warp08 - eagerly anticipating your review.
Review: HiFiMAN HM-602 vs. HM-801 Comparison (56K Warning) - Page 6
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Exactly. No matter what you improve, there will always be the next bottleneck--sorry about our wallets--somewhere. But, yes, the biggest single upgrade is the headphones/IEMs, but you still need a quality source, too. And luckily, it seems the price of entry for a really decent quality one has just dropped to a new low. Indeed, the difference between the retail pricing of an HM-801 vs. the 602's current sale price nearly pays for a pair of JH5 Pros....
IEMs are the most important link if you have a decent source. Upgrade to an 801 over the 602 with mediocre headphones probably makes no sense IMHO.
Edited by cooperpwc - 9/30/10 at 9:48pm
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Based on what warp08 has said (IMO) you would do better getting the HM-602 and a better headphone. IMO, headphones come first in the order of importance (in an audio chain). Getting the Westone ES5 will probably give you a larger improvement over the HM-801.
I quite like the UM3X.
But let me give a real world example (i.e. my real world). My iMod and Stepdance have made my ES5 sing. It's amazing. However if I had to choose between the iMod and Stepdance with a universal IEM like the UM3X or Triple-fi's or the ES5 from an iPhone headphone out, I would choose the latter every time.
Of course when you get the source, amp and IEMs all humming, that 's when things get really fun.
(And I will leave further analysis of this to those who have actually heard the 801 and 602. I sure want to...)
Edited by cooperpwc - 10/8/10 at 11:17am
Passing on the ES5 for the 801? Not sure about that one. Unless your current source is horrendous, I'd go for the ES5 by selling the other two and then look at my source.
Is this officially confirmed by Fang ?
Yes, he has disclosed this detail to me in person at the Charlotte, Can Fest when I asked about the HM-801 FW updates. The two devices share the controller chip so the same limitations apply.
Well, thats very unfortunate ... perhaps Fang should have studied this subject a little bit more prior to designing the HM 801...
Since I have already transformed all my single file albums to one file albums for the HM 801 and the ability to address single tracks is not that important for me (it's more like an old cassette recorder now, regarding the playback functionality ) I will make do with that.
Maybe I will also try this cue sheet thing ...
Abandoning all the unnecessary stuff I have now reduced my HM 801 Menu to:
Update Media File
Navigating the SD Card is easy via artist/album related folder structure.
By the way, I've no problems with inserting and ejecting the card with the player powered on (folder structure is immediately correct).
Booting the player takes only 5 to 10 sec. with full 32 GB card.
And most important it sounds still great
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The lack of gapless feature just kills my thoughts on buying any of these 2 , since most of my listening is done on albums with gapless feature as a must for the correct listening
oh well i guess we will wait for the 403
If you listen to albums which should and have to be played gapless (as I do too) I think tracks are not that important in the first place; and an easy solution to have such albums played gapless on the 801/602 (and perhaps the 403 too ...) is to join the original WAV (WAV joiner or foobar2000) or FLAC (foobar2000) files in a one file copy. Takes about some seconds.
Perhaps this is even better than have software (firmware) or hardware perform gapless playing on the fly ... (no etxra live calculations necessary)
Given the one file album track; to have the alternative to jump to single track positions inside, it would just great to have the possibility to use the cue sheet feature in such a way as to have not an extra menu entry for cue sheets (as it is the case now), but to implement this transparently, so that when you navigate to the folder containing the album via SD Card menu entry and there is a cue sheet file available, the folder list should just display the single racks. That would be great