Originally Posted by Achmedisdead
If you have a Clip+, and then install the Rockbox firmware, there is an audible difference in the sound because Rockbox fixes the incorrect playback speed of the Sansa firmware. So yes, firmware can indeed change the sound, even in the mainstream devices.
Originally Posted by miceblue
Is that documented anywhere? Daft Punk's "One More Time" sounds the same to me on the stock operating system compared to Rockbox, no EQs applied.
Of course this is time dependent as it takes a while to switch from one OS to another, but from memory they sound identical to me with approximate volume matching.
I don't know if it makes a difference, but I'm using the Clip Zip instead of the Clip+.
It does indeed make a difference, Zip vs Clip+.
There was quite a stink over the whole "pitch bug" a few years back...enough so that SanDisk made a public statement addressing the issue.... http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-12519_7-10370212-49.html It's no coincidence that all of the old threads about it in the SanDisk forums (most of which were full of hostility and attacks) were deleted en masse after they made that statement, and before the Clip Zip was released.
It was actually measured on the Clip+ itself, by someone who shall not be named here *cough*....the level of the pitch error and the fact that Rockbox corrected it.
When I got my first Clip Zip, I still had 2 Clip+, and I set them all up with the same files, replaygain settings, etc. One Clip+ running stock firmware, one Clip+ running Rockbox, and the Clip Zip was stock (there was no Rockbox for it then). By pausing and moving my headphone from one player to the next, it was easy to compare the three of them.....and I established that first day that the pitch was corrected on the Zip, since it played identically to the Rockboxed Clip+.
The Clip+ on stock firmware, the pitch is off, but not drastically so.....most people wouldn't know it was off at all. But those of us here have learned to listen more closely, and so compared to the general public most of us would be much more likely to notice the difference. I wouldn't use any of the Sansas without Rockbox anyways, though, so I am covered.