or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 52

post #766 of 1453
Lee, right, and funny thing is i was planning on AK240 before they announced the price which made it automatically redundant for me. As much as i love great portable audio i am not still too crazy enough to carry portable setup worth nearly 4k, besides such money better be invested in improving my front end.
no matter how much i am enjoying Vinnie's mod of AK100 i cannot convince myself psychologically to pony out 2.4k especially when i listen to portable only 10% of my total music listening time frown.gif

BUT, i find the name of this thread funny because actually i see high end DAPs improving dramatically in offerings and features, so i would call this thread a Joy instead if Sad wink.gif
Edited by Gintaras - 2/16/14 at 3:51pm
post #767 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

I have to agree. Things are progressively moving towards quality UI and quality sound at more reasonable prices. It works for everyone (the consumers) in the end. I also am not a big fan of what AK has been progressively doing. But it is just my opinion. They offer some good products but really there is no value in what they offer for the most part vs what you are paying. Personally I think their business model will not work very well in the long run and they will lose out to the competition due to their price gouging. This coming from someone who owns an AK product and very much enjoys its sound. I just call it as I see it though.


All of a sudden an X5 and two thousand bucks worth of new music looks like a decent alternative:).

post #768 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorillaz View Post
 

be careful when you speak your mind about the ridiculous price of the new AK240 otherwise this thread might get locked as a matter of fact let's all praise Astell & Kern for their business model!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

 

Really?

 

I wonder what you're trying to say with that question? I've visited the AK240 thread some time ago and there was a palpable air of hostility towards members who criticized Astell & Kern's pricing. During the short time I stayed, none of the mods attempted to relieve the tension and tell people to behave and respect different opinions. To the contrary, Jude himself got personal with one member and told him to "stop with the ridiculous drama" (which led to him leaving the thread). I personally couldn't care less about the pricing matter, but suffice to say I felt quite uneasy about what went on there and unsubscribed shortly afterwards.

 

So, even though I may not share Gorillaz' critique of Astell & Kern's business model, I think I know exactly where he's coming from. And tbh, I think you know it too.

 

We don't read all the posts in all the threads. That would require a team reading 2000-4000 posts a day. Given most of us have full-time jobs that are not Head-Fi, that would be impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorillaz View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

Really?

yes Really

 

We don't lock threads that criticise sponsors, if that is what you are implying. To give the most obvious example of this thread: iBasso is a sponsor. 

 

The problem, most of the time, when discussion gets heated (and discussion of any expensive product tends to get that way) is that people say things like "This product sucks because of X" instead of "I don't think this product is good because of X". I think it is also because people get into hating something being expensive, even if they don't have to and certainly don't intend to buy it. I want to say to people that nobody is being forced to buy anything (this isn't a discussion of politics *cough*) but I do think the people who did buy something and didn't have a good experience should say so. Posting a reasonable, if negative or partially negative review of the product would help in that.  I think in many cases the manufacturers don't help themselves here as they don't participate (or know how to or are too scared to participate) in the discussion and address issues with new products. Silence gives the (often wrong) impression that the company doesn't care.

post #769 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post
 


All of a sudden an X5 and two thousand bucks worth of new music looks like a decent alternative:).

 

Don't forget to upgrade your IEMs or headphones ;).

post #770 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

Lee, right, and funny thing is i was planning on AK240 before they announced the price which made it automatically redundant for me. As much as i love great portable audio i am not still too crazy enough to carry portable setup worth nearly 4k, besides such money better be invested in improving my front end.
no matter how much i am enjoying Vinnie's mod of AK100 i cannot convince myself psychologically to pony out 2.4k especially when i listen to portable only 10% of my total music listening time frown.gif

BUT, i find the name of this thread funny because actually i see high end DAPs improving dramatically in offerings and features, so i would call this thread a Joy instead if Sad wink.gif

 

I still root going for an AK120 S-mod with your T1 amp. Still not cheap but will definitely wield you superb results in terms of sound quality :).

post #771 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post
 

 

I mean, I could go on the Stax 009 thread and complain about its price but why would I do that? I have no intention of buying it or any number of other products (high priced or not). More power to the people who do buy it. I can afford it. I just don't want it.

