Originally Posted by sardar17
yes this is spot on and here is the problem.
if u wanna position it as an audiophile grade player,u need to put in those chips!!
digital amps like s-master ain't gonna cut much ice and when u pay 259 pounds for 32 gb u expect something better than a standard chip otherwise get an ipod and use power amp!!??at least u get a camera,better screen and sexy form factor
They're not positioning it as one. It's the members here that are treating it like one just because it supports high-resolution files. There's a reason why they market the PHA-2 in conjunction with the F880 and ZX1.
I'm not complaining about the sound quality of the 886 at all, and neither should anyone else buying the 886. Someone asked me how the SQ compares to the X3, and I answered truthfully.
However, I disagree with "must" putting in a ΔΣ or R2R chip --- there are always ways to do D/A conversion without relying on a third-party chip maker, especially when you're a giant like Sony that can design and fabricate its own ICs. Do you know proprietary details to the S-Master HX that the rest of the public doesn't know about? I somehow doubt it.
You're assuming that just because Sony isn't publishing specifications for its chip, that it somehow isn't up to snuff. They don't publish because it's their right not to. They don't publish performance characteristics on the PHA-1 or PHA-2 either, even though they advertise it as having a WM8740 and TPA6120A2. Why? Because it's marketing. Sony knows that audiophiles get weak in the knees when others utter the terms, "Wolfson" or "Texas Instruments".
My criticisms for the sound quality, taken on its own, were the less than stellar stereo crosstalk management, thin bass, and electronic interference from the other features. The ZX1 is said to improve on these things by using superior (but larger) passive components, a better, cleaner power supply, and removal of certain extraneous features. I can't claim to hear whether it's doing 16-bits resolution or 20-bits of resolution, so until someone takes a DSIII or AP SYS to the new Walkmans and shows that it's somehow inferior in SNR/THD/IMD/etc., I'd advise you from making sweeping statements on its supposed lack of performance.