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Unique Melody Platform Pure 6 (PP6) - review (1st post), discussion, appreciation, & tour thread - Page 26

post #376 of 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by UniqueMelody View Post

Thank you so much, DanBa! You have no idea how happy I am right now. 

The USB Audio Recorder Pro app is still somewhat buggy, but that would be fixed of course as time pass. I hope there are similar apps out in the future that's made for playing music. 

 

Here's a picture of what I'm listening to right now:


1000

 

UM, that set up is not working with other Android devices ATM eg: Transformer Prime, Nexus 4, and Galaxy Nexus.

Also, it would be marvelous for someone in UM to make an app-player or plugin for other players like PowerAMP- for PP6 usb.

Cheers.

post #377 of 478

Quote:

Originally Posted by average_joe View Post

Let us know your thoughts after more experimenting.

 

I went scrounging around the house to find some tips I knew would work. Because I was able to obtain a good seal this time around, the bass issues (emphasized upper bass) I previously had completely went away. The tonal balance is much better. In comparison to the UERM (powered directly from the Sony X):

 

  • UERM is has more forward upper mids.

  • PP6 has more overall bass. This is not a bad thing since as I mentioned before, I apply slight bass boost to the UERM to increase its enjoyability factor (the UERM just sounds too much like an accurate studio monitor.) The level of bass emphasis is not excessive. Given that the black box already has three levels of bass boost, I would have preferred a more neutral presentation.

  • UERM has more apparent sub / low bass extension. We are talking about ~35Hz here. There is just more presence and power on the UERM with those low low low notes. We are not talking about bass slam here. I don't know if this is a limitation of the black box or not. Amps tend to play a part on making or breaking this aspect of sound reproduction.

  • PP6 has a lower treble peak. There is some stridency in the treble, sibilance with voices, sharpness with snare drums (depending upon how they are tuned), splashiness with percussion etc. Many HF readers know that I am sensitive to treble peaks (probably an understatement). I find the treble peak of the PP6 tolerable somewhat, although fatigue does set in for me after 30 minutes*. The lower treble peak is the PP6's achilles heel.

  • UERM is more refined tonally. Difficult to quantify this. Tonally, the UERM sounds smoother, more cohesive, and less ragged throughout the entire audio spectrum. This has always been one of the UERM's strengths.

 

The PP6 have a little bit of that U shaped frequency response thing going on. Not a bad thing. Most people like a little more bass, and a little extra treble helps for those who have damaged hearing (which I'm convinced 80% of young people today have.) I noted on the black box, there is bass boost switch. I wish there were varying levels of treble cut! Haha.

 

As I've said before, I've had a lot of experience building active speakers. The benefits of going active are definitely discernible here. I'm astounded at the level of precision, control, instrument separation, space, openness, and "blackground" of the PP6. It should be noted however that the UERM does gets much closer to the PP6 (in these "active amping" aspects) when driving with separate outboard amp such as the UHA-6. But oftentimes, I just like to keep things simple and just plug the UERM into the Sony X directly.

 

Finally, a serious disadvantage of active is that we are limited somewhat to the customized active circuitry. The amp / active circuitry in the black box are not nearly to the quality of say the UHA-6 or ALO Rx mk3 (two of the best portable amps I've heard at their respective price points.)  How did I come to this conclusion? I fed various sources into the black box (PerfectWave mk2, Sony X, my modified DCX2496, iPhone), and its very obvious the amp section is a very strong limiting factor. It doesn't scale, and it very much has its own sound signature. It's a bit on the sterile sounding side**. But as I've indicated before, this limitation is likely to be of little consequence in actual portable use for the majority IEM users (I know many of you think all DACs sound the same!) The black box isn't bad though, just not what I would expect of a balls-to-the-wall implementation.

 

Niggles:

 

  • The turn-on pop is unacceptable. It's rather loud and ear damaging. (Happened to me the second time when I wasn't paying attention.) It's pain to remove IEMs to turn on the black box and put them back on again. If this were a premium Apple product and I were Steve Jobs, I would have strangled an engineer (a la Darth Vader) for this oversight.

  • The volume goes from no volume to moderate volume from the 9:30 to 10:00 position.

 

 

For reference and comparison so readers can calibrate according to their own personal preferences:

 

* I can last just a little bit over an hour with the ER-4S. I think highly of the ER-4S with deep insertion and some EQ.

** Heck, I think the iPhone4 and iPod Classic are sterile sounding too, but to each his own.


Edited by purrin - 12/18/12 at 10:22am
post #378 of 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I fed various sources into the black box (PerfectWave mk2, Sony X, my modified DCX2496, iPhone), and its very obvious the amp section is a very strong limiting factor.

