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Clip+'s Normal EQ is not flat? - Page 5

post #61 of 105

ventilator, since you are not willing to read & think... I give you this piece of truly awesome paint art:

 

imbapaintskillz.png

 

Right side shows what you say the "Normal" setting is doing.


Edited by xnor - 5/25/10 at 1:19pm
post #62 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

How about that? ...
 

fr.png

 

It would be interesting to know if the Clip(+) measurings were done with «Normal» or «Custom» setting.

.

 

 

Yes, but were SanDisk actively tune the Clip until it would show these results in RMAA tests? Are RMAA tests the only thing that manufacturers go by when they make DAP:s.

Going by SanDisk's previous DAP:s, it would more be a "freak accident" as I stated above. And since the Clip produced a seemingly flat line when tested, it is well liked by audiophiles. Not because of its actual sound but because of the apparently flat and transparent sound it creates (i.e. according to RMAA tests). To me people who buy a DAP based on how flat a line it produces in tests might be deluding themselves. They buy a DAP that according to tests is "transparent" so they will believe that they hear "transparent", i.e. the power of suggestion...


Edited by Danneq - 5/25/10 at 5:20pm
post #63 of 105

@Danneq: Well.. a review of a stranger on a forum that describes DAPs as "warm" and "musical" is more accurate than a measurement? The power of suggestion...

Do you think that amps are designed/built so that they sound nice to some listener without looking at measurements? Jeez, what dream world.

post #64 of 105
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

 

Yes, but were SanDisk actively tune the Clip until it would show these results in RMAA tests? Are RMAA tests the only thing that manufacturers go by when they make DAP:s.

Going by SanDisk's previous DAP:s, it would more be a "freak accident" as I stated above. And since the Clip produced a seemingly flat line when tested, it is well liked by audiophiles. Not because of its actual sound but because of the apparently flat and transparent sound it creates (i.e. according to RMAA tests). To me people who buy a DAP based on how flat a line it produces in tests might be deluding themselves. They buy a DAP that according to tests is "transparent" so they will believe that they hear "transparent", i.e. the power of suggestion...


Hey, I didn't know the Clip+'s measuring data when I decided that it sounds relatively neutral and accurate to me. And I didn't realize the hype around it on Head-Fi. BTW, it would take some special effort (electronics components) to create a frequency response deviating from a flat line (apart from natural drop-offs at the extremes). Or the equalizer would have to be activated by default.

 

But actually I'm not sure what your concern is. The Clip+ sounds good to my ears. Other players sound somewhat different, like my iAudios or my former iRivers, but some of them (many, most?) sound good, too.
.


Edited by JaZZ - 5/26/10 at 1:30am
post #65 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

@Danneq: Well.. a review of a stranger on a forum that describes DAPs as "warm" and "musical" is more accurate than a measurement? The power of suggestion...

Do you think that amps are designed/built so that they sound nice to some listener without looking at measurements? Jeez, what dream world.


Well, a stranger's review says how he/she feels that the DAP sounds like. It is not accurate, but perhaps something to keep in mind. However if 10 people independently say the same, we are starting to get to something interesting.

I am trying to say that how people hear the sound signature of DAP:s is NOT accurate, I never suggested that. On the other hand measurements say NOTHING about how 2 different people perceives the sound of a certain DAP. Well, a massive bass or treble roll off might be noticeable...

 

My point is that how any 2 people hear and interpret the sound from a DAP is NOT absolute.

Tests might be absolute, but humans are NOT absolute. Everyone's hearing is different, some can hear more frequencies, some can hear less, also how we listen to the music is different - some will be able to pick out details more than others who listen more to the "big picture".

Humans are the "x factor", i.e. unknown variable, which for me makes it pretty pointless to go by measurements to decide what will sound good. In places like North Korea people might be identical variables who lack subjectivity, but not in most other places. The only thing that works is to try different gear until you reach the optimal sound for you.

