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SONY NW-ZX2 DAP

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by leylandi, Nov 16, 2014.
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  1. PoRidge
    there's always the D100 if you need native DSD, thats why
     
  2. Rob49

    Just as a side thought....I wonder if the Sony Hi Res AV Receivers, convert to LPCM, or play pure DSD ? I'd been thinking about updating my Sony AVR.....I have a fairly large collection of SACD's.
    Although, thinking about it, I may just upgrade to Sony's new HD video / Hi Res Audio player, announced at CES...
     
  3. Uncle E1
    first serious attempt at review ... appreciate the support and comment!
     
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/lee-yu-fei/fiio-x7-vs-sony-nw-zx2/10153399154633741
     
  4. nc8000 Contributor

    As far as I know you cant get a digital audio signal from a SACD player so the conversion is done in the player that then sends an analog signal out
     
  5. Rob49

    An honest review....and you mention my favourite two artists / groups....Michael Jackson & Toto...
     
  6. Chefano
    Thats the best portable DSD playback Ive ever listened to.
    Ive always been skeptical about DSD conversion, because Ive myself tried a lot of settings and a lot of converters on DSD to PCM, and the 96KHz always lost to the original DFF via blind test.
    Until yesterday, that I was told the ZX2 converts to PCM.. so I dont care anymore if it plays natively or convert. It sounds so good! So involving,  so detailed and it allows you change between SLOW and SHARP rolloff.
    If DSD is your goal, like mine is, you cant go wrong with ZX2 if power is not an issue.
     
    Rob49 likes this.
  7. Whitigir

    Agreed, ZX2 is a very good DAP on sound quality alone, and then battery that last for days. I love my Zx2, and for as little power as it pouring out, I can still enjoy it with TH900 full size headphones sound
     
  8. Joe Bloggs Contributor

    DSD cannot be reproduced *directly* as the term "native" DSD implies. Taken literally, the DSD signal is a series of 1's and 0's telling a transducer to piston full-forward (1's) and then full-backward (0's) instantaneously, haphazardly at a rate of 2.822MHz, or approx. 0.000000354s between each possible transition (for DSD64; multiply the rate or divide the corresponding timing period accordingly for DSD128 etc.). If this signal is averaged in a specific way (technically speaking, "lowpassed"), the forward and backward signals average out enough to re-approximate the original analog sound waves to be recorded. DSD.png

    Incidentally, this makes me wonder why one would think this is the closest approximation to vinyl or analog that one can achieve.... DSD is a 1-bit digital signal! It's either 1 or 0! That's as "digital" as it can be! :eek: 24-bit audio does give you 16.7 million steps between 0 and 1 to approximate the analog variations...

    In "native" DSD decoding, the DAC spits out the 1's and 0's as raw full-scale +ve and -ve electrical pulses, to be averaged by a physical lowpass filter. One of the touted advantages of DSD was that, compared to 44.1kHz CD audio, the requisite physical lowpass filter only needs to cut off completely at around 30-40kHz, where the quantization noise of 1-bit 2.822MHz "audio" starts to overwhelm the recorded signal (even with the aggressive noise shaping that is standard fare in DSD recording); whereas an early generation CD player needed a physical lowpass filter that cut off completely before 22.05kHz. This gave DSD a comparatively wide "transition band" of 10-20kHz from the upper human auditory limit of 20kHz (where audio should be passed through completely) to where the "audio" should be completely cut off, to ensure safety and reproduction quality of downstream amplifier and headphone / loudspeaker equipment. (compared to a transition band of only 2kHz for CD audio)

    Things have changed since the inception of DSD, however (or weren't ever as they were claimed even at the beginning). 24/96 audio is a relatively pedestrian PCM standard these days; it reproduces audio with full precision up to 48kHz, equalling or surpassing DSD's headroom. PCM DACs these days support up to 384kHz audio, reproducing audio with full precision up to 192kHz, yielding 172kHz of headroom for the lowpass filter, allowing the simplest of filters to suffice; in the case of physical lowpass filters, simple is beautiful; the gentler the rolloff from 20kHz, the less phase distortion occurs.

    More significantly, DACs these days can oversample any source audio several times over to reach its ceiling sample rate, and then apply a digital lowpass filter to filter out the ultrasonic noise that occurs above the maximum frequency the original audio format was capable of reproducing. This for example allows CD audio to be "brickwalled" with a near-perfect lowpass filter with a transition band of only a few hundred Hz, so preserving perfect response up to 20-21kHz while leaving no residual noise above 22.05kHz.

    Such a digital filter can be changed on the fly, from brickwalling at 22kHz (for CD) to cutting off at, say, 35kHz (for DSD64) to cutting off only at 192kHz (for 384kHz PCM). In all cases, the most gentle physical filter cutting off at 192kHz can be applied at the end.

    For "native" DSD decoding, on the other hand, the lowest common denominator of DSD64 must be catered to, so the physical filter must cut off at, say, 40kHz at most. Though the DAC may be capable of reproducing signals of over 100kHz from 384kHz sources, the fixed physical lowpass filter will cut it off.


    Small note: The Sabre ES9018 series DACs are an exception in this regard as a "native DSD decoder", as they "upsample" both PCM and DSD audio. PCM audio gets upsampled in sample rate to DSD-class rates while DSD audio gets upsampled in sample bit depth to PCM-class levels. The result is that DSD audio may be processed at a multiple of its native sample rate and lowpassed and PCM audio may be processed as described above; DSD audio may be decoded natively AND lowpassed digitally, and an optimally gentle physical filter may be applied at the end.

    The above details the technical shortcoming of native DSD decoding. It sounds quite bad but in reality there should be nothing you can hear between the two DSD options done right, or between these and PCM hi-res for that matter. The *practical* shortcoming of native DSD is simply this: you can't apply any sort of processing on it. And processing audio at playback, done right, should actually be a very important part of hi-fidelity audio.
     
    Rob49 likes this.
  9. audioxxx
    Excellent description of DSD @Joe Bloggs
     
  10. willywill
    I bought my 2nd hand but i wouldn't mind paying for retail price, iam sold just on battery life alone, i charge the ZX2 every 2 weeks. As for the Note 4 i have 3 spare battery the Note 4 is a powerhouse i have no reason or desire to buy a new phone.
     
  11. Whitigir

    Exactly, I can't bother to keep something charged everyday...lol, and yeah the power is good enough for me. Bathe sound quality is awesome with TRRS and Siund adjustment app disabled
     
  12. Chefano
     
    Do you know where I can get a good TRRS cable?
     
  13. Whitigir

    Yes, gone through a few myself and I have to say that I best believe in silver cables. I refer you to lavricables, you can find him through eBay here. Request anything solid or stranded silver.

    http://stores.ebay.com/lavricables/
     
    Caruryn likes this.
  14. audioxxx
    I am very excited, my zx2 is about to recieve a huge upgrade to the Rhapsodio Solar iem's.
    I'll be sure to report back the improvements over mid tear iem's.

    I think I'm about to hear what the ZX2 can really produce for the first time.
     
  15. Whitigir

    Congratulations, and yeah, Zx2 will always amaze you just as much as it did mine :D
     
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