Q & A -

Headfonia Q & A

Feel free to post any questions you may have below at the comment section and I will try my best to answer them promptly. I try to answer all the questions, but I may miss one or two at times. Do repost your question if it’s left unanswered for a few days.

Please also go over the Buyer’s Guide articles before you post your questions, they may help to answer your questions.

 

Here is a link to the older Q & A pages:

 

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  • Tibor

    Hello, I am thinking of getting myself a new home desktop head setup which will last for some years. So as a dac for pc I am thinking of Chord 2Qute (Hugo inside) and amp Violectric V200. Please tell me what do you think and maybe some other suggestions? Headphones I have are Fidelio X1, Aedle, AKG K7XX. I’ll will add some planars later, first I would like to have a proper rig, which will work with more headphones. Currently I am using Alo The PanAm. Thank you for your opinions. :-) Tibor

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Sounds like a plan to me Tibor. Just one remark. once you have the olanars you will maybe want to go balanced, and in that case the DAC and V200 won’t help you. But very good setup indeed

      • Tibor

        It is a plan, it is :-D My girlfriend doesn’t know yet

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          Second hand?

          • Tibor

            I don’t like second hand in these things, but well OK, so once you would like to sell yours, let me know :-)

            • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

              hahaha, I only just bought it man! I understand though, I normally don’t do second hand either

  • fiasco1

    Do you have any plans to review the Sony NW ZX2 any time in the near future? Thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Sure. Buy me one, ship it over here, wait a month and hop, review
      ;)

      • fiasco1

        The short answer would be “No”.

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          That goes for me as well

  • DTSxJP

    Which amp is better for IEMs, JDS Labs CMOYBB V2.03, Fiio E11K or Fiio E12A?

  • Jonathan

    Dear Nathan/Lieven,

    I would like to ask for some recommendations for DAP pairings with the S-EM6. At the current moment I am using a 6th gen Pod Classic as my source and the Headstage Arrow 4G as my accompanying amp. I am currently looking at these three DAPs: iBasso DX90, Hidizs AP100, and the Fiio X3 2nd gen (of which I haven’t been able to find reviews).

    My current priorities are as follows (listed in order):

    1)bang for buck

    2)synergy with the S-EM6 (any hissing, impedance matching etc)

    3)Ability to scale with other higher end gear in the future.

    Which of the three would you recommend? Sorry for any inconvenience caused, and I eagerly await your reply.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    J

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      I would advice going the Cypherlabs route, especially when you’re going for higher end gear in the future. So a CLAS SOLO + Duet with your iPod classic. It’s the most reference and desktop quality portable setup I have. Yes, better than the AK240 solo.

      Bang for buck: DX90, but then you would still have an issue in the future. The DX90 is the quietest DAP though, a plus for iems.

      I wouldn’t recommend the X3

      • Jonathan

        Hi Lieven, thanks for your reply. I did a bit of research regarding the stack you suggested. It’s a little thick though…Is there a more compact option on the market?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          Chord Hugo?

  • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

    I just got my second B&W P7, but this time with Audioforge I can make a more accurate assessment of its sound. Basically it’s a little weak in ‘presence’ (3-6 khz) and a little distant (recess in midrange). The bass is better than I remember the first P7.

    • Haryanto Suryonoto

      Second P7? Wow! *thumbs up*

  • Xavier Hill Wilson

    Hey, is there any point in getting ciem if i can only spend around 450USD? What would you reccomend.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      of course, check out Cosmic Ears CE4P!

  • Miles Jason Romain

    I’m using the Sennheiser HD 439 right now on my cell. Iv settled on the ibasso dx90 for my dap. My budget is about $400 for IEM’s. There are so many to choose from. Which ones do you recommend.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      what music do you listen to? What sound do you want?

      • Miles Jason Romain

        All types. mostly rock, pop, hip hop. Deep bass, forward midrange, clear high’s

      • Miles Jason Romain

        All types but mostly rock, pop, hip hop. Id like deep bass, forward mids, clear highs.

  • Miles Jason Romain

    Would the Vorzüge Pure ii and my cell be a better combo then the ibasso dx90 ?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Not if you’re using your phone’s DAC

  • Alfred Tolentino

    Any experience with the Mcintosh D100?

    • Miles Jason Romain

      No, but I’m looking for something portable.

  • Miles Jason Romain

    The more reading I do the more confused I get so I will put my question this way. What is the best Amp/Dac combo for $800. I’m using Sennheiser HD439 until I can find some earphones that have a similar sound signature just better. If I use my cell as a source will it impact the sound quality?

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      Probably this: http://www.headfonia.com/cypher-labs-theorem-720-dac/

      Apple phones will limit quality to CD quality unless you use special apps that containerize hires tracks – not very convenient.

      • Miles Jason Romain

        I sure will thanks. I came across these two Daps. I was wondering what opinions people had on them compared to the Theorem

        http://www.ctcaudio.com/products/cayin-n6?gclid=CMj72eadwMQCFZGIaQodkQQAKQ

        http://www.headfonia.com/audiophile-dap-2-0-ibassos-dx100/

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          —Not replying to your question, just adding a question of my own. I have about 2300 songs on my Apple players, which I need to select randomly and very quickly, across genres and other categories. Playlists have little use for me when selecting this way, so I depend on the A to Z buttons on the Apple players to get somewhere very quickly. I read through the 2 links you posted, at the 3-year-old DX100 and the newer N6, and nothing was said about how to get to a specific song quickly. I want to mention also that the FiiO X3 I had was a disaster – not only was it not possible to get to something quickly, but startup access to the plugin card was at least 30 seconds, every time. So your requirements may not be like this at all, but at least these reviews should mention exactly what it takes to find a song, worst case.

