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Kenwood HD60GD9 tests - Page 2

post #16 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

Audiophiles (like me) always chose the device that sounds most transparent, the more so when the measurements are officially irrelevant for audibility..


Well if the measured differences are too small to be audible, do you just pick what you think or feel sounds better? At that point I'd expect people to take the device with better specs. That's what I tried to communicate.

 

(I know that some audiophiles think of graphs and measurements like they're something evil  but still ..)

post #17 of 27

 

Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Well if the measured differences are too small to be audible, do you just pick what you think or feel sounds better?

 

If you like it better that way: Yes!   (Nowadays you have to be careful with political correctness, especially in the science forum.)
 

Quote:
(I know that some audiophiles think of graphs and measurements like they're something evil  but still ..)

 

Hey, not me!    I've quasi grown up with measuring data (not really, but it sounds good).

.


Edited by JaZZ - 5/23/10 at 11:52am
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

If you like it better that way: Yes!   (Nowadays you have to be careful with political correctness, especially in the science forum.)

 

Hey, not me!    I've quasi grown up with measuring data (not really, but it sounds good)..


Okay, why not. About being careful with replies: I'm pedantic, as are you (I assume), but don't really care that much as long as the replies are honest and not some kind of "game of cat-and-mouse".

 

So what do you think about the stuff listed in the OPs post? Noise at -50dB, at full volume THD over 3% and crosstalk down to -50 ... why do they say it is "superior"? :D


Edited by xnor - 5/23/10 at 1:37pm
post #19 of 27
Originally Posted by xnor View Post


 

So what do you think about the stuff listed in the OPs post? Noise at -50dB, at full volume THD over 3% and crosstalk down to -50 ... why is this "superior"? :D

 

The marketing claims mean nothing to me.

 

Maybe another HiFiMan syndrome: poor measuring data and good sound. But 3% THD is too much for my taste and can be audible in a negative way (or, who knows, in a positive way). Crosstalk is negligible. Noise may be audible, at least with sensitive earphones, but doesn't represent a real sound-quality criterion if it doesn't bother. However, I don't deduce sonic characteristics from measuring data. From the reviews I take it that harmonic distortions aren't perceived as such, and if they're restricted to peaks, they may not be too relevant if at all.

 

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.

.

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

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.


Big question mark there, but I'm also enjoying mine. 

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post


Okay, why not. About being careful with replies: I'm pedantic, as are you (I assume), but don't really care that much as long as the replies are honest and not some kind of "game of cat-and-mouse".

 

So what do you think about the stuff listed in the OPs post? Noise at -50dB, at full volume THD over 3% and crosstalk down to -50 ... why do they say it is "superior"? :D



As I mentioned before if you are basing those numbers on the WaveSpectra chart shows then please take then with a pinch of salt I was able to get over 125% distortion on a sample I analyzed using it , unless you have the analysis bang-on the absolute peak of the wave and your FFT size is exactly = number of samples the results are wholly unreliable !

 

If you use it correctly you get one strong peak and a few spuriae if you see those extreme patterns such as the aparent aliasing after 20K I can pretty much guarantee it is not correctly run !


Edited by nick_charles - 5/23/10 at 2:57pm
post #22 of 27

I think its funny how even kenwood continues the fallacy that says a class D amp is a 'digital amp' lol this is a common mistake made by laymen, not audio manufacturers

post #23 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post

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.

post #24 of 27

Some addendum to my last post:

 

Listening some more outside with my Yuin PK3 I noticed 2 things:

1. I exaggerated the Kenwood's ability to recreate cymbals at lower bitrates. At 192kbps smaller crash and splash cymbals still sound more like the "fssss" sound fire makes when you throw water on it. I suppose that mostly depends on the bitrate. Bigger crash and splash cymbals sound more like metal being hit by wood. I will re-rip my music collection in higher bit rates (either VBR 0/192-320 or in CBR 320) and perhaps that will improve how smaller crash and splash cymbal sounds like.

2. On some older music, in this case "Another show" from the album Interview by Gentle Giant, all the different layers of instruments became almost too much for me with the current EQ setting I was using. The instrument separation almost made me dizzy as it was a bit difficult to make a cohesive whole out of the separate tracks. After I turned the treble down a few notches it became better. However, I feel that the instrument separation and detail level the Kenwood produces sometimes can make it difficult for the music to become one piece. My S9 does sound more "musical" in the sense that it seems to being the instruments together more.

 

Anyway, how drums and especially cymbals sound is not the be all end all for me. I enjoy all my DAP:s and as I mostly use them on the go and I do not use isolating earphones, I do not concentrate 100% on the music all the time. For a DAP that fails test, the Kenwood has an amazing ability to recreate the sound of cymbals and especially how cymbals in recordings are affected by the room they are recorded in. Usually drums are recorded by putting mikes on each drum and for the cymbals you use overhead mikes in an "X" configuration. The sounds that the mikes catch are not only directly from the cymbals but also from the sound being reflected off the walls in the room. The producer might choose to put reverb on the drum tracks (i.e. basically ALL music in the 80ies), but still the basic room's audio dynamics can be heard if you listen carefully enough. Of course I am not an expert, I just speak from practical experience. Anyhoo... it is that resonance of the cymbal's decay that the Kenwood reproduces in a much better way than all other DAP:s I have heard. Cymbals sound like they are made from metal.


Edited by Danneq - 5/24/10 at 4:05am
post #25 of 27

Originally Posted by Danneq View Post

 

The Clip must be really awsome sounding!


For clarification: It sounds in no way spectacular, just «right» (accurate, neutral) to my ears and with my IEMs (particularly my modded ER-4P). I'd say the iAudio 7 sounds more spectacular in the sense of more refined.
.

post #26 of 27

Sorry, I was just being a bit sarcastic. I am sure that the Clip sounds very nice. I wish Sansa had put the same audio chip in the View as they put in the Clip and Fuze. Or at least that they released a View+ with that chip. But it's not going to happen.  

 

What it finally boils down to is preference, and no two persons will have the exact same ones. Some will go for what they consider neutral and some will go for something fun.

 

My long writ about cymbals comes from not being completely pleased with how they sound on ALL mp3 players I have owned since I first got my Nomad Jukebox 3 in 2003. At lower bitrates (192) my Kenwood does bigger cymbals justice and they sound like I remember them sounding in real life. Lossless formats might replace that "fsss" sound small crash and splash cymbals makes in 192 encoded files with a more realistic sound, but to tell the truth I am happy with a maximum of CBR 320. DAP:s are not a way for me to reenact the music exactly as recorded. I think that is close to impossible and a bit like chasing after the rainbow.

 

For me it is enough that it sounds good. And I think it is the same for everyone, no matter if you prefer a neutral or a colored sound you want it to sound good. "Good" in this case is subjective and to me there is not right or wrong. To each, his own.

post #27 of 27

I've not published my loaded Sony A828 and A845 tests, but suffice to say, the latter pales in comparison. It also suffers artefacts (ticking sounds when paired with sensitive earphones). The sad part is the A845's LO isn't very good. Remember, Line Out doesn't automatically mean good.

 

Sony A845 LO and HPO tests with iBasso T3

 

I won't dispute the 'sound' of the Kenwood, but like some other audio-tailored DAP's, it isn't that great. It has a certain sound it wants to output, and that sound isn't as that close to the real signal. 

 

But THD jumping up under load is common, and actually, often loved. THD isn't a bad thing at all - IMD, the nasty swawing of frequencies, on the other hand, is. I reckon if no one knew of the THD and just heard the product, they might actually like the sound. 

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