Review: Portable amp roundup! 56 portable amps reviewed and compared - FINAL update 12-20-10 added RSA SR-71B
Jan 28, 2009 at 7:58 AM Post #2,266 of 3,234

Fuzzbox

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Thank you for the time that you put into this review Skylab! It's always been a reference point for my portable amp selection.

BTW, the Rudistor XJ-03 is not in the list, think it's got some good review. Hope to hear your comment for it soon.

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Jan 28, 2009 at 1:52 PM Post #2,267 of 3,234

LaurentD

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Hi, It’s my first post here, and I want to thank Skylab for his review of all those AMP.
And after reading all this thread ( OMG it’s a long way :wink: )

To Skylab >

Here are my questions; as an audiophile, I need a” no compromise” portable gear…. But with some constraints
With this idea, earphone will be UE PRO-11.
So, I need an AMP to load it well

According to your list,
Triad Audio Lisa III
Qables iQube
RSA Mustang P-51

First, about Lisa, it seems to be large and his connections (both sides front and rear) are not very useful to carry it in the pocket even a small bag with all the cables connected.
Do you have the measure of the Lisa (Hx LxP) ? I can’t find it

Second, about the 2 others, do u think they could load EU-11 without *any* problem?

And third, according to my tastes, I don’t want “any” sound coloration, and my key points are Transparency and of course sound stage.

So :
Lisa > a little bit to big to travel “in a pocket”… and not easy to carry it
IQube > soundstage A-, and Transparency, Mid and Bass ….. A “only” rated
P-51 > Transparency A “only”, Mid A++ ….. what does it means really…. Colored
tongue_smile.gif


So, if you can help me a little bit more
confused_face(1).gif


Thx in advance
Laurent

Sorry for my English, I’m French
 
Jan 28, 2009 at 2:51 PM Post #2,268 of 3,234

Skylab

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I have never heard the UE 11 so I can't really help, but I would recommend the iQube if Neutrality is your most important consideration.
 
Jan 28, 2009 at 4:08 PM Post #2,270 of 3,234

FreeBlues

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LaurentD /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Triad Audio Lisa III
Qables iQube
RSA Mustang P-51

First, about Lisa, it seems to be large and his connections (both sides front and rear) are not very useful to carry it in the pocket even a small bag with all the cables connected.
Do you have the measure of the Lisa (Hx LxP) ? I can’t find it

Second, about the 2 others, do u think they could load EU-11 without *any* problem?

And third, according to my tastes, I don’t want “any” sound coloration, and my key points are Transparency and of course sound stage.

So :
Lisa > a little bit to big to travel “in a pocket”… and not easy to carry it
IQube > soundstage A-, and Transparency, Mid and Bass ….. A “only” rated
P-51 > Transparency A “only”, Mid A++ ….. what does it means really…. Colored
tongue_smile.gif


So, if you can help me a little bit more
confused_face(1).gif


Thx in advance
Laurent

Sorry for my English, I’m French



Laurent - I've had my UE-11's for about 18 months, own a Lisa and owned then sold an iQube. I have no experience with the P-51. Both the iQube and Lisa were excellent, no problems at all getting the UE-11's to sound their best.

I LOVE the sound of the Lisa with these IEM's, much better than the iQube. That said, the Lisa is large, can be a problem to carry (I use mine only as a portable, but it is still a problem). The iQube is much more convenient. Based on your description I would probably recommend the iQube, it is very, very neutral sounding, almost sterile in some applications. The Lisa is musical, involving, detailed and a joy to listen to, big, wide, deep and intoxicating. The iQube will let you analyze the music without getting too involved.

That make sense?

Both are great amps, you will be happy eith either. I elected to keep the Lisa and have absolutely no regrets.
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 3:08 AM Post #2,271 of 3,234

peta10dye

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Hi Skylab,

Just a quick question. Wondered if you would ever be considering looking at the E+ version of the Minibox, I was curious given that it seems to be getting quite a bit of interest, with it in some reviews now being placed above the SR71
eek.gif
and a couple of others very high on your review. Could the difference between E and later E+ versions be that much
confused_face(1).gif
Anyhow, thought I'd ask & would be interested in your thoughts
atsmile.gif
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 8:03 AM Post #2,273 of 3,234

LaurentD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skylab /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have never heard the UE 11 so I can't really help, but I would recommend the iQube if Neutrality is your most important consideration.


Quote:

Originally Posted by FreeBlues /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Laurent - I've had my UE-11's for about 18 months, own a Lisa and owned then sold an iQube. I have no experience with the P-51. Both the iQube and Lisa were excellent, no problems at all getting the UE-11's to sound their best.

