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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 10

post #136 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earbones View Post


Depends on what you're driving. I've yet to use a phone or player that doesn't push the vast majority of IEM's to their full capabilities.

Thanks, Earbones.  My IEMs are Dunu DN-1000s, which have an impedance of 10 ohms, and an efficiency of 98dB.  Both of those numbers are fairly low among IEMs, and I'm finding that the Moto X doesn't drive them all that well.  I get too little bass (which is where most of the energy should be going), and although the presentation is quite airy, notes are thinner and a bit less detailed than when they're driven by my Sansa Fuze, and dynamics seem poorer.  When the phone is amped with a Headsix, it's quite good.  But then, so is the Sansa, though the two sources sound really, really different.

 

If I'm understanding correctly, low-impedance 'phones are generally easier to easier to drive in that they require less voltage than high-impedance 'phones, but by the same token, they require more current.  (I'm working off the explanation here:  Headphone & Amp Impedance Questions? Find the answers here!).  According to the 1/8 rule, which I read about someplace else, you want an output impedance no greater than 1/8 of the headphone impedance; in this case, that would be 1.125.  I suspect that my phone's HO impedance is somewhere north of there, and the battery is not delivering enough current.  The Fiios and iBassos have output impedances of <1 -- as does the Headsix -- while the AK series, if memory serves, are something like 4, which would be fine for driving 32 ohm 'phones.

 

If the Sony 88x has an impedance in the range of 1, I think it would probably drive the Dunus perfectly well.  If not, I'd be better off going with a Fiio or iBasso or Hisound or whatever.  I can use the Fuze/Headsix stack, which is tiny by amp stack standards, but two devices<one when it comes to travel, or (3<2, when you add my phone, which is too curved to stack and use with the Headsix).  

post #137 of 924

Elladan AK240 = 1 imp

post #138 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post
 

Elladan AK240 = 1 imp

LOL.  Was really only referring to the DAPs within reasonable price distance of the DX50.  I'm just going to have to keep hoping to find an AK240 lying in the street. 

 

FWIW, I read after posting that that the AK120's OI was 3.  The AK100's is 22!

post #139 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post

Thanks, Earbones.  My IEMs are Dunu DN-1000s, which have an impedance of 10 ohms, and an efficiency of 98dB.  Both of those numbers are fairly low among IEMs, and I'm finding that the Moto X doesn't drive them all that well.  I get too little bass (which is where most of the energy should be going), and although the presentation is quite airy, notes are thinner and a bit less detailed than when they're driven by my Sansa Fuze, and dynamics seem poorer.  When the phone is amped with a Headsix, it's quite good.  But then, so is the Sansa, though the two sources sound really, really different.

If I'm understanding correctly, low-impedance 'phones are generally easier to easier to drive in that they require less voltage than high-impedance 'phones, but by the same token, they require more current.  (I'm working off the explanation here:  Headphone & Amp Impedance Questions? Find the answers here!).  According to the 1/8 rule, which I read about someplace else, you want an output impedance no greater than 1/8 of the headphone impedance; in this case, that would be 1.125.  I suspect that my phone's HO impedance is somewhere north of there, and the battery is not delivering enough current.  The Fiios and iBassos have output impedances of <1 -- as does the Headsix -- while the AK series, if memory serves, are something like 4, which would be fine for driving 32 ohm 'phones.

If the Sony 88x has an impedance in the range of 1, I think it would probably drive the Dunus perfectly well.  If not, I'd be better off going with a Fiio or iBasso or Hisound or whatever.  I can use the Fuze/Headsix stack, which is tiny by amp stack standards, but two devices<2, when you add my phone, which is too curved to stack and use with the Headsix).  
That's a tough situation and a new one for me... 10 Ohms isn't a very difficult load, obviously. But the world is full of phones that I am unfamiliar with, ha ha...

Sounds like you've a decision to make; whether to get a new phone with a better internal amp or a standalone player... Honestly, I'd go with a player if I were in your shoes. I know it's silly but I don't fully trust cellphones in terms of exactly how bad for people they may be... I don't generally plug my ears into them unless I've put them in airplane mode. So it's more convenient for me to run a player. Kind of a lame reason, I know, but I guess we all have our eccentricities.
Edited by Earbones - 4/23/14 at 1:11pm
post #140 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earbones View Post


Sounds like you've a decision to make; whether to get a new phone with a better internal amp or a standalone player... Honestly, I'd go with a player if I were in your shoes.

Even with a Fiio E6 set to flat EQ, the Moto X shows a little improvement in bass and maaaybe detail...but at the cost of significant amp noise. I just got the phone, and it's otherwise perfect, so the decision is really a) suck it up, b) use the Fuze/Headsix stack, or c) get a new player.    What I really want is the Fiio X5's electronics with Sony's Android-based UI at the DX50's price.  Somebody make that happen!

post #141 of 924
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elladan View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post
 

Elladan AK240 = 1 imp

LOL.  Was really only referring to the DAPs within reasonable price distance of the DX50.  I'm just going to have to keep hoping to find an AK240 lying in the street. 