 

Sure amps are designed to at least be "in the ballpark" of certain measurements. The manufacturers do not just throw stuff together and sell it. In the case of SanDisk however I think it was more of a "freak accident" that they put components together which had good synergy. The View which was released shortly before the Clip and Fuze had a different audio chip and it does not do as well in RMAA tests. Why did they get the Clip and Fuze right and not the View? Skill or "luck"? I believe the latter.

I want to say that I own the View and I like its sound very much. With a Fiio E5 it gets that extra bass boost that it needs. Not hifi, but a good sound to me. To each, his own.


Edited by Danneq - 5/26/10 at 4:29am
post #66 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post


Hey, I didn't know the Clip+'s measuring data when I decided that it sounds relatively neutral and accurate to me. And I didn't realize the hype around it on Head-Fi. BTW, it would take some special effort (electronics components) to create a frequency response deviating from a flat line (apart from natural drop-offs at the extremes). Or the equalizer would have to be activated by default.

 

But actually I'm not sure what your concern is. The Clip+ sounds good to my ears. Other players sound somewhat different, like my iAudios or my former iRivers, but some of them (many, most?) sound good, too.
.


I am sorry if I offended you. I did not want to accuse anyone of doing the wrong thing or being stupid or anything. I just get a bit annoyed with an attitude in this place which I perceive to be a somewhat too big belief in the "absoluteness of tests" and a sometimes somewhat condescending attitude against people who do not think the same. Also, a side note, the Swedish crown has lost a lot of value against the Japanese yen the last 2 weeks, in effect reducing the value of my savings with close to 20% has got me to become extra belligerent.

 

It is GREAT that you followed you own ear and taste when you chose the Clip+. That is what I say: to each his own. That you happen to like what could be called a neutral sound is your preference. I do not like a neutral sound too much, both by preference and also that I have some slight loss of hearing in higher frequencies on my left ear (I cannot hear crickets with that ear), because of a combination of playing in a metal band for close to 10 years and a bad ear infection in my early twenties.

 

Compared to ABi, this place is much less open to differences, but on the other hand ABi is divided into different sub forums for each manufacturer and DAP. Also this place is for people who are looking for an "optimal sound". What I pointed out in my reply to xnor is that the "optimal sound" is not the same for each and everyone. Tests and measurements cannot decide an "optimal sound" since people are subjective beings. I do not want to get into philosophy since this is just a forum for gadgets that can recreate music for people. 

 

To each his own and let us all enjoy our music! Even the people with iPod Nano's and ibuds! 

post #67 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

However if 10 people independently say the same, we are starting to get to something interesting.

 

That's a big IF there. I don't think you can say with certainty if people post independently or not. The best counter argument to this point would be to look at those regularly hyped FOTM items that often turn out not to live up to the expectations. Some clueless person buys a new item, reviews it euphorically, and others follow blindly - couldn't be further from independent thinking.
 

 

 

Quote:

My point is that how any 2 people hear and interpret the sound from a DAP is NOT absolute.

 

So independent reviews should result in quite different opinions, right? I've seen countless different review discussions where only a few people put their opinion through, and others just gave in. The accuracy of the resulting set of adjectives often is questionable, imo.

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Tests might be absolute, but humans are NOT absolute. Everyone's hearing is different, some can hear more frequencies, some can hear less, also how we listen to the music is different - some will be able to pick out details more than others who listen more to the "big picture".

Humans are the "x factor", i.e. unknown variable, which for me makes it pretty pointless to go by measurements to decide what will sound good. 

 

1) If people were so different I don't see how they'd be able to bring vastly varying opinions down to a common "denominator".

2) I'm saying this again. I (we?) don't want "good sound" from a dac/amp/dap etc., but faithful and accurate reproduction, i.e. no specific sound.

Headphone/speakers (and also DSPs, EQs etc.) make the sound, everything else ideally should be "wire with gain".

 

 

 

Quote:

Sure amps are designed to at least be "in the ballpark" of certain measurements. The manufacturers do not just throw stuff together and sell it. In the case of SanDisk however I think it was more of a "freak accident" that they put components together which had good synergy.