 

 

The Stax SR-009 can be justified in its pricing because it is far and away the best headphone I've heard. The HD800 and LCD-3 sounded like toys next to it, IMO. Also, the electrostatic system presents different and more intricate problems than the typical ortho and dynamic driver based phones. Adding to that is the fact that the SR-009, and other Stax models, are manufactured by a small company with a name that is as prestigious as any in the audio world. 

 

Honestly, I believe you don't want it because you haven't heard it, or their cheaper SR-007. It's a truly mind-shifting experience for me and put all else into perspective. Almost every single person who hears a Stax setup at meets comes away changed. Apparently the same goes for the new Abyss.

 

I was "moaning" because the reports of SQ coming in still put the AK240 at, or below, the level of the Hifiman HM-901. I was emailing back and forth with someone who lives in HK, who is an established member here with years of experience and plenty of TOTL headphones and iems. This is what he sent me when I asked why he got the Fiio X5:

 

Quote:
 
I would say X5 is an excellent choice of DAP, unbeatable price and very high SQ
 
sold my ak120 straight away, and the sound is comparable to the AK240, bit different tuning but will do for the money i save
 
Kind Regards,

 

 

If a $350 DAP does this, then it amazes me that a DAP with what amounts to better UI usability can go for literally 10 times more. And the fact that it was so much more expensive than its predecessor, when the internals cost nothing close to justify the price hike, was another point I was arguing.

 

But alas, my posts were off topic and detrimental to the thread. Not trying to incite anything, just clarifying my own point of view.

post #772 of 1453
Ways to get this thread locked,too...
Forget about it....all we can do is dont buy from them and suggest your friends not to do so also.not everyone hangs around headfi...
post #773 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

The Stax SR-009 can be justified in its pricing because it is far and away the best headphone I've heard. The HD800 and LCD-3 sounded like toys next to it, IMO. Also, the electrostatic system presents different and more intricate problems than the typical ortho and dynamic driver based phones. Adding to that is the fact that the SR-009, and other Stax models, are manufactured by a small company with a name that is as prestigious as any in the audio world. 

 

Honestly, I believe you don't want it because you haven't heard it, or their cheaper SR-007. It's a truly mind-shifting experience for me and put all else into perspective. Almost every single person who hears a Stax setup at meets comes away changed. Apparently the same goes for the new Abyss.

 

I was "moaning" because the reports of SQ coming in still put the AK240 at, or below, the level of the Hifiman HM-901. I was emailing back and forth with someone who lives in HK, who is an established member here with years of experience and plenty of TOTL headphones and iems. This is what he sent me when I asked why he got the Fiio X5:

 

 

 

If a $350 DAP does this, then it amazes me that a DAP with what amounts to better UI usability can go for literally 10 times more. And the fact that it was so much more expensive than its predecessor, when the internals cost nothing close to justify the price hike, was another point I was arguing.

 

But alas, my posts were off topic and detrimental to the thread. Not trying to incite anything, just clarifying my own point of view.

I should have used the FA Piano Forte X or something as the example. My point was not that the Stax SR 009 specifically was not worth it, but rather, whether it was or not, I wouldn't go on that particular thread complaining (when I don't own it or have any intention of buying it). I really don't have a use for headphones (just IEMs for on the go). But I take your point on the value of the 009, Eke.

 

A few things that I consider important about a pre-release product. One is that this forum is a huge storefront for a lot of the these businesses. Demand starts and grows out of interest on this site. The producers are people who put in work and are trying to make a living.

 

On the other side of the transaction (the buyer) is a person with $2500 to spend. The price is prohibitive to noobs. Not a lot of people are going to pay that much while being totally oblivious to AK and its previous products. You are not really warning people. In a pre-release circumstance people looking to buy are going to consider the critic a troll (or posting on behave of a competitor) and take offense. Let the market handle itself. Remember, if someone is dumb enough to plop down $2500 without a clue then you can't help them anyway (without following them around for the rest of their lives). The buyers are aware of what they are buying.

 

But I understand if you feel you have specific info that shines a bad light on a pre-release product. Warn people by PM.

 

Hey, I like this thread. I liked that old thread where the guy sold his stack and went back to an iPod and PX100 or something.  I suspect there's more snake oil than great stuff out there. I like to read the criticisms.

post #774 of 1453

Here's my post in question:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/702357/why-the-ak240-is-a-bad-idea/45#post_10229480

 

Please do read it.

