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Disappointing to read the DACport Slim has noise/hiss issues with more sensitive headphones.
The cans/IEMs I've listened with are very sensitive (111-115 dB) and I don't get any noteworthy noise on it. I have had short burst1 of buzzing on it periodically but that only when I'm messing with the cabling. That's about it.
Yeah it is a shame, as otherwise I love it!
As I said above, the hiss is very noticeable (for me) running in low gain from my Macbook pro with Audirvana as the source and using either my Sonorous VIs or SHure SE530. If I A/B the Slim and DacPort original, the noise is instantly apparent with the Slim. I have also tried my Ray Samuels Predator with the lowest gain with the aforementioned source and 'phones and again - no hiss.
Seems perhaps even at lowest gain, it is too powerful for my headphones/IEMs... or has something ein its DNA which makes it more prone to noise?
(still haven't tried with the Grado's yet!)
Interesting - my FAD cans are 105db and the Shures are 119 - I hear the noise clearly on both.
The real beauty of this gem shines with larger, higher-end, hard-to-drive headphones. Don't be fooled by the low price. DACport Slim is well matched with much more expensive headphones, such as Sennheiser, Beyerdyynamic and Audeze, to name just a few. Grados will work very well also.
It does seem to have power to spare! I would certainly class my Sonorous cans as "higher end" (though not quite at the Audeze or Sennheiser 800 level!) . They are very low impedance and very high sensitivity though - so it would seem not the best match for the Slim.
How hard-to-drive are we talking? I'm sure the DACport Slim will be just epic for my mobile setup (64ohm Senn HD280 Pros), but might it surprise me with my 600ohm DT880s? The Magni 2 Uber couldn't even cut it, and I had to go OTL to really make them sing.
DACport Slim would be awesome for the 880's - I'm listening to that combo right now (and have been for many months now) and it's very open and detailed.
Awesome. I'm excited to hear for myself. Joined this drop as soon as it reactivated. I'm REALLY interested to see how the AK4490 in this thing sounds next to the AK4396 in the Modi 2. For such closely related chips, I've seen them debated hotly.
With all of the recent talk on the discussion about the noise floor of the DACport Slim, I'm curious if the DACportable would be a better fit for those whose main use is with high sensitivity (and low impedance) cans or IEMs. I'm personally in this ball park, as I frequently use IEMs while on-the-go. Also not sure if there is a difference in the noise floor between the DACportable regular and Slim (Massdrop special) versions.
DACportable has in fact been tuned for lower noise. It's a more expensive product, and aside from having the internal battery, bass and treble EQ, higher sampling rates, and DSD, DACportable also offers lower noise than DACport Slim.
Massdrop passed on DACportable, so it will not be offered here. Yet, we are shopping them in large quantities. I predict that between the original Indiegogo campaign customers and recent orders (first reviews are calling it "The King of portable amps") we will run out of stock quickly.
I'm usually listening to it with AKG K267 (115dB) and MEE A151 (111dB). Whenever I'm really listening closely I'm driving it with my smartphone though. Could be that I'm running with redundant power supplies due to the OTG Y-cable. That or it could just be variation in units and quality control considerations. It'd be hard to debug without both setups immediately in front of me.
For $100, I couldn't be happier with it.
Any plans to scale that back a bit and make a lower cost version (Similar to DACport HD vs. DACport Slim? I would be happy as a clam with just the internal battery and 192kHz rate support for OTG purposes. I have no complaints with noise on the DACport Slim, but apparently some people do, so maybe throw that one in as well (especially since I'm guessing it's a freebie with the built in supply).
Before, there was a DACporDACPORTABLE. Not sure if that offer still exists though...
That's what I was referring to paring down. The DACportable is over the top for its intended purpose IMHO. It has every appearance of being a fantastic device, but I don't plan to ever use some of its features (most notably the 384kHz sample rate, followed closely by DSD). 192kHz is probably over the top for OTG but I do have some of those in my library. When you're OTG you'll probably never hear the difference between 44.1/16 and 96/24, let alone 192/24 files. There's plenty of people who can't in ideal listening conditions let alone on a noisy bus, or whatever.