 

So I assume you did it via AUX IN and no Optical / Coaxical / USB?

post #379 of 478

For those sources yes. AUX in. Otherwise I used the coax and USB from my PC and laptop. The internal DAC of the black box is nothing special.

post #380 of 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

For those sources yes. AUX in. Otherwise I used the coax and USB from my PC and laptop. The internal DAC of the black box is nothing special.

If the Tri-amp in PP6 was done by DSP like most active amps nowadays, wouldn't it need digital input to correctly perform active crossover? 

 

EDIT: I mean "splitting" the audio signal into three amps.


Edited by legokangpalla - 12/18/12 at 1:43pm
post #381 of 478

Do we even know if the active-crossover in the PP6 utilizes DSP for the crossover function? Active crossovers can much more easily be implemented in the analog realm using op-amps, especially for the form factor of the black box. This is probably why the initial JH-3A active objectives failed and it ended up turning into a passive IEM with DSP being used for phase and time correction (just assuming.)

 

Now if DSP were being using for the crossover function, we would require three additional DAC chips. Of course DSP could be in place for simple phase, time, or FR correction. For analog / AUX in, is there an additional AD conversion in the chain for do any DSP functions could be applied? Maybe there's something I didn't consider here. Just scratching my head. (UPDATE: the ESS chips can handle multiple channels or maybe there one of those megachips in the PP6 that does everything all in one).

 

Just all speculation here.

 

I've love to get the passive adapter IEM for this model and build my own higher quality DAC / amp section. It wouldn't be portable though!


Edited by purrin - 12/18/12 at 5:17pm
post #382 of 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Do we even know if the active-crossover in the PP6 utilizes DSP for the crossover function? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cxiHUbSazE

At 0:30 he does mention DSP...now I'm not sure if he is talking about DSP in DAC or DSP for other purposes. I should send an email to UM because I would love to know if the active-crossover thing works with analogue signal.

 

I haven't tried UE Reference Monitor, but I heard it was pretty darn good and not too pricey either, my friend-the same friend who ordered Miracle with me- has UE18, are they any similar?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

I've love to get the passive adapter IEM for this model and build my own higher quality DAC / amp section. It wouldn't be portable though!

 

I'd like to get a bypass switch on PP6. I would still have to carry the black box around, but portability isn't that big of issue ATM- I am carrying a Surface Tab Pro just for the digital out.

post #383 of 478
post #384 of 478

Background

People keep asking for comparison between PP6 and JH3A.  I have used my JH16 Pro for couple years and ordered PP6 after attending RMAF 2012.

I brought my own music player (iBasso DX100) to RMAF 2012 on purposely to compare JH3A and PP6.  In the event, I tested both digital and analog inputs of PP6 and JH3A.  What I have found is JH3A has a higher ground noise for both digital and analog inputs.  JH Audio staff told me that the unit can only run for 14 hours even if you are charing it while listening to it which is ridiculous.  With the non-customized demo unit, the impulse noise created by JH3A when switching it on is not acceptable to my ears.  I wonder I will be deaf if it is a customized unit.  Although PP6 has the same issue, the impulse is not as loud as JH3A.  Somehow JH3A bass adjustment didn't work at all when I was using digital input.  Eventually, I picked PP6 rather than JH3A after hearing both demo unit.

The following is the comparison I have made with the equipment I have.

JH16Pro vs PP6 comparsion

Test 1:
Connections: Digital vs Analog
iBasso DX100 (coaxial digital)  → PP6
iBasso DX100 (phone out) → JH16Pro

One ear wearing PP6 while the other wearing JH16Pro and listen to the same music from the same source at the same time with matching volume.  Without boosting the bass, JH16Pro is a little puncher than PP6.  With +6dB of boost, PP6 turns the table with puncher bass.  The sound signatures of both IEM are very close.  When listening to complex pop music, PP6 definitely has more details and better separation, I can clearly tell what instruments I can hear in PP6 while they are edged out in JH16Pro.  Besides, under this setting, the sound from JH16Pro likes the singer is singing right next to your ear while PP6 deliveries better dimension.

Test 2:
Connections: Analog vs Analog
Computer (USB) → EMM Labs DAC2X (RCA)→ PP6
Computer (USB) → EMM Labs DAC2X (XLR)→ RudiStor RPX-303 → JH16Pro

This is a setting for testing purpose only.  The same DAC is used in this setting, the details and separation problem of JH16Pro stayed the same.  Although PP6 needs to do A to D then D to A in this setting, it still have better details and separation.  With RudiStor RPX-303 in place, the dimension problem of JH16Pro is improved a lot (It means the amplifier in iBasso DX100 is one of the cause.).  PP6 is just a little better in term of dimension.

