**I accidentally placed this in the wrong forum before (portable amps)** UPDATE 1/28/11: I ordered a Zune HD from amazon, and I will be able to directly A/B this w/ my Cowon J3, which ever one doesn't sit well w/ my hearing goes back, Will update again. (click link below for zune vs j3 impressions) http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/536836/zune-hd-vs-cowon-j3-quick-impressions Ok, I got my cowon j3 last week, and I really really want to like it, ...but for the life of me CANNOT get rid of the Shrill (Shhhhsss or SH) sound... its killing me, cause without a doubt the cowon makes the rest of my music sound amazing...I've tried tons of different EQ/BBE setting nothing works, even w/ all the bands set to -12 I can still notice the shrill sounding "sh" sound, subtle but still apparent to my ears. I can confirm its not my head phones cause I've used them on 6 other sources, that being a Zune 120, Samsung Vibrant, Headphone out on Z-5500, Headphone out on Realtek sound card, and a Creative Zen M, and Samsung P2, I've A/B'd them Individually w/ the Cowon j3, with the same tracks. Including .Flac source material. (.Flac was only compared on the PC vs. J3) I listen to a lot of music with vocals, and Its hard for me to just let the Cowon just play the music w/o me cringing at 80% of the *sh* portions of a track. Now I know I've only had it for a week, I've read on other forums that the sound grows on you, for the life of me can't imagine getting used to it. To give you some context of what I like to listen to, I think the Creative Zen M sounds amazing, Zune30 with acoustic EQ on, a close 2nd if not a push. Yes the EQ in the Creative Zen M pales in comparison to Cowon's JetEffects 3.0, but there is no shrill on the Creative Dap (especially w/ smart volume on). The Zen w/ a Flat EQ sounds way better than A J3 on "normal". I posted in the Cowon J3 impressions thread and got no help. Headphones: I'm using the Shure SE 530s <--- Generally regarded as being smooth/warm, w/ a rolloff at the high end. (So, not sure how this problem is even possible.) If I'm screwed... can anyone suggest alternative DAP. I've order this from amazon and I believe have 30 days to return it, But I believe will only get 85% of my refund cause its opened. Maybe ZuneHD, Sanza type player? or maybe a new Creative Dap? If someone can A/B a ZuneHD w/ a Zune 30 w/ Acoustic EQ on and confirm this sounds identical I'd buy this in a heartbeat) Yes the Zune30 and Zune120 sound different to me. Even when both flat (not a big diff but its there) *As per another poster in the errant thread, He suggested my J3 is defective? does anyone feel the same? because of this recommendation I have reloaded the 2.23 firmware, rolled back to 2.10, then back up to 2.23, and the shrill remains* help?