JDS Labs - Headphone Amps

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adydula

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JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« on: 20 Sep 2019, 08:05 pm »
Has anyone heard or used John's $99 Atom amp yet?

Its got some real superlatives or measurements at a few sites, rated very high in specs.

A suped up O2 kinds..

??

Alex

toocool4

Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #1 on: 20 Sep 2019, 08:10 pm »
Specs don’t tell you much, try and find one to try that is the only way you will truly know.

adydula

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Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #2 on: 20 Sep 2019, 11:28 pm »
I cant agree with you more on that!!

I have several SS amps, but am wanting to try either a Schitt Magni 3 or this new ATOM..I know its on the cheap, but
theres a method to my madness.

I am using a really very very good amp thats an emulation of what an Objective 2 desktop version might have been.

Its really a stellar SS amp designed by a good friend and its a one of a kind with only 6 or so ever built....

Want to try a low cost commercial amp to see if it comes close to it.

Leaning towards the Magni 3 even though it may not measure as well as the ATOM, but the measurements arent everything....

Alex

dB Cooper

Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #3 on: 21 Sep 2019, 03:33 am »
I'm very happy with my O2 (which I'm not sure can exactly be considered an O2 anymore, what with the agdr 'Booster Board' output section installed). However, with that said, I have about $200 in it including the mod. If I were starting in today's market, I'd find it hard to justify the extra outlay between the Atom (or its most obvious competitor, the Schiit Magni) and even the stock O2.

The O2 is a milestone amp in that it changed the market by forcing competitors to reveal their performance and justify their prices. But it has its faults, most of which result from the (misguided IMHO) choice to make portability a design criteria. The O2 (again IMHO) isn't a very good portable- it's big and heavy for a portable, due to the big, heavy 9V batteries. Other compromises were made to support rechargeability.

As a result, if I were starting out looking for a bargain, good-performing headphone amp today, I'd find it hard to justify the extra 30% for the O2. I'd probably go with this amp over the Magni because I use IEMs a lot and the unity gain on the Low setting is perfect for that. Switchable inputs are a nice touch. But the Magni has a metal enclosure and this one may be plastic, judging by the weight (about half that of the Magni).

Running what I've got 'til it drops, but might make a different choice with more options.


adydula

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Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #4 on: 21 Sep 2019, 11:44 am »
Good Morning Mr dB Cooper,

Its good to here your still enjoying your AGDR Booster Board.
I havent heard from my friend in a few months....he's dropped off the gris once again.

I sold my O2's and ones with Boster board mods....mainly because of the number of amps I had lying around!

..and the desire just to try new stuff..and the love for buiding DIY stuff good and not so good.

AGDR as I have documented elsewhere communicated with NwAvGuy quite alot and eventually after his disapperance from the scene, AGDR dreamed up
his ODA design, totally solid state and has the versatility that the simplistic O2 design did not have, and much more avaialbel power and gain, if desired.

I still use it today, and am using it right now listening to T1's (after a few days of the Focal Clears)...its one of the best SS amps I have ever heard. It will even
drive efficient loudspeakers....I posted a video of this in the build thread for the ODA.

Yeah the Atom is totally plastic and the build quality IMO is not that great....but the electronics are very good according to the measurements and reviews of folks.

I laughed when I saw this: "Schiit Magni 3 produces more power of 0.33 watts but at 3X higher distortion point than Topping A30 (0.005% THD+N versus 0.001% respectively). "
To me the difference on .005 and .001 to my ears is a dont care!

I read lots of reviews just to keep current as best I can to whats happening in the industry....most modern electronics when operated at the levels we use with our headphones
and not at their "max" power limits work just fine and many people find difficult to tell the difference in testing.

So there out there severaol $99 wonders that seem to work as well as other higher dollar amps...

Good time in audio!

Alex

wushuliu

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Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #5 on: 21 Sep 2019, 04:19 pm »
The O2 is a milestone amp in that it changed the market by forcing competitors to reveal their performance and justify their prices.

Interesting, from the reviews I've read (outside of ASR-land) I got the impression competitors were justified in having higher prices. The O2 just preached to the converted.

Schiit, on the other hand, seems to have actually changed the marketplace and impacted pricing in multiple categories, including headamps.

adydula

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Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #6 on: 21 Sep 2019, 06:17 pm »
Good news is you do not have to spend mega-bucks to get a great headphone experience...with electronics dropping in
price from the likes of Schitt and others...

Its great for us consumers that do not have deep pockets...

I have always admired Schitt for their marketing model and there products, it hasnt been perfect but its pretty solid now.

Many other small OEMS like JDSLabs also bring good products at decent prices to the table as well.

I have to be careful here I dont want to be thought of as a fan-boy!!

When I auditioned headphones last week I used a $20,000 Mark Levinson Media player...OMG, it was really nice...
and it "sounded" very, very nice...but $20,000 nice is a long way to go for most of us!

That said if I could afford this stuff I probably would play.....ya cant take it with ya!!

 :D :D :D

Alex


dB Cooper

Re: JDS Labs - Headphone Amps
« Reply #7 on: 23 Sep 2019, 02:20 am »
Interesting, from the reviews I've read (outside of ASR-land) I got the impression competitors were justified in having higher prices.

Some do and some don't, as extensively documented by NWAVGuy on his blog, still there for anyone to read. High price doesn't guarantee high performance, as any veteran audiophile knows. I'm not saying the O2 is the "be-all and end-all" of headphone amps. But that was the amp that changed the conversation. Before that, few if any amps gave any meaningful performance specs. (DISCLAIMER: I'm not claiming that specs are everything). Many amps fell short in critical areas, high output impedance being a common offender. There were also other boo-boos, like one expensive amp that dumped driver-ruining amounts of DC into the headphones on shutdown- and then attempted to cover up the problem. NWAVGuy was pilloried (and banned) on head-fi for calling them out on it.

Quote
Schiit, on the other hand, seems to have actually changed the marketplace and impacted pricing in multiple categories, including headamps.

I have a Schiit Modi Multibit DAC and like it a lot. If I were shopping for a headamp today, Schiit would be on my shortlist. Great value equipment.
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2019, 01:56 pm by dB Cooper »