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Review: iHiFi 812 v2 portable player - an interesting "budget high-end" portable - Page 3

post #31 of 88

Due to work and some other issues that have happened of late, I haven't had any time to listen to the 960.  I just got a Schiit Bifrost so I can test the digital out.  Hopefully I will have more time to listen as the holidays slow work down a bit.  I really do enjoy the sound of the 960, very musical with a very dark background.  If I can just get the thing to somehow use a cue file to play my music gaplessly, then I would be ecstatic.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #32 of 88

Nice review there.

 

The Chinese hi-fi market is indeed growing.

post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

Minor update - I had a chance to compare the 812V2 to a NAD C545BEE the other day. Both feeding into a nice little system consisting of a Rogue Audio pre and some active Dynaudio monitors. The system owner is upgrading his digital source and the NAD is just a backup player, but I found it to be pretty nice for a $499 unit. 

 

I plugged in the 812 just to see how they stack up, and was impressed that it matched or surpassed the NAD in almost all areas. We could switch back and forth on the fly and spent some time getting to know the ins and outs of each source. The NAD was possibly better in terms of deep bass extension, but the 812 wasn't far behind, and had a noticeably wider soundstage presentation. The 812 uses the same WM8740 as the C545BEE but also has ASRC which doesn't show up in the NAD units until you move one step higher to the C565BEE (which adds dual differential DACs, digital inputs, and other goodies, so is probably worth springing for if you like NAD). 

 

I can't use this single example as a catch-all for how well the 812 performs, and I note that NAD has moved on the the newer C546 model which has some improvements. Even so, it indicates to me that the 812 is at least as good as entry level CD players from quality brands. 

 

In other news, I ordered the 960 so it should be coming in the next week or two. I'm interested in hearing how different it sounds. 

That's actually rather impressive. The 545 is a bit on the darker side but quite listenable for it's price. I'm not a fan of ASRCs on HiEnd kit but it may be a good thing here. Upsampling like that can take away some minor solidity but often helps the openness. It's not like these portable devices can be perfect and any VG result is to be appreciated. Anything on the 960 yet. I have to admit that the slightly smaller case and rounded edges are much more appealing for a portable. Any idea about 24 bit?


Edited by goodvibes - 12/8/12 at 5:38pm
post #34 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

That's actually rather impressive. The 545 is a bit on the darker side but quite listenable for it's price. I'm not a fan of ASRCs on HiEnd kit but it may be a good thing here. Upsampling like that can take away some minor solidity but often helps the openness. It's not like these portable devices can be perfect and any VG result is to be appreciated. Anything on the 960 yet. I have to admit that the slightly smaller case and rounded edges are much more appealing for a portable. Any idea about 24 bit?

Sadly, I think the 960 is still limited to 16/48. That's the one aspect I'm not pleased with on a conceptual level (well, the price could always be lower, and the UI more advanced, and the size smaller, and the battery life improved.... But I'm realistic about what is and what isn't possible in a device like this).

First order of business is to connect it to one of my various DACs that displays incoming sample rate, to verify the digital output. I assume it will be an upsampled 192kHz stream but then again it's possible the digital signal gets routed prior to ASRC and then it would be a native rate.
post #35 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_sends View Post

Due to work and some other issues that have happened of late, I haven't had any time to listen to the 960.  I just got a Schiit Bifrost so I can test the digital out.  Hopefully I will have more time to listen as the holidays slow work down a bit.  I really do enjoy the sound of the 960, very musical with a very dark background.  If I can just get the thing to somehow use a cue file to play my music gaplessly, then I would be ecstatic.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

 

Since you seem to be "in the know", do you have any idea what the 960 does for digital output? I'm wondering if it applies upsampling before or after the digital out. Maybe you saw mention of that info on some other forum?

 

I ask because my plan was to use the 960 with the UM Platform Pure 6, feeding a digital signal. But the PP6 supposedly tops out at 96kHz for all inputs, so if the 960 sends out a 192kHz signal then my plan won't work. 

post #36 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

Since you seem to be "in the know", do you have any idea what the 960 does for digital output? I'm wondering if it applies upsampling before or after the digital out. Maybe you saw mention of that info on some other forum?

