Sony Walkman custom firmware (non-Android)
Nov 9, 2020 at 8:24 PM Post #1,471 of 6,582

kova4a

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Well, I finally had some time to test the dmp-a30. It's enjoyable but I still prefer the non-plus reloaded. There's just something about the way it presents the sound - it's not only clearer but there's a particular rawness that makes the music more realistic. The dmp-30 is somewhat sweater and smoother but it's a bit diffuse in comparison, with vocals and instruments lacking that specific focus that reloaded can convey, so I'm sticking with reloaded. I also gave up on trying to like the a105, so I gifted it to my father, who was pretty happy. I don't know if it was something in Android or what but it just sounds mediocre and can't compete with my old trusty a30.
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 1:08 AM Post #1,472 of 6,582

Kad998

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When it comes down to it of course all elements combined make the end sound. And for us enthusiasts, we are just as amazed (always) at improvements no matter where they are from; especially from firmware..

Still......
While there are probably no perfect IEMs....I still think the more expensive IEMs are better. YouTube has folks making a living pushing $40-$400 IEMs as the next big thing. The pages of Head-Fi get filled with happy people who have found budget thrills on the cheap. And while I am the first person to report on mid-fi happiness, real TOTL IEMs seem to always be slightly better. Though it’s also a little genre dependent. To me it’s simply easier to make electronic music great than to replicate recordings or real live instruments or vocals? I just wish for old-days......2014 prices again on TOTL IEMs.

I have always thought IEMs should max out at $999. It’s crazy how prices are. Though at the same time people are in agreement that mid-fi has improved dramatically. So in a way we are getting TOTL for middle price, it’s just that the top has moved to even another place both in quality and prices asked. IMO

I agree with this completely! The whole set up definitely makes the complete sound, but more expensive IEMs, which are staples are staples for a reason; and they change the game!

I often think about when the hobby started for me, more specifically the IEM journey... I jumped on the chi-if train pretty quickly... Constantly spending 100 here, 200 there ...150 here, 300 there. And it seemed like every month or so I was trying to get the new thing! And I think deep down I knew what needed to happen so I could finally be satisfied. I did the same thing with DAPs. Trying to cut corners and hoping I could end the journey early without jumping off of the deep end. Overtime, I realized how much money I spent trying to cut those corners. I began to save and save and offload all of my desktop stuff that I didn’t really use anymore.

I eventually grabbed the Z1Rs and WM1Z. Snd i can say that it was worth the wait for saving snd worth selling everything else. I knew my journey was able to come to an end and I actually started enjoying music again, instead of trying to analyze my equipment and fill gaps.... And with @MrWalkman ‘s firmware jumps, it’s only solidified the decision.

For anybody wondering if it’s worth it to save, I’d definitely vouch! It’s worth it in the end, even if the closer shiny thing is in front of you, hold out for your long term goal! It’s worth it!!!!
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 1:48 AM Post #1,473 of 6,582

WilcoRoger

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If there are any photographers out here, here's my take on source & iem - the DAP for me is the camera body and the iem/headphone is the objective (aka glass) While the body has great influence on the outcome, it's the glass that makes the bigger difference.

(if you snap pictures only with your telephone, you'll not understand anything of the above :))
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 3:14 AM Post #1,475 of 6,582

ttt123

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If there are any photographers out here, here's my take on source & iem - the DAP for me is the camera body and the iem/headphone is the objective (aka glass) While the body has great influence on the outcome, it's the glass that makes the bigger difference.

(if you snap pictures only with your telephone, you'll not understand anything of the above :))
That would be more true for a film camera, where the camera body only served to position the film, to be exposed by the light image coming through the optical lens. But today's camera uses a very complex sensor in the body to record the image. The sensor will be as equally important as the lens, in today's electronic cameras.

So a camera analogy is appropriate, but I would draw a different conclusion. In any system, audio included, all parts of the system are important. A system is as good as it's weakest link.

i.e. Let's postulate a system with a class leading DAP, and a class leading IEM/Headphone. Now we connect the two with a world class bad cable/connectors. One that manages to blur Bass/treble transients, and bury micro detail, and is not able to resolve dynamics or create any illusion of space. (Let's assume that a cable of this type is possible).

The weak link would prevent the rest of the system from performing to it's capability, is what I believe.

Like using a telescope to look through a window pane. If the window glass is flawed and distorted, and the glass is not optically clear, you can increase the magnification with a better/stronger telescope, and you can position the object being viewed better. Using better light to illuminate it, holding still to prevent blur, etc. Each change will have an improvement. But in the end, the picture will still be distorted and unclear, until you actually get rid of the weak link. Change the window glass to better glass, or even better, open the window so there is no glass in the way.
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 6:06 AM Post #1,476 of 6,582

HeyManslowdown97

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I eventually grabbed the Z1Rs and WM1Z. Snd i can say that it was worth the wait for saving snd worth selling everything else. I knew my journey was able to come to an end and I actually started enjoying music again, instead of trying to analyze my equipment and fill gaps.... And with @MrWalkman ‘s firmware jumps, it’s only solidified the decision.

