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The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 22

post #316 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach-X View Post

Here's an idea, stop letting expectation bias convince you that these 'boutique' players do anything to improve sound quality.

 

+1

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by k3oxkjo View Post
 

 

Yes, listen to them and prove that they do...

 

  +1

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardosoPMV View Post
 

 

I totally agree with this!

 

+1

 

After several hours of listening with this FiiO HS2 switch, I returned the $749 HiFiMan HM-801 under their 30-day refund policy.  I'm still using my $249 Sony PCM-M10 as a portable transport (card reader with 96/24 capable DAC to Line Out).   For my gear, my ears, my subjective tastes, the HM-801 Line Out could not compete.

 

HiFiMan HM-801 Line Out vs. Sony PMC-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins (in my opinion, for use with LCD-2)

 

This $299 TASCAM DR-100 MkII recorder was also returned:

 

TASCAM (Teac) DR-100 Line Out vs. Sony PCM-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins!

 

Now I'm waiting for the $1000 Sony PCM-D100 recorder to be released in the States, but I'll return it, too, if its Line Out can't outperform the sound of my PCM-M10 Line Out.  Note that there are people out there who say the D100's predecessor, the D50, doesn't sound as good (via Line Out) as the inexpensive PCM-M10, but I'm hoping the D100 Line Out can entice me to part company with $1000.

 

All that said, I've actually seen people just roll their eyes at the suggestion they listen to my Sony PCM-M10 Line Out to various amps. Their negative expectation is that anything not discussed ad nauseam here at Head-Fi isn't worth the time to audition, especially if it sells for only $249.

 

I get similar reactions to my use of the TBI Millenia MG3 speaker amp to drive the LCD-2.  "Oh, it's just a class D chip amp?  Never mind..."   Yeah, never mind that it sounds much better than the Burson Soloist I sold - an amp that gets way more ooohs and aaahs than it deserves, in my opinion, having spent 7 months with it, trying to figure out what all the fuss was about.  My CEntrance DACmini CX does a better job with my LCD-2 than the revered Soloist, but the DACmini CX is yesterday's news. 

 

Going off topic, but since we're discussing expectation bias, the TBI Millenia MG3 is my pick as the poster child for negative expectation bias (it spectacularly outperforms expectations):

 

  Quoting John Hoffman's Positive Feedback review at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue67/tbi_millenia.htm

Earlier versions of the MG3 amplifier had excellent sound quality for the price point, but there were always a sonic signature that was consistent with the Class D circuit design. Essentially, the music had a smooth and refined sound, but never could quite cross that threshold of realism that separated a SET, push-pull tube amp, or even a well executed solid state design from the chip amp contingent. The 2.0 version of the TBI amp has breached that meridian, and is a legitimate high performance amp that is within the financial reach of most any hobbyist. The first version of the Millenia sounded slightly constrained and overly polite, while the 1.1 version removed a significant portion of this facade. The 2.0 series amplifier now dissolves several more sonic artifacts, and projects an honest rendition of the music into the room that makes an immediate connection with the listener.
-----
The Millenia 2.0 excels at projecting music into a room, and the midrange region has such a believable texture and tone. This amplifier also has an uncanny expression of dynamic contrast that is very rare at this price point. While packing only 32 WPC, if paired with the right speakers the TBI amplifier is capable of creating a satisfying rendition of scale to large ensemble performances. The previous amplifier was an unbridled success at the $500 price point, yet the Millenia 2.0 version sets the bar even higher for affordable Class D amplification. Any hobbyists working on a modest budget should give this amplifier a listen to, for it is one of the hidden gems in the audio landscape.

 

My "transportable" rig:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/633511/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xvi/7050#post_9857369

 

Mike

post #317 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach-X View Post

Its a lot easier to hear things you _think_ are there than it is to hear things you don't, especially when you want to justify a high dollar purchase.

 

Looks like a Classic expression of expectation bias on your part, in my view. I could say that if you don't think there are any differences, you probably won't hear any whether they are there or not. But really, I don't know you and you don't know me, so neither one of us knows the other's motivations and expectations and how successfully they can listen with minimal prejudicial influences.

