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EatMyDustbunny
12
Oct 28, 2019
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Hey, guys!  😃  PJ, (40) here. I need a favor, please, since I’ve mainly been out of the new gear game for 6 yrs., especially portable gear, however full-size and portable headphones are all current (which I’ll get to later).  This is a fairly long message but you should find it very interesting — heck, you might (I hope) even learn a few things depending on your knowledge of the field — and my background is for all your recommendations of an inexpensive (because I have little money now), yet quality iPhone/iPad (iOS 13.2) compatible, portable DAC/AMP used mainly for traveling but sometimes at home, so it must have Bluetooth (minimum version 4.2 though preferably 5.0) to use with both my iPhone XS Max 512GB (which I can and will be upgrading for free via Apple to the iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB in Jan/Feb) or my iPad Pro 10.5” Wi-Fi + Cellular 512GB (with mainly the following audio apps: Tidal • Apple Music • SiriusXM with the approximately 1000 satellite and internet music stations) • TuneIn Radio • cable TV channel/movie channel apps like HBOgo, Showtime Anywhere, EPIX, CBS (All Access), CWseed, Spectrum TV, etc. • and the Music Choice app (the cable TV music stations)....but I would prefer a balanced output (connector type not super important as I can make/buy an adapter though Sony had the right idea with their ”Pentaconn” {4.4mm} as it has a ground channel which I prefer, though I always said long before they invented it that for portable use a mini-XLR 5-pin should be used as it won’t accidentally pull out; no need for a 5-pin full size XLR on home amps because the 4-pin has a tab that can connect to your chassis ground {which I implemented into my home amp} but foolishly, rarely any manufacturers do this for almost all my headphones, which I’ll list at the end of this message.  I almost strictly use Audeze phones so I prefer a unit with adequate power and decent, variable gain settings since planars require juice.  In fact, the only phone I might use single-ended (unbalanced) when not used via Bluetooth with its “Headphones Connect” app full of features (which I personally had the Sony software team update in only 2 days to work with iOS 13.2) due to its 3.5mm stereo female input might be my newest, cheapest, and only travel-specific headphone with (Best-of-2019) ANC (Active Noise Cancellation), to get better SQ from it using the portable DAC/Amp (that you guys recommend)!!! _________________________________________ MY BACKSTORY / HOME EQUIPMENT and HEADPHONES (so you’ll know my preferences, and maybe I’ll even teach you a few things, too. 😊): So...... first off, re: a post about this amp that I read and agree with, I SOOOOOOO f*****g hate Micro-USB!!!  I’m a cable builder/researcher (though been on hiatus for a few years now, at least until March/April/May if you have any questions or needs, but right now I’m devoted to my main business).  I have about $15K in soldering stations, irons, tips, related gear, etc. and I refused to build cables with Micro-USB unless someone had desired to pay a shitload more, but none ever asked since my cables and power cords took anywhere from 8-450 hrs. to custom craft by hand (here in the USA, with measurements down to a mere 1/64” / 0.4mm) and uses custom, proprietary coaxial wire and proprietary geometry optimized for balanced cables and cords.  My OF-SPC (Oxygen Free Silver plated Copper) 22awg coaxial wire (19/34 stranded with unique SPC shield braid @ 98% coverage) and both PTFE Solid Teflon Outer Dielectric and FPE Teflon Inner Dielectric is also made here in the USA.  I use a 50 ohm for analog and power, and a 75 ohm for digital.  They both cost $3.33/ft. (per spool at $10K for 3000 ft. / 909m) vs. the cheap $0.12/ft. Chinese or Taiwanese wire you’ll find in 95% of custom cables today that claim to use the pointless, nonsensical process called “OCC”, and if you ask them to show you a certificate of proof stating their manufacturer makes Ohno Continuous Cast wire I guarantee you’ll never see one from anywhere in the Orient other than Japan.)  Since I have 2,200 feet left on the spool that one is 50 ohm for analog and power.  I only have 770 feet left of the 75 ohm for digital and since I bought less of that (1000 ft. initially) it cost more at $3.85/ft.  But they both look identical except the 50 ohm has 98% shield coverage (typically 95%, but mine is custom with a thinner stranded shield braid).  