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The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 44

post #646 of 1302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostinspace View Post

They had Ashton Kutcher running them, for one thing.

Yeah....I now officially gave up on you friend.

So guys how about those Dodgers? Anyone think they'll even come close to the pendent this season?
post #647 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostinspace View Post

I see Hifiman are launching the HM-700 with bundled RE-400s for $249 - what's that like?

 

I don't know - how about you buy it, and let us know what it sounds like (ie comment on something you've actually heard) ;) - rather than conjecture / opinions on what you haven't .......

 

Please see the humour in above comment.  I'm not trying to tick you off or pick a fight :)

post #648 of 1302

Hey Arly - are you part of the X5 tour?  I just watched a video on the UI and this one actually looks pretty good.

 

I'm first up on the Oceania leg - so hope to have it (finally) tomorrow.

post #649 of 1302
Yeah the X5's UI seems pretty decent. I have to wonder how smooth the scroll wheel is though. That video made it seem like it scrolls through things pretty quickly, which isn't necessarily bad, but i prefer slower speeds.

Also I don't really like the way it scrolls through things per se. Text just seems to pop up when scrolling through things, for example, instead of having some sort of scrolling animation. These are all just small annoyances though.
post #650 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

I don't know - how about you buy it, and let us know what it sounds like (ie comment on something you've actually heard) " src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/wink.gif"> - rather than conjecture / opinions on what you haven't .......

 

Please see the humour in above comment.  I'm not trying to tick you off or pick a fight smily_headphones1.gif

 



Good idea. Once I get your money in my Paypal (PM me for details), I'll order it straight away and will be sure to provide a sentence or two on how it sounds. Deal?

I wonder about these standalone DAPs - is there much future in them, do you think? After all, that Sony ZX1 is basically a smartphone without the phone bit.
post #651 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostinspace View Post

Good idea. Once I get your money in my Paypal (PM me for details), I'll order it straight away and will be sure to provide a sentence or two on how it sounds. Deal?

I wonder about these standalone DAPs - is there much future in them, do you think? After all, that Sony ZX1 is basically a smartphone without the phone bit.

 

Darn - and I just cleaned out my Paypal recently sorry (HD700 beckons) ...... ;)

 

Yes I do think the standalone DAPs will have a future - at least as long as they sound superior to mainstream players.  I really do wish you were somewhat local to me.  You could have a listen to the Studio V3 and decide for yourself.

 

I love my iPhone4.  Up until a few months ago I was content that it was more than enough for my tastes.  Then the chance to listen to the Studio came up - and (to me at least) it is superior to the iP4.

 

All I'm suggesting is to keep an open mind.

 

I do agree though - the price of entry for a lot of these devices is ridiculous.  However - what price do you put on complete 'listening' happiness?  That's a question each of us faces, and all of us will have a different answer :beerchug:

post #652 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Yeah the X5's UI seems pretty decent. I have to wonder how smooth the scroll wheel is though. That video made it seem like it scrolls through things pretty quickly, which isn't necessarily bad, but i prefer slower speeds.

Also I don't really like the way it scrolls through things per se. Text just seems to pop up when scrolling through things, for example, instead of having some sort of scrolling animation. These are all just small annoyances though.

 

Hopefully be able to tell you in another 24-48 hours :)

post #653 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

 

Darn - and I just cleaned out my Paypal recently sorry (HD700 beckons) ...... " src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/wink.gif">

 

Yes I do think the standalone DAPs will have a future - at least as long as they sound superior to mainstream players.  I really do wish you were somewhat local to me.  You could have a listen to the Studio V3 and decide for yourself.

 

I love my iPhone4.  Up until a few months ago I was content that it was more than enough for my tastes.  Then the chance to listen to the Studio came up - and (to me at least) it is superior to the iP4.

 

All I'm suggesting is to keep an open mind.

 

I do agree though - the price of entry for a lot of these devices is ridiculous.  However - what price do you put on complete 'listening' happiness?  That's a question each of us faces, and all of us will have a different answer " src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies/beerchug.gif">

 




I'm in London - which is local if you use that tunnel under the abandoned well out back. Chuck your Studio V3 down and I'll catch it at the other end.

