HiBy R5 Gen 2 - Class A headamp, Dual ES9219C, 35h playtime, MQA 16x, open Android
May 2, 2022 at 6:21 PM Post #256 of 729

Richsvt

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So, what I just read is correct? The N3P has a better sound (AKM vs ESS arguments aside)? More power? I love my N3P, those tubes are just fantastic. Would the R5G2 be a side-grade then?
 
May 2, 2022 at 6:45 PM Post #257 of 729

nymz

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So, what I just read is correct? The N3P has a better sound (AKM vs ESS arguments aside)? More power? I love my N3P, those tubes are just fantastic. Would the R5G2 be a side-grade then?

I have been listening to both and Id say yes. Apart from obvious differences like android vs linux and power, I would say N3 Pro is better in solid state vs Hiby's economy state (sq and power).

In class A (that I mostly tested with), it has more power than N3 Pro tubes. The flavour will be personal. I love that I can just go class A in 4.4mm while with N3 i have to plug a 3.5mm adapter.

My perfect combo would be N3 akm and boot speed , with Hiby's class A option and android. N3 weel and buttons with R5 form factor and screen.

To me they are side grades and not upgrades overall between them.
 
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May 2, 2022 at 10:18 PM Post #258 of 729

Joe Bloggs

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MSEB has 10 settings. One of these is bass extension, which seems to be <= 50 Hz or so. I do wish there was a clear explanation of each setting in terms of frequency, width and gain (or a normal 10 band PEQ).

@Joe Bloggs ?
It's funny how well kept the secret to the MageSound 8-ball has been, it should have been no secret to anyone who could record and analyse the output (which should include anyone with a computer line in) :) I get the feeling that HiBy wants to keep an air of mystery to it for a bit but every now and then I do spill the beans :D Yes it is based on a parametric EQ.
The overall temperature is a tilt of the FR towards treble or bass. Think of it as keeping the FR a straight line on a dB to log frequency plot but turning it clockwise or anticlockwise.
Bass extension is a critically damped parametric low shelf at 70Hz and below.
Air is a critically damped parametric high shelf with corner frequency at 10kHz (which should then slope all the way to 20kHz)
The rest are parametric point EQs of varying Q at bass texture 100Hz (medium), note thickness 200Hz (wide), voice 650Hz (very wide), female overtones 3000Hz (tight), sibilance LF 5800Hz (medium), sibilance HF 9200Hz (medium) and "Impulse response" (sorry, being a bit liberal with the name here :wink: ) 7500Hz (very wide) respectively. The bands are in general wide enough that they blend into and affect each other evenly for you to be able to craft a wide variety of shapes.
I chose these parameters to as best capture the corresponding description as possible, rather than taking a regular EQ with evenly spaced out bands of equal Q and trying to describe each band. :)
 
May 2, 2022 at 10:20 PM Post #259 of 729

Joe Bloggs

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Will you be able to test the OI in all four modes perchance? Or get those specs from Hiby?
I have been reported varying OI but only up to 1 ohm in any mode by HiBy.

Edit: just got a detailed update. It is 0.24 ohm in "economy" mode and 1.24 ohm in class A mode, regardless of balanced or SE.
 
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May 3, 2022 at 11:43 AM Post #261 of 729

KutuzovGambit

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I got mine in last night, unfortunately it had some scratches and abrasions out of the box so Andrew is replacing it for me (another reason I’m super glad to do business with MusicTeck when I can since otherwise this would probably have turned into a months-long ordeal!). But I did give it a run for a few hours before posting it back today, brief impressions:

1. Battery life in economy mode seems to be legit. This is huge for me personally.
2. Sound in economy mode is typical Sabre, neutralish but with an emphasis on detail and airiness, no pinna glare that I noticed in my brief time.
3. Sound in Class A mode is definitely a step up and closer to what I associate with Hiby sound; the midrange in particular gets a boost in richness and note weight. It’s not night and day but at least with dynamic drivers it’s noticeable for sure.
4. No hiss or EM noise with sensitive IEMs on the SE jack even while streaming over WiFi, big win over the iBasso DX160 which is unusable in such cases.
5. Responsiveness in the OS is adequate but I can tell it’s running on somewhat gimped hardware. At least the screen size increase over the OG R5 means usability is improved. Still pocketable for me. Nothing is a showstopper as far as UX even though of course a better CPU, more RAM, and newer OS would have been nice.

