New and Improved* Luxury & Precision L5 PRO 32bit DSD DAP with AKM AK4490, touch screen, rosewood blackplate

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by johnyang, Mar 30, 2015.
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  1. JohnYang

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     ​
    Coming from the designer who previously created C4, CK4, LP5, and L5,  L5 Pro is a new upgraded version from the previous L5. Many aspects of L5 has been greatly improved, including sound quality, build quality, touch screen, UI, and many more. Stay tuned for details below.
     ​
    This thread has been inherited from Luxury & Precision L5 thread on 2015/09/26.​
     ​
    Now Penonaudio starts to sell L5 Pro: http://penonaudio.com/Luxury-Precision-L5PRO
     ​
    About The Company:
     ​
    The company is led by the designer who previously worked at Colorfly and designed C4 & CK4. Now with LP5 and L5 on the market, which some of us enjoyed. L5 Pro is a new subsequent product from L5.​
     ​
    Official website: http://www.luxuryprecision.net/
     ​
    Another product LP features is Luxury & Precision LP5: http://www.head-fi.org/t/762975/luxury-precision-lp5-32bit-dsd-portable-lossless-music-player-with-akm-ak4414-wooden-backplate-silver-gold-version​
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    Reviews & Impressions:
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    Headfonia Review: http://www.headfonia.com/review-luxury-precision-l5pro-sound-first/​
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    Some photos before we jump into the technical details. Sorry for not having these photos translated, my Photoshop skills still kindergarten level. =(​
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    Description:
     ​
    1. Display: 3.5-inch IPS display, resolution is 480 * 320, OGS type touch screen.​
    2. Body and buttons Materials: 6 Series aluminum-magnesium alloy, CNC integrated molding process, anodized surface and sand blasting​
    3. Buttons: Play /pause, forward / back, volume knob button, hold/lock button, two customize function buttons (C1, C2)​
    4. Audio interface: 3.5mm gold-plated headphone jack with shielded, 3.5mm line-out (LO) interface /3.5mm coaxial digital output interface, USB DAC interface.​
    5. Five gain-mode to meet various earphones, ultra-low gain, low gain, medium gain, high gain, ultra-high gain. Better adapted to suit any impedance headphones​
    6. L5‘s volume control way is encoder plus professional volume control chip CIRRUS CS3310.​
     ​
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    Specification:(might contain incorrect info)
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    1. Master Control Chip: 1812C​
    2. DAC Chip: AKM latest generation VERITA 4490 (DAC supports sampling rates 32BIT 768KHZ, DAC supports up to DSD256)​
    3. USB support sampling rates up to 24 Bit/192Khz(to be supported later through firmware updates)​
    4. Crystal Oscillator: 1PPM TCXO​
    5. Op Amp: Precision
    6. Headphone Amp: 1812A double crown
    7. Co-Processor: 1812M supports up 32BIT decoding and hardware solute various DSD format (DIFF, DSF,DAT and ISO format)​
    8. Power Management Chip: 1812P​
    9. Professional Volume Control Chip: CS3310​
    10. PCB: 6 layer 3U dark gold matte black​
    11. Inductance: sun lure closed electromagnetic inductance​
    12. Filter Capacitor: ultra-low ESR MLCC Murata X7S 6.3V100UF​
    13. Buttons: Alpine extra-long life buttons​
    14. Built-in Memory: 32GB only, 24 bit dual channel flash memory optimized for sonic performance.​
    15. Additional Memory Slot: Up to 128gb Micro-SD cards.​
    16. Charging Voltage and Current: the charging voltage 5V, the charge current must be greater than 500mA, recommended more than 1.5A charging current, in order to obtain the fastest charge rate.​
    17. Support format:
    18. DSD lossless; DSF (DSD), DIFF (DSD), ISO (DSD)​
    19. PCM Lossless: FLAC, WAV,  APE, ALAC, WV (WavPack)​
    20. Compressed Losses: MP3, AAC, WMA.OGG​
    21. NOTE: part of supported format need worked with the later upgrade software​
    22. Battery Life time: about 12 hours​
    23. Dimensions: 123mm * 63mm * 16.9mm.​
    24. Weight: 195g​
    (*The single/double crown means selecting the chip with best performance result out of 2/5 chips.)​
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    Package:
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    1. L5 music player​
    2. Leather Casing (only for launch time I think)​
    3. Micro USB Cable​
    4. Screen protective film​
    (Information Source: http://penonaudio.com/Luxury-Precision-L5)  <-- Only for L5, not url for L5 Pro yet.
     