The 75 ohm has a 95% shield coverage required for 75 ohm (but custom made with a thinner stranded shield braid).  My secondary wire used is virtually identical to the coaxial though is not coaxial and just has the conductor with no shield braid and outer PTFE Teflon dielectric, which gets wrapped around the coax wire in a proprietary way which I call Galactic Geometry and Galactic+ Geometry for power cords (as they require four times as much wire to equal 16 awg, which I found to be the perfect gauge for power, though 16 awg is not thick enough for heavy power demands for speakers).  I make sure to use the best plugs (Furutech) that are UL listed for safety and that my design and build methods are as safe as industrial-grade power cords.  I also have many other proprietary methods in my geometries, some strictly for safety that no one else employs and some strictly for aesthetics.  Most, however, are for extreme sonic fidelity.  Through my years of R&D I found the best methods of improvement from cables and cords came by emulating complete phase noise elimination, which normally requires a ton of expensive oscillator circuitry replacements and modding, full-blown word clocks designed solely for audio that cost a small fortune, and also many trial rounds of equipment pairing.  (If you want to know why phase noise is the attribute most critically requiring elimination in order to experience proper staging and “true” high fidelity sound, I’ll be glad to explain but that will be another very long message.)  My Reference Series power cord requires over 250 steps, written in my instruction guide for precise replication.  I performed nearly 3 years of R&D and 107 different cables before I settled on the top two performers.  And I only make two series of audio cables: my gold standard Reveal Series (better than 94% of competitors tested at the same price point, and better than 100% of competitors tested at 1.3x the price point or more), and my Reference Series (far better than 100% of competitors tested at ANY price point, including cords tested up to $55K), which is the apex of aural perfection.  Only the power cords have 4 series including two lower than the others called Harmony and Melody, as each have maximum benefits for certain applications so why pay more for a cord to use on a component when you don’t have to?  That’s why some companies know they can screw you over by having 12 or more lines of cables; placebo occurs even if your brain is just wondering how much better the next model will be!  They know you’ll always be left having the desire to upgrade!  (Again, I am not taking orders now for any cable or power cord builds; I just wanted to share my experience and capabilities.  I am also an authorized dealer for Audeze, Furutech, and Oyaide which I can always help out with. 😉) I’ve been listening to quality headphones since 1992 but never started with components until around 2003-04.  •  I have a very high-end home headphone system; it’s been 6 years now since I fully finished modding and piecing everything together but still outperforms the best systems available today and has no DSD, DXD, MQA or any other modern formats – just a great Sign-Magnitude DAC (which is like implementing an R/2R ladder in a chip) using 8 x PCM1704U-K which were designed almost 20 years ago in 2000 by Burr Brown (later purchased by Texas Instruments), and an extensively modded streamer/transport, making a killer combo, with good ol’ PCM data (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi) to 24/96 maximum S/PDIF conversion (via BNC) to 24/96 @ 8x oversampling maximum conversion with a DSP-programmed-FPGA for processing.  Because the streamer’s digital volume control is processed at 24/96, a 16/44.1 song can be negatively attenuated from 0dB to -23dB with zero loss of quality, still remaining bit perfect.  •  Then there’s the amp: a fully customized AMB Labs Beta22/Sigma22 balanced head amp/dual mono power supply combined with my own PCB designs and custom, dual, CNC-machined full-size-speaker-chassis with 5/8” thick front and rear T-6061 anodized aluminum panels with graphic laser bleaching.  This amplifier not only bests every other headphone amp on the market spec-wise such as a frequency range from DC – 100,000Hz (and with more parts and features than I have time to list), but has such characteristics as 0.01 ohm balanced output impedance, side-mounted overkill heatsinks capable of dissipating 1000W, three electrostatically shielded and potted custom Plitron transformers with one serving auxiliary functions such as input relay switching and front panel custom LED bars to ensure they remain out of the signal path, and an ALPS 4-channel, 24-step stepped attenuator with a tactile, custom designed rotary volume knob and motorized drive system with a chassis design-matched infrared volume-level remote control.  