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The DX90 by iBasso . . . Sound impressions . . . . . . . New Firmware, 2.1.0 - Page 61

post #901 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post
 

No complaints here. As you've mentioned, run in helps a lot in these regards. It certainly works well with the JHs.

 

Bluebear, it's a minor point in the grand scheme but the DX90 may be phase inverting. Just a guess from listening. Try flipping the pin end of your 1p2 cables and see if you get more depth etc. I say it's not a big deal because a good # of amps, IEMs and recordings are inverted as well. 

 

Interesting. I will try it again and flip the pins around and see how it sounds. Will also put it on high gain and just turn down the volume like what you have suggested.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post
 

Speaking of soundstage how big really is considered better? I reckon bigger/wider isn't always better, there has got to be limit. Listening to my Roxanne with DX90, the soundstage already feels like anything bigger will sound weird.

 

Well everyone has different taste when it comes to audio preference so it may be hard to define what is better/bigger soundstage and our favorite collection of songs may also be from different genre. But I can say at least for myself I define a bigger soundstage to my music as one that sounds like I am listening in a big "live" concert hall type of venue or at least in a big ballroom environment. Bigger may also not automatically imply it is better, so the music quality must still retain its accuracy and clarity even though everything is now placed further out from you in a larger environment. I can still pinpoint the individual sounds from those accompanying instruments in the background with ease. Their relative volume amplitude should also not be diminished compared to the foreground music, i.e. if their volume is at 20% of the foreground music then it should remain at ~20% even after spacing out into a bigger environment in a good DAP. Everything should scale up accordingly without distortion. Of course, separation of instruments comes hand-in-hand with soundstage. It should also be good and well taken care of and not sound like everything is sounding from the same spot in the 3d space.  So to answer the question of how big really is considered better, IMO I would say as big as it can until it reaches the optimal threshold where the quality starts to give way to distortion and affect the SQ and separation. In other words, I am pushing the limits of an IEM to get it to sound like a real speakers in an open environment. Not some narrow closed up reproduction of the music which can still be accurate but does not come close to speakers style signature.

 

So if you ask me, I find my initial impression of DX90 to sound less "wide" and nearer to the listener because the individual instruments and the mid vocals all sounded like they are in the same flat 2d plane, i.e. they sounded just as loud and I detected less separation between the lows/mids/highs in their virtual "placement" in the soundstage. Could be a lack of burn-in issue which I will check back on the DX90 again once it has enough time to burn in as well as the phase inverting problem that goodvibes has mentioned. It could also be the side-effect of being more reference in characteristic and making everything flat, but then AK240 is rather neutral and flat compared to AK120, and yet it can still sound surprisingly musical with a very good soundstage/separation.

 

If you feel pairing Roxanne with DX90 is already hitting the limit of what wide soundstage is like to you, then I am very sure we have different taste to our music. IMO Roxanne has a rather thick/veiled SQ making the music sound very close to you and intimate, a.k.a. warm and I also find the details in the highs lacking. That is my impression even after turning the dial all the way down to minimum to kill the bass. Maybe a better analogy of a wide soundstage with airy feel that I am more comfortable with would be the HD800 signature. You probably prefer the TH900 kind of narrower soundstage with more warm. That is not saying TH900 type of signature is bad. It is just different to cater to a different group of music listeners. For example, tyeck reported the same impression on his Roxanne. Could be possible his preference is more like mine than yours. IMO I just find that a thicker/warmer sound signature always give me a feeling of suffocation/intoxication and makes me always crave for "air" and details like I am dying of thirst in a desert. Just trying to paint a visual image for you to understand my point of view.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyeck View Post
 

One of my favorite test tracks for high-end response is Pink Floyd's Happiest Days of Our Lives (The Wall). There is a 16th time hi-hat cymbal in that track starting at about 0.39. On all 3 my main audio systems (high-end, home theater and desktop) as well as my HD650 and also from memory, my UE 10 Pro, that cymbal is fairly prominent. On the Roxannes it is not prominent at all. The first few 5 beat salvos are there but veiled. After that, the constant cymbal is very indistinct. If I did not listen for it I would almost not notice it. Even the vocals sound like they are behind The Wall :). So for me it is not that the Roxannes are merely laid-back vs. my personal preferences. I feel the Roxannes are completely almost hiding some detail.

