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The iBasso D12, dual dacs . images . new Sysconcept optical cable . . Topkit by HiFlight. .

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by jamato8, Aug 19, 2010.
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  1. detoxguy
    Thanks for the input, I was worried I'd need to buy a more robust DAC to properly supply a tube amp down the road. 
    I'm still just a bit confused about the best way to keep the D12 plugged in. I've looked at several of the amp manuals and a few of them state to make sure to keep the switch in the off position to maintain battery life. When I do have the switch to off and the usb power adapter is plugged in am I discharging battery still? I'm a bit confused and concerned I'll damage the amp if I don't set it up right. I still can't get over all the little extra's ibasso threw in and am reading up on opamp rolling
  2. CEE TEE Contributor
    I just have to check in again here...finally got my D12 charging switch replaced by iBasso and then soldered on by a friend. That saved some time and shipping charges!  
    I have to say that the following configuration is making me very happy:
    Sony X (no eq or effects) > ecbuyonline Sony LOD > iBasso D12 (Stock opamps/dummy buffers) > Grado HF2 (Jumbo Pads)
    This is a clean set-up to my ears!!!  
    Oh, and it is transportable (but with far fewer strange looks if I use MS1 with Flats)...
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  3. Kremer930
    I got an adapter to step down my headphone plug to stereo mini and tried the D12 powering a pair of Hifiman HE6. I was actually surprised at how well it did. It certainly isn't going to win awards but was easily listenable at around 3 on the dial. Bass lacked punch but sound was clean.
  4. Randius
    I know zilch about circuitry but will like to know if D12 will benefit from black gate caps as with D10, that is if the mod can be applied.
  5. jamato8 Contributor
    It has 5 electrolytics that could be changed out. They have used some decent caps and BG's are hard to get now, if not impossible for some unless you have some already. I like the D12 as it is stock. The dac section is excellent and I find the amp fine. It works good for sensitive phones or IEM's. You might be more of a change with different op amps. 
  6. Kremer930
    Got my opamp kit today from Hiflight. Will be great to see how it changes the sound of my D12. I am currently running a combination of the optional iBasso opamps. They seem to suit my triple fi 10's a little better than the stock opamps. Hiflight's kit is set up in two combinations. With one suggested for rock and the other suited to classical.

    I will let you know my thoughts once I have had a good listen.

    Just in case people want another view.  
  7. Kremer930
    Hiflight's kit came with some simple instructions that are especially designed for those that have not changed away from the original opamps within the D12.  It is then a simple case of removing the silver and red painted buffer and output opamps and then plugging in the same colours from Hiflight's kit.  The Hiflight kit has one of the edges of each chip painted rather than the entire chip as in the case of the original iBasso opamps.
    I am a bit of a novice when it comes to opamp rolling except that I have tried all of the combos of the standard supplied option opamps as well as the extra opamp kit which is sold by iBasso. I have even tried combinations that must be wrong as they result in no sound. Luckily I havent managed to destroy anything yet. It is normally that I have a chip that is meant for buffer rather than output, or vice versa.  
    My current listening is with the chips that Hiflight refers to as suited to rock and roll. I am listening to an Album titled Down The Way by Angus and Julia Stone. It is a ripper if you like clean sounding folk. Check it out.
    The first thought that comes to mind when listening to this combination of chips is thick. Thick as in a tube type sound but still sharp and without softened edges. The sound is also fuller from a sound stage too. I notice that male voices and upper bass may be a little more noticeable too. Kick drums have a little deeper sound to them with a heavier skin sound.  The bass could be why voices seem to have greater timbre and resonance to them also. Contrasting this strings of a guitar also sound more crisp. I am not sure if treble is more pronounced or if the entire amp just sounds more powerful. Probably the latter but I am not an expert by any means.
    What I can say though is that this is a great combination and makes the already great iBasso D12 that much better again. Certainly worth the $65 landed price. Many thanks to Hiflight.
  8. Kremer930
    Sorry to overload the thread but I just tried the pink classical opamp from Hiflight.  This chip maintains the strength and power of the music without sounding at all veiled but it de-emphasises the bass and evens up the overall frequency response.  For people that want to hear the music as it should sound then this is the choice for you.  The rock and roll set up has more bass and possibly more of everything below 2k hz but the classical is more detailed in the upper mids and beyond.  
    Swapping back and forward between my D12 powering the Triple fi 10's and then back to a Darkvoice 337 powering some Hifiman HE6 cans they are much more comparable sounds.  The TF10's still win on bass quantity but the HE6 win hands down on detail.  I am hoping that the new Schiit Lyr may even it up a little in the bass department.  But it is amazing that the D12 can push the TF10's that far to even compete against the HE6. 
    I need to keep in mind that the D12 is only being fed by an ipod 5G LOD whereas the HE6 is being fed from a Mac using Pure Music outputting 24/96 to a matrix DAC and then on to the Darkvoice amp.
    This makes the D12 even more amazing.
  9. HiFlight
    Thanks, guys, for the feedback on the Topkit opamps!   It is always helpful for me to get impressions from ears other than my own.  Sometimes my ears can be biased due to the musical genres that I like or dislike.
  10. wolfen68 Contributor


     Angus and Julia Stone's "Mango Tree" is one of my regular test tracks, indeed good stuff and it sounds great on the D12.
  11. Armaegis
    I think all the possibilities for opamp rolling are one reason for me to stay away from the D12... I'd overload with options and never settle [​IMG]
  12. Kremer930
    I was always pretty happy with the D12 and especially so when feeding it an optical digital signal.  The trouble for me was that I had an old RA1 clone that  sounded more forward.  This in turn made the D12 sound veiled in comparison.  Hiflights topkit takes away that veil and to my ears makes it sound like I am running my triple fi's off a 100wpc amp.  It is so much thicker and a more powerful sound.  If you are a rocker or love bass then the rock and roll kit does all this but also kicks the mid bass up a tad too. But to my ears the classical opamps rule hands down.  You really should give it a try if you get the chance.
  13. jamato8 Contributor
    I am going to be trying another optical cable. Not 1300 fibers, 13,000, yep, 13,000 fibers. I am not sure if there will be any change to sound but I did get a positive one from the 1300 but the 13,000 may be beyond the capability of 24/96. I need to try it on 24/192 or 48/384 :^).
  14. Uchiya
    Very Nice.
  15. Kubernetes


    Um, not to be a downer, but what's the point of better digital cables?  With digital the data transmits or it does not.  There's no such thing as a cleaner or better signal--it either transmits perfectly or you'll hear jittery garbage.
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