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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
    I measured mine 2 days ago and got 11.5 hours on low gain and no bass boost.

    @Shane D, all li-ion batteries slowly lose capacity as they age. Look at cell phones - within ~12-24 months the battery capacity is significantly reduced.

    There’s no way bass boost will cause a reduction from 12 all the way down to a measly 5 hours.

    It’s clear that your battery has reduced capacity due to age or charge cycles, an internal cell defect, exposure to high heat, or storage for a long period of time in a deeply discharged state such as sitting in inventory for a long time (which causes permanent internal chemical changes to the electrolyte).

    Was your unit a demo unit, used, open box, or refurbished by any chance?

    All you’d need to do is install a new battery and it will be good as new.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  2. Shane D
    This is a brand new unit, supposedly.

    Shane D
  3. Slater
    Well, if you don’t care because you’re just going to use it plugged in, then I wouldn’t worry about it. However, you would have justification for an exchange since it is a new unit and you literally just got it. Now would be the time to do it, vs 3 years from now when the battery is so reduced it only provides 15 minutes of power lol
  4. Shane D
    True, but if it is defective, then I don't want it. It would be awesome if James would pop in and comment on this. I will try it without the bass boost but that might take a few days.

    Shane D
  5. Slater
    Understood. I’d send it back then. You paid for a new unit, and should get an advertised battery life representative of a new unit.

    Be aware that the battery is easily replaceable. If FiiO can ship you a new one, that would be awesome because the battery just plugs right into the board. You’d only need to remove 2 screws, pull off the volume knob, and pop off the bass boost switch. The whole process would take 5 minutes tops.

    The point I was making earlier is that all of our A5s will have reduced capacity batteries at some point.

    Mine is 11.5hrs now, but at some point in the future it will be 8 hours. Then 5 hours. Then it won’t hold a charge at all.

    It’s not an actual battery defect, as it affects every rechargeable battery in existence, regardless of whether it’s a 12v lead car battery or li-po battery in an iPhone.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  6. Shane D
    I get what your saying. Our phones are perfect examples of this. I just sent a PM to FiiO and will see if they respond. I am curious how much bass boost adds to the draw. Either way, I'd like to know.

    I bought this because I did not see any comparable amps (money wise) with bass boost. I did buy a Topping NX3s just for fun. I really should compare them.

    Shane D
    Slater likes this.
  7. CapnCook
    Did you? Results, please :)
  8. Shane D
    Sorry, but I didn't get around to it. I gave my A5 a 24 hour charge and now it seems to be lasting longer. I got four hours yesterday and am currently two + hours in today.

    I just ended up buying my third amp in about 8 weeks. The previous two have just been chasing my original amp. I found a Great deal on a demo and re-bought my original amp, an iFi Micro iCAN SE. I never needed a portable amp to start with.
    Should be here today. I will sell the Topping and probably the A5.

    Shane D
    Slater and CapnCook like this.
  9. Shane D
    Another update on battery life. Again, I gave them a 24 hour charge.
    Thursday I got 4+ hours, Friday I got 5.5 hours and today I got 2 hours. So, about 11.5 hours. For sure 11 hours. IMO, that is very acceptable.

    So, they really do need a Long charge.

    To reiterate, my usage is high gain at 1:00 with bass boost on.

    I guess I will be running these long term. I bought (re-bought actually) an iFi MICRO Icann SE amplifier. It arrived yesterday DOA. Will not power up. Dealer mentioned it might need a new battery???
    He offered a refund and hopefully he will cover the shipping back.
    SO disappointing.:disappointed:

    Shane D
    Slater likes this.
  10. alunx
    Please, help me
    Samsung Galaxy S9+ with Fiio A5
    Fiio M9 ( stand alone Hi-res player with AMP )
  11. WitzyZed
    Stacking onto a phone I've never found really that convenient, but you're going to have a greater choice of applications with your smart phone. If you like your audio experience uninterrupted go with a DAP.
  12. Spektykles
    My A5 after some serious mod. The Nichicon UES caps was not good enough for me so I will popin the Audio Note Kaisei NP caps.
    Slater likes this.
  13. Slater
    Nice mods!

    Since portability is out the window now, you may as well swap out the battery for a much larger one now (like a bank of high cap 18650s). Get some insane runtimes :wink:
  14. CapnCook
    It kinda depends on your use cases and your goal. Is this end game for you, or do you expect to venture more into the rabbit hole of audiophilia? Are you looking for the ultimate in portability or is versatility desired? Are you fixed on the S9+?

    For me, I enjoy tinkering and will likely never have an end game. I like the versatility, too, since I have portable sources and more stationary ones. So, I would go with a (different - LG) phone+a5.

    With the a5, I can use my phone, my DAP, or my desktop DAC. But if I just wanted to get the best of all worlds and be done with it, and that was going to be my only source, I'd go for the M9.

    Hope that helps.
  15. stuck limo
    Is there a guide for this type of mod (or any mods for this unit)? Can you give some impressions of the sound quality after the upgrade?
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