DAP talk (formerly best DAPs 2015)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by zerodeefex, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    Anyone have a chance to try the New Sony WM1A or A30 series?
     
  2. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    So I've been a Fiio X1 user with E12A Amp for more than a year now, and frankly I felt like the sound was lacking something. Dynamics, soundstage, timbre as well as tonality coherency.

    Is there any DAP that can be recommended an upgrade?

    Some told me that i should ditch my x1 and use a great audio phone like LG V10 or V20 and maybe keep the E12A amp when needed to drive IEMs.

    Another told me that I should just get Chord Mojo and Coax connect it to a Fiio X3 and be happy with the bypassed DAC and use Mojo's sound directly.

    I am open to suggestions since anything would be a great upgrade from what I am using as the Fiio X1 is easily the most basic DAP ever to my ears and I know I am missing a ton after trying other high end DAPs but those usually veer into three or four figure price brackets which I just can't see myself spending on to be honest.

    Any advice would help. Thanks. =)
     
  3. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

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    Budget required for sensible advice. Just for IEMs or full-sized as well? What headphones do you have already?
     
  4. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    Ah, my apologies.

    I am only using IEMs for now such as xb50AP Sony (very boomy and v shaped IEM). I have no plans for using any cans. I am getting an Empire Ears Supra-ADEL CIEM soon.

    My budget is probably around MYR 2000 at best for DAP upgrade. (Approx $450 USD)

    Some of my Head-fi buds suggested me to save up for the Questyle QP1R but that's way beyond my budget. And i never got a chance to audition it whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  5. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    If you don't mind making your way down to Singapore there are secondhand Sony ZX-2s on Carousell.
    https://sg.carousell.com/p/67144442...ef_referrer=/search/products?query=sony%20zx2
     
  6. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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  7. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    I'd suggest the Mojo and use your Fiio as a transport, but seems like it's a bit north of your budget.
     
  8. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    For IEMs, it is REALLY THAT GOOD.
     
  9. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    Guess I'll have to give it a try once my CIEM is here.

    The Mojo is impressive, but the price is a bit steep beyond my budget. And I'll need to at least upgrade to a fiio X3 II to have a coax output that can bypass the DAC through Mojo with the interconnect as Fiio X1 has only Line Out.

    One of my folks in Head Fi keep pressing me to just be patient and get the QP1R as an all-in-one solution for my IEMs without any stacking.

    Still...that price though...
     
  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    The QP1R is the best dap I've heard for sure, besting daps double the price IMO. But the UI and scroll wheel are a bit lacking.
     
  11. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    I'm not good at articulating my own thoughts on audio gear yet, but luckily others have already done it for me: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...0ii-chord-mojo-shootout-w-andromeda-iem.2252/

    And of course, the battery life is a real godsend.
     
    Wilson likes this.
  12. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    Guess I'll probably have to be patient then if I want an all-in-one solution without any stacking.

    Thanks. I'll give it a read.
     
  13. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Honestly, I find the following generally holds true from a value per dollar perspective in the portable market:

    Do you have IEMs that cost up to $1000? If not, use your phone as your source (or an uber cheap player if you can't play music from your phone):

    1) Spending less than $100? consider RE-00 and log off the forums. If you're bonkers, consult with @shotgunshane, @CEE TEE, @MuppetFace, @Augmentin (just realized who you are, WELCOME and we are very glad to have you!!!) and myself for different IEMs.

    2) Spending less than $500? Get the Noble X or UE4 depending on your tastes and log off the forums. If you're bonkers see 1 for people to bug.

    3) Any other amount? Save and buy B stock Andromeda for under $1000 or pick up a used UERM for under $500 and pay $200 for a reshell.

    Personally, any DAP purchase has been a poor choice in terms of value when stacked against spending the same $$$ upgrading my IEMs.

    Once you've got epic IEMs and want to buy a nice player, are you willing to piggyback your phone and have a sandwich?

    1) under $200 is a crap shoot. You probably have an iPhone so you should wait for a Dragonfly Red sale

    1.5) Set aside first $100+ for a 128-256GB microSDXC card purchase. Don't buy it until you pick a player.

    2) spending less than $300? Keep using your phone.

    3) spending $300? Wait for a used AK Jr. It's better than anything in the A&K lineup than the top players these days. The original AK120 is on par/trades blows but is a weird form factor.

    4) spending $1000? Get a used ZX2 if you're into more of an organic, natural sound, a used QP1R if your tastes lean the way of @shotgunshane

    5) want to spend more than $1000 on a DAP? Log off the internet and put all your budget into a retirement account.

    Live with your new IEMs for a bit then ask yourself if you're dissatisfied. Don't buy anything until you are.

