DAP talk (formerly best DAPs 2015)

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

  1. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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  2. YMO

    YMO Friend

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  3. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Promotion video looks like its the same S- Master 3778 chip as the previous ZX300, but quite a few changes have been made to the analog and power supply sections.
     
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  4. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    How much of an improvement from a45 to zx300 is there? I'm considering jumping on the JVC FDX1 drop and will probably jump on one of the new wifi models to go along with the earphones. How ridiculous is owning a $700+ DAP for $250 IEMs? If the JVCs scale well it might not be so ridiculous. I have tried Andros with ZX300 and know I like the Sony DAP sound.
     
  5. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    The FD01/FDX1 aren't that power hungry, so it's more a matter of synergy IMO. Assuming you own an A45 and like it, I would try that combo out first with FDX1 and if possible compare with ZX300/500 before you decide. The A45's EQ doesn't look to have as granular an interface as the ZX300, but may be be sufficient for any tweaking that needs to be done.

    I run FD01/EX1000 from ZX300 and Andros from ZX2, so it's not like I'm against being ridiculous.
     
  6. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    Just found a comment on youtube by someone at IFA stating the ZX500 will be around €900. ZX300 or the A100 it is then.
     
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  7. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I saw something similar on HF searching for price.
    I don't think I can justify USD1k just to have Wi-Fi.
    I'll live with the OTG umbilical from ZX300 to my phone if I need it.
     
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  8. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    IMO, Sony’s A series DAPs hardly have a passable sound quality. They also have slower UI (except for A15 and A25 which were pretty slick). Also price of Sony DAPs drop in just a few months and you probably could pick up a used ZX507 on head-fi for $600 by then. Just my $0.02.

    My concern with the ZX507 though, is if the screen would be large enough for a good android experience.
     
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  9. Ash1412

    Ash1412 Friend

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    A lot of the changes to the ZX507 (Better isolation of the digital processors from audio critical stuff now that processors are run harder to support Android, Better capacitors for SE Output, 720p screen vs 480p, USB-C) seem to be in favor of widening the use cases (streaming, MP4, better for 3.5mm plug n play) while maintaining sound quality instead of pushing it much beyond the ZX300 when run optimally (balanced). Its a good direction to push in for sure, like how modern Sony cameras work well for every possible application, but for the ZX500 you end up with some huge compromises like 30% less battery life and $200 over the ZX300's MSRP, which you'd already be a fool to buy at. I do want streaming options and non-gimped 3.5mm personally but for that price, I can buy a ZX300 and an A100 (with the cool 40th anniversary packaging) for both use cases (quality and convenience), deck them out with 128GB cards and still have money to spare.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  10. Nordpol Anton

    Nordpol Anton Rando

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    Did you have time to compare the stainless steel and copper versions of the SP2000 yet? Would be interested to hear which the sound differences those two models have (and if there‘s a notable sound difference between the older SP1000 dap and the new ones).
     
  11. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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    AK just got their SP2000 in earlier this week for RMAF. I should be heading down around next week Thursday to check them out.
     
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  12. taisserroots

    taisserroots Friend

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    I'm personally not a fan of what android does with the audio stack, I find it worse for the music than wdm on foobar instead of asio.

    Aside from special dap applications I'm not sure if there are modified versions of streaming apps which bypass the audio stack processing
     
  13. netforce

    netforce MOT: TSAV

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    Little delayed, but got the listening demo at Astell and Kern in Irvine. Heard the SP2000 in Stainless Steel and Copper along with their Layla Aion and T9iE and brought my Ether 2 and UE18+.

    SP2000 Copper vs Stainless Steel
    Copper is warmer than the Stainless Steel. Not by very much but I could see anyone being fine with one or the other. My preference would be towards the Copper with the gear I tested. The SS was a little bit more detailed and better clarity compared to the Copper. So I would say the tradeoffs between the two would be warmth vs detail/clarity.

    From personal experience, it seems like the Copper is the more popular option when it came to the AK380, SP1000, and SP2000.

    On the Layla Aion and T9iE I was on 2.5mm and hovering around 50 volume, UE18+ on 3.5mm around 75 volume, on the Ether 2 with 2.5mm around 100 volume.

    Didn't hear any noise floor on any of the IEMs. T9iE was with the AK tuning so the treble was much more relaxed compared to the other Beyer IEMs. Layla Aion I left on the 12 o'clock bass tuning and had a balanced sound signature on what I heard. Nice bass on treble extension on the Layla Aion compared to the T9iE.

    And they drove the Ether 2 quite well though the E2 are quite efficient. The SP2000 and Kann Cube have the most power of any of the non-amped AK players and it helped really bring out the subbass on the Ether 2.

    Also the microsd card slot is now at the bottom of the unit and doesn't need the cellphone pick to change the card compared to the SP1000.

    Didn't have a SP1000 on hand to compare unfortunately.
     
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  14. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    I haven't seen anything about the Lotoo PAW 6000 in these pages, except my recent profile post.

    My previous DAP ownership experience is the lowly Fiio X3 MK III and the substantially more upmarket AR M-2. On the other end of the scale I have heard the PAW Gold Touch and HiFiMan R2R2K, both of which are astonishing. The 6000 does not quite match these exotics but is definately in the desktop replacement category for me (not that I see myself literally replacing my desktop rigs any time soon) as is the M-2.

