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the best SQ from these 4 players?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

i currently have a sansadisk clip+ which i've enjoyed for the last few years.

i wish to get another player and i have a short list, and i'm hoping for some advice please.

 

all i'm interested when it comes to a player is good sound quality.

i mainly listen to classic rock, up loud, and i like a good amount of bass.

 

from everything i've read, these players would apparently have better sound quality than the clip+:

 

colorfly c3

cowon s9

hifiman 601

rocoo p

 

i think its the colorfly c3 that doesn't have an eq? i'm worried that because of this i may not be able to get enough bass.

thanks.

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyefloater View Post

 

from everything i've read, these players would apparently have better sound quality than the clip+:

 

 

If you go to anythingbutipod, which is easily the best site for this sort of thing and where people have tested these players pretty thoroughly, I think you'll be told that you've been reading placebo effect junk. The Clip has an extremely low noise and low jitter amp/dac combo. This means that as long as it has adequate power to drive a headphone without clipping (unfortunate term) then the sound will vary only in signature details that EQ can make up for.

 

That said, if you're a fan of heavy EQ, a Cowon with the JetAudio/BBE package can do astonishing things.

 

But if you want better sq, then the real answer is better headphones/IEMs. The Clip+ actually has a pretty chunk amp - mine drives my HD25s fine, especially with some EQing (which is much better if you install Rockbox) so you have a wide range of choices.

 

So my advice is to save your money and get IEMs/headphones - choose carefully for the genre of music you're most interested in.

 

abi review for the first "audiophile" player I could find: 

 

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54879

 

- they're all about equally brutal.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

interesting.

 

a case of diminishing returns?

 

thanks for the link.

 

i currently use my clip+ with some vsonics and sometimes with some grado 60i.

while i like the sound i've always thought there must be better.

 

is there little improvement in SQ between this $30 clip+ and a player costing $600? 

it doesn't seem possible.

are the people who review these expensive players and waxing lyrical about them on too many of the wrong drugs?

people buy them are claim they have incredible audiophile sound, have they been fooled into believing that?

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyefloater View Post

 

is there little improvement in SQ between this $30 clip+ and a player costing $600? 

it doesn't seem possible.

 

people buy them are claim they have incredible audiophile sound, have they been fooled into believing that?

 

The Placebo Effect is very powerful among the self-selecting group of people who will spend a thousand dollars on a DAP without wanting to see evidence - and all the properties of a DAP that ad to SQ are measurable with bench gear. In fact, much bigger gaps in price-performance have been sustained in thousands of test:

 

http://tom-morrow-land.com/tests/ampchall/index.htm

 

For another measurable disaster among audiophile players:

 

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62111

 

If you do some googling you also find plenty of cases where expensive audio equipment actually contains very cheap parts - the dissections I've seen of the HiFiMan players make it very to understand the price, I know of a case where a $150,000(yes!) speaker system used the same core components (minus a few thousand dollars of pretty wood) as a $15,000 speaker system (really good speakers can legitimately be very expensive) - and then there was the highly praised tripath based audiophile selling for around $1000... that turned out to have exactly the same internals as an amp you could buy for $100. It gets even worse when you look at magic hifi cables...

 

I'd strongly suggest keeping the Clip+ and putting the best IEMs/headphones you can on them. My Clip+ sounds amazing playing Blonde On Blonde (ie the Dylan album, not the porn film of the same) through $200 HD25-1-ii. (In Grado terms the 25 is said to sound very like a 225i with lower bass extension. I think it's a great buy because it's amazingly tough, user repairable, and high isolation.)

 

Otoh if you want IEMs, there seems to be quite a shake up going on in the market - I'd probably wait a few months and see what comes out on top. Some - but not all - mid and upper end IEMS and headphones to offer substantial increases in sq over what a Grado 60 can do, and your Clip will be able to drive virtually all the portable options. (Or if you go crazy and buy Earsonics SM64s, then you can add a pocket amp.)

