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post #61 of 75
Thread Starter 

You're a brave one, atsukita.  If those mods work correctly, the results must be fascinating.  The standard H120 is still my best source to my iBasso D1.  The sound is pretty amazing.  I'm curious to know what kind of improvements there would be with a better DAC/amp.  Both i2s and better clock should really kill a lot of jitter and make for some interesting results.  Have you been able to measure the results at all, before and after?

post #62 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packgrog View Post

You're a brave one, atsukita.  If those mods work correctly, the results must be fascinating.  The standard H120 is still my best source to my iBasso D1.  The sound is pretty amazing.  I'm curious to know what kind of improvements there would be with a better DAC/amp.  Both i2s and better clock should really kill a lot of jitter and make for some interesting results.  Have you been able to measure the results at all, before and after?

 

I have no objective mechanical measurement result for these modification.

 

Following is my impression.

 

TOSLINK -> SPDIF:  Noise floor improvement.  High tone impacts are better.

SPDIF -> I2S:  This was big change.  Center dizzy feeling was eliminated. Smashed feeling at high impact tone was eliminated.

                      Low tone (especially Bass) was improved - more deep Hz feeling.  High tone also shifted to higher Hz.

                      Also resolution feeling is better. (feels increase music instruments in same music. smile.gif)

Crystal replacement: Sound resolution improvement feeling.  Mainly for high tone.

 

In my understanding, iHP's SPDIF/Toslink module seems weakness of iHP digital out.

 

 > I'm curious to know what kind of improvements there would be with a better DAC/amp.

I think iHP modification will gives better influence to DAC such as iBasso D1 level too.

Portable DAP like iHP designed with many compromises,

still keep improvement possibility even if it is digital out. (especially, jitter)

 

Unfortunately, no portable DAC equipped I2S connection, needs to mod or DIY.

Some report in Japan, iHP I2S doesn't work with standard condition of (famous) Buffalo II DAC.

(needs software modification)

 

iHP_.jpg


Edited by atsukita - 5/18/11 at 6:50pm
post #63 of 75

thats really unfortunate, i will have to confirm this, because i could not be bothered wiring up the needed flip flops to change i2s modes, perhaps on the next gen pcb i will add them along with a suitable set of i2s input and output connectors, probably hirose smd u.fl or w.fl.

 

below is the latest addition to my portable buffalo on the test bench, a proper regulator and battery charge manager pcb with toslink and digital volume control onboard connecting to the ES9018 onboard volume. with balanced output to my jh13 and hd600 the sound is unheard of for portable; with only scarce other diy efforts and the far less flexible and unobtainium jh3a in the same league imo. better than what can be attained by carrying 3 or 4 boxes as is needed to do this any other way. now i can get proper front and rear panels machined and draw a line under the project till the next addition, which may well be those flip fops, i'll test it out to confirm whether or not it works as is with sabre.

 

the clock upgrade is cool, but pretty pointless with my setup, since the onboard clock resamples everything asynchronously at >32/1.5mhz using an 80mhz clock and the mclk from the transport is thrown away. increasing the clock speed, especially to one that is a kinda odd multiple to continue using the same low 16/44 sample rate wont improve jitter, probably makes it worse tbh, especially using a leaded clock with longish leads and without a ground plane, or additional decoupling. it will also decrease battery life as if it is the clock the mcu and dsps are running from all of them will be running at a higher speed too and thus use more energy. there are plenty of clocks of high quality available in that same size package as the one you pulled and vost run on 3.3v, so finding a higher spec drop in would produce better performance, but look for specs like phase noise, rather than clock speed.

 

i'm a little bit skeptical of the possible improvement using i2s with less than ideal connectors, airwired unshielded wiring and longish connection to the dac vs that caused by a proper pcb for spdif coax input with transformer isolation as in my unit, i'll still give it a go to confirm this and thanks for proving it works, rather than just theoretically in my head.

 

for sure i have to thank you for blazing the trail with the i2s mod, i had only got as far as identifying the correct pins and dropping it after getting my spdif inputs working so well. i2s is favorable if done well with short connections and a pcb, plus would also lower battery drain on my unit and extend battery life, which currently sits at around 7hrs driving jh13; not bad considering all the stuff i'm running.

 

 

will post some pics when i get the new panels done and case it up. 

 

fully functional on battery wooh! 02 small.jpg


Edited by qusp - 9/27/11 at 8:39am
post #64 of 75

confirmed, as its using a philips chip its using the philips or modified left justified i2s format, this can be used with buffalo either by using 7hc series chip hardware convertor solution, or by changing the registers in the sabre chip via a change in the firmware. 

