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Shanling M0 - Nano size, touch screen, LDAC & aptX BT, USB DAC/transport and ESS Sabre ES9218P, FW 3.1

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Shanling, Mar 16, 2018.
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  1. csglinux
    I want to show some measurements that I made yesterday and shared with @TheoS53 via pm, which includes two different M0 units - a red and a purple, and two different white-noise test tracks - one that I'd previously used, and one that @TheoS53 is using (pn_65536):


    The Nyquist-glitch is just an issue with the windowing (and at low frequencies, there just aren't enough sample points in the periodic white noise section to cover every frequency). Other than that, it's ruler flat. However, I want to extend my earlier offer to all those of you that are still worried about the excessively bright-sounding nature of your M0 and are wondering about how best to dispose of it (does it go into the green trash can, or the blue?), please let me pm you my address so that you can mail it to me and I will help you all dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly way :wink:

    @TheoS53 - did you generate that calibration file for your sound card using a loop-back? I think it has to be worth trying another sound card.

    P.S. There's a much more accurate way of doing these FR measurements. More later...
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
    Mike-WI, hakuzen and artnoi like this.
  2. davidcotton
    Just got mine today. Despite the pictures nothing prepares you for how small it actually is! Oh and I also have the issues of pairing it with the sony wh1000m2 series.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  3. TheoS53
    Ah sorry, I forgot to reply to you about the loopback in our pm.

    No, I did not use a loopback calibration as I figured a loopback is intended to compensate for both the input and the output of the sound card, right? But seeing as I'd only be using the input, compensating for the output as well (even though its not being used) would incorrectly mess with the graph.
    Anyways, I tried with a loopback calibration and this made the rise in treble worse.
    Now I just gotta try a different sound card
  4. davidcotton
    Quick question about bluetooth. Is it quite quiet? I've had to raise the volume to almost 97 to get a decent level. By comparison I don't have to half the hiby r6 anywhere near that level to get a decent sound on the same set of phones? Just afraid of plugging in a pair of iems after using bluetooth and forgetting to turn it down!
    goody likes this.
  5. ShannyM0
    For me, as long as the volume is set at 1 or more, it plays at the same level. Try changing the output level on your BT device.
    davidcotton likes this.
  6. csglinux
    I'm sure the issue is your sound card. The loopback calibration is important, but it does rely on the card's own output being relatively flat, which yours obviously isn't - I suspect it has a fairly high z-out, which may explain why you're seeing differences from device to device. In an ideal world, you'd want your sound card to be better than the device you're measuring with it :wink: I quite like the StarTech ICUSBAUDIO2D card. It's not too expensive, but I usually use it only in conjunction with an external DAC, because its own output impedance is a little high (~4 ohm).(And then you need a dedicated loopback calibration for the sound card + external DAC combo if you're going to measure headphones with it.) Anybody got any recommendations for a really TOTL sound card with a really low z-out?

    BTW, here are the updated measurements, run by using M0 as an external DAC from my computer so that I can compute the usual transfer function via a frequency sweep:


    The rise around 20 kHz is still there. I was wrong about the origin of this - it's there only because my StarTech card starts rolling off beyond about 17.5 kHz and so that effect is in the compensation curve. Here's the M0 output with all calibration curves removed:


    That roll-off near 20 kHz is mainly because of the (now uncompensated) effect of the sound card. At this stage, I'm willing to bet my mother-in-law's life that the M0 output is ruler flat :) I certainly see no evidence of it being "bright" or having a lifted treble.
    artnoi and hakuzen like this.
  7. csglinux
    P.S. One final measurement of the M0 using a sound card calibration file for the StarTech input/Hugo 2 output:

    Mike-WI and hakuzen like this.
  8. davidcotton
    One other quick question as I am finding my feet with this player. Gapless. Does it work properly or not? I listen to a lot of concept albums and noticed it a couple of times already which is going to be annoying. Got the option on in the menu fwiw.
  9. abitdeef
    All my gapless stuff plays fine, but in your case if you have gapless on and it’s not gapless... well I think you’ve answered your own question.
  10. TheoS53
    I actually thought I'll just try out my desktop's internal sound card (Gryphon Z87 mobo) just for the sake of seeing if it makes a difference. Installed the drivers but need to restart the PC...can't quite do that yet as I've got a couple of projects open, but once they're done i'll be able to take another look. Thanks for your efforts.

    Oh the other thing about the M0 sounding "bright", remember, a bright signature will not necessarily show up in an FR graph as we'd need to consider the effects of even and odd order harmonics as well.
  11. csglinux
    I've never heard of that before. Can you explain, or do you have references?
    artnoi likes this.
  12. ShannyM0
    I should actually amend that. It actually does change the volume but it's not much across the 1 to 100 band over bluetooth but I can notice it changing the volume some.
  13. TheoS53
    Really? There are numerous discussions by iFi Audio, you can specifically have a look about their iTube2 and what the different tube settings do and how they replicate the signatures of various tube-based systems. The gist of it is that the "warmth" in the sound that people experience from tube amps (more specifically in single ended triode topologies) is mainly due to the fact that even order harmonic distortion is significantly higher than the odd harmonics.
    So maybe, just maybe that is something that is inherent in DAPs too (after all, they have amplification stages too) but I don't really see this being explored much
  14. csglinux
    Sure, but the differences you're talking about (with tube amps) are measurable in terms of FR. Is this like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, where the FR differences only appear when somebody's listening? I tend to think that if a tree is falling in the forest, it probably makes a sound whether or not there's somebody there :wink:
    artnoi likes this.
  15. TheoS53
    No no, 2 amps can have the exact same "flatness", but that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll sound exactly the same. FR isn't the be all and end all of measurements. All 3 of the tube settings on the iTube2 give the exact same frequency response, but each one does have its own character (objectively it's obviously not a "night and day" difference as some may claim)

    we're getting a bit off-topic for this thread, so if you wanna explore this further, head on over to https://www.youtube.com/user/samma3afans/videos and check out the follow up vid i did for the iTube2, there's I've got a few sound demos to compare the sounds (and no, my funky sound card wasn't used for this lol)
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