My one-of-a-kind, 105 lb. combined beast cost more to manufacture and build than any other headphone amp on the market sells for at retail; for perspective, it wasn’t much less than my leased 2017 Hyundai Sonata Limited’s sticker price.  If it were a minimum production run of at least fifty dual-chassis amps made for sale (and not just a full production “one-off”), even at $78.5K (which includes the $6.2K Bellatone Reference Series set of three 1m Triad•DC chassis power cables consisting of nine individual cables inside each one for 27 cables in total, and the $850 extruded aluminum remote) I’d have the lowest profit margin of 99% of amps on the market despite its extreme price.  I’ve been told I am “truly nuts” for bringing my dream to life.  But is a passion for one’s hobby insane if you desire the absolute best, especially if the ultimate in extreme fidelity audio and aesthetics matter a great deal?  I don’t think so, because it’s something I’ll never sell and be able to use forever even it requires a repair, and even if I modify it in some way in the future.  What I do think is crazy is when one spends over $200K on a turntable, $25K on a phono preamp, $15K on a tonearm, $9K on a cartridge, and $100K on its rack, for which I have countless reasons why vinyl has been so completely inferior in almost every way to digital since at least the turn of the millennium, give or take a few years before or after.  •  If you haven’t noticed by now I haven’t mentioned the names of my components aside from my own amp and cables because I didn’t want company names and their product’s names to color anyone’s recommendation based on your potential personal bias towards that company or product, so I instead chose to describe them which hopefully tells you enough to determine my preferences.  •  The second to last items in my system, aside from all my own cables and power cords, are an upgraded wall outlet and a high-end power regenerator.  •  Finally, I’ll list my headphones which of course I must name for you to relate to them.  They all have measured frequency range which is concretely objective, but peoples’ descriptions of a headphone’s sound signature is subjective due to multiple factors.  Anyway, on with the list (ordered by price, highest to lowest):
  • • Audeze LCD-4 (custom Blood Wood earcups)
  • • Audeze LCDi4 planar in-ears (plus newest model Cipher cable custom programmed for these)
  • • Audeze LCD-3 (“Cinnamon Bun” wood earcups)
  • • Sennheiser HD800
  • • Audeze EL-8 Ti (includes Cipher cable)
  • • Sennheiser HD650
  • • COMING SOON: Audeze Mobius carbon
  • • Audeze iSine20 (with newest model Cipher cable programmed for these)
  • • Sony WH1000-XM3  (used for traveling due to their excellent Active Noise Cancellation, Bluetooth, Sony Headphone Connect app, Atmospheric pressure optimizer)
(I should also mention that I haven’t listened to my Sennheiser phones ever since I got my LCD-3.) Thank you guys so much for your help with recommendations, and it’s very nice to meet everyone!  — PJ  🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂
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(Edited)
Oct 28, 2019
Marlowe7
25
Nov 16, 2019
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Nov 16, 2019
j.t.x
76
Dec 8, 2019
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IWTR;BJC I wanted to read, but just couldn't.
Dec 8, 2019
KaiS
71
Dec 8, 2019
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Hi, You mentioned your: "Audeze LCDi4 planar in-ears (plus newest model Cipher cable custom programmed for these)". Does this mean that AUDEZE programmed your personal custom EQ into your Cipher? This would be very interesting for me, I currently use the Cipher V1 EL8/Sine, but would like to switch to Cipher V2 because of its higher (balanced) output power. But, for my purpose, I would need a version with linear (or EL8 style, only 3 dB bass boost) pre-EQ, not like the ones for InEars. The Cipher for InEars have extreme pre-EQs that are not usable for my purpose. Unfortunately, currently only those are available. If it was possible to reprogram Audeze Cipher V2 with a custom EQ it would be exactly what I am looking for.
