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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. Spektykles
    Well, I replaced the soldered Muses02 with socket for opamp rolling. Replaced caps with the one that suit my music tastes. Also added some caps for coupling/bypass only when its necessary and made changes to the board, since I also using very sensitive opamps like OPA627 or AD797, requires careful measurements. I will not comment on SQ because its very subjective but I would say A5 as a platform is very flexible, itself the quality is very good if not the best amp Fiio made, but hampered by badly choice crucial parts, such as opamp.
    snellemin and Slater like this.
  2. Adityaseven7
    Does anyone know the upgrade cycle of Fiio's Dacs and amps? A5 is almost 2.5 years in, so i'm just wondering...
    Also waiting and hoping they make a new K5 Dac+Amp in 2019 :)
  3. Spektykles
    Another update to my "Super A5" project
    Decided to go full Audionote Kaisei NP caps wherever I can (still have 2 SMD caps with odd value left, waiting another drop from Mouser). Initial impression are much wider soundstage, treble-focused sound out of the box, after some hr of burnin sound become much darker, sweet and less treble. Overall a much more pleasant sound than the metallic, harsh sound of Nichicon UES caps previously installed.
    Also I found out that the positions of 4 smaller caps are hookup in parallel config, giving much more quality sound when used correct caps but also real bad audio in stock config (unbranded SMD caps + WIMA caps).
    20190214_224526.jpg 20190214_224542.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
    DjBobby, Riviera72, Slater and 2 others like this.
  4. Spektykles
    You gave me an interesting idea so I just done it. Made a new battery pack for my "Super A5". Took 3 generic cell phone 3.7v 1880mah battery that fit the dimension of stock battery but thicker and stacked it together, stock 11.1v 880mah (3 cells 3.7v) -> modded 11.1v 5640mah (3 cells 1880mah 3.7v). Recycled the stock battery circuit and wires, also each battery cell have their own protection circuit too. Charging time also slower but Im using hi-power cell phone charger (5V 2.5A) so it should be fine. Now I can use it for days without charging :D
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    Dobrescu George and Slater like this.
  5. Slater
    Very slick :wink:

    I also like that you didn’t have to add a balanced charging board, since you used protected batteries.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
  6. Palash

    My A5 Modification - Removed MUSESO2 from PCB and soldered DIP8 IC socket , so can I change Op Amps. First tried LME49720 and improvement is jaw dropping. After hours of testing replaced LME49720 and placed TL072. Now I am satisfied truly. Same performance like LME49720 but less treble and better Mids.
    Slater likes this.
  7. Mad Max
    Yeah, Nich ES caps just shouldn't be used in audio circuits ever, but a handful around here would disagree.

    I think WIMAs are very nice but if you get the MKP4 400V or 630V versions. Very bulky, though. I don't like using the 63V caps if I can avoid them.

    I recommend trying out the Vishay MKP1839, my #1 favorite film cap for PSU rails. Even the 160V is very, very good (the lowest voltage version in the product line).
  8. Spektykles
    Thanks for the advice. At first I wanted to use film caps (Mundorf MCaps to be exact) but I switched to electrolytic type due to the size of good films caps. Choose AN Kaisei due to its characteristic very similar to BlackGate one, but I also supplement the Kaisei with WIMA FKP3 caps wherever I can fit one.
  9. Mad Max
    AN Kaisei is BlackGates-like?
    Oh wow.
    Supposedly so were the Rubycon MCZ caps, but those are now discontinued these days as well. I didn't stockpile some when I could have years ago due to forgetfulness, lol
    I have not tried actual BlackGates themselves, though, so these are just dumb rumors for all I know

    For sure, though, those MCZs rock and I love using them in analogue supply rails (I prefer Oscons for digital) when possible. They only go up to 16V, though.
  10. whoever81
    Greetings. I was wondering what's the difference in sound output/quality between FiiO A5/FiiO K3/FiiO Q1 II.
  11. jpierre
    i would like to know if anyone could compare the FIIO A5 with ifi audio nano or ifi audio xcan for a meze 99 classic thanks
  12. Degru
    Does keeping the amp plugged in and turned on affect the battery lifespan? I want to use it like I would a desktop unit, but I notice it getting pretty warm and am worried the battery could die like it does on Chord Mojo when used like that.

    EDIT: Doing a test rn. Fully charged fiio a5 while turned off until light stops flashing. Turned on, without unplugging it. USB current draw did not budge from 0.01 even after playing music loudly through some lower impedance headphones. This would indicate that it does not in fact operate fully from USB power when charged.

    Upon replugging USB power, the light starts flashing and current draw jumps to 0.5A when idle and ~0.6A when playing, so not that much fluctuation. Appears to be recharging the little bit of battery drained from the earlier test. If it was left turned on like this, I would imagine it would be constantly draining battery a little at the same time as charging, which would essentially prevent the charging circuit from turning off, and is something I have noticed before where the unit never stopped "charging" while turned on and got pretty warm.

    EDIT2: Tried fully disconnecting the battery and plugging it into USB. 0.1A draw from USB, charging light flashing, blue light turns on, but no music plays, only some hiss. Indicating the unit definitely cannot operate fully from USB power. Power supply used for these tests was Anker wall charger 2.4A. From what I've found, I would not recommend using this as a desktop unit, because it will still use the battery while doing so. Somewhat disappointing, though not the end of the world.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  13. WitzyZed

    FiiO themselves said there would be no issue doing so with E12, I would presume the same is the case for A5.
  14. Degru
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