$60 Pack of Awesome: JDSLabs Cmoy

jdslabs_cmoy_01

After finishing the portable amplifier shootout, a few people asked me if I could do a review on more affordable portable amps — additionally to see how the cheaper ones compare to the flagship $300 and upward-class amps. I’ve listened to a lot of entry level portable amps, and in my opinion the Cmoy design is still one of the best sounding sub $100 portable amp there is. I’ve listened to so many different Cmoys builds, from point-to-point, protoboards, dual layer PCBs, active ground cmoys, to dual mono builds running off of a Sigma11 power supply. Despite the large variance from one build to another, the Cmoys have maintained a good standard of musicality, and I’ve yet to find a Cmoy that sounds bad or unmusical.

The main problem about recommending a Cmoy is that it’s a DIY project, while most people look into buying a finished product. Then I found out about the JDSLabs Cmoys, and the fact that they sell either fully built Cmoys or bare PCBs really interests me. John explained that his Cmoys can be built as a standard build, or he can customize it to fit every individual’s needs better. The degree of customization is quite large, as he quoted some number of 200 possible different configurations. I thought, great! Send me one standard built, and send me another one with some customization on it.

THE PRODUCT
When the Cmoys arrived, I quickly unpacked the mailer box to see two Cmoys neatly sealed in a neat anti-static bag, complete with the customization notes printed on them. One amp was labeled as the stock build, while the other is labeled as a Low-Z (low impedance) set. The Low-Z amplifier comes with a lower gain than the stock set (Gain 3 vs Gain 6), and also comes with two TLE2426CLPs that gives the Low-Z amp double the current capacity of the stock builds. The Low-Ω set therefore is useful not only for IEMs, but also for low impedance headphones such as the 32Ω Grados, while the stock set is better for the other 50Ω and up headphones with relatively lighter current demands.

This is the stock build. Everything is properly labeled on the PCB including the input and output switch. Power ON/OFF is integrated into the volume knob.

 

This is the low-Z build with two TLE virtual ground current sources. (The two black transistor likes left to the Bass-boost switch).

 

Although JDSLabs doesn’t guarantee perfect Altoids case on each of their amps, the two I’ve received are flawless and free from dents and chips in the paint. The holes for the in/out jacks, volume pot, LED, and power adaptor jacks are very precise with zero slack. The potentiometer knob is of high quality anodized aluminum knob with rubber trims and clear dot marking. As you open the case, you find the PCB taking up less than half the space of the Altoids case, components placed laid out very clearly on a high quality dual layer PCB with a separate ground plane. The supplied manual is printed on a piece of paper, but it’s probably one of the best product manual I’ve seen in terms of product information for the customers. JDSLabs also supplied print outs of the frequency response curves of the two different amps, along with the configuration notes.

There are no labeling on the exterior of the case, but if you open up the case, you’ll see that clear labeling printed on the PCB of what each jack does. Inside you will also find a toggle switch labeled “BASS”, which boost up the bass section by 9.4dB, or “just shy of a perceived 2x increase in bass volume”, as JDSLabs wrote. Next to the Bass boost switch is the op-amp mounted on a DIP format switch. Everything about the build indeed is high quality. The LED brightness is just right, the input/output 3.5mm jacks grips very well and likewise the the DC input jack. The power switch is integrated into the volume control, but another nice touch John added is the positioning of another switch in the headphone out jack. When there is no headphones plugged in to the output, the amplifier will turn itself off, regardless of the on/off in the volume knob. All these bits add up to an impression that John is not just trying to make a quick buck selling pre-assembled CMoys. He truly sets out to create one of the finest Cmoy builds out there.

GENERAL SOUND IMPRESSIONS
Like most Cmoys I have listened to, the JDSLabs Cmoy take on roughly the same kind of tonality. Overall the tone is medium warm, semi relaxed and smooth, emphasis around the lower mids to midbass with a relaxed treble. Especially worth mentioning is that the JDSLabs is extremely smooth, and above average when compared to the other Cmoy builds I know. I listened to the JDSLabs with the Audio Technica M-50 and the Sennheiser HD650, and the JDSLabs were able to make good music out of both headphones. After spending a few hours with it, I noticed that this Cmoy is totally smooth from top to bottom with no discernible flaws, spikes, uneven transitions, or distortions, anywhere in the frequency range. I got even more curious and so I plugged in the Sennheiser HD800 to it, and like what I noticed earlier, I could not detect anything unnatural or unpleasant throughout the frequency range. The JDSLabs Cmoy was just smooth from top to bottom — and that is very impressive considering the HD800 often still find faults on much more expensive desktop amps. To have such as smooth tonal balance from top to bottom is truly phenomenal, as this little Altoids-cased amp costs merely $60!

