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Colorfly CK4, finally some competition for the HifiMan 60X ? - Page 14

post #196 of 268

To be honest with the in ear headphone (Audio-Technica ATH-CKM55) I really cannot feel any changes in terms of soundstage.

With the full headphone (SUPERLUX HD668B) without the amp is nearly unusable (cannot drive).

I don't think that Headstage amp make any modification in the soundstage, openness...

just works transparently, with a bit darkening (give a littlebit more accent on the deep sounds).

Don't except any miracle happening with proper amplifier, but this is right.

post #197 of 268

Just got mine ... some very initial "observations" (may not be original -- haven't exhaustively explored this or other related threads/sites) ...


FUNCTIONALITY (or lack of!):

- Wrong bit-rate/sampling-freq display for any-rate MP3 (seems to be stuck on "16bit/44.1kHz"). Maybe stuck with this display message for other audio fmts, too -- but even this new player (late Aug. 2011 manuf.) can't play high-rez FLAC, so I can't say for sure.

- Does not play APE files, contrary to to its pub'd specs.

- No way to defeat spectrum graphics.

- Getting into English menu not obvious and no English manual avail. AFAIK



Compared to souped-up QLS-QA350 and T51 ... the stock CK4 sounds cleaner (overall) with deeper/more-detailed bass ... BUT  "slower" (sense of pace, etc. ... almost like slowing pitch control on CDP or turntable).

CK4's HO best of all the DAP I now have (tho' not enough output pwr, even for IEMs). But I prefer cross-feed w/HQ amping so HO is useless to me.



Worthless provided USB cable and AT C770 ear buds. When I saw the C770s retail for a whopping $25, I thought how much better that $ could've been invested into the DAP itself. Colorfly is supposed to be a 'high-end' brand -- don't they realize most audiophiles already have HQ 'phones and cables/accessories?! ColorFLY ... get your act together ... and button your FLY...



A lot more NEGATIVE criticism on the way as yet another worthless DAP burns in and gets put thru its paces ... so don't go too far away!


EDIT 1 (update: ~48hrs burn in):


-Couple of freeze-ups, one on a video. Once it would not turn on.

-The selectable "Digital Filters" (Fast/Slow) pretty much useless (I can't hear much diff.). Some more info on them in the CS4398 datasheet.

-The 0/180 phase-angle selector is a very welcome option ... but inconveniently located via "back-end" Settings menu. It should be right there in the "playing" window -- like EQ, Repeat, etc. --  as phase can vary from track to track.

-Does not get too warm during PB or charge... a good thing.

-Can be manipulated in one hand; single-handed grasp of CK4 seems secure/confident -- a refreshing change from T51/S:Flo2. Alas, with winter/ski/bike gloves ... unglove, pls.

-Photo and eBook viewing possible while Music playing. A good feature with Photo slide show option.

SONICS, etc.: Improving steadily as burn-in progresses ... yes, no reason to get T51 or QLS now for those in same-$ market ... maybe Fiio's long-awaited high-rez will be better. I paid about $180 USD for the CK4 -- I know this is a bit lower than normal, but at a "price": TaobaoFOCUS (USA) ordering is more labor-intensive.



Unit becomes quite warm during charging.

Runs moderately warm during operation. Probably hotter for more-CPU-intensive apps like video, FLAC and high-rez.

Edited by alphaman - 9/7/11 at 5:30pm
post #198 of 268

CK5 seems to be coming.

post #199 of 268


Edited by alphaman - 9/5/11 at 7:08pm
post #200 of 268
Originally Posted by isao2k8 View Post

CK5 seems to be coming.

Read into that Forum posting a bit ...

CK5 has no LO.

Uses a newer but much "cheaper" DAC CS4353: Bulk-rate price: CS4353 $2.07 (Mouser) vs. CS4398 $6.30 (Digikey). Older DACs like TI's 1792 and 1704 (used in HiFiman 801) and AD18xx still very competitive. Cirrus's own product page still claims the CS4398 -- not CS4353 -- as their "flagship". Don't see upsampler (SRC) chip, either, like orig. C4. For a true high-end DAP (note A = AUDIO!!), wish they'd ditch noise/hash-adding video (& related frills like eBook, games, photo viewer) -- one reason QLS sounds good is it has simple low-noise (videoless) circuitry and  simple LCD display.