 

To complain about price is one thing. It's an expensive thing, and perhaps you'll even use it and still find it overpriced. And that's fine.

 

What I have no patience for--and it has absolutely nothing to do with whether a company is a sponsor or not--is the use of completely unsubstantiated or false statements for the sake of bolstering one's arguments. We have had amp manufacturers (mostly non-sponsors) publicly accused of stealing other amp makers' designs and selling them as original (and I mean assertions beyond use of prior art, which every amp maker today essentially has to do--we're talking accusations of outright theft, value for value). So far, overwhelmingly, those accusations have been false, and those posts deleted. We have had a couple of cases where there was indeed outright theft of design. In one such case (much of which played out on these forums), the original designer sent us the schematics to prove that a company was selling his design commercially, and the accused owned up to it (and, if I recall correctly, was banned from this forum).

 

This website is read by around two million people per month. We expect anyone posting to it to show some responsibility, not just make blind accusations just to get behind a passionate position. Again, read my post above. The OP made the following statements:

 

  • "And it is based on a free open source software that they could tweak as needed. There was no major investment in software code that much cheaper DAPs have had to do."
    • The fact that was stated so authoritatively doesn't change the fact that it's false.
  • "Their core DAC can't even be considered current gen..."
    • My response can be found in that post, and I stand by it.

 

As I say in that post, reviewing something without having heard it (or even touched it) is a no-no around here. It happens, yes, and we don't actively look for every instance of it; but, when brought to our attention, we do at times step in when we feel it appropriate. To state as fact that there was no major investment in the software code is simply false--and that it's false is something I can say with certainty, and know I'm right about it. Like I said in that post, if the software was out there, freely available, the company's competitive peers would almost certainly jump on it in a heartbeat, rather than invest in their own.

 

The price bothers you? That's fine. It's expensive, I get it. Go ahead, discuss that. You want to start your own blog to spout nonsense or falsehoods as facts, that's your business--again, though, this website is currently read by around two million people per month, and as one of the custodians of the place, that won't fly here.

post #775 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post
 

I should have used the FA Piano Forte X or something as the example. My point was not that the Stax SR 009 specifically was not worth it, but rather, whether it was or not, I wouldn't go on that particular thread complaining (when I don't own it or have any intention of buying it). I really don't have a use for headphones (just IEMs for on the go). But I take your point on the value of the 009, Eke.

 

A few things that I consider important about a pre-release product. One is that this forum is a huge storefront for a lot of the these businesses. Demand starts and grows out of interest on this site. The producers are people who put in work and are trying to make a living.

 

On the other side of the transaction (the buyer) is a person with $2500 to spend. The price is prohibitive to noobs. Not a lot of people are going to pay that much while being totally oblivious to AK and its previous products. You are not really warning people. In a pre-release circumstance people looking to buy are going to consider the critic a troll (or posting on behave of a competitor) and take offense. Let the market handle itself. Remember, if someone is dumb enough to plop down $2500 without a clue then you can't help them anyway (without following them around for the rest of their lives). The buyers are aware of what they are buying.

 

But I understand if you feel you have specific info that shines a bad light on a pre-release product. Warn people by PM.

 

Hey, I like this thread. I liked that old thread where the guy sold his stack and went back to an iPod and PX100 or something.  I suspect there's more snake oil than great stuff out there. I like to read the criticisms.

 

Noted :beerchug:

post #776 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 
The Stax SR-009 can be justified in its pricing because it is far and away the best headphone I've heard. The HD800 and LCD-3 sounded like toys next to it, IMO. 

 

It's OT to this thread, but the last I heard the 009s was from Anakchan's set-up (Invicta to Electra) and while they still, to my ears, obliterate everything else when it come to female vocals, I've decided that, overall, I like what the HD-800s do for me on my, quite radically different set-up. Granted, I haven't listened with a KGSSHV or BHSE, so I'm likely missing them at their best, but I decided that locking ~$10k of my money in a pair of headphones and an amp which would be unusable with most anything else on the market was not a good investment.

