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Review and Measurements of New JDS Labs Atom Headphone Amp

Objectivist01

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That is my point exactly - unless they somehow exceed the performance/functionality of their competitors at this price point, they won’t be able to make much of an impact with this product.

One way of stirring things up would be to shift the entire Atom lineup to a basic metal case. But what would be the point of the EL DAC and the EL AMP then?
Does a metal case improve sound quality? Does it measure better ?
 

bboris77

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Does a metal case improve sound quality? Does it measure better ?

Of course not, unless we are measuring radio or electro-magnetic interference. Even then, proper filtering can take care of it. I never had any such issues with my Atom when I owned it.

The issue with plastic cases specifically with amplifiers is the fact that they are too light and they tend to move when you are plugging/unplugging headphones or adjusting volume. They tried addressing that by adding weights inside the case.

In terms of a DAC, this is not much of an issue as there is less physical interaction except for input switching. Still, one cannot ignore the fact that humans are tactile beings and I do not know anyone who can honestly say that they prefer a lightweight plastic volume knob over a hefty metal one.
 

Theriverlethe

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Last I read, he uses menuBUS and AUNBAND (I think that's what it's called) on mac. ProQ is much better tho



Positive. I had not only a lengthy discush on the ProQ forum1, but hours spent trying to find the precise equation and make an easy-to-use version on a calculator app. The differences in Q values are fairly small below 5 kHz or so: after eight, they become rather important. Make sure the calculator is in radians, not degrees

1: https://www.fabfilter.com/forum/3564/variable-q-values

I found the formula 1/((((1/Q)^2-2)/((10^(d/40))+1/(10^(d/40))))+1) for converting Q to S with shelf filters on the Jriver parametric equalizer wiki:

https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Parametric_Equalizer

When you talk about bit depth in your formula, do you mean the bit depth of the input, processing, or output? This has gone well over my head.
 
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Jimbob54

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That is my point exactly - unless they somehow exceed the performance/functionality of their competitors at this price point, they won’t be able to make much of an impact with this product.

One way of stirring things up would be to shift the entire Atom lineup to a basic metal case. But what would be the point of the EL DAC and the EL AMP then?

I can see a shift coming in the desktop component market. The days of standalone cheap single ended DACs must be coming to an end soon. Given the "they all sound the same" mantra and the dongle class leaders showing what can be done in such a small package- surely the future will be $100-$150 USB / Bluetooth Headamps which of course include a DAC chip. Essentially the Atom v2 includes a DAC. Undercutting the likes of the Topping DX3.

Standalone DACs become multiple input and output devices (as most new ones are anyway)- RCA and XLR outputs for what I will call "power" users who want more than one box and output. Not sure why anyone would either make or buy an $80-120 standalone single ended only DAC.
 

Matt Wu

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Fantastic review, thank you so much for doing all these works for us. I am rather new to the DACs and Amp stuff, deciding to buy one or two, could not make any decision about what to choose. After doing some research I discovered your works, absolutely amazing. After reading all of your reviews, the decision became so much easier to make. I bought the atom amp since this is the one that you strongly recommend so no second thought. I all so purchased the atom DAC to finish the stack setup. Again thank you so much for all the reviews, my life is much easier!
 
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fabien32

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excellent support
I live in Israel, and I received this amazing AMP after 3 day of ordering it! The support made a change with the shipping method so I'd pay less but get it faster and rembourse me the difference. And contacted me for it. But that's not all, UPS Israel overcharged me 40$ on bogus reasons, and jds rembourse me the all amount of the overcharge the same day. Amazing! And it's not even the good part! This tiny Amp improved my sound system so much, that I can't believe my ears! Thank you jds labs and Thank you Amir
15928208218004416893793502820471.jpg
 
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Hey everyone, I'm a noobie here.

I'm just wondering if the frequency response of the Atom Amp mmeasures dead neutral. Further, if it does measure neutral, does it remain neutral at both gain settings?

Edit: just read the OP again. Yep, it measures flat!
 
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ta240

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If you have not bought a OL DAC yet, then may be this is considerable. Otherwise ignorable.

In some cases you just need a new product to be able to sell it. There is an entire market driven by what youtube reviewers/infomercial hosts say about products. A lot of people that already have a product that is quite comparable with the product they are reviewing/advertising will buy the newest one just based on the excitement shown for the new one. A lot of imagined upgrades are just lateral product purchases to have the latest hyped item. Wanting to belong with the group and fear of missing out are powerful purchase motivators.
 

polio407

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Which headphones would the the atom not be be able to power correctly or generally recomended for?
 

Veri

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Which headphones would the the atom not be be able to power correctly or generally recomended for?
Hifiman Susvara. Heddphone. Probably some others, like the original HE-6 (non-SE).
 

Jimbob54

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Hifiman Susvara. Heddphone. Probably some others, like the original HE-6 (non-SE).
What about the recent trend for very low impedance planar? Verum etc. Not sure what amps suit them?

Oh, electrostats of course.
 

maxxevv

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Which headphones would the the atom not be be able to power correctly or generally recomended for?

Hifiman Susvara. Heddphone. Probably some others, like the original HE-6 (non-SE).

What about the recent trend for very low impedance planar? Verum etc. Not sure what amps suit them?

Oh, electrostats of course.

There's one headphone outside of electrostatics it won't drive for sure. The Raal SR1a.
 

Veri

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There's one headphone outside of electrostatics it won't drive for sure. The Raal SR1a.
Welllll the Raal would need an interface box right. As do electrostats (for the necessary bias voltage). So that seems obvious enough ;D
 

NgtFlyer

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So I am seriously considering buying one of these. I have the Schiit stack and, well, the first Magni 3+ lasted about two weeks and bit it with all sorts of noise in the right channel. Ran really hot too. The replacement runs cooler and it works fine.. the volume control is actually very good in this unit, but my experience with the Magni 3+ doesn't instill a lot of confidence. The Modi is plenty good but I'm really liking what I have read/seen on the Topping E30. So, one of those and a JDS Atom might be in my near future. Like, later this week. (I need TOSlink, otherwise, I'd go with the JDS DAC)
 

Jimbob54

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So I am seriously considering buying one of these. I have the Schiit stack and, well, the first Magni 3+ lasted about two weeks and bit it with all sorts of noise in the right channel. Ran really hot too. The replacement runs cooler and it works fine.. the volume control is actually very good in this unit, but my experience with the Magni 3+ doesn't instill a lot of confidence. The Modi is plenty good but I'm really liking what I have read/seen on the Topping E30. So, one of those and a JDS Atom might be in my near future. Like, later this week. (I need TOSlink, otherwise, I'd go with the JDS DAC)
What would swapping Modi for e30 get you?
 

maxxevv

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Welllll the Raal would need an interface box right. As do electrostats (for the necessary bias voltage). So that seems obvious enough ;D

Actually, that's to prevent shorting of conventional amps due to its transitional impedance dropping to almost zero in certain instances.

Schiit actually has a modified amp model that allows it to be plugged directly into it.

https://www.headphones.com/blogs/ne...e-amplifier-for-sr1a-earfield-monitors-review

https://www.schiit.com/products/jotunheim-r
 
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