 

Of course, a lot of people will disagree with me, so weigh what they say and the evidence they can show.

post #5 of 12
Agreed on the SQ issues. However there are usability differences you might want to look at. Some feel the integration of player and host computer, synching, etc, make the system more pleasurable to use, and are willing to pay up for that.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Agreed on the SQ issues. However there are usability differences you might want to look at. Some feel the integration of player and host computer, synching, etc, make the system more pleasurable to use, and are willing to pay up for that.

 

But are there any differences here? My Cowon and my Clip both appear in my file browser, I drag stuff to 'em, and that's it. (It's primitive, but that's how I like it.) Are you saying that there other options for some of these players only?

 

Oh - and I should have mentioned that if you have an early Clip+, there could be a very slight pitch problem. Updating the firmware (google for this) or switching to Rockbox will fix this.(You probably won't notice a difference though..)

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

But are there any differences here? My Cowon and my Clip both appear in my file browser, I drag stuff to 'em, and that's it. (It's primitive, but that's how I like it.) Are you saying that there other options for some of these players only?

 

Oh - and I should have mentioned that if you have an early Clip+, there could be a very slight pitch problem. Updating the firmware (google for this) or switching to Rockbox will fix this.(You probably won't notice a difference though..)

Yes, there are differences.  It gets down to preference, but the more sophisticated systems might be found easier to use.

 

Look, everyone, including yourself, can google.  Sometimes features and usability are worth something to some people, sometimes not.   I'm not taking sides or  saying any more that what I've said.  I just don't have the energy to get scuttled again.  Of course, it's probably too late.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

Look, everyone, including yourself, can google. 

 

Yes, but it helps to have a keyword rather than the very vague "some players let you do different things with your computer."

 

Especially as what you are saying is somewhat weird: if a DAP provides a standard USB interface then software on the host computer can do anything it likes if you're not into drag-and-drop primitivism. Amarok, for example, will synch with anything - even an iPod if you install libgpod.  To use some of these you might have to go to Settings in the Clip and change USB from "MTP" to the other choice, whatever it is called. Is that any help?

 

 

post #9 of 12

How about automatic cloud sync and playlist management, and auto sync with no user intervention just for starters?  

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post

How about automatic cloud sync and playlist management, and auto sync with no user intervention just for starters?  

 

These all sound like features of your PC player software. Unless you're using a phone as a DAP, which I don't think the guy was asking about, in which case it certainly could sync with cloud storage... which would otherwise but a bit of a struggle for a DAP like the Hifiman or Cowon, what with their not being able to connect to the Internet?

 

This links to another reason to stick with the Clip - phones and tablets will will get better and cheaper over the next few years, and will be able to the cloud and apps like Exciter to add quite a lot to most people's music playing experience. So this is a good time, if you have a decent player, to postpone buying and let this happen.

 

But - ymmv.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

These all sound like features of your PC player software. Unless you're using a phone as a DAP, which I don't think the guy was asking about, in which case it certainly could sync with cloud storage... which would otherwise but a bit of a struggle for a DAP like the Hifiman or Cowon, what with their not being able to connect to the Internet?

Ok, but you aren't going to like this: Apple iPod Touch. And it's not just about iTunes on the computer, it's some rather tight integration on the player and software together. Wifi is build in, cloud sync can be automatic, and it's not a phone. Plus you can run Audyssey Amp and solve all your headphone EQ problems too.

Ducking and covering now.
post #12 of 12

+1 for the iPod Touch. I have the iPhone 4, which uses the same Cirrus Logic DAC, and it sounds just a little bit better than my Clip+.

 

The 5.5g iPod Video is great as well, and dirt cheap too (under $100 on the 'Bay). Hard drive/CF card upgrades are easy and it supports Rockbox, so you can avoid iTunes if that's your goal.

 

Honestly, I've heard the Cowon J3, and I absolutely hated it. Clunky user interface, and the sound quality was really not that great. It sounded very bright to my ears. I heard a Hifiman very briefly, and it struck me as sounding very muffled in the treble region, almost like choosing the "treble reducer" preset on the iPod.  When all is said and done, I'll gladly take the iPod over any of these so-called "HiFi" players.

 

Now the iBasso DX100 on the other hand looks promising... wink.gif

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