Showing 1 of 60 conversations about:
NiteNinja
121
Sep 22, 2019
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Unless you absolutely need a rugged audio player, any of LG's older V-series phones will have a good enough internal DAC to power all but the best headphones, for less. But I really can't knock on it without comparing side by side either.
Sep 22, 2019
Whitedragem
128
Sep 22, 2019
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The quad DAC LGs are good, but nowhere near this level of good. a youtube reviewer who has really pushed LG phone sound quality was humble enough (in a compare with a FIIO X5) to admit wholeheartedly, that LG phones are ‘better than other phones’, but don’t really hold mustard to a decent DAP. https://youtu.be/MZUvPQ6SN5I Courtesy of Pocketnow his tone of voice and body language show how truly surprised he was about giving said advice without ‘really knowing’... fortunately in the compare video he acknowledges just how great dedicated DAPs really are. everydays’ a school day :-) edit; I hadn’t watched that video in a long while; the ‘science part’ confirms that amp power is the big differences, but the two sentences mid play that describes the subtle audio differences are actually what headfi-ers are always striving for- the wider sound stage, richness, subtle nuances and better bass control are what is found when going up tiers of equipment. The reviewer confirms they are not an audiogod, but the presentation is honest enough that ‘those in the know’ know that the dedicated digital audio player trounced all phones. preemptively speaking; newer phones aren’t going to be worlds different/ enough to magically climb several tiers of sound quality. (I dont deny that they may improve noticably over other phones) If we want to play the game of ‘moving goalposts’ then newer DAPs should also be considered. The Opus above would destroy the FIIO (X5iii) if being compared by pundits of headfi etc. (it is a few classes of equipment higher again)
(Edited)
Sep 22, 2019
NiteNinja
121
Sep 23, 2019
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Yeah I did read that the V series does have trouble with 300ohm units, which it's sold to supposedly be able to drive. Just one thing they have over a dedicated audio player; support. As newer audio formats come out, typically software can be upgraded to handle it (like PowerAmp). However, just like video formats, that happens rarely. However my dad has a plasma TV that cannot decode .mkv formats, and there's no way to upgrade what is a really nice TV. But I did enjoy your read and sources, as someone who only wades through the realm of audio, it's always nice to learn more about it.
Sep 23, 2019
Whitedragem
128
Sep 23, 2019
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Actually I use a plasma TV as well -it has 1080 lines of motion resolution, where even my partners (reference) phillips TV, one of the top tier ambilight units, is only (1280x)720 resolution- yet gives more MOTION RESOLUTION than majority of the 4K sets sold today (a metric seldom used to sell TVs cause no one seems to want to spend the money making quality sets when consumers are easily manipulated... but I digress.. adding mkv format? easy: use an external box! I picked up a flagship netgear EVA9000 for less than a (small) banknote. So many format wars that grabbing top tier parts from a few years ago is very real thing. The dolby digital output from that box (and the colour red that it renders) is exceptional, and gives a wider clearer soundstage and vastly cleaner dialogue than the several thousand dollar disc spinners in the house. No kidding. last week I had several mkv capable playback devices, all very expensive parts on release, thrown in with a sub $100 mac mini I purchased. I love second hand bargains. I gather ‘dad’ might not want another remote or deal with switching.. and sometimes a dedicated PS3 for $40 can prove a better way to navigate netflix, but then who wants to use another controller for input etc... But reference picture? Worth keeping. Hope his OLED replacement proves ‘worth the wait’ :-) cheers for the cheer. actually - you could give dad your old LG phone with a Mobile Hi-Def link (MHL cable) or maybe a chromecast... with regards to 300ohm drive loads; yeah... I kept wondering why some Beyer T90 headphones sounded so ‘sleep inducing’ from my FIIO X5 (which tames their sibilance), then I realised I really needed to turn it up to full volume. for the record the X5 only gives around 28mA at 300ohm loads; I think the X7 (certainly with the THX amp module) would do justice. regarding the X5 FiiO vs LG, the ‘pocketnow’ youtube clip at around the midway point in the video it shows some computer plots revealing the power output of said phone and DAP. The LG phone slayed the Samsung S8 it was compared to... (for power output). Of course matching amps so as not to skew sound is a whole other can of worms.. but yeah,.. those LG phones really do give something that the average punter just doesn’t understand might help them. Amps are not just for ‘more volume’.
