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QLS QA361 impression thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by audionewbi, Dec 1, 2017.
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  1. customNuts
    Nothing like being in the market for a DAP these days.... awesome.

    I owned the x7 mk2,
    obviously the QA361,
    AUNE m2S, and a bunch of others.

    Also owned all of them at once (except 361) so I compared them all pretty extensively, trying to settle on my favourite. These are all really great sounding players, some with far better UI and also some with far more features. You can decide what you need in that respect so I'll just quickly let you know what my - Personal - preferences were regarding sound quality/signature.

    I really liked the x7 mk2 with its super detailed yet still musical (too a degree) sound sig.
    The QP1R actually sounded quite similar but had audibly less jitter, blacker background, smoother presentation yet with all the details
    The Sony was a beautiful player which sounded more analog to me (kind of like my old Master 7 PCM1704UK x 8 DAC) but did not present the details as well as the QP1R imo. It was a pleasant sound presentation but definitely different to the others & I preferred the more crisp sig of the QP1R. I also found the EQ'ing did not affect the sound quality in a positive way imo.
    The AUNE m2S is a super basic player (just like 361) built just for SQ. Its sounds fantastic, musical yet clean and hard to fault but its a little old now that so many new awesome DAPs are coming out so you might be happier with a newer offering.

    Also my main iem was the ie800.
    I personally settled on the QP1R which was the most refined sig imo. I sold the others except the M2's. The QP1R & ie800 got stollen so I went on another quest for a TOTL DAP. I settled on the QA361. Unfortunately I have only had it for a couple of weeks and I don't have my ie800 to compare with but it is a very impressive DAP. With out the direct comparison I would still be confident in saying it is at least as impressive as the QP1R.

    I hope that helps a little mate.
  2. Venture Guy
    I am looking to give the QA361 a try. If anybody is looking to hand theirs off, PM me...
  3. cleg
    Dobrescu George and hqssui like this.
  4. fzman Contributor
    So, is this one of those daps that you have to put the track number as the first part of the file name, if you want the 'album' to play in the correct order? More importantly, is it just good or even great value, or is it on a par with the A&K 1000, the Sony WM-1Z, etc?
  5. musicday
    Is good to still see you around and I am really sorry to read this. I hope that you doing better now and have recovered from this and that you may get your stuff back.
  6. fzman Contributor
    Curse you all! Especially you, Audionewbi!!!! Sounding great with everything I throw at the little combo. In the picture are the 361, the Portaphile 627 reboot (curved chassi), a Nordost Heimdal mini-mini cable (quite yummy if too long), and driving AQ Nighthawks. Awe-inspiring combo.

  7. audionewbi
    I just saw your PM, sorry dude forgot to reply back. Congrats and sorry for your wallet.
    Now install the wav only firmware to go next level.
  8. fzman Contributor
    I may try the wav-only thing over the weekend. Gotta convert a bunch of files before doing so. Drving the Nighthawks or the Kaede (Version 1) with the 361-627 combo was magical. Also tested a 400G Sandisk card in the 361 (had about 130G of files on it), and it worked fine. Was able to scroll through the whole file structure, and it saw files in the directories I chose randomly, and it played every file I tried, and was able to change tracks oth forward and back...
    400G of wav files, with the track numbers as the first part of each file name may be a worthwhile compromise between ergonomics and sonics- gotta hear it first to comment on it though.
  9. audionewbi
    Just note you need leading zero (01-filename.wav) if you want the tracks to display in order.
  10. fzman Contributor
    Got files set up that way already (have had many DAPs in my shady and checkered past!
    audionewbi likes this.
  11. iJay
    That’s why I love Foobar2k. I have all my music in tagged WAV and a different converter profile for my DAPs depending on what they want or don’t want.
    audionewbi likes this.
  12. fzman Contributor
    Been going thru my music library, converting flacs to wavs, making sure the file names being with 2-digit track numbers, including the leading '0'.... need to order a mcirosd card to hold them all. More to follow
  13. fzman Contributor
    The new Sandisk 400G card arrived today. It is now formatted FAT32, has all 5 firwares on it, and has a bunch of my music in wav format. Good to go.....

    I listened to music today thru the 361, feeding my Portaphile 627, feeding IN-ear Prophile 8s. (mini-mini cable was a DIY I made from Audience OCC cable and Furutech rhodium 3.5's) Sounded very nice playing FLAC files.

    Tonight at home, with the new card loaded into the 361, I played a wav version of something I played earlier today in FLAC, just driving the Prophiles straight out of the 361, using the 1.4.4 firmware to establish a baseline.... WAV sounded obviously better-more natural tonality, more dynamic, more open and more palpable image and staging. Switched over to driving the 627 from the 361, into the Prophiles, volume-matched by ear.. Better still. Next up was a reboot into 1.04, wav-only firmware. This sounded quite a bit better, and was amazing to listen to.(using the settings 'slow' and 'mellow', btw) I'm pretty sure at this point that my listening will be solely from wav files, going forward, as it's easy enough to transcode the flacs back to wav. I can keep another card for DSD and boot into different firnware for that stuff. Easy peasy!

    For an old guy like me, who listens to albums, tags and metadata are less crucial for mobile listening. This thing is really quick, and responds to scrolling thru folder lists way quicker than my old 901, and, having never been an iPod guy, I like the buttons better than the wheel on the QP1R. Time will tell, but I am really glad I took a chance on a used 361 from eBay. Thanks Audionewbi!!!!!!
    pitsel and gr8soundz like this.
  14. gr8soundz
    Have you tried the All To DSD mode?

    How does it sound compared to the WAV only firmware?

    I'm torn between ordering the QA361 and a couple of other DAPs. Already have a screenless DAP and multiple cards with untagged WAV files ordered by track number so good to go there.
  15. fzman Contributor
    So far, just Slow, mellow, low gain, and high currrent. This with the 1.04 firware, playing wav files. Also have run it into a Portaphile 627. Scored a used Pico amp, which I should have next week to try as well.
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