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Question about MP3 Players with Roll Off - Page 2

post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, Colorfly CK4+ has a steep bass roll off that starts at 200Hz (like it's pretty bad) Yet I see one man bands in China opening them up modding some simple resistors onto a few sections of the board and correcting a large portion of the roll off. Bare the roll off the player sounds amazing, compared to ipod or Sansa IMO. Why it takes backyard every day people to cure the problem Is confusing. It makes me wonder why the company in question didn't patch it themselves if it was so simple in theory.

Here's a link to the CK4+ MOD. You can see just how much they cured it with a few simple resistors by the looks of things. Just how much this mod effects actual sound quality I don't know. That's why I'm here asking because I needed the answers whether or not these things are intentional.


http://www.erji.net/read.php?tid=1259823


But thanks for your help.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 11/29/12 at 4:25pm
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Well, Colorfly CK4+ has a steep bass roll off that starts at 200Hz (like it's pretty bad) Yet I see one man bands in China opening them up modding some simple resistors onto a few sections of the board and correcting a large portion of the roll off. Bare the roll off the player sounds amazing, compared to ipod or Sansa IMO. Why it takes backyard every day people to cure the problem Is confusing. It makes me wonder why the company in question didn't patch it themselves if it was so simple in theory.
Here's a link to the CK4+ MOD. You can see just how much they cured it with a few simple resistors by the looks of things. Just how much this mod effects actual sound quality I don't know. That's why I'm here asking because I needed the answers whether or not these things are intentional.
http://www.erji.net/read.php?tid=1259823
But thanks for your help.

 

 

Interesting. That sort of thing always puzzles me, too. But it isn't just the little players, for years Samsung couldn't figure out how to put a GPS receiver in a phone and make it work. There are similar h/w mods, and some simple software tweaks that fixed problems it took many phones and years for Sammy to get ironed. 

 

And the software on the first Galaxy S hampered a great piece of hardware, and download a custom rom, boom fixed. And they have very deep pockets.

post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Well, Colorfly CK4+ has a steep bass roll off that starts at 200Hz (like it's pretty bad) Yet I see one man bands in China opening them up modding some simple resistors onto a few sections of the board and correcting a large portion of the roll off. Bare the roll off the player sounds amazing, compared to ipod or Sansa IMO. Why it takes backyard every day people to cure the problem Is confusing. It makes me wonder why the company in question didn't patch it themselves if it was so simple in theory.
Here's a link to the CK4+ MOD. You can see just how much they cured it with a few simple resistors by the looks of things. Just how much this mod effects actual sound quality I don't know. That's why I'm here asking because I needed the answers whether or not these things are intentional.
http://www.erji.net/read.php?tid=1259823
But thanks for your help.


I guess the cost all adds up. one less component used could mean many man-hours less worth of labour and many dollars saved.

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginalb View Post

In regards to the firmware, though, I just disagree. Why Hifiman, or Colorfly, or SOMEONE wouldn't just pick up Rockbox, fergodssake. A dude in his basement can get Android up and running on a decent piece of hardware, look how easy it was to implement Rockbox by some guy reverse engineering everything on to the 60X and 801. That is the one thing I don't get. You don't need some super computer engineer to do it. Hire some software programmer to do it in their spare time. Done and done. 

 

You are asking a company to put its name over to some DIYer to do it for fun - a great idea from the user POV but at the same time a risky move if you are running the business. Think of this: if you run a Pizza joint and there is a guy living next street who makes great tomato paste. It will be great if you can hire that guy but unfortunately he already has a day job that he isn't going to give up but he say he would help out for free - kind of cool at first till he has to go away and you have no way of making more tomato paste. Instead, a store down the another street sell a cheaper and much less tastey paste, but it will always be there when you need more of it. I am not against DIYer (as I am sort of a DAYer myself), but you can't run a business rely on some person willingness to help you for his pastime. You might think HiFiMan can send those source code to DIYer to help them out - well, that's impossible since HifiMan probably doesn't even have those code themselves. All they have is what the complied final firmware that the SoC provider give them. Any firmware update has to come from the SoC supplier too. That's why HifiMan hire a software engineer to write its own firmware. For what I know, a software engineer isn't exactly cheap to hire in China these day. iBasso does the right thing to go for the open source Android, but the problem with Android is that it isn't optimized for audio, and it eats battery like crazy (someone estimate to me that DX100 might have waste around 70% of battery life just on Android itself). It is basically an overkill unless you can strip the system down to only what you need. Then again, iBasso needs RockChip (one of those small SoC supplier I talked about) to do the firmware for them so it becomes a vicious circuit.

