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Clip Zip Audio vs Clip+ Audio (ALL ROCKBOX)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, I have a Clip+ and it's Rockboxed because of the playback flaws in the original firmware (I also appreciate the crossfeed application, and the parametric EQ). Anyhow, like all Sansa players the jack is failing, and right now I don't have the time to go across town (Toronto) to get it soldered. 

 

Anyhow, I have a Clip Zip as a back up (been using it to listen to podcasts). I just Rockboxed it now and I had a couple of questions for everyone here who has used both the Clip+ and the Clip Zip: 

 

1: Once Rockboxed, is there any sound difference between the Clip+ and the Clip Zip? I mean, is the sound exactly the same?

 

2: Does Rockboxing the Clip Zip change the playback problem that occurs in the original firmware? (I know, kind of the same question, but I am just double-checking). 

 

 

Anyhow, I'd really appreciate responses on this. If anyone has any empirical data (tests and whatnot) feel free to hook me up with some info! 

 

Keep it real, everyone. :)


Edited by Sonic Atrocity - 9/4/13 at 1:07am
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Atrocity View Post
 

So, I have a Clip+ and it's Rockboxed because of the playback flaws in the original firmware (I also appreciate the crossfeed application, and the parametric EQ). Anyhow, like all Sansa players the jack is failing, and right now I don't have the time to go across town (Toronto) to get it soldered. 

 

Anyhow, I have a Clip Zip as a back up (been using it to listen to podcasts). I just Rockboxed it now and I had a couple of questions for everyone here who has used both the Clip+ and the Clip Zip: 

 

1: Once Rockboxed, is there any sound difference between the Clip+ and the Clip Zip? I mean, is the sound exactly the same?

 

2: Does Rockboxing the Clip Zip change the playback problem that occurs in the original firmware? (I know, kind of the same question, but I am just double-checking). 

 

 

Anyhow, I'd really appreciate responses on this. If anyone has any empirical data (tests and whatnot) feel free to hook me up with some info! 

 

Keep it real, everyone. :)

OK, the Clip Zip does not have the playback flaw in the original firmware that the Clip+ does.....it actually does play back at the right speed. That said, I still rockboxed my Zip as soon as it was possible to do so....November 2011. Why? Because I missed all the wonderful stuff Rockbox gives you. I even use a theme that makes the screen more like the Clip+...http://themes.rockbox.org/index.php?themeid=1547&target=sansaclipzip.

 

Also, the clip on the back is built stronger on the Zip. As soon as I rockboxed my first Zip, I sold my last Clip+ and never looked back.:L3000: 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, man! Actually, funny coincidence. I was reading another thread where you were saying the playback issue is solved, and as I read it I went to your profile to message you, and then I saw that you had just posted in my thread, haha. You actually helped me out a fair bit with purchasing my Clip+ (I've had three now - don't ask, ahahahaha). 

 

Anyhow, after fiddling around some more I now have MORE questions, and maybe I was kinda hopin' for your guidance? :P 

 

So, I just rockboxed my clip zip, and so far so good. I currently have build version 3.13. But I was super surprised when I went to the crossfeed section. There was this meier crossfeed feature (apparently introduced to Rockbox on the 3.6 version). So, I found this link: http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/11767

 

Apparently, according to the 'Details', the rockbox crossfeed on the older builds, while performing the crossfeed feature, created a frequency response imbalance. Now, I don't know if you remember, but I'm a FREAK about having a flat frequency response (I have KRK KNS 8400s and the Clips). According to the aforementioned comments, it is the lower register frequencies that became louder, thus becoming boomy and imbalanced. Supposedly,

 

"A difference with the crossfeed already present in rockbox, is that this algorithm keeps the total spectrum flat (the one currently in rockbox accentuates low-frequency signals, making it sound a bit muffled)."

 

^^^^^^ (from the 'Details' section)

 

Anyhow, my questions are now this: 

 

1: Is the sound quality, as well as the type of sound (detail, frequency response, depth, etc) the exact same on the Clip+ as it is on the Clip Zip? 

 

2: Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make the frequency response flat on the Clip Zip?

 

3: Does the meier crossfeed setting on the 3.13 Rockbox build enable me to achieve a flat frequency response? 

 

4: Having any headphone jack problems? So far my Clip Zip has been great (I have worked out with it, dropped it, tossed it, EVERYTHING). But I am afraid of the headphone jack problem. 

 

and last but not least

 

5: Is there a portable player that has a flat frequency response, with a crossfeed setting that doesn't alter it? 

 

*sigh of relief* 

 

Yeah, I know I'm compulsive about this, haha.


Edited by Sonic Atrocity - 9/4/13 at 2:23am
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Atrocity View Post
 

 

Anyhow, my questions are now this: 

 

1: Is the sound quality, as well as the type of sound (detail, frequency response, depth, etc) the exact same on the Clip+ as it is on the Clip Zip? 

 

I have no measuring equipment, but by ear with several different headphones they sounded identical to me, back in August 2011 when I still had both.

 

2: Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make the frequency response flat on the Clip Zip?

 

I've always felt like the player's response was pretty close to flat as is.....when I use the Rockbox EQ I use it to correct for headphone deficiencies.

 

3: Does the meier crossfeed setting on the 3.13 Rockbox build enable me to achieve a flat frequency response? 

 

As far as I can tell it does not affect frequency response at all....I use it all the time and I never used the old crossfeed because I thought it made things sound crappy.

 

4: (and I will perhaps figure this out for myself tonight) can I get the 3.13 rockbox build on my Clip+?

 

Of course....that is the current "stable release" build. I have it on two Zips, an iPod Video, and an iPod Mini.

