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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 79

post #1171 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

It's not random. If impedance graphs are available for your IEMs, you can easily predict what it will do. There should be impedance graphs available for the 232 and ie8. Probably none for the Minerva though.


Yes it is random. I am talking about variances between different IEMs. Not all IEMs will exhibit the same discrepancies. They will all vary depending on the model (how they are designed ultimately). I already know graphs can show the discrepancies. Just in this case I also agree with the graphs and I never needed one to tell me what I was hearing while using my headphones/IEMs on flawed gear. I just happened to discover exactly why I was extremely displeased with the E9 on my gear at a later time. Ever since that discovery all my amps purchased have less than 1 ohm output impedance.


Edited by lee730 - 12/23/12 at 8:41am
post #1172 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

Most of the attacks on iRiver revolves around:

 

1) The high output impedance

2) iRiver's business ethics

 

We could get past (1) with Vinnie's help. Yes, we pay to fix things and in return, we could get arguably close to our porta-phile's dream of having something with excellent SQ, small size, good UI, good storage space, and decent battery life. Same thing with iPod back then. Many spent a considerable amount of money to get the iMod because we do cherish the iPod UI and storage space. We pay to tweak things to our needs (at least it is tweakable).

 

At the sub $1k mark, I really can't think of anything that is better than the RWA100K for all that it could achieve (the DX100, C4, CLAS+Amp, HP-P1, HM801, and etc all has their own shortcomings).

The thing is...we still don't know whether the RWAK100 will able to keep up with the DX100 for that price or even best Sony walkman Z & F at more than twice their price.  With regular 16 bit 44.1khz materialss, my Walkmans get me at least 90% of the DX100's performance and with much nicer form factor & functionality to boot.  The gap is widen with hirez materails however.  This is via JH13pro by the way.  


Edited by purk - 12/23/12 at 9:26am
post #1173 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post

The thing is...we still don't know whether the RWAK100 will able to keep up with the DX100 for that price or even best Sony walkman Z & F at more than twice their price.  With regular 16 bit 44.1khz materialss, my Walkmans get me at least 90% of the DX100's performance and with much nicer form factor & functionality to boot.  The gap is widen with hirez materails however.  This is via JH13pro by the way.  

 

Well some of us have heard the standard AK100 side-by-side to the DX100. True that at least I'm assuming the RWAK100 will sound better than my DX100 - I'll find out soon enough.

 

The Walkmans are actually great value for money but the same can be said for the Cowons. I just feel that they just belong to a different category just like how we have low end headphones, mid end headphones and high end headphones. I returned my NW-F807 in the end 'cos I simply had too much hires FLACs that'll be too tedious to manually manage 2-3 different sampling rate files depending on which DAP they're going into.

 

Aside: In fact if someone knows of a Mac-based music manager with the option of storing one res in the database but down sample in real time whilst syncing to particular DAPs that would be wonderful - e.g. if syncing to DX100, real sampling rate...if syncing to NW-F/NW-Z then down sample during syncing (but not make another copy) to 16/44.1, etc. iTunes attempt to do this by keeping the originals in the database but allows the option to downsample during syncing to lossy 256k/192k/etc. If there's one that works with FLAC that'll be great.

post #1174 of 8628

I really wanted the DX until I found the battery life to be so little. If it was at least HALF that of the Cowon J3 I would be interested....  but it does not even give that.

 

I use my gear for at least 6 hrs a day. I am used to a DAC that has a play time measured by days, and an amp measured by weeks...... 

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

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post #1175 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullCircle View Post

I really wanted the DX until I found the battery life to be so little. If it was at least HALF that of the Cowon J3 I would be interested....  but it does not even give that.

 

I use my gear for at least 6 hrs a day. I am used to a DAC that has a play time measured by days, and an amp measured by weeks...... 


Too bad. Yeah that would mean you'd have to charge it daily then. Battery last up to 8 hours generally. Up to 9 for some. Takes a little over 2 hours to recharge.

post #1176 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

 

Well some of us have heard the standard AK100 side-by-side to the DX100. True that at least I'm assuming the RWAK100 will sound better than my DX100 - I'll find out soon enough.