 

You're free to believe that it was an accident - that could very well be the case. (it's funny though that there are other manufacturers that seem to be more audiophile oriented but produce crappier stuff) And to be honest, it doesn't really matter to me. Actually, Clip+ owners should be quite happy with what they got for their money.

If Sansa is "smart" they'll notice that the Clip+ is associated with nice sound quality (for such a little piece of plastic!), and I think they already did judging from reactions of Sansa stuff in their forums. And if the View was a failure I don't think that they'll use that chip, or whatever is inside, again in new products. Instead they'll bet on the more successful product and chip, and hopefully release even better, improved versions of that in the future - at a very nice price.

 

I'm sorry if my attitude is/was condescending. I think I understand very well why you defend your position, after all we were bashing a product you like(d) in that other thread. But that's the way things are around here. One can ignore people and their opinion, but not hard facts.

 

Hehe, luried reply with lots of generalizations but I guess you get what I'm trying to say.

 

 


Edited by xnor - 5/26/10 at 5:39am
post #68 of 105

@xnor - well, we can agree to disagree. I notice that you come from a background with an absolute terminology and use words like "facts", "accurate" and "measurements". I have an opposite worldview and prefer to use words like "interpret", "different" and "preference".

It is a bit like if a scientist and a philosopher argues. It really does not go anywhere.

 

I think that even though people hear and interpret in widely different ways, it does not mean that for 1000 people there will be 1000 different opinions. "Clusters" of opinions might form and these boil down to common denominators. Some people like chocolate ice cream, some like vanilla, some like strawberry. Likewise some will like boosted bass, some like rolled off highs, some a more "neutral" sound. They might not be able to state their preference in words like us here at Head fi, but they probably have their own preferences (about people's choice of music, I am not as forgiving though...  )

 

I agree that SanDisk probably have noticed that the Clip and Fuze are successful and hopefully that they will keep them in production and improve them. For their price, they are both hard to beat. I am still hoping for a View+ with the same audio chip as the Clip and Fuze...

 

I do not think you are condescending. About the Kenwood everyone is free to have their opinion. I just prefer to have opinions based on direct experience and using ones own ears instead of reading graphs. In that way I agree with mr Sonic 748i who has become known here as the HifiMan's biggest defender. He loves his setup and while the HifiMan might not do well in RMAA tests, he and other HifiMan owners like it for the sound it produces.

 

Yes, many people on Head fi who are audiophiles want more than a "good sound" and you seek the holy grail of audiophiledom. It is still a bit hard for me to get my head around the phrase "faithful and accurate reproduction". Unlike hardcore audiophiles, I doubt the possibility of that unless you use more or less the exact same setup as used in the recording studio.

Or do you mean faithful and accurate reproduction after the album has been mastered? A recording can sound quite different before and after mastering. Also, is the mastered version album really how the artist envisioned it? I often read on forums here that people want to hear the music as "the artist intended it". Often the recording companies have the last say. Some artists do not care for 100% control over the albums recording and mastering. They are musicians and just want to play their songs.

Nowadays artists can be more independent and release albums themselves, but for me the main focal point is the song itself not how "accurately" it is reproduced. But then again, I am a music lover and not an audiophile.

 

That is why it is so difficult for me to understand how it can be a purpose in itself to try to get a completely transparent medium to play music through. Let us say that you reach that perfect transparent medium for your music? Then what? Is it first then that the music comes in focus? Or after you have reached aural nirvana, do you get a new hobby?    Or is that quest for a completely transparent medium a never ending one?

 

I often make stupid analogies, so you need not take this one seriously. I draw a parallel to those who are very careful with what they eat and measure every calorie and what not. For them food has become a science and not a means of getting nutrition to the body and an enjoyment of the colors, smells and flavors that food brings. In the same way as that behavior takes the focus from the food, the similar preoccupation with everything around the equipment that reproduces music seems to take the focus away from the music.