Is it? Thank you for listening!
(Edited)
Dec 8, 2019
EatMyDustbunny
12
Dec 9, 2019
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Hi there, The Cipher cable I have for the LCDi4 was programmed with the specific DSP before they offered them for sale, which they now do as far as I know. I know they certainly have both iSine and LCDi4 variants for their Bluetooth Cipher modules which I also have. It was not “custom EQ’d” to my taste. However, the solution I now use, which would be right up your alley is as follows: I use the high quality cable that cable with the LCDi4, though mine is terminated with an XLR4 instead of 3.5mm, connected to a female XLR4-to-2.5mm balanced cable, to the RadSone ES100MK2 which for $99 is the best deal on the planet simply due to its EarStudio app with the numerous features way beyond EQ. (The ES100 is the best inexpensive Bluetooth portable balanced DAC/Amp around coupled with its app, though I use it with the Apple USB3 CCK. For the record, the $39 USB3 CCK which you can also use to charge your iPhone simultaneously sounds better than the much smaller $29 USB2 CCK.) I would suggest checking out this option as it will would work as well for you as it does for me!
(Edited)
Dec 9, 2019
KaiS
71
Dec 9, 2019
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Thank you for your suggestion! I think I will go that route. I already have both Apple CCKs anyway.
(Edited)
Dec 9, 2019
EatMyDustbunny
12
Dec 27, 2019
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Is reading too difficult or time consuming for people nowadays? (Apparently typing is, as you all use abbreviations now that many of us don’t understand; in your case you typed the abbreviation and the translation which really made no sense!) Back in the old days, people used to learn by reading. Maybe you’d find some valuable or helpful information located in there.
(Edited)
Dec 27, 2019
j.t.x
76
Dec 30, 2019
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Nope, just reading off-topic posts over 2,000 words in length (with 10 embedded images) that fail to contain reference to, or even the name of, the product being discussed (I did a search - no sign of Echobox or Explorer anywhere). There is a brief expression of a shared dislike for Micro-USB referencing an earlier post, but that's about it. Just to be clear, I made up that abbreviation to fit the situation your post presented me with, unless I accidentally re-used an existing abbreviation with IWTR;BJC without realizing it. (I wouldn't know, as I do not use those sorts of abbreviations, either.) I am not questioning the value of your post, but it has long been the case since the beginning of discussion boards that verbose, off-topic posts may be met with snarky responses. Welcome to the club!
(Edited)
Dec 30, 2019
EatMyDustbunny
12
Jan 13, 2020
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I’ve been a part of your so-called “club” since 1994. I doubt you can say the same, so trying to provide advise to people looking for inexpensive portable solutions comes rather naturally to me. As far as showing my six figure home system that took me 6-8 yrs. to build (and afford), that was a point of reference for me to speak from; a sense of trust in my recommendations. If the Echobox had been a worthy referral than it would have been given, however I spoke of better, more deserving options, more beneficial to my fellow consumer.
(Edited)
Jan 13, 2020
Artismo
451
Feb 5, 2020
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TL;DR ^casual flex
Feb 5, 2020
timko
17
Feb 6, 2020
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Yeah, don't humble brag.
Feb 6, 2020
j.t.x
76
Feb 6, 2020
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Sorry, but none of your response makes any sense. An off-topic post is still an off-topic post, no matter how helpful its author imagines it to be.