 

or by using a metronome or similar asrc sample convertor, which i actually have, but not sure about the power consumption, so if the power it uses is similar to what my toslink and spdif comparator boards are using i'll install it and allow it to be switched on and off. I already have current and a misc regulator set aside for additions, so thats no problem

 

that would also reclock and upsample to 24/192 as well if i wanted


Edited by qusp - 9/27/11 at 10:28am
post #65 of 75

Greetings Atsukita,

 

I'm liking the idea to mod my iHP-140 for I2S. However I'm intrigued on the compatibility with DACs. You say something on reports from Japan that have found that. Do you have more information on the topic to be able to pick up the right DAC?

 

I've been looking on a DAC upgrade. I'm currently using an iBasso D12 just as a desktop DAC and I'm starting to feel all my music really shallow. I need more attack, more precision, more resolution! Maybe with just a DAC would be enough. Maybe with just a better DAC with optical-in should be enough, but no! this is head-fi LOL, we already know that!

 

I've even thinking if Rockbox could upsample in bits and khz to 24/176.4 for the optical-out of the iHPs. I find it as a cheaper solution than using my PC and an expensive USB reclocker or a DAC with a good USB implementation, they are expensive. Nevertheless soon I'm not going to be able to use my PC for any music so I'll have to have a DAP for my requirements and since I have an H140, why not pull the trigger on this mod!

 

I won't ask for DAC recommendations here. I would get the OPUS if it weren't out of stock always. But what else you think could work with this I2S mod? Maybe I'll try to fit an HDMI port on the iRiver, maybe a mini HDMI port instead of the USB. I'm seen that this port is being used in the latest DACs with I2S input.

 

Any suggestion on the topic are welcome from anyone :)

Thanks

post #66 of 75
Thread Starter 

No idea about hdmi or i2s dac options, but there's a couple of things to consider for getting the most out of your H140 and D12 (I'm jealous!).

 

First off, if you don't have Rockbox, get it.

 

Secondly, while Rockbox will play just about any file, it resamples anything that isn't 44.1kHz, and they've openly admitted that their resampler is poor.  ALWAYS resample to 44.1 before loading onto the player.  The dither algorithm is not ideal either, so sicking with redbook is best.  If you can get a hold of iZotope RX 2 for resampling and dithering hi-res files to redbook, I highly recommend it, and can recommend some optimal settings.

 

Lastly, and this has been a big win for me: always turn on dithering.  I know I just said that the dithering algorithm isn't optimal.  It's not.  But Rockbox always converts audio to 24-bit before doing any sound manipulation, then converts back to 16-bit as the last step.  So, if you use something like ReplayGain or any EQ settings, it happens after it's been scaled to 24-bit, then converted back down.  Turning on dithering helps prevent aliasing, so that the highs sound more natural and you get a more 3-dimensional image.  Your battery will drain a bit more quickly, but it does sound better.

 

If you keep all of this in mind, the H1x0 can sound pretty spectacular.  I actually use it more often than the direct toslink connection on my MacBook, which handles full hi-res output.

 

Cheers!

post #67 of 75

sorry if it has been discussed before..

 

but, what's the advantage of doing this mod?? the original h120 already outputs optical out and it is similar to coaxial done in this mod as far as i can tell

 

explanations? confused.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by atsukita View Post

iHP metal S/PDIF mod

 

I succeeded to get metal S/PDIF out with iriver iHP-120 ,140.

(same as coax mod but I don't use coax jack and cable...)

 

Use iHP's line-in mini-jack for S/PDIF metal out for easy modification.

S/PDIF out signal is "R" with this wiring.

IMG_0419.jpg

 

I cut pattern of line-in Jack L&R, and connect S/PDIF.

following red line is cut part.

 

to access this side of board, needs to remove LCD display.

you need to remove solder for LCD back light.

IMG_0397.jpg

 

So you can enjoy metal S/PDIF output with mini-jack.

May be mini BNC or RCA jack is better for signal quality but it will more difficult to install and fit to enclosure.

 

and...  other part of S/PDIF out is follows  if you need...


 

 


Edited by i_djoel2000 - 12/29/11 at 6:42pm
post #68 of 75
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_djoel2000 View Post

but, what's the advantage of doing this mod?? the original h120 already outputs optical out and it is similar to coaxial done in this mod as far as i can tell

Jitter gets introduced during the conversion from optical to electrical spdif.

post #69 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packgrog View Post

 

Jitter gets introduced during the conversion from optical to electrical spdif.



hmm, do you mean jitter gets introduced when the digital signal is converted to optical output of the h120? is that what you are trying to say?

 

the mod seems pretty easy and straight forward. too bad i left my h120 in my home town :(


Edited by i_djoel2000 - 12/29/11 at 11:13pm
post #70 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauss1777 View Post

Greetings Atsukita,

 

I'm liking the idea to mod my iHP-140 for I2S. However I'm intrigued on the compatibility with DACs. You say something on reports from Japan that have found that. Do you have more information on the topic to be able to pick up the right DAC?

