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The Fiio A5 thread: an upgrade of E12A, MUSES02+LME49600, 800mW, 19Vp-p, 12 hours

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by holypal, Sep 10, 2016.
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  1. Slater
    Yup, I have both the A5 and the Mont Blanc. The most sensitive IEM I have is the Magaosi K5. It is very picky, and will hiss on a lot of gear. It’s black as can be on the Mont Blanc.

    I basically use the A5 for hungry full size headphones, and the Mont Blanc for IEMs. Which makes sense, because that’s what each of them are designed for.

    Lemme know if I can answer any other questions about one vs the other, photos, measurements, etc.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  2. georgelai57
    Just for kicks, anyone know of a more powerful battery-operated portable headphone amp than the A5?

    I do have the A5 but sometimes I just want more oomph. Don’t ask why :)
  3. kukkurovaca
    If you don't need it to be easily pocketable, iFi Micro iDSD. Or, even more massive, the Analog Squared Paper TUR-08?
    georgelai57 likes this.
  4. richardxq
    sounds great! I am looking for a portable amp for my w5000. Could you please talk a bit more about the w5000 under this fiio a5?Thanks!
  5. CoCostanza
    Im wondering if the A5 has exactly and I mean EXACTLY the same sound signature as E12a? In that case I would get it.

    I got myself the LCD-2 and started to looking for a headphobe amp. Tried many amps, all the way up to 1000$, and the one I choosed was E12a. Because of its very very unique sound.
    Its far from being technically best but man this thing got personality. Paired with LCD-2, It gives me that thick smokey jazz clubb sound. It sounds compressed in a very hi-fiish way. Some very expensive tube-amps do that.

    And now I see that A5 is E12a with more power? Cause that would be the only thing I would improve. Even though if you like this kind of sound signature, then your not into loud volumes.

    Anyway, anyone here got both of them? Then I would appreciate a short short comparison.
  6. Slater
    Mine sure sound exactly the same.

    I agree with you about the sound - I love it. Some people don’t, saying it’s too warm or not cold and detailed. But that’s the Muses02 magic I suppose :wink:
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  7. CoCostanza
    Oh thats very good news. E12a with more power is what I was looking for.

    If you dont immediately get scared by the warmth and instead start to listen, you notice its detailed as hell. Thats what makes it sound more expensive.
  8. Slater
    The Muses02 gives a warm tube-like sound (yet with great detail and clarity) in a convenient solid state form. I know that’s why FiiO used it in the E12A, and continued to use it in the A5.

    I remember when the E12DIY came out, a lot of people bought Muses02 op amps for the best sound possible. The problem is that 95% of them on eBay and Aliexpress are counterfeit. If you buy them from Mouser etc they are genuine, but cost $30-$40 each. So the fact that you are able to buy an E12A or A5 for ~$100 is impressive, because both come with genuine Muses02 worth 1/3 of the overall cost.

    The other thing that’s great about the A5 is you get the extra power (at the expense of some battery life), but you can swap the op amp for those that feel the Muses02 is too warm.
  9. CoCostanza
    I know the price is sick. I was actually so close not to try it just because of the price. Tought it was too cheap, cant be no good.

    What are you pairing it with? Im using it with chord Mojo. It gives it even more detail
  10. Slater
    I normally use it with an xduoo X3, but have also paired it with my SSD-equipped iPod, and my Sansa Clip+. All 3 devices run Rockbox.

    I use the E12A with my IEMs and the A5 with my full size cans.
  11. Xyrium
  12. Dobrescu George
  13. Xyrium
    I've never had the E12, but the E12A definitely made my Beyer 880/600's sound fairly tame, without losing the detail that those cans offer.
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  14. fokta
    dropping by to share, looking for amp to support my DAP drive my Headphone.. audition in local store, my eyes is to A5... the store offered Mojo, luckily they don't have demo for it. (edit, some coworker lend me Mojo, hmm.. different league... but IMO best pair for mojo is with smartphone... )

    Continuing audition A5 with HD668b and DT990 pro, significant increase on both phones, then the store offered bstock of E12A, give it a try since the price is attractive.... gezz... it give a bit colour for DT990 Pro, IMO.. but the omph on HD668b is more with A5.

    Interestingly is different between E12A and A5...
    in the end I choose.... due to price =p
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  15. Xyrium
    The E12A seems thicker to me, but both have enough power for most dynamic driver cans. I don't believe the power capability of the 990 is that high, so the E12A should do fine there, and I believe it might smooth out it's somewhat accentuated highs. I don't know about the 668's though. I have both amps, and the only thing I'd change about the A5 is the volume knob, I wish they kept the E12A volume knob knurling.
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