Perhaps if I were to nit-pick, I would complain about the relatively weak low-bass performance of the amp. But personally that’s just asking for too much from a Cmoy design, as many other more expensive portable amps still have a relatively weak low-bass. The semi-relaxed pace, and the midrange emphasis makes it a good all-rounder amp with a wide genre bandwith. However, heavy fast-paced music fans would probably want a faster-paced amp than the JDSLabs Cmoy.

It’s a very clean build in and out.

 

POWER SUPPLY AND ROLLING OP-AMPS
The JDSLabs come with a stock op-amp OPA2227 from Burr-Brown. The stock op-amp is very good and natural sounding. It’s what’s responsible for some of that smooth sound I described in the previous paragraphs. However, I have other potent op-amps that I would like to try on the JDSLabs Cmoy. At first I tried replacing the stock op-amp with the famous OPA627. The 9V battery that comes with the amplifier barely meets the minimum specified operating voltage of the OPA627, and so I found distortions on semi-loud passages. A better idea is to use an external DC power adaptor, which not only eliminates those distortions with non-stock op-amps, but also increased the dynamic range of the amplifier, even on the stock OPA2227. I didn’t use anything fancy here, just a plain 12V wallwart from my Hewlett Packard Printer re terminated to the proper 1.3x3x5mm DC connector. The JDSLabs Cmoy accepts a range of DC power adapters from 9-24V DC, either linear/switching or regulated ones. Seeing that DC Power adapter costs as little as $5.93 from DigiKey.com, it’s probably a good idea to have one around because not only does the 12V external supply gives a better dynamic range, but you can run the amplifier 24/7 without worrying about replacing batteries. You don’t need to unplug the batteries when using a power adapter (what a nice convenience!), but you need to plug the adapter when the amplifier is OFF.

Replacing the stock op-amp to the OPA627 improved the sound, though not by a large margin. A tad better micro detail, and a more weighty lower bass region, though soundstage was not as spacious as on the OPA2227. Another op-amp that I tried was the OPA2111KP, which performs at roughly the same performance level as the OPA2227, but with slightly different tonal balance than the OPA2227 and the OPA672. The OPA2111KP creates a more linear frequency balance that is less mid-centric, but improving the midrange clarity from the OPA2227/OPA627. With a Class-A biasing on the OPA627, the treble becomes very smooth and lush, something treble lovers should try. Class-A biasing is not a recommended configuration if you are using the amplifier without an external DC power supply, as the power drain on the battery would be pretty rapid. Moving around the different op-amps, I really am happy with any of the three I tried: the stock OPA2227, OPA2111kP, or the OPA627 (class-A biased or not). The JDSLabs Cmoy manages to give out a solid and musical presentation regardless of which of the three op-amps I use — though at the end I do think that the stock OPA2227 is my favorite out of the bunch (probably why John shipped the Cmoys with these).

Another thing that I discovered is that the JDSLabs Cmoy is very revealing of the original source. Some amps are not as transparent, and this makes source upgrades to better players like the Hifiman HM-602 less audible. But with the JDSLabs Cmoy, that congested midrange out of the Ipod Classic’s DAC always shows itself very clearly, making the HM-602 a much better player for pairing with the Cmoy.

STOCK BUILD VS LOW-Z CONFIGURATION
Comparing between the standard build version and the low-Z version with double TLE2426CLP, I did notice that the low-Z version handled my 32 Ohm MS-Pro better at loud passages, where the standard build distorts earlier — but this was at extremely loud levels. When I using the more average headphone such as the ATH M-50, HD650, HD800, or the HD598, or even the JH16Pro, I find the standard build version to give a more spacious and open sound, and this was the version I prefer for most of my listening. I am not sure if the difference was caused by the op-amp’s performance at the different gain levels (Gain 6 vs Gain 3), or the different components used to populate the boards, or perhaps because of the addition of the extra TLE2426CLP on the low-Z version. Anyway, I’m sure that John can give a better insight into this, and perhaps even make a low-Z version while still retaining the same sonic performance of the stock build. John mentioned that he is able to do 200+ different types of customization, so I’m sure that the choice is plenty. But if you’re in doubt, just order the stock build version, as I never really had volume control problems (though the range was a bit limited) even with the JH16Pro.