 

Another problem within the Chinese market is its immaturity on the software front. You can find plenty of hardware engineers, experienced or fresh, in China these days. But what you can't find it a good software engineer. Even if you hired one yesterday, there will be head hunter coming to him by tomorrow, offering paycheck that is many times the amount you can afford so he can go to big company like Foxcomm with extra benefit like insurance, company housing and car that you don't even have. It is actually one of the hottest job in Chine these days.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Well, Colorfly CK4+ has a steep bass roll off that starts at 200Hz (like it's pretty bad) Yet I see one man bands in China opening them up modding some simple resistors onto a few sections of the board and correcting a large portion of the roll off. Bare the roll off the player sounds amazing, compared to ipod or Sansa IMO. Why it takes backyard every day people to cure the problem Is confusing. It makes me wonder why the company in question didn't patch it themselves if it was so simple in theory.
Here's a link to the CK4+ MOD. You can see just how much they cured it with a few simple resistors by the looks of things. Just how much this mod effects actual sound quality I don't know. That's why I'm here asking because I needed the answers whether or not these things are intentional.
http://www.erji.net/read.php?tid=1259823
But thanks for your help.

Not actually sure how well that mod is. Looking at the PCB, it is almost certain that the bass roll-off is caused by not enough capacitance in the coupling caps, which rises the corner frequency too high. The original  tantalum caps are replaced by what seems to be film caps, which is okay but usually doesn't have that great of a capacitance for output caps. The other problem I have seen is the resistor in series befoer the caps, which doesn't do anything except for wasting more power. I would have just replace the original caps with some large OxiCaps and push the roll-off further down into the single digit range.

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

You are asking a company to put its name over to some DIYer to do it for fun - a great idea from the user POV but at the same time a risky move if you are running the business. 

 

 

 

I work at a software company. Several of the engineers run side businesses doing consulting and programming. A company like Hifiman could quite easily find one of these companies and get a good port of Rockbox running easily and for not a ton of money by hiring one of said programmers. Programmers can live anywhere relative to the company they are programming for, so there is no reason they have to stick to China if it's so hard to find a software engineer. I can name several that would do the work if Hifiman were to hire them. Hell, I would help do it. tongue.gif


Edited by reginalb - 11/29/12 at 10:15pm
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginalb View Post

 

I work at a software company. Several of the engineers run side businesses doing consulting and programming. A company like Hifiman could quite easily find one of these companies and get a good port of Rockbox running easily and for not a ton of money by hiring one of said programmers. Programmers can live anywhere relative to the company they are programming for, so there is no reason they have to stick to China if it's so hard to find a software engineer. I can name several that would do the work if Hifiman were to hire them. Hell, I would help do it. tongue.gif


Well, they already hire their own software engineer for a complete firmware of their own and it will be used on the upcoming HM901. HM801 has been discontinued so I don't think they will be spending any more money over it.

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


Well, they already hire their own software engineer for a complete firmware of their own and it will be used on the upcoming HM901. HM801 has been discontinued so I don't think they will be spending any more money over it.

 

Yeah, and we will see how it works out. The point was more that it would have been really easy for them to do the first time around. And again, Rockbox already existed, and did end up getting ported to the devices, and was a lifesaver. Rockbox made my 601 SO much better. 

post #23 of 35
You know what, I'm fine with people having different tastes. I'm even fine with expectation bias, because it effectively enhances one's enjoyment of audio gear. And sure, people should be free to spend their money on whatever they damn well please.

I just wish people would stop claiming or even just implying that those audiophile DAPs, with all their flaws and inferior designs, are technically and qualitatively superior, with no explanation as to why. There are so many such claims around here (and elsewhere) that they are ultimately mistaken for FACT by unsuspecting, naive newbies, who in turn end up perpetuating those claims with disconcerting certainty. When it gets this bad, it amounts to straight-up misinformation!

Oh, and someone please kill the idea that more expensive is automatically better, while you're at it.
Edited by skamp - 11/30/12 at 2:44am
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post


Not actually sure how well that mod is. Looking at the PCB, it is almost certain that the bass roll-off is caused by not enough capacitance in the coupling caps, which rises the corner frequency too high. The original  tantalum caps are replaced by what seems to be film caps, which is okay but usually doesn't have that great of a capacitance for output caps. The other problem I have seen is the resistor in series befoer the caps, which doesn't do anything except for wasting more power. I would have just replace the original caps with some large OxiCaps and push the roll-off further down into the single digit range.

I wish I could do that myself, you make it sound rather simple ClieOS, but I understand what you're saying, push the roll off further down where it would become a non issue.

