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<Renewed at 2012/03/12>The new HiFiMAN 802 & New UI named "Tai-Chi" - Page 22

post #316 of 733
Nope. But I confirmed the dx100 was better via my friends hm801. Better transients (due to the reasonble output impedance) and transparency. Hm801 roll off was apparent. it was the dx100's clarity, detail and resolution that won me over. Felt like a breath of fresh air. check the dx100 thread for the rest of my impressions.

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post #317 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryname View Post

I'm not even interested anymore, just curious. Bought a dx100 to suit my needs after the prolonged silence. Sounds way better thanmy now bricked hm801

 

Just curious, what caused the demise of your HM801?

post #318 of 733
Firmware randomly bricked the device. No amount of resetting, turning on and off or removing battery could fix it, nor could a computer recognize it anymore. Since I bought it 2nd hand I had no warranty. Same thing happened to my friends hm801, 1 month after he bought it from head direct, so he could still send it in.
Edited by temporaryname - 7/11/12 at 3:34pm
post #319 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryname View Post

Firmware randomly bricked the device. No amount of resetting, turning on and off or removing battery could fix it, nor could a computer recognize it anymore. Since I bought it 2nd hand I had no warranty. Same thing happened to my friends hm801, 1 month after he bought it from head direct, so he could still send it in.

 

Did you ask them if they could repair it for a fee?

post #320 of 733
I didn't. Mostly because I wanted a dap with low output impedance and a properly stepped volume control. The bass on all my phones was floppy and driving my sensitive westone 4's with the hm801 was a royal pain in the arse due to the analog potentiometres inability to keep the channels balanced at normal listening volumes, even with the low gain amp.

That and I felt cheated for dishing out on the balanced amp module and balanced he500's and not gaining any sonic improvement for my troubles. This was confirmed by my ears and a sound engineers ears between a balanced hm801 running balanced he500's and a stock single ended hm801 driving the same headphones through a trs to trrs adaptor.

When I heard the hm901 has the same trrs crap, I lost interest.
Edited by temporaryname - 7/11/12 at 5:26pm
post #321 of 733

Audiophile grade volume control is important to sound quality. Directly using the digital volume control from the DAC chip default set up, no matter the manufacturer want to call it "step" or not,  is a kind of lazy, and will not sound as good. 

 

"inability to keep the channels balanced at normal listening volumes"

HM-801 use an ALPS volume control, which is very common in hifi entry or mid price level amplifiers. The good part of ALPS volume control is that it sound much better than a digital volume control. However, the shortcome of that kind of volume control is that it is easy to become dirty on a portable device. You can send the player back to us to wash or change the volume control for you if you got a problem like that. 

 

"When I heard the hm901 has the same trrs crap, I lost interest."

 

This is not true. HM-901 will use a real step attenuator. It will keep the good sound quality (Actually, its sound quality is even better than ALPS). On the other hand, because step attenuator use the real resistor to change the volume, it will not be hurt by dust or dirty stuff. If you don't understand what is "step attenuator", and what is the relation between step attenuator and hi-end,  please google. 


Edited by Nankai - 7/12/12 at 7:40pm
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post #322 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

Audiophile grade volume control is important to sound quality. Directly using the digital volume control from the DAC chip default set up, no matter the manufacturer want to call it "step" or not,  is a kind of lazy, and will not sound as good. 

 

"inability to keep the channels balanced at normal listening volumes"

HM-801 use an ALPS volume control, which is very common in hifi entry or mid price level amplifiers. The good part of ALPS volume control is that it sound much better than a digital volume control. However, the shortcome of that kind of volume control is that it is easy to become dirty on a portable device. You can send the player back to us to wash or change the volume control for you if you got a problem like that.


If by digital volume control you refer to cutting down the bits to lower the volume (and resolution once you get past a certain point) than I agree, however there are other ways to do it that aren't destructive to sound quality.

 

I think you took my quote out of context. With my Westone 4 IEM's (sensitive phones with 31ohm and 118dB SPL @ 1kHz), my HM-801 was unable to maintain channel balance at listenable levels. I had to raise the volume in order to achieve channel balance, which meant that I had to listen to music loudly in order not to get a headache (I eventually got one anyway from fatigue). I swapped the balanced amp module for the low gain amp module and it still had this problem. I tried it with my friends HM-801 and it still had this problem. I'm not buying an additional game amp module just to make the player work like it's supposed to when I buy it.

