Is is always better, or does it sometimes sound worse after burn in?
It is a burn in cable that allow you to run your DX90 with this cable plugged in instead of headphones while breaking it in. It is a nice accessory...at least for those who believe in burn in. You can turn the volume all of the way up while burning in with this cable and not have to worry about damaging your headphones.
Thanks for clarifying that one!
I'm a bit sceptical regarding burn in. Can't say that I have the ears for it to really matter I guess. I have heard people talk about it regarding headphones but never DAC's.
I guess it will simply sound a bit better the more I listen to it :)
I have heard my first song though :)
Compared "01 - Higgs Boson Blues" by Nick Cave from the Live album "Live from KCRW".
I used the DX90 and DX50 set tem on 177 volume, middle amp setting, used my in-ear ONKYO FC300.
The Flac is a secure rip from the CD.
At first I was a bit hard pressed to hear a difference (headache not helping here during the allergyplosion times...) but ones I got into listening I heard several differences. As many have said earlier, it sounds richer, more detailed and more airy. Also, on the volumes I used and with the same setting I found the DX90 to put out more volume and power than the DX50. After listening to the entire song and parts and comparing them. The DX90 is to me better at everything. Not by an avalanche or anything. I still think that the DX50 stands up nicely, but in definition, clarity and vibrance - it is outshined here.
Noticed that a few famous iBasso bugs are still at large:
Not scanning the entire card - even though most of it did scan and a heckuvalot quicker than teh DX50 did.
Flac names still messy, Motörhead comes out with Chinese type instead of the "ö".
Still looking forward to firmeware updates to be able to set background image (I couldn't find that, might be blind...)
Also, will be cool to try out the DAC feature.
Was about to test the difference between the DX50 and 90 with the Q701 - tough to drive and paired up the 90 with my Furutech ADL Stride - and got kinda lost in the music :)
I've reported this to iBasso, and given them some files that exhibit the problem. It appears all accented Latin characters have this problem.
Confirmed. I was playing Lés Miserables soundtrack and there was quite a few issues with track names.
I've done several hours of a-b comparison of DX90 and AK100 with 1Ohm output impedance on Triple.fi's but I can not tell that one of them are absolutely beating other.
DX90 has more power, but less natural mid's (love vocals on AK100) and high's, little too much ultra-high's. But it has more energy in low-mid spectrum. It has better positioning of instruments, with AK100 I feel myself in the center of all sounds, and sometimes they mess with each other. On DX90 I hear stage, better instrument segregation. But it has high frequency backing, that push whole sound from the bottom (silence). On AK100 sounds appear from total darkness and it feel very natural. I'd say AK100 is better for jazz and vocals, DX90 for drive and energetic music.
Just a quick comparison between DX90 HO (mid gain) > Heir 8.A and DX90 LO > Meier Audio Corda Quickstep (high gain) > Heir 8.A.
Not really a noticable difference. If any it's very very subtle and I doubt that I would be able to recognise it in a double blind test.
Looks like my portable setup has become a good chunk lighter and smaller.;)
iBasso DX90 - first impressions
I just got it today and was quite excited to get this player - both looking forward to give it a first listen, but also somewhat nervous as I bought the player on reputation only, not having heard or even seen an iBasso player before. Anyway, the day is saved: So far it exceeds my expectations.
The player is a solid little thing. The build quality is top notch, nice surfaces, solid jacks, good tactile feedback on the buttons - a taylor-fit silicone jacket and screen protectors are even provided.
The player was to upgrade my Cowon iAudio 7 - still a decent little dedicated player, but it only goes as far as 16/44 and the noisefloor is some shade of darker gray. At first I thought I could replace it with a smartphone, but they simply don’t live up to the hype - “beatsAudio great” is definitely not “audiophile great”. So a dedicated player was the way to go - and the iBasso DX90 caught my attention because of it’s vertasile features and yet simple design.
Having a Lyngdorf-setup in my living room I’m quite spoiled as far as HD audio goes. That being said, the DX90 is my first audiophile portable player, so I haven’t got anything in the same class to compare with, but truth told this little player still drew the mickey out of me: Rich and layered details on an all-black background, resolution making it possible to point out even the subtlest of nuances, a very clear sound bringing an almost archetypal sound to the instruments, beats a flowing with authoritative precision, the sound is powerful yet in full control making every attack fast and precise - surely this player is up for the task. Even with a pair of headphones as small as Sennheiser MX475 it sound just amazing.
I’ve been listning almost nonstop for 9 hours by now, trying a wide range of genres and the player makes justice to it all, bringing out the music to live. I’ll just dig into a few of examples.
Hearing Helene Grimaud on the piano was a revelation: She plays with an amazing even flow, even at high speeds, but actually being able to hear every single note and still having the distinct feeling of that flow - wow, simply beyond words.
Instruments sound just great. For example, strings are vividly brought to life. To me it’s crucial that violins actually sound like violins. Apparently this is no simple task even for high end gear, but the DX90 is maybe even the best I’ve heard. Hearing modern string pieces like Dobrinka Tabakova is simply a chilling I wish for everyone to experience - these harmonies on that black background, amazing!
Electronica like Amon Tobin, Aphex Twin or Infected Mushroom benefits form the resolution as it becomes evident how rich sound universes artists like these actually have. Also, electronica uses stereo quite differently than acoustic recordings, highlighting the impeccable canal separation.
Across genres bands come out great as well; jazz, world, big band, pop, rock, symphony. Vocals like Joss Stone, Melody Gardot, Stacey Kent, Anna Netrebko, Sabine Devielhe sounds every bit as devine as one would expect.
As for the user experience, I just turned it on, inserted a full 64GB microSD, it did a scan for a couple of minutes and of to music wonderland I went. Thumbs up to IBasso for supplying a pre-loaded battery, simply a treat for the rather impatient new user - well, maybe that’s just me? ^_^
The UI is simple and does what it is supposed to. I could with for more cataloging options, especially listing all albums ordered by artist, year, album. As for tagging some european characters are show as asian signs. Also the player seems to use “artist”-tag only, while I would much prefer it using “album artist”-tag for the catalog. In other words some adaptive retagging will be needed for me to find my way around the collection.
Finally, I tried using the DX90 as a source for my Razer Mako Desktop speakers. Compared to the Squeezebox Touch I normally use, the DX90 was quite the upgrade on every parameter - sound, resolution, perspective, soundstage, blackness, you name it. Only trouble is I now contemplate if and how the Squeezebox DAC might be upgraded!
For sure I look forward to listening further! :o)
Thanks for the input guys, appreciate it! :)
I filed a ticket/complaint, no response so far. not a very good first impression for me. Experience with musicdirect, amazon and avatar acoustics had all been much better. Anyone here have prior experience with mp4nation? do they actually deliver on time?
sure. will do. though i highly recomment you file a ticket as well.. you know, the more of us, the more chances they would listen ;)