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Colorfly CK4 first review - Page 12

post #166 of 249
Thanks guy's.

I've been mucking around most of the day on this.

I'm still inclined to say CK4+ performs best on internal memory here, I cannot get the same sound quality using microsd it seems, close, very close but no disco. Whether it's a power drawing issue when using the external card slot, bug in the firmware, hardware, or a faulty unit I don't know. I just can't make it sound exactly the same. This is something I don't think everyone will hear and maybe I'm nit picking, though to my ears I can clearly hear the internal memory sounds more dynamic, more power, better refined across the board. The bass problems I constantly mentioned improve, separation and soundstage depth. All these little areas contribute making one fantastic listening session.

You know what? I don't think there is a fix, I think only the designers of CK4+ would know what's going on. Maybe they thought it would slip through and no-one would notice because the amounts I'm talking about here in difference are rather small, I'm sure this may go unnoticed by many people.

To sum up, I think it's just the way the player is personally... I shall continue using CK4+ from 8GB internal as a glory player for now. Because it's sounds so so so good running from internal memory.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/8/12 at 2:40am
post #167 of 249

Placebo effect?:)

post #168 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkovajazz View Post

Placebo effect?:)

 

.. or Jitter?

 

Its also being discussed here- http://www.head-fi.org/t/639945/can-the-read-speed-of-micro-sd-effect-audio-quality/15

post #169 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post

 

.. or Jitter?

 

Its also being discussed here- http://www.head-fi.org/t/639945/can-the-read-speed-of-micro-sd-effect-audio-quality/15

If jitter is audible from a DAP drawing on a removable memory card, then I would say that said DAP is flawed.

post #170 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

If jitter is audible from a DAP drawing on a removable memory card, then I would say that said DAP is flawed.

 

Well, I think that this is much more common, but we just do not know about it. Audible or not, technically it is definitely possible. It is flawed and it is not the only one. Recent developments in our small niche are that manufacturers still just use the names of known IC manufacturers to sell us products. Other approaches sell with frequency graphs and noise values. That is the wrong approach.

 

On the other hand, compared to what I listened to, before coming to head-fi, I am pretty happy :D

post #171 of 249
I don't think it's placebo unfortunately, it's too noticeable to me.

I do think a lot won't detect this. By all means if I never tested the internal memory I'd still be happily using external slot fulltime, because it does sound good, very good, just not excellent like internal. I just don't know what else to say really.... CK4+ still blows anything I've heard away even from external, and as RAFA said it's the best DAP I've heard since joining Head-fi. Just when internal memory goes that extra leap forward, no matter how big or small I want that sound right across the board.

Could I still use the external and by happy? Yes, I could, though knowing internal has an advantage but limited to 8GB sours my taste and listening sessions a little. I listen very critically, I lay down, close my eyes waiting for any fault, I wait for faults rather than pleasure, that's how I listen. If it's perfect excellent, if not, I go sour. Bob however, walking down the road cruising along on Saturday rocking out to tunes. would not hear the difference I assume.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 12/9/12 at 8:54pm
post #172 of 249

Lets see, you didn't expect it to be different but noticed it to be which caused you to bring up the question. Ya, must be placebo.wink_face.gif

post #173 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Lets see, you didn't expect it to be different but noticed it to be which caused you to bring up the question. Ya, must be placebo.wink_face.gif


No that is an excuse for people who do not trust themselves (no point in being in the hobby if that's the case I say) or in the event they can't hear it themselves it is one way to make themselves feel better :).


Edited by lee730 - 12/10/12 at 4:15pm
post #174 of 249

Hi,

 

Hope it's ok if I jump in here...

 

I've been following this post and the C3 vs Ck4 comparison review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/638415/colorfly-c3-vs-colorfly-ck4-comparison-true-portable-hifi-sound with interest.  I'm looking for a new unit giving best quality/listening experience I can get for the buck.  This new unit will be paired with a pair of shure 535's and I'll be listening to a wide variety of pop/ rock/ electronica, mostly flacs - possibly some wavs.