Looking forward to getting to know it better and eventually doing a full write up once my replacement unit arrives.
 
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May 3, 2022 at 11:45 AM Post #262 of 729

KutuzovGambit

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That would be truly weird, balanced is pretty much guaranteed 2x OI from single ended, dual amps for balanced.. unless it has a really unique topology but in a device of this price class..?
Yeah this is a head scratcher.
 
May 3, 2022 at 1:41 PM Post #263 of 729

Joe Bloggs

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Well... I've only had it for one full day. Needed some time with it to form an impression of it. Still in the process of doing so, but I can make a couple comments here. The R5 Gen 2 is a bit of a puzzler to me. I'll explain.
Almost all of my listening has been done with Moondrop's Kato and the 7Hz Timeless, both fitted with balanced cables terminated in 4.4mm Pentaconn connectors. Nearly all the time, I've had the Class A mode activated.
I can't really fault it's sound much. Everything sounds clear, detailed and balanced. What puzzles me is, when you switch from Class A to Economy mode, there really isn't any difference in sound. Okay, maybe Class A sounds ever so slightly smoother with ever so slightly improved soundstage and layering... maybe. Other than that, the two modes sound pretty much identical.
Which makes me ask the question, "If you're going to bother to develop a discrete Class A amplifier circuit to fit into a DAP, shouldn't there be an audible improvement in sound from the on-board amp of the ESS DAC?" I'm having a hard time seeing the point here.
Don't get me wrong. It's a really nice device. Feels good in the hand, looks great, the fact that it runs on Android adds the convenience of being able to stream over wifi with your favorite streaming app... It has a really nice feature set, but I just don't get it.
To me, the feature selling point is the claimed 35 hour battery life in Economy mode. If you're buying this DAP because you're hoping some kind of Class A magic will happen when you switch to that mode then you may be disappointed.
I did try my HD600's just to see what would happen. I don't have a balanced cable for those, so I was only able to use the single-ended 3.5mm output. There's just not enough juice here to run the Senns. They sound pretty thin. Even in Class A mode, the R5 Gen 2 can only muster 155mW of power into 32 ohms. That doesn't bode well for the 300 ohm Sennheisers. Probably wouldn't be a whole lot better using the balanced out, but someone else can comment on that.
One more thing... well two. The first time I loaded the player with some music from my 256GB card, the R5G2 sputtered and stopped and started on a FLAC file I've played hundreds of times on other players with no issue. I tried another track in another folder to see if it was just a problem with the first file. It stuttered and sputtered and stopped and started too. Then I shut down the R5G2 and restarted. When I played the tracks again, there was no problem and it hasn't happened again since. Also, the first time I tried using the R5G2 as a bluetooth receiver to stream Spotify from my phone over LDAC I got lots of static and digital noise when I hit play. It gradually cleared itself up over the course of 20 to 30 seconds and, like the first problem, hasn't happened since. Not sure what any of that was about.
So I'm going to play around with it a while longer and see if it grows on me. I like the convenience and features that Android brings with it and I love the battery life in Economy mode. But as far as I can tell, the only thing the Class A mode does for this DAP is drastically reduce its run time on a single charge.
It'll be interesting to hear what you all have to say.
Interesting observations that were not completely unexpected.

When I read that HiBy had put an ESS integrated DAC/amp together with a bypassable class A amp my first question was "are they going to hear a difference with the switch on and off?"

On paper you have one of the most the most power-frugal closest-to-100%-efficiency-ever Class-D or Class-H or whatever cellphone amplifier designs next to a power-guzzling class A amplifier that should trample the cellphone amp to bits if power consumption equalled fidelity. Also on paper, even the cellphone amp has all sorts of distortion figures that are too low to be heard and so the two amps should sound if not measure identically on quick A-B switching unless something were to be done, like bumping up the output of the class A amp by 0.5 dB or whatever the threshold of audible volume difference is, not enough to be heard as a gross volume difference but enough to be perceived as "more of everything", impact, PRaT, musicality, you name it...