 

Would you possibly be able to do a comparison of that track on your different headphones etc. and let me know your impressions? If you hear it distinctly and prominently and consider them as detailed as your HD 800 then I will have some hope and will explore with you further about DAP/Dac/Amp pairings etc. and hold out for burn in. Thanks again.

 
post #902 of 1751

i might have missed it but can anybody here direct me to a DX90 vs Studio V 3ANV comparison? is it a no-comparison at all? I went to buy the Studio used as I cannot afford the DX90 as of the moment. I'm very excited about it's arrival soon but for the sake of it, can anybody confirm which sounds better to your ears and which IEM/headphones/earphones you used with both. thanks.


Edited by jrazmar - 5/11/14 at 8:03pm
post #903 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

 

Hi Bluebear, I can understand where you are coming from as I've noticed that my desktop rig provides more sound stage than something with less amping power like my smartphone.  DX100 definately has more power and actually has the desktop version of the DAC(not sure if this makes a difference).  From my experience, I've noticed iems are more dependent on source than cans for sound stage affects.  Not saying it's only the source that causes it.  

 

I would be interested in comparison of sound stage of DX90 and X5 as X5 has more powerful amp and possibly that may have influence on sound stage.


Edited by SilverEars - 5/11/14 at 8:06pm
post #904 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by robin1990 View Post
 

Agree with you no more, DX90 only sounds different for me than DX100 and AK120, I doesn't meant that DX90 sounds inferior to the other two, they just different.

In DX90 I feel I'm more in the environment, closer to stage.

 

another thing that I notice is.. cymbals and crash sounds not too natural for me, but it might be burn-in time too less?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin1990 View Post
 

No, I played in a orchestra and school band before, the cymbal sounds to me a little bit close to a real one (only for those cymbal i already heard of), but just a bit digitalized sound.

i need to clarify more if it is not because of the source and recording.

 

I heard the same thing for the cymbals on the demo unit of DX90 too. It sounded slightly digitized to me when I was doing A-B comparison with AK120/240 for Calyx M and I think it could be because iBasso tuned it a bit too neutral/analytical. Try listening to the 2 songs I quoted in my comparison on your DX90 and see if you hear the same thing as me (You may want to download the lossless flac version to your DX90 instead of the lossy Youtube version). Maybe a future firmware can fix this.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

The 1st track I loaded to test is redbook CD quality 44/16 FLAC quality music - "Unite" by Misawa Sachika, 2nd ending song from the Accel World anime (may take a while to load the buffer for streaming). It has a very good mix of modern pop song style with strong female vocal as well as a multitude of instrument sounds in the background including a lot of cymbals to test out the entire audio frequency range.

 

 

DX90 vs AK240 (on 1plus2): 

 

...The frequent cymbal sounds are also less natural and felt like it is forced out of the DX90 as compared to the AK240 which is buttery smooth/natural. On parts of the track...

 

 

DX90 vs AK120 (on 1plus2): 

 

...AK120 tends to have a more smooth feel to its SQ compared to the DX90 which is a little more analytical/cold (or digital to me). For e.g. 36-42 secs into Hotel California where the cymbals clash with the electric guitar sound reverberating around behind you, the DX90 reproduction sounded less musical and smooth compared to AK120/240. Both have roughly about the same level of black background and the UI on the DX90 feels more smooth and responsive than my AK120.

 

post #905 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Hi Bluebear, I can understand where you are coming from as I've noticed that my desktop rig provides more sound stage than something with less amping power like my smartphone.  DX100 definately has more power and actually has the desktop version of the DAC(not sure if this makes a difference).  From my experience, I've noticed iems are more dependent on source than cans for sound stage affects.  Not saying it's only the source that causes it.  

 

I would be interested in comparison of sound stage of DX90 and X5 as X5 has more powerful amp and possibly that may have influence on sound stage.

