UPDATED 2/22 REVIEW 13 USB DAC amp - Predator, Pico, 2/3MOVE, D10 D3 D2 Viper/Boa D1, Lyrix, MicroAmp, Vivid V1, Nuforce, XM5
Dec 31, 2009 at 6:38 PM Post #976 of 1,096

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by morning1985 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi Headphone addict

I'm currently using a RME digiface for optical out, to a Headroom Micro Dac, I wonder if the line out SQ of D10 is better than MicroDac

thanks



I think it is pretty close, and you have the option of using the headphone out as a preamp or the line out, so you can tune the output to sound the way you like it if you use the headphone out. I did think the older iBasso D1 line out was not quite as good as the Micro DAC - no matter what opamp I used in the D1's DAC circuit the the Micro DAC sounded a bit fuller and more complete. But the D1 headphone out with AD797 or AD743 opamps could compete with the Micro DAC's sound quality. When I got the D10 I was pleased that the line out was also better than I recall the older D1 line out being.

Quote:

Originally Posted by qusp /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Larry, the uDAC does not use the sabre ESS9018, it uses the MUCH cheaper (but still quite respectable) ESS9022, which has internal I/V (which cannot be bypassed AFAIK; _<could be mistaken on that part, not 100% certain), only 2 channel output and inferior jitter rejection. I have seen this misinformation posted around the forum quite a bit lately. just the ESS9018 part alone costs nearly the same as the entire uDAC does. I know the 9018 part is kinda stuck in the memory around here due to its amazing sound, so thats probably whats going on, but I have seen several people going around thinking they are getting a little B32 for 90 bucks and that simply isnt the case.

great for a little USB convertor though



Sorry, that was a typo - I don't think I have made that mistake before. I was just thinking that the lower number was the lower model since I hadn't typed it out in a few days and couldn't recall.

I still think the ESS Sabre 9022 competes well with the Wolfson WM8740 DAC (or is that the WM8741, I forget that one too today).
 
Dec 31, 2009 at 7:14 PM Post #977 of 1,096

qusp

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no need to apologize man, i've seen it around a bit (not saying you are responsible for it) and I can see how it would be easy to do, but I think its best its corrected where possible as there is so much hype about the sabre chips (deservedly so too IMO).

i'm also building an ackodac sabredac, which can use either the 9018 (8 channel), 9012 (2 channel version of exactly the same chip, but with the 8 parallel dacs combined down to 2 inside) or i'm thinking 9016 as well (i've ordered the 2 x 2 channel 9012 as I dont need multichannel output, but dual mono), all of these are above the 9022 in the hierarchy, which is ODD I agree. I would think its a superior dac to the wolfston chip as well; certainly a much more modern design, but you are stuck with the onboard output stage (actually just realized the wm874X does I/V internally too), which in this case being portable isnt much of a limitation as there isnt much extra room or voltage to extend the capabilities. the D10 and pico is the 8740 and the gamma1/2 and opus are 8741 I think; not much difference between the 2; I think at least in the gamma1/2 they are interchangeable
 
Jan 1, 2010 at 8:35 PM Post #978 of 1,096

Agent_Moler

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Thanks for the comparison Larry. It sounds like you like the D4 a lot, and from your impressions, it seems to me like the better bet than the p-51 (especially since it doesnt have a usb dac). I'm wondering, have you heard the Lisa 3? How do you feel that the D4 stacks up against the lisa?
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 5:26 AM Post #979 of 1,096

RockinCannoisseur

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
With the 300 ohm HD600 there is a big difference in power between the 5v and 9v option. Voltage swing is more important with these high impedance phones current, while good current output is what the low impedance phones need.

At 5v the D4 plays the HD600 about as loud as a Predator or D10 which is moderately loud level but not really loud like the 3MOVE or V1. But at 9v the D4 really kicks it into gear and the HD600 seem 3-5 dB louder, plus it gives the HD600 stronger bass impact. I'll have more power comparisons in my upcoming review but in 9v mode the D4 drives the HD600 better than my P-51, Predator or D10 - the power is right behind that of the 3MOVE and V1, but it's enough for mobile situations when you can't get to a desktop amp.

