Review: Fiio E12 (comparison to C&C BH + JDS Labs O2 + JDS Labs C421)
Feb 22, 2013 at 12:32 AM Post #76 of 233
Yeah, I agree.
Both have their respective strengths and weaknesses. That's why I wrote in the first post that E12 isn't really better than C421, or vice versa.
Maybe I should list E12's weaknesses more clearly, so people would get a better idea of what they are like...
Feb 22, 2013 at 12:56 AM Post #78 of 233
I'm glad you're enjoying the amp! 

I'll have to check the Brainwavz HM5 out sometime, too. It seems like a solid pair of over-ear.
It also just happens that they have new titanium-coated drivers coming for that particular model... though under a different brand:
So chances are pretty high that I'll pull a trigger some time in the future.
Feb 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM Post #79 of 233
Would anyone care you post exactly where I could buy the Fiio E12. Not just where they think I can buy it from. I have been trying to track this product for awhile now, even all the way to Asia. 
Feb 25, 2013 at 4:51 AM Post #81 of 233
BH is actually more detailed than E12. E12 sounds smoother, but if I want to be analytical about my music, I'd pick BH.
Treble is also better on BH as both the SF and LF switches boost treble to some extent.
But if you like a forward midrange, then E12 is more forward.
I think it's just a matter of what you prefer. I personally prefer E12's smooth signature over BH, but that's just me.

@ Bill-P, was interesting reading your review but i would love to hear your impressions about the following issues on E12 compared to BH:
is soundstage more airy and more detailed on E12 vs. BH?
is decay happening smoother and hangs longer in the air on E12?
is sound layering organically blended into single musical performance without compromising subtley details and especially cymbals?
is treble and bass rolloff smaller on E12 vs. BH?
oh year, and one more: is bass better controlled on E12? i mean bass pace and articulation when you can clearly hear which drum was hit.
NB: please excuse me my push on the issue but i am really wondering about your findings and would want to have some additional color about this E12 product. in the end it's all about enjoying sound and i believe you enjoy E12 as much as i enjoy my BH
normal_smile .gif

Feb 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM Post #82 of 233
Well, no problem at all. I'll try to answer to the best of my abilities:
1) Soundstage is larger on BH, but Fiio E12 is more airy. Sorry, I wish I could give you a different answer, but that's just how it is. The difference in soundstage between E12 and BH are actually pretty small. And BH would definitely lag behind if the SF switch and LF switch are not engaged at the same time. When SF switch is enabled, BH matches E12's soundstage, and the LF switch allows BH to have slightly more distinct instrument separation. But otherwise, I think soundstage is pretty similar between them.
2) No, decay doesn't hang around longer on E12. It's about the same as BH. E12 has an edge with bass decay because it can boost sub-bass frequencies, giving more rumbles, but without congesting the sound.
3) Layering is much better on E12. Bass and midrange are very detailed and articulated on E12. However, E12 doesn't try to bring out details with cymbals or any instrument that extends to high frequency.
4) And here is the reason: I think E12 has slightly more high frequency roll-off compared to BH. Both the SF and LF switches on BH boost treble as well, so it's quite a night and day difference. Even without those switches, E12 still has slightly less treble extension.
Feb 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM Post #83 of 233
Bill, you say ''E12 has a warmer tilt in the midrange, and a bit more bass articulation (without bass boost), with less micro details. Also soundstage is slightly smaller (width).''
aren't you afraid E12 will bring in more pleasing mid-range coloration at the expense of layering and details? i find BH being fairly neutral and not much coloration to speak of. yes, i know many people want spacious warm pleasing midrange but this comes at the expense of micro detailing, highs rolloff and softening of overall musical presentation. i remember demoing one expensive Guru loudspeaker vs. my Sonus Faber Cremona M... my merchant holds Guru in high esteem because it gives so pleasing almost enveloping and smooth midrange. he was very pissed off when i told him to wire Cremonas and run a test. he told me back i was not knowing what i was doing. however when he did and Cremonas fired up even my wife (not music afficionado) jumped to her feet, like she told me with Guru blues singer was singing out of distance but with Cremonas the singer just entered the room. i must say Cremonas sounded more crisp and articulated, singer voice was nearly whispering into my ear and the whole experience left all of us speechless... mind this Guru retailed for nearly 10k Euros while Cremona all new costs 7.8k.
i am afraid what i see in your review reminds me about Guru vs. Cremona... very pleasing enveloping sound put against live performance, to each his own.
Feb 25, 2013 at 7:06 PM Post #84 of 233
E12 doesn't sacrifice layering. It just sounds warmer and smoother than BH. And if BH doesn't have the treble boost provided by the SF and LF switch, then it would have less soundstage than E12.
I think you're misunderstanding something. Warmth doesn't necessarily come at the expense of soundstage or layering. Neither does smoothness. In fact, here's a paradox for you to consider: I now have a JDS Labs C421 that's even smoother than E12, but the midrange is noticeably less warm.
Feb 25, 2013 at 7:12 PM Post #85 of 233
right, no disagreement. i just wanted to make sure we understand things the same way. mind this me hearing E11 time ago was leaving bad impressions.... is E12 so much better than E11?
Feb 25, 2013 at 9:55 PM Post #87 of 233
I really like my O2, but I've always had a thing for Fiio amps.  Maybe I'll pick up an E12 out of sheer curiosity.
Feb 26, 2013 at 2:46 AM Post #88 of 233
Bill-P, no, this makes little sense since we talk about amps costing 100-130$, going up i can have whatever amp i wish. ironically before i decided to buy BH my target amp was Leckerton or Predator... both much more expensive. Now i feel happy about BH and see not much need for upgrade. This is why i was also sceptic about E12 being any much better than BH. I know best of best from the upper costing chain. However i find it most difficult to find real gems like BH costing dirty cheap and pushing much above its weight.
I trust all what you say but i am not sure E12 will be a giant leap forward for me. also i do not see much need for upgrading now and if i need one i will go high-end way and take Terra player. but at the moment i am not compelled.
Feb 26, 2013 at 9:25 AM Post #89 of 233
Well, then I'd say... don't let yourself be bothered by E12 for long. Just be content with BH.
In case you ever need more midrange and bass quality, and you want to reduce treble glares, E12 is just right there.
And the C421 is now discontinued. You can find it used on the market for approximately $130, so it is now unfortunately in the same ballpark as BH.
Feb 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM Post #90 of 233
Bill, agree with you. sorry, I was not willing to irritate you and your test of E12 was really interesting. Lets wait how many happy users E12 will get.
You know we are all different people with different ears and tastes. What I value however is when people share unbiased opinions and you did great job on this. I would NOT expect you to be BH lover and I fully understand people who love E12 better. my listen of E11 was poor result but I trust you and others who say E12 is better amp.
Yes, I forgot to mention why I bumped into E12 forum. I am considering second amp because my daughter will need one. So the idea is either I keep BH and buy something for my daughter or I upgrade to hi-endish amp and give BH to my daughter. She listened to my BH with her iPhone and iPod and she loved BH.

Users who are viewing this thread