Conclusion

The good thing of comparing IEMs is I can wear different IEM with different ear and listen to the same music from the same source at the same time.

This comparison is not an apple to apple comparison.  However, it still worths to do as I would like to find out my best mobile setting.  What I have found is even with very high end components, passive cross-over is still the bottle neck.  The problem of JH3A is they changed their design at the very late state of their development because of patent problem while the battery doesn't match their new requirements.  Besides, they tend to tune the gain of the amplifier to be too high which creates unacceptable impulse with higher ground noise.  It may be true that a higher gain is required for professional singer who performing live.  They should provide different setting for general consumer and professional singer.  After using PP6 for couple weeks, I will recommend to use it with digital source whenever possible.  You will get longer battery life with digital source, and it deliveries better sound quality with lower ground noise. (I am not able to tell the difference between digital source and analog source if the analog souce is EMM Labs DAC2X, but I can easily tell whenever digital source is used if the source is iBasso DX100).


Edited by pieapple - 12/23/12 at 8:53pm
post #385 of 478

The tour unit has arrived and here are some early observations:

 

Physical observations:

- doesn't work with my new macbook pro, via USB, on OS 10.8.2

- currently using with iPhone 5 via VentureCraft DD > Coax > PP6

- volume pot on box is scratchy at low volumes

- only about half the volume pot motion is usable

- iem cable to box connector is cumbersome and unnecessarily time consuming to orientate

- iem cable is weirdly braided; very flexible but easily tangled; looks nice though!

- shells are tiny and strangely shaped; they have this extrusion/ridge that blocks them from going deep enough in my ear and causes pain with 99% of my eartips

 

Sound observations:

- with incorrect fit, they will sound V shaped

- Hifiman biflanges are the only tips that allow me a complete and deep seal, while remaining comfortable; no more V sig

- both bass boost settings are useless and negatively affect the overall presentation

- overall very clear with precise imaging

- very good dynamics

- quite pleasantly airy sounding but not as resolving or transparent as the TG334

- very good soundstage size without sounding exasperatingly large (Merlin was taller but PP6 is airier and a lot more open, natural sounding)

- I detect a 6k-8k peak; could be fatiguing for some over longer periods but I don't find it fatiguing and it probably adds to airiness

- steep roll off after 12k

- deep bass easily heard at 15hz

- bass through mids seems very linear, although 15 - 100hz is just slightly lower in volume than above 100 hz.  Probably due to universal fit and I'd image a full custom fit alleviates this but I'm happy with it as is.

 

Additional thoughts:

- PP6 box seems to be the weak point; bass boost should be variable adjustable instead of preset selections; bass boost should be more sub bass focused rather than mid/upper bass focused and more subtle in its changes

- Leckerton UHA-6s dac and amp is better at micro detail resolution

- I really like the overall tonal balance of this earphone and would happily buy one without the black box.  I'd even like to be able to purchase it in a better universally shaped shell. Would love to be able to pair this earphone with the Leckerton.

- I'd also wish for a better upper treble extension over 12k

 

 

10001000

 


Edited by shotgunshane - 1/6/13 at 11:20am
post #386 of 478

Thanks a lot for the impressions, Shane.

 

I'm still interested in these, but the issues people have reported with the included box are worrisome. I'd like to know that UM fixed the volume pot issues for instance. Aside from that, I heard there will be some method available for using your own amp with these... an adapter cable or something? Wondering if there's any new info on this.

post #387 of 478

I can't imagine that it would be possible to use your own amp as that would negate any of the "special sauce" of the active design. Technically I guess they could have 3 sets of stereo outputs where each could link to a separate amp, then a special cable to sum it all together again before entry to the IEM. Obviously that's not a very feasible solution.

 

My PP6 (molded, not a universal demo) is stuck in China due to some Fedex "shipping exception" so hopefully that gets cleared up and I receive it soon.

post #388 of 478
A little off topic but does anyone know where you can get either custom length or very short coax or optical cables for portable use with the pp6 and portable dacs in general?
post #389 of 478

I got my mini digital cables from here: http://www.sysconcept.ca/

post #390 of 478
Nice find! Much cheaper than what's available in Japan!
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Unique Melody Platform Pure 6 (PP6) - review (1st post), discussion, appreciation, & tour thread