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Sony's DSD-capable PHA-2 portable headphone amp/DAC - Page 5

post #61 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Goggling up a bit, I found the audio chip used needs 10 ohms series resistor on the output to be stable. The use of buffers used to be popular some years back (even stacks of them), I wonder if they can help here?

For me too, if it's 10ohm and/or has hiss, the interest will fade quickly.

100% agree with you xD since the XBA-4/40 are so hard in damping factor, they should really design one or two amp for it hehe

Billson smily_headphones1.gif
post #62 of 551

For my PHA-1, the volume of each side of the earphone is not balanced in low level... Hope PHA-2 will have some promotions on this potentiometer!!!

post #63 of 551
Thread Starter 

Arnoud: did you hear the PHA-1? Despite Sony's Walkman players spitting hiss like snakes, the PHA-1 is quite silent. But the balance is off at low, IEM-listening levels. If that can be fixed, I think the PHA-2 can stay the course. 

post #64 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post  Goggling up a bit, I found the audio chip used needs 10 ohms series resistor on the output to be stable. The use of buffers used to be popular some years back (even stacks of them), I wonder if they can help here? For me too, if it's 10ohm and/or has hiss, the interest will fade quickly.

 

While most people stick a 10 ohm resistor on the TPA6120, it's possible to implement an inductor on the output and the OI will drop to ~1, at the expense of a little bit of THD+N. For example, the HUD-mx2 does exactly this with the TPA6120; Sony has the capability to do the same thing, but even better. Hopefully, the engineers are willing to tackle this problem.

post #65 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
 

Arnoud: did you hear the PHA-1? Despite Sony's Walkman players spitting hiss like snakes, the PHA-1 is quite silent. But the balance is off at low, IEM-listening levels. If that can be fixed, I think the PHA-2 can stay the course. 

 

I haven't experienced this problem at low listening levels using my W4Rs.

post #66 of 551

I bought this amp and was really disappointed, audio quatily was well below par. The battery only lasted around 4 hours and takes about that long to charge. It's sturdy and very well made but that doesn't make up for it's short falls. 

post #67 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsm1973 View Post
 

I bought this amp and was really disappointed, audio quatily was well below par. The battery only lasted around 4 hours and takes about that long to charge. It's sturdy and very well made but that doesn't make up for it's short falls. 

 

Will you tell us how is it well below par?  It uses the Wolfson WM8740 and sounded on par with my AQDF with the ESS Sabre 9023.

post #68 of 551
I don't understand all the nay-saying here. I mean sure, don't buy into it you feel like it's going to be a waste of your money. I think releasing all these things based around DSD might interest people enough for it to take off. Like others say, Sony seem to be on a roll with the high-res stuff. Remember that they were a little... Disappointing for a period of time.

Oh, and complaining about file size is kind of amusing. Storage just grows and grows and Internet speeds are always increasing too. I remember when, to me, 320k MP3s were "overkill" and took up too much space and who the heck can hear the difference between 160k and 320k anyway? Then of course there was a time that FLAC was overkill (and to many, still is) and a waste of hard drive space. Soon enough you'll be laughing at yourself for thinking that 500mb is an awful lot of space for a song to take up,

There is still a large contingency of people who feel that CD and digital formats were the death of recorded music. Sure, it's not particularly mainstream, but those people keep the vinyl alive and kicking. It's a pretty fragile format, though, and the size makes it inconvenient in this world where portability in media isn't so much a convenience as a requirement. If DSD can deliver the same thing that vinyl does and allows people to listen on the go, I can hardly understand why it's met with such negativity.

I, and many others, have recently backed the GEEK DAC on Kickstarter and it supports DSD, too. I didn't back it for that reason, but it's nice to know that if the option becomes more mainstream, I'm sorted. Whether or not I'll actually be able to tell any difference is another thing, but I'm sure that some part of my mind will be at ease knowing that I am listening to music that's well near uncompromised by its format.
post #69 of 551
Any chance we could move discussion of Sony's business strategies to another thread and keep this one on topic, namely the PHA-2?
post #70 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatefulsandwich View Post

If DSD can deliver the same thing that vinyl does and allows people to listen on the go, I can hardly understand why it's met with such negativity.

 

Clearing up mis-perceptions, e.g. "DSD delivering the same thing vinyl does" should not be taken as "negativity."

