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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 27

post #391 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

Yes, I too feel good mastering and recording quality music is also important if you want to hear the difference in SQ improvement but the easiest is to grab 24/192 and above source files to test instead of having to remaster and down-sample to 16/44. However, I can tell you very confidently that there is quite a bit of difference between hi-res and 16/44. If you never believe in that, I strongly suggest you test it out for yourself. The easiest is to go grab one of free hi-res mastered file from 2L - the Nordic Sound website, e.g. Vivaldi: Recitative and Aria from Cantata RV 679, "Che giova il sospirar, povero core". Get the DXD 24/352.8 mastering version and then re-encode it to 16/44. I use dBpoweramp to do the re-encoding and A-B playback them on my AK240 -> 1plus2. Technically, AK240 will also automatically down-sample the 24/352.8 quality to 24/176.2 internally during playback. But even then I can already hear the difference between the two. THe hi-res version sounds more energetic and has a stronger presence to every musical note compared to the 16/44 version, similar to what you can detect when switching from low to higher gain on an amp or from single-ended to balanced out. 16/44 version also sounds softer and more veiled throughout the entire track. The overall musical tone of 16/44 is still there and is the same as the hi-res version, but every note is less refined/detailed and the music sounds less full-bodied and less enjoyable as compared to the high-res version. You can also try the comparison on the other tracks on 2L. Some will yield less/more difference than others. YMMV.

 

 

As you offered this as an opinion, I feel the need to add mine too.

 

Still, before I do so I want to ask how big of an improvement you hear going from 16/44 to dxd? Could you give a percentage figure? Say the improvement noticed when going from the Tralucent Silver to the Tralucent Silver&Gold cables is approximately 5% for reference...use that as a scale if you would.

post #392 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

As you offered this as an opinion, I feel the need to add mine too.

 

Still, before I do so I want to ask how big of an improvement you hear going from 16/44 to dxd? Could you give a percentage figure? Say the improvement noticed when going from the Tralucent Silver to the Tralucent Silver&Gold cables is approximately 5% for reference...use that as a scale if you would.

 

I can try to quantify it, but as I have never own the old silver cable I do not know how it compares to my silver/gold cable. I have also not heard the uBer cable, so I cannot use that as a comparison. However, I can give you a rough estimate that the improvement is like me swapping the Tralucent silver/gold cable to the cheap FiiO RC-WT1 or the Westone Epic replacement cable which I have both with me. Something like that.

 

Basically, the hi-res tracks have a stronger punch to the music compared to their 16/44 counterparts and the music sounds slightly deeper, i.e. more depth. Mids feel more pronounced/forward too because of more energy in the hi-res versions. It is like every note in the hi-res version is shouting out to you "I am here". Another analogy I can think of is like those touched up pictures you get from an expensive photo shoot in a studio, where the photographer will usually touch up your pictures to enhance the saturation/hues of the RGB channels before giving the final version of the pictures to you. I strongly suggest you all do this A-B exercise and try it for yourself using your best rig. Let me know if you guys can hear the same thing.

post #393 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

I can try to quantify it, but as I have never own the old silver cable I do not know how it compares to my silver/gold cable. I have also not heard the uBer cable, so I cannot use that as a comparison. However, I can give you a rough estimate that the improvement is like me swapping the Tralucent silver/gold cable to the cheap FiiO RC-WT1 or the Westone Epic replacement cable which I have both with me. Something like that.

 

 

Yeah, Westone would be great!

post #394 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

I can try to quantify it, but as I have never own the old silver cable I do not know how it compares to my silver/gold cable. I have also not heard the uBer cable, so I cannot use that as a comparison. However, I can give you a rough estimate that the improvement is like me swapping the Tralucent silver/gold cable to the cheap FiiO RC-WT1 or the Westone Epic replacement cable which I have both with me. Something like that.

 

Basically, the hi-res tracks have a stronger punch to the music compared to their 16/44 counterparts and the music sounds slightly deeper, i.e. more depth. Mids feel more pronounced/forward too because of more energy in the hi-res versions. It is like every note in the hi-res version is shouting out to you "I am here". Another analogy I can think of is like those touched up pictures you get from an expensive photo shoot in a studio, where the photographer will usually touch up your pictures to enhance the saturation/hues of the RGB channels before giving the final version of the pictures to you. I strongly suggest you all do this A-B exercise and try it for yourself using your best rig. Let me know if you guys can hear the same thing.

 

 

I just reread this and noticed that you provided an answer. :)

 

Thanks. It seems what you're saying matches up with what I thought. Thanks.

post #395 of 585
A couple of questions.
Dsd is only with hd USB correct ?
Dsd is played directly from iPhone with the software talked about in this thread correct ?
Coax does not do dsd correct ?
So with most players used as transport we cannot use play dsd directly correct ?
Al
The above is regarding the chord Hugo ?
post #396 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

A couple of questions.
Dsd is only with hd USB correct ?
Dsd is played directly from iPhone with the software talked about in this thread correct ?
Coax does not do dsd correct ?
So with most players used as transport we cannot use play dsd directly correct ?
Al
The above is regarding the chord Hugo ?

