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The Transport vs Full Function Thread

Poll Results: What would you prefer to use as your main rig?

 
  • 47% (23)
    I would like to have a transport whereby i can implement my own DAC and AMP solutions.
  • 52% (25)
    I would rather have an all in one system with integrated DAC/AMP that additionally gives me the option to bypass said internal DAC/AMP when i feel the need.
48 Total Votes  
post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Due to discussion over at the Fiio x3 thread many users seem to be calling for a transport system whereby implementing the use of the users own DAC and AMP sections configured by themselves.  So i would like to start a discussion based on idea's/solutions/demand for such a product.  What would you like to see? Does it interest you? What hardware/firmware solutions can be used etc?  What would be your DAC and AMP? Would this be your ideal solution? Would you rather have an all in one?

 

Hopefully if it gains any momentum companies can look towards this thread as valued market research to gauge viability and how they would best implement a solution.

 

Regards

 

Stozz

post #2 of 28

My requirements are pretty simple:

 

A transport with larger storage (128-512 GB)

Gapless playback of Flac (and other) files (Hey, Cowon can do it, Rockbox can do it...why can't anybody else?)

Optical/Coax/and yes...even USB output

Options for no EQ and manually adjustable 8-10 band EQ

Minimum 12-15 hour playtime

On-Board or off-board playlist generation and support.

Less than $400

 

See, not much...biggrin.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

 

PS - The idea for me is to be able to plug it into any DAC/amp I want, from Schiit Bifrost/Lyr to Practical Decives XM6...


Edited by HK_sends - 8/29/12 at 12:07am
post #3 of 28

I agree with the above. I think minimum should be 15 hours since a transport that is dedicated should be able to have decently long battery life if it is not hindered by a DAC and amp section. I'd like 15 to 25 hours playback time. With straight to the point functions that work flawlessly. Doesn't need to be eye candy, yet minimalist and to the point. Don't want to be stressing out over dumb UIs.
 

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

I agree with the above. I think minimum should be 15 hours since a transport that is dedicated should be able to have decently long battery life if it is not hindered by a DAC and amp section. I'd like 15 to 25 hours playback time. With straight to the point functions that work flawlessly. Doesn't need to be eye candy, yet minimalist and to the point. Don't want to be stressing out over dumb UIs.

+1!  It doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to make sense and be functional.  Right now, I am hoping Little Dot does something with their UI in the next firmware upgrade for the DP_I (whenever that will be...rolleyes.gif).  Whoever designed the UI seemed to assume that the operator would intuitively know how to navigate the menus...and if they made some sense, I could deal with it.  Right now the UI on the DP_I ruins a potentially excellent DAP.  From what I have heard, that seems to be the issue with a lot of the non-android DAPs (even Cowon has its issues).  The DAP makers need to stop letting the hardware engineers and/or chip makers design the interface.  OK, off my soapbox... 

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

 

Dr. McCoy: "I know engineers, they love to change things!"

post #5 of 28

So far exactly 50/50, interesting, although not a great number of votes...

I say we need one of each!

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Actually it shouldn't be 50/50, lol this is a bit embarrassing but i clicked the wrong vote on my own poll, i meant to vote for the all in one lol.  Anyway that will work itself out.  Thanks for the input guys.

post #7 of 28

i'm not sure why the poll tbh, they both serve different needs and different customers. one product isnt going to replace the other. a top quality transport plus top quality dac/amp is going to beat any of the all in ones available currently on the market, as not even the top flight all in ones have done the transport section properly, or the dac/amp section as well as it can be.

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Sorry i dont get your post.  Its nothing to do with one "replacing the other" its merely an act to see what people prefer to use.  The whole point of the poll is to see what type of product people would prefer using, its inherently applied within the context of the topic. Also i would of thought it was also implied that the transport plus own dac and amp will sound better, but if this sq level can be achieved by one with an internal dac/amp with the option to bypass and use ones own. I know you are a big suporter of the tranport/own dac/own amp but surley you can see that people may have a preference for a dap that plays without "bolt ons".  A few reasons for this off the top of my head could be, not willing to charge 3 sections, not having to own the 3 sections plus another extra dap when "going really portable", cost - a lot of people are not going to throw out the massive price of having such an expensive set up etc.

 

Another benefit of the post (not the poll) is if people state what they would like to see from the transport (possible configurations/settings etc) it could be used as a guide for what people ARE looking for in a product (along with what is wrong with current implementations of the idea) rather than a company deciding internally "what we need".

post #9 of 28

thought it was pretty clear myself....

 

well whether you intended it or not (hard to see how you cant see this …), a poll suggests an either or choice very clearly, as have subsequent posts. as I see it there is no choice between the 2 options, they are different things and one does not serve the needs of the other. the all in one has many alternatives, the transport, none. odd choice yes? one people are familiar with, the other many will not even realize its what they actually need.

 

a person who wants an all in one device will not consider a transport only device as it wont suit their needs, a person who wants a transport only device will not consider an all in one, unless they dont have a choice but to buy the rest of the dap just to have the transport (which is all that has been offered till now).

