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The Fiio X3 Thread. - Page 722

post #10816 of 17129

<subjective opinion>

So...I finally got time to try the 3.0 firmware, replacing it from 2.14b. I'm listening to 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC from HDTracks, using V-Moda Crossfade M-100s. I hear what people are saying about what they perceive as improvements in the SQ, but I beg to differ. I think I know why. Sure, there seems to be increased detail, stereo separation, soundfield, whatever...but it feels to me like this is all being achieved by the same process as a "widen stereo" channel processing that you can do in any decent audio software. What that basically does is some subtraction of L-R and R-L to each channel, and it results in partial phase cancellation, and significant reduction in your "phantom center". Normally, vocals are centered, and vocals tend to be around the middle of the frequency spectrum, so at first, I thought what I was hearing was a bit of a "classic V" EQ coloring the sound, so I started playing with treble and bass settings. Nothing helped, and that was when I figured out what was going on. I know that not everybody loves Rick Ocasek's voice, but I'd still like to be able to hear it properly in the mix, along with everything else that's supposed to be in the center of the mix...so I dropped back to 2.14b, and I'll be staying there.

</subjective opinion>


Edited by umdesch4 - 6/8/14 at 4:20pm
post #10817 of 17129
If this is in fact the case and FiiO is starting to monkey around with the sound and not let users know about what has been done. Well then they need to be taken to task over these shenanigans... At least give users the option to turn it off.

I am really starting to think that FW 3.0 is going to be around for a looong time before its updated again. Since basic functionality works for 90% of the users, all the other menu items are going to take the back seat of this bus.

Time to roll FW back and give a listen...
post #10818 of 17129

I'd just like Fiio to come out and say one way or the other if they've done anything to alter the sound quality. Personally I'm quite happy with the sound, and couldn't be bothered to roll back and see if it's different. At least an official post from Fiio could put the topic to rest once and for all.

post #10819 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 

 What that basically does is some subtraction of L-R and R-L to each channel,

Maybe you mean add some anti-phase L channel to R channel, and some anti-phase R channel to L channel.:confused:

(If you subtract some L-R and R-L from each channel you get:   -((L-R) +(R-L)) which = -0 to each channel)

 

If the former is the case, record something onto right channel only, if it's adding anti-phase you will get something on the left channel, yes? That way you can move from conjecture to fact. :smile:


Edited by jimmers - 6/8/14 at 8:45pm
post #10820 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmers View Post
 

Maybe you mean add some anti-phase L channel to R channel, and some anti-phase R channel to L channel.:confused:

(If you subtract some L-R and R-L from each channel you get:   -((L-R) +(R-L)) which = -0 to each channel)

If the former is the case, record something onto right channel only, if it's adding anti-phase you will get something on the left channel, yes?


Yeah, sorry, I was mincing words. What I meant was basically this:


If I take any of the files I have on my X3 right now and preview them with this plugin, with roughly these settings (maybe a bit closer to -20), they end up sounding almost exactly how they sound on the X3 itself with the 3.0 firmware. I tried this whole test again, about an hour after I made my last post, swapping out the firmwares and checking again, and I'm almost 100% certain that this is exactly what's happening. 2.14b doesn't seem to do this, and has a much more firmly anchored "phantom center" as a result.

Like I said before, this is all my subjective opinion, but I'm solidly convinced, and I'm staying with 2.14b.

post #10821 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmers View Post
If the former is the case, record something onto right channel only, if it's adding anti-phase you will get something on the left channel, yes? That way you can move from conjecture to fact. :smile:

Holy crap, you're right! I'm going to try this right now...thanks for the idea!

post #10822 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 


Yeah, sorry, I was mincing words. What I meant was basically this:



Like I said before, this is all my subjective opinion, but I'm solidly convinced, and I'm staying with 2.14b.

Cool, it looks like you have the tools to test your hypothesis :bigsmile_face:

 

Of course that has no bearing on personal preferences, and I'm undecided re 2.14B and 3.0.

 

(An extreme example, nothing to do with differences between 2.14B and 3.0, I work with someone who would rather listen to his tunes from the speakers of his iPad than any of my gear :eek: and another whose Beats broke, so he bought another pair :rolleyes:)

post #10823 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 

Holy crap, you're right! I'm going to try this right now...thanks for the idea!


Ok, so I tried it, and the results aren't totally conclusive, but very interesting nonetheless. I get some leakage into the opposite channel (tested with chopping the right channel out of the first half of a track, and the left channel out of the second half of one of my 24/96 FLAC files). I plugged my headphones into the output of the Yamaha Audiogram 6 I'm using for sound on my PC, and cranked it using the same manipulated source file. No leakage at all whatsoever, no matter how dangerously loud I crank it. So it's not the cans, nor their cable.

