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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. jamato8 Contributor
    I haven't seen anything, including my $7,000 Leica camera body, that is without the lens, that doesn't have issues from time to time so to say that money/cost denotes better QC is by it self misplaced. Which amp sounds better I don't know but mine has plenty of use and performs and sounds fine. My Leica M9 has been in the shop twice since May of this year and Leica is known for Ultimate quality. . . just an example. 
  2. estreeter
    Point taken, Jam, but how many of us are going to go to the trouble of sending a ~ $200 amp back to China for repair when, for example, the USB connection to the DAC ceases to power the thing ?
    We have a local reseller for Meier Audio here in Oz who I know will take any feedback re defects very seriously, and Jan has been very quick to respond to any issues raises by Head-Fiers - I may be wrong, but I dont believe that iBasso has a spokesperson like Justin/Jason/Ray or Jan - these guys give their brand a human dimension, presumably at considerable cost to their businesses.
    Please note that I am not deprecating the technical accomplishments of iBasso Audio, and I think its great that they are able to produce the P4 for the retail price on their site. As I said earlier, it would be fantastic to be able to compare the P4 and the StepDance, but reality dictates that most of us will make a choice between one or the other - I would hope that part of that choice will be based on the assumption that the amp will stand up to the rigors of portable audio - in my experience with the D4, that simply hasnt been the case, and I dont believe that I am Robinson Crusoe. By contrast, there are legions of Move/HeadSix owners out there who seem to have had their amps in and out of backpacks etc for several years now without incident - as always, there will be exceptions, but that is the impression I get from this and other forums.
  3. jamato8 Contributor
    I am not crazy about USB connections, I will state that right up front. On the P4 there isn't any since it runs at a much higher voltage and has an adapter that puts out 16 volts. The ability to change op amps and buffers and to go from 3 or 4 channel grounding in the P4 is nice advantage if the sound doesn't suit. I have looked at the parts in the Warbler and most are sourced from Japan and the US. The quality is very high along with the custom volume control knob they now have made and the case. 
    It's all good. Great hobby and for some, profession. 
  4. estreeter
    Good points well enunciated, Jam - peace :) estreeter
  5. jamato8 Contributor
    I am using the P4 with dual output buffers biased for wide bandwidth and the TLE2141 biased to class A with great results. This little amp is a power house. With two buffers per channel and 12.6 volts, there is plenty of voltage and current. I will be curious how it does with the LCD-2, which don't appear hard to drive but the better the source and amp, obviously the better the sound so I look forward to how well the P4 fairs as well as the Monica II dac and the MB-1 dac. 
  6. GeorgeGoodman


    Funny how that works, ain't it? The more you know how to fix, the better off you are.
  7. jamato8 Contributor
    Yep, but there isn't much to try and fix on the M9. I do adjust the focus, which most will not attempt but it just requires a 2mm allen wrench. 
    On other repairs, it is always nice to be able to do things yourself as long as you don't end up making it worse, which often happens to people. 
  8. Armaegis
    Can someone tell me what 3 and 4 channel grounding is? My google-fu isn't turning up anything useful as I keep finding articles on 3 channel systems, but nothing about grounding.
  9. GeorgeGoodman


    This is what I meant, not that you fool around with your uber nice camera. How does the Warbler drive all your Ultrasones? I listened to the ED9 once and I liked it, even from an amp that was not that great.
  10. jamato8 Contributor
    It works fine. Some of the most authority I have heard from a portable. The Ed. 9 aren't hard to drive but of course the better the source and amp, the better they sound. With the Warbler they sound excellent. Now I am experimenting with different op amps in the V/G circuit and different op amps in general. The amp is a kick because it sounds excellent and then you can play with it as well. 
    Right now I have the OPA627 in the V/G circuit and it warms the amp up some. I am not sure I like it but I know some will. It sounds like a warmer tube amp with these in the V/G. Now to try some 211 or whatever. 
  11. Tinola
    Want this..  :D P4 is on my list to get against P-51 and D12

  12. ztsen
    Hey Guys, Just placed my order. Sold my iBasso D10 to fund this new amp, hope it won't disappointed me.  :)
    The China market only sell cheaper version P3DIY which is the same circuit but have a slight different and different opamp supplied. Been thinking P3DIY or P4, so concluded with P4.
    HiFlight, any topkit for P4 yet?
    Is the topkit used in D10 can be used in P4 as well?
    Is the power 12v in P4 make a different compare to 5v in D10 using iem?
  13. HiFlight

    iBasso has included my D10 Topkit L/R combination in the P4 rolling kit. As the rolling kit contains an excellent selection of great opamps, I will not be making up a complete Topkit for the P4, although I do have a L/R module called "Classical/Jazz" that is available as a supplement to the included rolling kit. It is a single dual-channel Class A biased module that is "plug and play" when inserted into the center LR socket of the P4.
    Do NOT attempt to use the D10 buffers in the P4. They cannot tolerate the P4 supply voltage.
    The difference in supply voltage between the D10/12 and P4 is really only a factor when driving relatively inefficient headphones.  It also supplies additional headroom when listening at high volumes. 
    For the most part, I hear no audible differences with my IEMs at the volume I use.  Both drive my SA5000's effortlessly.
  14. jamato8 Contributor
    I am listening with the metal can opa2111AM and the buffer HA5002 (in a special board Xin used to have made up) and the sound EXcellent. The amp with a single 5002 per channel is driving my LCD-2 with no problem. This past few years have really seen some major changes in portables. 
  15. P4Z
    @jamato8 You have an impressive collection of portable amps, would you be able to give any comparisons?
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