     
    Photos -- Parts:
     
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    Photos -- Product:
     
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    Photo source: http://www.loxpo.com/thread-2751-1-1.html
     
     
    Latest Firmware & Change Blog:
     
    The latest firmware are not posted on their official website, but rather in a Chinese online chat group. So I post them here to share with ya all.​
     ​
    1.0.0.4: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x3ysr0w44kzsvun/LPFWPKG_L5Pro_V1.0.0.4B.rar?dl=0
    Change Blog:
    1. Fixed library update bugs.
    2. Fixed file counting related bugs. 
    3. Fixed weird interaction with certain FLAC ID3. 
    4. Added Super Slow Roll-off for digital filter. 
     ​
    1.0.0.5: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uklznfuobwn8225/lpfwpkg_l5pro_v1.0.0.5.rar?dl=0
    Change Blog:
    1. Fixed rare bug that the battery icon never turn green even it is fully charged.
    2. Increased current for charging, it should charge faster now.
    3. Fixed song length bug with DSD/iso files.

     ​
    1.0.0.6: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uddgs9hge52v43e/lpfwpkg_l5pro_v1.0.0.6.rar?dl=0
    Change blog:
    1. Added USB DAC.
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    How to update
    1. Load the uncompressed file(.iso) into the on-board memory of L5 Pro.
    2. Restart L5 Pro.
    3. There will be a special screen asking you whether to update, touch the bottom on the left(yes).
     
     
    Price & Purchase Source:
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    The official price is set to be 4999RMB/32GB (Roughly 800USD depending on the currency rate)
    Currently, only a Chinese merchant site call jd.com started selling L5 Pro. I believe Penonaudio will start selling them soon, maybe early October.
     
    Jd.com: http://item.jd.com/1928657.html#product-detail
     
    Penonaudio: http://penonaudio.com/Luxury-Precision-L5PRO
     
     
    Exchange L5 to L5 Pro:
     
    There is an exchange for L5 to L5 Pro for a very low cost.(less than 1000 RMB, or ~150 USD) The exchange for Chinese users is already happening. The exchange for international users will take place some time in late October, more details on the exchange:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/760848/new-and-improved-luxury-precision-l5-pro-32bit-dsd-dap-with-akm-ak4490-touch-screen-rosewood-blackplate/300#post_11921157
     
    rontant likes this.
  2. JohnYang
    Review(For L5, not L5Pro, for reviews & impression of L5 Pro, check out post #1)
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    1. Packaging
     
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    (The packaging has a fine leather-feel surface.)
     
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    (The overall build Quality seems great)
     
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    (Not an expert on manufacturing or metal craving, the logos and title craved on the back plate have a very hi-end look on it.)
     
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    2. Build Quality and UI
     
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    Main Menu​
    System Settings​
    Advanced Settings​

     
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    Playback Mode​
    Visualization(what to show on play screen, album artwork option will be added for the next firmware)​
    Audio Output Settings​

     
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    Language Settings​
    Play Screen(no artwork support for DSD QAQ)​

     
    3. Sound
        I think this is the most important part of any DAP review. Without having a worthwhile sound, why bother carrying this big brick when you have smart phone these days that is so easy to use and sound pretty 'ok'.
        In this part I will first talk about the overall sound signature and its differences with various firmwares. Then I would compare L5 to various DAP devices and portable solutions.
     
    3.1 Sound Signature with Firmwares
       The sonic differences among the firmwares are quite big. LP is trying to tweak the sound signature for every firmware and see which one is the fans' favorite.
     
