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Cowon Plenue D

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by aerosatan, Nov 30, 2015.
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  1. smellofsunshine
    Hi head-fi forum members and all others reading this immense thread!
    I joined just to stick my little addendum onto this thread, as I have bought a Cowon Plenue D and have had some minor issues I've overcome that I can share. Also this thread has been a great resource for me in the past month so much love to all who have contributed.
    I don't profess to be an audiophile - my library consists entirely of ~14,000 mp3s with exception of one album in FLAC (Krieg und Frieden by Apparat - possibly the greatest ambient work of all time) and though a majority are VBR or 320k bitrate I have some atrocities as well. I use MusicBee for my library and the playlists I generate in MusicBee work fine on the Plenue D.
    The best pair of headphones I've ever owned are the ATH-M50Xs (current), surely far below what most of you listen with. Before that some cheap Sony earbuds (not IEM, never owned IEMs) and an old pair of Shure headphones that I can't even remember the model because I wasn't the original owner and treated them like crap.
    My portable music player history goes Sony CD walkman > Sony CD walkman (anti-skip godlike upgrade, made my '90s) > generic brand 512MB mp3 player > iPod Classic 30GB > iPod Touch 2nd gen > iPod Touch 3rd gen > Cowon X7 > Cowon X9 (battery finally gave up after 3 years heavy use) > Cowon X9 (still going strong after 2 years) > Cowon Plenue D (gold edition to match my headphones). I listen to a wide cross section of genres.
    But enough about me.
    This Plenue D mp3 player is superior in quality and far, far superior in output capacity to my previous X9s. And I loved my X9s dearly. And it's almost beyond belief that this tiny light little player can survive so long on one charge. I'm still actually sceptical that these long breaks between charges will maintain throughout its life with me. I can't turn these up past 65 (out of 100) with my ATHs. This little robust player is THAT loud - in comparison to my X9s which I could comfortably push up to 35 (out of 40). Bear in mind this is all without additional amping.
    The GUI is a brilliant step forward for me from the X9s as it incorporates multiple playlists, playlist compatibility with third party software, and is far easier to navigate than the X9. The X9 was a struggle to grab the scrollbar and fly down long lists - the Plenue D's scrollbar is 10 times easier to grab even with my fat ugly thumb. Playlist manipulation is also wonderful in comparison to the X9. The 5-band custom EQ is lovely too - though so far I have only switched between BBE MP and BBE Mach3Bass as I did on the X9 - these EQ presets are identical to the X9's.
    I was originally put off by the size of the screen but everything is easy to select with any digit. And fits in almost any pocket as well. My only qualm is how light this player is and how easily it can be thrown around by the weight of the connecting auxiliary/headphone line if you don't have it firmly in your hand. The edges on the lock button end of the top of the player are also very sharp and not bevelled like the rest of the case.
    But FINALLY and MOST IMPORTANTLY - an affordable Cowon player without the dreaded file limit. My X9 supported 4,000 files on the internal and 4,000 files on the external - it drove me mental trying to pick and choose what I could add and what didn't make the cut. Now let me present to you an excerpt out of the manual for the Plenue D:
    - The maximum number of files and folders that can be recognized
    by the product

