When In Manila, building a high-class audiophile desktop setup has tons of options to go with. Going beyond the usual stereo input and outputs, even past RCA inputs and outputs would bring you to a higher level of fidelity, or so they say. I have scorned through tons of cables, plugs and set-ups in order to find a sweet spot where I believe it is a step up above the audiophile norm. I have found this and has sworn by this ever since the 1st day I have tried it, going fully balanced. That’s right, balanced inputs and outputs through XLR pins. I have found a whole new sense to soundstage and sound quality through this set-up and I am shocked at how FireStone Audio has come up with a balanced combination that profusely attacks the competition’s products ruthlessly. A very capable DAC, and with a very powerful amp to boot!
Build: Both amps share a pretty similar footprint, having the Tobby be around 30% shorter than the Bobby. Both contain a full metal body design with vents on the sides to avoid any heat, though I never encountered any of the 2 heating up much. Comparing against near competition Schiit Audio Mjolnir and Gugnir, I prefer the footprint of the Tobby and Bobby. The Schiit Audio Mjolnir and Gugnir takes quite a wider space while the FireStone Audio Tobby and Bobby only takes a little more with the length. Overall, the FireStone Audio Tobby and Bobby takes much much less space.
The FireStone Audio Tobby DAC comes packaged with a dual-mono design with a single Burr Brown PCM1794 DAC chip on each channel and having a fully differential balanced outputs. The power supply boasts low noise, short circuit protection and over current protection. All inputs are 24bit/192khz asynchronus capable for the best performance.
The FireStone Bobby desktop headphone amp is a high-end pure class-A amp that has balanced inputs and outputs which perfectly matches with the FireStone Audio Tobby DAC. Inside is a huge toroidal transformer and with 4 independent amplifier circuits to power 16ohms – 600ohms with ease.