Only when the exact calorie count is reached, can we enjoy the food. Only when the transparent medium is reached, can we enjoy the music. Well, the comparison is not fair since the first behavior is not normal and the second is just a certain attitude as to how you enjoy music.

 

For me, the only time my DAP:s have "no specific sound" is when they are turned off. 

 

Anyway, Head fi is a great place since it is so diverse. There is a spectrum of extremes, from the almost puritan audiophile to the person who uses iPod Nano with ibuds. I like that diversity and it is nice to get a bit of knowledge on how other people think.

 

Vive la difference!


Edited by Danneq - 5/26/10 at 8:09am
post #69 of 105
Originally Posted by Danneq View Post


I am sorry if I offended you.

 

 No worries!    I didn't feel offended.

 

 

That you happen to like what could be called a neutral sound is your preference. I do not like a neutral sound too much...

 

It's not that I categorically want the player to be absolutely neutral, otherwise I wouldn't make use of the built-in equalizer to make the final product – the sound through notoriously imperfect earphones – passably neutral. I just don't want the player to arbitrarily precolor the sound more than necessary with some possibly irrepairable flaws.

 

 

...both by preference and also that I have some slight loss of hearing in higher frequencies on my left ear (I cannot hear crickets with that ear), because of a combination of playing in a metal band for close to 10 years and a bad ear infection in my early twenties.

 

You're not alone. I have a strange, apparently unknown hearing damage (low-frequency resonances) of unknown origin plus a 13-kHz tinnitus. The former makes crossfeed indispensable, otherwise I can enjoy headphone listening with little restrictions, just listening to speakers has become more or less unenjoyable. I have played bass guitar in a fusion band, but that's quite a while ago and certainly not the cause.

 

 

Compared to ABi, this place is much less open to differences...


I think it is, apart from the science forum. And personally I'm very open to them, as I can hear quite pronounced sonic differences among different DAPs. They just often don't decide about good or bad. E.g. I'd say that my iAudio 7 sounds better than the Clip+ in that it seems to offer better clarity and smoothness and a more refined and sparkling sound, I just happen to be more attracted by the Clip's drier, more upfront, unvarnished and livelier characteristic to date – which also comes with a greater depth of image to my ears.

 

 

 That is why it is so difficult for me to understand how it can be a purpose in itself to try to get a completely transparent medium to play music through.

 

I can only explain it from my perspective: Because it sounds better! More transparent means more detail means easier to hear it means more relaxed listening and richer experience.

.


Edited by JaZZ - 5/26/10 at 12:18pm
post #70 of 105

@Danneq:

 

There won't be a 1000 different opinions, of course, but if all boils down to "warm and detailed".. it might time to rethink some things.

I think that preferences are a different topic, but if you spend enough time talking to audio folk I can image someone to change his preferences from boom-tish to a more balanced (accurate?) reproduction - a good thing in my eyes.
 

I'm also hoping for an improved Clip++ (short: C++ ), Fuze++ and View+(+).

 

Reading graphs or measurements in general isn't exactly easy, especially if one's new in the sound science forum. Differences that look huge in graphs can actually be too small to be audible. People even have problems with "dB"s and basics of electronics. (I know what I'm talking about being a software developer, I learn new things every day.)

If you're biased or like to jump to conclusions you'll conclude that measurements don't correlate with "reality", i.e. what your ears (and also your brain, lets not forget that) tell you. That hurts, even more so if people ignore your attempts to explain things as easy as possible.

 

You'll always be able to find someone defending a product. Especially if the product is expensive and the person owns it, but also if its cheap and crap, just less likely in the latter case.

And loving one's setup doesn't really say anything about the performance, quality etc.

 

 

Second paragraph in JaZZ' reply describes pretty well what I meant with accurate reproduction.

 

"Reproduction" as in converting whats on a CD into sound waves, the other things make little sense.

