I have the Ety's already. I also have a xin superdual coming eventually. What I'm wondering is whether or not I should invest in an ihp-120.
My concerns are:
a.) the fake line-out won't sound as good as the true lineout on my MZ-R50
b.) HD based players just don't sound as good as MD.
c.) the ihp-120 won't audibly benefit from good amplification.
I'm really looking for the ultimate in highly portable sound, and I don't want my source to fall short of the task. I believe that Hi-MD will sound better than MD, and I'm not averse to investing in Hi-MD, if the ihp-120 isn't gonna cut the mustard. I know about the ihp-120's un-amped sound due to a lot of reading on here, but I"ve heard very little about it amped.
I guess I'll have to go buy and try one, but I'd really like to hear some head-fiers' thoughts on this.
I've compared the iPod, iHP, NJB and the MZ-N10 amped out of the META and also the XP-7, as well as the SRM-007t. The N10 ranks a little above the iHP and I think the N10's Line Out although not bad is not one of the best MD Line Outs I've come across. There's no way to tell of course if Hi-MD will be better or worse.
And thats what I can say about the iHP... not bad. However, it's not particularly good either. The overall sound is rather dead and flabby and this doesn't really change whether you're accessing it from the optical, line or headphone out, although different amps might wake it up or take it further back. It is something you'll have to try yourself to see what your particular threshold is. Clearly many are happy with it, although I suspect sound quality might not be at the top of the list of many iHP users, rather the versatility it offers countracts any issues encountered with the sound, which is acceptable but for me did not make the grade as a main player... and I couldn't justify keeping it as a secondary.
The Etys are something else in the equation. I don't really like the over-resolved tizzy sound of the Etys as a matter of course and they do lack bass, so the iHP bloat and fuzz did have the effect of making the Etys sound smoother and stronger. However if you're in it for the performance of the Etys, it's clear that their capabilities are not really being used to an optimal effect by the combination.
The features do definitely best that of Hi-MD. The convenience of loading / unloading is also superior to Hi-MD. Sound quality? Not sure. Portability? I happen to think that a self-contained player/recorder even if it's slightly larger than an MD unit is ultimately a more convenient solution than something that's slightly smaller but which involves carrying around a bunch of discs with you.
If you don't want to have regrets later, perhaps it's a good idea to wait until Hi-MD is out.
I agree with your assessment of the Ety's sometimes, Bangraman. Well said. In the right circumstances, though, they are lovely sounding phones. What do you prefer for ultra-portable use?
I think I'm just gonna wait until Hi-MD is out, and then test both of them. Hopefully the iriver will hold its own, as I really am not crazy about some of the issues surrounding MD technology (mp3 > atrac conversion, for one)