DX220 A new view to your music. * Latest Firmware: 1.15.233 Local * Link for User Guide 1st Page. AMP9 Now available! And DC01.
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dhc0329

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I like everything about DX229 except it lacks a little bit of extra openness and bass is a bit more boomy comparing to N8.
It still sound better than r2r2k so it's my main portable dap. I have not been using any other daps for over 2 weeks.
Strangely, my Solaris is more enjoyable using the cheap 3.5mm copper cable than leo2 or octa silver cable. Sounds smooth.
 
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edwardsean

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It's obviously because the Chinese OEMs wants to set their own terms, as the 2.5mm is AK's (Korean) standard and 4.4mm is Japanese, they never got to set the rules and thus cannot control pricing and supply which everyone knows affects the bottom line, and now they all band together and is trying to use their numbers to force a new standard adoption. But in the end it just smells "control" and "ego" to me, without actually offering any major benefits to the customers.

Competition is only good up to a certain point and for certain things - at other times customers benefit more from a single widely used standard. We are way past the point in audio equipment where we should have a common balance connection standard that is both user friendly and is actually technically superior, not more fragmentation, and the 4.4mm is clearly the way to go IMO because it is clearly well thought out for both portable and stationary use. And this is why I think the 3.5mm Pro is causing more issue than it is to solve.
I'm as tired of reterminating my cables as the next guy, and I love the 4.4mm, it's my favorite, but...

Isn't there a point to the 3.5mm pro beyond market maneuvers?

One jack can be used for both balanced and single-ended right? Also, it's sturdier than the 2.5mm and lower profile than the 4.4mm.

Personally, I love the idea, because I'm of the mind that adapters, no matter how good, are never as good as no adapter. You will always lose a slight something adding in two more connectors and most likely another cable.

If the 3.5mm pro hit wide scale adoption, then you could have one jack that worked for both your amp8 3.5mm pro and your amp9 3.5mm pro, etc. etc. A universal jack. No adapter, no minor hit to your SQ, and no fuss with another accessory.

But, again, I like the 4.4, and every time I reterminate my cable gets just a smidge shorter. (Still, I did just order more Mundorf Supreme solder).
 
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RagnarL

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I've just updated the Tidal app on my DX220 and it seems that downloaded MQA masters are now fully unfolding when playing!
Yeah! That's it! Updated my tidal apk too and now tidal plays fair 24/192 mqa Masters off-line on my DX220, great news my friend.
 
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fokta

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I like everything about DX229 except it lacks a little bit of extra openness and bass is a bit more boomy comparing to N8.
It still sound better than r2r2k so it's my main portable dap. I have not been using any other daps for over 2 weeks.
Strangely, my Solaris is more enjoyable using the cheap 3.5mm copper cable than leo2 or octa silver cable. Sounds smooth.
Which copper cable u use?
how Slitz SE?
Hiss?
 
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Lurker0

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I've just updated the Tidal app on my DX220 and it seems that downloaded MQA masters are now fully unfolding when playing!
That effectively means that 2nd unfolding is performed by software as well and does not require any special hardware. It does require "certified" hardware, i.e. recognized as licensed for the software to work :wink:
 
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Extrasensory

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Did you install UAC app? Does it recognize DC01 when you connect it? How about your laptop/PC/iMAC, does it see DC01 when you connect it with usb-A adapter?
(I am not the one whom you quoted)

Unfortunately, I plugged DC01 into my Galaxy S10+ (Exynos version) and it still showed no device in UAC app.

My PC recognized it and got hot after plugging in but I have no 2.5 cable to test it right now.

After 1 year of intensively participating in audio community, I found the DC01 to be really awesome all-in-one device which fits my lifestyle well without financially investing much.

Am I still having the chance to use it with my S10? Ibasso can you please try to cope with this compatibility problem?
 
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Paulo Abreu

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SteveOliver

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Isn't there a point to the 3.5mm pro beyond market maneuvers?
For portable use (the main feature of a DAP like the DX220) and sensitive IEM's many would argue there is no point of a balanced connection at all. A simple 3.5mm plug works for me, in fact I'm regretting getting sucked into the hype around balanced connections. The lucky owners with amp9 can be sure they really aren't missing out on anything with a single-ended 3.5mm connection.
 