Feb 6, 2020
Whitedragem
175
Feb 21, 2020
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EatMEDust: I kinda stopped taking you seriously in the first paragraph when you insisted on bluetooth >4.2 (ideally 5) and then went on to list how well researched you are. I enjoy white documents as much as the next person, and if you could give me any reason as to how BT 4.2/5 could assist audio (especially given all present implementations), I’d be happy to listen. (save your time- they dont!) I actually have had kit in the same class as your setup- for me; I bought straight from the marketplace, and a Sansui AU919 does DC-500000khz flat, and fed nicely some Acoustic Research LSTs, which I also enjoyed a range of other equipment with. Heck I love mixing and matching. I have found a lot of synergys’ over the years, and I am definately one for cables; although nothing has ever beaten the sound of the old Nordost ‘built for NASA’ stuff from the early nineties that I tried. (that was all measured in terms of % speed of light) I did stop reading and ended up skimming bits though, something I literally NEVER DO. Not sure if your not my favorite author, or if I am genuinely not interested to your quest, but I started to get a serious vibe that you knew some stuff, but had blindspots like all us mere mortals. The bluetooth thing ultimately had me skip on the basis that I figured you might NOT have it TOTALLY figured out... So, looking at your list of equipment I would simply say- Wait for the next BlueNote AK240 player drop. It comes with almost its value in HiRes music formats so if the super low jitter rate doesn’t make it practical to feed into your nice DAC setup, at least the music means you will have netted great value. I don’t think an EchoBox would suit your ultimate passion. But I’d still recommend one as a cheap digital transport... but wouldn’t be in the same class of equipment as spending 8x more money on an AK unit, that would have noticably lower jitter; which is definately going to be something important to you, as irrelevant the cables you use, garbage in is garbage out...
Feb 21, 2020
EatMyDustbunny
12
Feb 21, 2020
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I have no recollection of mentioning anything about Bluetooth v 4.2, only mentioning that the ES100 has the newest v5. I don’t know about the qualitative differences between the two for audio purposes.... so if there is a mention there now of Bluetooth 4.2 then it was intentionally added by the thread creator/seller! (I’d appreciate you copy and pasting where I said that, because I know for a fact I never typed it.) I would hope v5 has more benefits but I am not aware of any qualitative differences between the two. EDIT: Okay, I found what you were talking about and this is what I said: and my background is for all your recommendations of an inexpensive (because I have little money now), yet quality iPhone/iPad (iOS 13.2) compatible, portable DAC/AMP used mainly for traveling but sometimes at home, so it must have Bluetooth (minimum version 4.2 though preferably 5.0) to use with both my iPhone XS Max 512GB (which I can and will be upgrading for free via Apple to the iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB in Jan/Feb)—— I said “minimum version 4.2 though preferably 5.0” in the context of Apple iOS gear because that is what Apple recommends as their newest phones and iPads have v5.0. That doesn’t mean that I am aware of any differences, just citing Apple’s recommendation from one of their support documents that I had read. ——————— As far as my equipment goes (and my custom built amp and cables), those are all packed securely away in boxes for my move this upcoming Tuesday, and on Thursday I am relocating my residence to Massachusetts to be near my family (after living in California the past 36 years and then 5 years in Florida beginning with my birth). My cables are built to the highest standards with over 120 iterations of them designed, tried, and tested before I settled on my top 2 cable designs (an ultra high end line, and a reference line, with the exception of the power cords which have 4 lines due to their usage purposes and a person not needing to spend more money than necessary for a given component), and I compared my top two cable designs and four cord designs (which share similar design traits like wire and geometry only more of it) to hundreds of other manufacturers’ cables and power cords I borrowed or was loaned so I could make sure what I was designing would outperform them all. The ultra high end line “Reveal series” is comparable to some of the best cables on the market at obscene prices. The “Reference series” outperforms any cable regardless of price point I have tried and that includes cables in the price range of $30K to $50K which is absurd. My most expensive power cord is around $4K and consists of over $1.3K in materials and