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In favor of double ES9018M2K or single ES9018?

Poll Results: In favor of double ES9018M2K or single ES9018?

 
  • 38% (30)
    A. Mobile type of 9018M2K X 2
  • 61% (47)
    B. Desk type of 9018 X1
77 Total Votes  
post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

In favor of double ES9018M2K or single ES9018?

 

For some reason, currently we would only consider ES9018 or ES9018M2K for the DAC chip.

 

ES9018 is a desk type that has the highest performance indicator among the DAC chips on the market, while the ES9018M2K is a mobile type. The main differences between the two are that the ES9018M2K has lower power supply voltage and power consumption, and the DAC for ES9018M2K is in double-way output system, while the ES9018 is in eight-way output system.

 

Nowadays, it seems like a tendency to employ double DACs, such as the  HM801, HM901,DX90,dual-core version of iHiFi,AK120/AK240, etc.

 

However, there is no theoretical proof support that the double-chip system is superior to single chip. Just take the 9018 for example, its performance is much better than that of 9018M2K, and likewise, with much higher cost.

 

Nonetheless, most of the customers would consider the double chips would be senior, so what is your opinion?

 

post #2 of 70
As of late I can say dual implemented DAC for portable use is mostly is marketing move than anything sound wise significant.

A well implemented design for any DAC should sound as good, people have a hard time getting there single DAC chip design too sound good and we already seen dual DAC, strange!
post #3 of 70

In terms of choosing between these 2 types of DAC chip, the biggest issue, so far as I can see, is power consumption and voltage requirements (I mean bigger than marketing gimmicks or sound quality)

 

 

The DX100 (single chip) and HM-901 both sound superb but they're too damn big.   I realise that's not just because of the DAC chip, but it's certainly partly responsible.

 

For this  reason, I would prefer you to use K2M rather than desktop.

 

 

D&A clearly know what they are doing with both desktop and mobile ES9018 chips, and they're extremely confident that they have achieved great SQ with just 1x K2M DAC chip, in the Calyx-M DAP.

 

 

However, for a flagship DAP, I would like to see the X7 be one of the first to offer true balanced LO/HO, and because of this, I would understand if Fiio chose to use 2x DAC chips.

 

 

 

SO.... my personal aspirations for the X7 seem to lead towards using 2x K2M DAC chips.


Edited by Mython - 4/20/14 at 11:16am
post #4 of 70
Thread Starter 

the true balanced lo/ho does not need dual DAC, in fact, you can called ES9018 as 8 DAC chip.

post #5 of 70

James you know what you are doing, I know that if you want you can produce a DAP that can compete with likes of AK240, I do not mind paying around 700 USD for it if you are willing to produce the X7 to compete again the likes of AK240 and hm901. 

post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesFiiO View Post
 

the true balanced lo/ho does not need dual DAC, in fact, you can called ES9018 as 8 DAC chip.

 

 

OK, but 9018 desktop chip is too power-hungry.

 

If you can get true balanced LO/HO with 1x mobile chip, then great - I vote for 1 x K2M

post #7 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post
 

James you know what you are doing, I know that if you want you can produce a DAP that can compete with likes of AK240, I do not mind paying around 700 USD for it if you are willing to produce the X7 to compete again the likes of AK240 and hm901.

 

yes, the X7 will be about $699. about the SQ, it should decided by our user whjen it launch market.

post #8 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

 

OK, but 9018 desktop chip is too power-hungry.

 

If you can get true balanced LO/HO with 1x mobile chip, then great - I vote for 1 x K2M

 

the most difficult thing is that there are not standard balanced LO/HO jack ( connnector ) .

post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesFiiO View Post
 

 

the most difficult thing is that there are not standard balanced LO/HO jack ( connnector ) .

 

 

That is true, but it doesn't stop other manufacturers from producing balanced amps.

 

I don't think people will mind buying a suitable connector for whichever balanced socket Fiio might choose.

 

 

Hirose is a pretty good compromise.

 

XLR is too big

 

TRRS is too fragile (silly 2.5mm TRRS on AK240 is crazy)

 

 

 

If you don't want to use Hirose, then I suppose 3.5mm TRRS would be adequate, but Hirose would be much better.

 

 

 

 

I appreciate that balanced is not demanded by many people, but it could be an excellent feature for people who want the best sound reproduction from a flagship pocket DAP  (again, HM-901 is too big).

post #10 of 70

The ES9018 single and powerful power supply unit's welcome.:wink_face: 


Edited by Baphomet Metal - 4/21/14 at 9:52am
post #11 of 70

Assuming both can be implemented well enough - If the power saving of ES9018K2M isn't very significant (*say, improves the battery life by > 1/3 ~1/2), I'll take ES9018 instead. simply because there is no reason to settle for less, IMO. On that matter, unless ES9018K2M is proven to be better than all other choices of dual channels DAC (TI, Wolfson, AKM, etc), I don't see why ESS must be the only option on the table. It seems to be fashionable to use ES9018K2M these days - but fashion is but opinion and can change with time, performance is however about solid engineering and should be the first goal of any electronics design.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mython View Post

 

I appreciate that balanced is not demanded by many people, but it could be an excellent feature for people who want the best sound reproduction from a flagship pocket DAP  (again, HM-901 is too big).

 

Consider X5 is already 80% the weight of HM901 and about 60% the size, I don't think X7 will be anyway significant smaller, especially since X7 is likely to have a smartphone size touch screen.

post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

 

Consider X5 is already 80% the weight of HM901 and about 60% the size, I don't think X7 will be anyway significant smaller, especially since X7 is likely to have a smartphone size touch screen.

 

I personally feel the X5 is a bit too big, as well, even though I don't dispute your above logic.

