Originally Posted by Mython
Originally Posted by tomscy2000
I would still prefer 20 max, on the basis of my difficulty trying to walk with a DX100 (27.5mm) in my jeans pocket - one has to actually try this to realise how impractical it is. I appreciate that it's not easy to engineer a high-performance DAP at 20mm or less, but the Calyx-M (14.8mm) proves it can be done (although one would hope the X7 would offer more power output than the 90mw quoted for the Calyx-M)
Well, if I had it my way, I'd want the DAP to be 12 mm or thinner. I'm just giving them the freedom to put in bigger components, which are in fact important for certain parts of the output stage, such as the analog low-pass filter. Do I think it's absolutely necessary? No. DAPs should be as portable as possible, in my book. People who want desktop components with desktop power in a DAP can perhaps petition FiiO to create a "head-fi meet machine" --- basically a desktop rig shrunken into the size of three Galaxy Note 3 phablets stacked together, with a 10,000 mAh battery strapped to it. I'd hardly slap the label "portable" on it, though.
- NW-ZX1 is a masterclass in button ergonomics, because, unlike many competitors, they have had the good sense to:
- Keep the buttons slightly proud, so they can be easily located by touch, in one's pocket
- Make the volume buttons a different size to the control buttons, so they can be easily differentiated, by touch, in one's pocket.
- All buttons placed on one side of the DAP, so squeezing the DAP in order to press a desired button does not result in unintentionally simultaneously pressing a button on the lefthand side/edge of the DAP.
- Only slip-up of the NW-ZX1 buttons (which, curiously, was avoided on the NWZ-F887) is the inclusion of the power button alongside the volume and control buttons. The power button should have been located on the top edge of the DAP (as per the NWZ-F887), so it cannot be accidentally misidentified by touch.
- No silly slider controls (a la Calyx-M)
- No rotating controls (a la X5) which may, perhaps, yield reliability issues.
Without having to machine/mold different sizes, they could do something such as bevel-up for the volume up button, and bevel-down for the volume down button --- something like that.
- Yeah, I'm fine with it - my remark was only in the sense of not wanting Fiio to reject a particularly good DAC chip if, by chance, it should happen to not support DSD. Admittedly, that's rather unlikely in the current DAC chip marketplace.
R2R DACs would be great for 16/44.1 PCM, and don't support DSD. However, the good ones are an endangered species, e.g. PCM1704UK, and thus very expensive and difficult to implement properly without superlative engineering. I doubt FiiO would go for a resistive ladder DAC and would rather stick with a modern multi-bit delta-sigma DAC because they're easier to volume source. Basically all of the flagship-level modern DAC chips from any of the major manufacturers support 32-bit input and DSD.
- Again, I bow to your greater technical knowledge on this issue, but my wish for a D-O is from the point of view that I would be hesitant to purchase a TOTL device (no matter how decent the internal DAC implementation) if it was insular and prevented me from having the flexibility of connecting it to a home DAC/DAC-Amp, should I wish to, either in the present, or at some point in the future. Even extremely high-end full-size hi-fi CD players invariably incorporate a co-ax D-O, in spite of their excellent internal DAC circuitry. I still strongly believe D&A will live to regret their decision to omit D-O functionality from the Calyx-M DAP, in spite of them being so self-congratulatory of their implementation of the 1 x ES9018K2M DAC chip. I don't doubt that it will sound very decent, but I would still like to be able to listen to a playlist on my content-stuffed DAP, and arrive home with the ability to immediately hook it into a fullsize hi-fi DAC for loudspeaker listening, or a Chord Hugo for listening with cans. Not essential, then, but, IMHO, a legitimate request for the flexibility it offers. Even the humble iPod, X5 (and DX90) offer D-O, as does the NW-ZX1, DX100, etc. So it's a common feature not requiring excessive levels of R&D.
I guess this is where we differ in opinion. A portable DAP should be a portable device, right? Giving it a digital output would turn it into a "sometimes non-portable" device. The wave of the future for portables is streaming digital, and I feel this is where the focus of development should be. The protocols and infrastructure are not in place yet, however.
- Why not just have an mSATA slot?
It should be fine if they can figure out how it can be easily accessible with a battery and everything. There's a certain sense of security and ease-of-use to hot-swapping SD cards over removing doors and hidden panels to get to an exposed mSATA board. People who are used to tinkering with computers and notebooks would feel right at home, but the average consumer isn't a techie --- even the average audiophile (though, from an overgeneralization of the head-fi caucus, it seems that the likelihood is higher).