 

5: Having any headphone jack problems? So far my Clip Zip has been great (I have worked out with it, dropped it, tossed it, EVERYTHING). But I am afraid of the headphone jack problem. 

 

So far, no headphone jack issues....but I am careful. :D

 

and last but not least 6: Is there a portable player that has a flat frequency response, with a crossfeed setting that doesn't alter it? 

 

The only players with crossfeed that I have tried have been those with Rockbox installed....Sansa Clip, Clip+, Clip Zip,  Fuze V1, Fuze V2, Fuze+, Apple iPod Video 5.5G, Apple iPod Mini. The two iPods have a bit of a warm signature, and I haven't had enough time with the Fuze+ to really compare, so at this point out of the ones I've tried I probably would say the Zip was the closest thing (mainly because some Clip+ models were reported to have that CPU noise that people would hear with earphones). Just avoid that non-Meier crossfeed....I didn't like that at all.

 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wow man, thanks a lot. You've been a huge help to me! I may bug ya later if that's okay. :P I have a feeling the Clip Zip is just a better build, speaking in terms of hardware. I have dropped that thing - HARD. I dropped a weight on it and it's still good, ahahhaha.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

So, I know you probably thought you'd gotten away, but I'm hear to bug ya again, Achmed. :P 

 

I understand that the frequency response of a player changes once you plug a load into it. In my case I have the KRK KNS 8400 (36 ohms). Would plugging these in make my listening experience no longer flat? And, are their certain volumes I should refrain from (concerning neutral sound)?

 

EDIT: Also, should I only be using the (rockbox) crossfeed (I use the Meier as you suggested :)) when listening to older recordings? Or, in other words, am I detracting from the fidelity of my music when using the (meier) crossfeed? As I understand it, crossfeed increases fidelity, and does not detract from it, because it improves soundstage and makes it more like you are listening to speakers in a proper room.


Edited by Sonic Atrocity - 9/17/13 at 9:54pm
post #7 of 9

Hmmm, I'll try.

 

You would want a perfect flat response from speakers and DAP, not from IEM or headphones.

Because your ear does not have the same space available as a room that makes sound/music sound natural. A FR graph of an earphone is also an average and it will be slightly different in your ears.

When you plug in your earphones in your player, the FR changes a little bit depending on the reaction to the load of your DAP. The best way to find out if anything changes too much is using a neutral powerfull amp between player and earphones.

Crossfeed is a way of making music sound more natural when you listen with earphones. Because your left ear only hears left and right hears right only, and that is not the way we perceive sound, the DSP/circuit of the crossfeed implementation makes it sound more natural. You could also do some DSP'ing on your music to test this.

A good song to understand why crossfeed and DSP does make it sound more natural and listenable is Bang Bang from Nancy Sinatra. The stereo there is wide apart and without crossfeed it's not an easy listening experience.

To my ears most music does not need crossfeed but it does not degrade the fidelity of the music in any way. Most music is not recorded binaural and mixed to the stereo we perceive.

Clip (whatever version) is a great DAP. It's a little bright and even thin compared to most mainstream audio equipment and pairs best with easy to drive balanced to warm IEM.

Soundstage is a bit above average, as well as micro-details and imaging. Getting a better DAP will show a new level of performance for most top tier IEM. But you can't beat the ultra-portability, ease of use and format support (with rockbox) for that price.

What IEM do you use?

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply, Solar. I really appreciate it. 

 

I am currently using the KRK KNS 8400. So, no IEMs. Actually, I'm anti-IEM as I cannot stand ANYTHING in my ears, haha. Yeah, you are totally right about how it's hard to judge flatness but I'm just trying to get as close as possible, ya know? I mean, the measurements I have looked at online for the Clip+ show that it's ruler flat. Unfortunately, I can't really use my amp as its.. umm... somewhat misplaced. :P

 

I am a fidelity freak. Fidelity for me is so important! Instrument positioning, soundstaging, frequency response, transparency, etc, are all really important to me. 

 

Right now I'm actually looking at buying a used DT 880 32 ohm, but I am worried my clip zip (which has the same hardware as the clip+) won't drive it well. Bear in mind, I will be using it strictly at home and never in public places. I'd buy the DT880 new but I understand it comes with a leather pouch, and as a supporter of animal rights I just can't buy it (I'm not affiliated with PETA and I'm not crazy either! :P). Buying used is a step removed from the industry and for me that's sufficient. 

 

Anyhow, thanks for the response. 

 

What are you currently using?

post #9 of 9

I currently use a few set-ups.

 

For critical listening I use my laptop and iBasso D4 DAC+AMP. There is an improved version D42 from iBasso for 180USB, I would say it is a bargain. I rolled opamps to OPA1612.

I recently bought a Fiio X3 and combined with iBasso T5 I get performance extremely close to iBasso D4. The X3 amp sounds less open and less detailed then T5 or D4. I'm gonna swap opamps in the X3 but the opamp needs to be desoldered and resoldered for that, it's not rollable like D4.

 

I started with a Clip+ and Brainwavz M1. Then I upgraded to RE0 and a T4 amp. Xcape v1 IEMs were also favorites at the time. Between now and then I tried a lot of IEMs, DAC, amps, ...

 

Ultra-portable I use Clip+ with SM3.

Portable: Sony F805 with SM3 or RE0.

Transportable: Fiio X3 with T5 amp and RE262.

 

Fiio X3 sounds like a good investment for you, it has enough power and if you find it too warm, you can use the line-out with a more neutral amp or replace the opamp if you can (de)solder SOIC parts.

With the next firmware Fiio promised extra functinality as USB DAC for the X3, if they manage that, this piece of audio equipment is a must buy in my eyes for every budget-minded music lover.

 

You will probably like Superlux HD668b headphones. These are on the bright, thin side and really excell for the price they go.

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