02-17-2017 09:12 PM
26 12
tools
  1. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Hi Jerry,

    I know you are a hi-fi enthusiast. I am as well.

    What DAC do you recommend for use with Android devices?
    01-24-2017 03:19 PM
  2. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    Best bang for your buck IMO right now is the FiiO A5. If you're a supernerd, spring an extra $70 for the E12 because it ships with the same DAC and amp but isn't sealed so you can get inside and tweak it. If you don't plan to tweakit, just buy the A5 and put the extra $70 towards headphones.

    But there are a lot of dacs that I've never heard or only heard while they were brand new and not burned in yet. The Oppo HA-2 is supposed to be incredible and worth the bigger price tag.

    Kevin — if you're reading this buy me an Oppo HA-2. <3
    Guytronic and Laura Knotek like this.
    01-25-2017 05:04 PM
  3. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    What do you think of the DACs that use vacuum tubes? Are those just a gimmick, or do they sound any different or better?
    Guytronic, libra89 and belodion like this.
    01-25-2017 09:59 PM
  4. isdaako's Avatar
    What do you think of the DACs that use vacuum tubes? Are those just a gimmick, or do they sound any different or better?
    If you can hear the difference between vinyl and MP3 you'll hear a difference with tubes.
    Laura Knotek and Guytronic like this.
    01-26-2017 07:31 AM
  5. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    They sound different. Good ones can take a range of tubes and different tubes will change the sound. As far as better, thats a tossup.

    Tubes sound warm and fuzzy. If you're listening to something that's best when it's sharp and crystal clear you'll hear the difference the most and might not like it.

    Grab any track from Joe Satraini's Surfing With the Alien. Listen to it with what you have now so you are familiar, then listen on a tube amp. You'll hear the difference right away.
    01-26-2017 12:10 PM
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    If you can hear the difference between vinyl and MP3 you'll hear a difference with tubes.
    Yes, I can tell the difference and prefer the vinyl.
    Guytronic likes this.
    01-26-2017 12:44 PM
  7. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    They sound different. Good ones can take a range of tubes and different tubes will change the sound. As far as better, thats a tossup.

    Tubes sound warm and fuzzy. If you're listening to something that's best when it's sharp and crystal clear you'll hear the difference the most and might not like it.

    Grab any track from Joe Satraini's Surfing With the Alien. Listen to it with what you have now so you are familiar, then listen on a tube amp. You'll hear the difference right away.
    Thanks!

    Would the tube DACs make lossless digital music sound more like vinyl records?

    Do you have any recommendations for tube DACs?
    01-26-2017 12:46 PM
  8. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    Thanks!

    Would the tube DACs make lossless digital music sound more like vinyl records?

    Do you have any recommendations for tube DACs?
    A tube amp sounds warmer like vinyl does. It won't have the same background feel as vinyl because that comes from an actual needle riding the bumps and making it's own sound. Some music just sounds better playing from an LP and you can't make a digital track sound the same.

    I don't have a good desktop tube amp. I want one, but they are expensive and the cable across my office to use my marshall guitar head instead is cheap :P

    But I can say you need to buy this https://www.amazon.com/Nobsound-NS-0...cUvbUpU5657789

    That's not a great desktop tube amp. Not even close. But it's a decent desktop tube amp that drives 60-250 ohm headphones really well and will let you know how a tube changes the sound before you spend a thousand dollars on a good one. I had a couple of those and ended up giving the working one away to someone who had the same questions as you do about the sound.

    The other one was a victim of me and my soldering iron.
    01-26-2017 02:35 PM
  9. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    A tube amp sounds warmer like vinyl does. It won't have the same background feel as vinyl because that comes from an actual needle riding the bumps and making it's own sound. Some music just sounds better playing from an LP and you can't make a digital track sound the same.

    I don't have a good desktop tube amp. I want one, but they are expensive and the cable across my office to use my marshall guitar head instead is cheap

    But I can say you need to buy this https://www.amazon.com/Nobsound-NS-0...cUvbUpU5657819

    That's not a great desktop tube amp. Not even close. But it's a decent desktop tube amp that drives 60-250 ohm headphones really well and will let you know how a tube changes the sound before you spend a thousand dollars on a good one. I had a couple of those and ended up giving the working one away to someone who had the same questions as you do about the sound.

    The other one was a victim of me and my soldering iron.
    Thanks so much! I will let you know if I get it and how I like it.
    01-26-2017 02:59 PM
  10. udazavlanje's Avatar
    I'm trying to decide what's more worth to buy-External DAC or a phone with one.
    these are great accessories,but are definitely an inconvenience to carry around. on the other hand, they can save me hundreds of dollars by giving me Hi-fi quality on cheaper devices.
    so, my Q is how does V20 fare with these 2 DAC you recommended? how much is the Fiio A5 better (on Audio Technica M50x)? does it make a difference to which kind of the device they are connected to - say Z Play vs HTC10/V20?
    01-27-2017 03:30 PM
  11. tadpoles's Avatar
    Thanks Jerry! I will definitely check out that tube amp. $50? Wow, I just didn't think you could get anything worth listening to for less than at least a few hundred but I'm going to order one as I've been wondering about getting a tube amp. Even if I like the sound I don't envision ever spending more than $700-$1K on a tube setup. Thanks again.
    01-27-2017 03:48 PM
  12. Rumblee1's Avatar
    Hi Jerry,

    I know you are a hi-fi enthusiast. I am as well.