    0.9.9.6: L5 with this firmware has a very lean and spacious sound. The treble is very well extended but does not sound tinny. The bass comparing to other firmware has much less presence but does bounce very well. Great for female vocal and new age.
     
    1.0.0.1: Haven't give it a good time to listen yet.
     
    1.0.0.2: L5 with this firmware has a very full and natural sound. The sound stage is larger than previous firmwares. The bass impact is much improved but can be too strong sometime. In fact, it has one of the best bass control and impact out of many DAPs I have listened to.  The mid is adequately forward and very clear and detailed without sounding analytic at all.  The treble does not sound as spacious as 0.9.9.6 but it still on the airy side. This firmware is great for  with weaker bass response(BAs).
     
    1.0.0.3: The bass is slightly recessed, and the vocal sound a lot tighter. The sound was too tight for me, so I didn't give this firmware too much time before I switched back to 1.0.0.2
     
    1.0.0.4:L5 with this firmware sounds very close to 1.0.0.2 with much better controlled bass. This firmware works extremely well with bassier headphones such as my JVC FX1100 which its bass sound too impactful with 1.0.0.2. The sound is very balanced and natural. Great with most genre of music.
     
    3.2 Comparison
         Would be comparing L5 to DX90, Theorem 720 DAC, Chord Hugo, Sony Pha3. SQ comparison base on firmware 1.0.0.4. IEMs used: SE846, FX1100. Headphone used: HE560, K701.
     
    3.2.1 Phone Out Comparison
    >L5 VS iBasso DX90
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        When switching between these two, what immediately stood out was L5 having much darker and cleaner background, and the whole presentation is much more backward for DX90. With DX90 the music often sounds "inside-your-head" while L5 often sounds "outside/in front of- your-head" thanks to L5's wider and MUCH deeper sound stage. 
        Tonality wise, DX90 sound slightly thicker, warmer, and more "lay-back" On the other hand, L5 is leaner, more natural, and more "exciting" sounding.
        Bass wise, like I said above, L5's bass punch harder than most DAPs I have heard. L5's bass is also slightly tighter and more bouncy. Overall, L5 seems to have better bass control than DX90, but only by slightly.
        The treble on L5 extends further but doesn't sound slightly less brighter than DX90. DX90 has a small bump in its treble then quickly roll-off while L5 extends a little further.
        The mid on L5 is more forward and vocal separates from the background nicely thanks to its larger sound stage. L5 also extracts more details than DX90 on the same song. The details also sound a little crisper than DX90. However, by having better clarity, L5 can sound harsher when playing songs with lower recording quality.
        Overall, L5 sounds a level above DX90 in terms of SQ. It is quite reasonable as L5 having better DAC and amp circuit. However, it does not mean DX90 sound bad in anyway. I personally think dx90 has great value for its price.
     
    >L5 VS Sony Xperia Tablet --USB--> Sony Pha-3 (Only had around 2 hours of A/Bing, so this part will be shorter)
       My buddy brought over his burnt-in Pha-3 for me to try and I have compared it to my L5.
       Initially, pha3 sound very very open and some what airy. The sound is bright, punchy and detailed. But by giving it more time, its weaknesses show up as well. Pha3's sound stage is wide but very shallow. This become really obvious when comparing to L5 which has a great depth in its sound stage. If L5 made DX90's sound stage sound like an ellipse shape, then it made pha3's sound stage sound like a 2D rectangular shape. Don't get me wrong, the sound stage is very wide and well separated, but really lacking that sense of depth when comparing to L5. (2D vs 3D) (side-note: tried balanced output with Z7, didn't help too much with the sound stage depth)
       On the other sides, Pha3 sound really good. The sound is engaging, treble is bright, but does not extend as much as L5 does. Same goes to the bass, punch hard, but doesn't extend as well. Pha3's mid is quite natural and detailed, same goes to L5. Pha3 does not have the typical Sony Walkman house sound, not as warm and exciting. It sounds more like Sony's recorders.
       Pha3 seems to be on par with L5 at music genres that does not required a well formed sound stage, such as pop, vocal and plain-instrument music. For the genres or specific recording that require a deeper sound stage to shine, such as live recording, opera etc, L5 stands out.
     
