M2. Better power, more neutral, lower noise. The main problem of little bear B5 is noise. If you use IEM, stay away from this amplifier.

Okay, yeah, I will stay away from it especially because we can't change tube and if it broke it's finish.
The tube amp is more for myheadphones tough, like the Grado Sr325i, Koss portapro and 3 different pair of Superlux, goal is to have fun with different tube.

I would like to have fun with OPamp too, so the portable will be for IEM and interchangeable amp is kind of a must. Breeze E47 look like to be a steal at 33$ cause we can change dual OPamp.
I find the inside impressive:
Breeze-Audio-The-E47-portable-headphone-amplifier-suite-double-47-amp-free-DIY-line-efficiency.jpg
 
Jun 29, 2017 at 11:11 AM Post #11 of 310

Oscar-HiFi

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Yeah, I read about Bravo Ocean in a Xduoo TA-02 review, wasn't expecting better impression for the Bravo but look like it have a clearer sound : '' the Ocean has more inputs and outputs, and also sounds slightly smoother and quieter (less hiss) overall but the differences are not huge''

I really wonder how the Bravo Ocean compare to the cheaper Nobsound NS-02E, the design is really impressive and beautifull! Barely buy it 2 days ago cause of Ebay 15$ rebate on 75$ purchase but there were so much amp that time pass and when I was ready to buy coupon code didn't work!
413VQawJqmL.jpg


The Bravo Ocean is pure tube, the Nobsound is hybrid :)
 
Jul 1, 2017 at 10:39 AM Post #13 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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Jul 1, 2017 at 10:41 AM Post #14 of 310

NymPHONOmaniac

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