Why no high end portable amp with an EQ?
Dec 23, 2008 at 8:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 51

swanlee

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In my search for the perfect portable amp for myself I have found on lacking feature in all of them. No built in EQ.

Most have a bass boost, gain boost and even variable Xross feed. With these options it seems a pretty easy move to a full EQ.

Ironically Koss makes a cheap portable headphone amp with an EQ but it is pretty crappy and the hiss is unbearable.

So far it looks like Practical Devices XM5 is the closest as it has a Treble boost and a Bass boost, Variable Xrossfeed a gain boost and a 75ohm switch.

I would easily pay up to $500 for a high quality portable amp that had a parametric EQ. I know most portable designs are somewhat based off the cmoy models.

Would it be so out of reach for a company to make a digital high quality portable amp with a parametric EQ or even DSP sound fields Etc.

A lot of DAP's have these features but a dedicated portable amp would probably be able to have these features and produce better sound quality.

So is there some portable amp law or design road block that prohibits these types of features?
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 10:25 PM Post #3 of 51

swanlee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would say that demand isn't high enough...too many "I'm a purist and detest EQ" type of people (I'm not one).


Well I'm seeing more and more portable amps with more and more features hopefully sometime soon someone like Practical Devices makes an all out Portable AMP with a full parametric EQ and maybe even DSP sound fields and even more sound customization options.

I understand the purist view but in the end the more options the better and those ones that people don't want they don't have to use or can just turn them off.

There are so many different DAP's and headphones in the market combine that with people's taste in music and different ears, EQ options just make sense so people can tailor the music to the preference or even make up for deficiencies in their DAP or headphones.

Like I said 500$ of my money would go to the first company to step up and make a high end portable amp with full parametric EQ options.

Why not a digital\touch screen thin portable amp with tons of sound customization features? If you can make a thin and tiny DAP with these options why not a portable amp?
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 10:44 PM Post #4 of 51

GreatDane

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I hear ya! I won't deny that I love to alter the sound. I use an Aphex 204 processor with my AC powered gear. I bought an iAudio 7 because it has lots of tweaks. I bought an XM5 because it's loaded with buttons and stuff.
icon10.gif


Someone recently mentioned an idea for an amp to have an internal processor(or something like that) which could be adjusted via a USB connection to computer. Imagine the possibilities!

If you build it they will come?
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 10:53 PM Post #5 of 51

swanlee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I hear ya! I won't deny that I love to alter the sound. I use an Aphex 204 processor with my AC powered gear. I bought an iAudio 7 because it has lots of tweaks. I bought an XM5 because it's loaded with buttons and stuff.
icon10.gif


Someone recently mentioned an idea for an amp to have an internal processor(or something like that) which could be adjusted via a USB connection to computer. Imagine the possibilities!

If you build it they will come?



Why couldn't someone make a digital touch screen amp with full DSP\EQ processing? I find it odd that DAP's can be made like that and can cost 250$ but a dedicated digital amp can't be made like that?

How do you like your XM5?

I have not seen to many in depth reviews of it, how are the Treble and Bass boost?

I will probably be buying one in the next month or so.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 11:08 PM Post #6 of 51

Cloudman

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been trying to get some eq software/plugin for my ipod touch......seems to be non existent (albeit with lots of people looking for the same thing). The default EQs just don't cut it IMO.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 11:10 PM Post #7 of 51

panda

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first of all, portable & eq are not high end related. now if you're looking for eq in portable, just do it through your source. if you can't find a suitable one, rerip your files to wav then do a permanent dsp eq on them and encode to what ever format you use...
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 11:18 PM Post #8 of 51

swanlee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by panda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
first of all, portable & eq are not high end related. now if you're looking for eq in portable, just do it through your source. if you can't find a suitable one, rerip your files to wav then do a permanent dsp eq on them and encode to what ever format you use...


Ugg it only took a few posts for someone try try and rain on the parade. I only use lossless files as is on my portable device and I find the idea of re eq ing the files themselves pretty pointless and more time consuming than it's worth. I have 80GB worth of WMA Lossless files on my Zune and re processing every file is obviously not an option.

I would much rather have a separate amp\processor that was made with high end components that could fully customize the sound I WANTED on the fly for what ever I was listening to.

