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  #1  
Old 01-17-2010, 07:15 AM
marckuypers marckuypers is offline
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Default New amp

Hi guys,

I recently subscribed to this forum, so hello everyone
I have a question in regards to my current setup. The setup consists of a Cowon S9, Sennheiser IE8 and a Fiio E5 and a Cardas mini to mini cable. I am looking to upgrade the Fiio cause I really didn't notice that much difference in sound quality. Therefore I was wondering what u guys could advise me. I had two amps in mind: the Ibasso T4 or the Icon mobile. Or will those 2 amps really don't do much difference to the sound quality.

Any help is appreciated

Thanks
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:00 AM
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With an impedance of 16 Ohms and a sensitivity of 125 dB, I would think they sound great without an amp. Although if you are bound and determined to invest in one …

I can’t tell you about the NuForce Icon Mobile, but if I was looking at the ibasso’s, I’d be looking towards the p3 heron as it offers an easy way for opamp rolling via DIP socket and does come w/opamp rolling kit. This might be a better way to achieve that perceived sound quality difference you mention, just don’t fall for the placebo effect.

Unfortunately they won’t be available again till May (currently sold out) and it is an additional $70 above the t4, click here to see it.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:15 AM
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The T4 doesn't make the IE8 sound any better, and I doubt any of those Chinese amp things will make any improvement. Ditch the E5 and the silly overpriced Cardas cable, and just listen to your S9 directly? You got high quality IEMs and a high quality MP3 player - they both don't deserve to be mistreated by a Chinese $17 toy.

Personally, I'm using a Corda Headsix with the S9 and low-impedance/high-sensitivity IEMs, it's the only amp I have that actually doesn't hiss with IEMs, and fixes some minor issues like bass roll-off and stereo crosstalk. The real audible improvement is still tiny, of course - might be too little for many people to justify carrying another brick around.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:33 PM
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ibasso t4 seems to be ibasso's version of fiio but overpriced!

Ibasso d10 also has no hiss at all with my iems (phonaks) and other low impedence phones and has op amp rolling as well (rolled my first opamp last night).

But this is a dac/amp and so is quite expensive. If you only need it as an amp it's too pricy even though I got a really good deal for a used one on ebay.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:40 PM
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The PFE are high enough impedance with extremely low SPL, they don't really hiss with anything, fortunately. UE11, IE8, SE530, etc are in a whole other category of hiss.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
ibasso t4 seems to be ibasso's version of fiio but overpriced!

Ibasso d10 also has no hiss at all with my iems (phonaks) and other low impedence phones and has op amp rolling as well (rolled my first opamp last night).

But this is a dac/amp and so is quite expensive. If you only need it as an amp it's too pricy even though I got a really good deal for a used one on ebay.
I still say that they would sound great without an amp and I wouldn’t spend the money on either of his choices, but why recommend the d10 when the OP doesn’t need a DAC, thus why I said the p3 heron (only if he still wanted to spend on an amp) and he could still opamp roll for different flavors like you suggested as well.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:34 PM
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walkgood, wasn't so much recommending it as to contributing to the disussion re. hiss with amps, as I said in my post if he doesn't need a dac it's not the right option.

Dfkt, thanks for the info. Shame I don't know anyone with any of those phones to see whather or not they'd hiss with my amp.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:45 PM
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so just listen to the Cowon directly then with the ie8? Or are there any more options which will make a difference in the 100-150 range. I am quite a newbie when it comes to headphone amps.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
walkgood, wasn't so much recommending it as to contributing to the disussion re. hiss with amps, as I said in my post if he doesn't need a dac it's not the right option. …
Ok, misunderstood your post and I’m not knocking the d10, I’m sure you’re as happy with the d10 as I am with my pico amp/DAC BTW I’d love to try your amp …

Quote:
Originally Posted by marckuypers View Post
so just listen to the Cowon directly then with the ie8? Or are there any more options which will make a difference in the 100-150 range. I am quite a newbie when it comes to headphone amps.
Yes, I would think your happy saving the $150.00, I’m not sure there’s an amp I would recommend in that price range, the Corda HeadSix that dfkt mentioned above is $160 new and the p3 heron I mentioned is $179, not far from your range if you still have an itch in your wallet. To get a little more understanding, you might want to read “What Can Portable Amps Accomplish,” hope it helps.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:17 PM
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As I said above, the Corda Headsix or XXS (both are the same thing) are a good choice for those difficult to drive IEMs like the IE8. I haven't heard any cheaper amp that performs as well as the Headsix.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:37 PM
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dfkt, I don’t know about anyone else, but I misunderstood your post, my mistake. With the specs of the ie8, I didn’t realize you thought that they are difficult to drive with the s9, since I don’t have them, I won’t comment on them specifically, I stand corrected.

