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Feel this will be an upgrade over the iDSD Micro BL amp section? Or how would those compare?
I didn’t compare them from a technical standpoint, though I really should have in retrospect. I would say the Spark is warmer - probably closer overall to the iDSD’s sound with the bass boost on than off. The Spark has a much better midrange & overall musicality. The iDSD’s amp always kinda leaves me wanting on non-IEMs. Spark does not. Mids On iDSD BL amp are slightly wonky and unnatural as headphones get more demanding, IMO. The Black Label amp is quieter w/ built-in IEMatch.
The DAC on the Black Label is a great match for the Spark- that ended up being my go-to setup: iDSD BL -> Spark-> Cascade. That DAC is a monster on that little thing. Probably my favorite sub $600 DAC. Sweet chip. First 6 bits R2R. Does MQA and DSD. Love the warm, impactful balance on it. Great naturalness. Amp is pretty good - definitely capable and dead quiet - but the DAC makes it one of my favorite mid-priced pieces.
Thanks for the reply...this was helpful
The ETA of the Liquid Spark is 10/14/2018, i.e. less than 2 weeks from now. i wonder how long it's been there, and whether it will recede like that of the Liquid Platinum... I hope not.
What do you mean by recede? Are there issues with the Liquid Platinum, or do they just sell out quickly?
I mean that the Liquid Platinum's ETA date keeps getting postponed. Now it has moved to 11/2/2018, after repeatedly jumping from one October '18 ETA date to another.
Ah, I see. I'm with you then, hopefully we see it hit* the shelves in a couple weeks.
I've been using the Liquid Spark for a few days now and it's an excellent little amp. At $99 it's a no-brainer.
It still isn't 100% broken in (still under 100 hours), but it's been an outstanding piece of kit.
I did decide to check it out with a linear power supply and things are slightly better, but it's not the type of amp that absolutely begs for one.
I'll do more critical listening soon since the break-in period is almost over.
One surprise to me is that its low volume balance isn't wildly terrible. Initially, I was going to recommend against it for sensitive IEMs simply because the volume at 9 o'clock is quite loud even with my customs (Future Sonics MG5 HX).
However, dropping the volume further doesn't start causing channel imbalance until well below where I'd expect, and it can get down to listenable volume.
That being said, I like a little more play in the volume and like to use either Harrison Labs RCA attenuators or my Garage1217 attenuator.
The noise floor is low enough that you don't really need the latter (or an iFi iEMatch, for example).
Wow. All of the above I consider very encouraging!
With a statement like "At $99 it's a no-brainer" - I would say "encouraging" is an understatement...
This sounds cool! Very very very cool!
But it runs warm and is a hot deal xD
These are in stock right now, just a heads up
Spark ordered ! now to save up for the platinum...
Just picked one up. Should have it in a couple days.