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Cowon J3 - Shrilly highs! help me...please ='(

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by johnnyarks, Jan 23, 2011.
  1. johnnyarks
    Ok, I got my cowon j3 last week, and I really really want to like it,
    but (and this is a big but) 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)
    ...and 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.
    I listen to a lot of R&B and Rap (Make no mistake I listen to every genre, but this is primarily the type of music you'd find on my dap) and in this genre of music there are tons of vocals..Its hard for me to just let the cowon play the music w/o me cringing at certain portions of a track. Now I know I've only had it for a week, I've read of 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.
    I'm using the Shure SE 530s <--- Generally regarded as being smooth/warm, w/ a rolloff at the high end. 
    If I'm screwed can anyone suggest alternative DAPs, as I've order this from amazon and I believe have 30 days to return it, 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. Even when both flat (not a big diff but its there)
  2. johnnyarks
    Jeez, nothing? are my posts to long? Maybe everyones watching football =)
    To summarize the above post
    - Not happy with shrilly highs on Cowon J3, any help on this?
    -"Proved" to myself shrill is not because of Phones (se530) because compared with 6 other sources
    - darker sounding creative zen Vision M sounds better flat than a J3 w/ no EQ
    - Can anyone recommend others DAPs that found cowon j3 bright or shrill?
  3. estreeter


    I think we have narrowed down the issue here. Problem solved - next.
  4. johnnyarks

    What exactly does this mean?

  5. HK_sends
    I think estreeter was being sarcastic.  This post really belongs in the portable source gear forum.  This forum is for portable headphone amplifiers; the J3 would be considered a source.  On that note, are you using a headphone amp with your J3?  And, what are your EQ settings?  It possible that the EQ has been set to something that doesn't sound good with your music preference.  I have a J3 and customize my EQ settings for my Denon D7000 and Grado HF-2s.  I also use a portable headphone amplifier (Practical Devices XM6) to improve the sound.
    *EDIT* : Re-reading your post a couple of times, I believe the below is more likely:
    I would suggest that, based on your symptoms, that the player may be malfunctioning.  I would suggest returning it for a replacement because, being a J3 owner myself, it sounds like you got a defective unit.
    I hope this helps.
    -HK sends
  6. johnnyarks
    Wow looks at thread *face palm* I swore put it in portable sources thread....thanks

    Thanks HK, I'm gonna try to reload the firmware, cause the first 2 days when I used it, I hadn't notice any shrill effect, only after the player crashed on me for no reason then proceeded to have a washed out redish color/tint to everything did I notice the player was sounding shrillish. Magically the redish tint disappeared.

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