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The DX90 by iBasso . . . Sound impressions . . . . . . . New Firmware, 2.1.0 - Page 62

post #916 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldgroot View Post
 

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.

 

Man, you nailed it! I completely have the same experience with my Sennheiser IE8...These IEM's pair amazingly with the DX90.

Regarding the FW issues I also came across these "shortcomings"^^


Edited by droid23 - 5/12/14 at 2:53pm
post #917 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldgroot View Post

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.

Paul, what 64GB micro SDCard are you using? I'm using Sandisk bought from Amazon.co.uk, and I find the re-scanning after changing from one card to another takes no time at all
post #918 of 1664

I'm using a Samsung 64GB class 10 card, maybe it's just some bad luck. I'll try again tomorrow.

post #919 of 1664

Comparing DX90 with my Sound Blaster ZXR i'm so far unimpressed (with the DX90). I tried it with Fostex TH-900 and Shure SE535. Perhaps it's not a fair comparison but SB ZXR is a $200 card so maybe it is.

 

* I can't quite quantify it but the sound is lacking in emotional engagement and clarity. 

* The touchscreen is also pretty small and i wish the touch areas were larger.

* There's also significant lag (2 seconds) when switching tracks or performing any operation with the UI for that matter (quite frustrating i have to say)

* It helped a bit with SQ to turn off the default flat EQ (comes enabled by default) and also switch the gain to "medium"

 

The track i use for listening is Air's "Le Soleil At Pres De Moi", it has a lot of super-fine detail and the degree of emotional engagement is very affected by SQ, at least in my perception.

 

Other highly technical tracks i tried are Cocteau Twins Cherry-Coloured Funk and the soundtrack from Ghost In The Shell Innocence (Etorofu, The Doll House)


Edited by wavelet - 5/12/14 at 5:01pm
post #920 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldgroot View Post

listening to some Boards of Canada

Just had to stop the thread for a moment of appreciation for BoC smily_headphones1.gif
post #921 of 1664
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.

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?  

 

(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.

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.

 

For Evaluating the Sound Stage Width, Depth, Placement, and Separation, you might want to pick up a copy of the 1997-1998 IASCA Competition Disc.  This is a CD produced specifically for Car Audio Competitions and is one of the very few that provides a "Stage Map" of the exact instrument and vocal positions for Each Track, along with some other very useful test tracks.


The reason for providing this Stage Map is because excellent Staging, Imaging, and Depth, are the among the most difficult to recreate properly in the car environment, due to your off-center listening position (driver's seat) in relation to the speaker placement(s).  Digital Delay or "Time Alignment" and level adjustments are very important for car audio and many very powerful DSPs are available to make these fine adjustments for each individual speaker (subwoofer, midbass, midrange, and tweeter) along with very powerful independent L/R Graphic and Parametric EQ, Phase, and level/amplitude controls for up to 8 channels.


I've included the CD Cover & Liner Notes for the 1997-1998 IASCA Competition Disc below.  The quality of the tracks are outstanding as well.  I don't have the latest Competition Disc, but I believe it is very similar.  Find it here:

 

http://store.iasca.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=CD_IA-30001M

 

1997-1998 IASCA Competition Disc

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01  LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01


This disc should give everyone a Solid Baseline to Reference when comparing any of your audio equipment for Imaging & Staging.  For those of you in Europe, you may want to seek out the "EMMA Sound Quality Competition Disc 2009-2011" here:

 

http://emmanetshop.com/CD-and-Media/

 

The Chesky Ultimate Demonstration Disc and the new Head-Fi/Chesky Ultimate Headphone Demo Disc that are available on HDtracks are excellent as well (don't forget the 20% Head-Fi discount!).  However, AFAIK, neither of these have printed "Stage Maps" to refer to.

 

 

For Percussion and Cymbal Realism tests and evaluation, I like to use the fantastic Sheffield Drum & Track Record (disc), specifically the "Drum Improvisation" tracks by drummers Jim Keltner and Ron Tutt.


Lo-Fi YouTube links:  

 

 

 

and

 

 

 

Another true Reference Drum Kit and Cymbal recording is found on the "Drum Boogie" track from the fantastic "Lars Erstrand & Arne Domnérus "Live is Life" disc.  It's one of THE best jazz drum kit reference recordings ever made IMO.   

