May 12, 2017 at 12:36 AM
- Apr 28, 2007
- Reaction score
- Apr 28, 2007
I hope you're not disappointed in this answer, but it's impossible to evaluate the Sony NWZ-A17 DAC without listening to its amp at the same time. There is no available line out from the DAC section, so the only way to hear the DAC is through the amp, either into efficient IEMs, as intended, or by double-amping, with the headphone out driving an external amp (yuck). I tried that briefly, but I didn't care for what I heard. I may have had such low expectations due to double-amping that I didn't give it a chance.Bought that cable 2 weeks ago. Now for the SE and PM3. Is the DAC in the SE better than the one in the Sony??
Nice photography by the way.
Sony isn't famous for making DAC chips. That's kind of an underhanded comment, when you consider how good the NWZ-A17 DAC+amp can sound with efficient transducers, but in the end, I firmly believe Oppo's use of an ESS Sabre DAC delivers "better" audio (but don't forget that I have no way to judge the Sony DAC without its weak amp section.)
My Sony PCM-M10 recorder/player actually has a Line Out for its DAC. It's an older product, but it sounds bright and just a wee bit grainy relative to other DACs I've tried with my portable amps. Its headphone out isn't as good as that of the much smaller NWZ-A17, even though it's got a little more power. The Sony PCM-M10 most definitely sounds best with the Line Out driving a potent amp. This was my "travel rig" for several months:
I think you're going to be in a state of euphoria for at least a few weeks, listening to your microSD library on that rig.Ordered PM-3 and HA2 SE a few moments ago. Will eventually get a Wywires Red headphone cable for PM-3s. Always a great improvement.