Introducing Lotoo PAW Gold

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by audionewbi, Nov 30, 2014.
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  1. audionewbi

    Part 1) Product introduction


    As it was requested by the maker of the Obscure Chinese DAPs thread (which is where I found about this amazing little DAP) I have moved all my post and will update this thread regularly. I know of three other users who also have this, I know now we have a representative of Lotoo also as a member of trade on head-fi and finally I know that few of well respected reviewers have now access to Lotoo so it is time to make a thread of its own.


    1. Link to the product page: http://www.lotoo.cn/page/default_en.asp?pageID=97
    2. Links to other reviews: http://www.soomal.com/doc/20100005251.htm
    3. Official Firmware releases: http://www.lotoo.cn/page/default_en.asp?pageID=80
    4. Mass resizing of cover art: http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm (thanks Mimouille for this amazing find)
    Official product information poster:



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    Part 2) Members impressions

    Sasaki review over at vaiopocket
    http://vaiopocket.seesaa.net/article/410434065.html

    e-earphones Youtube video:



    Mimouille impression

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/75#post_11175125
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/1290#post_12048724

    John1711 impression

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/195#post_11334871

    Goodvibes impression

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/375#post_11447009

    HiFi Headphones English review video



    AnakChan Head-fi Review

    http://www.head-fi.org/products/lotoo-paw-gold/reviews/12288

    Cooperpwc impression

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/825#post_11648296

    twister6 review

    http://www.head-fi.org/products/lotoo-paw-gold/reviews/14522

    Cotnjjoe review
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/lotoo-paw-gold/reviews/14940

    Links to other popular thread on various sites:
    http://player.ru/showthread.php?t=138591&s=c6f43c288b1cfd892fdcf9d901eb0e72
    http://erji.net/read.php?tid=1656795

    Link to a great review that explain PMEQ/ATE usage: http://www.hdfever.fr/2016/10/25/test-lotoo-paw-gold/

    EagleWings review http://www.head-fi.org/products/lotoo-paw-gold/reviews/18276

    White screen repair process: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold.744346/page-268#post-14023664
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. audionewbi

    Part 3) My personal Periodic Impression updates




    First impression it paired well with all my IEM on low gain except ER4S which needed high gain. Just a teaser for now:

    WP_20141115_07_28_50_Raw.jpg

    I need a better camera.

    Update 1 on 15/11/2104: Dealing with Mac OS ._DS files, how to remove it.




    I notice that upon transferring files from my MAC certain hiddens files are also transferred.

    There seems to be a number of solution.  

    For those wondering what those hidden files are they are metadata generated by mac . File that are tagged using mp3 tagger(on window) do not have this problem. After reading into this MAC operating environment likes to store metadata for files this way.Windows like to embed data inside the flac foder whereas mac wants nothing to do with flac and just adds its own sort of script inside the actual folder where the flac files are and that is what it will allow all the other apps running on mac to use if they want metadata information.
    WP_20141115_11_15_05_Raw.jpg



    Solution: The easiest solution I managed to find is using a paid app called OptimUSB. It does the cleaning for you after scanning the files.

    However for those who are more patient the following line should work. Please note this did not work for all my folder with multiple subfolders. And yes PAW Gold supports folder viewing, matter of fact that is the only way to browse files. It also supports cuesheet too.


    So all you do is replace [your disk name] with the name of your SD card. Please read about this more and do this only if you know what you are doing. Don't hold me responsible, I am not mac wizard at all but only sharing my findings as a user. 

     Update 2 on 15/11/2014: Size comparison






    In the pictures above you will see an IEM that lotoo is planning to release in the near future. I do not know how the final product turns out, I do not even know how it will be tune, all I am doing now is putting it against my other IEM. It is a hybrid IEM with screw feature just like AKG 3003 but the filters are longer like shure SE846. 



    What I think? The bass goes really low, as in sub-bass low. The bass quality if has a little more tightness it would be on the same level as dita truth, but to my ears if it can be lowered a little more it can match the quality of EX-1000 bass. Treble is never bright, in fact I hope they do not touch the treble at all and just focus on refining the bass more.

    Update on 30/11/2014: Upon more research the IEM I mentioned above is named Forrest FLC8 and is not a Lotoo designed product but an OEM. 