I LOVE the sound of the Lisa with these IEM's, much better than the iQube. That said, the Lisa is large, can be a problem to carry (I use mine only as a portable, but it is still a problem). The iQube is much more convenient. Based on your description I would probably recommend the iQube, it is very, very neutral sounding, almost sterile in some applications. The Lisa is musical, involving, detailed and a joy to listen to, big, wide, deep and intoxicating. The iQube will let you analyze the music without getting too involved.

That make sense?

Both are great amps, you will be happy eith either. I elected to keep the Lisa and have absolutely no regrets.



Skylab, Freeblues, thx for your input.

Freeblues,

1st why did you sold the iQube :wink: you can PM me if you prefer
2.what do you mean by "intoxicating" about the Lisa III
3. how do you manage connectivity with 1/4 scale when you use it portable ( which source do u use ? ipod ? )

BTW, when I read " The Lisa is musical, involving, detailed and a joy to listen to, big, wide, deep " ..... it's difficult for me to buy another one and have this sentence somewhere in my mind :wink:

thx again,

Laurent
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 8:31 AM Post #2,274 of 3,234

paulr

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I searched for info on the HR Total Bithead/Total Airhead on this thread and found some references to a few other people asking about it but no reports about the more recent incarnations. I bought a Total Bithead about 3 months ago so it's the current model or close to it. It's the only headphone amp I've owned so I can't make comparisons to other amps, but it seems to improve the sound of my mp3 players (Sandisk M260 and Cowon D2) with my MDR-V6 headphones. Unfortunately I bought it for use in a very specific setup, namely as a USB DAC for my Lenovo laptop playing into Peltor active noise cancellation headphones. The Peltor phones are a long way from audiophile quality but in my noisy office environment, the noise cancellation more than makes up for deficiency in the audio. The trouble is that 60 cycle hum from the Lenovo AC power supply leaks out the Lenovo USB port and through the Total Bithead and then somehow gets amplified in the Peltor noise cancellation electronics. The same thing happens with my Asus EEE PC when running on its AC adapter. It does NOT happen with either laptop when running on battery power. It does NOT happen with headphones other than the Peltors. It does NOT happen on my officemate's Mac Pro, even on AC power.

Anyway, I thought the idea of an outboard DAC was to take the analog audio stuff away from the noisy computer electronics, and the Bithead seems to fail at this notion. Once again I don't know at the moment whether other DAC's are any better. Maybe if I were willing to spend enough, I'd get a USB to SPDIF converter and then use an SPDIF DAC with optical input. At the moment it's just not worth it, I'd bought the setup to use my computer as a music source, but I just use my D2 instead (direct to the Peltors without the amp) and that works fine and the Bithead is just sitting here. I might put it on the sale/trade section. Or if Skylab wants to review it, I'd be happy to lend it.
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 8:38 AM Post #2,275 of 3,234

vvanrij

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Thanks to this review I bought the 3Move, and I am very happy with it!
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 2:14 PM Post #2,276 of 3,234

Skylab

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All:

There have been quite a few new folks asking some questions and I thought I should make a quick post so everyone understands a couple things that have already been said in this thread, but since the thread is so long may not be obvious.

1. I only review amps that are sent to me for review - I do not buy them for review (I did this in the beginning but even that was a very expensive proposition I could not sustain). In general I prefer NOT to review amps that are loaned to me from other head-fiers as this has caused some problems. So the amps I review need to be loaned by the amp maker.

2. I do my best, but I cannot review EVERY amp there is out there. This is nothing more than a hobby for me - I do like to review stuff, but the time I have available for it is somewhat limited unfortunately.

People are more than welcome to make suggestions for me to review amps, but I sure prefer them to be in the form of "Hey Skylab, have you ever thought of reviewing Amp A?" and NOT in the form of "Hey Skylab why haven't you Amp B yet?". I hope the difference there is clear and that you, my fellow head-fiers, will honor this simple and humble request.
 
Jan 29, 2009 at 2:16 PM Post #2,277 of 3,234

Skylab

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Quote:

Originally Posted by peta10dye /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi Skylab,

Just a quick question. Wondered if you would ever be considering looking at the E+ version of the Minibox, I was curious given that it seems to be getting quite a bit of interest, with it in some reviews now being placed above the SR71
eek.gif
and a couple of others very high on your review. Could the difference between E and later E+ versions be that much
confused_face(1).gif
Anyhow, thought I'd ask & would be interested in your thoughts
atsmile.gif



I actually had planned to review the E+, but for some reason that I cannot recall, the plan fell through. I should look into that again
wink.gif
 
Jan 30, 2009 at 1:27 AM Post #2,279 of 3,234

kiwirugby

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mark_h /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Petition to make this thread a sticky!


X2. Excellent idea! Thanks for suggesting it.

I wonder how many of us have made a great choice thanks to Skylab's reviews and other insights from Headfiers??? I know Skylab has done untold damage to my wallet....but I am smiling...!!!!
 

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