BASS BOOST SWITCH
The bass boost switch can be found when you open the lid of the case. It’s a toggle switch, and it adds a solid boost to the bass that extends quite low. It’s one of the better bass boost I’ve heard, as many bass boost often just lingers around the midbass area, while others tend to lose control of the bass. The bass boost on this amp actually goes fairly low, and the boosted bass remains fairly tight. It does color the bass area a bit and makes the frequency balance less smooth, so I actually use the JDSLabs Cmoy without the bass boost OFF mostly.

Slightly shorter and narrower footprint makes a nice stack together with the Ipod Classic 120GB.

 

JDSLABS CMOY VS PREMIUM BRANDS PORTABLE AMP
One of the thing that people always wonder is how good these Cmoys are compared to the premium brand portable amps. I no longer have most of the amplifiers I reviewed on the Portable Amp Shootout, but comparing the JDSLabs Cmoy to the HeadAmp Pico Slim (with the JH16Pro) reveals that though the Pico Slim has better micro detail, the JDSLabs Cmoy is more spacious in the soundstage. Also comparing the JDSLabs Cmoy to the Ibasso PB2 (single ended) out to the HD800, I found that the tonal balance and the overall sound is not as smooth on the Ibasso compared to the JDSLabs Cmoy. Of course there are other differences such as tonal balance, presentation, or the accuracy of the digital volume control on the Pico Slim, or the power output of the Ibasso PB-2. But for the general headphones out there without any specific power demands, I think the JDSLabs Cmoy can hang out with the general crowd of the premium amps.

END WORDS
When I emailed John asking about his Cmoys, I was merely looking for a Cmoy that I can recommend to the Headfonia readers: a Cmoy with a good build quality, good sound, and at a good price. But after spending time with the JDSLabs Cmoy, I was truly blown away with the sound that I’m hearing. Not only is this one of the best Cmoy I’ve listened to, but the sound is actually very good that I know other people would be blown away when they listen to this $60 amp. It is a really good amp, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Extra Documents:

 

System used for review:
Headphones: Sony PFR-V1, Audio Technica M-50, Sennheiser HD598, HD650, HD800, Beyerdynamic T50P, Alessandro MS-Pro, Superlux HD440, Jays Q-Jays, JHAudio JH16Pro
Amplifiers: JDSLabs Cmoy Normal build, Low-Z build, HeadAmp Pico Slim, Ibasso PB-2
Source: Hifiman HM-602, Ipod Classic

  • Beroom

    Is there any difference in sound quality between the JDSlabs cmoy and the others on ebay from sellers such as Juice2214 or biosciencegeek?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never done a direct comparison, but if they go by the same CMoy schematic the sound signature shouldn’t be too far off. They may use different components and op-amps, though, and those differences would show through in the sound.

  • Anonymous

    hi Mike, where I can get JDLabs Cmoy on local market? It’s look very beauty & unique headamp, it will add to my portable headamp collection….:):):)

    • Anonymous

      You have to get it direct from JDSLabs.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Mike, is there anyone here try to buy direct from JDLabs and shipped to Jakarta safely…??? If yes I would like to try…:):):)

        • Anonymous

          I have no idea, you can try posting a want-to-buy in the local forum. A bunch of people got together for a big group buy a while ago, maybe some of the guys may want to sell it.

  • CH Poon

    Hi Mike, is it good for HD25-ii and AKG K240S?

    • Anonymous

      JDSLabs?
      It should be good for the HD25-1. Never tried it with the K240S, but the K240S is fairly easy to drive so it shouldn’t be a problem.

      • CH Poon

        Yea, any recommendation of an Amp for HD25 and K240S? I cannot make up my mind for PA2V2 and JDSLabs.

        • Anonymous

          Get both? They’re not that expensive. 

          • CH Poon

            Finally got JDSLabs, it is so great!!!!