 

The Walkmans are actually great value for money but the same can be said for the Cowons. I just feel that they just belong to a different category just like how we have low end headphones, mid end headphones and high end headphones. I returned my NW-F807 in the end 'cos I simply had too much hires FLACs that'll be too tedious to manually manage 2-3 different sampling rate files depending on which DAP they're going into.

 

 

I'm waiting for that comparison.  My point was mainly on redbook only b/c hirez on the DX100 is really sublime.  Still, it is ashamed that iRiver dropped the ball on the high output impedance issues and ones need to pay $300 to remedy it.  If the RWAK100 is a significant step up from the DX100, I will be interested as well.

post #1177 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post

 

I'm waiting for that comparison.  My point was mainly on redbook only b/c hirez on the DX100 is really sublime.  Still, it is ashamed that iRiver dropped the ball on the high output impedance issues and ones need to pay $300 to remedy it.  If the RWAK100 is a significant step up from the DX100, I will be interested as well.

 

From an SQ perspective, I'm speculating that the RWAK100 isn't going to be a substantial improvement over the DX100 but gonna be more that both DAPs are running to their optimal capability and therefore a signature preference of the choice of DACs and OpAmps by each maker. Outside of the SQ, for me the RWAK100 would be a win for my use since it's truly pocketable and if the battery lasts for a a long time.

 

As soon as I get my hands on the RWAK100 and with the customary 48 hr burn-in, I should be able to provide some preliminary thoughts at least.

post #1178 of 8628

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Aside: In fact if someone knows of a Mac-based music manager with the option of storing one res in the database but down sample in real time whilst syncing to particular DAPs that would be wonderful - e.g. if syncing to DX100, real sampling rate...if syncing to NW-F/NW-Z then down sample during syncing (but not make another copy) to 16/44.1, etc. iTunes attempt to do this by keeping the originals in the database but allows the option to downsample during syncing to lossy 256k/192k/etc. If there's one that works with FLAC that'll be great.

Not a perfect solution, but XLD allows you to create custom profiles, incl. the transcode details and the output folder & format. Even though I use iTunes as a playback/transfer tool, I don't let it manage my folders/files. So for example in my case:

 

- launch XLD

- choose custom profile "FLAC 16/44.1" (or "MP3 VBR0" or "FLAC Original Rez" or whatever)

- drag my album (sub)folders to be converted on XLD dock icon to transcode resulting queue, have a cuppa

- drag the converted files/folders from their separate custom folder into the AK100's memory (internal or microSD)

 

Done. (There are some snags (may be not XLD) but more on that later)

post #1179 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

As soon as I get my hands on the RWAK100 and with the customary 48 hr burn-in, I should be able to provide some preliminary thoughts at least.

 

Let me know as well. I have this expectation that it will beat the DX100 in the area of SQ as well (I have heard the DX100 updated with the latest version recently).

 

I actually dropped Vinnie an email two days ago but didn't receive any reply from him.

post #1180 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSC View Post

Also, I don't believe for one minute that its SQ can keep up with the DX100's, so there's no way I'd pay more for it.  Mike from Headfonia wrote it "has such a cold static feel to the sound. Un-analog. Lacks fluidity. Lacks warmth, among other things. Moderate dynamic range. Relatively flat sound stage with disappointing layering."

While I don't always agree with him, I tend to take negative reviews seriously, and these and similar impressions pepper his article.  

 

Mike is using phones with impedance not ideal for the AK100 since the AK100 has 22ohms. His impression totally mirrors something we would expect due to the impact of high output impedance.

post #1181 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by uelover View Post

Let me know as well. I have this expectation that it will beat the DX100 in the area of SQ as well (I have heard the DX100 updated with the latest version recently).

I actually dropped Vinnie an email two days ago but didn't receive any reply from him.

That's strange, Vinnie has always responded within 12 hours.... But to be fair, it is the weekend before a major holiday in the USA. Hang tight I'm sure he will get to you ASAP.
post #1182 of 8628

In all fairness it's almost Christmas, so delayed or late replies are pretty reasonable and expected.

post #1183 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokyung View Post

In all fairness it's almost Christmas, so delayed or late replies are pretty reasonable and expected.

