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Short review on the Dx100 mod (english)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
introduction
As most head-fier's noticed, the ibasso dx100 is currently one of the most popular mp3 player in the market, and I guess most dx100 owner purchased this player due to its useof the es9018 dac chip. Which gives the dx100 the advantage in clarity and accuracy, in short terms a neutral and clean performance.
Another feature on the dx100 is the all in one package, which includes player and amp, allthese into one small portable package, less clumsy package.
 
But it has its audio performance limitation in terms of dynamic and layering, although the problem is not major, but I believe the dx100 can achieve more/better than what it has to offer, and this is my motivation behind the dx100 mod. I was very lucky to meet a local audio specialist (Hong Kong), who specializes in amp design.
He agrees with modifying my dx100, the main alteration is to ditch the 6.3mm plug and switch into a 4 pin plug.
The reason for this decision on the plug change is because I went to the av show2012 in Hong Kong this summer, and there were all kinds of headphone to try out, from affordable earphones to not so affordable earphones.
I have tried quite a large number of them, especially on high head headphone, since it is a rare opportunity to try them all in one place, from ultrasone ed10, audio technica w5000anv, Shure 1840 etc.
But there is hardly any high end headphone which works well on my dx100, which is a great disappointment.
Then I realized thefact that dx100 simply don't have enough 'juice' to run those earearphones.....
 
Listening:
The main differences before and after mod is that the music becomes more energetic, better layering achievement in pin point accuracy, increase in the overall sound 'field' and there is a greater improvement in detail. i have also heard some small and not so obvious detail which is simply unheard of before the mod, such as the slight variation in music projection from some classic music, which is due to the positioning of the orchestra from the recording , and such change is not noticed before the mod, which is sometime very new to me.
This mod basically enhance what dx100 has to offer, and provide a better platform for the es9018 to unleash its potential
And I have to turn down the volume in order to hear the same amount of sound before mod, which I believe it’s due to the efficiency improvement from the four pin plug.
 
this a/b test will be performed on the same player, since the 6.3mm plug is switch into 4 pin plug and the 3.5mm plug is not altered, thereforethe sound is exactly the same as before the mod.
 
The songs which are compared are from theperfect sound 2012 (16bit wav format)
earphone: heir audio 4a
Cable:gold+silver occ & copper occ
 
1.     aida: grand march/verdi
The sound from various instrument has become more accurate, the spacing has become more open. And I have notice a slight reduction in music volume on the right, since this is unheard of before the modification.Which I believe is due to the recording of the music, since I heard the same ‘problem’on another earphone. 
2.     cry me a river
Once again, the spacing has become more open, and her voice becomes crystal clear, although same apply before the mod, but the level is definitely different. And the positioning of the instrument is accurate and clear, very neat indeed, with no influence of the performance of the vocal.
3.     over the rainbow
The sound of each distinctive key in the song is very clean and crisp, which outmatch the performance before the mod. And I can feel the emotion through the piano performance, each key feels unique to itself and once again the clean and tidiness of the package enables this song to become extremely enjoyable to listen to.
4.     l'arlesienne suite no.2,farandole/georges bizet
The improvement in layering enhance the pleasure in enjoying this music, and it feels like music is flying over my head, which mainly due to the great accuracy and the good spacing from the dx100 mod.
5.     canon/johann Pachelbel
One of my favorite song at all time, a very good group performance of various string instrument, each string instrument behaves differently, as it should be of course. But this song doesn’t only consist of one string instrument throughout the song, they sometimes play one or two of them in one go, which requires extreme performance on layering and accuracy, which the dx100 mod as able to achieve.
 
Conclusion
Although the warranty is loss due to alternation of the dx100, but I believe it’s definitely worth it. The differences are obvious and positive, but it has its disadvantage. The 4 pin plug is not commonly use in the portable audio equipment, even though it has its advantage over the 3.5mm plug in terms of the improvements it brings tothe dx100 package.
 

 


Edited by terry11091991 - 9/5/12 at 6:42am
post #2 of 5

ermm mod? added plug? there has to be something else, this alone will not add any power at all, nor will it improve efficiency etc nothing. now it would be possible with quite some fiddling to take the balanced out of the ESS, but not without either skipping the output buffer, or adding extra amp components, just adding a 4 pin plug will not do anything, except perhaps improve/lower crosstalk

 

also, none of the headphones you mention above are hard to drive, i'm confused


Edited by qusp - 9/5/12 at 12:11pm
post #3 of 5

cutting board - cutting edge mod - get it????   :)

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post

ermm mod? added plug? there has to be something else, this alone will not add any power at all, nor will it improve efficiency etc nothing. now it would be possible with quite some fiddling to take the balanced out of the ESS, but not without either skipping the output buffer, or adding extra amp components, just adding a 4 pin plug will not do anything, except perhaps improve/lower crosstalk

 

also, none of the headphones you mention above are hard to drive, i'm confused

 

Pins 2,3 & 4,5 (DAC_L for Pin 2 and 5 and DAC_LB for PIN 3&4) along with Pins 44, 45 & 46, 47(DAC_R on pins 44 & 47 and DAC_LB on pins 45 & 46).

 

Would need the balanced Circuitry to be created.

post #5 of 5

I found Terry's DX100 was modified by one of the DIY master in Hong Kong, I have request Uncle Man to modify my DX100 as well.

Here is the some pics token by X100. I will share my exp of new DX100.

 

 














Edited by Jacky820 - 1/19/13 at 5:53pm
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