 

I ask because my plan was to use the 960 with the UM Platform Pure 6, feeding a digital signal. But the PP6 supposedly tops out at 96kHz for all inputs, so if the 960 sends out a 192kHz signal then my plan won't work. 

Unfortunately, all I know about the 960 comes from here: http://www.i-hifi.com/960read.html

In this case, Google Translate actually works pretty well.

 

Hope this helps...

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #37 of 88
Thread Starter 

I just figured you were active on Erji.net or some other place that might have more discussion. That's ok though, I'll find out soon enough and report my findings. Thanks anyway!

post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I just figured you were active on Erji.net or some other place that might have more discussion. That's ok though, I'll find out soon enough and report my findings. Thanks anyway!

I lurk there to see what new toys are out but my knowledge of the Erji forums is only as good as Google translate (which really sucks...for that forum at least).tongue.gif  What we need is some of our Chinese brethren to chime in on this forum and clue us in as to some of the mysteries of the Chinese Audio(Head)-Phile world and it's workings.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #39 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HK_sends View Post

I lurk there to see what new toys are out but my knowledge of the Erji forums is only as good as Google translate (which really sucks...for that forum at least).tongue.gif  What we need is some of our Chinese brethren to chime in on this forum and clue us in as to some of the mysteries of the Chinese Audio(Head)-Phile world and it's workings.

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

 

I see. I do the same thing from time to time, using the same translation. I was hoping you were that Chinese brother, but apparently I was wrong!

post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

I see. I do the same thing from time to time, using the same translation. I was hoping you were that Chinese brother, but apparently I was wrong!

It's ok, I made the same mistake with another forum member.redface.gif

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends

post #41 of 88
Hi project86, I read somewhere else that you also have the 960 now, can you compare it's sound to the 812?
post #42 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by retrophonic View Post

Hi project86, I read somewhere else that you also have the 960 now, can you compare it's sound to the 812?

 

It just arrived last week. I've been so busy I haven't had much time to play with it. Right from the start I can tell it has much improved build quality and ergonomics though - little things like the volume knob being somewhat shorter and harder to turn, so it doesn't accidentally crank the volume while in your pocket. So it's definitely a "premium" looking and feeling device, but we'll see about the sound.

 

I did test it with optical output to my Cambridge 840C, which shows me the digital output is being sent at 24-bit/44.1kHz resolution. I find that interesting - the internal ASRC upsamples everything to 24/192, so I figured digital out would either be a 24/192 signal (post ARSC) or a native 16/44.1 signal (pre ASRC). For some reason the word length is being padded to 24-bit but the sample rate remains native. Not that it should matter, since the conversion from 16 to 24 bit does no harm. 

post #43 of 88
Thank you very much, I currently have the 812V2 and was considering the Studio V 3 or the IHIFI960. Next week.
post #44 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by retrophonic View Post

Thank you very much, I currently have the 812V2 and was considering the Studio V 3 or the IHIFI960. Next week.

 

Already owning the 812, you probably understand what I mean - it's well built and everything, but there are areas that can be improved. The volume knob thing that I already mentioned is one example. Another is the screen - the 812 is exposed, the 960 has a glass cover. I'm sure I'll never use my 812 in such a way as to damage the screen, but it's still nice to have the better coverage of the 960. Also the buttons feel more solid on the 960, even down to the clicking noise they make.

 

As for sound, my initial impressions are that it is very much in the same family but better extension on both ends, better soundstage and imaging, and slightly better detail retrieval. I'm not yet sure it is a huge upgrade just on sound alone (need to do a lot more listening to determine that) but as an overall package it is worth the upgrade price. 

post #45 of 88

Project86,

 

What does your 960 say on the glass cover and what color are the screws?  If the glass cover says "IHIFI 960" on it and the screws are a gunmetal color, you've got the v1.1 version.  I have the older version but the company that makes the 960 are offering a free upgrade kit for the glass and screws.

The info is here (Google translate does a fairly good job):

 

http://www.i-hifi.com/960t.html

 

The "upgrade kit" is a new glass cover and new gunmetal colored screws.  Apparently the black screws could rust if exposed to humidity so these guys are going to the trouble of offering replacements.  I'd say that's pretty first class!

 

Cheers!beerchug.gif

-HK sends


Edited by HK_sends - 1/3/13 at 1:11pm
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