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Idea: Portaphile DAP - lets work on it together....

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

At the begining I would like to admit that Im very sorry for mine english. Well, mine english grammar is very low ;/ I had been learning english for 6 years, but Ive werent really intrested with english(I always loved chemistry and biology :D), so Ive never used to learn english at home and didnt make english homework.
And, I never use any transalotrs or dictonaries, so some words can be spelled wrong xd

..... man, what a long preamble....

There wasnt and there wont be any portable amp + dac that drive iems to the level of hq home dac+amp, unless someone will make a device that wont be supposed to make great profit, but to make us all happy and make a good profit.

Hm801 besides its dual pcm1704u-k dac chipped doesnt offer much for its price. Especially it lacks much in quality.
I dont care about sdhc - its good, dont mind about battery life - 8 hours isnt that bad - if thats a problem you could get extra battery to swap, but damn, if youre paying 800$ for a player you would like to get great amp onboard, without spending next 160 on GAME amp or 400$ on amp like pico slim/protector. And you would like to get something which look and is done to be worth 800$. The present enclosure of hm801 is made worse than on 120-200$ sflo2, which still leaves much to desire, and its unable to compare with well-made daps like cowon x5l, sony x1050, iRiver Ihp140 or iPod Classic.
If the hm801 would be made as good as Cowon X5l or RSA Protector, overall quality-wise - i mean the enclosure, the amp card, Hifiman would get much more customers.

Solid, very solid player(magnesium body with rubber layer on it like the on Canon Eos-1Ds would be great - my father got it, so I know how that kind of material make things very light and very solid and hard to let it fall off our hands because of the rubber and its hard to get scrathes on it) with dual/quade pcm1704u-k chips; onboard amp with quality of pico slim but with more power and with gain set to 10-32ohm and digital volume control; s/pdif line-out(to feed jh3a and home external dac's as a digital transport), better interface(and im not talking about non-audiophile touch screen, but about a interface similar to rockbox on clip/ihp140), it could even have a single-color black/white screen - that would save some power so the player would have more battery life. Then, it shouldnt have usb-dac and coax-dac and any other dac besides player-function and digital line-out. The black-gold theme and simply design that hm801 already got, is great. Simply design doesnt make other people around us thinking that the thing we are carrying in our backpack is worth to stole it and simply, solid design of devices makes them high-end, like Linn devices.

To people who think that hm801 is good to have usb-dac and coax-dac:

Things that are made to be everything in one are just a shit, arent those?

If youre buying a home dac like Reference One or PSAudio PWD you want to get a great dac for 2000$, not a interface/transport/cd/dac/amp in one, since for the price of 2000$ its just impossible.

The price could be even 1000-1200$. Since there are over 10 guys that got hm801+protector+ic+twag+jh13/jh13 and over 200 guys that got hm801 with iems or x1050/imod/classic/sony a/clip/fuze with lod/jack-jack and with amp like d4/pico/pico slim/rx/arrow/protector + twag/standard cable + iems, I dont think that spending over 1000$ on a dap that will surpass those setups will be a problem.

Well, Im thinking of buying hm801 or maybe(i hope so) a succesor of hm801 with(i hope so) 4 x pcm1704u-k and pico slim or a succesor and make on my own a diy player based on those. Just because those wrist bands, external amps, lods, jack-jack make me sick. It doesnt look high-end. And Im not going to pay 1000$ for rig that doesnt look high-end. But well, I will do it if in the next 1-2 years there wont come any commercial dap that will match those desires.


The problem, im trying to solve in this topic is to:

1. See if there are more(more than 10 guys) that are ready to pay 1000$ on a right dap, that will suit all their portable needs.

2. See if there is a manufacture(thinking of: Justin, Tyll, Ray, qusp, Nankai, ryuzoh, Jerry, iBasso) or even small home-based manufacture that is ready to make something similar or maybe(I hope so) better than that what I have described
3. See if there are people that got similar ideas.

post #2 of 7

Czesc Kuba, this is a long, long, long and expensive way. Why don't you just make a shortcut and buy yourself a Sonosax SX-DA2 (that's Swiss-made portable professional DAC\AMP of very high quality) and connect it via optical to proven portable transport - good old iriver h140. You can get a better sound that that, but it will be very difficult and very expensive. This way you will get very high quality, desktop-class DAC (I know that some people are using it in their big hi-end systems and claim them to be "the best"), that can be used as an ultimate, no-compromise portable solution. Think of it as a pocket Nagra :)

Sorry it doesn't look high end. It is bulky, and you can kill with it. And you will need a bag to carry it around. But if quality is what you are looking for - that would not matter to you, right?

The only drawback is that Sonosax ceased making them some time ago, and it is fairly expensive ($1500). So if you act fast you can still find some at pro distributors (or if you are very very lucky on used market).

Edited by abyrvalg - 7/16/10 at 3:16am
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Well, I was about that I dont want big devices.

And I want a dap.

Hifiman 801 already is way better choice than using ihp+external amp+external dac like sonosax or so.

If you read my whole post I was tellling that I want a ONE device that got great dac section, good amp section and is portable. Telling portable I mean something with not bigger/bulkyer size than hm801. I would like to see something with the size of Cowon X5l or iHp-140, but maybe a bit bigger. The prior is -> great low gain amp for iems + great dac/player section - but all in one device.


Anyway thank you for taking part in this topic ;)


post #4 of 7
Well, good luck, maybe in 2-4 years something like that will show up. I hope so too, because carrying around one brick is better that carrying aroun 2 bricks. However for me the sound quality is primary, so that brick must be way better than Sonosax, and that is very unlikely. But who knows? HFM was "just somebody's dream" a couple years ago, and now it's available :) 3maj sie! :)
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

You know polish a bit I see :)

Ty też się 3maj :) Pozdrawiam


Well, let the topic roll!

post #6 of 7

I think there is interest, but its a very big undertaking that many would believe cannot be achieved without massive resources. my unit will not include the transport either and it wont be for sale, I dont wish to make anything but what is exactly what I want (thats why I started building it) it is larger than HM801 and much more than your budget for no compromises. I would also not choose the 1704, but instead am using the sabre 9018.



good luck

post #7 of 7

Given the gears that you're selling/sold, you're one of the 'wealthy' head-fiers here.  However, lot's of head-fiers consider the 800 USD 801 way too expensive.  Only 10 head-feirs want a new machine is not enough to sustain a new DAP.  May be the new amp module for 801 would be a rescue for you.  Also, 801 + pico should be a good combination according to some head-fiers here--although I can see that you've already sold the pico slim.


For the price you're offering to the spec you drafted, I simply can't see how it can be achieved within a year and I doubt it can be within two years anyway.  Maybe this is one of the reasons why so few head-fiers are involved in this thread.


Given the JH3A, DAP designers need to think carefully what the future of the best DAP should be, IMHO.  


 I look forward to the dream machine that you drafted and wish the best for this thread.






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