 

While this isn't directly related to DAP discussion, it does have parallels to the rest of what you bring up:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 
I was "moaning" because the reports of SQ coming in still put the AK240 at, or below, the level of the Hifiman HM-901. I was emailing back and forth with someone who lives in HK, who is an established member here with years of experience and plenty of TOTL headphones and iems. This is what he sent me when I asked why he got the Fiio X5:

 

Quote:
 
I would say X5 is an excellent choice of DAP, unbeatable price and very high SQ
 
sold my ak120 straight away, and the sound is comparable to the AK240, bit different tuning but will do for the money i save
 
Kind Regards,

 

 

If a $350 DAP does this, then it amazes me that a DAP with what amounts to better UI usability can go for literally 10 times more. And the fact that it was so much more expensive than its predecessor, when the internals cost nothing close to justify the price hike, was another point I was arguing.

 

But alas, my posts were off topic and detrimental to the thread. Not trying to incite anything, just clarifying my own point of view.

 

 

I'm looking forward to getting our local loaner X5, especially given how much I liked what I heard of it in Tokyo. Someone pointed out (where I forget) another member who had bought an AK120 to use with mid-range IEMs and how crazy they thought that was. Likewise, for the price of an AK240 you could buy a pair of Roxannes (or SE846s, TOTL CIEMs or the like), a good DAP and a whole lot of good music from HDTracks, which would be a better investment. It would be more useful when commenting positively or negatively on the sound quality of a DAP what headphones were being used with it and especially to what music and how loud a person was listening. I know, for example, that I prefer the sound of the AK120 over the Sony, but other people I know prefer the opposite. I likewise saw similar comments about the AK120 and the HM-901 going both ways.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post
 
Hey, I like this thread. I liked that old thread where the guy sold his stack and went back to an iPod and PX100 or something.  I suspect there's more snake oil than great stuff out there. I like to read the criticisms.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/374155/leaving-portable-hifi-its-too-silly

 

It's a great thread. We've come a long way since then, but I wont disagree if anyone feels that there aren't similarities to how things were back then.


Edited by Currawong - 2/16/14 at 7:40pm
post #777 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

 

 

  • "And it is based on a free open source software that they could tweak as needed. There was no major investment in software code that much cheaper DAPs have had to do."
    • The fact that was stated so authoritatively doesn't change the fact that it's false.

 

I have seen this time and again, where some one makes a statement, they could not possibly know for a fact to be true, as if it were true.  This leads to a murmur of others spouting it as true and then, slippery slopes being just that, a mob is in an uproar about a statement that is false and they don't even realize it.  It's a combination of someone trying to sound smart and wanting to be recognized for it and others wanting to be "in the know" and neither want to do the research needed to check the facts.


Edited by bearFNF - 2/16/14 at 7:43pm
post #778 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

It's OT to this thread, but the last I heard the 009s was from Anakchan's set-up (Invicta to Electra) and while they still, to my ears, obliterate everything else when it come to female vocals, I've decided that, overall, I like what the HD-800s do for me on my, quite radically different set-up. Granted, I haven't listened with a KGSSHV or BHSE, so I'm likely missing them at their best, but I decided that locking ~$10k of my money in a pair of headphones and an amp which would be unusable with most anything else on the market was not a good investment.

 

 

Yeah, I heard the SR-009 off Justin's BHSE at the Dallas meet last summer using my own tracks. My reaction within the first few seconds of the first track:

 

cat surprised

 

 

 

-But your sentiment is fully understandable. I personally see it as justified because it is simply so much better than everything else out there so far. I plan on it being a graduation present to myself, and I plan to hold it for the forseeable future. Plus, this hobby has a very good insurance policy: http://www.head-fi.org/f/109/for-sale-trade-and-feedback-forums

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I'm looking forward to getting our local loaner X5, especially given how much I liked what I heard of it in Tokyo. Someone pointed out (where I forget) another member who had bought an AK120 to use with mid-range IEMs and how crazy they thought that was. Likewise, for the price of an AK240 you could buy a pair of Roxannes (or SE846s, TOTL CIEMs or the like), a good DAP and a whole lot of good music from HDTracks, which would be a better investment. It would be more useful when commenting positively or negatively on the sound quality of a DAP what headphones were being used with it and especially to what music and how loud a person was listening. I know, for example, that I prefer the sound of the AK120 over the Sony, but other people I know prefer the opposite. I likewise saw similar comments about the AK120 and the HM-901 going both ways.