All you can do anyway is to hope that the artist didn't go for "compress the crap out of it". There are albums in my collection that I'd really love to listen to, great, stunning musically but sound-wise like a big pile of ... like a wall of sound waves that wants to squish you, hehe. 

 

 

I'm not seeking for the holy grail, I'm not on a quest, I'm not optimizing things endlessly - yes, I love things to be perfect but thats too far from reality, and also not quite possible looking at my wallet.  (also see 2nd quote in my sig)

In some people's book the Clip+ might be far, far from perfect, but put performance into relation to what you paid for it. I love it despite the fact that I can think of an indefinite number of things that could be improved.

 

Analogies are ok if crafted carefully. That's why I hate them. Yours misses the point. I do eat ice cream and fast food whenever I like to. Hah!  Please don't tell me that music's more important than tweaking equipment.

 

 

About "no specific sound": have you ever heard that hissy noise although no music is playing? Guess what's making that specific sound.

 

Yes, a great place with great diversity and sometimes great confusion.

Peace!


Edited by xnor - 5/26/10 at 10:45am
post #71 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

I think that preferences are a different topic, but if you spend enough time talking to audio folk I can image someone to change his preferences from boom-tish to a more balanced (accurate?) reproduction - a good thing in my eyes.
 

 

I find this quite hilarious because I have been experiencing this over the last year.  I used to love my Sony A818 with my Denon C700, especially with rock.  It was a hard hitting combo that really got your feet tapping.  Then I got my Tripli.fi 10 (at $99 no less).  I started to enjoy the more neutral sound (less bass, much more forward mids, and a top end sparkle which I had not experienced).  Then I bought a Clip+ after reading all the raves and remembering that I did NOT like my original Clip.  I was amazed that I liked the sound out of the Clip+ more then my Sony.  Sure the Sony was smoother, but the lower noise floor (less hiss) and more neutral sound drew me in.  Now I find myself listening to much less angry rock and more to acoustic music becasue I am truly enjoying actual music.

 

And to think, I only spent $150 for a Clip+ and Triple.fi 10s.  To me, I don't think there is much out there that could beat this sound at this total price.  Is there better? YES.  Is it worth the cost?  That is a personal question.

 

post #72 of 105

Quote:

Originally Posted by xnor View Post

@Danneq:

 

There won't be a 1000 different opinions, of course, but if all boils down to "warm and detailed".. it might time to rethink some things.

I think that preferences are a different topic, but if you spend enough time talking to audio folk I can image someone to change his preferences from boom-tish to a more balanced (accurate?) reproduction - a good thing in my eyes.

 

I dislike those terms, there is no agreed upon (precise) definitions to those terms.  Its so vague, it really does not get the message across.  Its rather annoying when people use those terms.
 


Edited by High_Q - 5/26/10 at 1:00pm
post #73 of 105
Originally Posted by High_Q View Post

I dislike those terms, there is no agreed upon (precise) definitions to those terms. Its so vague, it really does not get the message across. Its rather annoying when people use those terms.


What would you propose instead for describing the meant characteristics? – Of course subjective perceptions can never be precise like a measuring instrument. Is this a reason to renounce exchanging them? I for one can quite precisely figure the described characteristic by above terms. You have to be aware that every pair of ears is different anyway, so there won't be 100% congruence with sonic perception. But it may still be enough to give a rough picture of the sound.

 

It would be a joke to use «objectivized» descriptions just for the sake of a seamingly more serious and scientific approach: «There seems to be a 0.25 dB boost of the lower midrange combined with similar increase of the region between 4 and 12 kHz...». That would be a laughable speculation (which moreover would turn out wrong when measured).
.


Edited by JaZZ - 5/26/10 at 1:44pm
post #74 of 105


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post



What would you propose instead for describing the meant characteristics? – Of course subjective perceptions can never be precise like a measuring instrument. Is this a reason to renounce exchanging them? I for one can quite precisely figure the described characteristic by above terms. You have to be aware that every pair of ears is different anyway, so there won't be 100% congruence with sonic perception. But it may still be enough to give a rough picture of the sound.