 

And, at least in the case of the Fiio and Ibasso, their prices are right around the price of a "non-botique" player such as an Ipod, so there is no issue in terms of "justify(ing) a high dollar purchase".

 

Kevin

post #318 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

 

  +1

 

+1

 

After several hours of listening with this FiiO HS2 switch, I returned the $749 HiFiMan HM-801 under their 30-day refund policy.  I'm still using my $249 Sony PCM-M10 as a portable transport (card reader with 96/24 capable DAC to Line Out).   For my gear, my ears, my subjective tastes, the HM-801 Line Out could not compete.

 

HiFiMan HM-801 Line Out vs. Sony PMC-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins (in my opinion, for use with LCD-2)

 

This $299 TASCAM DR-100 MkII recorder was also returned:

 

TASCAM (Teac) DR-100 Line Out vs. Sony PCM-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins!

 

Now I'm waiting for the $1000 Sony PCM-D100 recorder to be released in the States, but I'll return it, too, if its Line Out can't outperform the sound of my PCM-M10 Line Out.  Note that there are people out there who say the D100's predecessor, the D50, doesn't sound as good (via Line Out) as the inexpensive PCM-M10, but I'm hoping the D100 Line Out can entice me to part company with $1000.

 

All that said, I've actually seen people just roll their eyes at the suggestion they listen to my Sony PCM-M10 Line Out to various amps. Their negative expectation is that anything not discussed ad nauseam here at Head-Fi isn't worth the time to audition, especially if it sells for only $249.

 

I get similar reactions to my use of the TBI Millenia MG3 speaker amp to drive the LCD-2.  "Oh, it's just a class D chip amp?  Never mind..."   Yeah, never mind that it sounds much better than the Burson Soloist I sold - an amp that gets way more ooohs and aaahs than it deserves, in my opinion, having spent 7 months with it, trying to figure out what all the fuss was about.  My CEntrance DACmini CX does a better job with my LCD-2 than the revered Soloist, but the DACmini CX is yesterday's news.

 

Going off topic, but since we're discussing expectation bias, the TBI Millenia MG3 is my pick as the poster child for negative expectation bias (it spectacularly outperforms expectations):

 

  Quoting John Hoffman's Positive Feedback review at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue67/tbi_millenia.htm

 

My "transportable" rig:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/633511/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xvi/7050#post_9857369

 

Mike

 

I think this is a most reasonable way to evaluate things. Listen without regard to any preconceived notions you may have as you can and make judgements based simply on what you hear. You can NEVER assume a more expensive device is better, neither can you assume it won't be. I try to go in with no vested interest either way.

 

What something costs is irrelivant to the musical experience. If that expensive thing proves over time not to be at least as good sounding as what it replaced you can either a) return it (if that's possible) or b) resell it. I would rather lose a few bucks than listen to something that doesn't bring as much musical satifaction to me.

 

You also can't assume that other's experiences will parallel yours. You may get the feel or flavor of something from reviews, but ultimately what matters is your reaction, not what the crowd might believe.

 

Kevin

post #319 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

 

  +1

 

+1

 

After several hours of listening with this FiiO HS2 switch, I returned the $749 HiFiMan HM-801 under their 30-day refund policy.  I'm still using my $249 Sony PCM-M10 as a portable transport (card reader with 96/24 capable DAC to Line Out).   For my gear, my ears, my subjective tastes, the HM-801 Line Out could not compete.

 

HiFiMan HM-801 Line Out vs. Sony PMC-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins (in my opinion, for use with LCD-2)

 

This $299 TASCAM DR-100 MkII recorder was also returned:

 

TASCAM (Teac) DR-100 Line Out vs. Sony PCM-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins!

 

Now I'm waiting for the $1000 Sony PCM-D100 recorder to be released in the States, but I'll return it, too, if its Line Out can't outperform the sound of my PCM-M10 Line Out.  Note that there are people out there who say the D100's predecessor, the D50, doesn't sound as good (via Line Out) as the inexpensive PCM-M10, but I'm hoping the D100 Line Out can entice me to part company with $1000.

