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P4 the Warbler a new portable amp from iBasso . . first impression pg 3 . images Pg 6&7 . . .

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by jamato8, Oct 25, 2010.
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  1. NewAKGGuy
    Bump - still looking for folks' opinions on battery life.  Anyone?
  2. estreeter


    Rant on, but I'm with Pauly, Spud and others when they say the P4 has gobs of power for a portable amp - its effortless. How that translates to driving a pair of large, heavy headphones that only a fanatic would take out of the house is a question I cant answer. Keep it real, however, and this little amp will deliver as much power as most sane people will ever need. Those who need an inexpensive amp to drive something like the LCD-2 might be happier with a desktop like the M-Stage or something from Schiit.
  3. trentino
    I'm still looking at maybe buying the P4. Have been thinking about it for months. I don't like how the hd600 sounds from my db2/pb2, and something tells me the p4 would do a better job with the hd600. I think it's the somewhat bright sound coming from the pb2 that I don't like together with the already bright hd600 (bright to my ears that is - compared to the dark hd650). I love the hd650 balanced from the pb2 though, but the hd600 are collecting dust. Anyone used the p4 with hd600? Or, can anyone comment on the p4 maybe being somewhat "darker" sounding than pb2 single ended?
  4. paulybatz
    I would suggest balancing the HD600...and then rolling opamps to get the sound you want...I find that nothing satisfied me more than balancing my HD650s
  5. paulybatz


    I LOVE my LCD-2 with the P4...fed by the new IBASSO D7
    Little HF-porn for ya
  6. trentino
    They are balanced from the pb2. I was talking about the hd600 sounding too bright and harsh from pb2, I wanted opinions on the p4, if it is less bright sounding than pb2. With stock op amps, both pb2 and p4. Because I have not entered the op amp rolling thing. It scares me a bit actually.

  7. paulybatz


    Just ask folks in the thread about warm opamps...hiflight sells the kits
  8. HiFlight
    While I no longer have my HD600's, I can't address your issue of the stock PB2 sounding too harsh and bright, but that is certainly not what I would call the native sound of the PB2. Given a proper source and used with balanced phones, it offers quite a well-balanced sound across the entire audio spectrum.

    Rolling opamps will not make major changes in the SQ of the amp, as the differences between opamps (that are appropriate for use in a given amp) are subtle and the differences are more apparent in soundstaging and imaging. If you want a warmer sound, I would suggest that use of EQ is a more appropriate way of achieving the sound you want.

    The PB2 is designed for balanced use and will deliver the best sound using the balanced outputs. The stock SQ is more neutral than warm and again, opamp rolling results in changes more appropriately called "tweaks" rather than major changes in SQ.

    Harsh strident highs are more likely the result of a poor source somewhere upstream of the PB2, as the HD600 is not a headphone that typically exhibits this type of SQ nor is the PB2.

    While the P4 offers more options for customizing by having socketed L/R, buffers, and ground, changing components will not make night and day changes in the SQ of the amp. The stock SQ of both the PB2 and P4 are more similar than different, with both having excellent tonal accuracy and balance as well as enough output power to drive any dynamic headphone to headbanging levels.

    IMO, the P4 sounds better than the PB2 when using non-balanced phones from the SE output of the PB2.
  9. estreeter


    Thanks for that, Ron - we see so many 'just roll op-amps' recommendations as an instant fix for almost everything, and I'm not convinced that's the case. SpudHarris and yourself are pretty much the only people whose op-amp recommendations I am prepared to consider.
  10. SpudHarris Contributor


    Haha, I get most of my recommendations from Ron....
    That said, I am really enjoying the LME49990's at the moment and not sure what Ron's take is on these. I have rolled them into most of my amps. I listend to my HD600's last night with the P4 and have to say I had a very enjoyable session. I don't remember what the stock configuration is/was but as Ron said, the differences are mostly subtle and mostly to do with soundstage and imaging which add to my enjoyment more than colouration. The P4 is able to power the HD600's easily and I think they are very well suited. I didn't compare the DB2/PB2 in balanced mode as I really didn't want to change anything about the P4 and HD600's so carried on listening.....
  11. trentino
    Thanks guys. I think I simply enjoy the hd650 more than hd600 overall. Simple as that. But, I'm gonna get the p4 anyway for use with other hp's, and will keep the LME49990 in mind. Thanks for the responses.
  12. HiFlight

    I have in my opamp stock the LME4562, LME49860 and LME49990. They are all very good opamps that have been specifically designed for audio use rather than industrial applications. My personal preference of the 3 is the 49860, as it seems to perform the same all of the iBasso amps, whereas the other two seemed to be more model-specific.

    Some who prefer "warm" may find these to be a bit too analytical for their tastes. They might also be a bit on the bright side when used with such phones as the ER-4 and some Grado models if ones listening preferences tend to favor the warm side.
  13. estreeter
    Thanks Ron - it sounds like the LME49860, on paper at least, should mate well with phones like the RE262/RE272. At this point I am gripping my pursestrings very tightly indeed - every time I go to the iBasso site, I look at the price on the D7 and it just doesnt compute that iBasso are giving us so much for relatively few bucks. I'm sure you will recall that there were precious few (professionally built) portable amps under 300USD just 3 short years ago, and adding a DAC to your amp pushed the price up by at least $100.
  14. paulybatz

    It DOESNT compute....it is simply the best bang for the buck if you need basically the best trans"portable" DAC and a pretty nice amp for under 200
    I was talking to someone the other day that I hit HEAD-FI at just the right time, right when IBASSO set the new standard for quality and price
  15. CJG888


    I ended up sending mine back and am currently eagerly awaiting the replacement unit (should get here tomorrow). It seems that there must be at least one batch out there with dodgy batteries (discharges itself completely over 24-36 hours, even if unused and disconnected - regardless of op-amp configuration). The old unit gave about 7 hours' battery life driving GR07s or HF5s - this was also obviously not OK.
    Incidentally, I've found that it works extremely well driving FA-003s - there seems to be a real synergy here.....
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