 

 

Find it at:  http://www.elusivedisc.com/Arne-Domnerus-Live-Is-Life-Ultra-HD-CD/productinfo/PRUHD914/


 

JB Project - BROMBO! (Brian Bromberg & Akira Jimbo, featuring Otmaro Ruiz)

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more that I highly recommend as a Drum & Cymbal Reference Recording is the 2013 Steph Johnson Trio "Nature Girl" album.  It's my current avatar image.  If you're a jazz musician, then I know you'll really like it and it is my new reference & demo disc.  Listen to the first track from her album (note that other tracks on the album have better drum/cymbal work) via the YouTube video on her web site at:

 

http://www.stephjohnsonband.com

Or check out my post here for more info...

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/522812/the-best-female-vocals-your-favorite-female-singers/2040#post_10514286

 

 

There are a few more Drum Solo reference tracks lsited in the forum thread here (see my links in Post #10):
 

http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/diy-music-forum/159918-percussion-drum-solo-tracks.html

 

 

I've found it very difficult to discuss Stage Width/Depth/Imaging comparisons in threads like this one because there is no "Baseline" or True Reference for all of us to use.  The 1997-1998 IASCA Competition Disc has been the best reference for me in that regard.


HTH!


If you have any other Drum & Cymbal Reference Tracks, I would love to know about them via PM or start another thread!  ;)


Edited by bbfoto - 5/12/14 at 6:26pm
post #922 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavelet View Post
 

Comparing DX90 with my Sound Blaster ZXR i'm so far unimpressed (with the DX90). I tried it with Fostex TH-900 and Shure SE535. Perhaps it's not a fair comparison but SB ZXR is a $200 card so maybe it is.

 

* I can't quite quantify it but the sound is lacking in emotional engagement and clarity. 

* It helped a bit with SQ to turn off the default flat EQ (comes enabled by default) and also switch the gain to "medium"

 

The track i use for listening is Air's "Le Soleil At Pres De Moi", it has a lot of super-fine detail and the degree of emotional engagement is very affected by SQ, at least in my perception.

 

Other highly technical tracks i tried are Cocteau Twins Cherry-Coloured Funk and the soundtrack from Ghost In The Shell Innocence (Etorofu, The Doll House)

 

Do you have any "soundfield enhancements" or 3D Surround effects or other DSP engaged on the SB ZxR?

 

I've found the DX90 to be one of the most "emotionally engaging" DAPs or sources that I've heard, listening with both the Beyerdynamic T1's, Neumann KH-120-A Studio Monitors, and nOrh 9.0 loudspeakers.  However, I don't have any experience with any of the other ToTL DAPs or any decent IEMs either, so???

post #923 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by wavelet View Post
 

Comparing DX90 with my Sound Blaster ZXR i'm so far unimpressed (with the DX90). I tried it with Fostex TH-900 and Shure SE535. Perhaps it's not a fair comparison but SB ZXR is a $200 card so maybe it is.

 

* I can't quite quantify it but the sound is lacking in emotional engagement and clarity. 

* The touchscreen is also pretty small and i wish the touch areas were larger.

* There's also significant lag (2 seconds) when switching tracks or performing any operation with the UI for that matter (quite frustrating i have to say)

* It helped a bit with SQ to turn off the default flat EQ (comes enabled by default) and also switch the gain to "medium"

 

The track i use for listening is Air's "Le Soleil At Pres De Moi", it has a lot of super-fine detail and the degree of emotional engagement is very affected by SQ, at least in my perception.

 

Other highly technical tracks i tried are Cocteau Twins Cherry-Coloured Funk and the soundtrack from Ghost In The Shell Innocence (Etorofu, The Doll House)

 

The EQ if off by default. The EQ button label states the opposite of the actual state of the EQ function. So it's actually activated when the button is "Off" and vise versa.

 

It's been a long time since I built a PC with a high end sound card listening to music and game play (more than ten years ago) and I no longer follow the development on this area. But one thing I notice is the ZXR has a very powerful amp than the one in DX90. TH-900 appears to require a lot of current to be driven well.

 

Personal preference is also a major factor and if a lot of people like how a gear sounds like doesn't mean that you will automatically like it. Auditioning a gear before buying is still the best way to prevent buyers remorse. It's the bitter truth I learned since I went out to find my "holy grail" of audio gear and found my way here.