Your question of price vs happiness is an interesting one. Does anyone have a formula?

Obviously it will have to build in disposable income, not to mention musical taste (i.e. if you're a heavy metal or techno fan, you'd clearly be just as happy listening to an old tin of beans with a bit of string attached as a device that plays proper music). And then on top of that, repeat visits to Head-fi following the purchase will diminish any potential happiness in the product, as you realise something better has just been released that is now getting all the love your new player used to get.

But I'm sure some egghead out there can thrash out a spreadsheet into which we can add our data and decide what to buy.

I await the news.
Edited by Lostinspace - 1/21/14 at 3:50am
post #654 of 1302
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Hey Arly - are you part of the X5 tour?  I just watched a video on the UI and this one actually looks pretty good.

I'm first up on the Oceania leg - so hope to have it (finally) tomorrow.

Unfortunately no, I heard about the tour to late to sign up.
post #655 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

Darn - and I just cleaned out my Paypal recently sorry (HD700 beckons) ...... ;)

 

Yes I do think the standalone DAPs will have a future - at least as long as they sound superior to mainstream players.  I really do wish you were somewhat local to me.  You could have a listen to the Studio V3 and decide for yourself.

 

I love my iPhone4.  Up until a few months ago I was content that it was more than enough for my tastes.  Then the chance to listen to the Studio came up - and (to me at least) it is superior to the iP4.

 

All I'm suggesting is to keep an open mind.

 

I do agree though - the price of entry for a lot of these devices is ridiculous.  However - what price do you put on complete 'listening' happiness?  That's a question each of us faces, and all of us will have a different answer :beerchug:

 

 

Brooko, you seem like the kind of guy I'd like this question answered by.

 

My iphone 4 is my favorite overall source. It's completely flat in FR, has great output impedance, and syncing with itunes is a breeze for me. I owned the Rocoo BA a while back and, after careful A/B, I found that the only differences were caused by tipped up treble. How would you say the Studio V is improved over the iP4?

 

Thanks! I'd ask this via PM, but I'm guessing some other may benefit from your answer.

post #656 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

Brooko, you seem like the kind of guy I'd like this question answered by.

 

My iphone 4 is my favorite overall source. It's completely flat in FR, has great output impedance, and syncing with itunes is a breeze for me. I owned the Rocoo BA a while back and, after careful A/B, I found that the only differences were caused by tipped up treble. How would you say the Studio V is improved over the iP4?

 

Thanks! I'd ask this via PM, but I'm guessing some other may benefit from your answer.

 

No problem Eke.  I agree with you completely on the iPhone4 too - flat, low impedance, great UI.

 

When I got the V3 - it was on the understanding that I could return with a full refund - no questions asked.  It took me quite a while to get used to the UI & I had all sorts of problems initially with load times etc (before I changed back to the older firmware).  So - I don't think expectation bias was a factor.  If anything my early thought was to return it.

 

The V3 is definitely brighter than the iP4 - but I also don't think that's the only factor either.

 

The main area sonically the V3 excels (for me) is in a sense of space / air ..... call it what you will.  Sorry for the 'vague audio-speak terms' - but it's the best way I can describe it.  It seems to almost have a holographic presentation.  I don't know how HSA achieved this either.  Could be a special crossfeed, or something in the frequency range.  I wish I could reproduce it on the iP4 - but I can't so far.

 

Anyway - when I compared the two (and I didn't do it blind - so I know it's invalid) - I also volume matched as closely as I could.  I used same files as well.  My preference was still the V3.

 

Now I'm not going to say it's superior - others will have their own criteria and preference.  I'm also not going to say that even for me - some sort of psychoacoustic bias isn't coming into play - I'm too pragmatic for that, and I fully recognise my brain may be causing some or all of this.  But I do really enjoy the sound that I'm hearing.