I would blow it up for sure trying redface.gif
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post


I wish I could do that myself, you make it sound rather simple ClieOS, but I understand what you're saying, push the roll off further down where it would become a non issue.
I would blow it up for sure trying redface.gif

 

Soldering is definitely a good skill to have for audio related hobby. It isn't as difficult as it seen and I pretty much teach myself how to solder over the year. All you really need are patience and practise.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

You know what, I'm fine with people having different tastes. I'm even fine with expectation bias, because it effectively enhances one's enjoyment of audio gear. And sure, people should be free to spend their money on whatever they damn well please.
I just wish people would stop claiming or even just implying that those audiophile DAPs, with all their flaws and inferior designs, are technically and qualitatively superior, with no explanation as to why. There are so many such claims around here (and elsewhere) that they are ultimately mistaken for FACT by unsuspecting, naive newbies, who in turn end up perpetuating those claims with disconcerting certainty. When it gets this bad, it amounts to straight-up misinformation!
Oh, and someone please kill the idea that more expensive is automatically better, while you're at it.

 

 

That is fair, I agree with you. I liked my Hifiman. I recognize that in some ways, it is also technically inferior to this $25 Clip that I bought off of Amazon after the Hifiman bit the dust. I just liked the sound it produced. 

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by reginalb View Post

 

Different people have different preferences. If the world worked the way that most commenters on the internet wanted it to, it would be very boring indeed. The general idea is: My set of preferences is right. How could you possibly not agree with me on what products to buy?

 

to Clie's point, Tegra 2 is a great example, it only cost $20/unit, but the minimum order was 100,000 units. 

 

In regards to the firmware, though, I just disagree. Why Hifiman, or Colorfly, or SOMEONE wouldn't just pick up Rockbox, fergodssake. A dude in his basement can get Android up and running on a decent piece of hardware, look how easy it was to implement Rockbox by some guy reverse engineering everything on to the 60X and 801. That is the one thing I don't get. You don't need some super computer engineer to do it. Hire some software programmer to do it in their spare time. Done and done. 

 

u made it sound so simple...

 

I do agree microcontroller are very easy to build and program... but to integrate altogether and package them ... is not easy.... u can see from hifiman... the bulk size! only a small percentage of audiophile will buy them. General consumer will never buy them

 

only big giants could package audiophile equipments into a small little device... but that will incur cost for them... and this will only attract a small percentage of audiophile to buy them... why not just reduce production cost and maintain market share

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Well, Colorfly CK4+ has a steep bass roll off that starts at 200Hz (like it's pretty bad) Yet I see one man bands in China opening them up modding some simple resistors onto a few sections of the board and correcting a large portion of the roll off. Bare the roll off the player sounds amazing, compared to ipod or Sansa IMO. Why it takes backyard every day people to cure the problem Is confusing. It makes me wonder why the company in question didn't patch it themselves if it was so simple in theory.
Here's a link to the CK4+ MOD. You can see just how much they cured it with a few simple resistors by the looks of things. Just how much this mod effects actual sound quality I don't know. That's why I'm here asking because I needed the answers whether or not these things are intentional.
http://www.erji.net/read.php?tid=1259823
But thanks for your help.

 

Its a capacitively coupled design.  If you want good bass performance on these, you need bigger caps, and those cost a couple cents more.  The goal of these players is to produce ok output for the absolute lowest cost, so they aren't going to spend extra unless they absolutely have to.


Fortunately, it looks like capacitive designs are going away in favor of directly connected ones like on the Sandisk players.  Hopefully this will mean even cheap player have good bass, since it will be one less way penny pinching vendors can screw things up.  

post #29 of 35

I guess ClieOS is totally right audiophile DAP's are a nightmare for their builders and the niche market is overly susceptible to non Apple gui imperfection taht they actually forget that getting everything right for Apple computers took a decade or two. How old is the audiophile DAP market. 8 years maybe?

post #30 of 35

 

You might think audiophile DAP maker should have all that they need to build the perfect DAP - yet the real world is quite the opposite. It is the big companies that has every resource available, yet they are also the least interested in making a Hi-end DAP with the best sound parts and best measured spec, becuase those are not something they can sell by truck load. Yet, the few companies that do want to make audiophile DAP is lacking all the resource to compete. As audiophile, we are stuck between them.

 

This could have been a correct asumption if Sony Walkman NW-ZX1 128GB did not exist. Sony discretely created a very good (and expensive) DAP. They surely have all the resources and money available to Sandisk if not Apple. I don't think they spect this product to sell "by truckloads" either, so. Is Sony product design team nuts?

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