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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 42

post #616 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by flymetothemoon View Post
 

The switch to balanced would not change the sound signature but to have more grip of each presentation.

 

The balanced connection doesn't have the same output impedance so it absolutely will change the tonal balance of headphones that do not have a flat impedance curve.

post #617 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 

 

The balanced connection doesn't have the same output impedance so it absolutely will change the tonal balance of headphones that do not have a flat impedance curve.

You will get a better extensions on both ends but not changing the tonal balance.

post #618 of 1128

Heard the 240 with Oppo's the other day. Amazing detail, even hearing shades in single notes. A bit too much on the studio monitor line for me, which is no criticism at all, just prefer the color of the 120. Mind you that was at 1460 kbps or thereabouts. This may change of course..

post #619 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by flymetothemoon View Post
 

You will get a better extensions on both ends but not changing the tonal balance.

 

What changes will depend on the impedance curve of the headphone.

post #620 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I was talking about the M8, but I did play around with the Hugo using different inputs and I do find it excellent with the Onkyo HD Player from my iPhone as well.

Is it still as good as it is from a computer?
post #621 of 1128

DAP Specs

HM-901/Discrete Amp Module/FW1.085

Calyx M/Low Impedance Matching/FW0.96

RWAK240/FW/1.15

X5/FW2.07Beta

 

Earphone Reference

FitEar MH335DW Studio Reference with Tralucent Sliver/Gold V2.0

 

Sample Track

FLAC 16/44.1 (Boyzone's Back Again...No Matter What album - please don't laugh :P)

 

RWAK240 vs Calyx M - Calyx M's mids seem to be a little more distant whilst RWAK240's mids seem to be more a "front row" presentation. Somehow with the Calyx M, the presentation is a little less intimate. The slight difference in the mids of the Calyx M seems to accentuate the bass more. I don't think it has more bass quantity than the RWAK240 but due to the relative difference in bass to mids makes the bass more obvious. The RWAK240 feels a little smoother.

 

Calyx M vs HM-901 - The HM-901 seems to bear closer resemblance to the RWAK240 at this point. Vocals are simply more upfront and clearer. A more intimate feel however still very spacious where the music fills fully. The mid bass of the HM-901 feels fuller with a little bloom (but not boomy), compared to the Calyx M. The Calyx M feels a little "lean" by comparison. One other thing that to me feels quite obvious of the HM-901 over the Calyx M (and even over the RWAK240) is that the HM-901 seems to be able to produce a "big sound" effortlessly. The overall music doesn't impact doesn't feel "strained" in producing the big sound.

 

HM-901 vs X5 - I'd say as an overall frequency response, the X5 does well in the mids and treble region. The bass is is "light" comparatively to the HM-901, and I think the trebles does feel a little more extended than the HM-901 too. The first noticeable difference between these two DAPs is X5's soundstage feels somewhat smaller and music sounds a little congested. The X5 seems to "throw everything" at you in its presentation. I think personally for me it would work well with simpler compositions like jazz vocals with maybe 3-4 acoustic instruments but with R&B/Pop etc where there may be more instruments (esp electronic), it can all feel a little cramped.

 

Sadly my ZX1 is still with Shigzeo and he's still doing his DX90 review so I won't be able to incorporate my thoughts with them against these DAPs I have in my hands now.

 

Most the current DAPs though have good detail, good clarity and transparency. I think DAP technology has improved quite a bit in just 1.5 years. Where 2 years back there may have been only a handful of good DAPs making it easy for them to stand out, now the rest of the crowd seemed to have caught up.

 

Now the differences is really more to do with different styles of presentation for different desires of the listeners, and the competition is more in the fluidity, microdetail & microdynamics, and non-sonic aspects such as size, battery capacity, storage capability, GUI performance, etc.

post #622 of 1128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofrk View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

I was talking about the M8, but I did play around with the Hugo using different inputs and I do find it excellent with the Onkyo HD Player from my iPhone as well.

Is it still as good as it is from a computer?

 

Yes, I think so. I didn't feel that using an iPhone was a sudden downgrade as I did with the CLAS +db.

post #623 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

DAP Specs

HM-901/Discrete Amp Module/FW1.085

Calyx M/Low Impedance Matching/FW0.96

RWAK240/FW/1.15

X5/FW2.07Beta

 

Earphone Reference

FitEar MH335DW Studio Reference with Tralucent Sliver/Gold V2.0

 

Sample Track

FLAC 16/44.1 (Boyzone's Back Again...No Matter What album - please don't laugh :P)

 

RWAK240 vs Calyx M - Calyx M's mids seem to be a little more distant whilst RWAK240's mids seem to be more a "front row" presentation. Somehow with the Calyx M, the presentation is a little less intimate. The slight difference in the mids of the Calyx M seems to accentuate the bass more. I don't think it has more bass quantity than the RWAK240 but due to the relative difference in bass to mids makes the bass more obvious. The RWAK240 feels a little smoother.

 

Calyx M vs HM-901 - The HM-901 seems to bear closer resemblance to the RWAK240 at this point. Vocals are simply more upfront and clearer. A more intimate feel however still very spacious where the music fills fully. The mid bass of the HM-901 feels fuller with a little bloom (but not boomy), compared to the Calyx M. The Calyx M feels a little "lean" by comparison. One other thing that to me feels quite obvious of the HM-901 over the Calyx M (and even over the RWAK240) is that the HM-901 seems to be able to produce a "big sound" effortlessly. The overall music doesn't impact doesn't feel "strained" in producing the big sound.

