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A DAP Philosophy Perspective - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Thanks for that update. I'm not getting another sansa product just because I've had several and always ended up letting them die. I'm glad the zip problem is going away. The clip+ is fine with rockbox as long as you don't use external memory. My earphones are generally 43-55Ω and that noise is terrible. With 16Ω and 112dB earphones, it is simply impossible.

Is this a Clip Zip problem or a Rockbox problem? I never had any sound problems with the Clip+ or original Fuze using Sandisk firmware. My headphones and earphones are mostly from 16 ohms to 63 ohms. I also use some higher impedance headphone with a Fiio E6. No sound problems ever.

post #17 of 29

Because I abhor gaps, I won't use anything but rock box and never use the original firmware. The Fuze+ is my least favourite player of all time simply because it does everything worse than the player it looks most like. The Clip is okay I suppose, but gaps are killer, so I use Rockbox. I would have never given the Clip the time of day had it not been for Rockbox. It's a shame I bought it, though, because that read noise is horrible. I'll check to see if the original firmware does that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK1 View Post

Is this a Clip Zip problem or a Rockbox problem? I never had any sound problems with the Clip+ or original Fuze using Sandisk firmware. My headphones and earphones are mostly from 16 ohms to 63 ohms. I also use some higher impedance headphone with a Fiio E6. No sound problems ever.

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosshorn View Post

 

20507979.jpg

 

 

Haha.

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

 

Haha.

 

I loved that post as well.

post #20 of 29

Some claim  noise issues between tracks when using a Sandisk player might be due to having comments in the tag field.

 

When using Sandisk players, it is important to only use ID3V2.3 ISO8859-1 tags for mp3, and to get rid of comments and the album artist tag which the player doesn't support. It is also important to get rid of embedded album art if you want to have the maximum number of songs recognizable by the player. Officially the song limit is listed as 8,000 but with embedded album art, some people reach it with less than 5,000. 

post #21 of 29

The Cowon S9 is the least flat DAP I've heard, and it felt a bit like a toy, so plasticky and light.

 

If I recall, according to RMAA is measures like a flat line, when all eq is turned off (if that's possible), however the signal still sounded a bit fake, I think there was some processing somewhere, or a hardware filter of some kind.

 

The early firmware version of the S:Flo 2 / Teclast T51 had high-end roll off, perhaps to give some kind of analog sound?  Anyway they removed it, and everyone seemed to like the flat sound better.  I've always liked the Teclast T51 for it's reference, pure signal type sound, with OPA2604 and dual Wolfson's, it was refreshing compared to the Cowon S9.

 

These days the T51 sounds a bit lacking compared to my desktop audio, but it's still nice, no complaints.

 

The Hifiman HM-601 using TDA1543 and JRC5532 (I think) does not sound flat.  Firstly, if you're used to modern digital audio (who isn't) and listen to the TDA1543, it sounds like a joke, it's so lacking all over the place, it's like you just put on some horse eye blinders, the first time I heard it I laughed.

 

After a while you can appreciate the 'sound quality' it exudes, which people refer to with words like analog, sweet or natural.  I liked it with my Sony EX600, until the battery died after 2 1/2 hours on a 5 hour trip.  Still, it was my first experience of NOS and it was pretty nice, I'd like to try a really high-end NOS desktop unit soon, if they can intertwine the natural sound of the HM-601, and the higher resolution, refinement, crystal imaging, more extensive soundspace etc. of modern DAC chips like my AKM or Sabre. 

 

So on sound quality levels none of these DAC's are 'flat' in hardware terms, the T51 comes the closest I think, on software levels almost all DAP's are flat__________________________, which you can see in RMAA, however some DAP's will have secret sauce somewhere, I suspect Cowon of this, and I'm curious why everyone says the new Sony Z1070 sounds so good, I mean... can it really sound that good?  I wonder if it has secret source, or if it's pure high-end performance from Sony, need to find out.

 

The T51 (and possiblly Hifimans) have/had software high-end roll-off, which is a bit bizarre to me, however Teclast fixed it with the firmware update.