 

FWIW, I read after posting that that the AK120's OI was 3.  The AK100's is 22!

 

The AK100 II has a 3 Ohm output impedance IIRC.

post #142 of 924

I'm looking forward to the new Cowon P1 and the Calyx M to join this fap dap-off. Remember that thread about the sad state of the consumer dap world? Things hardly seem so dire from my perspective....

post #143 of 924

Has anyone tried testing the current DAP digital out abilities? I sadly have an impossible time feeding out 24/192 files from Ak120, tested with different cables. 

Tested the same album (WAV 24/96) using my C4 (coaxial) and AK120(optical) and SB touch(both coaxial and digital) and I can almost say AK120 digital out felt as if the data was leaving its source with information missing. There is no way I can test it and sadly maybe my personal bias is kicking in but it did made me wonder whether all those daps out there have a truly capable digital out or is it an after thought for most companies who just put it there for advertisment purposes hoping that few bother using it!

post #144 of 924
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea71 View Post
 

I'm looking forward to the new Cowon P1 and the Calyx M to join this fap dap-off. Remember that thread about the sad state of the consumer dap world? Things hardly seem so dire from my perspective....

 

I assure you, both my hands have been above the desk the whole time. :p

post #145 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by irvin59 View Post
 

Another thing to consider in your choice is the Dacs of X5 vs DX90. The latter uses sabre and the former PCM1792. I have always found the sabre dacs very slightly clinical whereas I loved the PCM1792 in the Hifiman 801.

801 used PCM1704. Completely different topology.

post #146 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

801 used PCM1704. Completely different topology.

My mistake

post #147 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by irvin59 View Post
 

My mistake

Not entirely. I like the 1704 as well.:smile:. I actually like all 3 chips in question and think usage is what separates them. I think the 1704 can be best when you give it customized input and output circuits (not for portable) and the Sabre k2m's optimal for their intended use.

post #148 of 924

Currently listening to 3 DAPs and 2 of them haven't completed burn in yet but rankings currently are:

 

AK240>DX100>DX90

 

No surprises there but I will also use them as transports to a Chord Hugo and will update once they all burn in.  I'm only using CIEMs, not going to try full sized cans.

post #149 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I've finally gotten around to listen with the ZX-1 again after the software update. It sounds a little bit smoother and seems to have lost that aggression that it had before. Comparing it again to the AK240 (SE only) the upgrade makes it closer, but the dynamics of individual instruments are still slightly better with the AK240. 

 

Taking into account the price, the Sony has come out very strongly.

Have you tried the volume boost method described on one of the other threads(copied below)? Imho it really is a big improvement-this turns the sony into a very powerful unit. Bass is very deep and controlled. It also sounds more dynamic and exciting to me. With large orchestral works I find a significant improvement in scale and authority-I suppose not that surprising with all the extra power. The downside is that you lose the sound enhancements and equaliser, which is not a factor for me as I don't like them anyway. The background may also be a little less dark. Makes me wonder why sony hobbled the power of the amp ( maybe for legal reasons). I'd love to hear what other people think. It's very easy to revert if you don't like the effect-just enable sound enhancements and restart.

 

Originally Posted by PPCG View Post
 

Here is the way to increase the ZX1's output power

1. Make sure the xLoud & Clear Phase was checked in the sound setting

2. Lower down the volume

3. Go to Setting / Apps / ALL / Sound enhancements / then push "Disable" 

4. Enjoy!


After disable the Sound enhancements, EQ won't work anymore.

You have to restart the ZX1 to make it work again.

post #150 of 924

Hey Guys! I realize that this is not explicitly an advise forum but I'm really interested in buying one of these DAPs and so any advice that anyone could provide me with would be truly helpful!!! Like many of you I've spent an ENORMOUS amount of time here trying to work out what I should buy and why!? And indeed, in some instances, it has just got more confusing rather than enlightening!!!.... amp, no amp, single end, balanced output, CIEMs or Closed Backs, etc etc etc! You know how it is! Got rid of my home rig a couple of years ago to make way for the arrival of my daughter and promised myself to replace it when possible. And alas that time has now arrived through an unexpected windfall! Problem is that I'm traveling a lot at the moment and have thus decided that a portable rig is really the best solution! And indeed, although I've relished the thought of amping and stuff I think that the best solution is just to buy the highest quality DAP and CIEMs I can. I've finally managed to listen to JH Roxannes, 16s, and 13s, and for me the 13s won hands down!!! - first time I think I've ever managed to choose the cheaper option of something!!! - The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!! So.... I'm thinking the AK240, but even wondering whether the AK120 plus Hugo might be the way to go? If the sound quality would be that much better I'd consider it rather than the single box solution! And what about balancing stuff? This is possibly a "one shot" purchase before the wife relinquishes her agreement so I want to get it right!!! ;)

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