     
    >L5 VS L5--S/PDIF-->Chord Hugo
    >L5 VS Iphone--USB-->Theorem 720 Dac
     
    3.2.2 Line Out Comparison
    >L5 VS DX90 both line out to Woo Audio Tube Amp/Speakers
    >L5 VS Iphone--USB-->Theorem 720 Dac both line out to Woo Audio Tube Amp/Speakers
     
    3.2.3 S/PDIF Out Comparison
    >L5 VS DX90 both S/PDIF out to Chord Hugo
     
     
     
     
     
     
    4. Battery Performance
         About 12 hour-ish of battery when playing FLAC with screen off. Should be slightly less for normal usage.
     
    To be updated, I am LAZY
     
  3. rontant
    Bravo John! A very BIG "THANK YOU" for providing the Dropbox space for the beta firmwares! Big karma points for you!!!!
     
    Update: 4/15/2015: Since L5 doesn't come with an English manual, here is a little something I created to help new English-speaking owners. 
     
     
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    To turn on the L5, press and hold the On/Off button for 2 seconds. You can turn off the unit anytime by simply pressing and holding the same button for 3 seconds. This On/Off button can also be used to select a track (in file explorer screen) or select a menu item. Also to play or to pause a track. This button works even when the screen is off.
     
    C1 and C2 buttons are user customizable buttons. To customize them, go to System-Settings -> Advanced -> Key Settings -> C1 Key Settings and select one of the functions listed. I recommend C1 for "Return" (Back to Previous screen) and C2 for "Explorer".
     
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    Remember, L5 is a touch-screen DAP, so you can navigate around by touching the screen.
     
    I don't know about future releases of the firmware but for 1.0.0.4,  I suggest you avoid choosing "Default Settings" in the System-Settings because all the L5 User interface will be reverted to Chinese. 
     
    If your L5 interface is in Chinese, you can change it back to English by following steps outlined below. 
     
    Use the photos below for guidance:
     
    1. Go to System-Settings
    2. Select  "Advanced"
    3. Select "Language"
    4. Select "English"
     
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    This is based on Firmware ver 1.0.0.6
     
    How to get the L5 files/folders sorted alphabetically? (Hopefully the future FW release will fix this)
     
    JohnYang likes this.
  4. JohnYang
    I think 1.0.0.4 is coming out any time now.
     
  5. Cecala
    Very nice post John, detailed and informative.
     
  6. Bellyworshipper
    So, dear L5 owners, could you tell me how the volume adjustment on L5 works? Is it analog or is it digital?
     
  7. rontant
     
    It's analog.
     
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    Photo credit: http://www.loxpo.com/article-737-1.html
     
    zniper2984 likes this.
  8. Shawn71
    so no mem expansion slot?......on-board 16/32GB flash only?
     
  9. rontant
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    Photo credit: http://www.igao7.com/news/201502/XdVaaxluI2JZjedh.html
     
    I haven't tried 128GB SDXC card myself but I have read about people confirming 128GB card works fine on L5.
     
  10. Bellyworshipper
    Thank you for pointing out! But since there is an official info about using the CS digitally controlled chip "L5‘s volume control way is encoder plus professional volume control chip CIRRUS CS3310" I still don't quite get the general scheme of volume control on L5
    The digits in the right upper corner of the display also confused me: I thought, these digits displayed the volume level. If they do, then the volume is digitally controlled, though not by two buttons, but using ALPS potentiometer
     
  11. rontant
    Maybe some kind of a "fly-by-wire" technology like those used in modern aircraft. Anyway, it's something beyond me. Hope someone knowledgeable can answer. 
     
  12. Shawn71

    Oh ok! so it does have slot......Nice that. TY for confirming with a picture.[​IMG]
     
  13. Baycode
    Great design and specs. Absolutely love it. Hope it sounds great too.
     
  14. fnkcow
    Looking forward to more reviews!
     
  15. JohnYang

    It works for 64gb/128gb and I have personally tested that.
    But you have to format the cards to fat32 before using 64gb/128gb cards
     
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