 

It would be a joke to use «objectivized» descriptions just for the sake of a seamingly more serious and scientific approach: «There seems to be a 0.25 dB boost of the lower midrange combined with similar increase of the region between 4 and 12 kHz...». That would be a laughable speculation (which moreover would turn out wrong when measured).
.


Wow! I agreed with every word you wrote, Jazz! Even if we might have different views when it comes to DAP, we can still agree on some things.

 

Personally I do not use "cold" and "warm". I might use "digital sounding" or "sharp" and "analogue sounding" or "smooth" instead. But it basically is the same as when others say "cold" and "warm".

post #75 of 105

@xnor

 

Well, I am gonna try to keep this short. However interesting our exchange is, it might be a bit off topic for this thread...

 

For me it is is all about preferences. Listening to music is not an exact science. Even though everyone (?) loves music, it is something we could live without. It is just "candy for our ears" (except artists we dislike can be like barbed wire to our ears).

In that sense, as an aesthetic "thing" that is completely unnecessary for our survival, but still makes life feel better, I think that there is no right or wrong. Sorry if I get too "far out" here and sound philosophical. But I have studied some philosophy during my university days...

My point is that when it comes to purely aesthetic things, preference is everything and science is pretty pointless.

That is why I used ice cream and food as an analogy. If we disregard the nutritional aspect of food, it has got aesthetic properties. We use our senses when we eat - taste, smell, sight, often touch and sometimes hearing too, and we get enjoyment from that. When we listen to music we use our hearing, and we get enjoyment from the music. So for me listening to music is simply an aesthetic diversion. I for one do not use my intellect when hearing music in the same way as when I read a book or watch a movie.

Perhaps wine would be a better analogy? There are wine connoisseurs who only drink fine vintage wine and would never dream of drinking some ordinary wine. For them wine is almost a science, just as audiophiles might see reproducing music as a science. But that does not mean that people who drink cheap wine from Chile or who like a bassy sound on their DAP are wrong.

 

I am sure that people's preferences can be changed. But if they are happy with what they like, why bother? It is not like they are lost souls who need to be rescued.

 

About people defending products in this case DAP:s, it is simply a matter of them having experience from using it. A DAP is supposed to reproduce music. All DAP:s do that. Whether they do it good or bad is an opinion even if it is based on tests. A DAP that skips randomly in songs and between tracks is not doing its job of reproducing music.

However if we are talking about reproducing music "transparently" some seem to do it better than others. But most people simply does not care. I for one do not care at all if a song in my DAP does not sound exactly as on CD. It depends on what you use the DAP for. I mainly use it outside when commuting and since I dislike to isolate myself from the world around me when out among people, I do not want to use IEM:s. Then I do not get isolation and I hear a lot of surrounding noise. But I am fine with that.

 

Thank you for explaining what is reproduced. Simply the soundwaves from the CD. Since this is DAP:s we are talking about, I think all brands do a good enough job to do that. For those of us who are not searching for a completely transparent sound it is enough. I dislike Apple and it's fanboys, but if iPod had built in custom EQ I wouldn't mind getting an iPod even if I do not like it that everyone and their grandmother has got one.

 

I know what you mean about the loudness war. I can hardly listen to "Vapor trails" by Rush no matter how much I would like too.

 

Actually, the only time I have heard hiss from any of my DAP:s is when I used a Fiio E3 headphone amp with my Sansa View. Later I bought a E5 to replace it and I have not heard anything since that. The Kenwood is suppose to hiss a lot, but I do not even hear a small trace of hiss with either my Yuin PK3, Sennheiser PX100 nor AKG K420. But if I used IEM:s I am sure that it would hiss a lot...

 

Before this discussion derails too much, it is best to stop and agree that we disagree. You are probably still convinced that I am wrong and you are right. I am likewise convinced that we have different preferences and opinions and that it is best to leave it at that.


Edited by Danneq - 5/27/10 at 2:03am
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