 

I heard that although the X5 has a more powerful amp, its SQ is actually worse because of the internal amp. The X5 DAC is said to be excellent if you bypass the internal amp using LO to a good external amp.

post #906 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

I heard that although the X5 has a more powerful amp, its SQ is actually worse because of the internal amp. The X5 DAC is said to be excellent if you bypass the internal amp using LO to a good external amp.

Worse than the DX90?  Can you elaborate on the internal amp of the X5 if this is the case?  How is the interior amp in the others better?

post #907 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

Worse than the DX90?  Can you elaborate on the internal amp of the X5 if this is the case?  How is the interior amp in the others better?

 

I have no idea and not an expert in audio circuitry, am just citing what I read about the X5 on another thread. Bad thing is I cannot remember which Head-Fi thread I have read this so I will have to dig through the forum to find it for you...

post #908 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrazmar View Post
 

i might have missed it but can anybody here direct me to a DX90 vs Studio V 3ANV comparison? is it a no-comparison at all? I went to buy the Studio used as I cannot afford the DX90 as of the moment. I'm very excited about it's arrival soon but for the sake of it, can anybody confirm which sounds better to your ears and which IEM/headphones/earphones you used with both. thanks.

just bumping my earlier post here as usually something not that "consistently discussed" gets buried along the way especially on a dedicated thread. Thanks.

post #909 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrazmar View Post

just bumping my earlier post here as usually something not that "consistently discussed" gets buried along the way especially on a dedicated thread. Thanks.

 




Look for post by goodvibes, he has bought device and I thought he posted a sort of comparison. If not on this thread it's on the other DX90 thread.
post #910 of 1751
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrazmar View Post
 

just bumping my earlier post here as usually something not that "consistently discussed" gets buried along the way especially on a dedicated thread. Thanks.

The ANV 3 has a nice open airy sound. The DX90 is also open but has more command of the bass and in general slam, i.e., overall dynamics. The UI of the Anv3 is, well, rather basic, the DX90 gives you many more options and for me it is much easier to navigate. 

post #911 of 1751

jamato, thanks. so on the aspect of pure SQ, the only edge of the DX90 over the Studio is on the dynamics and that's not to say that the Studio is less dynamic but the iBasso just offers better overall. is that what you meant?

post #912 of 1751

DX90 is ultimately more refined and resolved when using wav or HiDef but the ANV 3 does not leave you wanting when in use. Low bass isn't as strong. It's quite good with FLAC and I'm and advocate of using compression level 0. Mine is isn't going anywhere.:smile: You won't be disappointed in the HiSound's audio performance and check the the appropriate threads for FW etc.

post #913 of 1751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

I heard that although the X5 has a more powerful amp, its SQ is actually worse because of the internal amp. The X5 DAC is said to be excellent if you bypass the internal amp using LO to a good external amp.

I just took a look at the X5 thread again. Nice to know more are hearing it as I did. 

 

And per the earlier discussion, the DX90 really likes wav.:smile:

post #914 of 1751

So I'm playing around with the DX90 and my new HD600's and I don't get why people use high gain on higher impedance cans, I have enough volume at 235 on low gain with my HD600's while listening to some Boards of Canada. Is there any other benefit from using the high or medium gain aside from more volume with higher impedance cans?

 

PS: This thing sounds great with my Hifiman re272's, I think this also has to do with the low impedance of the DX90 paired with the 20Ohm impedance of the re272's. More sub bass, clearer mid bass an more treble extension which all seems about right if you know what impedance mismatching can do to your frequency linearity.

 

PPS: Some things about the current state of the firmware (2.0).

 

- I had some crashes while skipping songs and browsing.

- Writing files to the sdcard through usb is painfully slow so I've ordered a USB3.0 card reader to remedy that.

- Rescanning the library takes forever with my 64GB card, I hope this can be improved substantially although having the DAC function enables will ease the pain as well.

- It doesn't seem to recognise letters like ü/é/ø, they get replaced by chinese symbols. I hope this will get fixed soon because it looks pretty weird.

post #915 of 1751
Some prefer the sound on high gain others on low gain. Try them and pick your favourite
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