Also, for the peeps asking about Livewires with D4 - it's a great match. Same with ESW10JPN.



i plan on esting the d4 against my predator, so this was very helpful.

whats a better dac/ amp than d4 and predator, the only ones i can think next on list would be iqube with dac or the pico, i wanted to stay close to the size of predator, so i am hoping the d4 or iqube is not a whole lot bigger ( like d10 which i would have already bought had it looked smaller, maybe it is i have trouble picturing actual size)
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 5:31 AM Post #980 of 1,096

kunalraiker

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RockinCannoisseur /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i plan on esting the d4 against my predator, so this was very helpful.

whats a better dac/ amp than d4 and predator, the only ones i can think next on list would be iqube with dac or the pico, i wanted to stay close to the size of predator, so i am hoping the d4 or iqube is not a whole lot bigger ( like d10 which i would have already bought had it looked smaller, maybe it is i have trouble picturing actual size)



The D4 is about the size of D10,it is big.
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 5:44 AM Post #981 of 1,096

Trapper32

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kunalraiker /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The D4 is about the size of D10,it is big.



Are you sure of that? My D4 is smaller width and length wise than my iPod Classic. It is prolly twice as thick. I haven't seen a D10 in person but I thot it was larger than the D4 which I don't think is big. Of course everything is relative.
wink.gif
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 6:01 AM Post #982 of 1,096

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Trapper32 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are you sure of that? My D4 is smaller width and length wise than my iPod Classic. It is prolly twice as thick. I haven't seen a D10 in person but I thot it was larger than the D4 which I don't think is big. Of course everything is relative.
wink.gif



The D4 is about 1/2" shorter than my D10, otherwise height and width are the same.
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 6:21 AM Post #984 of 1,096

RockinCannoisseur

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So, in summary - the D4 with modified topkit (new opamps, stock buffers) is actually closest to the P-51 Mustang when feeding the D4 line-out into the P-51 with an 18G Jumbo Cryo Silver X mini-mini. I can go back and forth between the D4's built-in DAC and Amp and the D4's DAC feeding the P-51 and I am quite happy with both, finding them to sound very similar. I am leaving the D4 set up this way as a "P-51 clone" for the time being. I have to run through a plethora of headphones and IEM again, with the new topkit installed.[/QUOTE]

would the predator fit close to this assessment, also would thd4 stock better the predator? i was going to choose the d4 over the pico,, and does the d4 stock have only ten hours! or is that with the topkit only thanks, i do hope d4 has more than ten hours vs my predator which seems endless, but then again i think you can change batteries on d4 no? so some might actually prefer that,, 9volts right
 
Jan 7, 2010 at 6:38 AM Post #985 of 1,096

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RockinCannoisseur /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So, in summary - the D4 with modified topkit (new opamps, stock buffers) is actually closest to the P-51 Mustang when feeding the D4 line-out into the P-51 with an 18G Jumbo Cryo Silver X mini-mini. I can go back and forth between the D4's built-in DAC and Amp and the D4's DAC feeding the P-51 and I am quite happy with both, finding them to sound very similar. I am leaving the D4 set up this way as a "P-51 clone" for the time being. I have to run through a plethora of headphones and IEM again, with the new topkit installed.

would the predator fit close to this assessment, also would thd4 stock better the predator? i was going to choose the d4 over the pico,, and does the d4 stock have only ten hours! or is that with the topkit only thanks, i do hope d4 has more than ten hours vs my predator which seems endless, but then again i think you can change batteries on d4 no? so some might actually prefer that,, 9volts right



I have always maintained that the P-51 is a little better than the Predator or Pico as an amp - so I would choose the sound of the D4 with topkit over the Predator as well. Right now my previous top picks, the Predator and D10, are not getting much use since I got the D4 to use with my Macbook Pro around the house. I love the fact that I don't have to worry if I forget to turn it off, as I will not overcharge it (D10) or drain the battery (Predator).

You can swap 9v batteries in the D4, and if you are traveling you don't need a wallwart charger because you can buy batteries at the airport or hotel if needed. The Predator does seem to run forever, but the D4 wont, sorry. I think the D4 is a better option for use with a laptop or PC, but you may want to keep the Predator for use with iPods since it is smaller and runs for 55-60 hours on a single charge. Or, sell the Predator for a smaller cheaper amp without DAC, and get the D4 as well.
 