 

I'm finding it very difficult to choose which one to go for - the c3 has size and battery life benefits, but the ck4 has larger screen and increased functionality (video playback etc) and possibly better sound quality?  Already owning an iphone and ipad, the video playback is possibly only of small benefit for me.  Ultimately, it's the sound quality that I'm looking for.  And I guess to make that decision I'd like to hear an update (from h20fidelity ?) to the C3 vs Ck4 comparison as reading through this thread (Colorfly CK4 first review) it seems that as time goes on, there is an increased leaning towards the Ck4 as the stand-out winner here.

 

I'd be very grateful of any input.

 

Many thanks,

Tony

post #175 of 249

CK4 is another level.

post #176 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCat-uk View Post

Hi,

Hope it's ok if I jump in here...

I've been following this post and the C3 vs Ck4 comparison review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/638415/colorfly-c3-vs-colorfly-ck4-comparison-true-portable-hifi-sound with interest.  I'm looking for a new unit giving best quality/listening experience I can get for the buck.  This new unit will be paired with a pair of shure 535's and I'll be listening to a wide variety of pop/ rock/ electronica, mostly flacs - possibly some wavs.

I'm finding it very difficult to choose which one to go for - the c3 has size and battery life benefits, but the ck4 has larger screen and increased functionality (video playback etc) and possibly better sound quality?  Already owning an iphone and ipad, the video playback is possibly only of small benefit for me.  Ultimately, it's the sound quality that I'm looking for.  And I guess to make that decision I'd like to hear an update (from h20fidelity ?) to the C3 vs Ck4 comparison as reading through this thread (Colorfly CK4 first review) it seems that as time goes on, there is an increased leaning towards the Ck4 as the stand-out winner here.

I'd be very grateful of any input.

Many thanks,
Tony


Hi, I actually came into this thread to update my current CK4+ experience, I've owned both players for a while now and know them pretty well.

As Berkovajazz said, CK4 is on another level of sound quality but not without a few problems imo, everything I said in that comparison still stands which was taken from the headphone outs. There's not much I would change, I still think C3 has better presentation of the two because it has balance across the entire frequency range. CK4's mid range is very rich sounding player, with superior detailing levels, soundstage, imaging and stereo (very good stereo) however the low end roll off lets it down and the highs are a little relaxed. From the headphone out I find myself hearing a lot of mid range detail. It reminds me of an upside V so.... "/\" I guess you could call it rather mid centric. The C3 is better balanced across the entire chart, but you will sacrifice that awesome detail, rich clarity and soundstage by a margin.

Although CK4 is a step above in in these area's does it really make it the better player? because you're flooded with all this detail and clarity that over powers the low and high end? I tend to say no because everything isn't working together as one, And that's the problem with CK4+'s headphone out, the low /mid / highs don't speak to each other they're just "there" doing their own thing with a mid range that likes to overide it's partners. C3 they work as a team, they work together to form "presentation"

That's the best I can describe it.


You may of noticed I kept mentioning the word headphone out above and that's because you can transform CK4+ into something truly special by using it's line out. By doing so you lose the bass roll off, the signature becomes more balanced and also the problem I mentioned in this thread about the internal / external memory is much less obvious using it's line out feature. If you amp CK4+ with something like the $100 C&C BH it transform into one great sounding player beyond what the headphone out achieves. Honestly, after amping CK4 with this little amp the headphone out sounds very average compared.

So If you were keen on amping CK4 with something like the C&C BH portable amp I would highly recommend it over C3, then you truly are in another league. You'd be looking at around $300 to get the amp and player though. Here's the thread if you're interested.

@~Berkovajazz if you want to take your CK4 to the next level, you really should be checking out this amp, it's one of the cleanest detailed amps I've heard.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/644363/c-c-bh-portable-headphone-amp-80-hours-from-a-single-charge-buyer-review
Edited by H20Fidelity - 1/8/13 at 1:12am
post #177 of 249

Thanks for the detailed reply H20Fidelity.

 

I placed an order for a ck4 this morning as I couldn't wait :) , so I'm rather hoping that I will at least hear a good improvement via headphone out for the time being, over what my iphone has been giving me.  Being able to play 24bit flacs on the unit will also give me a step up in "resolution".

