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ONKYO DP-X1 | Dual Sabre Dacs | Balanced | Sabre BTL Amp | MQA | DSD 256 | Android 5 |

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by t.r.a.n.c.e., Sep 11, 2015.
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  1. DecentLevi
    I wonder if there's any upgrade path / trade in value for my old version with this newer version of the X1A above? Battery life is also a small issue
  2. Magick Man
    Moving to the X1A won't fix the battery problem, it's best just to strap a very thin 5k mAh external battery to it and let it charge as you go. I suppose you could sell the X1 here or on ebay and get an X1A, but you'll end up eating about $200, unless you can find an X1A that's open box at a deep discount, but that's unlikely. I'd just use the X1 and enjoy it, the difference isn't worth the hassle or money, IMO.
  3. DecentLevi
    Oh no you misread my post. :hushed: I have a very early version of the DP-X1A and was curious about any upgrade or trade in value for the revised same model above
  4. Magick Man
    My bad, sorry about that. If it's in good shape you could sell it for a decent amount on ebay (I see used ones in excellent condition sell for $500), since it is an X1A, most people won't be as picky as we are. :D Then buy a newer unit. You can get "fresh off the assembly line" players, mine was, via Japan Plus and get Amazon Prime shipping to boot, for $550 (provided you have Prime, of course). It would likely cost you $75-$100, but might be worth it to you.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    DecentLevi likes this.
  5. addyg
    dpx1a -> wm1z seems a good upgrade because even on balanced the Sony wm1a seems cannot beat dpx1a when it comes to vocal pieces.

    It is just very difficult to beat twin ESS Sabre 9018 dac in fully balanced design.
  6. FunctionalDoc
    I currently at RMAF Can Jam and they have show special for $549 and wondering is this work buying ? I like the TIDAL AND MQA SINCE MY COWON PLENUE M2 doesn't have these features but concern about the jack issues and wondering if enough power on balance to drive my AEON'S?

    Wondering if this is upgrade?
  7. Trebor1966
    Please what is the difference between early and newer version of DP-X1A`?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  8. DecentLevi
    I guess I took this post to mean the current DP-X1A has a revised jack and larger battery, after going over it again though it seems he means a shop in Hong Kong can repair these things. The sparse details may have threw me off, LoL

    Your wording of the post above threw me off too, making me wonder which of those three mentioned DAPs you're recommending.

    Certainly the DP-X1A is a rare DAP that could, pushing way above it's price point - though you can get it online for around the same price. Unsure about amping requirements, but after trying the Mr. Speakers Aeon Hifiman Edition S in both open/closed form I would recommend them only to my worst enemy IMHO they were a complete disaster in every aspect from imaging to details, dynamics, FR, etc. - not even approaching the (low) refinement of the V-Moda M-80.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
  9. DecentLevi
    Edited above post - my poor favor was meant for the Hifiman Edition S, which looked similar to the Mr. Speakers Aeon. Would like to try that one sometime... and on the topic of closedbacks I can't help but mention my love for the Sennheiser HD-380 Pro! It sounded absolutely gorgrous and expansive, with spot on dynamics and tonality even with just the DP-X1A. More on my impressions here
  10. Evilcartman
    I've been really enjoying my Onkyo digital music player for six months now and thought I would share with you guys some of the solutions I've come up with to various problems and see if they might help increase everyone else's enjoyment of this amazing device. Forgive the wall of text I've tried to divide up the relevant sections to make for easy parsing.

    OUTPUTS: I make my own cables and it's very difficult to solder a 2.5 mm 4 pole balanced plug so I've soldered them with 3.5 mm plugs and I have two adapters that are both 3.5 mm female. One goes to the balanced out and ends in a 2.5 mm plug and the other converts the balanced plug to a three pole plug and it plugs in to the regular unbalanced output.

    All my headphones have the same 3.5 mm balanced plug and easily switch between inputs. Some of my cables are not interchangeable so this also allows me to use my balanced headphones with any single ended source.

    So far, every factory headphone cable I've cut the end off has had four wires, which has allowed me to solder it to a balanced connection.

    POWER: As well as using the minimal firmware and having a rooted device, I use a program called AUTO-OFF which simply turns off the device after an hour if I'm not using it. This ended the frustration of constantly finding my player completely drained of power after setting it away on the table for a day. Since then I have never encountered this frustration. I have yet to find a super low power standby mode for the player like the OPUSI has. So yeah I have to always turn it on but the thing boots up pretty fast.

    APPS: this is a pretty easy. I use the POWER AMP alpha version tweaked to go through the DAC, and also use the Pioneer and Onkyo native music apps. Mostly I use power amp for my main shuffle and then if I want to hear a particular song I can easily search for it on the Onkyo apps without having to lose my place in my shuffle playlist.

    EASE OF USE: this was a big one for me which I found the player very bulky to keep pulling in and out of my pocket to change songs while I was jogging. Plus I really didn't want to drop the thing on the ground. This was solved by a tiny six dollar camera shutter remote from Amazon that lets me change the volume fast forward / rewind from a Bluetooth dongle I wear around my neck when I'm exercising.