 

I'm not buying the whole 'blame it on a dirty component' excuse. It's well documented that analog potentiometres suffer from channel imbalance at low volume levels. My iBasso DX100 uses digital volume control and sounds amazing and manages to drive all my phones with authority without suffering from channel imbalance or loss of resolution at any volume level that I've tried.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

 

"When I heard the hm901 has the same trrs crap, I lost interest."

 

This is not true. HM-901 will use a real step attenuator. It will keep the good sound quality (Actually, its sound quality is even better than ALPS). On the other hand, because step attenuator use the real resistor to change the volume, it will not be hurt by dust or dirty stuff. If you don't understand what is "step attenuator", and what is the relation between step attenuator and hi-end,  please google. 

 

I'm glad to hear that the HM-901 will include a proper volume control without any of the downsides of the HM-801's volume control. That's how progress works - a newer model has the opportunity to fix the design flaws of an older model. However, again, you misunderstood what I meant.

 

TRRS (or Tip Ring Ring Sleeve) refers to the 3.5mm headphone out. I'm refering to balanced technology here. When I discovered the HM-901 has a switch to swap between TRS and TRRS headphone connectors, I lost interest. Why? Because balanced technology is pointless in the portable realm. It applies to long distance cable runs. Balanced in portable audio is a marketing gimmick that I unfortunately cashed into and was disappointed as a result.

 

A sound engineer I work with and I have both heard zero difference between your HM-801 w/ Balanced Amp Module driving phones balanced and single ended. Hell, we didn't even hear a difference between the HM-801 w/ Balanced Amp Module driving phones balanced and another HM-801 w/ stock amp driving the same phones single ended through an adaptor. And for the money we both paid, that's just disgusting.

 

If the HM-901 comes supporting TRRS natively, I'm not interested. Why would I want to pay for that feature? I know it's easy to make money on gullible audiophiles, but they'll wise up sooner or later.

post #323 of 733

@temporaryname: interesting stuff here about balanced vs. single-ended, and thanks for sharing.  Some people hate it when head-fi'ers call out manufacturers, but I'm not one of them.

 

Are you saying that balanced vs. single-ended amping with headphones is BS in general?  I'm thinking about getting an alo rxmk3 and a reason why is because I can run my headphones balanced.  I've never used balanced cables, but from what I've read, I expect a wider soundstage, but with less focus in the middle.  In your opinion is what others experienced that just placebo effect?

post #324 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryname View Post


If by digital volume control you refer to cutting down the bits to lower the volume (and resolution once you get past a certain point) than I agree, however there are other ways to do it that aren't destructive to sound quality.

 

I think you took my quote out of context. With my Westone 4 IEM's (sensitive phones with 31ohm and 118dB SPL @ 1kHz), my HM-801 was unable to maintain channel balance at listenable levels. I had to raise the volume in order to achieve channel balance, which meant that I had to listen to music loudly in order not to get a headache (I eventually got one anyway from fatigue). I swapped the balanced amp module for the low gain amp module and it still had this problem. I tried it with my friends HM-801 and it still had this problem. I'm not buying an additional game amp module just to make the player work like it's supposed to when I buy it.

 

I'm not buying the whole 'blame it on a dirty component' excuse. It's well documented that analog potentiometres suffer from channel imbalance at low volume levels. My iBasso DX100 uses digital volume control and sounds amazing and manages to drive all my phones with authority without suffering from channel imbalance or loss of resolution at any volume level that I've tried.

 

 

I'm glad to hear that the HM-901 will include a proper volume control without any of the downsides of the HM-801's volume control. That's how progress works - a newer model has the opportunity to fix the design flaws of an older model. However, again, you misunderstood what I meant.

 

TRRS (or Tip Ring Ring Sleeve) refers to the 3.5mm headphone out. I'm refering to balanced technology here. When I discovered the HM-901 has a switch to swap between TRS and TRRS headphone connectors, I lost interest. Why? Because balanced technology is pointless in the portable realm. It applies to long distance cable runs. Balanced in portable audio is a marketing gimmick that I unfortunately cashed into and was disappointed as a result.

 

A sound engineer I work with and I have both heard zero difference between your HM-801 w/ Balanced Amp Module driving phones balanced and single ended. Hell, we didn't even hear a difference between the HM-801 w/ Balanced Amp Module driving phones balanced and another HM-801 w/ stock amp driving the same phones single ended through an adaptor. And for the money we both paid, that's just disgusting.