 

There is still a secret sauce in the T51 though, it's called dynamic compression, you compress the music into a thin volume level and lift it up, this gave it an artificially high volume level, and less dynamic range, on the "Normal" setting.  The thing is, a lot of people think compressed dynamic range / loudness sounds good.  I noticed on my stereo receiver I quite like the compressed dynamic range mode, I turned it off now but it sounded good at the time.

 

Try the "Dynamics Compressor" in Foobar, set input gain to 20% !!

 

 

Long story short, almost all DAP's and DAC's measure flat, yet none of them sound alike.  A valley or peak in frequency response will create a different presentation, but it's only an adjustment in volume of the fundamental sound.  That's all FR actually is, volume dispersion.

 

Output impedance will have various effects on frequency response, depending on the IEM or headphone used.  For example, my Sony XBA-3 sounds very shrill with 32 ohm output impedance, the XBA-4 even more so, this is due to the delicate design of the BA's inside of them and their low impedance specs (12 and 8).

 

The TDA1543 chips have high output impedance, which the Lite DAC-AH accounted for with AD847, I don't think the Hifiman's did completely, so they don't interact nicely with all sensitive IEM's, and by nature these DAC chips have noise or hiss (which you have to overlook for the NOS sound experience).

 

With all that said, a JH Audio JH13 user tried my Hifiman HM-601 and liked what he heard, I thought he was joking, but he really liked it.  In audio, sometimes you have to mix light and dark, high performance with low performance, wet and dry, the intertwining of these concepts can sometimes result in a 'complete' sound.  You need to mix treble with chalk, and poison with gravy, err..... french fries with happy times!

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

The Cowon S9 is the least flat DAP I've heard, and it felt a bit like a toy, so plasticky and light.

 

If I recall, according to RMAA is measures like a flat line, when all eq is turned off (if that's possible), however the signal still sounded a bit fake, I think there was some processing somewhere, or a hardware filter of some kind.

 

The early firmware version of the S:Flo 2 / Teclast T51 had high-end roll off, perhaps to give some kind of analog sound?  Anyway they removed it, and everyone seemed to like the flat sound better.  I've always liked the Teclast T51 for it's reference, pure signal type sound, with OPA2604 and dual Wolfson's, it was refreshing compared to the Cowon S9.

 

These days the T51 sounds a bit lacking compared to my desktop audio, but it's still nice, no complaints.

 

The Hifiman HM-601 using TDA1543 and JRC5532 (I think) does not sound flat.  Firstly, if you're used to modern digital audio (who isn't) and listen to the TDA1543, it sounds like a joke, it's so lacking all over the place, it's like you just put on some horse eye blinders, the first time I heard it I laughed.

 

After a while you can appreciate the 'sound quality' it exudes, which people refer to with words like analog, sweet or natural.  I liked it with my Sony EX600, until the battery died after 2 1/2 hours on a 5 hour trip.  Still, it was my first experience of NOS and it was pretty nice, I'd like to try a really high-end NOS desktop unit soon, if they can intertwine the natural sound of the HM-601, and the higher resolution, refinement, crystal imaging, more extensive soundspace etc. of modern DAC chips like my AKM or Sabre. 

 

So on sound quality levels none of these DAC's are 'flat' in hardware terms, the T51 comes the closest I think, on software levels almost all DAP's are flat__________________________, which you can see in RMAA, however some DAP's will have secret sauce somewhere, I suspect Cowon of this, and I'm curious why everyone says the new Sony Z1070 sounds so good, I mean... can it really sound that good?  I wonder if it has secret source, or if it's pure high-end performance from Sony, need to find out.

 

The T51 (and possiblly Hifimans) have/had software high-end roll-off, which is a bit bizarre to me, however Teclast fixed it with the firmware update.

 

There is still a secret sauce in the T51 though, it's called dynamic compression, you compress the music into a thin volume level and lift it up, this gave it an artificially high volume level, and less dynamic range, on the "Normal" setting.  The thing is, a lot of people think compressed dynamic range / loudness sounds good.  I noticed on my stereo receiver I quite like the compressed dynamic range mode, I turned it off now but it sounded good at the time.

 

Try the "Dynamics Compressor" in Foobar, set input gain to 20% !!

