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Who's fault? Amp or DAC?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by billsonchang007, May 27, 2013.
  1. BillsonChang007
    So it's been a while since I use my iPhone 4 as my main portable player [I have 4]. However, recently when I change back to my iPhone 1 and iNano 3rd, I encountered these problems: [I'm using XBA-4]
    1] My IEM sound very thin, totally 0 bass with my iNano 3rd and iPhone 1 and the volume is extremely loud! I have to use the lowest possible volume setting on these two devices to make it "listenable" to me but still, it is very loud. 
    2] With my iPhone 4 and iPad 2, my IEM sound excellent, the bass is tight[can be too much in terms of quantity to me], no more thin sound and much more detailed. However, volume here is very soft! I have to turn up the volume. 
    These two issues really bother me a lot but I just wanted to know what is the issue here, as I do not want to get an amp for it but it turn out to be the DAC's issue.
  2. bigshot
    It's likely an impedance issue, which means amp, not DAC.
  3. BillsonChang007
    damping issue?
  4. xnor
    3rd gen nano has undersized DC blocking capacitors on the output causing severe bass roll-off with low impedance head/earphones. The lower the headphone impedance, the worse the roll-off.
    Using a seperate amp would help, because the input impedance of an amp is usually around 10 kOhm. But maybe you're better off upgrading your portable player instead.
    On 2: do you use the output limited EU version?
  5. bigshot
    Amp would fix it then.
  6. BillsonChang007
    what DAP would you recommend for that? FiiO X3? What about the iNano 7th [latest]? Never like the iClassic sound... tried the 80GB and it was too bassy. 
    Nope, I do not use the output limited EU version
    Billson :D

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