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DAP with the best SQ?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Not too expensive, below $500.
Looking for SQ and nothing else.
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 24

There really is no one answer to your question.

However, I expect it will stir up arguments over which one is better in that price range. popcorn.gif

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achmedisdead View Post

There really is no one answer to your question.
However, I expect it will stir up arguments over which one is better in that price range. popcorn.gif
Could you provide a list of DAPs that are in the price range? It would be greatly appreciated.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rt310 View Post


Could you provide a list of DAPs that are in the price range? It would be greatly appreciated.

 

That would be a big list - anything except the top tier "audiophile" ones probably - DX100, AK100, HM801, Tera Player and C4.  Of course if you have your heart set on spending at least $400 because price = performance you'll have a far smaller list wink.gif

 

What is quality sound to you?  Do you value vocals, bass, guitars, instrument separation... more?  Are you hoping to drive very sensitive IEMs or full sized headphones?  There is no one size fits all "best sounding" DAP, you need to give more info smile.gif

post #6 of 24

I'll go ahead and say Clip+... :)

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post

That would be a big list - anything except the top tier "audiophile" ones probably - DX100, AK100, HM801, Tera Player and C4.  Of course if you have your heart set on spending at least $400 because price = performance you'll have a far smaller list wink.gif

What is quality sound to you?  Do you value vocals, bass, guitars, instrument separation... more?  Are you hoping to drive very sensitive IEMs or full sized headphones?  There is no one size fits all "best sounding" DAP, you need to give more info smile.gif
I value vocals and instrument separation the most, as most of my music consists of Asian pop/classical. I'll be using my GR07s with them.
post #8 of 24

It depends on how you listen to your music. If you do a blind test to determine the best dap for your music instead of audio, you will very likely prefer the $100 dap to the $500 dap or even the $800 dap. But if you are an audiophile and know it is an iPod, it won't sound any good no matter what because you are looking for the perfect mechanical audio not necessarily the most enjoyable music. wink_face.gif


Edited by DMinor - 1/22/13 at 1:18am
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post

It depends on how you listen to your music. If you do a blind test to determine the best dap for your music instead of audio, you will very likely prefer the $100 dap to the $500 dap or even the $800 dap. But if you are an audiophile and know it is an iPod, it won't sound any good no matter what because you are looking for the perfect mechanical audio not necessarily the most enjoyable music. wink_face.gif
All I want is the best out of my music biggrin.gif
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rt310 View Post


I value vocals and instrument separation the most, as most of my music consists of Asian pop/classical. I'll be using my GR07s with them.


Perhaps you should have a read about the Colorfly C3 which is praised for it's instrument separation and several users with the GR07?  I have never heard the GR07 or any Asian pop, but I do have a C3 and can vouch for it's usability. 

 

My only hesitations would be:

 

- The C3 doesn't do gapless, so there will be slight pauses in the middle of transitions and this may be accompanied by quiet click/pop noises (I hear them, but cannot reproduce them on demand - seems to be completely random)

- If you leave it paused it will not auto power off and the battery will drain seemingly quicker than when playing music.

- It will not remember what you were playing when you next turn it on. 

- A touch more bass would be nice, but that could be my choice of headphones.  It does have a couple of EQ settings which help.

 

But purely from a SQ perspective the C3 sounds so good I re-ripped 150+ albums into single FLAC files (with cues to skip between tracks) to avoid the gaps despite the other flaws.  You'd have plenty of money left to spend on music too smile.gif

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rt310 View Post


All I want is the best out of my music biggrin.gif

 

What daps do you have now? Keep in mind the sound comes down to the synergy from the combined gears (dap, iem's, and etc)

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidal_orange View Post
 


Perhaps you should have a read about the Colorfly C3 which is praised for it's instrument separation and several users with the GR07?  I have never heard the GR07 or any Asian pop, but I do have a C3 and can vouch for it's usability. 

 

My only hesitations would be:

 

- The C3 doesn't do gapless, so there will be slight pauses in the middle of transitions and this may be accompanied by quiet click/pop noises (I hear them, but cannot reproduce them on demand - seems to be completely random)

- If you leave it paused it will not auto power off and the battery will drain seemingly quicker than when playing music.

- It will not remember what you were playing when you next turn it on. 

- A touch more bass would be nice, but that could be my choice of headphones.  It does have a couple of EQ settings which help.

 

But purely from a SQ perspective the C3 sounds so good I re-ripped 150+ albums into single FLAC files (with cues to skip between tracks) to avoid the gaps despite the other flaws.  You'd have plenty of money left to spend on music too smile.gif


i agree with most of the above, bass fine on my ATH M50s. C3 costs £75 from HK or china inc p&p, and if you want improvement on that sound, then  the C&C BH amp for around £65 pairs very well. both of these gadgets have their own appreciation threads, so check them out. i havnt come across the word synergy too often on this site, but youll see it often in the c3 thread, re the c3 + C&C BH. resell value is good as well.

post #13 of 24
Save for a year and buy it is worth it.
www.tera-player.com
You will never needpocket.ing else. The priest analogue sound tube like in your pocket
post #14 of 24

If I had to have one DAP, bought new for under $500, I'd get

the Hisound Studio 3rd Anniversary

post #15 of 24

Well - I'm not trying to start a new thread unnecessarily.  So I'll post in this one. 

 

My wonderful Creative Labs Jukebox 3 is having seizures.  It boots only intermittently now, and the intermittent is becoming less and less reliable as the weeks go by.  It's been twelve years, so I can't complain too loudly.  It's sad, but I realize I must move on.

 

I would like a new JB3.  But I can't do that for lots of reasons.  So does anybody have recommendations?

 

My new DAP must have a dedicated clean audio out, so that I can connect my headphone amp.  I like to listen while sitting on my back screened porch, or sitting at my kitchen table, or sometimes connecting it to my small stereo I have in the kitchen so I can listen while I'm cooking.  So, I'd like it to be portable, but it doesn't have to be small. Lots of battery life would be nice.  The JB3 had an infrared remote (w/ receiver in the player, not in a dock) which I loved.  I don't expect to get that lucky.  Above all, I'd like a nice clean signal to the amp. 

 

Thanks very much.

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