    So finally I have a setup that can outlcass my chord hugo (at least tries to):

    Update 3 on 16/11/2014: FAT32 is a must and gapless




    Today I thought I try different card formatting since PAW Gold does support SDXC cards. Problem is despite SDXD support it does not support exFAT formatting. What that means is for those who like to use cue sheet files and wav anything larger than 4GB will not transfer. So make sure to format it with FAT32. You can do this on any tool you want or you can simply plug it into Lotoo PAW Gold and ask it to format it for you. 
    It will ask you anywhere that you need to allow it to format your card if the formatting is not supported.

    The convenient thing about Lotoo is due to its fast file transfer you do not need to ever need to take your SD card out to transfer files as it is really fast.

    Today I noticed that gapless seems not to be true gapless using cuesheet which is strange as cuesheet are always seem to fix that problem for everything. But sadly there is problem with gapless playback. There is less than half a second pause between tracks which is enough to be noticed and yes it is annoying nevertheless.

    Note from the designer: They recommend that we allow the device to format the card in order to get the maximum possible speed from the device. They recommend that file transfer is done using Lotoo own internal SD card, based on their test many of the laptops and SD card that are out there cause the speed drop and only using their own device they can promise your maximum card transfer speed is achieved.


    Based on my own finding I was able to achieve the maximum card speed on Lotoo no doubt. Mine had a 45/45 MB/s read/write that I was able to achieve no doubt.

    Update on 30/11/2104: Lotoo does support embedded flac, dff,etc so you don't really need a cue sheet

    Update 4 on 16/11/2014: The IEM testing begins!




    The fun part begins now, as I said I will be running this unit to its limit by putting all different file types and testing it with different demanding gears.

    First thing first if neutrality was to be the hallmark of reference quality sound this DAP is as neutral and transparent as I have heard it from a DAC without ever been dull sounding.

    So far out of my IEM lineup it has paired with the IEM I had most problem pairing with other gears. I never quiet like the tuning of IE800 as I felt it always was too energetic at times forced and sounded rather artificial. Paired with Lotoo it sounds quiet nice. Also another fantastic pairing is Fitear F111. Maybe it is the best pairing I got with my quick listening. 

    Fitear is really picky, it will hiss if the source is not clean, it will sound strange if there is impedance (no bass, harsh treble). With Lotoo it is hard to imagine this is a sound that comes from a single balance armature IEM! 

    I also had a great result with IM04 which before this pairing I regret buying it. More to come!

    Update 5 on 22/11/2104: The battery life, O God the battery life!




    Carried a battery test and this thing truly has what I consider an amazing battery life for a portable of its class. First lets consider what I mean by its class. The so called high end DAP are group of devices that are capable of playing files that covers anything over 16/44.1 resolution. 

    For my test I decided to test using a dff file ( a stereo DSD). Volume was set at 44/75. I have been getting 10-11 hours consistently using DSD playback. The device accurately predicts how much battery is has left. While I never had the device turned off (always had 5-8% battery left) I predict 11.5 hours is the maximum it can provide using DSD files. 


    I will try to carry the battery test for 24/192 flac this weekend and report back. So far very Impressed!

    Update 6 on 22/11/2104: Embed Cue sheet works, mp3 playback has issues




    So today I played around with XLD single file embed cue sheet flac and yes PAW Gold does support it, still no gapless which is strange as devices which do not support single file gapless always are happy to use cue sheet to allow for gapless. 

    Certain mp3 files seem to not to play with PAW Gold, I will not focus too much on which one is support which one not as I do not have a lot of mp3 files as I have already finished ripping my CD back to lossless format when I moved away from my ipod 5G video. Just want to have that on record for those who might get it just for mp3 playback. 

    Update 7 on 23/11/2014: Finally an EQ that works!




    I am still playing around with EQ but past experience always made me turn away from EQ till now. This thing has some professional sounding EQ.

    More info to here
    http://www.weibo.com/p/1001603747757159495771

    Update 8 on 20/12/2014: single dff bug




    noticed that when combining a single dff files using embeded cue sheet anything that contains more than 16 tracks will results in static noise for the tracks numbers passed track 16. This means that you cannot use single dff file and you have to leave the tracks as single track for each track in the album.

