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The Sad State Of The So Called Audiophile DAP Market - Page 53

post #781 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

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.

 

Just for the sake of clarification, this is neither the thread nor the post I was referring to. I was referring to an earlier post in the main / first AK240 thread. The post in question is here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/697166/the-astell-kern-ak240/1125#post_10203594

 

IIRC the discussion was mainly about specs vs. pricing back then. Pretty much all the mere mortals can talk about when the item in question isn't yet sold to the general public and only a selected few have access to advance units. Like I said, I felt there was an air of hostility towards members who criticized Astell & Kern, so I unsubscribed. I haven't been following the AK240 discussion after that and I haven't seen the later thread you linked. I just meant to explain that I can see where Gorrilaz is coming from, no more, no less. Don't want to derail this thread, but I'm open to PM discussion if anyone's interested.

post #782 of 1453
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorillaz View Post



and I'm pretty sure everyone else knows too, I find it pathetic and at the same time funny how after the "Really" comment by Currawong I got all these LOL quotes, they reminded me of the minions in Despicable Me, I don't blame them they must follow their leaders!

Dude, we weren't laughing at you we were all just amused by the situation is all. If anything I can comprehend where you're coming from as far as fan boys are concerned. Trust me, I'm not one of them even though I own a AK player.

 

@ Jude/Currawong

 

Thanks for coming on thread and explaining yourselves as well as adding to the conversation. As heated as the discussion has gotten over the last couple of pages I ask that the thread please not be locked. Until now we've had some rather enlightening discussions on here and I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say it would be sad to see the thread locked.

 

@eke2k6

You know me eke, my view is if you have a problem with a certain product then by all means just say so. The problem I see with your point of view is twofold. First, the product hasn't even been released yet and as such judgement can't be cast until you've had that player in your hands and you've heard it with your own two ears. Do I think the AK240 is overpriced? More then likely yes. But, even so I can't say anything about it until I've had it in my hands. The second problem I see with your argument is you're arguing completely based on pricing.

 

I guarantee you if you walked out your door with some of the equipment you own and told Johnny Average on the street the money you've invested on it they'd think you're crazy. Heck, Johnny Average thinks paying 50 bones for a pair of IEM's is ludicrous never mind 300 bones on an amp or 500 bones on a headphone. You start telling Johnny Average you spent 1000's on certain equipment and he begins to think you're a loon. See where I'm coming from? I guarantee you the average person on the street in my city would think I'm insane for paying 1300 bones on a AK120. The average person on the street thinks an iPod or a Sony player is high end and anything pricier then those players is crazy.

 

Again, I'm not making up an excuse for AK because I own an AK120. What I'm saying is wait until you've had the player in your hand and then post what you think and post it so that you make it clear what you're posting is your opinion.

 

Since my troubles with iBasso concerning the DX50 I've been left with a sour taste in my mouth concerning anything iBasso but you've yet to see me ranting about it on the about to be released ( I think it hasn't been released yet) DX90 thread. Do I think the DX90 will be another crap release with a bug ridden UI and early adopters being used as beta testers? Yes I do. But, I can't and won't comment about such things until it happens and I won't comment anything concerning the DX90 user experience wise and especially sound quality wise until I've had a chance to either have the player in my hands and give it a good listen or at the very very least read impressions from ears I trust. Even so if I was to post any comments based only on what I've read I would make it perfectly clear it was someone elses impressions and I would state who that person was. I'm not saying you don't have a point. I'm only saying until the product has been released and either your ears or ears you trust have heard the product you're jumping the gun.

 

The average consumer who contemplates buying a AK240 I can almost guarantee you are the same consumers who look into buying gear such as STAX and the Abyss. As pricey as the AK240 might be for people like you an me for consumers who own 5000 bone headphones and 2000 bone CIEM's the AK240 is a drop in the bucket for them. The AK240 wasn't intended to be marketed towards people like us. It was intended to be marketed towards people who own summit-fi gear.

 

Just my 2 cents. I hope they were well received.

post #783 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post
 



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.
 

 

In my case I don't think I can just simply go back down. Just too spoiled now :).

 

@Arly you make some really good points.


Edited by lee730 - 2/16/14 at 11:05pm
post #784 of 1453
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

In my case I don't think I can just simply go back down. Just too spoiled now :).