 

HM-901 vs X5 - I'd say as an overall frequency response, the X5 does well in the mids and treble region. The bass is is "light" comparatively to the HM-901, and I think the trebles does feel a little more extended than the HM-901 too. The first noticeable difference between these two DAPs is X5's soundstage feels somewhat smaller and music sounds a little congested. The X5 seems to "throw everything" at you in its presentation. I think personally for me it would work well with simpler compositions like jazz vocals with maybe 3-4 acoustic instruments but with R&B/Pop etc where there may be more instruments (esp electronic), it can all feel a little cramped.

 

Sadly my ZX1 is still with Shigzeo and he's still doing his DX90 review so I won't be able to incorporate my thoughts with them against these DAPs I have in my hands now.

 

Most the current DAPs though have good detail, good clarity and transparency. I think DAP technology has improved quite a bit in just 1.5 years. Where 2 years back there may have been only a handful of good DAPs making it easy for them to stand out, now the rest of the crowd seemed to have caught up.

 

Now the differences is really more to do with different styles of presentation for different desires of the listeners, and the competition is more in the fluidity, microdetail & microdynamics, and non-sonic aspects such as size, battery capacity, storage capability, GUI performance, etc.

Only curious why you picked Boyzone's Back Again...No Matter What album.

post #624 of 1128
Thanks, AnakChan. Great impressions. smily_headphones1.gif
post #625 of 1128
The impression reminds me that I have a Tralucent silver/gold cable lying around and that I should re-terminate for Fitear...
Thanks for the awesome impression, AnakChan...must be a tiring exercise
post #626 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by flymetothemoon View Post

Only curious why you picked Boyzone's Back Again...No Matter What album.
Cos all the players could play FLAC natively (as opposed to DSD), & I felt I wanted to be in touch with my sensitive side.
post #627 of 1128

In order of SQ of the top sources I've tried so far.  Although not DAP, I've included DAC2 which is the most accurate source I've heard so far.

 

Benchmark DAC2 D > Chord Hugo > AK240 = HDP R10(both have different sounds, it's hard to say one is better than other) 


Edited by SilverEars - 8/9/14 at 12:24am
post #628 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

In order of SQ of the top sources I've tried so far.  Although not DAP, I've included DAC2 which is the most accurate source I've heard so far.

 

Benchmark DAC2 D > Chord Hugo > AK240 = HDP R10(both have different sounds, it's hard to say one is better than other) 

After extended listen, I discovered that the player scales with recording quality compared to a simple smartphone player like my S4 which is just flat sounding.  It's amazing what this little player can do give it's size.  I agree with the others here that it is indeed a very good sounding player.  It sounds like a desktop source in the size of an ipod, pretty remarkable in the respect.  Did a quick comparison of the same track vs my smartphone and the 240 does an amazing job.  My smart phone is 1.8ohm output impedance, and the 240 is measured to be 3.24ohms.  So there you have it, output impedance really isn't an issue than I predicted.  Also, what I predicted of the Cirrus Logic characteristic is not it, 240 proves that implementation is where it matters most as it obviously is implemented well.  I'm starting to run into sources that shows off that chip is not the characteristic, but the implementation.  Best compact DAP I've ever heard.  Very good resolution, great treble, very dynamic.  Possibly the upgrade from 1.09 to 1.15 changed the characteristic a bit as when I listened with 1.09 I thought it sounded flat, but could have be the wrong recording to judge it's sonic ability.


Edited by SilverEars - 8/9/14 at 4:18pm
post #629 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

After extended listen, I discovered that the player scales with recording quality compared to a simple smartphone player like my S4 which is just flat sounding.  It's amazing what this little player can do give it's size.  I agree with the others here that it is indeed a very good sounding player.  It sounds like a desktop source in the size of an ipod, pretty remarkable in the respect.  Did a quick comparison of the same track vs my smartphone and the 240 does an amazing job.  My smart phone is 1.8ohm output impedance, and the 240 is measured to be 3.24ohms.  So there you have it, output impedance really isn't an issue than I predicted.  Also, what I predicted of the Cirrus Logic characteristic is not it, 240 proves that implementation is where it matters most as it obviously is implemented well.  I'm starting to run into sources that shows off that chip is not the characteristic, but the implementation.  Best compact DAP I've ever heard.  Very good resolution, great treble, very dynamic.  Possibly the upgrade from 1.09 to 1.15 changed the characteristic a bit as when I listened with 1.09 I thought it sounded flat, but could have be the wrong recording to judge it's sonic ability.

You are right, SilverEars: the change in FW did help in injecting more musicality and dynamic range into the sig of the 240. smily_headphones1.gif
post #630 of 1128

I went to the So Cal meet the other day and took a listen to the new AK 120 II paired with LCD XC and HD 650.

 

My first impression,..it sounded warmer that what I had expected also really clean and smooth. I think the new DAC makes it more musical and warmer. It drives LCD XC and HD 650 out of HO with more than enough power..really enjoyable. I love the new design and how it feels. Very well build and It feels VERY expensive :p. Wifi music streaming was pretty snappy too.

The new sound has a deeper sound stage and more body to my ear, the highs are softer and good amount of bass.

 

Anyway, I pulled up my trusty X5 to compare using the same set ups.

 

........Wow!

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