It seems like this wasn't done, which is to be applauded. Now the actual outcomes for each listener can be...
1. papers be damned, we can definitely hear something special with the class A amp over the cellphone one. (Good on your ears!)
2. the papers are right--which leads us to conclude as per papers that amplification quality matters no more in this day and age and we should be focusing on usability, headphone selection, and, if you must treat the player as affecting sound quality--DSP options on the player such as MSEB, filter settings and convolution.
3. there's no difference to be heard but that wouldn't be because of human hearing limitations. It's because HiBy did a crap job and their class A amplifier doesn't sound any better than this crappy cellphone amp, because... class A amplifiers are so hard to make. You just have to feed it 100% power all the time. Unlike class D amplifiers where you have to switch the power supply in and out at such frequencies so many times beyond audible frequencies that the step waveform turns into what *sounds* completely like the original audible-band waveform, or class H amplifiers where your power rail needs to itself act like a full blown amplifier so that no power needs go to waste...

Ahem. Actually that's why class A amps, all of them to a first approximation, were the "holy grail" of amplifiers. Because they were so easy to get right that nobody could get it wrong... not even HiBy, really. As long as the power to supply the amp is there. Which it will be--for 8 hours or so :) . And if the amp doesn't melt itself. Which a headphone amp won't, but I'll let your hand on the player be the judge :)

[the above has probably insulted a whole slew of class A amplifier designers with the oversimplification. But I'm just trying to point out how simple their job was in comparison to someone trying to make a Class D+ amp sound halfway decent, let alone audibly transparent for all purposes. In, yes, an oversimplified manner 😅]

So feel free to assign any of the above to the outcome, but I personally (personally!) feel that choice 3 can be struck out.

The bit about there being insufficient power to drive the Sennheisers... was that conclusion led by the volume you set the player to by any chance? Because technically, these amplifiers are capable of the same voltage swing whether into 8 ohm IEMs (in which case full swing will practically blow their drivers out) or 600 ohm DT880s (in which case full swing will hopefully be just loud enough for a pleasant listening experience). What would tend to stress the amplifier's abilities, then, is low impedance, low efficiency loads, because the voltage being put out in either case is identical, but the current required to get there is much greater, in the case of the low impedance load. One thing that can be said about class A amps--the full power and also full voltage swing is available at any time--even more so in the case of a high impedance load--so for a high impedance load, it is driven perfectly, unless it is the case where you hit the upper stop of the volume and have nowhere up to go. So don't be frowning if your volume is at 60 or even 90/100?

Now if it's a matter of the player sounding "off" tonally compared to your favourite player--too warm, not warm enough, too bright, not bright enough, etc... I personally feel that that is not a matter of how well the earphones are being driven but exactly the tonality of the player with your particular 'phones--which can vary depending on which 'phones you're using. (as in, e.g. player A can sound warmer than player B with 'phones C but cooler than player B with 'phones D) But something like the MSEB is a great remedy for that in 90% of cases :)

But enough of me arguing with users' listening impressions. Let's just see more of them come :)

:beerchug::beerchug::beerchug:
 
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May 3, 2022 at 1:54 PM Post #264 of 729

psikey

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Interesting observations that were not completely unexpected.

When I read that HiBy had put an ESS integrated DAC/amp together with a bypassable class A amp my first question was "are they going to hear a difference with the switch on and off?"

On paper you have one of the most the most power-frugal closest-to-100%-efficiency-ever Class-D or Class-H or whatever cellphone amplifier designs next to a power-guzzling class A amplifier that should trample the cellphone amp to bits if power consumption equalled fidelity. Also on paper, even the cellphone amp has all sorts of distortion figures that are too low to be heard and so the two amps should sound if not measure identically on quick A-B switching unless something were to be done, like bumping up the output of the class A amp by 0.5 dB or whatever the threshold of audible volume difference is, not enough to be heard as a gross volume difference but enough to be perceived as "more of everything", impact, PRaT, musicality, you name it...

