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Posts by bigshot

Line out to an amp or direct output to headphones? What kind of headphones? What kind of DAP? What kind of amp?   It's easy to discern if there is a difference. I am trying to find out why. That will tell us if you were just trying to fit a square peg in a round hole or if the DAP was truly defective.
 Line out? Did you eliminate the possibility of an impedance mismatch with your headphones?
Are you comparing the two DAPs through line out and level matching? Direct A/B switching using a preamp? If not, it most likely is your perception playing tricks on you. If you want science, you have to go to the trouble to isolate the variable you want to compare.
I produced the Saturday morning Chips for three years... also CDs, animated rock videos, a feature, a bunch of TV series and specials, web cartoons, etc. Right now I'm working on two internet shows called Bravest Warriors and Bee and Puppycat. I've done everything there is to do in animation except draw... supervising design. storyboard, layout, recording, editing, m&e, post production, etc. Over 30 years in animation.
Headphones can only be so good. Speakers can kick ass.
 Headphones: Oppo PM-1 (HA-1 too but I don't use it in my theater)Speakers: Mains: Custom made 12 inch six way studio monitors from the 70s / JBL Towers, Center: Klipsch: RC-62 Sub: Top of the line Sunfire 12 inch, Rears: Klipsch bookshelf speakers this part of my system wasn't inexpensive
It might be audibly transparent with the correct impedance load.   Ha! cjl just described my system!
 Perhaps you have an impedance problem there. Mac's headphone out is almost as good as the line out, but still below the threshold of sounding flat and clean to human ears. But I'm sure it wouldn't sound like that with hard to drive cans. You'd need an amp for that. I'm guessing these are "all in one" units with power amps and DAC built in. I have my mini connected to my AV receiver using HDMI. That carries everything across to the amp, both sound and video, bit perfect....
I would bet they were hearing artifacts down lower that the loud sound pressure was causing in their ears. I know when I hear very loud high frequencies, there is a dull ache and thud in my ears that goes along with it. I used to produce the Chipmunks TV show and I had to stuff cotton in my ears at recording sessions because the loud aspirates sped up made my ears feel like a drumhead being pounded on... thud, thud, thud.
My Mac Mini is audibly transparent... Flat response, no audible distortion, noise floor down below the ability to hear, 1:1 dynamics, optical and HDMI outs... Unless someone wants some sort of colored sound, you can't do better than that. There must be unique features that justify the price on these.
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