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t0wer

iBasso D4, portable usb dac/amp

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This model has been discontinued but they have a model with an upgraded dac section here,

http://ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=79

 

 

 

This was my first dac/amp in the hobby, about 3-4 years ago.

I still use it regularly as dac.

 

048db183-6703-4e00-8406-42ddbb37ff54_zps

 

Build quality and accessories

It's an extruded aluminum case, aluminum volume knob, small fairly stiff gain and power switch.

Nothing cheap and plastic feeling here.

I bought this when they still offered the 2nd case, so it came with 1 dark grey and 1 black.

 

The one problem I have with the physical design, is the tiny screws that hold the battery plate on. they are tiny and can be easy to cross thread.

be careful screwing them in and you won't have any problems.

 

They sent me a small bag full of extra screws just in case some got lost and a torx allen key thing to remove the front panel screws.(4 silver and 4 black for the rear panel, and a few extra black screws for the front panel)

 

 

IMAG0051_zps857a5b17.jpg

 

Features

I love how this can be used as a standalone dac or standalone amp or combo dac/amp unit.

it gets scratchy when you try to use both the line in and usb input, so I don't recommend using it like that.

It automatically switches between line out with the dac or line in for the amp, based on the signals.

 

IMAG0049_zpsa83d9c25.jpg

 

It's powered by a 9v or usb, there's a switch on the back for power source.

 

IMAG0050_zpsdbb754c5.jpg

 

 

AMP

I haven't used the amp for a long time, I feel it's better used as a combo unit for traveling with my tablet or as a desktop dac.

I've heard battery powered gives it some more power for harder to drive cans, but I haven't used very hard to drive cans with it.

 

he-500's, srh-840's, hd595's and melec cc51 IEM's

 

all pretty easy to drive and this works fine, listening to it now, I don't feel the separation is quite as good as my m^3.

That being said I doubt I could do a blind test without turning up the volume on silence. USB isn't the cleanest power.

 

my only problem when using it as an amp is the turn on thump.

it's not terrible, but it's definitely noticeable and when I first got into the hobby I worried about breaking my $200 headphones.

no damage has been done so far, and I've gotten used to it, and don't worry about it anymore.

 

IMAG0045_zpsdd27ddb2.jpg

 

 

DAC

It's a really nice small DAC, that can be stuck just about anywhere.

being usb it has some weird noises when I move my mouse, but it's only noticeable with my m^3 nearly maxed out. (7 o'clock is min, 5 o'clock is max, normal volume is around 8:30 w/ he500).

other than the noises, I can't complain, nice clean and clear sound for normal use.

 

IMAG0046_zpsdf1c0a9b.jpg

 

Final Thoughts

I really like this unit for the size and quality, but I probably would have bought a fiio e7 if they were out at the time due to cost.

Don't regret this purchase, as I use it almost everyday when I don't want to fire the tubes up on my full size dac.

 


Will work for electronic components and parts


Reviews: Meelec CC51P - Monoprice 8323 - Koss Porta Pros  - Shure SRH-440 - Shure SRH-550DJShure SRH-840 - Hifiman He-500 - iBasso D4 - o2 Amplifier  -  SkeletonDac

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