Couple of other notes  ... and these are mostly intended to ... uh ... assist ... struggling DAP designers and manufacturers who are spying in on our comments (of course!) and rely on our feedback for free help with their engineering and beta-testing ... did you corporates and manufs' think us "end users" would not notice that fact? ;-)


Anyway, let's do some more homework for these folks ...


The "high-end" DAP/PMP market is JUST starting to get NICELY competitive. The Fiio X3 uses dual (differential)  Wolfson DACs (like T51, SFlo2) -- a good thing. The CK4 offers selectable digital filters. This could be taken to a much further extent by having the main DSP (aka "main chip" or decoder chip) do some important number-crunching "in-house" -- namely, newer minimum-phase and "apodizing" digital filtering -- ala Meridian, Ayre, Cambridge Audio, etc; I think the Wolfson DACs offer these filters as software-selectable features -- some details:


Linear phase ‘soft knee filter’
Minimum phase ‘soft knee filter’
Linear phase brickwall filter
Minimum phase apodising filter
Linear phase apodising filter


Going back to the C4 design (not CK4)  ... I noted earlier that a possible upgrade to its topology may be using dual CS4398 DACs (those along with the preceding SRC upsampling chip it already has). There's more than enough footprint space for it on the existing PCB, it doesn't eat up that much juice, and it's cheap (~$6.30USD in bulk). A high-end (= high-$) outboard DAC by Bryston (BDA-1) offers these features ... for $2K! FWIW, it got a rave review in Stereophile  in Feb 2010 ...

The Bryston BDA-1 [base $: 2,000] let me enjoy the best-sounding digital playback I've ever heard in my listening room, outshining even Bryston's own BCD-1 CD player [$2695 ]. This might be related to the fact that the BDA-1 has two Crystal CS4398s vs the BCD-1's single chip.

 Note that the BDA-1 uses a Burr-Brown SRC4392 sample rate-converter chip for upsamping, not a CIRRUS LOGIC CS8422 SRC device used in the Colorfly C4.


Parting deep thoughts for DAP "designers" and product manufs....

First, you're welcome for all the free engineering help and beta testing we the ever-cash-strapped and endlessly-deserving end-users do for you ;)

Given the above-noted info (holy insights as far as you're concerned!) ... we NOW know how much better DAPs and audio gear can be. We also know how much/little some of the base components (DAC chip: $6, etc) are worth.

We're, henceforth, expecting cracker-jack, maximum-bang-for-the-buck gear, that concomitantly features unmatched usability/ergonomics, day-to-day reliability and decades-long durability ... (no more monkey biz like this) ... and while you're at it, throw in rapid delivery and overall superb customer service. Ya feel me? Ya get what i'm friggin' sayin? Ya smell me? Do you understand the extent of what i have just told you?  Kapish? Oh, and for politics sake, I've gotta add the de facto winkey emoticon ... there you go:  ;-)

Edited by alphaman - 9/6/11 at 1:28am
post #201 of 268
Originally Posted by isao2k8 View Post

CK5 seems to be coming.


The CK5 has the RK2816 from Rockchip. This Device could have Android, which is a good thing, but 600Mhz is not much to handle Android...


EDIT: here are more pics of the CK5: http://bbs.imp3.net/thread-10436620-1-1.html



Edited by RAFA - 9/6/11 at 7:20am
post #202 of 268
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

I posted it but took it down a today for the lack of interest, pretty much like all my threads here on head fi,  nobody commented, rated, subscribed or really cared at all so nobody will get the video review


-keep your headphones unplugged when you turn it off and on, the player has a loud pop sound when powering up and down

-laid back and smooth sound, expansive soundstage big enough to do the ultrasone edition 8 justice

-excellent sound quality, best I have ever heard.  Have not heard the j3, but i did own the s9 and did not want to keep it upon first listen, I do want to keep the colorfly

-Can't view SD card and internal storage on the player at the same time

-no playlists, whatever is on your ck4s hard drive is your playlist, you can shuffle play all those songs, cannot shuffle play SD card media if your media is stored in albums.  Meaning if your file is a CD album on your SD card, you can only shuffle if you are viewing that album only.  Cannot shuffle all media on the SD card.

-Album art is supported, whoever said it did not is a liar

-Solid Build construction, feels moderately heavy and does not feel cheap at all, buttons are tactile and feel good

-Sd card slot is not hard to use, you might have to dig your finger nail in a bit to poke snap it in and out but its not bothersome

-Video and Image Quality is really bad, does not support any true HD video.  Image quality is horrid.  

-5 band custom EQ only, very basic.  Presets sound terrible, "Normal" EQ setting sounds fantastic.