            • Anonymous

              Glad you like it!

  • Erwin

    Mike, have you compare E10 with JDSLabs Cmoy?

  • Azrizainurin

    im plannin to go source>CMOYBB>Beyer DT770 (32ohms) /ATH-M50

    source either from a macbook or iPod+LOD

    advice?

    • Anonymous

      Sounds good. ANything you want to ask in particular?

      • Azrizainurin

        was just wondering how good would the cmoyBB be compared to a graham slee voyager actually. Im not sure how good this cmoyBB sounds and whether it would actually be adequate enough for my needs. 

        I do have a fiio E5 and i did not like it at all. So I’m wondering whether I should be going for this cmoyBB as an ‘upgrade’ from the E5 or just of for the ones like the voyager.

        I’ve read around on the voyager and it has been getting pretty good reviews but them cmoyBBs are pretty hyped about as well so its a bit hard to decide. Price point hands down the BBs win but if it does not perform as well as i would expect it then i would not mind saving up a bit more for the voyager.

        I’m open to any other suggestions of portable amps/dac which is anything around the $300 price point.

        I mostly listen to a mix of hip hop/chill out lounge/deep house/instrumentals.

        appreciate the help!

        • Anonymous

          Yes the E5 is not really that good.

          I think bass impact is very important for your music and so I’d recommend something like the new Ibasso D-Zero I just reviewed.
          http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e7-meet-your-rival-the-ibasso-d-zero/

        • Anonymous

          Yes the E5 is not really that good.

          I think bass impact is very important for your music and so I’d recommend something like the new Ibasso D-Zero I just reviewed.

  • Paulin Junior Vanié

    Hi everyone,
    I am using a Shure SRH840 with an Ipod Touch 4G. I am looking for a portable amplifier. I would like to buy the cMoyBB wich severals op-amps. First question, which op-amps do you recommend ( about 8 )? Second, is it better to use the normal jack or the LOD?

    • Anonymous

      Paulin,
      The stock OPA2227 on the CmoyBB is the best opamp among the few other opamps I’ve tried with it. And second, the LOD (line out) would be better.

      • Paulin Junior Vanié

        Thank you very much for the info!!!

  • Fabio Rocks

    Thats a killer amp, But Why They don’t upgrade the case? The Altoids case is nice when you are at home but for portability (in bus, train, walking) is not that good. I want a new version of Cmoy with  slim case!

    • Anonymous

      Good point, Fabio.

      I’ll pass it along to JDSLabs.

      • Fabio Rocks

        Thanks Mike. Please tell to the JDSlab Guy to insert a Wolfson WM8740 DAC Chip too. LOL

        • Anonymous

          Now you’re just trying to manipulate me. ;)

          Although I think it’ll be cool to have a Cmoy with a Wolfson WM8740 DAC.

    • Pyrofates

      And it’s metal.. Static shock occurs quite frequently when you touch the case lol

      • Applevalleyjoe

        Interesting comment…I’ve never heard this before.

    • Anonymous

      Guess what JDSLabs said:

      “I completely agree. It’s a technical challenge, but I think it can be done, especially with borrowed technology from c421.”

      • Fabio Rocks

        Hey hey The c421 is the new Amplifier from JDSlab. 169 Dollars and they will ship it on November 14. The body shape fit the iphone 4 perfectly so it’s more portable than Cmoy and the audio quality must be much better according to the price and the description. I think you can’t skip this Mike, When the review?:)

        • Anonymous

          They are still in design/pre-production process I think, but we should be getting one for a review.

    • Applevalleyjoe

      Part of the “charm” of this cmoy is its case! I wouldn’t want to see this change.

      • Anonymous

        That’s true too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FHVQRESJHTBKROAX44HIKFVAFU Pete

    Hi mike
    do you think the jds amplified volume is too much for iem when using with ipod classic?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      I think it works just fine, Pete.

  • Audiofd

    Hi,mike. Just one more thing to know is what connection cable of you when testing this gorgeous moy.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Anything. I use any cables. :)

  • Hiero6

    Very interesting site. I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I’ve never owned an amp yet I’m curious if there’s another portable amp you would recommend for the HD 595′s? I may be getting other cans soon yet these are my current ones.
    Thanks.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      You should try the JDSLabs Cmoy then. It’ll improve your listening experience with the HD595s. 