    What DAC do you recommend for use with Android devices?
    I just bought an onkyo dp x1 because of its glowing reviews everywhere and it sounds incredible. But you can do just as well by purchasing a ZTE axon 7. It has hifi dacs and dolby atmos. It sounds very close to my onkyo. And besides, its one hell of a phone. I actually got rid of my very dissapointing pixel and have my S7 edge only in case I drop the A7. Just make sure you have high quality earbuds or headphones to fully and correctly pass the sound on to you. Also, if you're buying high resolution tracks, HDtracks has the biggest selection. And make sure you install a music pkayer like onkyo to properly playback your high rez tracks.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    01-29-2017 07:45 AM
  13. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I just bought an onkyo dp x1 because of its glowing reviews everywhere and it sounds incredible. But you can do just as well by purchasing a ZTE axon 7. It has hifi dacs and dolby atmos. It sounds very close to my onkyo. And besides, its one hell of a phone. I actually got rid of my very dissapointing pixel and have my S7 edge only in case I drop the A7. Just make sure you have high quality earbuds or headphones to fully and correctly pass the sound on to you. Also, if you're buying high resolution tracks, HDtracks has the biggest selection. And make sure you install a music pkayer like onkyo to properly playback your high rez tracks.
    I use Sony MDR-7506 headphones. I have indeed purchased albums from HDtracks. I also rip music from my personal collection to FLAC and use Neutron Music or HibyMusic to play those tracks.
    Guytronic likes this.
    01-29-2017 09:36 PM
  14. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    I'm trying to decide what's more worth to buy-External DAC or a phone with one.
    these are great accessories,but are definitely an inconvenience to carry around. on the other hand, they can save me hundreds of dollars by giving me Hi-fi quality on cheaper devices.
    so, my Q is how does V20 fare with these 2 DAC you recommended? how much is the Fiio A5 better (on Audio Technica M50x)? does it make a difference to which kind of the device they are connected to - say Z Play vs HTC10/V20?
    The Filo A5 and Z Play will sound as good as the V20 or HTC 10. There is a difference between all three, but it's such a small difference that I wouldn't hesitate to call them equally good.

    And yes, I can tell you that carrying around an external dac can be a pain in the butt. I wish someone would build a battery case that powers a dac and amp so at least everything is in one piece. For now I just use ponytail holders to keep them together in my bag.
    Laura Knotek and Aquila like this.
    02-02-2017 07:12 PM
  15. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    Thanks Jerry! I will definitely check out that tube amp. $50? Wow, I just didn't think you could get anything worth listening to for less than at least a few hundred but I'm going to order one as I've been wondering about getting a tube amp. Even if I like the sound I don't envision ever spending more than $700-$1K on a tube setup. Thanks again.
    LOL. It's still a $50 amp and doesn't sound great. But it does give you that tube sound so you can see if you like it. A lot of people don't like it after they have tried it.
    Laura Knotek and tadpoles like this.
    02-02-2017 07:14 PM
  16. udazavlanje's Avatar
    The Filo A5 and Z Play will sound as good as the V20 or HTC 10. There is a difference between all three, but it's such a small difference that I wouldn't hesitate to call them equally good.

    And yes, I can tell you that carrying around an external dac can be a pain in the butt. I wish someone would build a battery case that powers a dac and amp so at least everything is in one piece. For now I just use ponytail holders to keep them together in my bag.
    much appreciated (as usual) !
    that's the Moto Mod I'm hoping for
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-02-2017 08:03 PM
  17. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I'm trying to decide what's more worth to buy-External DAC or a phone with one.
    these are great accessories,but are definitely an inconvenience to carry around. on the other hand, they can save me hundreds of dollars by giving me Hi-fi quality on cheaper devices.
    so, my Q is how does V20 fare with these 2 DAC you recommended? how much is the Fiio A5 better (on Audio Technica M50x)? does it make a difference to which kind of the device they are connected to - say Z Play vs HTC10/V20?
    Another reason why I like separate DAC is because I can use it with multiple devices such as with my tablet or my notebook, not just with my phone.
    02-03-2017 08:51 PM
  18. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    LOL. It's still a $50 amp and doesn't sound great. But it does give you that tube sound so you can see if you like it. A lot of people don't like it after they have tried it.
    Thanks, Jerry! I love it so much that I ordered a tube phono preamp, which will arrive on Wednesday.
    02-06-2017 06:37 PM
  19. anon(9072051)'s Avatar
    Will the Fiio A5 work with a Nexus 6? I've read some forum posts (from maybe 2015, granted) of people complaining about the N6 not working with this or that DAC, the Fiio Q1 being one of em.
    02-10-2017 11:21 AM
  20. komeilkarimi's Avatar
    Hi Jerry,
    Have you come across a good USB-C DAC?
    02-11-2017 06:51 PM
  21. isdaako's Avatar
    Thanks, Jerry! I love it so much that I ordered a tube phono preamp, which will arrive on Wednesday.
    Any chance of reviewing it, yet?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-15-2017 06:03 AM
  22. Mike Dee's Avatar
    What do you think of the DACs that use vacuum tubes? Are those just a gimmick, or do they sound any different or better?
    How portable is that?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-15-2017 09:47 AM
  23. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Any chance of reviewing it, yet?
    I'll write something this week.
    How portable is that?
    Not really. I'm using it more with my turntable and headphones than my Android devices. It is fine with Android devices on a desk, but not taking it somewhere.
    02-15-2017 10:29 AM
  24. isdaako's Avatar
    @Laura Knotek. Ok, I'm curious of your experience into tube-land, not so much a product review.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    02-16-2017 08:22 AM
  25. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    @Laura Knotek. Ok, I'm curious of your experience into tube-land, not so much a product review.
    I'll have something this weekend, and I'll post in off topic, but I'll link it here. It'll be about all the gear I'm using in my setup which is analogue not Android devices. I tried the headphone amp with Android, but lately my music format has been very old technology.
    isdaako likes this.
    02-16-2017 01:03 PM
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