 

It's nice to know that Creative Labs is still not abandoning the high-end sound card market. I guess you are right it's not a fair comparison. ZXR may be a $200 card but you still need a PC to complete the setup and that will easily exceed the 419+ price tag of DX90.

post #924 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post
 

I've found the DX90 to be one of the most "emotionally engaging" DAPs or sources that I've heard, listening with both the Beyerdynamic T1's, Neumann KH-120-A Studio Monitors, and nOrh 9.0 loudspeakers.  However, I don't have any experience with any of the other ToTL DAPs or any decent IEMs either, so???

Speaking of T1, I just started hooking up DX90 to my O2 and I can say it brings the T1 to another level which I never heard the T1 before. The most noticeable difference is in the low end where there is much authority coming from the O2. The LO from DX90 provide so much detail to O2 and it just let the signal pass through at it's purest form, amplify and it let T1 resolve all that detail. Every detail is sharper and more defined coming from O2.

 

The best visual analogy I can give when T1 is connected to DX90's HO, the sound looks like a high resolution picture, very sharp and lot's of detail in a smaller view. Now if you hook it up with O2, you get the exact picture and just zoom out. Exact picture but bigger view.

 

I like this setup much better than my Centrance Hifi-M8.

post #925 of 1664

All sound enhancements disabled.

post #926 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post
 

 

Do you have any "soundfield enhancements" or 3D Surround effects or other DSP engaged on the SB ZxR?

 

I've found the DX90 to be one of the most "emotionally engaging" DAPs or sources that I've heard, listening with both the Beyerdynamic T1's, Neumann KH-120-A Studio Monitors, and nOrh 9.0 loudspeakers.  However, I don't have any experience with any of the other ToTL DAPs or any decent IEMs either, so???

 

All sound enhancements were disabled on the ZXR.

post #927 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post
 

 

The EQ if off by default. The EQ button label states the opposite of the actual state of the EQ function. So it's actually activated when the button is "Off" and vise versa.

 

It's been a long time since I built a PC with a high end sound card listening to music and game play (more than ten years ago) and I no longer follow the development on this area. But one thing I notice is the ZXR has a very powerful amp than the one in DX90. TH-900 appears to require a lot of current to be driven well.

 

Personal preference is also a major factor and if a lot of people like how a gear sounds like doesn't mean that you will automatically like it. Auditioning a gear before buying is still the best way to prevent buyers remorse. It's the bitter truth I learned since I went out to find my "holy grail" of audio gear and found my way here.

 

It's nice to know that Creative Labs is still not abandoning the high-end sound card market. I guess you are right it's not a fair comparison. ZXR may be a $200 card but you still need a PC to complete the setup and that will easily exceed the 419+ price tag of DX90.

 

Yeah i noticed the EQ thing. It came enabled by default with my player at least.

post #928 of 1664

 

@wavelet, Thanks for the prompt responses re: the SB Zxr settings. ^

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post
 

Speaking of T1, I just started hooking up DX90 to my O2 and I can say it brings the T1 to another level which I never heard the T1 before. The most noticeable difference is in the low end where there is much authority coming from the O2. The LO from DX90 provide so much detail to O2 and it just let the signal pass through at it's purest form, amplify and it let T1 resolve all that detail. Every detail is sharper and more defined coming from O2.

 

The best visual analogy I can give when T1 is connected to DX90's HO, the sound looks like a high resolution picture, very sharp and lot's of detail in a smaller view. Now if you hook it up with O2, you get the exact picture and just zoom out. Exact picture but bigger view.

 

I like this setup much better than my Centrance Hifi-M8.

 

Nice to know, mate!  Thank you.  Any specific music tracks that you noticed these differences?


Edited by bbfoto - 5/12/14 at 8:18pm
post #929 of 1664
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfoto View Post

 

Nice to know, mate!  Thank you.  Any specific music tracks that you noticed these differences?

 



Practically all tracks in the Metallica's Metallica album. But I compared "Nothing else matters" and "So what" 3 times. I listened to several of Megadeth, Ugly Kid Joe and The Searchers tracks and kept me up last night. Even after I finished listening, I can still feel the energy and so pumped up that I could not sleep until about 4AM. I think it can be an effective pre-workout energy drink substitute. Then I had to wake up at 7:30. Felt like I had a hangover and snoozed for 30 minutes. smily_headphones1.gif
post #930 of 1664
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.

 

 

You are correct to point out the cymbals still is just a bit "digitized", but it is only when I compared it with the hm901 or ak240.  I do like the dx90 treble over that of the sony zx1 which I feel is even more "digitized".

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