Jan 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM Post #986 of 1,096

estreeter

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Hi Larry,

Per your request, what is your opinion re. D10-as-DAC vs D4-as-DAC ? No kits etc - just the stock units. I know the D4 is generally regarded as a better amp, but my interest would be in the DAC section. The Topaz has a good DAC, but the insistence on upsampling everything to 192kHz leaves me wondering if its the right choice for metal and harder rock (the majority of my music).

Tks,

estreeter
 
Jan 17, 2010 at 7:51 PM Post #988 of 1,096

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi Larry,

Per your request, what is your opinion re. D10-as-DAC vs D4-as-DAC ? No kits etc - just the stock units. I know the D4 is generally regarded as a better amp, but my interest would be in the DAC section. The Topaz has a good DAC, but the insistence on upsampling everything to 192kHz leaves me wondering if its the right choice for metal and harder rock (the majority of my music).

Tks,

estreeter



The D4 USB DAC is closer to the Pico USB DAC, and slightly better than the D10 DAC via USB, although the D10 matches the Pico and D4 when I use optical with the same 16/44 files. It may have something to do with the D10 taking S/PDIF from the USB receiver chip while the Pico and D4 take I2S to feed the Wolfson DAC(s). Here I am comparing the Pico DAC only because Blutarsky has my Pico DAC/amp now.

It's often hard to compare the D4 and D10 as a DAC line-out to Pico DAC, because their output volumes are much lower than the Pico, so I have to change the volume on the receiving amp to match levels. Initially switching from either iBasso DAC to the Pico DAC sounds fuller and more refined, but I think it is mostly due to the increased volume. If I get the right amp where I can switch from high gain with iBasso as source to low gain with Pico, then the volumes will be fairly well matched and the differences become very small. But even when comparing the two iBasso DAC's with their similar output levels, the differences are quite small. One exception is that the D10 sounds very slightly better when it is in low gain than in high gain, being very slightly more spacious and better channel balance by 1-2dB than when in high gain (which is almost never needed). This may be from that previously reported 47K resistor channel mismatch in early D10 models, I don't know but another user had confirmed my findings when he reported it.

When I use 24/96 native files with the D10 optical, as before when compared to the Pico the D10 is slightly ahead of the D4. But, the differences in all of these DACs is very small. If you did not have optical, then I would say the D4 DAC comes extremely close to the Pico DAC only, for a much smaller price if you can live with the lower output levels. With Woo GES the Pico was better because it was a low gain amp and it needed the higher output Pico to drive the Stax O2 better. I'm still looking into whether the ALO Amphora drives my 300-600 ohm cans better with the higher output levels of the Pico and uDAC.

I plan to incorporate this and my opamp rolling post into the main part of my D4 review to add to post #1 or #2 soon. So, 80-90% of my D4 impressions have been posted now, including my #1 rank as a combined DAC/amp. But, I would be quite happy with any of the top 5 or 6 amps here as my only one (i.e. D4, D10, Pico, Predator, 3MOVE, XM5).
 
Jan 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM Post #989 of 1,096

estreeter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I plan to incorporate this and my opamp rolling post into the main part of my D4 review to add to post #1 or #2 soon. So, 80-90% of my D4 impressions have been posted now, including my #1 rank as a combined DAC/amp. But, I would be quite happy with any of the top 5 or 6 amps here as my only one (i.e. D4, D10, Pico, Predator, 3MOVE, XM5).


Thank you so much for that, Larry. I've focussed on your last sentence and highlighted your choices as I often come back to this thread looking for your 'Top 10':

D4, D10, Pico, Predator, 3MOVE, XM5
 
Jan 18, 2010 at 12:48 AM Post #990 of 1,096

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thank you so much for that, Larry. I've focussed on your last sentence and highlighted your choices as I often come back to this thread looking for your 'Top 10':

D4, D10, Pico, Predator, 3MOVE, XM5



And the only reason I put Pico ahead of Predator was to keep the three hi-res similar DACs together and the three lower resolution but very similar DACs together. Very often the Predator and 3MOVE will rank ahead of the Pico with some phones or music, because I slightly like the tone of their amps better, but like the ultra high resolution of the Pico's DAC more. There was a time when I was feeding the Pico's headphone out into the Predator or 3MOVE, before the D10 was out.
 

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