    This was such a critical addition to my listing experience that I bought several and keep them hanging around the house on lanyards. It's called the "Bluetooth shutter and music remote" and is a six dollar add on item. It works flawlessly. I'm pretty sure the Onkyo doesn't accept in line controls and I usually don't like them in my cables anyway. This wireless solution is much more elegant and convenient. The only downside being it requires the Bluetooth radio to be on but it doesn't seem to drain the battery that much faster.

    PROTECTION: I use the branded Onkyo case and then excellent MIYAVIX glass screen protector. All of this fits perfectly in the neoprene case that came with one of my Western Digital passport hard drive's. The Onkyo leather case is so nice I wanted a case to protect it also . I'm sure there's some sort of existential lesson in that.

    When I need more protection I use the Amazon hardshell case designed for portable hard drive's. You need to break in the corners a tiny bit, but it will fit. That's my traveling case.

    STORAGE: I have a big collection I wanted to get the most out of this device so I bought two 256 GB microSD cards. This is a tremendous premium over buying 200 GB cards so that extra hundred gigabytes cost a lot of money. This is somewhat mitigated by my choice of Silicon Power micro SD cards. They are much less expensive but not cheap enough that they are obvious fakes so I ordered one and I ran several tests using tools designed to detect fake SD cards. Normally I am not one to skimp on memory cards and I usually only buy the big brand names but this little card surprise me. It performed well in tests and its performance is more than enough for this particular usage. I was able to get them for about $105 a piece versus 160 for the SanDisk or Samsung cards. Even if you were buying the smaller capacity cards, you can save a lot of money by going with that perfectly adequate brand.

    IEMs: I have six or seven regular pairs of headphones I use with this player but mostly when I go out i'm going for portability so I use my RHA ti20 or Pinnacle P1s. Both of these are amazing headphones for the money and they sound different enough that I usually carry them both around depending on what mood I'm in. Also, The P1s have a balanced plug and silver cable. The RHA do not have detachable cables and I couldn't bring myself to cut the end off off them. Every now and then I will take my OPPO PM3s out and about. These are my around the house office EDC use. I can't spend the entire day with buds in my ears.

    My HiFiMans are a little hard to drive so I usually use the non-portable music set up for them.

    Well these are some of the solutions I've come up with the every day problems I've encountered with the player. I hope they can be of use to somebody.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    creavasst likes this.
  11. snafu1
    Anyone here driven a pair of Sennheiser HD650's or even the HD600's with the DP-X1? A couple of months ago joined the MassDrop HD-6XX offer and I was wondering if I would need an external amp to get the most out of the HD6XX's?
  12. DecentLevi
    Myself being a multi-year owner of both HD-650 and 600 which is now my preference of the two, along with experience driving them with a dozen amps, here's my take:

    I would start off by changing the question to "how much enjoyment can you get" out of the HD-6xx's rather than "needing" an external amp. Just now redoing the comparison with the HD-600's direct to my DP-X1A (with silver aftermarket cable) vs. doubled amped with the MONOTOR amp from Little Labs, I've once again re-affirmed my previous findings: Indeed this is an "OK" or even fairly good pairing, and oddly, nothing stuck me as particularly missing. But then adding on the MONOTOR amp to this DAP, this differences were rather riveting: faster attack on the drums, and everything from realism, detail, soundstage and overall enjoyment seemed to increase two-fold. The Senn. HD-line in general especially HD-569 - 800 are all transformative pearls that, if amped correctly can give absolutely astonishing sound with out of your head soundstage, immediate dynamics, vibrant intimate details and seductive mids especially if driven on tube amps the likes of Eddie Current Studio or Cavalli Liquid Tungsten (or even Feliks Audio Euforia or Zana Deux for a lesser extent yet still both very very good); but OTOH can sound downright passive and grainy if, say driven out of an Android phone.

    It is interesting to note however the DP-X1A can be a powerhorse as an amp source, though that technically is double-amping, it can be quite stunning how much more sonic juice can be milked out of this DAP with an external amp; though to be fair I would not generally use this DAP as a source with any "serious" full size rig, as even my very modest setup of the Modi Miltibit via Wyrd and iFi iPurifier into the MONOTOR amp clearly sounded on a whole other leage than with this DAP in the chain, it's still nice how things can be taken up a notch with an external amp on this DAP nevertheless, or in a pinch if just used directly with the HD-600.

    As most people use this DAP with IEMs, the good thing is that it already drives the low-z demand for these quite well on its' own, especially in balanced mode; and sometimes even better than a huge amp.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
    peacelupher likes this.
  13. Evilcartman
    I am still trying to understand the above answer. But I will give you a simple one, YES. you need an amp.

    I find myself, with all but the most sensitive headphones, having the volume at max 160 all the time and feel like I want a bit more volume. That means usually you could use an amp. I am not hearing impaired. It sounds okay but I want it louder. I didn't put all this $$$ and time into audio gear to get "okay" sound. I want amazing sound.

    The balanced output is a little louder as is PowerAmp vs the stock player, and this is good enough for portable use with IEMs. But with the Senns 6xx and Oppo Pm3s I need an amp.
  14. addyg
    Go for it.
  15. snafu1
    Thanks for the input DecentLevi and Evilcartman.
    I've got until December for the HD6XX's, so in the meantime I'll keep an eye out for a good deal for a portable amp.
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