Source causes Veil (ibasso DX90 vs Samsung Note 8.0)?
May 25, 2015 at 3:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

sanakimpro

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Hi! This is the first thread I'm starting, so pardon me if I made some faux paus.
 
I've been using iBasso DX50 and DX 90 as sources for almost 2 years now, and I decided to try to go back to my Samsung Note 8.0's onboard headphone output. 
 
While testing with Orion (Through the Never album), by Metallica (320kbps) on both, and using a pair of RHA 750i, I at first thought the Note 8.0's output was great! It had the bass, the treble, and made the intro to the song sound good!
 
But as the track got congested, I instantly recognized that there was something off about the sound. Instrumental separation started to blur, and it seemed that the instruments (drum hits, guitars, cymbals) were too up close to me.
 
I thought it was just expectation bias, so I tried to test them side by side, pausing after 30 seconds and switching sources over at least 5 intervals, but I kept hearing the same 'veil' on the Samsung Note 8.0. I even made sure to match the volumes.
 
My question is, what would cause the DX 90's output to have a better sense of instrumental separation, deeper bass, wider sound stage and 'airiness', etc? 
 
Would the noise floor of the Samsung Note 8.0 be the cause? Or the power? (16 Ohms on the 750i), and I was using Low Output on DX90 at 200/255 and volume 9/15 on the Samsung Note 8.0. Sounded pretty same in terms of perceived overall loudness.
Or THD specs?
 
Thank you for your input! Just a curious enthusiast.
Best, Shu.
 
P.S. of course, even going back to a DT 770 / 80 on my O2/ODAC made things so much better again, anyway.
 
May 25, 2015 at 5:22 PM Post #2 of 7

bigshot

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Sounds to me like an impedance problem with the headphones you were using. Some headphones require amping and some don't.
 
May 26, 2015 at 5:07 AM Post #4 of 7

castleofargh

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I guess instead of wondering what the DX90 does better, it would make more sense to wonder what the note does bad.
do you have any kind of audio specs for that stuff?
 
May 26, 2015 at 7:45 AM Post #5 of 7

sanakimpro

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Unfortunately, no. I do not.
I was just wondering what is the most critical aspect that would affect the SQ. But I guess there are too many variables. Will get back here if I find out anything new.
 
What I did do what just run the output from the Note through a Cricri amp, and it made a huge difference, making it sound like the dx90's signature. 
So, probably impedances have something to do with it.
Thanks for your time!
 
May 26, 2015 at 9:59 AM Post #6 of 7

Kaffeemann

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The Note 8 actually has good measurements, at least according to this site: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_8-review-916p7.php
I don't know what headphones they use for testing, though. If it's full sized then the results might not apply to IEMs.
 
I noticed a similar difference with the DX90 and my Samasung Galaxy S3. Channel seperation might be one cause for bad instumental seperation. The S3 "only" has 50 db in the gsmarena review.
 
May 26, 2015 at 11:10 PM Post #7 of 7

cel4145

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The Note 8 actually has good measurements, at least according to this site: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note_8-review-916p7.php


Note also where they say in the review:

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 matches the audio output of its Note 10.1 bigger brother, delivering excellent scores all over the field when connected to an active external amplifier. Unfortunately it also fails to address the average volume levels issue.
With headphones plugged in, the output is still impressively clean. The stereo crosstalk does go up, but the rest of the readings are barely affected, adding up to a very solid overall performance. Sadly, volume levels remain about the same, robbing the Note 8.0 of the best audio output in business title.


Depending on your listening volumes (do you listen particularly loud?), could be that when the music is getting congested, the amp is running out of headroom.
 

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