 

actually if done properly an all in one device is the better alternative for signal quality, but i'm yet to see it done. On the down side it limits the market and makes for a very expensive item that still may not suit everyone. a transport plus dac/amp is the next best thing but allows more choice for the consumer to mix and match. It also makes it easier to separate/isolate the high slew rate, high speed digital circuits of the CPU/MCU from the more sensitive analogue circuits. these can exist up in the RFI bands, making for radiated noise that can literally leave the PCB and become airborne

 

a dac/amp in one box is comparatively easy, most dacs will allow the existing output stage to simply have some voltage gain added and a buffer to drive the headphones with minimum extra components and optionally no extra power supply over a dac only. many of the new breed of dac chips have internal 32bit+ digital volume control, or well implemented digital volume control at 32->64bit floating point could be done in the transport (optionally bypassed).


Edited by qusp - 8/29/12 at 7:11am
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post

thought it was pretty clear myself....

 

as I see it there is no choice between the 2 options, they are different things and one does not serve the needs of the other. the all in one has many alternatives, the transport, none. odd choice yes? one people are familiar with, the other many will not even realize its what they actually need.

 

As you say there is no good alternative in the transport area, the question is hypothetical on if it existed what would you prefer, to me I see it as the same features but one able to work as a source when not wishing to carry extra bulk and have top tier sq when i wish to go that route with indepentdent sections.  

 

So hypothetically lets say fiio/hifiman/colorful came out with 2 options(based on the slimmed down"x1" and x3 discussion we had on the x3 thread) : a) a transport (no dac amp)  b) the Dap (assuming using the same transport section with an integrated DAC/AMP with the bypass option) assuming that the DAP would be slighty more expensive (even though i dont believe it will due to economies of scale) people will be faced with a very real choice of what feature set is more "worthy to them".  Both would be in direct competition with each other.

 

 

Thank you very much for the input i must admit i do enjoy reading about the more technical implementations of it even though i do get lost in the jargon at times.

post #11 of 28

Portable means just that. Make a one piece player. If you do it right, you can get great inboard dac results that could easily beat a portable DAC/amp setup. That said, home setups can do more with jitter and dac design so a switchable dedicated dig out path for that would be a nice addition.

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Portable means just that. Make a one piece player. If you do it right, you can get great inboard dac results that could easily beat a portable DAC/amp setup. That said, home setups can do more with jitter and dac design so a switchable dedicated dig out path for that would be a nice addition.

Ah..but portable is part of trans-portable which is the only way I can describe those folks that had their iRiver H20 (or whatever it was that had optical out) stacked together with a DAC/Amp or a DAC and an Amp because they liked the sound from the combination better than the player's.  That's why I prefer the idea of a transport, so I can tailor the sound the way I want for either home use or away-from-home listening.

 

But again, that's my preference...YMMV. biggrin.gif

 

The bottom line for me is:  neither choice is wrong as long as it's a choice you can be happy with.  I will look for a solution that suits my taste, even if it is in fact an all-in-one solution...like my Cowon J3...that I plug into a Schiit Asgard at home or a Practical Devices XM6 while I am away. wink_face.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_sends View Post

Ah..but portable is part of trans-portable which is the only way I can describe those folks that had their iRiver H20 (or whatever it was that had optical out) stacked together with a DAC/Amp or a DAC and an Amp because they liked the sound from the combination better than the player's.  That's why I prefer the idea of a transport, so I can tailor the sound the way I want for either home use or away-from-home listening.

 

But again, that's my preference...YMMV. biggrin.gif

 

The bottom line for me is:  neither choice is wrong as long as it's a choice you can be happy with.  I will look for a solution that suits my taste, even if it is in fact an all-in-one solution...like my Cowon J3...that I plug into a Schiit Asgard at home or a Practical Devices XM6 while I am away. wink_face.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

Well, that's exactly what I described exceot for having a better internal DAC/amp to meet that higher end need. We're looking for better than h20 performance here. I also want that dig out but certainly not optical. Coax is preferred and the internal DAC/amp should be bypassed when the dig out is in use.

post #14 of 28

      Quote:

Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Well, that's exactly what I described exceot for having a better internal DAC/amp to meet that higher end need. We're looking for better than h20 performance here. I also want that dig out but certainly not optical. Coax is preferred and the internal DAC/amp should be bypassed when the dig out is in use.

Ok then, it sounds like we are on the same sheet of paper.  I thought you were suggesting there was no need for a digital-out on a portable if there was an on-board DAC/Amp.  My mistake.redface.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #15 of 28

subpar coax is far worse than normal toslink, its folklore only. ideal controlled impedance transformer coupled, proper connector and cable using connections are better than toslink yes, show me a portable dap or dac/amp doing ANY of that. its very popular to bash toslink, but it hardly ever applies and here much less than ever. besides, show me a dac that is actually USING the recovered spdif clock and i'll show you a bad design.


Edited by qusp - 8/31/12 at 8:07pm
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