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edwardsean

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For portable use (the main feature of a DAP like the DX220) and sensitive IEM's many would argue there is no point of a balanced connection at all. A simple 3.5mm plug works for me, in fact I'm regretting getting sucked into the hype around balanced connections. The lucky owners with amp9 can be sure they really aren't missing out on anything with a single-ended 3.5mm connection.
You're focusing on balanced connections and questioning their value, but balanced connections exist because of balanced amplifiers fed by balanced DACs, right?

Are you questioning the value of the entire topology of balanced designs? Would you also argue that for portable use with sensitive IEMs there is no point in a balanced design for amp8, or the dual 9028 DAC architecture of the DX220 (more complicated I know)? You may be and there is much I don't know.

I do know that personally I use the DX220 portably and my portable planars (LCDi4s) need every bit of the power of the balanced output in amp8. For eighties mastered music I am up at 100% and wish I could turn it up just a bit more to 11. For this reason amp9 is a nonstarter for me. My case is somewhat unique as I also have to use some gain reduction in file processing, but many users here use the 220 with full size phones and I think welcome balanced drive.

My suspicion, and I don't know this to be true, is that if iBasso could have shoehorned a balanced design into the form factor of their modules for amp9, they would've done so.
 
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SteveOliver

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You're focusing on balanced connections and questioning their value, but balanced connections exist because of balanced amplifiers fed by balanced DACs, right?

Are you questioning the value of the entire topology of balanced designs? Would you also argue that for portable use with sensitive IEMs there is no point in a balanced design for amp8, or the dual 9028 DAC architecture of the DX220 (more complicated I know)? You may be and there is much I don't know.

I do know that personally I use the DX220 portably and my portable planars (LCDi4s) need every bit of the power of the balanced output in amp8. For eighties mastered music I am up at 100% and wish I could turn it up just a bit more to 11. For this reason amp9 is a nonstarter for me. My case is somewhat unique as I also have to use some gain reduction in file processing, but many users here use the 220 with full size phones and I think welcome balanced drive.

My suspicion, and I don't know this to be true, is that if iBasso could have shoehorned a balanced design into the form factor of their modules for amp9, they would've done so.
It's really down to the implementation of the circuit, some DAP's including the DX220 do output more power and utilise multiple DAC's to for their balanced connection, this is true.

For your LCDi4 and 80's music I think you may be confusing gain vs output power. If the louder mastered stuff is loud enough then the quieter stuff should be too assuming there is a gain setting that can present the same overall input level to the final output headphone drive stage.

There is nothing about a 3.5mm single ended connection that limits its power to for example less than 1 Watt, or affects the output impedance of the headphone output stage, or limits the peak voltage that can be output. All of which are critical to driving a lower sensitivity IEM or headphone.

I've seen other's on Head-Fi stating that for portable use and as an output connection choice for a DAP its simply a marketing gimmick and just lately, after trying many different IEM's and DAP's I'm tending to agree with them.

The DX229 and IT04 would be pairing I would imagine would sound sublime over the 3.5mm SE connection.

Often the simplest well implemented solution also is the best sounding, but this will vary depending on choice of DAP and headphone, with the right combination of the two there is IMHO no need to venture to a balanced connection.
 
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nanaholic

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I'm as tired of reterminating my cables as the next guy, and I love the 4.4mm, it's my favorite, but...

Isn't there a point to the 3.5mm pro beyond market maneuvers?

One jack can be used for both balanced and single-ended right? Also, it's sturdier than the 2.5mm and lower profile than the 4.4mm.

Personally, I love the idea, because I'm of the mind that adapters, no matter how good, are never as good as no adapter. You will always lose a slight something adding in two more connectors and most likely another cable.

If the 3.5mm pro hit wide scale adoption, then you could have one jack that worked for both your amp8 3.5mm pro and your amp9 3.5mm pro, etc. etc. A universal jack. No adapter, no minor hit to your SQ, and no fuss with another accessory.