 

Add to that:

 - brilliant battery life

 - small form factor

 - class A amp that does drive my HD600 and DT880 250ohm without needing an amp

 

It's a winner for me.  I still use my iP4 (car, IEMs, when it suits) - but preference at this stage remains for the Studio.

 

EDIT - it's not the high-res factor either.  I have blind tested that on many occasions - and for me, aac256 is completely transparent.


Edited by Brooko - 1/21/14 at 11:14am
post #657 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

 

No problem Eke.  I agree with you completely on the iPhone4 too - flat, low impedance, great UI.

 

When I got the V3 - it was on the understanding that I could return with a full refund - no questions asked.  It took me quite a while to get used to the UI & I had all sorts of problems initially with load times etc (before I changed back to the older firmware).  So - I don't think expectation bias was a factor.  If anything my early thought was to return it.

 

The V3 is definitely brighter than the iP4 - but I also don't think that's the only factor either.

 

The main area sonically the V3 excels (for me) is in a sense of space / air ..... call it what you will.  Sorry for the 'vague audio-speak terms' - but it's the best way I can describe it.  It seems to almost have a holographic presentation.  I don't know how HSA achieved this either.  Could be a special crossfeed, or something in the frequency range.  I wish I could reproduce it on the iP4 - but I can't so far.

 

Anyway - when I compared the two (and I didn't do it blind - so I know it's invalid) - I also volume matched as closely as I could.  I used same files as well.  My preference was still the V3.

 

Now I'm not going to say it's superior - others will have their own criteria and preference.  I'm also not going to say that even for me - some sort of psychoacoustic bias isn't coming into play - I'm too pragmatic for that, and I fully recognise my brain may be causing some or all of this.  But I do really enjoy the sound that I'm hearing.

 

Add to that:

 - brilliant battery life

 - small form factor

 - class A amp that does drive my HD600 and DT880 250ohm without needing an amp

 

It's a winner for me.  I still use my iP4 (car, IEMs, when it suits) - but preference at this stage remains for the Studio.

 

EDIT - it's not the high-res factor either.  I have blind tested that on many occasions - and for me, aac256 is completely transparent.

 

 

I knew I could count on you :) Thanks a lot!

 

It seems the SV may be the DAP equivalent of the Tralucent 1plus2 in that it creates a larger sense of space via maybe laid back mids plus raised treble. Or it could be a crossfeed/DSP like you say. 

 

That last line made me respect your opinion even more. I can't tell you how many high-res albums I've bought from HDTracks and converted them to 320mp3 via dbpoweramp, only to spend hours A/B'ing without finding any difference at all. Just extra bits at the end of files. The worst part is when I started opening up these tracks in hex editors and found them to just be full of extra zeros.

 

Thanks again.

post #658 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostinspace View Post

What a horrible post. I'm perfectly entitled to single the Tera out as the epitome of what's wrong with the audiophile DAP market, so back off please. And to add salt to the wound, I just discovered it doesn't even have its own internal storage built in. What a joke.

Anyway, here's the thing - and you might find this 'somewhat useful' a contribution or you may not, how do I know, since I don't know who you are - why is it seemingly impossible for manufacturers to design and sell a user friendly, brilliant sounding portable music player at a price that normal people can afford? It's not just about economies of scale - what's the margin on a NW-ZX1 being sold for 500 odd quid?

A £200 bundle combination of great sounding IEMs with a great sounding music player must surely be possible and marketable and sellable in enough quantities to make it viable?

I see Hifiman are launching the HM-700 with bundled RE-400s for $249 - what's that like?

The problem is not with manufacturers and the products they offer, but the consumers who, against all rhyme and reason, decide to purchase such products. As long as there are enough consumers willing and able to spend their money on garbage, garbage is all the high end "audiophile" market will ever see. Charles Altmann saw a market of brain-numbed "believers' just waiting to flush their money into another audiophile black hole, and capitalized on it. He stuck a bunch of buzzwords onto a slim, square player and charged what he thought was a fantastic amount to spend on a DAP: 999 euros. With the advent of other garbage high end players, he saw the opportunity to make even more cash, and swapped out a few components to raise the price tag to the 1999 euros today. The Tera, Lostinspace, is not the problem, but a symptom of the audiophile market's main disease: the nouveaux riche hordes throwing money at anything that grants a form of exclusivity, lends an air of sophistication, or is simply "shiny." While I admit that this sounds elitist, I also admit that you know this to be true. Who else would waste money on such a "joke?" 

