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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:18 am 
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All the advice given so far is very good in my opinion as I have had experience with many of the items mentioned. However, ultimately what is best for your taste, listening preferences, etc. can only be determined by trying.

Best to take your iphone with a camera adapter and headphone into a good dealer and try various options with both a line out and digital out connection. The iphone dac is good for what it is, but can be bettered. Listen for a while, with a range of music and at different levels. With all systems, but more so with headphones in my experience, what sounds immediately impressive on a first listen can become grating and irritating after a while.

All things being equal, a good portable amp will be your best option even at home since it does not force you to listen in one spot. Even so unless you are into high end inner ear monitors, portable players that can equal a good desktop system at all reasonable listening levels even with relatively easy to drive headphone tend to be on the expensive side.

A great part of the fun is the journey so have fun auditioning!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:49 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
brams wrote:
All the advice given so far is very good in my opinion as I have had experience with many of the items mentioned. However, ultimately what is best for your taste, listening preferences, etc. can only be determined by trying.

Best to take your iphone with a camera adapter and headphone into a good dealer and try various options with both a line out and digital out connection. The iphone dac is good for what it is, but can be bettered. Listen for a while, with a range of music and at different levels. With all systems, but more so with headphones in my experience, what sounds immediately impressive on a first listen can become grating and irritating after a while.

All things being equal, a good portable amp will be your best option even at home since it does not force you to listen in one spot. Even so unless you are into high end inner ear monitors, portable players that can equal a good desktop system at all reasonable listening levels even with relatively easy to drive headphone tend to be on the expensive side.

A great part of the fun is the journey so have fun auditioning!


Indeed personal preference is the key. I actually enjoy using my iphone 6+ without an amplifier. I've used my headphones and enjoy throwing the phone in my pocket. The 3.5mm jack on the older phone without a lightning adapter produces decent quality sound compared to my Android phones I've owned. The lightning dac cipher cord with Audeze Sine sounds dreadful IMO while to my ears the sine sounds better with it directly plugged into my 3.5mm headphone jack. I also don't care for the thin hyper detailed sounding dragonfly. Everyone has a preference :)

The Peachtree amp is not hyper detailed but a tad laid back with lush characteristics. I find all of this audio stuff to be a huge money pit :) It really gets to the point where you'll never really achieve audio nirvana since newer and more expensive stuff always hits the market.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:02 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I used my HD 598 with the $60 Pa2v2 amp with iphone5s. they sound much better than the schiit magni2 with 598. However the Grodo sr80 sound better than hd 598 with iphone5s+Pa2v2. Anyway, HD 598's mid and high is not detailed but smooth, low end is lacking, mid-bass is warm and relaxing. But for $80 (used 2 weeks old), they are great for my dad lol. So go get the Canadian little amp for $60.

What the PA2v2 does is adding some soundstage and increasing the bass, detailing the high, smooth out the mid-high. the sound is warm and more enjoyable overall.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:50 pm 
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Don't give up on one of your original thoughts......trying out the Fiio amp/dac.

They are widely available used, for under $100.

Not the absolute pinnacle of sound, but, with all due respect, neither are your HD 598's.

I enjoyed my time with that very combo, until a pair of used B&W P5, Series 2 phones came my way.

The combo of FLAC files//Fiio Alpen//B&W P5 S2 sounds mighty fine, for not much dinero.

Happy hunting, del Sol


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Been reading about the Fiio i1.

http://theheadphonelist.com/fiio-i1-lig ... mp-review/

Seems pretty versatile and relatively cheap. Think I'm going to try one out. Haven't found anyone carrying it Canada. If you know, please pipe up!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:32 am 
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Some good advice mentioned in this thread but want to add that despite the Sennheiser HD598’s are relatively easy to drive with a nominal impedance of ~60ohms, one should still pay attention to ensure the amplifiers output impedance is at least 1/8 or less of that. <7ohms should be safe – around 2ohms or less lower would be ideal and would also somewhat guarantee your amplifier would be better matched for any future HP purchases. As an example, the Bottelhead Crack mentioned elsewhere in this thread with it’s 150ohm output impedance is a horrible match for the HiFiMan 50ohm impedance. Probably why the user disliked the pairing so much. Although in Bottleheads defence they do recommend higher impedance cans.

