Originally Posted by JaZZ
Another player I'm not interested in – since I've found my happiness with the Clip+ (8 GB, soon 40 GB). Perfect (?) measuring data with (almost) perfect sound to my ears.
The Clip must be really awsome sounding! I own a Sansa View which is not very well liked. However combined with the Fiio E5 for a bit of bass boost it sounds very nice.
Anyway, yesterday I listened a bit to my Kenwood HD20GA7 and during a Gentle Giant (or was it U.K.?) song, it struck me - this DAP can really recreate the sound of cymbals. There was a part of a song where the drummer was using the ride cymbal and after he finished using it, the ride kept resonating in a very life like way.
I admit again to not being an audiophile and being able to read a graph and instantly envision how it would sound like in my head, but for close to ten years I did play guitar in a metal band. Having heard drums both in the rehearsal room, on stage and in the studio (we never got as far as recording an album sadly), I think I know how cymbals are suppose to sound like in real life.
While all having good sound quality (otherwise I would not use nor keep them), none of my DAP:s (Cowon S9, Sansa View, Creative Zen Touch, ZVM, iRiver H120) can recreate that life like cymbal sound. Especially crash cymbals is difficult to recreate, this is even harder at lower mp3 bitrates (the file I listened to was encoded at CBR 192kps).
If the Clip can make cymbals sound like real life or at least closer to how it would sound like on a home setup I can understand why it is all the rage at this place. I just hope that people are not basing their purchases of DAP:s on how they perform in tests.
If you do not have the possibility to try before you buy and you want the best possible sound, I guess that going by test results is a good solution.
Like most companies trying to push a product, I think that Kenwood became a bit like snake oil sellers in the old wild west. "It is superior to everything that came before", "it will cure all wounds, including those caused by injun arrows"!
When such talk is dissected it is often shown to be hot air. But to me the fact is that the Kenwood HD20GA7 TRULY is a very good sounding DAP and the HD60GD9 which was released about 2 years later should sound better (apparently the hiss issue was reduced in later Kenwoods, not that I have ever heard any).
Since the purpose of a DAP is to decode a music file and turn it into music, I cannot agree in a million years that the Kenwood DAP:s are inferior. In tests they might not do well, but in playing music they serve their purpose very well and produce quite a life like result. More so than other DAP:s. So it would be great if more people got to listen to this DAP.
In 2008 JVC and Kenwood merged (who owns who is not very clear to me, but apparently Matsushita i.e. Panasonic owns JVC), and shortly after that Kenwood discontinued their line of HDD DAP:s. Now they release flash base DAP:s, but apparently they are not as good sounding as the old HDD players. JVC also releases flash based DAP:s and these apparently sound a bit better.