Sony PHA-3 balanced portable dac/amp
Oct 8, 2016 at 7:22 AM Post #1,369 of 1,886

Kylan

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I do it all the time via line out in the back, but the switch option from headphones out to line out have to be flipped

i connected the sony PHA-3 to my iphone and it sounded like garbage.. had to turn the vol up to 12:00 position just to get any sound..using my sennheiser 800 balanced surf cables.. any ideas?? 
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 7:25 AM Post #1,370 of 1,886

Whitigir

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i connected the sony PHA-3 to my iphone and it sounded like garbage.. had to turn the vol up to 12:00 position just to get any sound..using my sennheiser 800 balanced surf cables.. any ideas?? 


Brand new unit pha-3 needs 500 hours break in...else it sounds like crap and I meant it literally, especially with hd800 where the bass is never it strong point unless paired with more powerful and warmth gears. However, pha-3 is capable of driving hd800 to a satisfying level with all conditions met. However, keep in mind that hd800 scales much better with more powerful device than pha3...aka desktop rig

1/ 500 hours burn in
2/ good balanced cables
3/ Upgraded USB cables

I can tell you that the #3 is very important as well.
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 7:29 AM Post #1,371 of 1,886

Kylan

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Brand new unit pha-3 needs 500 hours break in...else it sounds like crap and I meant it literally, especially with hd800 where the bass is never it strong point unless paired with more powerful and warmth gears. However, pha-3 is capable of driving hd800 to a satisfying level with all conditions met. However, keep in mind that hd800 scales much better with more powerful device than pha3...aka desktop rig

1/ 500 hours burn in
2/ good balanced cables
3/ Upgraded USB cables

I can tell you that the #3 is very important as well.

ya thats what i keep hearing, u have to break it in.. cant believe i bought such a thing!! i couldnt just be happy with the great sound i was getting from the senns balanced with my pono!! but i thought it could use some more power and dynamics... 1000 dollar lesson... pathetic 
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 7:34 AM Post #1,372 of 1,886

Whitigir

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ya thats what i keep hearing, u have to break it in.. cant believe i bought such a thing!! i couldnt just be happy with the great sound i was getting from the senns balanced with my pono!! but i thought it could use some more power and dynamics... 1000 dollar lesson... pathetic 


Well...i see where you are coming from. You can always return it, if not possible just sell it. Pha-3 is capable of greatness that can compete against mid tier desktop system, but only when you really "make it". Out of the box ? It is like a naked hen.
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:07 AM Post #1,373 of 1,886
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Well...i see where you are coming from. You can always return it, if not possible just sell it. Pha-3 is capable of greatness that can compete against mid tier desktop system, but only when you really "make it". Out of the box ? It is like a naked hen.


The narrative of this thing is kinda mind blowing.
It stomps on a Mojo and an iDSD micro,and iDSD nano and iCAN nano stack ( which was my favorite). In fairness the PHA-3 is the only one I used balanced.
 
Please, no trolling you, what part of any track on Dark Side of the Moon is better in balanced after burn-in? I think this thing is the finest piece of kit i ever heard ( I live in Japan folks and i heard bout everything)...the battery on mine lasts 7 hrs in balanced mode. What exactly is gonna get better? Forget the guy who can't plug stuff in. I ain't talking bout him I am asking you.
 
You know what the PHA-3, Mojo, iDSD micro,nano and others have in common? Go check the freq graphs.
 
They look like rulers with a cliff after 12-20Khz
 
Folks have ported the lingo to describe driver response to DAC/AMP stages and it is ridiculous.
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:23 AM Post #1,374 of 1,886

Whitigir

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The narrative of this thing is kinda mind blowing.
It stomps on a Mojo and an iDSD micro,and iDSD nano and iCAN nano stack ( which was my favorite). In fairness the PHA-3 is the only one I used balanced.

Please, no trolling you, what part of any track on Dark Side of the Moon is better in balanced after burn-in? I think this thing is the finest piece of kit i ever heard ( I live in Japan folks and i heard bout everything)...the battery on mine lasts 7 hrs in balanced mode. What exactly is gonna get better? Forget the guy who can't plug stuff in. I ain't talking bout him I am asking you.

You know what the PHA-3, Mojo, iDSD micro,nano and others have in common? Go check the freq graphs.

They look like rulers with a cliff after 12-20Khz

Folks have ported the lingo to describe driver response to DAC/AMP stages and it is ridiculous.


Measurements is not everything, human makes things, human don't progress by just measuring stick and stones...lol. Ok, on an honest answer here. Balanced mode has separate channels signals traveling paths, and is also being processed independently by the DAC, the 9018S is well known for it prowess in processing separated channels.

So, you are getting clear paths of signal travelling in balanced mode with better power (just intentionally designed) as well. In balanced mode, the soundstage and separations are clearly superior. Burn-in helps polishing the dynamic, the power delivery and make the body tonality more rich with details and fluidity. That is from what I observe.