    Don't listen to this advice. The Mojo sucks. Two of the three board members of this site think it sucks and the other thinks it's okay but not that great compared to other products in the space. I'm getting tired of the Mojo lover crew crapping up the forum with its praises.

    Also, anyone (I'm looking at you @Kattefjaes) telling you to use Mojo via USB is either a terrible person or deaf. It's like Rob Watts and co used USB for dummies as their implementation guide.
     
    Pe8er, kida, Poleepkwa and 12 others like this.
  14. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Weirdly, I am not having major problems, via an old Galaxy S3 with very little running on it (in flight mode). Certainly I hear a lot less of the "prickly" stuff that I could hear when running it from even a relatively non-noisy Windows box. Admittedly, it's a travel rig, used with middling (SE535) IEMs, but really quite acceptable. Of the choices that I could actually buy*, I don't hate it too much. I wouldn't use it as a desktop DAC any more, there are better cheaper options, but I'm doing just fine with it as a portable unit. It actually sounds pretty decent, once you dodge all the usability bullets.

    The Mojo has little or no filtering on its USB and terrible RF rejection, so you have to avoid having your phone in an adjacent pocket- that sucks balls (in a bad way). Sadly, I didn't know that when I bought it, as the HF adoration parade circlejerk will never ever admit that any Chord product has any flaws. You can't even discuss mitigation strategies with them, as they go insane at the mere idea of anything needing mitigation. It's even worse with DAVE fans, but Mojo fans are still a sufficiently brainwashed subset.

    I'd consider S/PDIF from a DAP or something if I needed to buy, but I had the S3 just lying about. Hell, if I had to buy it all new for a strictly mobile setup, a ZX2 would probably be a simpler option. However, that won't suit everyone.

    I am a terrible person, though- that bit goes without saying.



    * I did actually want a GO of some kind, but being a noob, couldn't work out which model was which- and also most of them seemed to be unavailable with no obvious lead time and (worse yet) signs of internet rage about delays when I googled- so I elected to buy something that was actually in stock at a UK dealer. I probably would be able to choose one these days.. but back then? No chance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  15. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    @zerodeefex

    Thanks for the advice. I'll spend a fair bit of time with my new CIEM first and later decide whether I should need a new source upgrade or not.

    Truth to be told, as much as I feel the Mojo is better sounding than my Fiio X1's basic player, I never thought of it as a "Must Have" despite the overwhelming glowing reviews it had on Head Fi.

    But at this point, I figured that modding might be considered as I still don't find my current DAP to be anything terribly bad. Just not as versatile and technically capable as other more expensive players if anything else.

    But you're right. I'll give my player about 6 months or so and see how it goes with my custom in-ears first.
     
  16. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Guess I should clarify my point on the Mojo (at risk of further crapping up this thread). My experience is that the Mojo is a very good DAC, especially given it's size/portability. Personally I don't love the Mojo's amp section (or lack-there-of depending on how you define "amp"). In my portable setup I pair the Mojo with an ALO CV5, which helps boost the SQ quite a bit - much more to my tastes. And yes, my stack is not as portable as some would like, but it makes me happy. YMMV, etc.

    Another option I haven't heard brought up here lately is the LHL GO V2+, which has a great form factor for pairing with a smartphone. Zero - where does the V2+ land in your preferences?

    And overall I totally agree with the point that you should invest in good HPs/IEMs before going as crazy on the DAP.

    Cheers all and Happy Thanksgiving

    PS - Sorry, but the "two of three board members" comment had me instantly think of "four out of five dentists recommend..." ;)
     
  17. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I meant SBAF board members, btw.


    I like the V2+ SE I own but I'm biased. I'm on the board of LH Labs. I can say it's the finest battery powered mobile DAC I've ever heard with only the GO2A SE possibly edging it out. I was talking with an anonymous manufacturer the other day and mentioned the V2+ SE measures less than 800 femtoseconds of jitter and they laughed and mentioned it's a whole different ball game.
     
  18. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Beware completely positive reviews of anything- if people aren't bitching about some aspect of it, they're probably fanboys or in denial- nothing is perfect :)
     
  19. Arthur Chor

    Arthur Chor Rando

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    Yeah, that much I know.

    As much as people recommend the Mojo to me, I always look for alternatives because I believe there'll always be something with far better value for money, and Mojo's not even close to being a "good value" DAC Amp for me.
     
  20. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    It's not cheap. It's also quite polarising, legions of angry fanboys and angry detractors too. It also has some annoying practical gotchas in use. That said, I like how mine sounds with IEMs- though I have cursed it occasionally.
     

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