          • Miles Jason Romain

            I liked the review on the Theorem 720. My concern is the issue with hiss when using sensitive IEM’s. Id like to use them at some point in the future. My question is what would I look for when I’m shopping around for IEM’s so I don’t buy a pair that are too sensitive ?

            • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

              I did a size compare of the 720, Oppo HA2 (which I ordered), and v-moda Verza (which I use now). The 720 weighs 10 oz as compared to the other 2, which are about 6.5 oz each. The 720 is 29 mm thick, as compared to the other 2 (12 mm and 17 mm). So it’s not a pocket portable unless you have cargo pants etc. I’ll see if I can check the HA2 for hiss with some IEMs.

              • Miles Jason Romain

                Wow, the Oppo HA2 sounds great. How do you find the v-moda Verza ?

                • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

                  The Verza is very good, a little dark (good) – no complaints. The HA2 arrives tomorrow, so I’ll compare it then. The only fair comparison I’ve done so far is the Verza to the Beyer A200p, which sound similar, but the A200p seems rougher, as though it has more distortion. I think the main thing dictating the sound of these amps with Apple players is the Apple digital out – it’s not great in resolution, but it’s very smooth – on the Verza anyway. Now with the Verza there is only one volume control – on the Verza, but with the A200p the player volume is linked to the amp volume, which may have to do with the inferior sound quality. So we will see when the HA2 arrives, allowing some burn-in time.

                  • Miles Jason Romain

                    I think my cell phone with Poweramp installed would be far better than an ipod or a dap. Can’t wait for the comparison

                    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

                      Yes, the music player makes a difference. Theoretically it shouldn’t, since it sends the raw digital data to the DAC, but somehow it does anyway.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Dale is right, check out the Theorem. Love it.

  • socks mk2

    Apologies if this is a bit wordy. I have a couple of questions for curiosity sake. I realize some of the questions can/will be effected by synergy with headphones and personal preference.

    1) Have you ever auditioned an Oppo HA-1 before?
    > assuming you have:
    2) What do you think of the HA-1 as a DAC compared to a RL Concero HD?
    3) What do you think of the HA-1 as an AMP compared to a Violectric V100?
    4) Do yo think the HA-1, being an AIO, is as good (or better/worse) than say a Concero HD + V100 pairing?

    I completely overlooked the Oppo HA-1 when I was looking at gear the other month. I purchased a Matrix Mini-i Pro (2015) and Violectric V100 and am enjoying what I’m getting from them. At ~$1300 USD for the Mini-i Pro + V100, I’m curious as to how the HA-1 performs at a similar $1200 USD.

    You can skip reading this last bit as it may be irrelevant if you’re familiar with the products mentioned above. If not, this is what I’ve noticed when comparing them: The key differences to me are the fact the HA-1 is an AIO, the HA-1 (and Concero HD) utilizes an ESS 9018 dac chip compared to the Pro’s ESS 9016, the HA-1’s single ended + balanced headphone in vs. the V100’s (2x) single ended only headphone ins, OSD information being displayed, HA-1’s bluetooth and USB in for iOS devices.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Reply to question 1: No, I have not.

      (makes answering all the other question redundant)

  • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

    Did you just really post a link to head-fi and asked for our help?
    The minimum would be to repeat your question here mate ;)

  • g.

    Okay, apologies, it’s a long post explaining my situation so I thought a link would be more convenient. I’ll copy paste here:

    My current heaphones are knock offs of Sony MDR V6, so I was looking into something decent. My budget is limited, and my choices are as well, because I live in Argentina, so many good cans might not be available, and buying outside the country is a nightmare (products stolen, having to pay huge fees to get it in,
    etc).

    So all I can do is browse local sites and compare prices there (in pesos). The main site is this: http://www.mercadolibre.com.ar/

    Since I don’t have much to go on in terms of experience, I browsed a post with recommendations in Head-Fi and searched for all those cans in the site I just mentioned. These were the ones I found:

    $185 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485383585-koss-auriculares-ur55-studio-_JM
    $395 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-491354019-auriculares-koss-portapro-_JM
    $425 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484864058-auriculares-phillips-oneil-the-stretch-red-sho956010-_JM Do these actually sound good? They seem gimmicky
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-487091477-auricular-cerrado-para-moviles-beyerdynamic-dt-235-_JM
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484996413-auricular-beyerdynamic-dtx-300-_JM
    $888 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485386840-koss-pro-dj-100-auriculares-estereo-profesional-dj-_JM

    Those are the ones I could find that fit within my budget (around
    $900 tops). Just for reference, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II cost over
    AR$2000 and the HD202 are around $300-400.

    I mostly listen to classical music, prog rock, and jazz (and Dawn of Midi, which I can’t put into a genre).

  • dalethorn

    Your selections include the very poorly made and easily broken Beyer DTX300 and the very well-made Philips Stretch. But to cover all the issues and the sound qualities would take a year. But only a year if all the reviews were in one place and condensed without any extra chat. On headfi you would have to read through all the many pages of commentary, so figure 2 years for that. Or — you could go to Amazon and click on the reviews, then sort by most recent first, and then you would be reading the reader/user reviews first and skipping the manufacturer house reviews which are nearly always posted first. That’s where you should start, and get your list down to your 2 or 3 best choices.

  • g.

    Thank you for the reply. There aren’t a lot of places where you can test a variety of headphones around where I live. I’ll go to a store next week but it’s safe to assume I won’t find all these options. I’ve also checked the headphones recommended here and most are either not available or way too expensive, with the exception of the HD202 and the Koss Portapro. I will check the amazon reviews as well.

  • dalethorn

    I think the 202 and Porta-Pro are both good for sound, but in my experience the Koss will need occasional repair.

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