That’s why Top Notch Gear is often called “My Endgame.”
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 6:14 AM Post #1,477 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

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I agree with this completely! The whole set up definitely makes the complete sound, but more expensive IEMs, which are staples are staples for a reason; and they change the game!

I often think about when the hobby started for me, more specifically the IEM journey... I jumped on the chi-if train pretty quickly... Constantly spending 100 here, 200 there ...150 here, 300 there. And it seemed like every month or so I was trying to get the new thing! And I think deep down I knew what needed to happen so I could finally be satisfied. I did the same thing with DAPs. Trying to cut corners and hoping I could end the journey early without jumping off of the deep end. Overtime, I realized how much money I spent trying to cut those corners. I began to save and save and offload all of my desktop stuff that I didn’t really use anymore.

I eventually grabbed the Z1Rs and WM1Z. Snd i can say that it was worth the wait for saving snd worth selling everything else. I knew my journey was able to come to an end and I actually started enjoying music again, instead of trying to analyze my equipment and fill gaps.... And with @MrWalkman ‘s firmware jumps, it’s only solidified the decision.

For anybody wondering if it’s worth it to save, I’d definitely vouch! It’s worth it in the end, even if the closer shiny thing is in front of you, hold out for your long term goal! It’s worth it!!!!

Someone could simply buy one IEM instead of four $400 IEMs and retire from Head-Fi........as long as they really liked it.

Those $400 IEMs add up quick. But in many ways we all become that crazy cat lady down the street with 30 cats all living in her living room. :)
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 6:24 AM Post #1,479 of 6,582

nc8000

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Someone could simply buy one IEM instead of four $400 IEMs and retire from Head-Fi........as long as they really liked it.

Those $400 IEMs add up quick. But in many ways we all become that crazy cat lady down the street with 30 cats all living in her living room. :)

Yep. I bought my JH13 customs nearly 11 years ago (and still use them, had them refurbised last year) and then nothing until the IER-Z1R 2 years ago (and the qJays V2 about 5 years ago when you still used wired in ears with inline mic for mobile use, now replaced på the XM3 BT).
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 6:36 AM Post #1,480 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

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Yep. I bought my JH13 customs nearly 11 years ago (and still use them, had them refurbised last year) and then nothing until the IER-Z1R 2 years ago (and the qJays V2 about 5 years ago when you still used wired in ears with inline mic for mobile use, now replaced på the XM3 BT).

I really want a $500 IEM to be an endgame reality. It’s an idea I have that there could be these close to perfect $500 IEMs?

I think the industry will get there in the next four years. Where of course there will always be better and better but it kinda seems we are inches away from $500 or $700 endgame mid-fi IEMs.
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 7:13 AM Post #1,481 of 6,582

nc8000

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I really want a $500 IEM to be an endgame reality. It’s an idea I have that there could be these close to perfect $500 IEMs?

I think the industry will get there in the next four years. Where of course there will always be better and better but it kinda seems we are inches away from $500 or $700 endgame mid-fi IEMs.

I can certainly say that the sq gap between universals at “reasonable prices” and customs has narrowed a lot over those 11 years. I think I paid about $1000 for the JH13 and when I bought the qJays V2 5-6 years later they were much closer than what a similar universal was 11 years ago
 
Nov 10, 2020 at 8:32 AM Post #1,482 of 6,582

Redcarmoose

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I can certainly say that the sq gap between universals at “reasonable prices” and customs has narrowed a lot over those 11 years. I think I paid about $1000 for the JH13 and when I bought the qJays V2 5-6 years later they were much closer than what a similar universal was 11 years ago

I remember when those qJays V2 IEMs came out. I actually have some downline “J”s. That’s the thing.........probably IEMs have made a giant jump in the last 10 years. Remember too, there are people still listening to endgame full-size headphones made in 1989. Maybe that’s an extreme example.....but l’m just making a point. I’m fairly new to the higher IEM market too. 10 years ago I wouldn’t even look at the IEM table at Head-Fi meets. I was opinionated against them. :)
 
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Nov 10, 2020 at 8:50 AM Post #1,483 of 6,582

normie610

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I would really like to try either the IER-Z1R, or the Shure KSE1200.

Yeah I’ve been curious about KSE since it was first launched. I missed an opportunity recently to get a pristine KSE1500 for only $1100, somebody beat me to it. I think I prefer the 1500 since it has EQ (although somewhat limited to 4-band PEQ) and bypassing the DAC completely.
 

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