takes 80+ hours to build which is two full work weeks. Now subtract $1.3K from $4K and you get $2,700 for 83 hours of very difficult work. That’s $1,350 per week and I know tons of people that make a shitload more than that in their profession. I make a lot more than that when my design & printing business is going well, and many weeks I make nothing. Right now is one of those times as business is extremely slow. (Back when I worked for a company temporarily about 15 years ago I was making $1,200 a week.) And I rarely sold those cords anyway since I didn’t have my business running that long, though I will resume once I’m in Massachusetts where I will have more space to work. All my cable parts, supplies, wire, and my two Weller WX2 soldering stations and 4 irons are going with me. Now, companies like Nordost have so many lines of cables it’s ridiculous. Common sense tells you that if they know how to make their “best” than they have a line where they are intentionally selling you their WORST so that you will get upgraditis and spend more money to eventually get their best, or at least that’s what their intention is! I don’t work that way. I created two lines of cables: an ultra high end (primarily for single ended use), and then a Reference line (primarily for balanced use due to its inherent balanced geometry). I don’t believe in creating a crappier version only to force a customer to spend more money for a better one. I make the best I can and those are what the customer gets so they need not upgrade to anything else. Isn’t that an honest philosophy that all manufacturers of cables should adopt? Ones that don’t adhere to that practice are scam artists looking to rob you of your hard earned money over and over again. Bellatone doesn’t believe in that practice in any way, shape or form.
(Edited)
Feb 21, 2020
Whitedragem
175
Feb 21, 2020
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Alrighty,.. like myself maybe you enjoy ‘stream of consciousness’ writing, or maybe you are upselling your skills (create a topic mayhaps?)... The overkill of information when you need to share which configuration iDevices you own (which magically seem about bragging rights, but that is more an apple thing as they are seen as a premium brand), which I’d be inclined to do too-depending on the thread- true sometimes the greater memory capacity versions have slightly faster storage inbuilt, more to do with the controller chip for the storage, but telling an Echobox thread all about how many gigs and whether your idevices have cellular etc has little to do with the music.. or a music player... playing Devils adovocate I can understand why you might list your future upgrade for your phone.. but it has little to do with the recommendations you are wanting is my guess.. But assuming I am wrong,... and assuming I have read you right- you will be using iDevices as your primary source for a multitude of formats and media streaming services/stores.. so I recommend that any Bluetooth device you do get supports AAC format natively. By saving conversion stages you have a better chance of hearing more natural sound. I do find it odd with that headphone inventory that you are insistent on saving money on your music playback device.. especially with regards to your fanatiscism with cables. Dont get me wrong, I love cables too.. but they are like the last thing - after room treatment and speaker cones etc to play with. They will/can change the sound (on equipment great enough and well set up) to those who know what they are listening for... but they should NEVER factor more than 10% the system price. (otherwise the money is definately better spent on better gear). With your headphone inventory - saying you have limited budget and want to buy an entry level amp/DAC to be a utilitarian device,.. I’d truly recommend holding off on the next headphone purchase and channeling some more funds into the electronics that will pair with all of them. The electronics you use will ALL you headphones get used all the time. Another set of headphones will just leave others on the shelf.. it doesn’t seem like logical investment for ‘best bang for buck’ having your money tied up in devices that are not being used. So either sell an old set of headphones (if you really think you need those new headphones, and are unwilling to spend much on the amp/DAC that drives them ALL), or delay that next headphone purchase until you have the right electronics to power your existing sets. (you might find you dramatically enjoy your present headphones enough, with proper upstream tools to do the job well). When I added a Creative E5 (Literally one of the junkiest, cheap audio parts an AudioFool could find!) to our headphone collection; everything was magically better. It blows away the output of an iDevice. And this isn’t about electrical measurements, this is about music. The two have very