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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 85

post #1261 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

If you're using earbuds, I'd say stick to your iPod biggrin.gif. Jk Jk...I see your sig and see what you have. Although I'm not familiar with most despite owning 2 of them but a long while back.

It's funny that you ask this today 'cos when I met up with a couple of Tokyo Head-fiers today, we agreed that really it's the headphone/earphone that defines primary (or biggest) signature & quality, thereafter the DAC, then amp. The cables started to get somewhat blur (as to whether the ear/headphone cable vs backend ICs vs power cables, etc.).  Despite the topic being more about desktop setup, I think in part at least it's applicable to portable.

So my personal 2 yen worth is that if you have a pair of headphones that hasn't reached its full potential yet, then that's where the DAC, then/and amp come in to give that extra edge. On the other hand if the ear/headphones has already reached its full potential with your iPod video+cMoy BB amp setup, then going for a higher end DAP may see little rewards.

We did discuss about track quality too and we agreed that the difference between 256k lossy is probably the "best bang for buck" and for most of the tracks it's hard to tell the difference (or at least to satisfaction) in comparison to 16/44.1 lossless. I think I'd be even hard pressed to find 4 out of 100 of my best tracks to be able to tell if it was 256k lossy or lossless (but I do have 7214 tracks) and even for those I can tell a difference, I would have to listen pretty hard to tell the difference - in which case I'm no longer listening to music but just listening to detail and nitpicking. In other words, I'd still at least enjoy the music even at lossy. 128kBps on the other hand is a completely different matter.

Personally for me, I feel that the h/w component changes (DAC, Amp, cables) would make a bigger difference than 256kbps vs lossless.

This is just my personal beliefs which I've shared and agreed with some other Tokyo head-fiers.

P.S. no joke, earwax could potentially affect more than lossy vs lossless!

Well for the tracks I know intimately, I can definitely hear a difference between lossy and lossless. That being said, however I am not able to tell between lossless vs another lossless codex. For lossy codex aac 256 still betters mp3 320.

The rest of the sentiment, however is spot on. The right set of cans means everything. The rest of the gear makes minimal differences.

For me +/-20 hour playback + flac + expandable memory = win.

This is from the guy still using the 1st gen ipod touch and ipod 5.5 (non modded)
post #1262 of 8677

Pretty much my experience is similar yet all those little things add up to be very big things IMO (sound quality-wise) ;).
 

post #1263 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryUprising View Post


Well for the tracks I know intimately, I can definitely hear a difference between lossy and lossless. That being said, however I am not able to tell between lossless vs another lossless codex. For lossy codex aac 256 still betters mp3 320.
The rest of the sentiment, however is spot on. The right set of cans means everything. The rest of the gear makes minimal differences.
For me +/-20 hour playback + flac + expandable memory = win.
This is from the guy still using the 1st gen ipod touch and ipod 5.5 (non modded)

 

God point! I didn't mention anything about codex. With and iPod I just assume we're talking about AAC (VBR).

post #1264 of 8677

I always prefer cbr though I don't do much lossy.

post #1265 of 8677

Thanks guys, really good points.

 

My primary cans are my v4 Magnum Grados...I recently added some insane buffer tape from Japan that someone gifted with me and it takes them to an entirely different level. I've tested the Denon/Senn lineup and these (to my ears) sound every bit as good as their top tier. As for the rest of the Grado line...these blow them away. But..there's a lot of money in mods, cable, and extra's in them. After them come the Aerial7 Royale's...got them going in blind and they are exceptional. Meaning...they surprised the crap out of me with how good they sounded. Ha...I needed something where my wife wouldn't always be screaming at me..." I hear your music through your headphones" ...damn open back Grado's..After that...it's the Heir 4Ai's...mostly for when I'm at the gym, jamming/playing guitar with my buddies in the studio or riding the NYC subway. So my main cans are fantastic...if my balls are being broken...I go to plan B...the Royale's...lol...and then out and about the Heir earbuds. As for file types...a lot of what I have is 320kbps mp3's with about 3000 aac files.

 

This is what has me really thinking now Anak...have these headphones/earbuds...maxed out the source...or has the source maxed out the can's...? Really great way of determining whether to upgrade or not...thanks for that bit of advice.