-Better alternative to the HM601?  Might be, might not be.  Its a big longer, but its much thinner and equally as wide.  It fits into my pocket better than the HM601 and will pair with portable amps MUCH better.

-Does not have anywhere near the output colorfly claimed it does.  It does not drive my Edition 8 as well as my sansa fuze does, both at max volumes.  The Colorfly sounds lacking, smooth and airy at max volume and for some classical the player is not loud enough at all.  No punch to it what so ever, no snap or kick factor the sansa fuze will offer at moderate to high levels.  However it sounds significantly more clear and vast, more spacious and airy


-This player seemed to be made for storage and home source replacement, not for portable use.  The stage is smooth and laid back, natural sounding and not punchy, with that I think this was done to allow for use with any type of amp you want to, avoid any meshing problems from source > amp > headphones.  It takes the source out of the equation due to its sound presentation.  It is unbiased.  This is a great thing for anyone who wants a home source or has a great portable amp.



Thx U . I love your review MX980 and this one

Can u give me ur impression when u use CK4 with MX980 and compare it with Sony A or X if u can .

Do U think CK4 + MX980 suit for metal

Thx U very much :D



post #203 of 268



The CK5 ia a 3D PMP. That means you can watch 3D - video without 3D-goggles.

post #204 of 268

Could anyone compare the DAC section only of ck4 and sflo2?

post #205 of 268

Originally Posted by RAFA View Post
The CK5 has the RK2816 from Rockchip. This Device could have Android, which is a good thing, but 600Mhz is not much to handle Android... [...]


The CK5 ia a 3D PMP. That means you can watch 3D - video without 3D-goggles.

No longer sure where Colorfly's priorities are with the CKx series -- i.e, video/games FIRST, then audio? Etc.


As far as the CPU speed on the main chip ... the faster you cycle, all else held equal, the noisier the digital environment becomes. Video and game apps require fast CPUs, of course.  However, you only need a FRACTION of that speed for high-rez audio. For Red-Book std (16-bit/44.1khz), e.g., the QLS-QA350 uses the 40MHz DSPIC33FJ128GP708. The 40MHz speed is slow -- the main reason the QA350 can't process FLAC. But slower CPU speeds can mean importantly-less noise -- not sure how much this factor affects the QLS's sonics . Somewhat analogous: the DSD format (used in SACD) is heavily criticized for its use of MHz sampling rate -- a lot of the noise has to be mathematically filtered before the signal is playable. Some still feel it does not sound significantly better than Red Book; hig-rez PCM is an obvious alternative.


Back to the issue of DAPs vs. PMPs ... Since almost all my music files are 16/44.1 FLAC or WAV, and video/games/graphics are unimportant to me, the CKx series seems to be headed in the wrong direction. Maybe QLS's next DAP will incorporate all the goodies.


Ergonomics and display ... you don't need a whole lot of hard-coding skills or massive CPU speed or even fancy graphic. While the QLS QA series is a bad example of an ergonomic portable DAP, how about ... 


That low-power-consumption display (Nokia 3310 LCD), above, certainly gets the job done. FYI: thats a DIY MP3 player. Here's another, slightly better design:



Edited by alphaman - 9/17/11 at 5:55pm
post #206 of 268

CK4 might well be a good player but there are things folk need to know. First, Colorful themselves will tell you that the C4 is far, far better for Hi Res music, the CK4 is an mp4 player aimed at the mass market and is no competition to the C4. Secondly, be aware that there are already fake CK4's on the market. An example is the one listed on eBay U.K. and this can be confirmed by Colorful Technology ( Europe ) GmbH
Habichtstr. 41
22305 Hamburg

Happy days.

post #207 of 268
That's why you have C4?
I hope you tried to compare CK4 by yourself with other players in the same price range...
Strange that you have just posted the same message to more forums.
CK4 with decent amplifier is very good choice.

BTW you just registered just for posting these comments?
Edited by bitlisz - 9/23/11 at 9:43am
post #208 of 268

fake ck4???where did you get that information?i am here in china and always browse taobao(china's version of ebay) and have not seen any fake ck4.

post #209 of 268



so what? is this better than hisound studio?

post #210 of 268
Originally Posted by airomjosh View Post

fake ck4???where did you get that information?i am here in china and always browse taobao(china's version of ebay) and have not seen any fake ck4.

Given the poor rep that the REAL CK4 has for quality control, one shudders to think just how bad a fake CK4 could possibly be .....  eek.gif


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