Me you and H2O are in the V player club. None of us wants to join another club. :rolleyes:

post #785 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

In my case I don't think I can just simply go back down. Just too spoiled now :).


You won't need to. Your wallet will do that for you.  ;)

post #786 of 1453
Arly, you've misunderstood the point of my posts. I've never really complained about its price in a vacuum, which is why I included that I plan on dropping $11k on the SR-009 setup in the near future.

I think I need to work on my written communication more.
post #787 of 1453

Possibly the best thread on Head fi.........................keep on rocking:cool:

post #788 of 1453
Nice thread Folks,

I'm not claiming to know much, and actually that is what brought me to Head-fi a couple of years ago. I needed short and quick advice from enthusiasts ; in my other experiences I have learned that the stuff advertised during the Super Bowl, etc, is often more hype than substance.

My impression from 30 years ago was that the term audiophile implied that that person had an acuity of perception and sharpness of understanding which led to discerning choices in gear... I noted at that time that those choices generally ran cross-current from the easy answers from Radio Shack and Circuit City.

What I'm looking for today on Head-fi is actually a lot more complicated than I would have ever believed! You see, with the immense flow of information available, there seems an abundance of "facts" which are argued on this and other pages. I've really hit the limit on deciphering one "fact" from other conflicting "facts", and concluded that I was best off stating in advance that I don't know much...

: . In addressing this "state of audiophilia" thread, I Just could not resist commenting on this trend towards baffling layers of technology and statistics as I attempt to research a simple answer to my question "if my peers and advertisers say Bose is great and Apple is so super, could a true enthusiast ever just narrow things down to a few decent match-ups and describe the pros/cons?" Who the heck DO I trust?

I was just in Best Buy yesterday and they make the choices so simple,and yet mostly pretty awful. Perhaps I already know too much...
post #789 of 1453

I read the Jude/Eke debate from the link. A philosophical discussion about the effects of pricing on the hobbyist wallet is worth talking about and this thread is built for it. I maintain that the storefront thread of a pre-release item is not the place. Think of it as a courtroom. The business or product in question is innocent until proven guilty (no matter how eye-rolling their marketing pitch seems).

 

I think the boutique DAP makers have more to fear from extinction than we have from a price gouging trend. I think they could easily find themselves (in a few years) in the position of (point & shoot) camera makers. I'm not saying smartphones will match the SQ perfectly, but it could be close enough for portable use. So maybe they should try to get all they can, while they can.

 

Some of what we are starting to see today in smartphones (l believe) is just the beginning. The Sabre DAC in the upcoming phones may not be on the exact level of it's big brother chip, but will the difference be discernible on the go (with earphones)? Is dual DACs next for phones? Phones are starting to incorporate better amp chips as well.

 

If the phones that are coming out soon turn out to be competitive with the AK100, DX50, and X3; will the next gen compete with the DX100 and AK120? I'm just talking SQ-wise and not the ability to drive the HD800 (which is not all that portable).

 

I wouldn't make any long term investments in boutique DAP makers. They are doing a great service by making their products, but they are also putting a target on their backs.

post #790 of 1453
Thread Starter 
You're pretty well versed for a truck driver lol.

I very much think they're putting a target on their backs with their current practices. As technology continues to evolve the DAP makers risk becoming redundant and as such slowly becoming extinct.
post #791 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

You're pretty well versed for a truck driver lol.

I very much think they're putting a target on their backs with their current practices. As technology continues to evolve the DAP makers risk becoming redundant and as such slowly becoming extinct.


Well with android based solutions like Viper4android and Voodoo audio it's a near thing whether or not to pee away money on a dedicated dap. If you turn off ALL the wireless and background apps on a decent 'droid phone you would be surprised just how good the sound can be.

 

Once again the age old developers rules apply.

 

1) Great software can always be applied as a fix to poor hardware.

 

2) There is absolutely NO fix for bad soft(firm)ware.

post #792 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post

...

 

I think the boutique DAP makers have more to fear from extinction than we have from a price gouging trend. I think they could easily find themselves (in a few years) in the position of (point & shoot) camera makers. I'm not saying smartphones will match the SQ perfectly, but it could be close enough for portable use. So maybe they should try to get all they can, while they can.