 

I guess holding off until the NYC Meet in April would be the best course of action...I'm sure some of the guys have DX100's and maybe someone will have a RWAK100 or a Terra Player to try. In my work, I have access to tens of thousands of high quality audio tracks...it's a matter of picking and choosing what fits the media and flows the nicest.

 

Thank you for the great advice!


Edited by icefalkon - 12/29/12 at 2:18pm
post #1266 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryUprising View Post


Well for the tracks I know intimately, I can definitely hear a difference between lossy and lossless. That being said, however I am not able to tell between lossless vs another lossless codex. For lossy codex aac 256 still betters mp3 320.
The rest of the sentiment, however is spot on. The right set of cans means everything. The rest of the gear makes minimal differences.
For me +/-20 hour playback + flac + expandable memory = win.
This is from the guy still using the 1st gen ipod touch and ipod 5.5 (non modded)


Great point here as well. I can tell the differences with my favorite tracks as well...but when I just compared the aac 256 Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here with the mp3 320...the 320 definitely sounded better...?

 

You're also right with the....20hr playback, flac, expandable memory...those are huge pluses. I'm getting approx 15hrs on the modded ipod. And with RBox flac isn't a problem...and 120+ gigs of space is more than enough for traveling...so if I have most of those points already...why upgrade...

 

SQ is all that's left..

post #1267 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by icefalkon View Post


Great point here as well. I can tell the differences with my favorite tracks as well...but when I just compared the aac 256 Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here with the mp3 320...the 320 definitely sounded better...?

You're also right with the....20hr playback, flac, expandable memory...those are huge pluses.

Tbh the mp3 320 are of dubious origin, while me aac were ripped off cds I had. So ymmv. :-P

The double extra plus that tipped me over was the ability to charge via usb (and by extension, usb battery packs.) one less charger ftw. none of the other players can do that.
post #1268 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryUprising View Post


Tbh the mp3 320 are of dubious origin, while me aac were ripped off cds I had. So ymmv. :-P
The double extra plus that tipped me over was the ability to charge via usb (and by extension, usb battery packs.) one less charger ftw. none of the other players can do that.

What do you mean the 320's are of dubious origin? I'm thinking of playing with the different file types to determine the differences.

 

Yeah, the USB charging is definitely a nice feature.

post #1269 of 8677

Read post below V


Edited by Gorillaz - 12/29/12 at 5:56pm
post #1270 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

 

If you're using earbuds, I'd say stick to your iPod :D. Jk Jk...I see your sig and see what you have. Although I'm not familiar with most despite owning 2 of them but a long while back.

 

It's funny that you ask this today 'cos when I met up with a couple of Tokyo Head-fiers today, we agreed that really it's the headphone/earphone that defines primary (or biggest) signature & quality, thereafter the DAC, then amp. The cables started to get somewhat blur (as to whether the ear/headphone cable vs backend ICs vs power cables, etc.).  Despite the topic being more about desktop setup, I think in part at least it's applicable to portable.

 

So my personal 2 yen worth is that if you have a pair of headphones that hasn't reached its full potential yet, then that's where the DAC, then/and amp come in to give that extra edge. On the other hand if the ear/headphones has already reached its full potential with your iPod video+cMoy BB amp setup, then going for a higher end DAP may see little rewards.

 

We did discuss about track quality too and we agreed that the difference between 256k lossy is probably the "best bang for buck" and for most of the tracks it's hard to tell the difference (or at least to satisfaction) in comparison to 16/44.1 lossless. I think I'd be even hard pressed to find 4 out of 100 of my best tracks to be able to tell if it was 256k lossy or lossless (but I do have 7214 tracks) and even for those I can tell a difference, I would have to listen pretty hard to tell the difference - in which case I'm no longer listening to music but just listening to detail and nitpicking. In other words, I'd still at least enjoy the music even at lossy. 128kBps on the other hand is a completely different matter.

 

Personally for me, I feel that the h/w component changes (DAC, Amp, cables) would make a bigger difference than 256kbps vs lossless.

 

This is just my personal beliefs which I've shared and agreed with some other Tokyo head-fiers.

 

P.S. no joke, earwax could potentially affect more than lossy vs lossless!