(Edited)
Sep 23, 2019
NiteNinja
121
Sep 23, 2019
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Well I'm not going to give up my LG V20 until either it becomes functionally obsolete, it dies, or I die. The V30 and beyond just became another Apple/Samsung clone, much to my dismay. We figured out that the decoding issue is the audio. In .mkv, it wouldn't decode 5.1 surround on my PLEX server movies, and now Netflix uses .mkv too. That was both through his soundbar via TOSLINK and through the TV speakers. We tried a Nexus player, Amazon fire TV, and Roku, none of them would do hardware level decoding. We found just using an old laptop with HDMI out seemed to do the trick. I have a Mitsubishi DLP projector that is 1280x800 I paid $100 for and it's clearer than many 1080p LCD TVs I've seen, even at 120". But case in point back to the dedicated audio player I've been commenting on... I don't own a high end set of cans that would benefit from one of these. Why I feel the LG V20 I have is "good enough." I'm right in the middle when it comes to audio preferences. I flick my nose at people who thinks Bluetooth is "good enough", yet, I can't justify spending $300+ for headphones when I spent that on my entire Polk Audio 4.1 home theatre speaker set, and another $200 for the Pioneer 1131 7.2 A/V receiver I'm using.
Sep 23, 2019
Whitedragem
128
Sep 23, 2019
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They are some nice pieces you’ve acrued. it is hard to qualify expensive ‘upgrades/sidegrades’ for minimal increases. I really feel what consumers need to figure out is where the bang for buck nets us the best we are comfy spending. my teenager has reason to have a hifi. they were bought a nice set of headphones (sennheiser on ear momentums (gen 1))many many years ago, and have done an exceptional job looking after them. A cable was destroyed a year or so ago, and so they could no longer be used with the microphone cable for phone calls (to the other parents house). Preempting the remaining cable dying, and not wanting to be stuck shelling out for an expensive upgrade/sidegrade, I kept an eye out and nabbed some second hand momentum over ears (gen 1). For a little bit more than the cost of the replacement cables I had added another practical tool to have around the house. (Different sound) most headphone peeps (those with ‘a few sets’) realise that the cost of a set of headphones that does ‘all genres well’(if such a set exists) is more money than having three or four ‘very well regarded’ ‘cans. that is why some nice closed backs with a certain bass responce might be preference for electronic dance music, and some large driver open backs the preference for classical/chamber music etc.. of course prefered recordings for each hifi/set of headphones starts to get built up. anyhow, i digress.. having seen how well my wee one looked after the headphones, and having gotten more seriously into audio lately (finds apple music unlistenable vs uncompressed recordings now that the music habits are extending into grunge and industrial, all of a sudden my digital audio player is being ‘borrowed’ frequently, otherwise outboard DACs are being used with the tablet or phone. The weird thing is I bought a creative e5 years ago as a ‘jack of all trades’ device. It was a joke part to an audiofool like myself, but fit with the budget for a sound upgrade for my daughters momentums. I expected the amp component to be noisier than an iDevice, but that the DAC would likely be more musical. It was a gamble, and tombe fair it wasnt just bought for headphone sound quality-DAC and amp. (An E5 does so much stuff that the practical ways it was used, and still is, qualified it as one of the best audio purchases of my life (and I once paid $500 aussie dollars for a boxed/as new Denon DCD S10 with a superclock mod and twenty odd blackgate caps upgraded throughout))... anyhow a bad experience on my childs first use, where the E5 jumps to ‘full volume output’ when connecting to iDevices had the product passed over for a couple of years ‘as a headphone amp/DAC. Now my child happily uses it as it seriously flogs the included sound of mainstream/massmarket stuff (eg phones). that is not something i thought I would ever say about creative products. (Very ‘mass market’ products themselves). now an e5 is as entry level hifi as a person can buy. so, being a teenager, and being a few years since I had bought my child anything audio, I nabbed a $100 cambridge audio ‘the one’ (a cute little one box hifi unit). upon getting it home and ‘testing’, i realised the CD section actually sounded better than my rotel rcd971, a cd player from the 90s (likely more to do with the unserviced ‘jittery’ old cd player). a set of early generation castle acoustics speakers from the early seventies, well maintained and recently serviced, being a true timber build, and not veneer like later models, and for ‘less than the cost of an ‘entry level’ set of hifi cans’, we have a full high fidelity system. my child refuses other headphones, even the ‘bigger’ momentums, as they prefer the voicing of the ‘on ears’. does yesteryears equipment still sound great? Absolutely! would i pay many thousands of dollars for modern equivalents. Not for someone elses system,. Maybe i would expect ‘quite a few’ car washes in return ;-) the point of my long rant/diatribe; when we know our budget and are patient/pre emptive, we can build to our requirements AND save a