Cowon D2+ and Shure SE530
May 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

FlatNine

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Head-Fi has educated me tremendously, but also made me very indecisive WRT audio components. I'm glad I kept delaying big purchases though until I learned more. I'm looking for confirmation/reassurance here I guess.
 
I listen almost exclusively to jazz, and have settled on the Shure SE530's due to everything I've read about their sound signature (especially for jazz) and how comfortable they are. Hopefully, they're much more comfy than the UE TF-10's I returned!  I am also thinking that Cowon's D2+ is going to be a good choice for me for the following reasons:
 
1. Must play FLAC
2. Decent battery life
3. Good storage capacity (64gb+)  or expandable via SD slot
 
The other players on my short list were Samsung's P3. The Sony X series looked ok, but doesn't play FLAC.
 
Does anyone have experience with this combo (Shure + Cowon)? Would you suggest something different?
 
May 16, 2010 at 12:33 PM Post #2 of 17

Punnisher

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The reason I stopped using my D2 was the bass rolloff. Anything under 80 ohms and you won't be hearing all the lower bass frequencies. At least, that's where the rolloff starts which gets worse as impedance decreases.
http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index.php?dir=Single_Players/
 
The sansa clip performs well in terms of frequency response. I would look into a clip+ with rockbox. I should clarify that I have a Clip but not the Clip+
 
May 16, 2010 at 2:02 PM Post #3 of 17

FlatNine

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Thanks for the quick reply. I just looked up info on the Clip+. 8gb memory, accepts SD cards, plays FLAC, so we're good on all fronts there. Plus, I saw it on Amazon for less than 55 bucks. I never even considered the Clip+, thinking that such an inexpensive PMP couldn't possibly be that good, and especially not "worthy" of the SE530's. I guess I'm wrong, eh?
 
May 16, 2010 at 2:57 PM Post #4 of 17

Punnisher

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If the Clip is any indication, I'd say the Clip+ is a safe bet.
 
You could also look into the Fuze. Similar features and specs, but larger with a nicer lcd screen.
 
If I didn't have so many players I would have bought a Clip+ long ago.
 
May 16, 2010 at 3:19 PM Post #5 of 17

FlatNine

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http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons/Comparison%20-%20Cowon%20D2%20-%2012%20-%2048%20Ohm.htm
 
The SE530's are 36 ohm, and according to the FR graph at the link above, that would put the D2+ bass rolloff somewhere under 20 hz. Still, I am now intrigued by the Sansa stuff. The Fuze looked somewhat more appealing to me, having a bit larger capacity, and a little beefier according to some posts I've read. Also it has a better battery life. The specs for the Fuze on the Sansa site, as well as Amazon make no mention of FLAC compatibility though. (whereas the Sansa site does explicitly mention FLAC for the Clip+)
 
Just when I thought I was final on my choices!
confused_face(1).gif

 
May 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM Post #6 of 17

FlatNine

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Oops - I misread the FR curve. The roll off begins around 70 hz or so on the D2+. That does suck.
 
May 18, 2010 at 4:29 AM Post #7 of 17

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There was huge discussion of that curve on iaudiophile.net a while back and the rolloff appeared to be due to misinterpretation of the settings when the measurements were taken.  If you turn off the BBE and set the equalization to flat, the rolloff goes away.  The D2 output stage is quite powerful for a consumer DAP.
 
May 18, 2010 at 7:45 AM Post #8 of 17

FlatNine

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Does that mean that the bass was attenuated when the readings were taken? That is a serious oversight if true and should be corrected.
 
May 20, 2010 at 3:52 AM Post #9 of 17

paulr

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OK, I went back and looked at those old threads and it looks like the bass rolloff effect is real, when driving low impedance phones, possibly due to coupling capacitors in the d2 output path.  Low impedance = 16 ohms and lower, there are a bunch of graphs showing how the effect gets more pronounced as the impedance decreases.  The SE530's are supposedly 36 ohms so shouldn't be affected significantly.  It is also possible to compensate for the rolloff somewhat with equalization, especially if you use rockbox which has a powerful parametric equalizer.
 
May 20, 2010 at 5:27 AM Post #10 of 17

oak3x

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How about the Cowon S9?  Does this unit have any bass rolloff?
 
May 20, 2010 at 5:29 AM Post #11 of 17

Danneq

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Quote:
How about the Cowon S9?  Does this unit have any bass rolloff?


Yeah, sadly it does have bass roll off with low impedance phones. I have countered that with EQing, but the result is not perfect however it is okay for me. So it is better to use higher impedance phones with the S9...
 
May 20, 2010 at 5:33 AM Post #12 of 17

plonter

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I fixed the bass roll off AND the little recessed mids(imo) of the D2 with EQing, it sound much more like the clip+ now,even slightly better imo.  the clip+ would be the perfect player  if it had more battery life becasue it's got everything an audiophile needs and sound terrific without EQ. it is also super portable ,but to be honest the battery simply sucks,,,especially when playing flacs (it lasts only 8 hours +-) .  if you need something that will hold for a long time D2 is the player for you.   the S9 can also come into consideration,but for me it is too flashy with the screen and all...
 
May 20, 2010 at 6:43 AM Post #13 of 17

paulr

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FlatNine, I'm pretty sure the current Fuze firmware supports both Flac and Ogg.  Rockbox supports the v1 Fuze pretty well (the woot refurb I bought a few months ago is a v1).  Rockbox for the current v2 Fuze still has some issues but some people are apparently using it.
 
I may have mentioned elsewhere, I'm thinking of fitting a cell phone battery (basically same size as the player) to my Clip, removing the pocket clip and sticking the new battery to the back, wired in parallel with the internal battery.  That should more than triple the runtime, while the total package stays about the same thickness (because the thickness-adding pocket clip is now gone).
 
May 20, 2010 at 9:25 AM Post #14 of 17

FlatNine

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Thanks paulr. I may end up with both players. The Clip+ is so inexpensive that I could just have it as a "beater" and not worry about it. It would also hold me over until the Cowon J3 is available on Amazon. I probably would have chosen the S9 originally, but to me, that curved back thing is ugly. The J3 changes that, and the fact that it takes micro SD's seals the deal. I can't seem to get any confirmation on the 530's as to whether or not the cable problems are truly fixed or just "band-aided". I see the 535's will be out really soon also, which have the detachable cables and same sound sig.
 
As far as the cell phone battery, couldn't it just be plugged in via the usb port?
 
May 20, 2010 at 10:06 AM Post #15 of 17

Danneq

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Quote:
I probably would have chosen the S9 originally, but to me, that curved back thing is ugly.

 
 
What!?! The curved design was one of the S9:s selling points for me. The J3 has got a clean, but less original design. But to each his own...
 
 

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