 

All that said, I've actually seen people just roll their eyes at the suggestion they listen to my Sony PCM-M10 Line Out to various amps. Their negative expectation is that anything not discussed ad nauseam here at Head-Fi isn't worth the time to audition, especially if it sells for only $249.

 

I get similar reactions to my use of the TBI Millenia MG3 speaker amp to drive the LCD-2.  "Oh, it's just a class D chip amp?  Never mind..."   Yeah, never mind that it sounds much better than the Burson Soloist I sold - an amp that gets way more ooohs and aaahs than it deserves, in my opinion, having spent 7 months with it, trying to figure out what all the fuss was about.  My CEntrance DACmini CX does a better job with my LCD-2 than the revered Soloist, but the DACmini CX is yesterday's news. 

 

Going off topic, but since we're discussing expectation bias, the TBI Millenia MG3 is my pick as the poster child for negative expectation bias (it spectacularly outperforms expectations):

 

  Quoting John Hoffman's Positive Feedback review at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue67/tbi_millenia.htm

 

My "transportable" rig:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/633511/pictures-of-your-portable-rig-part-xvi/7050#post_9857369

 

Mike


You ought to be posting this stuff on the discovery thread. Folk there are a little more "alternative tech" friendly. I seee BH has the M10 for 209 bucks. The pictures do not make it clear if the memory stick reader and micro SD are using the same slot. Can you tell me if they do or if there are actually 2 reader slots, one for each type of card.

post #320 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post
 


You ought to be posting this stuff on the discovery thread. Folk there are a little more "alternative tech" friendly. I seee BH has the M10 for 209 bucks. The pictures do not make it clear if the memory stick reader and micro SD are using the same slot. Can you tell me if they do or if there are actually 2 reader slots, one for each type of card.

 

It's a combination slot - you can only use one or the other type, at any one time. I've only used microSD cards.  Headphone Out and Line Out are also on the same 3.5mm TRS jack - you specify which output you want on the "Detail Menu > Audio Out" page.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

post #321 of 1306
Thread Starter 

@ziilch0mod

 

what are you using as an amp for the PCM-M10?

post #322 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

@ziilch0mod

what are you using as an amp for the PCM-M10?

For my best sounding, but bulkiest portable rig: a 24VDC-powered TBI Millenia MG3 (5.1 Watts rms per channel into 50-Ohm LCD-2 rev.1, via a TBI-crafted impedance match.). See my link to the "travel rig," in my previous post, above.

For a lighter portable solution, either a 16VDC-powered iBasso PB2 with LME49990 in L/R and HA5002 buffers, or a 15VDC-powered Meier Stepdance.

:-)

Let me warn anyone considering the PCM-M10 as a DAP, that it's headphone amp is not very impressive - it's just an afterthought for monitoring with headphones while recording in the field. And the Line Out, while nearly perfect in my opinion for the LCD-2, is not as well-suited for a more neutral headphone, like the Beyerdynamic T1. Its proprietary DAC is more like an ESSnnnn than warmer DACs such as the WMnnnn or PCMnnnn implementations.

Its UI is refreshingly bug-free, but it has none of the usual features of a DAP - think folder-browsing, but at least its playback is gap-less, supporting MP3 and WAV to 96/24, and works just fine with 64GB exFAT microSD cards that have been reformatted to FAT32 with freeware such as "guiformat." Two AA batteries can last 35 hours.

:-)

Mike
post #323 of 1306
post #324 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by k3oxkjo View Post
 

 

Looks like a Classic expression of expectation bias on your part, in my view. I could say that if you don't think there are any differences, you probably won't hear any whether they are there or not. But really, I don't know you and you don't know me, so neither one of us knows the other's motivations and expectations and how successfully they can listen with minimal prejudicial influences.

 

And, at least in the case of the Fiio and Ibasso, their prices are right around the price of a "non-botique" player such as an Ipod, so there is no issue in terms of "justify(ing) a high dollar purchase".

