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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. Indrajit
    I will try reducing the 2-3 KHz band to see if the sibilance goes away from vocals. Thank you for responding. I highly doubt that the headphones could be damaged because sound from damaged headphones would be much more visible. Everything in the 598 seems very good except the vocals,
    they just sound thin
  2. Xyrium
    Yep, what Brooko said. I would venture to say that you might actually enjoy the sound of THD (many folks do), whereas the fundamentals in the vocal range on the Schiit gear was literally being masked. The A5 is very neutral IME; what goes in, comes back out. I even had my Beyer DT880/600s on it, with nary an issue, and they aren't exactly lenient when it comes to music reproduction.

    Indrajit and Dobrescu George like this.
  3. Dobrescu George
    Try what Paul said, it should solve the issue.

    If you still want to push things, I would also suggest the following:

    Lower 3-5 kHz by 5-7dB, and increase 100 Hz by 3-5 dB This will push back the midrange, especially the upper midrange, and thicken the sound.
    Indrajit likes this.
  4. Brooko Contributor
    Good catch George, I had the freq wrong earlier (will amend earlier post)

    The grey is the raw frequency

    If you drop the 3-5 kHz (especially parametric with a wide Q) you should be able to address the grain issue.

    If you want to add some bass - I'd make it more sub-bass (around 5-60 Hz) for your rise.
    Indrajit and Dobrescu George like this.
  5. Dobrescu George
    I also generally recommend increasing the sub-bass, this is what I do, and mostly decrease the 100 Hz area, but I had a feeling the user might have wanted a slightly thicker sound, which is why I suggested an increase in the 100Hz area/
    Xyrium likes this.
  6. Xyrium
    I have to agree a bit on this one. It really does sound like he wants girth where it shouldn't be, but, this is another reason why "good" sound is so subjective, speaking objectively of course. :wink:
    Dobrescu George likes this.
  7. Indrajit
    My impressions were posted on the basis of selected songs that I have listened time and time again. After listening from the A5 I wasn't getting any details that the Schiit had supposedly masked. I don't know how thd sounds so it could be that I just like thd without knowing how it sounds.
    Having said that I got the same kind of details on both A5 and Schiit. The A5 seems faster than Schiit. But the real difference is that A5 presents vocal range which is slightly thin compared to the other frequencies which in turn increases the need to turn up the volume that makes the overall sound too loud to listen. The second difference is that A5 presents the last sounds such as 's' in a very peaky way. I wish there was a way to simply cut off those 's' sounds and leave everything else as it was.

    I am pasting the name of song and the moment in the song to be more precise.
    The name of song is "Moment of Surrender" by U2. And the moment of shouty vocal is :) the stone was semi precious:)
    Stone begins with a 's' that is very painful and this is what I have been alluding to.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  8. Brooko Contributor
    Recording sounded pretty awful actually. Likely its heavily compressed and the sibilance is in the recording.

    Just so you can see what U2 has done to its music over time - http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/artist?artist=u2

    Back in the 80's they released some excellently recorded albums. Its not the amp - its the recording.
  9. Indrajit
    Yeah but the Magni made vocals stand out so much
  10. Brooko Contributor
    Perhaps the Magni is coloured - the A5 definitely isn't
    Dobrescu George and Slater like this.
  11. Xyrium
    That is exactly my take on this. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying the color that some gear may apply to music. The only issue with this IMO, is that you may be missing out on good timbre, and imaging, etc. For whatever reason, the e12a seemed warmer to me, somewhat like Sennheiser to Beyerdynamics. Perhaps sell the A5 and find an e12a on the used market and try it? I have both hanging off the pre-outs of a Clarett 4 pre, and they sound great.

    Needless to say, you could indeed have a defective unit, who knows?
    Brooko and Indrajit like this.
  12. Indrajit
    No chance for me to sell the A5 and get the E12A. But if E12A is warmer then could there be a way to manipulate A5's sound to make it sound like the E12A?
  13. Slater
    On the A5, if you use it in high gain mode it adds a slight bit of warmth, that sounds more like a tube amp. You’ll obviously need to readjust the volume once going from low gain to high gain.

    Someone measured it and found it was introducing a slight bit of distortion to get the desired tube amp effect.

    I don’t know how accurate the information is, but if you search in this thread you’ll see where this is discussed.

    Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong...
  14. Brooko Contributor
    High gain just raises the noise floor. To get a tube effect it would need to raise even ordered harmonics specifically. I’ve seen no evidence of that. I can remeasure - but I don’t think they stand out specifically
  15. Indrajit
    My impressions were posted on high gain. Turning into high gain never brought that wamth.
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