What do you recommend I do, stuck in a decision
May 28, 2018 at 11:28 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

mrconfuse

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Not to long ago I started a post about wanting to upgrading/replacing my portable system into something new. The order of priority was this
  • sound quality
  • Physical controls
  • portability
  • $100 - $400
  • UI
I decided to go with the Onkyo DP-S1 as it appeared to have everything that I wanted. That was until i found someone with a FIIO Q5. I borrowed it and I have to say, I also like it. SQ to me is a little better sounding than the Onkyo. The Q5 sounds "smoother", less fatiguing on some songs. But more importantly volume control is amazingly better. More latitude for gradual increase/decrease of volume.

So now I'm sort of stuck, do i want to return the Onkyo and get a Q5 or keep the Onkyo? Q5 has 2 very important items but lacks in the rest (Portability and hardware controls). The Q5 would require me to stack with my phone or another device. And for the life of me I can't think of any transport device that is thin, light, with hardware controls, and some sort of line out function that I can channel into the Q5.

I know, i know that it's up to me and how I hear. I get that part but what I'm asking for is this, do you think it's worth it to get a little better SQ at the lost of convenience or stick with the over all package and get everything.
 
May 29, 2018 at 1:05 AM Post #2 of 8

buonassi

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I'm a pretty hardcore SQ chaser and used to do the stacking thing. I have to say that the dedicated source player is the way to go for me. Even if I have to take a slight hit in SQ it's an acceptable trade off. If it's a pain to lug around, it's just not worth it. Something attached to your phone, music will be interrupted if you get a text/call, etc. Plus the pocket-ability of a DAP is so much nicer than even the nicest stacks. Just my thoughts....
 
May 30, 2018 at 2:36 AM Post #4 of 8

yong_shun

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Something attached to your phone, music will be interrupted if you get a text/call, etc. Plus the pocket-ability of a DAP is so much nicer than even the nicest stacks. Just my thoughts...
This is why I choose DAP over stacking too!
 
May 30, 2018 at 9:52 PM Post #7 of 8

buonassi

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keep in mind that when you use android USB output, it is mixed down by the android system to 48khz or some multiple thereof. IE my phone puts out 192khz, no matter what sample rate I'm playing. What this means is that when sample rate conversion is performed, there are quantization errors that manifest as distortion from the original signal. IE 44.1 SRC to 48khz or its multiple will not sound as good as the original 44.1. If you're going to use android and an outboard DAC stacked to it, you'll want to use USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP) or similar player that uses its own driver to communicate with the DAC. This will ensure bit-perfect playback and best SQ.

Apple is native 44.1, so you shouldn't have a problem with any SRC. However, I don't think apple supports high rez so everything is down converted if I remember correctly. Still apple is the best choice for 44.1 IMO.

If you have an apple, why not just get a dragonfly red? It's outstanding quality for the money - so much so that I'd be happy with this even if other more expensive DAPs didn't exist. A classic reference and the best sound you can get for $160 used.
 
May 30, 2018 at 10:56 PM Post #8 of 8

mrconfuse

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I do have UAPP on my android and when i switched over to apple I got IaudioGate. Apple does allow you to output higher than 44.1 if you are going out to a DAC. If you play it natively even with a app that can read high rez it will downsample it to 44.1

I used to do stacking then I got a standalone player FIIO X3, but it's been passed on to someone else. I also got tired of it and wanted something new (better). Initially i wanted to stay with a hardware player that sound awesome but after listening to the Q5 i'm sort of stuck. I read reviews about the dragon fly red but I can't find a way to audition it. I did audition something similar in style, the Shozy lancea, it wasn't bad but it was loud and each time i had to change the volume i had to take out the phone.
 

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