  • djsquared

    Hi, thanks for the great review! I have one of these cMoys on the way :) Regarding iPod/iPhone connections, do you have a preference or know the difference between using a standard m2m 3.5 headphone jack to amp setup vs. using a line-out dock cable to the amp?

  • http://www.facebook.com/donunus Don Vittorio Sierra

    Do you know of a link online that sells a DC Power adapter for the cmoy that has a 220 volt input?

  • http://www.facebook.com/destroysall Chris Allen

    Mike, regarding your comment on how the JDS Labs Cmoy is best paired with the HM-602 instead of the iPod Classic.  Is there a suitable amp alternative for the iPod Classic?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Chris,
      I think the HM-602 pairs beautifully with the Ipod Classic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/destroysall Chris Allen

        Thanks, Mike!

  • John123John

    So i just build a cmoyBb (my first build!) and its pretty awesome…
    the bass boast is amazing! like having a subwoofer in your ear not to mention that its inside an Altoids tin.. so cool… haha

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      DIY? Was it your first DIY?

      • John123John

        yea yea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Евгений-Шкабыдов/100001223781936 Евгений Шкабыдов

    Guys, i have an iPod classic and a pair of ie4. Should I pick this one? Will i notice the difference?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Perhaps the difference would not be too obvious.

  • akira_hyt

    Hi Mike,
    as you have recommended, i got this cmoyBB from jds labs and theyre great! however i have trouble looking for a suitable power adapter for this.
    will this adapter will do fine? http://my.element14.com/multicomp/ad-12100/adaptor-12vdc-1a/dp/1176248
    or this
    my.element14.com/multicomp/ad-1210/adaptor-12vdc-100ma/dp/1176282

    thanks.

  • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

    That looks fine.

    It’s probably just as easy to find one in a local hardware store. 12V 1amps adapters should be very common, and you can save on shipping and get it faster.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000493126043 Tomas Van de Wiel

    Hello,

    I’m searching for a headphone amplifier for under $150. I’m probably going to use it for on my desktop, also for making music. I really dig the warm sound the CmoyBB has but i don’t want too much coloration, when i’m making music it will give trouble with EQ’ing and whatnot. So i will either buy this or a super clear, neutral amp for under $150.
    Any recommendations?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Hi Tomas,
      Under $150, try the PA2V2. I think that’s among the most neutral amp I hear under $150.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000493126043 Tomas Van de Wiel

        Thanks!

        And if i say under $200?

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          I think in general the truly neutral colorless amps are the ones in the $1K region.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000493126043 Tomas Van de Wiel

            Thanks Mike, i think i will just keep it fun for now and go with the CmoyBB :)

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              Good let me know how you like it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthonyhusmhs Anthony Hu

    Mike, great review. I’ve been wondering if the PA2v2 or this Cmoy would be better for the AKG K550s. Thanks!

    • Trent_D

      I am using the Cmoy the my K550 right now, and it is a nice combination. Detail is good and the sound is spacious. What DAC do you use and what music do you listen to? The weakness of my setup is the DAC which is the headstage cable dac. It is a bass lite dac which means my K550 puts out even less bass then usual.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthonyhusmhs Anthony Hu

        I listen to a lot of vocals and a bit of hip-hop, pop, and dubstep. I will use this with a Sansa Clip+, iPod, and PC. I don’t have a DAC yet, but I could use some suggestions under 60$. I would like to enhance the bass a little.

        • Trent_D

          Ummm, vocals are good with the K550. Mike is right that the mids could be more forward, but I still think it works great for well recorded vocals. American Beauty by the Grateful Dead is stunning. The Cmoy would do very well for this. For pop, hip hop and dubstep, I’m not sure the K550 is a good headphone. I would trust Mike or L over what I say, but the bass on the K550 will never be very killer. It is clear, tight and good enough for me, no matter what you do, it will never be known for its bass.

          The only DAC I know of under 60$ is the HE-101. I would say, if you could do without the portable amp, get the Fiio e10. You can get it for 70$ at amazon.com, and it has pretty decent bass, and a fun sound. If you absolutely need the portable amp, you could try the fiio e17 for 140. It is like the e10 except (according to Mike as I have never used it) it has better bass, mids and it can be used as a portable amp.