But, again, I like the 4.4, and every time I reterminate my cable gets just a smidge shorter. (Still, I did just order more Mundorf Supreme solder).
As I pointed out above, the lower profile is simply not true and the fact the 3.5mm alliance had to resort to misleading graphics to make their point shows this. A 0.9mm difference in diameter hardly matters in high end DAPs where thickness is never a huge concern. Most DAPs - especially TOTL ones - already uses big components such as high quality capacitors and heavy thick shielding to get better SQ results that shaving 1mm off the thickness is not really that high of a priority, and I'd argue audiophiles would care more about how the inside is properly designed, shielded and what high quality component is used rather than a 1mm difference in thickness as we are not talking about smartphones trends here. Also the 3.5mm Pro jacks are clearly of lesser designed than 4.4mm ones - again see where I pointed out that 4.4mm Pentaconn sockets has two contact points for each pin to ensure proper connection and rigidity where the 3.5mm Pro only uses the traditional single spring contact point of 2.5mm and 3.5mm jacks, so if you care about cable adaptors then you should also care about the quality of the socket themselves because they also form part of the connection, and here the 3.5mm Pro sockets neither provide a higher quality contact in itself, and the quality of the components so far looks cheaply made. I already suspected that this is because they are simply reusing currently available TRRS components which are most likely just spill over stock from smartphones components, rather than proper high grade components such as those found for 4.4mm gear where everything was designed and made from the ground up to be specifically used in audio application. Worrying about adaptors while overlooking the socket and plug themselves in the device is kind of missing the forest for the tree.
 
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edwardsean

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It's really down to the implementation of the circuit, some DAP's including the DX220 do output more power and utilise multiple DAC's to for their balanced connection, this is true.

For your LCDi4 and 80's music I think you may be confusing gain vs output power. If the louder mastered stuff is loud enough then the quieter stuff should be too assuming there is a gain setting that can present the same overall input level to the final output headphone drive stage.

There is nothing about a 3.5mm single ended connection that limits its power to for example less than 1 Watt, or affects the output impedance of the headphone output stage, or limits the peak voltage that can be output. All of which are critical to driving a lower sensitivity IEM or headphone.

I've seen other's on Head-Fi stating that for portable use and as an output connection choice for a DAP its simply a marketing gimmick and just lately, after trying many different IEM's and DAP's I'm tending to agree with them.

The DX229 and IT04 would be pairing I would imagine would sound sublime over the 3.5mm SE connection.

Often the simplest well implemented solution also is the best sounding, but this will vary depending on choice of DAP and headphone, with the right combination of the two there is IMHO no need to venture to a balanced connection.
I see what you're getting at. In audio, as in so many things, it comes down to implementation doesn't it? Like yourself, I'm a great admirer of the simplest solution, but I think it is, actually, more complicated.

Speaking of amp8 and amp9, It is not unlike the debate between tube vs. SS. Many people also argue that there is no such thing as a "tube sound." They will say that a tube design can sound perfectly fast and clear and a SS design can sound thick and wooly. It is not the topology; it is the implementation. Yes, simply put, yes, but it is more complex than that, right? You can surely design a clean tube and a dirty SS amp. But tubes lend themselves to a certain sound as does solid state, by design. There's a reason why both exist, beyond marketing. Marketing abuses it, it doesn't create or dissolve the actual differences.

I–think–the same can be said for balanced vs. SE. Of course you can build a SE amp that breaths fire and spits lightning, and there are balanced implementations, that are just as you say, weak and pure marketing. But, they each lend themselves to different things, no? In many ways, the simplest solution to well implemented power for DAPs, I think very well may be a balanced design, like the simplest solution to a romantic sound is from tubes--not the only solution, but the simplest.

Likewise, regarding soundstage, are there shelves stock full of SE amps that have wider stages than poorly implemented balanced designs? Without a doubt. But–if all things are equal–I'd bet that the balanced design will have a better separated and wider soundstage (and I love soundstage).

Your point about gain vs output power is also well taken. Yes, I can "remaster" my files with a higher gain setting or I can find an app that has a well implemented digital "preamp" for makeup gain and it will be fine (sort of). I'm actually thinking of doing that just so I can use amp9, for its tube sound, but the simplest solution is just to stick with the well implemented balanced output power of amp8 (grin).
 
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@edwardsean I do agree with everything you say above and I suspect my opinions on this whole topic will change yet again in the future.

It would be great to discuss this further, but we are going a bit off-topic here. Perhaps we will meet again one day over in the sound science forums, where this type of discussion occurs all to often. :)
 

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