USB cables upgrade, especially Silver-Gold cables open up the soundstage much better and push the vocal better with timbres, tightness, energetic and yet smooth with the dynamic that is just mind blowing. I have all kind of USB cables you can think off, below are Pure Silver, Pure Silver-Gold, ULtra Pure Copper. Each of them offers different degree of sound quality and differences, and the best would be Silver-Gold as it has the best of both world Silver and Copper. The 2 mains upgrades that any pha-3 owner can do to improve it is primarily USB cables and then Balanced cables

 
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:44 AM Post #1,375 of 1,886

Wfanning1

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ya thats what i keep hearing, u have to break it in.. cant believe i bought such a thing!! i couldnt just be happy with the great sound i was getting from the senns balanced with my pono!! but i thought it could use some more power and dynamics... 1000 dollar lesson... pathetic 
Hi kylan, ive owned all the hi res sony stuff including zx1, zx2, pha1,pha2 and pha3 the x5's and z7's also! I make all the necessary cables to run any device with the pha3. You made a good choice with the pha3 dont fret! Feel free to message me to help ya out if you woukd like!
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:55 AM Post #1,376 of 1,886

Whitigir

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Hi kylan, ive owned all the hi res sony stuff including zx1, zx2, pha1,pha2 and pha3 the x5's and z7's also! I make all the necessary cables to run any device with the pha3. You made a good choice with the pha3 dont fret! Feel free to message me to help ya out if you woukd like!


Agreed, Pha-3 is an excellent system, but we have to push it to bring the best out of it :). It can even compete with desktop mid tier, and that is damn good for a transportable DAC/amp.
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:57 AM Post #1,377 of 1,886

Wfanning1

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Measurements is not everything, human makes things, human don't progress by just measuring stick and stones...lol. Ok, on an honest answer here. Balanced mode has separate channels signals traveling paths, and is also being processed independently by the DAC, the 9018S is well known for it prowess in processing separated channels.

So, you are getting clear paths of signal travelling in balanced mode with better power (just intentionally designed) as well. In balanced mode, the soundstage and separations are clearly superior. Burn-in helps polishing the dynamic, the power delivery and make the body tonality more rich with details and fluidity. That is from what I observe.

USB cables upgrade, especially Silver-Gold cables open up the soundstage much better and push the vocal better with timbres, tightness, energetic and yet smooth with the dynamic that is just mind blowing. I have all kind of USB cables you can think off, below are Pure Silver, Pure Silver-Gold, ULtra Pure Copper. Each of them offers different degree of sound quality and differences, and the best would be Silver-Gold as it has the best of both world Silver and Copper. The 2 mains upgrades that any pha-3 owner can do to improve it is primarily USB cables and then Balanced cables

Please keep in mind when talkung abouf a digital signal vs. an analog signal that upgraded cables will NOT make drastic changes in any sound reproduction! I mean its already digital you cant make it more digital by any means! Just to make it a bur easier to understand, if you standard digital usb cable on a scale of 1-10 is a "8" using a gold, silver, rhodium, platinum or ang other precious metal might make it a "8.4-8.6" !!! That said most humans are truely not going to hear any difference in tonalities what so ever! This goes for optical as it us digital as well! Now all that said, you can use a junk or poirly made digital cable and that will cause all sorts of sound and usage issues! As this is my opinion take it and all others with a grain of salt! But please please just use your own common knowledge and use what sounds good to you as you will know better than anyone!!
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 10:01 AM Post #1,378 of 1,886

Whitigir

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Please keep in mind when talkung abouf a digital signal vs. an analog signal that upgraded cables will NOT make drastic changes in any sound reproduction! I mean its already digital you cant make it more digital by any means! Just to make it a bur easier to understand, if you standard digital usb cable on a scale of 1-10 is a "8" using a gold, silver, rhodium, platinum or ang other precious metal might make it a "8.4-8.6" !!! That said most humans are truely not going to hear any difference in tonalities what so ever! This goes for optical as it us digital as well! Now all that said, you can use a junk or poirly made digital cable and that will cause all sorts of sound and usage issues! As this is my opinion take it and all others with a grain of salt! But please please just use your own common knowledge and use what sounds good to you as you will know better than anyone!!


You can try it by making your own USB cables and witness it for yourself. To me personally, the improvements are "drastically" even more "pronounced" than the analog cables for headphones. You won't believe it until you hear it. If you have not heard it, try not to discourage people to experience it for themselves, just for the sake of "better audio" :D. If you tried it and have not observed the differences enough to make changes, then I agree about using what sounds best to your needs
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 10:02 AM Post #1,379 of 1,886
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Measurements is not everything, human makes things, human don't progress by just measuring stick and stones


 
 
When a reviewer says something has a better bass delivery like they were talking about a driver and a spec sheet shows no such thing I trust the spec sheet.
 
BTW
 

 
Best USB cable on the market because it is well shielded and was designed to do one thing. AT-EUS1000. I love custom cables (see my sig) but for that sweet shielded passing of data I use this.
 
Oct 8, 2016 at 10:06 AM Post #1,380 of 1,886

Whitigir

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When a reviewer says something has a better bass delivery like they were talking about a driver and a spec sheet shows no such thing I trust the spec sheet.

BTW




Best USB cable on the market because it is well shielded and was designed to do one thing. AT-EUS1000. I love custom cables (see my sig) but for that sweet shielded passing of data I use this.


Those are good, but the best is far from it :), trust me. Most of the USB cables out there is all about reliability and the mass market. To make a USB that is "dedicated" to audio and do the only "1 thing" like u said....I have yet to see it. However, I can still have them at my disposal because I can.
 

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