It seems like this wasn't done, which is to be applauded. Now the actual outcomes for each listener can be...
1. papers be damned, we can definitely hear something special with the class A amp over the cellphone one. (Good on your ears!)
2. the papers are right--which leads us to conclude as per papers that amplification quality matters no more in this day and age and we should be focusing on usability, headphone selection, and, if you must treat the player as affecting sound quality--DSP options on the player such as MSEB, filter settings and convolution.
3. there's no difference to be heard but that wouldn't be because of human hearing limitations. It's because HiBy did a crap job and their class A amplifier doesn't sound any better than this crappy cellphone amp, because... class A amplifiers are so hard to make. You just have to feed it 100% power all the time. Unlike class D amplifiers where you have to switch the power supply in and out at such frequencies so many times beyond audible frequencies that the step waveform turns into what *sounds* completely like the original audible-band waveform, or class H amplifiers where your power rail needs to itself act like a full blown amplifier so that no power needs go to waste...

Ahem. Actually that's why class A amps, all of them to a first approximation, were the "holy grail" of amplifiers. Because they were so easy to get right that nobody could get it wrong... not even HiBy, really. As long as the power to supply the amp is there. Which it will be--for 8 hours or so :) . And if the amp doesn't melt itself. Which a headphone amp won't, but I'll let your hand on the player be the judge :)

So feel free to assign any of the above to the outcome, but I personally (personally!) feel that choice 3 can be struck out.

The bit about there being insufficient power to drive the Sennheisers... was that conclusion led by the volume you set the player to by any chance? Because technically, these amplifiers are capable of the same voltage swing whether into 8 ohm IEMs (in which case full swing will practically blow their drivers out) or 600 ohm DT880s (in which case full swing will hopefully be just loud enough for a pleasant listening experience). What would tend to stress the amplifier's abilities, then, is low impedance, low efficiency loads, because the voltage being put out in either case is identical, but the current required to get there is much greater, in the case of the low impedance load. One thing that can be said about class A amps--the full power and also full voltage swing is available at any time--even more so in the case of a high impedance load--so for a high impedance load, it is driven perfectly, unless it is the case where you hit the upper stop of the volume and have nowhere up to go. So don't be frowning if your volume is at 60 or even 90/100?

Now if it's a matter of the player sounding "off" tonally compared to your favourite player--too warm, not warm enough, too bright, not bright enough, etc... I personally feel that that is not a matter of how well the earphones are being driven but exactly the tonality of the player with your particular 'phones--which can vary depending on which 'phones you're using. But something like the MSEB is a great remedy for that in 90% of cases :)

But enough of me arguing with users' listening impressions. Let's just see more of them come :)

:beerchug::beerchug::beerchug:
I say option 2. Really can't fault mine and glad the integrated AMP sound near identical to the A Amp so I can get the long battery life with my IEM's.
 
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May 3, 2022 at 2:13 PM Post #265 of 729

adultbaby

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I got mine in last night, unfortunately it had some scratches and abrasions out of the box so Andrew is replacing it for me (another reason I’m super glad to do business with MusicTeck when I can since otherwise this would probably have turned into a months-long ordeal!). But I did give it a run for a few hours before posting it back today, brief impressions:

1. Battery life in economy mode seems to be legit. This is huge for me personally.
2. Sound in economy mode is typical Sabre, neutralish but with an emphasis on detail and airiness, no pinna glare that I noticed in my brief time.
3. Sound in Class A mode is definitely a step up and closer to what I associate with Hiby sound; the midrange in particular gets a boost in richness and note weight. It’s not night and day but at least with dynamic drivers it’s noticeable for sure.
4. No hiss or EM noise with sensitive IEMs on the SE jack even while streaming over WiFi, big win over the iBasso DX160 which is unusable in such cases.
5. Responsiveness in the OS is adequate but I can tell it’s running on somewhat gimped hardware. At least the screen size increase over the OG R5 means usability is improved. Still pocketable for me. Nothing is a showstopper as far as UX even though of course a better CPU, more RAM, and newer OS would have been nice.