limited correlations... (and most measruement equipment isn’t design to test for ‘musicality’ but rather specific traits. I don’t listen to square waves! Anyhow- the Creative E5... Supports AAC format as the bluetooth codec from iDevices and will lessen the conversion stages to send the music to the speakers. A Creative E5 fed into a car stereo system, or even playing back iTunes store music via bluetooth sounds vastly better than the iDevices raw output. (sad but true, irrelevant to how well an iPhone/or any phone measure electrically) Soundstage and finesse, layering and the ‘get your toe tapping’ vibe that comes with musical playback.. a second hand E5 shouldn’t set you back much, and is such a ‘jack of all trades device’ that it will pay for itself again and again and again. True, my child rejects it now in order to use the FIIO x5(III) in the house.. but that is more to do with the half terabyte of lossless music on the FIIO, and that it is a DAP... (no need for several devices/doesn’t distract with incoming messages etc from phones that are used for communication) If you were truly trying to save money, then absolutely grab an Echobox Explorer. It wont do half the things you want, but then that is what the ES100 you use is for... I believe you’d do well to save up for a nice Astell and Kern, and as I mentioned drop are selling an older unit that electrically measures SIMILAR to my FIIO X5(III) but it would totally smash if for musicallity,. It is a couple of tiers UP the range as audio devices go. The Echobox wouldn’t be far behind my FIIO X5 is my (educated) guess. If I had the cash to spare; I’d grab an Echobox, load the same music as is already on my FIIO X5, and then when the child needs borrow a device, I truly wouldn’t care which one it was.. (they’d be in the same ballpark). The A&K I recommended you (that DROP offers, and includes a music catalogue nearly equal to the asking price) would be a big jump up, and when you have your regular hifi rig, or parts of it, in use again, it would certainly give everything you could want... To be fair, I really encourage you to scrounge for some second hand cheap part that allows you to get away from ‘direct from phone’ sound. You have such a nice selection of ‘cans... Power them right and they will deliver some sweet sounds. But looking to your personality, as given in the writing above, I feel that upgradeitis would end up costing you a lot if you kept buying entry level ‘mid-fi’ DAPs and DACs/amps... If I loan you a few DACs/amps you might be willing to upgrade their power cables to whatever improves their sound. Send them back when you are on your feet again, and the cables you will have given me will of course pay me back tenfold :-) If you are into headphone modding I have lots of single cable devices that I would love to use with balanced cables... I don’t think my FIIO X5(III) is anything special as a balanced output device.. and I don’t think the investment is worth it at this level of the hifi game. Hence why I feel you will need to spend serious money on something like an Opus #2 to be even slightly satisfied. Given your list of sources.. a DAP doesn’t sound like your ENDGAME device.. A nice portable DAC/amp would be though.. So with a limited budget, you could ALMOST get away with the DACs in the iDevices (again, based on the level of kit you are USED TO USING), and maybe just focus on a nice portable amp to get those headphones sounding their absolute best!!
Feb 21, 2020
EatMyDustbunny
12
Feb 22, 2020
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Send me an email to: phil@bellatoneaudio.com and once I get to Massachusetts we can discuss further. Just so you know, I’m not looking for a high-end travel rig. I don’t travel all that often. That’s why I used the Apple CCK3 just to stream to the ES100 with its great controller app to use with my LCDi4. Granted, the ES100 has just decent DAC chips (which isn’t all that makes a DAC sound good, especially in this case where the chips are also the amp chips) and doesn’t have anywhere near the sound quality of my home streamer (modded)/ladder DAC combo, but it’s fine for when I’m laying in bed and don’t feel the need to power up my home system. I honestly wish I had more time to spend listening to my home system but for the time being that’s not too practical, though maybe I’ll make the time. I’m someone who is satisfied just listening to SiriusXM on my iMac speakers; I get more enjoyment from my home system when others get to listen to it and I get to watch their jaw hit the floor. I built it as a no holds barred reference system with a performance level that 99% of “audiophiles” have never heard before. That was the goal. That was the challenge. Anyway, shoot me an email and include yours and we can talk more about what you need or just to chat. 😃
(Edited)
Feb 22, 2020
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