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Got interested at first...but then saw the images of the internals. Just a chip amp with a WM7840. I've heard these low-end Wolfson implementations before, unimpressive. Just because it's by a company with name recognition in high end headphone amps doesn't mean this going to be anything special.
You know thousands of people have these already and have actually listened to one, while you haven't. What do those people say? I'm honestly asking because I don't know
Well, most people will probably call it magically awesome -- as is usually the case in audio, and especially in this price bracket. I'm just going to point out that nothing without a real output stage is going to be very good.
I'm in the market for a DAC+headphone amp in this general price range, and I've been thinking to get a Desktop Objective2 with ODAC Rev B. Now seeing the Pico, I'm wondering if it might be worth considering as well.
So I'm curious if you have any thoughts between the two?
The Pico is not a "just a chip amp with a WM7840." It has a very carefully designed DC-DC converter and power supply to make sure that the DAC chip receives exactly 5v, which puts it into the regime where it has the best S/N ratio. It also certainly has a "real output stage." An opamp based output stage, sure, but if that makes it "just a chip amp," then I suppose the Headroom Blockhead was "just a chip amp," too. The Pico, and especially the Slim, are very small amplifiers, and the circuit was designed to use the very limited space in the most efficient way possible.
Power network in a DAC is very important. What do ALL high-end DACs have in common? Big, fat capacitors. What is lacking in the above image?
I don't want to hate too much on a mobile amp at that price bracket, there is only so much that could be done. But just because the GSX and Blue Hawaii are considered to be top end amplifiers (well, before you get into the hyper expensive things like SETs) doesn't mean everything they put out regardless of price is going to be superior.
You don't seem to get that this is a very small portable. It sounds very good, and has excellent capabilities to drive a variety of serious headphones, within its limitations. Physics is a harsh mistress. Just to put this into perspective, attached is a picture of my Pico DAC/Amp (not the slim), next to a standard deck of playing cards. Where would you suggest that big, fat capacitors be placed?
Everything in this price range is better than the O2/ODAC.
I would go with a iDSD Black Label. It's significantly more expensive and definitely not as mobile, but it's on a different level in terms of performance. A real output stage, hardware dual differential balanced, native DSD512 support, high end parts, etc. Keeping in line with the price category, the Dragonfly Red with Jitterbug does surprisingly well WITH easy-to-drive headphones like the TH-X00.
I hadn't been considering the Micro iDSD Black Label but indeed it looks very promising in the initial reading I've done. Will keep the Dragonfly+Jitterbug point in mind as well. Thanks!
You really do need to get off the class warfare kick, you're just robbing from yourself.
Unfortunately, a "basic" level of understanding of electricity will lead you to only a basic level of music enjoyment -- as, I'm sure you know, we don't listen to electrical currents. Just admit that it's nothing but a crutch for class warfare.
ODAC is awful. It built up a cult following really quick. Especially with gamers and mass market. Was a great concept, but compared to everything else I've heard, it was awful. My 3 year old sound blaster card sounds better. And that's pretty bad considering it sits next to a mess of emi
Appreciate the feedback! I am budget constrained, looking to spend no more than $300 if possible, or maybe going up to $500 if the product is really worth it. If you have any other suggestions in that price range then I'd be glad to hear them.
Btw I don't need a battery-powered DAC/amp. I didn't realize until later that the Pico is a battery-powered device.
Q: "What do ALL high-end DACs have in common? "
A: NOTHING , because it's an entire diverse CLASS of products! Hundreds of different designs spanning at least three decades! So WHY are you insisting on some arbitrary factor, especially one that doesn't actually have to do with the D to A conversion?
In the end you're only limiting yourself though, by closing your mind to a significant fraction of the available gear, just because it didn't pass your arbitrary little test.
After all, everyone that knows anything knows the best way to choose a DAC is to buy the smallest & cheapest one! A DAC chip isn't that large and goes for less than $20 (seriously ask Sabre or ESS), so anything bigger than a thumb drive is probably filled with fancy looking tubes and dips that don't even do anything but heat up, just to make tourists pay extra for junk they don't need.
Lol, saw you shitting all over products and pointing out low cost components in this forum before haha.
BTW, ifi black label is not in this price range. Pico DAC/amp is $249, while ifi is $549. That's more than twice the price of the pico DAC/amp and more that twice the size also haha.
I have some advice for you. Instead of shitting all over products with low cost components, why not have a listen first then judge cos people like me are just not willing to lug around a ifi for a portable DAC/amp and also not willing to pay over 400 for a portable DAC/amp.
BTW is the oppo HA-2 se shit also in terms of components? Legit question.
Want to say thanks for pointing me to the iDSD BL. I researched it further and realized it's exactly what I've been looking for. Just bought one on eBay earlier today.
What's you level of understanding of electricity? Just curious, because all of your comments and posts lead me to believe you are a second grader with a really good thesaurus...
So the iDSD black label is much better than the Pico DAC/Amp ?
I know it is about double the price (compared to the price here)
Is it worth double the price?
My cans are the HD6XX..... thanks.
Looking for a mobil/portable solut for the Senns.