 

 

I'm really looking forward to your thoughts! I'd just like to mention that, to this point, I've yet to post a single opinion about the sound of the AK240. What I've done is research the pricing for the major components of the AK240, making extrapolations based on my tech experience back when I did my CCNA and small Android programming before going for my Pharm.D.

 

One thing that is forgotten in this hobby is how tiny differences usually are. From what I've seen and experienced, you get the greatest changes in this order: Headphones and source file mastering > amps>=dacs > cables, other tweaks. Of all the DAPs I've owned and heard, none of them have convinced me to leave my iPhone 4. I'm still holding the faith though. 

 

 

Edit: Either way, I do believe I've said my piece. There's a chance I'll get a go at the AK240. I'll do a comprehensive write up about SQ, including comparisons to other DAPs, when the time comes


Edited by eke2k6 - 2/16/14 at 8:36pm
post #779 of 1453

Just read this thread because I am already retired from this so called hobby.

 

I started this DAP craze from a Creative Zen, from a Cowon s9, to a Sony A series, then went to an iPod Touch, and then an iPod Video because of its praises, then shortly converted it to a DIY iMod to make it even better, then changed to an HM601 which I sold it immediately because it is too warm for my tastes, went with a Teclast T51 instead but the UI is terrible, so I changed it to a Studio V which is great IMO except that it got bricked after putting an Album using mp3 format, then to a Sony Walkman Z, and then going to the top with the mighty DX100 (during that time) that is not really better than the Studio V, and downgraded to a Sony F Walkman..

 

I realized that this hobby is crazy (in a good and bad way, its fun though) and I am just spending on nothing, so I went back to my iPod Touch (with a cracked screen and almost dead battery) and paired with a ~$20 amp at this point i am really satisfied with this simple setup in terms of sound quality and user experience, even though the iTouch battery is dying unless I just play the music at random and not do anything on the screen, and it magically lasts about 10 hours of playtime. I am somewhat an Apple hater by the way.

 

Same goes with headphones and amps, going to the top, and going back down, but that is off-topic.


Edited by Dyaems - 2/16/14 at 8:25pm
post #780 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyaems View Post
 

Just read this thread because I am already retired from this so called hobby.

 

I started this DAP craze from a Creative Zen, from a Cowon s9, to a Sony A series, then went to an iPod Touch, and then an iPod Video because of its praises, then shortly converted it to a DIY iMod to make it even better, then changed to an HM601 which I sold it immediately because it is too warm for my tastes, went with a Teclast T51 instead but the UI is terrible, so I changed it to a Studio V which is great IMO except that it got bricked after putting an Album using mp3 format, then to a Sony Walkman Z, and then going to the top with the mighty DX100 (during that time) that is not really better than the Studio V, and downgraded to a Sony F Walkman..

 

I realized that this hobby is crazy (in a good and bad way, its fun though) and I am just spending on nothing, so I went back to my iPod Touch (with a cracked screen and almost dead battery) and paired with a ~$20 amp at this point i am really satisfied with this simple setup in terms of sound quality and user experience, even though the iTouch battery is dying unless I just play the music at random and not do anything on the screen, and it magically lasts about 10 hours of playtime. I am somewhat an Apple hater by the way.

 

Same goes with headphones and amps, going to the top, and going back down, but that is off-topic.



I can agree with very much everything you said above.

I found HM-601 to warm, the battery life was terrible (6-8 hours running FLAC) I sold mine rather quickly. I will say it was decent if you amped it, which turned the combination into a brick. Needing to number my tracks 01,02,03,04 before each title was a pain the butt. I had Cowon S9 which would of been enough (I admit) if my cravings and thriving for more didn't haunt me. Although I own Studio V 3rd Anv (also 2nd Edition) and can handle the UI quite well, as yourself have backed down to a Sony F series for some of my pairings, (which is a nice sounding player) and to some extend I happily enjoy  Sansa Clip Zip with a few earphones. So I can relate to going up then coming back down without being overly disappointed

 I think the morale is we had to go there (up) to find out, otherwise curiosity will not leave one alone. Such is life with Head-fi and audio addiction.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market