    If I narrow it down to 6000 vs M-2 for now, the M-2 sounds more powerful but also paints with a thicker brush, missing out on some of the delicious detail that the 6000 churns out. 6000 is more neutrally tuned, which I like, and is an absolute beaut of a match with the IE800. I suppose I should explore grander IEMs but I'm happy with this setup for now. Build quality is as good as I've seen in DAPs.

    What sets the Lotoo products apart, other than their beautifully balanced signatures, is the super snappy UI. Think CD player vs cell phone startup .... Mere seconds.

    Almost forgot to add I also got the wickedly nice silver Campfire Audio cable (Pentaconn) that works a treat with HD800.
     
  15. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    So, I have looked at the last four pages of this thread. What do you guys have against the IBasso DX 220. Why such love for the Sony ZX 300? I have a ZX300 and it is nice for cheap, but the IBasso blows it away even with the standard amp. I myself prefer the IBasso through my Senn 660S with Norne SC-3 or Oppo PM-3. CA Andros ate very nice too.
     
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  16. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Do you run the ZX300 balanced? Do you think the ZX300 treble is too boring for you? You think the low end of the DAP is a little not fulfilling for you?
     
  17. ajaxender

    ajaxender Rando

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    I've seen barely any talk about anything from iBasso on here in the last few years.

    I did have a DX200 a few years ago, with the stock amp (balanced and normal output, minor if any difference) and the first balanced amp they made for it (different but not strictly better than stock, and was not the 4.4mm socket one that had a lot of hype behind it on head-fi). I sold it a few months after I bought a ZX300.

    Key points:
    • I 100% preferred the sound the ZX300 produced via the balanced output, over anything my DX200 could do (and the Mojo, for that matter). I think that the ZX300 is not special at all through the 3.5mm socket (and I'm not alone). In fact I would, and regularly do, take my Hiby R3 over it if I don't have a balanced cable for an IEM.

    • Usability wise, as far as I'm concerned the ZX300 is so freakin far ahead of what Ibasso was doing it was no contest. Much smaller and lighter, but dramatically better battery life, and a considerably better UI. The DX200 was out the door even if I had no preference on sound. However, none of my listening requires networking or other Android things, nor do I regularly use headphones via a DAP.

    • ZX300 gets love for value and being a really safe choice, more than anything. Especially the A version for what, about $300? No major flaws, can even do network stuff via your phone, and now theres even an Android version of it if you really need that.

    • There are clear tradeoffs (at least dramatically higher price) for anything 'better', as far as I can tell. Eg DX220 might well be dramatically better sounding than the DX200 and if I ever get the chance to try one I might even think it sounds better than the ZX300 - but it's still gonna be a damn brick that I get sick of lugging around and having to remember to charge every day or so.
     
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  18. Claud

    Claud Friend

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    I have one of those HiBy R3s too. Great sound and form factor for the price. Bought one for Christmas to give my son along with CA Vegas and a Norne silver 2.5 balanced cable. I usually use CA andros or Atlas to rock out. I am sorry you and others have not experienced the IBasso DX 220, especially with the Amp 8.
     
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  19. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Great point. @Claud are you using the balanced output of the ZX300?
     
  20. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    The only iBasso product that I previously owed was the DX50 with the WM8740 DAC built in. After a year the 3.5mm headphone jack started to become disconnected from the motherboard. It later broke and became non-useful. I did use it as a Mini-Coax DAP Transport which wasn't bad. Then I sold it and realized they could had done a better job with a built qualify.

    Then I had the HifiMan HM-603 which after eight months the screen of it just broke when I took it out of my pocket with no pressure. The screen was plastic.

    Then that started my path of not being the biggest fan of ChiFi DAPs. After the Fiio X5 3rd Gen with its glitchy software Android 5.0 Based OS (and while having two MicroSD card slots, everytime you pause a file from the second MicroSD card slot, the whole player will crash), I'm like give me something solid OS for once. Sony on this part has been great, including doing FW that makes their DAPs perform better (WM1A was slow to search and scan at the start but later firmwares made it a lot faster and added more useful features). Then again, Sony on the WM1A is using their own OS, which shows the greatest advantage of using your own OS and not Android: Battery Life and full control of the OS. Android was design for smartphone first and foremost, and yes you can modified it for your needs. But at that point I feel like it is taking a boring Chevy Cruze (aka Holden Cruze) and putting a Corvette engine in it. Yeah it's fast, but it's still looks and feels like a boring Chevy Cruze.

    With the newer Sony DAPs having 3.5mm and 4.4mm, they put more effort in the 4.4mm. It is always recommended if you have a Sony DAP with 4.4mm to use that and not the 3.5mm if you can.

    Going back to ChiFi DAPs, @Scubadude impression of the Lotoo 6000 cause me to become interested in it. At least they are using their own OS, and the other Lotoo DAPs appears to have good reviews without the usual ChiFi memes.

    Another thing to consider is not everything would like the Sony sound: Treble can be relaxed, lush midranges, and lows that feels more realistic and not really full sounding at times. Of course you can EQ it if you want, but I don't want to mess around with that stuff.
     
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