    Update 9 on 27/12/2014: BA driver vs dynamic




    am going to make this claim which I believe is not too wild that Lotoo BA definitely pairs better with balance armature driver than dynamic drivers. I am not saying that the pairing with dynamic drivers is a bad one, for instance almost the entirety of last week of mine was spend with ckr10 and lotoo paw which produce a very natural and musical combo with enough detail to keep me engaged but when I add something like dita truth things change. I would not have made this claim if I did not hear Dita Truth at its best. For the sake of putting a number if I was to say wagnus Epslion S+Chord HUGO gave the best dita can sound single ended Lotoo was able to offer 80%, only the only place. It is just the bass region was a little loss. 


    I dislike using high gain for IEM driver as it makes the sound more forward. The high gain is mostly used for headphone that demand more.

    Maybe it is a synergy thing, perhaps it is but I have enough dynamic driver IEM in my position to make the claim I made. So far I had no issue with any of my balance IEM, I heard them sound their potential best from Lotoo PAW Gold whereas I had mix result with my dynamic drivers.


    I highly recommend CKR10 and PAW Gold. For those who want to give that pairing ago perhaps have a try with the ckr9 LTD which is said to be better than CKR10. 


    Update 10 on 01/01/2015: HAPPAY NEW YEAR, DXD don't work :D




    First of all happy new year, secondly DXD WAV at the current stage dont work. It has way too much noise that needs to be filtered. Not that it will matter for a large portion of us as there are very limited albums out there in this format, a lot of them mostly recorded to show off the technology but I thought I better put it out there for those crazy few who spend all their hard earned money buying all the Nordic 2L albums

    Update 11: Solution for certain mp3 files not working found by cooperpwc

    http://www.head-fi.org/t/744346/introducing-lotoo-paw-gold/1365#post_12096895
     
    warrior1975 likes this.
  3. audionewbi

    Part 4) AK has balance balance out, Lotoo has Parametric Equalizer (PMEQ)

     
    need to confess and say I belong (or rather now I should say belonged) to the group of people who saw EQ'ing as something evil, something that is not true to what the sound engineer and artist wanted us to hear and hence it should be avoided. Using badly implemented equalizer on various devices reinforced on my negative view on however I can gladly say Lotoo has partially changed my mind. 
     
    As a result I have decided to learn how to use the EQ setting and focus on my attention on making a guide for myself (and perhaps over time for others) on how to use it. There is virtually nothing include in the Lotoo box to explain how to use it and truth be told I have zero idea what PMEQ is. So till I wait for the final firmware to be released I will be playing with this part and hopefully write my own guide on it.
     
    For now I will start with this: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Parametric-Equalizer
     
  4. musicday
  5. audionewbi

    They are still working on all that, currently in main land China they sale for 11900 yuan, not sure on the street price.

    I will have all these in my final summary.
     
  6. pekingduck
    @audionewbi Thanks for the impressions! Would be great if you could do an overview of the UI.
     
    audionewbi likes this.
  7. warrior1975
    Thanks bro, I really enjoyed reading that. Very interesting player.
     
  8. Mimouille
    I am very interested in this player but I think given the spartan UI and less than groundbreaking design they should have stayed around the 901 price instead of twice...
     
  9. musicday
    Can you please do a video review of this DAP?
    Are they decided if they will sell internationally or not?
     
  10. goodvibes
    Language of UI and ads would indicate so.
     
  11. audionewbi
    Another updates, today I came home and had an craving to try the K3003 out of C4. I like that pairing more. I don't know but C4 is the only that I have always felt proud of showing off when I am out. If feels good in my hand, and to me it had this elegant feeling it regardless of all its issues.
     
    Sure the sound is not as accurate and detailed as Lotoo PAW Gold but it just shows how subjective and complex is the entire idea of sound and feeling we have towards a product.
     
  12. audionewbi
    Sorry for the lack of update, I have stopped using the player and planning to start using is seriously again after 2-3 weeks. I do this to mostly see if I still feel the same about the product. 

    I will post the UI and the other pictures by this weekend but I will not update any more sound impression till further onwards.
     
    I cannot promise any video review but I can do my best to post high quality gif animation to give you guys an idea.
     
  13. Headmusic
    $2000 for a portable DAp made in China. Thats ********.
     
  14. musicday
    Why we cannot find any videos of this DAP in action so we get an idea about the size,UI etc?
    Is a shame that the makers don't join in.
     
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