 

I know I'm not spending much money here - certainly very little compared with what you can spend in audiophile world, but I find it a bit frustrating that it's not a straight forward path to achieve something like excellence from a single unit.  Adding an amp seems like a dirty solution to me, and now I have the cable choice to consider :)  Any recommendations? ;)  The C&C bh looks very very interesting, but I think I will try to excercise some restraint over placing an instant impulse purchase for it.  It's been such a long time since I really allowed myself time to "listen" to some music - so I'll get to know the ck4 in it's raw form first.

 

As djvkool said in the other post "Man...how can I ever save some money..."

post #178 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCat-uk View Post

Thanks for the detailed reply H20Fidelity.

I placed an order for a ck4 this morning as I couldn't wait smily_headphones1.gif , so I'm rather hoping that I will at least hear a good improvement via headphone out for the time being, over what my iphone has been giving me.  Being able to play 24bit flacs on the unit will also give me a step up in "resolution".

I know I'm not spending much money here - certainly very little compared with what you can spend in audiophile world, but I find it a bit frustrating that it's not a straight forward path to achieve something like excellence from a single unit.  Adding an amp seems like a dirty solution to me, and now I have the cable choice to consider smily_headphones1.gif  Any recommendations? wink.gif  The C&C bh looks very very interesting, but I think I will try to excercise some restraint over placing an instant impulse purchase for it.  It's been such a long time since I really allowed myself time to "listen" to some music - so I'll get to know the ck4 in it's raw form first.

As djvkool said in the other post "Man...how can I ever save some money..."

CK4+ won't play 24bit FLAC only 16bit. It only supports 24bit WAV files. (high res) They make the listing look confusing.

See how you go with the headphone out, learn the player see if you like it's flavour, you can always upgrade later with an amp. smile.gif If you could please come back when it arrives and give us some thoughts that would also be great, there's a sure lack of information on the English internet about CK4, the more impressions we get the better. I'd be interested if you hear a difference between the internal and external memory. I just can't get the player to sound right without using it's line out.

If you decide on an amp later down the track give me a buzz via PM, I'll give you some cable options.
post #179 of 249

Thank you H2O! But i've bought CK4 especially of the power output it has a lot of it to the most IEMs. So i don't want any amp. Also my UM3x has a huge soundstage even more than with IE8 or on par with them. This is magic. I've got Teclast X19 and Nokia N8 and no soundstage with Westone, but more controlled parts of music.
I'm thinking about Re0, Re262, IE60 for my CK4.

post #180 of 249

Just coming back with my initial thoughts after playing around with this for a few hours.

 

Listening through Shure 535's.

 

Sound: It's important to say here that my reference points wont be as highly refined or fixed as most other readers here - I'm coming into this from listening to flacs and aac files on my iphone 4s or through my 535's or highish end home theater amp powering a pair of quads or rega kytes.

 

The first thing that I suddenly notice is the big variance in the sound quality and signature of source files that are fairly familiar to me.  Some were extracted by me, some downloaded if you get my drift.  All flac's, but I suspect I will be reviewing the origin of key albums, to make sure that these are as pure as possible.  So - good news in that the Ck4 is immediately offering up to my earphones a clarity that I haven't heard to date.  Layers are so much more defined - I'm hearing things on nearly every track that I haven't heard before - great fun!  Difficult to switch it off actually!  The difference of one track in particular totally blew me away: KT Tunstall - Other side of the World.  It sounds like a totally different arrangement!  The instruments are so wide and separate.  It's very impressive to me that the Ck4 has brought out so many differences after such a short period of listening.

 

I do notice that the mid's are fairly prominent - leaving the high frequency high-hats/attack on snares etc to seem a little subdued in comparison.

 

Cons. Quite a loud "pop" through the headphones when turning on and off - bit surprised about this. Doesn't play m4a files.  I don't like the interface - using the different button combinations needed to find and play a track on an album leaves you feeling like you've just had to crack a code.

 

But I'm pleased with the purchase (approx. £120) and really happy to be "listening" to my music again :)  I'll try to update again in a few weeks and see if I can spot the difference between the same file on internal or sd card.

 

Tony

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