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Seiun player, $150 player with monster spec. Too good to be true?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by shiikamaru, Nov 8, 2015.
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  1. Jackpot77
    PHA arrived in the UK, and delivered today. Colour me shocked!
  2. sososerious
    I got mine today as well and my god, it's loud!

    I'm actually very impressed with it, I wanted it as a balanced amp primarily and the main draw was the twin 3.5mm balanced as it meant I wouldn't need to change my pono cables. Ok, so it's 2.5mm now but it's taken so long to get here I purchased some 2.5mm gear and cables already anyway!

    What surprises me is its perfectly usable as a basic player and with 60Gb of built in storage and a 10,000mah power pack / battery built in it should last for at least a week given I can only use it on low gain and step 2 or 3 on the volume dial.

    The free headphones are pretty cr@ppy but then they were free.
    Headmusic likes this.
  3. tienbasse
    Mine is scheduled for delivery tomorrow (02/17).
    We shall see!
  4. Headmusic
    Are you one of the gwei-lo's who demoed the DAP??? SO will I get my DAP so I can listen to Sandy Lam's greatest hits in DSD?
  5. Headmusic
    Pics! PIX! Pictures!! I WANT TO KNOW IT EXISTS!!
  6. sososerious
    I should clarify... I don't think it's my best amp and the player is clunky and doesn't sound great against a DAP or even a FIO DAC (IMO) but for what it is, and considering I had given up hope of getting anything, I'm pleasantly surprised.

    It will be great for holidays when I want to run balanced headphones / iems but don't want to risk taking an expensive DAPs & Amp stack out - that battery life will make it perfect.

    Ran it at work today using the built in player and trinity audio PM6's balanced and it lost 20% battery over 7 hours non stop use.

    Didn't take any photos of the packaging but it was pretty good, just took a snap of it on the table to show it exists!

    Seiun PHA
    by sososerious on Head-Fi.org
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  7. Headmusic
    I should have ordered one of them, I mean it does a basic job, plays hidef and DSD too, no?
  8. sososerious
    Haven't tried to be honest, DAC function works fine connected to my laptop via usb but not my android phone (pixel XL). The cyber drive app states 'cyberdrive device detected' on the phone but I can't get audio to pass through.

    To be honest I only wanted an amp and I've got a bloody powerful one in the PHA, for anything else I've got better tools for the job. I will only use it as a 'disposable' all-in-one for when I don't wanna risk my better gear.
  9. tienbasse
    My PHA has finally arrived. I will let it burn for a while before giving my opinion on the sound.

    I can already comment on the built and UI.
    The casing is very sturdy and the buttons have nice firm clicks. My main gripe is that the jack outputs and volume knob are slight off-centered.
    For the volume knob, this creates a small issue: since the knob has dentures on the side and is off-centered, it creates friction against the casing when rotating it, which is the last thing you want from a volume knob...
    The UI is quite simple but quite slow to navigate through, it does make the internal player operation tedious, so people may want to restrict use to dac/amp, which is the main perk anyway.

    Poor QC check if you ask me, these are things that can be seen in less than a minute.
  10. tienbasse
    Ok I wanted to give this PHA dac/amp a chance, but the outcome is rather disappointing.

    I tested all input sources and the balanced/single output with a Fidue Sirius and Kennerton Valis.
    Here is a summary:

    -the UI is painfully slow, especially if you run the internal 64Gb player. The screen blinks for a second to validate any click, so imagine when you scroll within music folders.

    -playing music from the internal 64Gb player works fine, but to comment on the sound: background is not black at all, there is substantial hiss even with low gain (and even with less sensitive Cappuccinos MK2 or Kennerton Vali). Sound is relatively clear although not very detailed, no emphasis on any part of the spectrum, but decay is too fast, especially for treble, so everything sounds a bit dry. Soundstage is decent with SE output and completely anemic with balanced ouput (definitely something wrong with balanced). Overall, soundstage feels small when compared to an Opus #1 or a LG V20, and balanced output is just not usable currently. Volume knob is too sensitive, you blow your ears out at 20% with low gain, the difference between low and high gain is way too small to drive IEMs with precision. Last straw: volume of the balanced output is not matched properly, left canal is substantially quieter than the right canal, and there is no setting to fix this (and yes, my hearing is fine)...

    -When used as an amp (through line in/coax), same result. Very powerful but only unsable with SE output.

    -When used with optical input, same result.

    -When used with USB input (called DSD for some weird reason), I could make it work from LG V10 and V20, but the sound was VERY weak, I had to use 50% volume on high gain with Fidue Sirius which is insane when compared to the other inputs. As a consequence, less hiss but ****ty signature on the verge on distorsion. I don't have another source with USB output but this was disappointing since it was the PHA input I really wanted to use for hi-res decoding...

    -Music upload onto the 64Gb internal memory proceeds with a miserable 2,60Mo/s constant yet stable rate, so back to 10 years ago (usb 1 level), which means about 7 hours to load 64Gb...

    Overall this "all-in-one-thing" is functional, everything works but the balanced output (channel imbalance + butchered soundstage), but everything is medium to sub-par in terms of performance. Given the pricetag, it is not a complete disaster but relatively disappointing with the 18 months delay.

    Amateurish result at the same level as the amateurish project management.

    EDIT: you can actually decrease the SE output level by putting the output switch to "balanced" position, it will decrease the SE output volume 4-fold, which lets you run sensitive IEMs more reasonably. Not ideal but whatever...
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    gmeardi, Roll and tarhana like this.
  11. ExpatinJapan
    Is the comment section gone?
    (On the indiegogo page)
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  12. sososerious
    For some reason you have to click "read more" now, the red box near the perks. Took me a while to notice it.
    ExpatinJapan likes this.
  13. ExpatinJapan
    I was clicking but nothing happened (on ipod touch). I will try again.

    Thank you
  14. _pettman
    So, I finally had an email back from CD after multiple attempts to contact them regarding delivery of the PHA and Pro X. I was still on their refund list after I asked to be removed (partly my fault..)

    Will be nice to have the products soon!
  15. Kundi
    any updates on the pro - x?
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