 

There's no substantial subjective difference between DSD and CD (16/44 PCM) and none whatsoever with 24/96 PCM. (And with the PHA-2's off-the-shelf TI chip amplifier solution, I'm not sure anyone would be able to discern differences between DSD or 16/44 PCM if there were any. Sort of disappointing they went this direction because I've always liked the Sony S-Master amps and heard a lot of potential with those.) In fact, DSD is actually technically inferior to 24/96 PCM because the DSD band above 30-40kHz becomes polluted with noise because of 1-bit noise shaping techniques. I have CD recordings that sound better than the the DSD versions and vice versa (which is more often the case, so I guess DSD is "better" than CD.) It depends more on the mastering than final format. 

 

A good master on CD will sound better than vinyl. Personally, I collect vinyl, SACD, hires PCM for simply one reason: to expand the pool of recordings / masters available - not because any one format is inherently better than the other - with the exception of vinyl which is the most inferior because of noise, limited dynamic range, limited extension, etc. 

 

It's been speculated that because current vinyl and SACD are niche formats, the mastering engineers are under less pressure from studio heads to mess up recordings (apply massive compression, increase brightness, etc.). Many early CDs sounded horrible because recordings weren't being mastered to the format - it was a new format with much more extended and accurate frequency range than vinyl. Many new CD remasters also sound horrible because of the extra compression and increased brightness. Ironically, some SACDs have taken as their source these CD remasters.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatefulsandwich View Post

Whether or not I'll actually be able to tell any difference is another thing, but I'm sure that some part of my mind will be at ease knowing that I am listening to music that's well near uncompromised by its format.

 

DSD already is a compromised format (read above comments on noise-shaping.) 99.9% of studios master in hires PCM, so there's a translation to DSD which results in decimation of the original PCM data. In fact, it's generally not possible to record, mix, or master in 1-bit, unless you have specialized equipment which is very expensive and really only available until fairly recently. Ironically, 99% of SACDs are sourced from analog tape or PCM.

 

I'm not saying DSD is bad, but the question is really is "how much DSD ya got?" (like right now, not in one or two years based on hopeful speculation and insider rumors that Sony will make a big push toward releasing their entire catalog on DSD, because by then it's likely you'll have upgraded to another portable player.)


Edited by purrin - 9/8/13 at 9:20am
post #71 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceClass View Post

Any chance we could move discussion of Sony's business strategies to another thread and keep this one on topic, namely the PHA-2?

 

No.  

 

The only known difference in the PHA-2 is the addition of DSD.  This discussion is entirely relevant and the definition of "on-topic".  


Edited by Speakerphile - 9/8/13 at 9:27am
post #72 of 551

I just checked and the amp I have is the SONY PHA-1 and not the PHA-2. So my apologies,The issue I have the PHA-1 audio of this amp is highs are server that it actually hurts my ears and I have to continually decrease the volume. Consequently I just stopped using it the low and mids were quite good and I think it has potential if they can sort out the highs. 

post #73 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Clearing up mis-perceptions, e.g. "DSD delivering the same thing vinyl does" should not be taken as "negativity."

 

There's no substantial subjective difference between DSD and CD (16/44 PCM) and none whatsoever with 24/96 PCM. (And with the PHA-2's off-the-shelf TI chip amplifier solution, I'm not sure anyone would be able to discern differences between DSD or 16/44 PCM if there were any. Sort of disappointing they went this direction because I've always liked the Sony S-Master amps and heard a lot of potential with those.) In fact, DSD is actually technically inferior to 24/96 PCM because the DSD band above 30-40kHz becomes polluted with noise because of 1-bit noise shaping techniques. I have CD recordings that sound better than the the DSD versions and vice versa (which is more often the case, so I guess DSD is "better" than CD.) It depends more on the mastering than final format. 

 

A good master on CD will sound better than vinyl. Personally, I collect vinyl, SACD, hires PCM for simply one reason: to expand the pool of recordings / masters available - not because any one format is inherently better than the other - with the exception of vinyl which is the most inferior because of noise, limited dynamic range, limited extension, etc. 

 

 

 

Thanks for the information and clarification. I was beginning to wonder if my ears are going bad ;) And I agree that a good recording/master on a CD can really sound excellent. DSD is not everything.

post #74 of 551

I can't justify the price of the PHA-1's...

post #75 of 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by uopjo6 View Post
 

I can't justify the price of the PHA-1's...

 

$350 for a MFI DAC/AMP that does async and 24/96?  I don't think that's overpriced.

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