There is no reason a portable amp with a fully customizable EQ could not be made.

Please I've heard it a million times before and I have a $25,000 home system with a Lexicon MC-8 processor, Bryston 9BST 5 channel Amp, Anthony Gallo and Magnepan speakers and custom high end cables and inter connects.

I know what high end sounds like and there is no reason a portable headphone amp\processor can't be built with the highest sound quality in mind while STILL allowing the user full EQ and sound customization features.

Please don't try and derail my thread, I know purist hate the idea of EQ's and for those types this thread is obviously NOT for you.

There are already a ton of portable amps with NO options, no EQ's no nothing.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 11:31 PM Post #9 of 51

GreatDane

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Quote:

Originally Posted by swanlee /img/forum/go_quote.gif

How do you like your XM5?

I have not seen to many in depth reviews of it, how are the Treble and Bass boost?

I will probably be buying one in the next month or so.



I have no regrets. Worth the cost for me. I have the TI BUF634 chip upgrade but I haven't been able to give it the real test for power yet.

Look for HeadphoneAddict's review of the XM5 coming soon.

The bass boost is +6 dB. @ 100 Hz and treble is +3 dB. @ 10 kHz which is standard bass & treble control. I would like the bass to be a bit lower @ 70~80 Hz. I find both bass & treble boost useful at times...I haven't been able to listen to my HD 650 yet. So far I've only used ER4P & 325i.
 
Dec 23, 2008 at 11:51 PM Post #10 of 51

accurate_dB

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If I'm not mistaken equalizing basically filters the source signal to add gain or attenuation at certain frequency bands.
In theory there is no way of keeping the source in pristine condition while performing filtering. So there is some trade offs. I don't have specifics unfortunately but I suspect that DSP would be the cleanest way to go.
So eq'ing right before the DAC would be the optimal implementation.

To do DSP in portable would not have been thought of in years past, but with new phones like Aura and what not I think the technology is there at least for companies on the bleeding edge.
 
Dec 24, 2008 at 12:03 AM Post #11 of 51

swanlee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by accurate_dB /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If I'm not mistaken equalizing basically filters the source signal to add gain or attenuation at certain frequency bands.
In theory there is no way of keeping the source in pristine condition while performing filtering. So there is some trade offs. I don't have specifics unfortunately but I suspect that DSP would be the cleanest way to go.
So eq'ing right before the DAC would be the optimal implementation.



I see what your saying but a lot of portable amps already have bass boost and treble boost options. To me this is one step away from an EQ. So why not take that additional step with a full blown EQ?

I agree a fully portable DSP would be the way to go and that would be something I would buy.

It would be cleaner and give the user tons of sound options. With the right DSP you could even have sound signature profiles that could simulate other amp sounds like one that could simulate a tube amp or have settings like warm, bright etc.

There are tons of software programs for EQ's and soundfield processing that could be re written to be put on it. My Blackberry has enough memory and processing power to run something like that especially if they device it totally dedicated to it, just make the hardware specially with the aim of audio quality and nearly any PDA could be used to make it.

For example my Lexicon MC-8 audio processor is really just a PC running custom software from Lexicon that has high end hardware put into it for audio quality.

The same principles could be applied to a portable sound processor\AMP
 
Dec 24, 2008 at 10:02 AM Post #12 of 51

busyx2

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With a DAC-Amp like Nuforce Icon, you can run Foobar2000 or WINAMP, they support sophisticated plug-ins such as parametric EQ. Since the audio data is digitally processed, it should not have the ill-effect of phase shifts from analog circuit.
 
Dec 24, 2008 at 10:17 AM Post #13 of 51

ZephyrSapphire

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatDane /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would say that demand isn't high enough...too many "I'm a purist and detest EQ" type of people (I'm not one).


I disagree. If that was the case then many portable amps out there wouldn't be selling at all.
 
Dec 24, 2008 at 11:02 AM Post #14 of 51

millionmonkeys

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Swanlee

I like where you are heading with this. The best option I have found is my rockboxed iriver H340 but even it has issues...a million EQ options but on the fly, not the most convenient approach.

(Also, the Nuforce Icon approach mentioned earlier also works well for me but it obviously isnt portable)
 

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