 

If the HM-901 comes supporting TRRS natively, I'm not interested. Why would I want to pay for that feature? I know it's easy to make money on gullible audiophiles, but they'll wise up sooner or later.

There's a little more to it than that unfortunately. Saying such generalised erroneous statements shows that you really don't understand the difference between the purpose of balanced amplifiers & balanced cabling. 

 

Fair enough if the 801 balanced amp is not impressive but saying therefore all portable balanced amps are a marketing gimmick  is misleading and ignorant. Best to just comment on things you have actually heard & understand.

post #325 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryname View Post


I'm not buying the whole 'blame it on a dirty component' excuse. It's well documented that analog potentiometres suffer from channel imbalance at low volume levels. My iBasso DX100 uses digital volume control and sounds amazing and manages to drive all my phones with authority without suffering from channel imbalance or loss of resolution at any volume level that I've tried.

 

I want to repeat here: Audiophile grade volume control is important to sound quality. Directly using the digital volume control from the DAC chip default set up, no matter the manufacturer want to call it "step" or not,  is a kind of lazy, and will not sound as good. 

 

In addition, I hope to emphasize that ES-9018 has a built in digital volume control with 256 steps

 

 

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post #326 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSC View Post

@temporaryname: interesting stuff here about balanced vs. single-ended, and thanks for sharing.  Some people hate it when head-fi'ers call out manufacturers, but I'm not one of them.

 

Are you saying that balanced vs. single-ended amping with headphones is BS in general?  I'm thinking about getting an alo rxmk3 and a reason why is because I can run my headphones balanced.  I've never used balanced cables, but from what I've read, I expect a wider soundstage, but with less focus in the middle.  In your opinion is what others experienced that just placebo effect?

 

I haven't personally heard the ALO rx mk3 but I have heard good things about it. In regards to balanced vs single ended in the context of portable audio, if there's any difference then I suspect it's either subtle or inaudible. I expected a difference and still couldn't hear one. A lot about audio is placebo.That and a lot of reviews online are simply astroturfing (a form of marketing).

 

If you're interested in the ALO rx m3, try and audition it. It could still be a great amplifier. Not necessarily because it's balanced, but because it's a great design with solid components that do the job.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by customNuts View Post

There's a little more to it than that unfortunately. Saying such generalised erroneous statements shows that you really don't understand the difference between the purpose of balanced amplifiers & balanced cabling. 

 

Fair enough if the 801 balanced amp is not impressive but saying therefore all portable balanced amps are a marketing gimmick  is misleading and ignorant. Best to just comment on things you have actually heard & understand.

 

I agree completely and utterly. I'm not an expert nor an electrical engineer. However I have heard electrical engineers call out balanced technology in the context of portable audio as a marketing gimmick and based on my knowledge of the subject (and it's original purpose) I'm inclined to agree. A complication is how do you attribute improvements as being a result of the balanced technology? There are single ended amplifiers that give balanced amplifiers a run for their money (many would quote the Liquid Fire Cavalli Fire as an example). In regards to portable audio, the real world benefits of balanced topology and cabling are arguably inaudible. And yet many use the term "balanced" as one of their main selling points.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

 

I want to repeat here: Audiophile grade volume control is important to sound quality. Directly using the digital volume control from the DAC chip default set up, no matter the manufacturer want to call it "step" or not,  is a kind of lazy, and will not sound as good. 

 

In addition, I hope to emphasize that ES-9018 has a built in digital volume control with 256 steps

 

 

And it sounds wonderful.

post #327 of 733

i LOVE the smooth volume control on my Graham Slee Voyager -, and can't stand stepped volumes like on the FIIO 7 and Studio-V

 

whatever Graham uses in the Voyager is worth looking at Fang.

post #328 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

i LOVE the smooth volume control on my Graham Slee Voyager -, and can't stand stepped volumes like on the FIIO 7 and Studio-V

 

whatever Graham uses in the Voyager is worth looking at Fang.

 

Don't worry. The stepped volume control we are using is different from what Fiio is using. 

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post #329 of 733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankai View Post

 

Don't worry. The stepped volume control we are using is different from what Fiio is using. 

 

Could you tell us anything more about the HM-901? Like when it'll be released or when the specs will be released? Or if the amplifier output impedance is under 2ohms?

post #330 of 733
I sent a PM to you Nankai. But please, can we get some kind of update? Its been since May when it was announced.
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