    * 12,000 (Built-in : 8,000 files + 4,000 folders)
      24,000 (microSD : 16,000 files + 8,000 folders)
    That's right baby - a total of 36,000 files. With my Samsung Evo 64GB SDXC I can fit my entire library with 300MB to spare on each the internal and external. So a 128GB micro sd will soon become one of my more recent purchases.
    Now onto FORMATTING YOUR SDXC for use in the Plenue D.
    This combination of steps was the ONLY way I could get the Plenue D to recognise my Samsung micro sd. This may vary depending on what brand of micro sd you own:
    1. Download SDFormatter from (https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4). Format your sd card IN the Plenue D using this software. Format to EXFAT FIRST. Quick format will suffice.
    2. Download guiformat from (http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm). Now format your sd card STILL IN the Plenue D using this software. Format to FAT32 with Allocation unit size 32768. Quick format will suffice.
    3. Now you can copy your files onto the sd card ONLY when mounted INSIDE the player.
    3. Do not attempt to create separate FAT32 partitions with partition managers.
    4. Do not label the sd card during any of the format processes.
    5. Do not attempt to use with the EXFAT file system.
    6. Do not cough or make any loud noises as these Cowon players are very sensitive when it comes to external file systems.
    Don't expect files to copy fast - they copy at anywhere between 3MB to 6MB per second. This is another downside Cowon should really look at. Some argue it is to maintain file integrity. I think that's a load of crap as high resolution video recorders and other devices copy to these sd cards at insane rates without compromising file integrity.
    Speaking of which - now onto FILE INTEGRITY and FILE ERRORS on your Plenue D.
    I have found shuffling through my library on the new player that a few files cause playback to stop due to errors - some even crashed my player entirely, causing me to have to hard reset (hold volume up and down simultaneously). My X9s handled these files fine but at this point in time the Plenue D is falling behind. This will probably be amended by future firmware releases.
    DON'T PANIC. In the meantime you can fix up your mp3 library using a tool called mp3val which you can get from (http://mp3val.sourceforge.net/).
    Run your library through this software - first scanning for errors - then repairing all files with problems. ~90% of the erroneous mp3 in my library that the software detected contained "garbage at the beginning or end of the files" these files repaired absolutely file with ID3 tags intact. The remaining ~10% suffered from "MPEG stream error, resynchronized successfully" which means I have to find new copies of these files and replace them manually as the software cannot repair them. Read the documentation and use at your discretion though as this software will alter your mp3 files.
    And just like that I was home free. A brilliant player with a nice clean library and facility for me to expand up to 128GB or 200GB external memory on top of the 32GB internal. In love. No regrets.
    I hope that wall of text helped. Here's a photo of my Plenue D and ATH-M50X. BIC lighter for scale in second photo (if you're Australian - I don't know if they have BIC lighters in other countries..) and the latest v1.2.2 English manual (sourced from device itself).
    Plenue D and ATH-M50X - http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=00636308138455111497
    Plenue D and lighter for scale - http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=02433964701476955391
    Plenue D latest English manual - http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=94525106082088846033
  2. mikaveli06
    Torn between this and Sony zx100.

    What are the dimensions the plenue d.
  3. jmills8
    I have both and well I havnt used the Sony since comparing them.
  4. Raketen
    I wonder which has better output... I think the plenue D??? I have read 1.something vrms @ 32 ohms I think for the plenue D... and zx100 was like 15mw... I need to reread how to do all those conversions [​IMG]  Love A17, but is underpowering my new IEMs so zx100 seems like the obvious next step but not sure if an extra 5mW in the zx100 is enough...
  5. mikaveli06
    I had a17 and definitely underpowered. Another option is. Xduoo x3, it is fantastic. It tops a17 everything except battery (12~14hrs I believe) and no Bluetooth. Going for unreal $75 on eBay now. I may stick with mine as I don't dislike anything about it, but Sony has Bluetooth (considered getting MDR 1abt) and cowon small size and jet effect are fun.
  6. Skint
    If you are in Europe, Sony enforce the EU volume cap religiously and it can seem as if the player is underpowered. Interested in the Xduoo X3 vs. PLENUE D. I love being able to adjust the sound to my taste and Jeffect is perfect for that.
  7. jmills8
    Im in Hong Kong and no volume cap and the Sony was under powered. I added an amp.
  8. Raketen
    Even the uncapped player is underpowered lol... X3 seems great but a bit rudimental- I'm kind of leaning to Shanling M2 or zx100... will probably just wait though, to see how Plenue D and other recent stuff improves and this years new stuff like Geek Out shakes out.... xDuoo will probably be on x10 by the end of the year [​IMG]
  9. crazy eddie
    I have the xduoox3 just received and the power it has on gain 6, it's amazing, no amp needed, I always use one of my preference, but not needed, it's great.
  10. Mistyc
    Just receved the D from DHL.It is very nice.From the look i still think that zx1 is the king.
    Do you thing i should do burn in like other daps?
  11. jmills8
  12. goody
    does this sound better than the ZX100? ..i know you have one
  13. jmills8
    I prefer the sound, power, and eq and size of the D. I love the 128 internal gigs of the Sony.
  14. Mistyc
    +1 on the sound and power.
    L5pro is on the way with promises thet in the next fw it eill be an eq.
    But transfer file rate is 4mb/s.
    Shame Cowon...
  15. Mistyc
    +1 on the sound and power.
    L5pro is on the way with promises that in the next fw it wiill be an eq.
    But transfer file rate is 4-6 mb/s.
    Shame Cowon...

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