Looking forward to getting to know it better and eventually doing a full write up once my replacement unit arrives.
I’m really curious if class A mode has any noticeable increases in sound quality with IEMs. This is going to be my first DAP and it will 99% of the time only be used with either my clairvoyance or b2 dusk. Didn’t know if it’s worth losing that crazy battery life
 
May 3, 2022 at 2:34 PM Post #266 of 729

rlw6534

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It's funny how well kept the secret to the MageSound 8-ball has been, it should have been no secret to anyone who could record and analyse the output (which should include anyone with a computer line in) :) I get the feeling that HiBy wants to keep an air of mystery to it for a bit but every now and then I do spill the beans :D Yes it is based on a parametric EQ.
The overall temperature is a tilt of the FR towards treble or bass. Think of it as keeping the FR a straight line on a dB to log frequency plot but turning it clockwise or anticlockwise.
Bass extension is a critically damped parametric low shelf at 70Hz and below.
Air is a critically damped parametric high shelf with corner frequency at 10kHz (which should then slope all the way to 20kHz)
The rest are parametric point EQs of varying Q at bass texture 100Hz (medium), note thickness 200Hz (wide), voice 650Hz (very wide), female overtones 3000Hz (tight), sibilance LF 5800Hz (medium), sibilance HF 9200Hz (medium) and "Impulse response" (sorry, being a bit liberal with the name here :wink: ) 7500Hz (very wide) respectively. The bands are in general wide enough that they blend into and affect each other evenly for you to be able to craft a wide variety of shapes.
I chose these parameters to as best capture the corresponding description as possible, rather than taking a regular EQ with evenly spaced out bands of equal Q and trying to describe each band. :)

Thank you Joe. This information was quite useful.
 
May 3, 2022 at 2:43 PM Post #267 of 729

psikey

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I’m really curious if class A mode has any noticeable increases in sound quality with IEMs. This is going to be my first DAP and it will 99% of the time only be used with either my clairvoyance or b2 dusk. Didn’t know if it’s worth losing that crazy battery life
I listen with 3 mid to high end easy to drive IEM's the Fiio FD7, Shure SE846 and Noble K10U and the very slight extra warmth/dynamics of the A are not worth it as the internal ESS AMP is perfectly fine. Even the 3.5mm sounds great though I tend to use balanced. At moment I'm prefering the FD7 Berilium Dynamic driver over the balanced armature IEM's with this DAP. Instrument separation and sound stage great with these two together just listening to Call Me - Imelda May flac. (UAPP app).

I really think class A must come into its own with higher end Headphones needing some power.

Battery life is great with easy to drive IEM's in 'economy' use. Even with low gain on balanced my three IEM's need between 28-35/100

Full MQA unfold and works with my Sony BT remote

20220503_202523.jpg
 
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May 3, 2022 at 2:46 PM Post #268 of 729

KutuzovGambit

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I’m really curious if class A mode has any noticeable increases in sound quality with IEMs. This is going to be my first DAP and it will 99% of the time only be used with either my clairvoyance or b2 dusk. Didn’t know if it’s worth losing that crazy battery life
I only had time for a little listening, and the portion done A/Bing between economy and Class A was only with a dynamic driver. I would expect the differences to be less with hybrids. Even with a DD, the difference wasn’t marked enough for me to run Class A routinely, probably just for special listening sessions with specific IEMs. Of course, if you’re driving full size cans then you may want to go Class A to achieve your desired volume independently of SQ.
 
May 3, 2022 at 3:48 PM Post #269 of 729

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This might be me missing a setting, but has anyone had any issues getting the 3.5mm headphone connection to work?

Received my R5G2 this evening. Bluetooth works fine. Nothing through the 3.5mm, not even detecting it plugged in. Tried 2 different cables for my Hifiman and another few sets of iPhone in-ears.

Nada.
I’m hoping this is a setting anyway.

P.S. Tried factory reset, and just testing with the Hiby app but still nothing.
 
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May 3, 2022 at 3:50 PM Post #270 of 729

adultbaby

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I listen with 3 mid to high end easy to drive IEM's the Fiio FD7, Shure SE846 and Noble K10U and the very slight extra warmth/dynamics of the A are not worth it as the internal ESS AMP is perfectly fine. Even the 3.5mm sounds great though I tend to use balanced. At moment I'm prefering the FD7 Berilium Dynamic driver over the balanced armature IEM's with this DAP. Instrument separation and sound stage great with these two together just listening to Call Me - Imelda May flac. (UAPP app).

I really think class A must come into its own with higher end Headphones needing some power.

Battery life is great with easy to drive IEM's in 'economy' use. Even with low gain on balanced my three IEM's need between 28-35/100

Full MQA unfold

20220503_202523.jpg
Thanks so much!
 

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