 

Long live the holidays, when Christmas Cheer kills the AK100.

post #1184 of 8628

Since this has coming up off and on again, and I never clarified one of my earlier comments, I'd like to offer a perspective regarding "boycotts" and "failed" products... (regardless of the factual issue caused by having a high output impedance)

 

-- iriver is not a small boutique shop (like, for example, RWA) very strongly dependent on the small, specific community here at Head-Fi or similar sites. iriver is a very large international corporation, with a huge presence in the asian market specifically, they cater to anyone looking for "high end audio" in a portable player via their Astell & Kern sub-brand. Even if it didn't sell so well, for whatever reasons, they cater to the other, what, 95% of the market with their other audio products. A "boycott" isn't going to work.

 

And a 1/2 dozen or so people here voicing their opinion and intent to not buy their product is just a very small number of consumers exercising their right not to buy a product that doesn't meet their expectation, like anything else on sale. Everybody buying the RWAK mod is buying their product anyway, voiding of warranty notwithstanding, the sale is made.

 

-- By casual Head-Fi'ers I meant people like myself who are well aware of the theoretical shortcomings but decide that other factor matter more, or that it will objectively or subjectively NOT negatively affect us, unlike hardcore ones for whom the perceived flaw (in a graph or two) is the bottomline from which they won't budge (their choice, no problem) Not because we are simply ignorant (to put it more politely than icefalkon : )

 

-- Speaking of perceived flaw: even if it's a small percentage of the music-listening public all over the globe (iriver IS international), there are plenty of well-heeled listeners out there who will buy Astell & Kern's "MQS" marketing wholesale. Just watch the "Astell & Kern speaks for itself" video (AK site, no direct link due to internal redirect) These are the people it's aimed at, and their fans/listeners or similar-minded people.

 

Reviews like the PC Mag one, or WaPo one, or Star Tribune copy, or anything at some point in Wired magazine etc., don't care about any of the technical graphs etc. Their readers think ohm is the sound of the universe, impedance is a fancy word for something getting in the way and a rule of 8 has nothing to do with audio. They clearly hear the improvement over their iBuds hooked up to their phone/player and happily buy this Apple-style high-end product. They believe bigger is better, blissfully unaware that other than filesize there is little improvement to 24/192 files, even may be detrimental to SQ. It's just much better than their MP3s, not a "failed" product from their perspective. And they constitute a much larger customer base than the high-end (C)IEM subset of the hardcore Head-Fi'er subset of the dedicated forum-visiting "audiophile" subset... and from what AnakChan alluded to in an earlier, seem to snap them up as much as one would such an expensive product...

 

ADD.: I also think the rather distinctly non-audiophile inclusion of Bluetooth is a concession to that crowd, since Bluetooth in general cannot carry a really high-grade signal (even iriver make concessions in their updated FAQ) and frankly AFAIK even the best Bluetooth headsets are mediocre by audiophile standards...


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 12/23/12 at 10:11pm
post #1185 of 8628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Well that's not true...there is a UI, but just no "G"UI ;-).
The Tera Player doesn't cut it for me, aside from the lack of the GUI, is the insistent of the maker to keep to WAV only. It's too difficult for me to manage multiple formats of the same track depending on which DAP it's going to be loaded onto.
I'd like to pose a different scenario...if iRiver :-
1) had the product right from the start (both < 1 ohm headphone out & ALAC/AAC support from the very beginning)
2) put it at a price of around $900
3) marketed it with words that insinuate it was in the realms of the DX100, HM-901, & Tera Player
What would the response be? Still mostly negative or mostly positive? Personally I'd be quite positive about it.
On a slightly different way of thinking, I personally view the RWAK100 a -little- like the AMG/Brabus of a Benz (or the Alpina of the BMW). I know there's no direct correlation or comparison but more a veiled sense of similarity.

 

AMEN !   Now, I need a bank with lots of cash and is easy to rob biggrin.gif

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