 

Kevin


The entire premise of your post is flawed, since basically you are saying that I would _prefer_ inferior audio, and that I never want to hear improved sound. Ridiculous. The burden of proof lies on the person making the claim of audible superiority not the other way around.

post #325 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach-X View Post
 


The entire premise of your post is flawed, since basically you are saying that I would _prefer_ inferior audio, and that I never want to hear improved sound. Ridiculous. The burden of proof lies on the person making the claim of audible superiority not the other way around.


And in one simple sentence you have absolutely nailed what is wrong with so called "summit fi" right there. Somewhere along the line some fool sold us on the idea that horse being behind the cart is a much better solution.

 

You get my vote for post of the day!:tongue_smile:

post #326 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

 

After several hours of listening with this FiiO HS2 switch, I returned the $749 HiFiMan HM-801 under their 30-day refund policy.  I'm still using my $249 Sony PCM-M10 as a portable transport (card reader with 96/24 capable DAC to Line Out). 

HiFiMan HM-801 Line Out vs. Sony PMC-M10 Line Out. The Sony PCM-M10 wins (in my opinion, for use with LCD-2)

 

This $299 TASCAM DR-100 MkII recorder was also returned:

 

Mike

 

 Thanks  for posting this up.

 I was looking into a lower end Tascam 5 or 7 and considering it for a DAP ( primary=recording secondary=DAP ), but this, well this is  incredibly more interesting. Thanks.


Edited by nick n - 11/4/13 at 7:20pm
post #327 of 1306
Thread Starter 

Well it's official, my replacement DX50 came in a few days ago and after giving it a chance for a few days it's going back as soon as I finish writing my audio360 review on it. The replacement unit connects to my computers fine but it took me forever to get it to scan my SDCard and even then there's files missing after the scan. This player is ridiculously flawed. AVOID AT ALL COSTS GUYS

post #328 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post
 

Well it's official, my replacement DX50 came in a few days ago and after giving it a chance for a few days it's going back as soon as I finish writing my audio360 review on it. The replacement unit connects to my computers fine but it took me forever to get it to scan my SDCard and even then there's files missing after the scan. This player is ridiculously flawed. AVOID AT ALL COSTS GUYS

 

Maybe it's suffering from the same thing as the FiiO X3...

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/45#post_9894218

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/45#post_9894722

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9900247

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9900651

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9917922

 

:-p

 

Haven't tried to copy any more files but the "procedure" of copying a few GBs, refreshing library, copying a few more, refreshing library seemed to work a bit (not perfectly).

Of course, at any price point I expected the thing to just play whatever and stop acting like a beyooootccchh!!! But what the heck!

post #329 of 1306
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post
 

 

Maybe it's suffering from the same thing as the FiiO X3...

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/45#post_9894218

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/45#post_9894722

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9900247

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9900651

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677470/more-fiio-x3-64gb-microsd-issues/60#post_9917922

 

:-p

 

Haven't tried to copy any more files but the "procedure" of copying a few GBs, refreshing library, copying a few more, refreshing library seemed to work a bit (not perfectly).

Of course, at any price point I expected the thing to just play whatever and stop acting like a beyooootccchh!!! But what the heck!


Hey man, I think I'm done with the DX50. To bad, i really needed a good DAP.

post #330 of 1306
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post


Hey man, I think I'm done with the DX50. To bad, i really needed a good DAP.

 



Without wishing to be the messenger who's shot, could it be that it is not the DAP per se that is to blame but rather the SD media? That both the two specifically owned Dx50 and the X3 mentioned are having problems reading the micro sd cards reminded me of this report:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/SanDisk-says-it-produced-some-bad-32GB-and-64GB-microSD-cards_id40986

This report states that earlier this year SanDisk produced some faulty 32gb and 68gb micro disks which were sold. The specific problem identified is the cards "locking up" and failing to be acessible which sounds not unlike the problem you two are describing. Given the ubiquitous nature of SanDisk are either of you using said disks and this may be causing the problem?

I'm not defending either DAP, just pointing out that occasionally it is the media rather than the hardware that can cause problems.

regards,

Giles
Edited by Gilles De Rais - 11/4/13 at 9:50pm
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