 

Let me try to answer your questions based on what I know.

 

Dsd is only with hd USB correct ?

No, not correct. You can embed/wrap DSD music tracks within a FLAC format and stream it over from a transport to a DAC and retain 100% of its DSD nature. This technique is called DSD over PCM or DoP in short. "While this method is mainly targeted for USB links it is general enough to be applied to other PCM based links such as Firewire, AES/EBU, S/PDIF etc."

 

Dsd is played directly from iPhone with the software talked about in this thread correct ?

Not sure which software was talked about in this thread, but I assume it works for iPhone. I read about other people on the Hugo thread reporting it works already on their iDevices.

 

Coax does not do dsd correct ?

It does if you wrap the DSD track within a FLAC format to achieve DoP.

 

So with most players used as transport we cannot use play dsd directly correct ?

You can. People over at the Hugo thread have shown screenshots of doing that already and their Hugo lits up with white light (i.e. DSD playback).

 

The above is regarding the chord Hugo ?

I assume this is more of a statement and not a question? Yes, the above applies to Hugo.

post #397 of 585
First off thanks. The DSD over dop I know about.
And thus is key in DSD transport. So I need a transport that will do DSD over dop with coax or USB.
The iphone app is onkyo. I have it. I have not had time as yet to play with it.
The dap I own for transport is a hibino.
Hdpr10. It's horrible as transport. And no DSD over dop
At least not anyway I have found.
A big thanks for the info and posting it. As
I also try to help others.
Al
post #398 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

I can try to quantify it, but as I have never own the old silver cable I do not know how it compares to my silver/gold cable. I have also not heard the uBer cable, so I cannot use that as a comparison. However, I can give you a rough estimate that the improvement is like me swapping the Tralucent silver/gold cable to the cheap FiiO RC-WT1 or the Westone Epic replacement cable which I have both with me. Something like that.

 

Basically, the hi-res tracks have a stronger punch to the music compared to their 16/44 counterparts and the music sounds slightly deeper, i.e. more depth. Mids feel more pronounced/forward too because of more energy in the hi-res versions. It is like every note in the hi-res version is shouting out to you "I am here". Another analogy I can think of is like those touched up pictures you get from an expensive photo shoot in a studio, where the photographer will usually touch up your pictures to enhance the saturation/hues of the RGB channels before giving the final version of the pictures to you. I strongly suggest you all do this A-B exercise and try it for yourself using your best rig. Let me know if you guys can hear the same thing.

 

 

I just reread this and noticed that you provided an answer. :)

 

Thanks. It seems what you're saying matches up with what I thought. Thanks.

 

 

Yes, the sonic improvement is similar to swapping from a cheap sub-$50 cable like the Westone epic replacement cable or the FiiO RC-WT1 cable to Tralucent silver/gold cable. In fact, I just went down to JabenSG the other day because they posted new stock arrival of the Wagnus 'Meridian', 'Voskhod', 'Proton' cables and also the Moon Audio silver and black dragon cables with 2.5mm TRRS plug for my AK240. After auditioning the cables on my AK240 with Tralucent Ref 1 IEM, I found a day and night difference between Wagnus versus Moon Audio. Wagnus sounded a lot richer and fuller and the after notes hung in the air fading sweetly off and I thought it seems even slightly better than my Tralucent silver/gold cable with certain tracks. But Moon Audio's cables just sounded normal and not as good as the silver/gold cable.

post #399 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

Yes, the sonic improvement is similar to swapping from a cheap sub-$50 cable like the Westone epic replacement cable or the FiiO RC-WT1 cable to Tralucent silver/gold cable. In fact, I just went down to JabenSG the other day because they posted new stock arrival of the Wagnus 'Meridian', 'Voskhod', 'Proton' cables and also the Moon Audio silver and black dragon cables with 2.5mm TRRS plug for my AK240. After auditioning the cables on my AK240 with Tralucent Ref 1 IEM, I found a day and night difference between Wagnus versus Moon Audio. Wagnus sounded a lot richer and fuller and the after notes hung in the air fading sweetly off and I thought it seems even slightly better than my Tralucent silver/gold cable with certain tracks. But Moon Audio's cables just sounded normal and not as good as the silver/gold cable.

 

 

Thanks for that. 

 

I asked because I also conducted a few experiments with cables and DSD. Your answer helps quantify for me what some consider a "huge difference".

 

In my own case, I sent the Tralucent Silver&Gold cable around the country, and even to Europe, along with my ASG-2 to get opinions from veteran members who have long denied the effect cables. Most of them came away surprised that they could hear a difference with the cables. Same for me...to this day, it's the only cable I've used that has had an appreciable effect on the sound. But the main theme was that the differences were "very small, but noticeable" coming from the stock Westone style cable. This was even with their own IEMs, not just the ASG-2.

 

Similarly, I've played the DSD versions of the 2L tracks to compare them to the other formats. To my ears, I could not even hear a difference.

 

It just seems to me that my ears aren't refined enough to hang with some of you guys. That, or I find the asking price and/or disk  space requirements of these formats and cables to be almost absurd when all things are considered. 

post #400 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

 

 

Thanks for that. 