Details of the 1/8th rule can be found here.
http://nwavguy.blogspot.ca/2011/02/head ... dance.html


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:32 am 
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xtrapnel wrote:
Been reading about the Fiio i1.

http://theheadphonelist.com/fiio-i1-lig ... mp-review/

Seems pretty versatile and relatively cheap. Think I'm going to try one out. Haven't found anyone carrying it Canada. If you know, please pipe up!



Mine is a Fiio E17 DAC/AMP......I bought it used on Kijiji (Moncton, NB), for $80.

The seller allowed me to audition it first.

It's easy to use, has proven reliable, and seems to be widely available in the used market.
I'm delighted with it.
I suggest reading some reviews on Headfi.org, and elsewhere, on the net.

If you were closer, I'd lend you mine for your evaluation.

My finances simply don't allow spending hundreds, (even thousands) of additional dollars for miniscule improvements.

IMHO, the law of diminishing returns is definitely in play here.....and elsewhere in this audio hobby.

Hope this helps, del Sol


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:38 am 
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This one perhaps.....

http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... a-adapter/

I have no affiliation.

del Sol


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:44 pm 
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It would depend on if you want a portable Amp/DAC or a stationary unit for your desktop/laptop. I currently have the Sony MDR-1A with a Fiio Q1 and have notice a big difference while using my iMac. For the portable side, I have a Samsung galaxy 6 and the Fiio doesn't work, somewhat limiting my ability to listen to music while travelling. For this reason, I'm switching over to the Apple 7s+.

Will report back with the differences.


However the Sony headphone drive a 24 ohms therefore not hard to push music through. The Fiio sounds great!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:05 pm 
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cdnduck wrote:
It would depend on if you want a portable Amp/DAC or a stationary unit for your desktop/laptop. I currently have the Sony MDR-1A with a Fiio Q1 and have notice a big difference while using my iMac. For the portable side, I have a Samsung galaxy 6 and the Fiio doesn't work, somewhat limiting my ability to listen to music while travelling. For this reason, I'm switching over to the Apple 7s+.

Will report back with the differences.


However the Sony headphone drive a 24 ohms therefore not hard to push music through. The Fiio sounds great!


The Fiio Q1 will work with the S6. Are you using a OTG cable? This is required in order for the phone to act as a host! All DAC’s will not work with an Android phone without an OTG cable. Also to get the best out of the DAC it is recommended to use the “USB Audio Player Pro” app found in the play store - otherwise the highest sample rate will be limited to 24bit 48kHz. USB Audio Player Pro loads its own proprietary USB driver when in use allowing up to 32-bit at 384kHz.

AFAIK iOS is no different and is also limited to just 24bit 48kHz.

LG makes some great sounding Android phones employing quad ESS DAC’s if looking for an alternative. An OTG cable is still required to connected an external DAC but in my opinion one is not needed.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:18 pm 
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What is a OTG cable?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:25 pm 
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cdnduck wrote:
What is a OTG cable?


OTG is wired differently from a regular USB putting the phone into Host Mode. They are not expensive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_On-The-Go

https://www.amazon.ca/Micro-USB-OTG-Ada ... B00D8YZ2SA

Some info on the USB Audio Player Pro.

http://www.extreamsd.com/index.php/uapp-overview

Can’t remember if the S6 came with a OTG dongle or not – the S7 did.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Thanks what do you need for a Apple 6/7?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:35 pm 
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You will need a Apple Lightning to Camera USB adaptor in order for the DAC to work with a iPhone 6 or 7

https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/product/M ... ra-adapter

In a nut shell either device will be….

Android Phone – OTG cable (or dongle) – regular USB cable (if needed) – DAC
iPhone – Lightning to USB Camera Adaptor - regular USB cable (if needed) – DAC

You can plug your DAC directly into a OTG or Lightning/Camera Adaptor if the DAC does not require a cable such as the AudioQuest Dragonfly.


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