Need a new DAP, details inside
Jul 25, 2010 at 12:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

chnsawBrutality

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So, I've narrowed it down to the 8GB Fuze, Cowon J3, or a 16GB Sony Walkman.
 
Here are the main priorities I want in the player
+ Long battery life
+ High sound quality- will be used with whatever highest format I can rip my CDs into, but not FLAC, unless I can tell the difference, so probably 320kbs MP3)
+ Drag and drop - I do not want to deal with other programs to add music to the player, like with apple products and players.
+ Thin and lightweight
+ Ability to create playlists, either on a PC, or through the player itself (and name the playlist)
+ Quick and easy user interface (I don't want to flip through menus and menus to get to the main music library, I want something simple)
 
I believe that's most of 'em
 
Which would be more preferable between the three choices?  I'm leaning away from the Cowon, although I've heard good things, I'm not sure I want all the features it has.  I only want music, and it seems like the Cowon's menu has a lot of icons all over it that won't get any use, and that's going to bug me..
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Plus, it's more than double (even triple) the price of the Walkmans and Fuze.  I think for what I want, the Fuze and Walkman will be better choices and for much cheaper.
 
The Fuze will be rockboxed as well, so please take that into consideration.  I know the Walkmans don't support FLAC.
 
I'll be using Head-Direct RE0s, and I am already shopping around for a set of headphones to use as well.  I have no problem having to amp the players either, if it will be necessary, but from what I've read I don't believe it's needed for the RE0s?
 
Should I just flip a coin and pick one?  I know they're both really good players from what I've read around here.. but do y'all think there's something in the Fuze or Walkman that I would not like, like the playlists, or the user interface?
 
Jul 26, 2010 at 7:05 AM Post #2 of 7

paulypaul

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RE0s & RE-ZERO both pair well with my Walkman A828.
I have tried the RE0s on the X1060 and was very impressed.
Enough bass for my taste with "clearbass' on.
 
Jul 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM Post #3 of 7

axismundi

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[size=10.0pt]Cowon J3 - I do not know much about this player, I did have its older brother D2 some time ago and overall I was disappointed (bass roll-off, poor EQ-ing despite what’s been said about it). [/size]
 
[size=10.0pt]J3 might use a different DAC/amplifier chip, hence the bass roll-off may not be a problem anymore. I would be cautious and I would not buy one without first listening to it - even more that in the case of other manufacturers. But as far as EQ-ing goes (considering that this matters to you), it seems to me to be the same. For one, 80Hz for bass and 13KHz for treble is not what I would call useful. Then you get a bloat of gimmicks such as BBE and Mach3Bass that are good only to alter the sound and cannot replace what a good DAC/amplifier+good vanilla EQ would give you.[/size]
 
[size=10.0pt]Sony A828 - great player. Very good battery life - not as much as J3 is advertised, but more than enough in real life. Will drive easily low impedance earphones, has a very good EQ, good built quality. Also, it comes with more than decent headphones if this matters to you. Does not read that many formats as J3 or Fuze (either native or rockboxed), but I found AAC 400Kbs to be a good compromise. As long as you use Windows, you'll have some sort of drag and drop. I like its sound very much (if only I could tune it a little more... [/size][size=10.0pt]J[/size][size=10.0pt]).[/size]
 
[size=10.0pt]Fuze - a little hero. Its SoC contains a very capable amplifier that doesn't sweat at all with low impedance earphones (i.e. probably over 90% of the headphones on the market). Battery life is decent, but it cannot compare to the Sony. Built quality is ok, but not great. I almost forgot - it also has a pitch accuracy problem. Not that I noticed - you can search the forum for more on this.[/size]
 
[size=10.0pt]Fuze is of no use to me with the original firmware, but once rockboxed it becomes a beast! It reads tons of audio formats, has a great EQ, it is gapless. My only complaint is that every now and then I can hear a faint background noise when EQ-ed - bearable, but after a while very annoying. Note that this is not the case with either the original firmware or Rockbox flat (i.e. no EQ). I also find the sound to be less transparent than the 828, regardless of the settings I use.[/size]
 
[size=10.0pt]Bottom line? I sold the D2 a few months after I bought it and I never looked back. I have 3 different Sony Walkman models. In the last year I have been using mostly my v1 rockboxed Fuze. Some months ago I went back to the Sony camp but I still keep the Fuze... Neither solution is perfect (unless someone manages to run Rockbox on Walkmans [/size][size=10.0pt]J[/size][size=10.0pt]).[/size]
 
Jul 26, 2010 at 2:13 PM Post #4 of 7

chnsawBrutality

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It seems that the Sony A series isn't out here in the US. Which of the other Walkmans Would be a good choice?Is the sound quality and EQ the same on the X, S, and E series?

The S series has speakers, which I don't need, but I don't mind them.
The X series is more expensive and has the touch screen and browser, which I dint need either, but if the sound, EQ, and UI is better I'll consider it as well.
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 6:09 PM Post #5 of 7

axismundi

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Most Sony models share overall the same signature and have the same EQ implementation (the E series is missing some effects, but anyway I would not use them).
 
I am not that familiar with the new (i.e. 2009-2010) S or A series, neither with the E one. X has been praised a lot here. One factor that made me take it out of my list was the bass roll-off issues - not as bad as other players out there, but still coupled with the high price... Very nice player otherwise and very refined sound.
 
I own a S639F. Very close in sound with the A72x or A82x, however the latter have a slight margin over the S639 in clarity and dynamic - subtle, but it is there (no wander, as they use different DAC/amplifier chips - both Cirrus Logic btw). I ended up buying an A828 in mint condition from ebay and I am happy about my decision.
 
At the end of the day, I am going to give you the classic (yet 100% valuable) advice - go out and try for yourself. 
 
Jul 27, 2010 at 7:50 PM Post #7 of 7

chnsawBrutality

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Quote:
Most Sony models share overall the same signature and have the same EQ implementation (the E series is missing some effects, but anyway I would not use them).
 
I am not that familiar with the new (i.e. 2009-2010) S or A series, neither with the E one. X has been praised a lot here. One factor that made me take it out of my list was the bass roll-off issues - not as bad as other players out there, but still coupled with the high price... Very nice player otherwise and very refined sound.
 
I own a S639F. Very close in sound with the A72x or A82x, however the latter have a slight margin over the S639 in clarity and dynamic - subtle, but it is there (no wander, as they use different DAC/amplifier chips - both Cirrus Logic btw). I ended up buying an A828 in mint condition from ebay and I am happy about my decision.
 
At the end of the day, I am going to give you the classic (yet 100% valuable) advice - go out and try for yourself. 


Cool.  That's pretty much what I needed to know.  I don't know of any stores around here where I could test them out, except for BestBuy.  I'll stop by and see if they have any setup, and hopefully they're charged 
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