 

...

 

I wouldn't make any long term investments in boutique DAP makers. They are doing a great service by making their products, but they are also putting a target on their backs.

I think the bolded comment above is a very astute observation, and the idea that smartphone makers will be fast followers to the DAP makers has to be on the latter companies' minds.  The value of a standalone DAP is something that will be constantly evaluated by everyone -- head-fi'ers and non head-fi'ers alike -- as technology moves forward.  It seems to me that the high-end DAP makers are working out the parameters of their niche product, which includes price as a factor, and are also staking a claim to a position in that market which will have a bit more staying power than any one product in their lines.

 

Going with the camera analogy, though, it is quite likely that the current audiophile DAP makers will be the ones pushing quality/features/benefits forward in the enthusiast marketplace, whereas the smartphone makers will pick up the tail end and be "good enough" for "everyone else."

post #793 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.

Eke, i wish you be right, i wish a 350$ player outperform the 2400$ unit. cough .... one more cough...

Real life is different however more often than i wish for. Why i am getting philosophical here?

Because i remember all big fuzz about DX50 outperforming AK, and some told even RWAK.
So i bought DX50 which happened to be a very nice machine, very good sounding especially if you come up from iPods and smartphones...
But, but, when i put DX50 vs. my RWAK the latter easily won, sadly so because i was planning selling it and keeping DX50. Hey said i to myself, RWAK has mod, so lets see what happens if i amp DX50 from line out...and i did. I loved what happened to DX50 because my T1 transformed DX50 into a serious contender and would make many listeners happy...still, cough cough again here.... RWAK unamped won from amped DX50 although by a smaller margin. I would not mention smoother GUI, smaller size and the looks but guess which DAP i kept? Right, RWAK.

As concerns AK240 i truly believe this must be excellent machine but its price became a stopper for me because, like i said once, with this price tag Iriver strolled right into high end world and so the rules how we see things also changed and Iriver must surprise me sonically damn very much before i agree to pony 2400$ which would not be a problem if i feel it makes sense.
Edited by Gintaras - 2/17/14 at 11:00am
post #794 of 1453
Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdriver View Post
 

I think the boutique DAP makers have more to fear from extinction than we have from a price gouging trend. I think they could easily find themselves (in a few years) in the position of (point & shoot) camera makers. I'm not saying smartphones will match the SQ perfectly, but it could be close enough for portable use. So maybe they should try to get all they can, while they can.

 

Some of what we are starting to see today in smartphones (l believe) is just the beginning. The Sabre DAC in the upcoming phones may not be on the exact level of it's big brother chip, but will the difference be discernible on the go (with earphones)? Is dual DACs next for phones? Phones are starting to incorporate better amp chips as well.

 

If the phones that are coming out soon turn out to be competitive with the AK100, DX50, and X3; will the next gen compete with the DX100 and AK120? I'm just talking SQ-wise and not the ability to drive the HD800 (which is not all that portable).

 

I wouldn't make any long term investments in boutique DAP makers. They are doing a great service by making their products, but they are also putting a target on their backs.

 

If we're talking about iRiver, it may well be the other way round. As a mainstream DAP manufacturer, iRiver already had the target on their back, but saved their asses (for the time being) by going boutique with A&K.

 

As for sound quality levels, I don't know about other people's criteria for calling source A better than source B, but as far as I'm concerned, A will have to consistently outperform B with every single one of my IEMs. If it just sounds better with some of them and not so much with others, I'll just call that synergy or a good match. Granted, I haven't heard them all, but to this date I haven't found any audiophile / boutique DAP at any price point that sounded consistently better than my SGS3 smartphone. Your mileage may (and most probably will ;-) vary...

post #795 of 1453
Thread Starter 

Hmph, considering I have both the AK120 and the DX50 I wonder myself where some of the DX50 fan boys are finding the cajones to make claims that the DX50 outperforms the AK120 in sonics. My AK is unmodded and it leaves the DX50 behind in the dust. I can only imagine what a modded AK player would do to a DX player in a shootout.

......

........

...........

Did I just stumble across a new idea for a shootout video?


Edited by DigitalFreak - 2/17/14 at 11:22am
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