Tascam DR-05 recordings of iPod Amplifiers

One of the first things I did with with my new TASCAM DR-05 linear PCM recorder.

I have a few amplifiers for my iPoc classic; FiiO E01 (Alisan), iBasso D-ZERO AMP/DAC and a Sony PHA-1 AMP/DAC.

My guess is that there are people, like me, who ask themselves, what is the difference in sound quality between amps, for, like in this case, an iPod Classic.

While these recordings made with the Tascam DR-05 from these amps will not tell you anything about the actual sound quality of those amps for your particular setup, you can compare the difference between the sound quality of those amps in my setup with the Tascam as “headphone”. The recording were made from the headphone-out of the amps and the iPod classic headphone-out.

The Tascam DR-05 has a line in, (sensitive, therefore I could not record directly unclipped and undistorted from my iPod LOD adapter. (thats also why file number 2 from the zip is missing, in case you are wondering)

I made the following recordings of a source file with some random music mixed and edited in Audacity:

 a) With the build in mics of the Tascam DR-05 of an iPod Touch with FiiO E01 connected to some cheap active Yamaha speakers in my house.
b) The Tascam DR-05 connected to the headphone out of the FiiO E01 (Alisan) Amp connected to the iPod Classic (about 20 dollar)
c) The Tascam DR-05 connected to the headphone out of the iPod classic (no amps in between)
d) The Tascam DR-05 connected to the headphone out of the Sony PHA-1, digitally connected to the iPod Classic (about 350 dollar)
e) The Tascam DR-05 connected to the headphone out of the iBasso D-Zero connected to the iPod Classic via an FiiO LOD (Line Out Dock) (about 120 USD)

The source file was an ALAC file (Lossless Apple Codec) and the Tascam DR-05 was set to record in uncompressed wav, 16bit, 48khz. Files were converted to Flac with foobar 2000.

So what files are what combination? The “live” speakers are easy to spot of course, but is there a difference in quality of the various amps? Noticeable?

Of course each amp has other properties that are to consider, size, ease of use, power, impedance etc etc. But that is not the issue here.

This post was made on October 8 2013, for those that are interested in what is what, I will reveal what file is what in a few weeks, days, or whenever I feel like it 🙂

Download the flacs here: (please link to this post, and not to the file itself, thanks! (+/-135mb).

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