 

I asked because I also conducted a few experiments with cables and DSD. Your answer helps quantify for me what some consider a "huge difference".

 

In my own case, I sent the Tralucent Silver&Gold cable around the country, and even to Europe, along with my ASG-2 to get opinions from veteran members who have long denied the effect cables. Most of them came away surprised that they could hear a difference with the cables. Same for me...to this day, it's the only cable I've used that has had an appreciable effect on the sound. But the main theme was that the differences were "very small, but noticeable" coming from the stock Westone style cable. This was even with their own IEMs, not just the ASG-2.

 

Similarly, I've played the DSD versions of the 2L tracks to compare them to the other formats. To my ears, I could not even hear a difference.

 

It just seems to me that my ears aren't refined enough to hang with some of you guys. That, or I find the asking price and/or disk  space requirements of these formats and cables to be almost absurd when all things are considered. 

 

The Wagnus cable also made an audible difference when I audition it. Sounded smoother and richer than the Moon Audio cables. But of course the Wagnus cable is also costing 2x the price of a Moon Audio cable, so it is up to the buyer to judge if it is worth the cost. However, I must also stress that most people will not hear the sonic difference between 2 different cables if they are not A-Bing or have not heard/use 1 of the cable for an extensive period of time. The sonic change that comes with a cable swap is usually lost to the ears due to our brain's constant adjustment and adaptation to sound around us. Sometimes even taking out your earpieces/cans for a break longer than 1 minute can usually "erase" the tiny details of the sonic memory you have of the 1st IEM/can which you are trying to compare to the 2nd IEM/can.

 

So did you at least hear an amplitude/gain/loudness change when you try the 2L tracks at varying resolutions? Which DAP and IEM/can did you test it with? I would think ASG-2 may not a very good choice to use for this purpose if that is what you used, because it can be quite veiled/bassy/thick and not transparent enough. As you know, our human ears do not detect volume changes in the lows/bass as well as mids/highs. Try use a light bass track with neutral DAP/IEM and focus on the mids/highs. You should at least catch the increase in loudness.


Edited by Bluebear - 6/7/14 at 6:50pm
post #401 of 585

I did my more critical tests with the ER4S just to be safe. Same thing.

 

I also tend to volume match when comparing though. It makes findings a lot more accurate.

 

Still, if I need to focus that much to hear a difference, I won't be wasting 1 gb of space on a single track when the 16/44 version is only 12mb.

 

Thanks again, It really helps me weed out whose listening preferences match more closely with mine.

post #402 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

I did my more critical tests with the ER4S just to be safe. Same thing.

 

I also tend to volume match when comparing though. It makes findings a lot more accurate.

 

Still, if I need to focus that much to hear a difference, I won't be wasting 1 gb of space on a single track when the 16/44 version is only 12mb.

 

Thanks again, It really helps me weed out whose listening preferences match more closely with mine.

 

I guess everyone's mileage differs and we all have different ear shapes and our ages also affect our hearing. I won't be surprised if many years down the road I won't be able to hear the same minute details as what I am hearing now. Best is go with what your ears can hear. If there is little to no difference between hi-res and 16/44 you can detect, then it is pointless to put a huge hi-res file on your DAP and waste the space.

 

Oh and I forgot to mention that those 2.5mm TRRS plugs that those Wagnus and Moon Audio cables come with all have some issues maintaining a solid connection inside the socket of AK240. My right audio channel keeps getting cut off if I twist the plug inside the socket around or push against the plug at certain angles. I discovered that the metal shaft of the 2.5mm TRRS plugs seem to be too narrow towards the tapered tip and the socket seems to be a bit too wide for it. Hence, a lot of us AK240 owners are experiencing this issue. So far I have only encountered 1 kind of 2.5mm TRRS plug that rarely exhibit this problem, but ironically it is a cheaply-made plastic one with no gold-plated tip. :confused_face: I just DIYed it myself to one of my balanced cable. 

post #403 of 585

Directly compared to home gear at what level are the AK240 and Hugo?  Schiit Modi/Magni, Schiit Bifrost/Asgard 2, Schiit Gungnir/Mjolnir, PS PWD2/GS-X mk2?  Where about does it stand when compared to a desktop or home rig?

 

Feel free to use your own gear to set the level.  I've heard too many home amps and dacs so I can likely get an idea of where you are placing the line.

post #404 of 585

Hi Currawong....

 

How is your testing and comparison's going for the Calyx M ? All those interested in the M are a little starved of information atm although the most recent reports regarding SQ are good.

post #405 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 

Directly compared to home gear at what level are the AK240 and Hugo?  Schiit Modi/Magni, Schiit Bifrost/Asgard 2, Schiit Gungnir/Mjolnir, PS PWD2/GS-X mk2?  Where about does it stand when compared to a desktop or home rig?

 

Feel free to use your own gear to set the level.  I've heard too many home amps and dacs so I can likely get an idea of where you are placing the line.

Good question. Specifically, how does the Chord Hugo as a DAC compare to the Schiit Gungnir? (For some reason, I don't recall seeing this comparison.)

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