O2 Boards, c421 Reviewed

It’s time for a few short updates. First, we’re helping out with NwAvGuy’s do-it-yourself O2 project. Bare O2 circuit boards are in stock:

O2 Objective2 PCB, Front

The O2 has created a stir in Head-Fi.org’s do-it-yourself community. After posting one too many “objective” (or possibly stubborn) comments, NwAvGuy found himself banned from the forums. He proceeded to design O2 for maximum benchmark performance to prove his points. It’s large and heavy, so hardly worth consideration as a portable amp, however, O2 so far lives up to its name.

c421: Quality Inspection 2

We hoped quality control of c421 enclosures wouldn’t turn into a saga, but here I am posting a progress update. The second batch of enclosures arrived in much finer condition than the original run. Although better, we also rejected batch #2 due to minor manufacturing scuffs. Dozens of phone calls, e-mails, and meetings later, we’re approximately two weeks away from receiving enclosure batch #3…

Assembled c421's in enclosure batch #2 (sitting atop our office subwoofers).

Therefore, the November 14th ship date may slip. We’d rather ship great products late, than ship ‘okay’ products early. All c421 preorders will be held until the final batch of cases are available. Onto the good news:

  • Anyone who has preordered may request immediate shipment in a batch #2 case; final enclosures will be made available in a few weeks (free + shipping).
  • Samples were sent to professional reviewers last week, and initial feedback of c421 is strong! Customer Tony .G writes:

    “Got the headphone amp and wanted to say that I’m quite happy with my purchase!  Can’t wait to put in some good listening time.  I’ve just given it a limited run and it is quite stellar.”

  • Hexibase of PWK Designs posted a great unboxing:

Welcome, Nick!

JDS Labs is quickly expanding. Nick has joined our team to help with soldering, programming, and new product development.

7 thoughts to “O2 Boards, c421 Reviewed”

  1. The C421 sounds fantastic, by the way. My MS1is are away for wood and a recable, but I got my hands on a pair of SR60is for a real listen this weekend.

    I was surprised at the video review where he stated that he couldn’t immediately hear much of a difference. I wouldn’t say it was night and day, comparing it to a Penguin Caffeine Pro, but it was immediately evident that the C421 was a much better, much more capable amp with a more refined sound, and serious bass impact on some tracks. I put up a mini review/impression post over on Head-Fi.

    Hopefully enclosure batch number three turns out to not be the headache that one and two were. 😉

    1. Chris,

      Both amps are fantastic. You can’t go wrong with either. Power output of c421 and O2 are both stronger than most users will ever need. Each has a neutral/analytic sound.

      It’s easier to pick between the two based on usage. O2 is four times larger and three times heavier than c421. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider O2 if portability is important to you. I personally grab for c421 when sitting down to listen.

        1. Neat comparison! We’ll have to post some photos. O2 is rather large, but a few people already have mistakenly thought c421 was also a large amp (it is not!).

  2. 我是在中国耳机大家坛上看到O2这款放大器的,根据他们的翻译,这似乎是一款开源作品,不知可否提供完整的线路图和PCB文件

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