 

 

Long story short, almost all DAP's and DAC's measure flat, yet none of them sound alike.  A valley or peak in frequency response will create a different presentation, but it's only an adjustment in volume of the fundamental sound.  That's all FR actually is, volume dispersion.

 

Output impedance will have various effects on frequency response, depending on the IEM or headphone used.  For example, my Sony XBA-3 sounds very shrill with 32 ohm output impedance, the XBA-4 even more so, this is due to the delicate design of the BA's inside of them and their low impedance specs (12 and 8).

 

The TDA1543 chips have high output impedance, which the Lite DAC-AH accounted for with AD847, I don't think the Hifiman's did completely, so they don't interact nicely with all sensitive IEM's, and by nature these DAC chips have noise or hiss (which you have to overlook for the NOS sound experience).

 

With all that said, a JH Audio JH13 user tried my Hifiman HM-601 and liked what he heard, I thought he was joking, but he really liked it.  In audio, sometimes you have to mix light and dark, high performance with low performance, wet and dry, the intertwining of these concepts can sometimes result in a 'complete' sound.  You need to mix treble with chalk, and poison with gravy, err..... french fries with happy times!

 

 

Ah, the secret sauce. They tell you it's not seasoned but we all know that it is - that it has to be in one way or another. Flat, not flat, EQ, no EQ, I'll let my ears decide.

post #23 of 29
Kiteki,
 
I fully agree with what you wrote.
 
In the end, it all comes down to taste. And in this case, the graphics completely lose importance.
 
PS: I have an S:Flo2 and a Samsung Galaxy S with Voodoo Sound and the differences in sound signature, using my Westone UM3X, is very, very small.
 
The differences boil down to a more "wide" sound in S:Flo2 and a more upfront mids in the Galaxy S.
 
In the end, I prefer the Samsung for the more upfront mids, because it makes the music more fun and engaging... :o)
 
Cheers,
 
Peter
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardozo View Post
 
>> it makes the music more fun and engaging... :o)

 

I can have a system where the sound is 100% accurate, and IMO boring, or fun and engaging. I'll take the latter.

post #25 of 29

I sort of like them all as long as they don't hiss too much. I actually love the AMP3Pro V2 that I have for solidity and quirks. I don't like that volume and pause always get mixed up or blips in FLAC tracks (as the decode engine is crap), but I love what it could be, rolled off lows, hiss, and all. I also like the thick Sony sound, or rich Sharp MD sound, and the ultra flat Apple sound. I even like the C4 though I'd never buy one, and the Hifiman sound for what it is, though again, I'd not buy one. 

 

On that list, there are only two possible reference quality items: Apple and C4. If I add the new firmware T51, then it qualifies certainly. But, only Apple and MD/CD players play back my files without hiccups and with perfectly gapless junctures between songs. So, I'll only use Apple as I'm not about to start collecting and burning MD's again.

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

I sort of like them all as long as they don't hiss too much. I actually love the AMP3Pro V2 that I have for solidity and quirks. I don't like that volume and pause always get mixed up or blips in FLAC tracks (as the decode engine is crap), but I love what it could be, rolled off lows, hiss, and all. I also like the thick Sony sound, or rich Sharp MD sound, and the ultra flat Apple sound. I even like the C4 though I'd never buy one, and the Hifiman sound for what it is, though again, I'd not buy one. 

 

On that list, there are only two possible reference quality items: Apple and C4. If I add the new firmware T51, then it qualifies certainly. But, only Apple and MD/CD players play back my files without hiccups and with perfectly gapless junctures between songs. So, I'll only use Apple as I'm not about to start collecting and burning MD's again.

 

Have you found Cowon (C2 in particular) to have issues with gapless? In my first week of owning the C2, playback, including between songs has been flawless.

post #27 of 29

why couldn't sony make an audiophile player.. they can make 1 easily

post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by modaudio View Post

why couldn't sony make an audiophile player.. they can make 1 easily

 

Sony Z1070 line-out -> portable amplifier with OPA627.

post #29 of 29

I suspect this is how the Teclast T51 equalizer operates, at least this is how I hear it.

 

Hifiman HM-801 equalizer.gif

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