 

that in fact it's true earwax affects the way you hear since when I went to do my impressions for my customs, the audiologist did an audio test, which I failed because my ears were filled with wax, she told me that if she was going to clean my ears it would cost me a lot of money because of the clinic's fees so she recommended me to go to the pharmacy and buy some earwax removal drops and to follow the instructions, I used them for 5 days to soften the wax then I used the ear syringe and some liquid that came with the ear drops to finally wash the inside of my ears, and it was really nasty you had to see the amount of wax that came from my ears, so I went back to the audiologist and she was able to make my impression without any problem, so how many of you have gone to the an audiologist and she has not said anything about the earwax we all have, and she just does the impressions? I know this has nothing to do with the Iriver dap, but AnakChan is right on this one since my hearing really improved since I cleaned my ears, and I also think he is right about  hardware componets making the difference in Sound Quality not lossles vs lossy files.


Edited by Gorillaz - 12/29/12 at 5:57pm
post #1271 of 8677
I agree with all you except the order of importantence . Dac I agree but amp first then headset
U can have a good heatset and if the amp cannot drive them ur nowhere . And a good amp will get the best out of whatever headset u have.
And ps I go to the audiologist once a year and I'm 56 and have some hearing loss so I like to keep up with it .
post #1272 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

I agree with all you except the order of importantence . Dac I agree but amp first then headset
U can have a good heatset and if the amp cannot drive them ur nowhere . And a good amp will get the best out of whatever headset u have.
And ps I go to the audiologist once a year and I'm 56 and have some hearing loss so I like to keep up with it .

 

For me I always believe its amp first and followed by the DAC (unless the amp is more than adequate to drive the headphone in the first place).

 

For example, LCD3 + Cavalli Liquid Fire + iPod (LOD RCA cable) is likely to sound better than LCD3 + Schiit Lyr + Any DAC of the CLF price range.

 

However, if it is for sensitive phones (i.e., CIEM), any amp that is up to spec will most likely work and getting a better DAC would yield more improvement than changing an amp.

 

All these are general remarks since this type of issue needs to be addressed on a case by case basis.

post #1273 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorillaz View Post

 

that in fact it's true earwax affects the way you hear since when I went to do my impressions for my customs, the audiologist did an audio test, which I failed because my ears were filled with wax, she told me that if she was going to clean my ears it would cost me a lot of money because of the clinic's fees so she recommended me to go to the pharmacy and buy some earwax removal drops and to follow the instructions, I used them for 5 days to soften the wax then I used the ear syringe and some liquid that came with the ear drops to finally wash the inside of my ears, and it was really nasty you had to see the amount of wax that came from my ears, so I went back to the audiologist and she was able to make my impression without any problem, so how many of you have gone to the an audiologist and she has not said anything about the earwax we all have, and she just does the impressions? I know this has nothing to do with the Iriver dap, but AnakChan is right on this one since my hearing really improved since I cleaned my ears, and I also think he is right about  hardware componets making the difference in Sound Quality not lossles vs lossy files.

 

Not everyone has ear wax problems. Some will be worse than others. I went to the audiologist and she said I had a small amount of ear wax right at the base of the crook of my ear canal. She did a small sweep and got it out. Was very minor as I generally keep my ears very clean. So not everyone will have wax build up. My hearing did improve slightly after that (not much but noticeable).

 

I also believe headphones/IEMs first followed by both Amp/DAC. I believe the DAC to be just as important as the Amp. If you have a crappy DAC it will hold your entire setup back. I felt this way regarding the UHA6 MKII DAC and even the one on the UHA4 (in comparison to my higher end DACs).


Edited by lee730 - 12/29/12 at 6:30pm
post #1274 of 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

I agree with all you except the order of importantence . Dac I agree but amp first then headset
U can have a good heatset and if the amp cannot drive them ur nowhere . And a good amp will get the best out of whatever headset u have.
And ps I go to the audiologist once a year and I'm 56 and have some hearing loss so I like to keep up with it .

Same here. I go to the audiologist once a year for testing. The wax issue is important...as is making sure your CIEM's are clean. After 6 months of use I was surprised at the crud that came out of them.
post #1275 of 8677
Yea I hate seeing anything in the holes,but those little tools help
I read somewhere about some kind of hearing aid cleaner it was a humidifier and heater if I remember rt
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