 

I've been looking on a DAC upgrade. I'm currently using an iBasso D12 just as a desktop DAC and I'm starting to feel all my music really shallow. I need more attack, more precision, more resolution! Maybe with just a DAC would be enough. Maybe with just a better DAC with optical-in should be enough, but no! this is head-fi LOL, we already know that!

 

I've even thinking if Rockbox could upsample in bits and khz to 24/176.4 for the optical-out of the iHPs. I find it as a cheaper solution than using my PC and an expensive USB reclocker or a DAC with a good USB implementation, they are expensive. Nevertheless soon I'm not going to be able to use my PC for any music so I'll have to have a DAP for my requirements and since I have an H140, why not pull the trigger on this mod!

 

I won't ask for DAC recommendations here. I would get the OPUS if it weren't out of stock always. But what else you think could work with this I2S mod? Maybe I'll try to fit an HDMI port on the iRiver, maybe a mini HDMI port instead of the USB. I'm seen that this port is being used in the latest DACs with I2S input.

 

Any suggestion on the topic are welcome from anyone :)

Thanks


I presume hes meaning that its directly transmitted as optical spdif, which is triggered directly from an electrical impulse, with more jitter in converting it back to electrical signals.

 

as to above : for starters very few optical inputs will accept higher than 24/96 even if you could get it out of the iriver (which you cant) and then theres the added problem of trhe quality of the higher bitrates in the D12, usually 24/96 is the sweetspot and 192 actually comes with more noise, not less.

 

there is no point of putting an hdmi port on the iriver without modifying to LVDS, the i2s input on 1 or 2 dacs does not make it a standard and besides they dont use the hdmi for hdmi, but lvds transport of i2s with the only thing related to HDMI being the connector chosen. for this you would need to convert the i2s to lvds balanced i2s to send and then back to i2s from lvds in the opus and i'll be frank, you dont have the skills/knowledge if you dont know this already. you would need to either buy the TP transporter (which needs another power supply on both sides and is unlikely to fit in the iriver) or design the transievers yourself. you also need to know that the dac will accept the philips standard i2s that the iriver uses, rather than, or as well as pcm standard i2s. you will also need to reclock the i2s lest it contain a very jittery clock from the iriver, as the iriver cannot be slaved to the dac, it must be master.

 

personally unless you are planning on reclocking and unless you have the skills to do all of the above quite cleanly, stick to spdif, standard non LVDS i2s is very vulnerable to noise as its only designed for short pieces of PCB trace, thinking somehow that it will be lower jitter than spdif electrical or optical inherently is a fallacy

 


Edited by qusp - 12/31/11 at 4:34am
post #71 of 75

Who compares a digital output of this device and QLS QA 350 WAV?

post #72 of 75

Thanks so much for the input qusp. Actually what I was looking for was more information as to know if the mod made sense with an HDMI port and you answered exactly what was needed to be known.

 

I think searching always for perfection while keeping it affordable it's always hard. Now I'm thinking in getting an Audio-GD Digital Interface to reclock and upsample the signal from the iRiver. Nevertheless the DI doesn't have optical input, so now I'm wondering if the mod posted by i_djoel2000 would be worth it to just reclock and upsample the signal and get an almost jitter free result from the DI. Anyway I still would have to get a DAC. My intentions with upsampling is to get the most from a DAC like the Yulong Sabre D18, but maybe would be better to just go with a full solution instead of a reclocker and a DAC separately.

post #73 of 75
Thread Starter 

Keep in mind that upsampling will only help with accuracy, but won't actually improve the sound of the album.  With the H1x0, you will always be limited to 16/44 (redbook).  Rockbox forces everything to 16/44, and the stock firmware is even more limited.  It *IS* very good at playing back redbook files without other corruption, but it's limited.

 

Meanwhile, I found out this week through experimentation that the iPhone 4S (and presumably other recent models) can handle 24/48 ALAC files, which can indeed sound much better than even carefully created redbook files.  Due to this discovery, and the fact that the 4S actually works surprisingly well with the Denon AH-D2000, I might finally be retiring my H120.  It's had a VERY good run, though.  Paired with a proper DAC, it can still sound better than the 4S with the same redbook files, though, so it's still a very good unit.

post #74 of 75

and those 24/48 are upsampled from 16/44 too? if not, how? all major releases still are

post #75 of 75
Thread Starter 

I use a lot of hi-res vinyl rips, recorded at 24/192 or 24/96.  I use iZotope RX 2 Advanced to resample to 48 or 44.1 kHz, and if creating redbook files, I use it to dither to 16-bit.  Dithering helps reduce distortion in the conversion from 24 to 16 bits, but I can still hear the difference.  Usually there is a ringing in the highs on 16-bit versions that is usually not present in the 24-bit originals.  Dithering curves that can mostly eliminate that ringing will either flatten the soundstage (ie: no noise shaping) or cause a bump in the low end that makes the bass sound like a fart blast with bass-heavy headphones (my headphone choices make low-end boost VERY noticeable).

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