          From my very limited experience, I don’t feel it is worth adding an amp to an ipod for easy to drive headphones. With the hd202′s and the K550, the Ipod and the Cmoy, while yielding a slightly bigger sound and soundstage, also makes the weakness of the ipod’s sound more apparent (it can sound really congested, like the instruments are on top of each other).

          Like I said, this is just my two cents.

          • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

            Thanks for helping me with the answer, Trent. I think your impressions are spot on.

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          Just something to add over what Trent said. If you want more bass, try the ALO National amp.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Anthony,
      Each with its own strength. :)

      Here is an article that compares them: http://www.headfonia.com/music-on-a-budget-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout/

  • harilyd

    hi mike,
    i use CAL (32ohm) and Hd660(150ohm), i’m confuse to order STOCK BUILD or LOW-Z CONFIGURATION, if i order the build stock, and if i use it for CAL, isn’t it will break the amp?
    i need some advice to choose the build stock or low-z configuration
    thx

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      What you mean by CAL is the Creative Aurvana Live right? I haven’t tried it with the Cmoy, but from my experience it was an extremely easy headphone to drive. The issue with the impedance configuration is to make sure that the amplifier can supply enough current, and in the case of the CAL, I don’t think the Cmoy would have any issue at all with providing the current. The CAL is very easy to drive.

  • harilyd

    hi mike, i use CAL (32ohm) and Hd660(150ohm), i’m confuse to order STOCK BUILD or LOW-Z CONFIGURATION, if i order the build stock, and if i use it for CAL, isn’t it will break the amp?
    i need some advice to choose the build stock or low-z configuration
    thx

  • SoundEskimoo

    Questions,
    Will this thing satisfy HD650?
    How much % of HD650′s performance will this thing reveals?
    How it compare to fiio E10′s output?
    thanks

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      I can’t put a percentage, but it’s enough to make an enjoyable listening time.

      • SoundEskimoo

        Just get that HD650 & pair it with cmoy, Mike?
        Fiio E10 doesn’t have that output, does it?
        Uh, I forgot to ask do you need a better value DAC pairing with cmoy or just cmoy with laptop output will do nicely?

        ( poisonous conversation )

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          You can pair it with the E10 or drive the HD650 from the E10 directly.

          • SoundEskimoo

            Can it be concluded as “quite good” performance? By entry level standard?

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              Yes it’s good. Use a 18V power adapter to get even better dynamic range. You’ll be surprised at what the Cmoy can do.

              • SoundEskimoo

                Which one more potent cmoy + E10 or cmoy + hifiman 101?
                All cmoy has power adapter input?
                Last time I saw them as 9v battery config.

          • SoundEskimoo

            I’m sorry isnt E10 dac/amp combination, and you add more ‘amp to them. Double amp?

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              While we’re here to help, I think you need to read around the articles and not be lazy asking all these questions.

              • SoundEskimoo

                I read articles, but you knew different article said different impression or opinion. Will look for cmoy.

                Also, sometimes I got some confusion, such as HD238 , which you put on http://www.headfonia.com/portable-headphone-recommendations/
                Yet you talk differently & prefer px100-ii because of practical size while I asking about comfort & sonic.
                Im still confused, if it sonically worse you better exclude it from recommendation & put only px100-ii instead of both

                thanks

                • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

                  You were asking about the E10 double amping.

                  • SoundEskimoo

                    I knew but frankly, I have desire jump to HD650 than HD25. I will search informations for cmoy & available dac 1st before make that jump.

                    • http://twitter.com/Original_Ken Ken Stuart

                      Go to:

                      jdslabs.com

                      for specific information on the CmoyBB and its various configurations.

                    • SoundEskimoo

                      the latest is V2.03

                    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

                      You don’t understand what I’m saying. If you read the E10 article, you will know that the E10 comes with a LINE OUT. Hence no double amping.

                    • SoundEskimoo

                      Okay

                • dalethorn

                  Funny thing – the little $50 headphones cost 1/10 to 1/40 of what the big hi-fi headphones cost, yet it takes just about as much time to evaluate them because they have to deal with the same music and gear and all the complexities that entails.

                  • SoundEskimoo

                    Why bragging $2000 headphones? Direct buy Might Orpheus!

                    • dalethorn

                      Why stop there? Go for the gold – Stax SR009.