 

 

When I look at the DX90, I think they have done really well to keep it down to only 140g and 64 x 100 x 17 mm. They have shown that a compact DAP can be made, at a reasonable price, without compromising audiophile performance.

 

I am a fan of both iBasso and Fiio, so please don't anyone think I am trying to 'name-drop' iBasso in a Fiio thread - I'm only mentioning them because the DX90 and DX100 are relevant to discuss in the context of choosing features for a new flagship Fiio DAP.

 

 

It's relatively easy to make a DAP that has audiophile performance - but what is the point if it's still too big to carry in a trouser pocket?   You might just as well use a stack, and there's already a very wide range of products, from numerous vendors, to stack together...

 

 

It just annoys me when people who are mostly desktop-gear users push for desktop features in a new DAP as a higher priority than size/weight. This is the mentality that they will use the DAP in their car or in their rucksack, on the way to work, and then use it on their work desk during the day. This is utterly pointless when they could easily use a transportable stack to serve the same purpose. There are those of us who desire as many audiophile features as is reasonably possible but still being able to use the DAP whilst walking with it in a trouser pocket and not wobbling around all over the place, looking obscene to passers-by and damaging the pocket / pulling the trousers down.

 

This is why I previously stressed that it will be extremely important for Fiio to figure out which is their target market for the X7 (http://www.head-fi.org/t/713734/how-heavy-can-you-accept-in-order-to-achieve-better-sound-and-appearance#post_10444918)

 

Do Fiio wish to build another DX100/HM-901 brick or do they want to try to offer something more compact that will be usable by people who actually wish to use a DAP in their trouser/pants/jeans pocket all seasons of the year?

 

Until that has first been decided, all other discussion about the X7 is, effectively, redundant.

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 4/21/14 at 12:10pm
post #13 of 70
One ES9018M2K is enough imo. If Audio GDs top desktop DACs have only one ES9018 then I really don't see the need for two especially in mobile devices. Power consumption would be huge for a mobile device. Just IMO.
post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

I personally feel the X5 is a bit too big, as well, even though I don't dispute your above logic.

 

 

When I look at the DX90, I think they have done really well to keep it down to only 140g and 64 x 100 x 17 mm. They have shown that a compact DAP can be made, at a reasonable price, without compromising audiophile performance.

 

Having owned the DX50 as well (same size as DX90), it really isn't that small. They share the same thickness and width, with DX50/90 shorter by about 1.5cm. It is however much lighter indeed.

 

One of the problem is the use of a metal casing on the X5 that adds significant weight (*the other is the battery, but that is a must so we can't do much about it). There is already discussion (not here, but over at FiiO Chinese forum) to scrap full metal housing and use plastic instead. There are pros and cons on both but it seems that's the direction we are going to see on X7, and overall the weight saving will be noticeable. Size wise, probably not that much since there is no way to shrink PCB, touch screen and battery assembly.

 

I think if any of us really want to see a smaller 'top-end' DAP from FiiO in the future, we must accept the compromise of lesser power (which is the trend for everyone else anyway). There ain't that many components on a DAP that you can scrap to save size, and the amp section is usually the first to go. Right now FiiO is still thinking about making a full feature DAP that can go all-out on SQ and second place everything else. If you look at DX90, it really isn't outputting quite as much power as what the hardware can be, purely spec wise. It is a good indicator that iBasso scaled back on power delivery in order make it smaller enough to fit the DX50 housing. If it has an amp section as powerful as X5, it will be just as big. Of course, the choice is between 'having enough for most' or 'having the best it can'. It is a pretty reasonable compromise, but I think what bother FiiO most is how to make a DAP that can standout in the market, not just price wise but also performance wise. If they started to cut back feature, they might become hard to differentiate from any other brands -and having a powerful amp section is one of their trademark feature so it is hard to let go.


Edited by ClieOS - 4/21/14 at 6:53pm
post #15 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

I personally feel the X5 is a bit too big, as well, even though I don't dispute your above logic.

 

 

When I look at the DX90, I think they have done really well to keep it down to only 140g and 64 x 100 x 17 mm. They have shown that a compact DAP can be made, at a reasonable price, without compromising audiophile performance.

 

I am a fan of both iBasso and Fiio, so please don't anyone think I am trying to 'name-drop' iBasso in a Fiio thread - I'm only mentioning them because the DX90 and DX100 are relevant to discuss in the context of choosing features for a new flagship Fiio DAP.

 

 

It's relatively easy to make a DAP that has audiophile performance - but what is the point if it's still too big to carry in a trouser pocket?   You might just as well use a stack, and there's already a very wide range of products, from numerous vendors, to stack together...

 

 

It just annoys me when people who are mostly desktop-gear users push for desktop features in a new DAP as a higher priority than size/weight. This is the mentality that they will use the DAP in their car or in their rucksack, on the way to work, and then use it on their work desk during the day. This is utterly pointless when they could easily use a transportable stack to serve the same purpose. There are those of us who desire as many audiophile features as is reasonably possible but still being able to use the DAP whilst walking with it in a trouser pocket and not wobbling around all over the place, looking obscene to passers-by and damaging the pocket / pulling the trousers down.

 

This is why I previously stressed that it will be extremely important for Fiio to figure out which is their target market for the X7 (http://www.head-fi.org/t/713734/how-heavy-can-you-accept-in-order-to-achieve-better-sound-and-appearance#post_10444918)

 

Do Fiio wish to build another DX100/HM-901 brick or do they want to try to offer something more compact that will be usable by people who actually wish to use a DAP in their trouser/pants/jeans pocket all seasons of the year?

 

Until that has first been decided, all other discussion about the X7 is, effectively, redundant.

 

 

.

 

don't forget the battery life, seems that the xxx only have 7 hours . X3 used a 3100mAh battery, and X5 used 3600mAh battery. 

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