 

It's hard to tell, but there seems to be significantly more of this "leakage" in 3.0 than in 2.14b, but it's hard to be scientific about it. If the sound that's showing up in the opposite channel were phase inverted, that would be a smoking gun. Alas, I'm not set up to snag a digital sample off the headphone jack of this thing at the moment, in order to check. But *something* odd is definitely happening.

 

Anyone care to submit this to closer scrutiny? I remember a hundred or so pages back on this thread there was somebody who talked about consistently recording the output of their devices, for just this kind of situation.

post #10824 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 


Ok, so I tried it, ...

Alas, I'm not set up to snag a digital sample off the headphone jack of this thing at the moment, in order to check. But *something* odd is definitely happening.

Well done :beerchug:

so what's now preventing you from recording a stereo sample of the playback of your "chopped" file from your X3 line out? Suitable cable?

post #10825 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmers View Post
 

Well done :beerchug:

so what's now preventing you from recording a stereo sample of the playback of your "chopped" file from your X3 line out? Suitable cable?


Yeah, that and issues with the audio input drivers on my PC that I've been meaning to sort out for a while now, but keep putting off. :(

 

PS. While I'm on that subject, if anyone has sorted out how to get recording to work from one of the line inputs on a Yamaha Audiogram in Windows 7 64-bit, please PM me. This all used to work fine when I bought the thing, right before I transitioned from Windows XP to Win 7, but it seems to me now that I think about it, that I've never gotten it working right since "upgrading".


Edited by umdesch4 - 6/9/14 at 1:33am
post #10826 of 17129
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 

<subjective opinion>

So...I finally got time to try the 3.0 firmware, replacing it from 2.14b. I'm listening to 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC from HDTracks, using V-Moda Crossfade M-100s. I hear what people are saying about what they perceive as improvements in the SQ, but I beg to differ. I think I know why. Sure, there seems to be increased detail, stereo separation, soundfield, whatever...but it feels to me like this is all being achieved by the same process as a "widen stereo" channel processing that you can do in any decent audio software. What that basically does is some subtraction of L-R and R-L to each channel, and it results in partial phase cancellation, and significant reduction in your "phantom center". Normally, vocals are centered, and vocals tend to be around the middle of the frequency spectrum, so at first, I thought what I was hearing was a bit of a "classic V" EQ coloring the sound, so I started playing with treble and bass settings. Nothing helped, and that was when I figured out what was going on. I know that not everybody loves Rick Ocasek's voice, but I'd still like to be able to hear it properly in the mix, along with everything else that's supposed to be in the center of the mix...so I dropped back to 2.14b, and I'll be staying there.

</subjective opinion>

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollDragon View Post

If this is in fact the case and FiiO is starting to monkey around with the sound and not let users know about what has been done. Well then they need to be taken to task over these shenanigans... At least give users the option to turn it off.

I am really starting to think that FW 3.0 is going to be around for a looong time before its updated again. Since basic functionality works for 90% of the users, all the other menu items are going to take the back seat of this bus.

Time to roll FW back and give a listen...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Trev View Post
 

I'd just like Fiio to come out and say one way or the other if they've done anything to alter the sound quality. Personally I'm quite happy with the sound, and couldn't be bothered to roll back and see if it's different. At least an official post from Fiio could put the topic to rest once and for all.

 

As far as i know only the actual developers (i.e the "code monkeys" not "FiiO Electronics Technology CO., LTD.") of the firmware are the only ones who have any idea about what's going on software wise. We can shout and point all we like but as long as the developers (and FiiO) feel like keeping quiet about it we will probably never know anything, that is the beauty of proprietary software. 


Edited by skalkman - 6/9/14 at 11:13pm
post #10827 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdesch4 View Post
 


Yeah, that and issues with the audio input drivers on my PC that I've been meaning to sort out for a while now, but keep putting off. :(

 

I've been encouraging you because I'm too slack to do it myself :wink_face:.

I won't list the projects that are waiting for me to get to them (and yet I start more :redface:) so I'm happy with my X3 'cos it's a finished product (except for more possible FW ups) and works to my satisfaction :bigsmile_face:

post #10828 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalkman View Post
 

Hey, go easy with the "code monkeys", we  they are people too and have feelings (well, some do), just 'cos we they work for peanuts is no reason to disrespect them.:angry_face:

 

:wink_face:

post #10829 of 17129
I won't pay you peanuts. Fix my computer, here's a banana.
post #10830 of 17129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saoshyant View Post

I won't pay you peanuts. Fix my computer, here's a banana.


Think you can buy me with berries! I have them growing in the back yard.:p 

hmm, maybe I should plant some peanuts - then I'll never have to work again (apart from a little horticulture).

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