 

Manufacturers could easily design and sell a player such as the one you describe, but the money just isn't there for them. Not enough consumers want a 200 GBP stand-alone DAP for their music collection to warrant diverting resources from the smartphone/name your tech race. The only hope lies with audiophile companies attempting to bridge the gap between audiophile and mainstream markets. 

 

The Hifiman player looks very promising, and the bundled RE-400, my top budget pick for friends and family, makes it seem even better. Hopefully I can audition it at the upcoming LA meet.

post #659 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post
 

The problem is not with manufacturers and the products they offer, but the consumers who, against all rhyme and reason, decide to purchase such products. 

 

Thank GOD we have the fatman and lostinspace who have figured it all out (even without listening to any of the devices they are the all knowing super head-fi gurus who just 'get it').

Perhaps they should be named the official leaders of the occupy head-fi movement that sets fair prices for all the dumb vendors and customers on this forum.

Pathetic.

post #660 of 1302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post

 


Brooko, you seem like the kind of guy I'd like this question answered by.

My iphone 4 is my favorite overall source. It's completely flat in FR, has great output impedance, and syncing with itunes is a breeze for me. I owned the Rocoo BA a while back and, after careful A/B, I found that the only differences were caused by tipped up treble. How would you say the Studio V is improved over the iP4?

Thanks! I'd ask this via PM, but I'm guessing some other may benefit from your answer.

No problem Eke.  I agree with you completely on the iPhone4 too - flat, low impedance, great UI.
Studio V3 (Click to show)
When I got the V3 - it was on the understanding that I could return with a full refund - no questions asked.  It took me quite a while to get used to the UI & I had all sorts of problems initially with load times etc (before I changed back to the older firmware).  So - I don't think expectation bias was a factor.  If anything my early thought was to return it.

The V3 is definitely brighter than the iP4 - but I also don't think that's the only factor either.

The main area sonically the V3 excels (for me) is in a sense of space / air ..... call it what you will.  Sorry for the 'vague audio-speak terms' - but it's the best way I can describe it.  It seems to almost have a holographic presentation.  I don't know how HSA achieved this either.  Could be a special crossfeed, or something in the frequency range.  I wish I could reproduce it on the iP4 - but I can't so far.

Anyway - when I compared the two (and I didn't do it blind - so I know it's invalid) - I also volume matched as closely as I could.  I used same files as well.  My preference was still the V3.

Now I'm not going to say it's superior - others will have their own criteria and preference.  I'm also not going to say that even for me - some sort of psychoacoustic bias isn't coming into play - I'm too pragmatic for that, and I fully recognise my brain may be causing some or all of this.  But I do really enjoy the sound that I'm hearing.

Add to that:
 - brilliant battery life
 - small form factor
 - class A amp that does drive my HD600 and DT880 250ohm without needing an amp

It's a winner for me.  I still use my iP4 (car, IEMs, when it suits) - but preference at this stage remains for the Studio.

EDIT - it's not the high-res factor either.  I have blind tested that on many occasions - and for me, aac256 is completely transparent.
Interesting read. Thanks for the comparisons! I haven't considered the Studio V before, but I always thought it was a nice-looking portable media player.

I own an iPhone 4S, so I'm not sure if my observations are of any use here, but:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

I find the iPhone 4S to be lacking in details, soundstage depth and width, and has a rough-sounding treble. It is warm-sounding though, so that's probably the only similarity with the X5.

I tend to find Cirrus logic DACs to sound harsh in the treble region and they generally lack in sound staging. They both do have some warmth to them. I think the X5 is less warm and more towards the neutral side than the iphone4. Definitely more control in the bass and better quality bass.

Edited by miceblue - 1/21/14 at 3:30pm
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