Edit: Rather than difficult to drive, I mean sensitive enough to require an amp
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:41 PM
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Walkgood,
after seeing you and others recommend it my first choice was the pico, I almost got it too but the seller got cold feet at the last minute. Saw a d10 on ebay the next day and put it a bid and ended up getting it for £100 less than retail and it's mint so am pretty happy. Do sometimes get a case of the what-if's regarding the pico though.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
Walkgood,
after seeing you and others recommend it my first choice was the pico, I almost got it too but the seller got cold feet at the last minute. Saw a d10 on ebay the next day and put it a bid and ended up getting it for £100 less than retail and it's mint so am pretty happy. Do sometimes get a case of the what-if's regarding the pico though.
Don't look back and enjoy the d10 the price you got sounds great! The pico is a great amp preformance wise, trust me I could go on about it, but a bit over priced IMHO. Since I use the DAC all the time with my laptop, I doubt I'll sell it and now I'm in line for the slim
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:00 AM
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Looking forward to reading impressions from the first bunch of slim users, it looks like a quality product.

Yeah I agree there is no point in "what-if"ing. I'm happy with the D10, it does exactly what I bought it for - allows me to use my laptop as a music centre and access all my music without buffering it on and off my daps, and the sound quality straight off a computer is superior to my ear. Plus it's a nice headphone amp with opamp rolling as a bonus.

Another pretty cool thing is that coincidentally it is pretty much an exact footprint match for the Cowon S9. Maybe a milimetre out but it's pretty damn close and they look like they were made to be together velcroed to one another.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
Looking forward to reading impressions from the first bunch of slim users, it looks like a quality product.

... ... ...

Another pretty cool thing is that coincidentally it is pretty much an exact footprint match for the Cowon S9. Maybe a milimetre out but it's pretty damn close and they look like they were made to be together velcroed to one another.
Well I did get a chance to listen to the prototype with my i7 & ue11’s at the last local headfi meet here and I do have notes from my testing it that day, but I would rather not post them until I have mine and do further listening.

I hear you on the footprint, that helps tremendously … Unfortunately I believe that Justin had the nano in mind size wise when he was designing it and I certainly don’t want a nano
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  #16  
Old 01-18-2010, 04:03 PM
marckuypers marckuypers is offline
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Default Ibasso D2+

After a lot of searching online and asking around in this and other forums I upgraded my set-up. Don't know if you guys like it, but let me know what u think.

Cowon S9
Sennheiser IE8
Ibasso D2+ Boa
Cardas mini to mini ( the cheapest one but still better than standard I guess )

so: what u guys think of it
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
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... ... so: what u guys think of it
Sounds like a very nice rig, IMHO at $24.95 even the cheapest cardas is too expensive, but the real question should be are you happy with it? If so, who cares what others think ... I like that the D2+ Boa's DAC also works as a standalone DAC, that's a nice feature.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:31 AM
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good choice

maybe u can change cardas cable to other like canare starquad
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:24 AM
marckuypers marckuypers is offline
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Still waiting for the D2+ to arrive. I hope I hear a difference to the Fiio E5 I used to use
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2010, 03:35 AM
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Sounds good. I think a DAC/Amp is a good choice for a portable amp as it's more value for money. The difference an amp makes with low impedence phones is small (but important I think) so the DAC functionality certainly helps justify the cost. Let us know what you make of it when it arrives.

Re. interconnects - if you like the look of the one you have, don't be put off. All dfkt was getting at is it makes no difference to SQ which interconnect you use; that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with buying a flashy interconnect if you want your rig to look cool.

I splashed out on this one myself just because I liked it's style:



It's functional too, as the flat part is bendy, so can fold back into an "m" shape and not extend much further than the jacks.
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