                    • SoundEskimoo

                      What is the point, man?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1705466507 Jack Knight

    hi mike after reading Q&A below, can i conclude that cmoy is better than fiio E10 amp section?

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Yes, Jack.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1705466507 Jack Knight

        i just got it today, and pair it with ms1i, cmoy makes ms1i slower and smooth:)

        • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

          That sounds good. :)

          Opamp change would make the cmoy faster. But I have yet to find something as full bodied and as smooth as the OPA2227.
          The OPA627 is smoother than the 2227, but the pace is about the same and the soundstage is smaller on the 627.
          You can try something like AD797, AD8066 if you want a faster pace. But you need to ask John@JDS if those opamps will work, since I don’t remember the voltage requirements on the top of my head.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1705466507 Jack Knight

            i don’t know where to find OPA2227 in jakarta,our local store KK, said all their opamp is sold out,if you have unused OPA2227, i am willing to pay for it mike:)

            • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

              Should just do a batch group buy. I think 2227 is not expensive. Perhaps $5-$7.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eyal1983 Eyal Sade

    how does it compare to the fiio E17 ?

    • Trent_D

      Acording to Mike, based on the reviews, and just talking about the amp (as the e17 is a dac/amp) e17 < e11 < cMoy

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      I’ve posted that comparison on the E17 review.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.idk Chris Idk

    I know this is sorta an older review but how would it be paired with the

    Sennheiser HD25-1 II? Those are the portables I usually take out with me and I was looking for a nice budget amp.

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Yes it’s nice. Slows the pace down a little but adds a nice spacious sound. You should look at the PA2V2 I think it pairs better with the HD25-1.

  • Eugenio1900

    Hello, i have red your articles, like http://www.headfonia.com/the-upgrade-fiio-e17-alpen/ and the one in this page :D

    But now i have a question: my laptop has a realtek alc268, and i’m going to buy beyerdynamic dt990 pro. I’ve seen the e10 or which has a dac (so, i’m interest) and a jdslabs or e11 (whitout a dac). Is my audio card good, or it’s better if i buy an amp+dac? (I also want use the amp in other devices, like android)

    • http://gorboman.wordpress.com/ Gorboman

      Hi, Eugenio1900 !

      For the DAC, it can improve the source quality. However this wouldn’t be optimal if your music files are low bit rate MP3. It’s a different story if you have higher quality music files, commonly written in WAV, FLAC, or ALAC format.

      For the amp, that will depend on which impedance version of the DT990 Pro that you’ll be buying. Mike has an article here that talks about impedance and its correlation with amping. If you’ve read that, it’ll probably be easier for you to pin point an amp.

      • Eugenio1900

        Thanks for the answers. I’ve ever used alac or wav formats for the music. I searched info about impedance and other things and I’ve bought fiio e10 for beyers. Now I’m really happy for the results, the sound is fantastic and I’ve discorered new sounds in my music that I’ve never heard before!!

  • William Bowater

    Hey, I own Brainwavz HM5. I am looking at buying my first amp. I am currently using an iPod Classic 5th generation and sometimes a Galaxy S3. I’m deciding between a Fiio E6 and this JDSLabs Cmoy. Do I need an amp? And if I do is it worth the extra money to get the JDSLabs Cmoy?

    • http://gorboman.wordpress.com/ Gorboman

      Hi, @google-162de9d3ae6d7040f77bb8875f49b5da:disqus !

      I think it will be easier to help you if you can tell us what you think is lacking from your HM5 that made you want to use an amp.

  • Calvin Purnomo

    Just realized that my “indie” DIY 9V battery powered Cmoy has a DC socket.

    Gave it a try with random 12V 2Amp wallwart, got me a nicer sound indeed! A lot powerful, minus the distortion I heard before on high volume. Is it the effect of using higher voltage? I use this small cmoy to drive 150 ohm Beyer DT880 btw.

    On the other hand, I’m a bit afraid of breaking my amp because of the 12V instead of usual 9V. It’s safe as long as the Caps are able to withstand the voltage right? Hahaha

    • http://www.headfonia.com Mike

      Power supply voltage, I think it depends on the op-amp being used.. I don’t know though, I may be wrong.

      12 volts should be okay. But double check it with the opamp datasheet to be sure.

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