lot of coin. This is where Drop is fantastic. we might have to wait awhile, but the payoff is saving money, money that can be used towards the next great project. when i see spec sheet keyboard warriors warn other prospective drop customers to avoid a piece of tech because it doesnt have some feature, i like to consider the importance of that feature. an example would be ‘apt x hd’ on a DAP. If the digital audio player is being purchased for its DAC chip(s) and amp, and then someone denounces the part for not having the latest bluetooth codec (LDAC etc), which BYPASSES the DAC & amp circuits, then the DAP might as well be a phone. Would probably serve as a better, more capable player.... any benefit of the expensive DAP is mostly lost. a consumer warning others away from a part when clearly they dont understand the tech, or the buying motivations towards the equipment makes for some pretty ‘poor advise’. recently i nabbed a nuforce icon hdp on drop for a mate. he listens nearly exclusively to bluray music discs. He has a very average bluray player ($500 price point, but included a hdd recorder etc),.. he has spent years assembling his stereo. An entry level marantz stereo amp with some bowers and wilkins domestic monitors from the early eighties. Cables are sorted. Room is sorted. Furniture is sorted. A DAC upgrade is about all thats left to do.... will a $130 ‘budget’ (thankyou Drop) part massively upgrade his sound. Yep! does he need to pay four times the money for the same sound quality and MQA support? No way! Yet so many people filling these forums with ‘knowledge’ would steer him to a newer part. with the rate consumers keep dumping the old and buying into new formats (4K, DSD etc) last years ‘top tier tech’ makes for great value aquisitions. the money saved buying outdated, leaves ‘more coin in the kitty’ for todays tech on clearance, tomorrow. i know this is a blurb. Anyone enjoying this ‘too long;didn’t read’ epic, yay! as consumers there are a few truths many from my generation and above will glean from these paragraphs. i understand little johnnys will always try to educate me as to why their brand new toy with spec sheet bragging rights blows away everything i’ve ever known... i will just spin my supertramp ‘some things never change’ HDCD and enjoy beautiful transparent music that makes me happy. I know that i could stream it and need an mqa supporting DAC and internet bandwidth etc to have the joy of it being apart of some massive playlist. for the dollars saved it suits me fine to walk across the room ;-)
Sep 23, 2019
NiteNinja
121
Sep 23, 2019
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I understand the sentiment on older tech. My grandfather gave me some old Infinity floor standing speakers, their build quality is far superior to any floor standing speakers I've been around these days. The speakers themselves, unfortunately, are long gone as their cone fabric deteriorated over time, but I'm in the process of restoring them. I won't be able to find the original speakers of course, so I've been searching for good 'midrange' bang for buck replacements for the 8", 4.5" and 3" respective speaker ports. The cabinet is sealed and filled with some kind of foam, which I never seen before either but after some research, apparently that improves the frequency response of a sealed cabinet. I was considering porting the cabinets but now I'm probably gonna give them a chance as the original sealed unit before porting. The speakers so far that peaked my interest are the HiVi M*N series, seem to be well balanced and would be optimal for the use these speakers will eventually become - the front channels to my home theater. My PC has a Sound Blaster Omni 5.1 as its external DAC. The unit itself is nothing to be amazed at, a standard USB-powered DAC to provide surround sound to my Acer Predator Helios 500 laptop, when docked with USB-C hub. However the software used makes it sound as good as any hardline solution I've used in desktops past. However, again, I'm not using studio-grade speakers at the PC either, just a Logitech 5.1 kit. But the SNR is great, and very little distortion at higher volumes, especially compared to just using off the board audio. I was pleasantly surprised when I cracked open my Pioneer 1151 A/V receiver though, it seems to have many analog smoothening passes before going to the outputs. I half expected them to use digital smoothening to cut costs. I have yet to crank that system, as its only a year old, but at comfortable levels, and calibration, I have reached a sweet spot for the setup. I hope it lasts as long as my dad's old surround sound receiver, which he dug out of the shed not too long ago (you know, he got the itch to get surround after I did, but he doesn't have a dedicated TV room at his house like I do at mine haha), and its nearly 25 years old as well. I'm good with a soldering iron and helped him to replace 2 corroded potentiometers that were giving issues, and after that, worked perfectly (abiet no way to get a HDMI device to it, but it did have optical, so better than nothing I guess). Why I never judge by specs on Massdrop, and instead, hit the comments section to get an idea and opinions of people who actually know what they're talking about.
Sep 23, 2019
Whitedragem
128
Sep 23, 2019
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Oh matey!!!- You can fix stuff- legendary. the world of quality hifi is your oyster. keep those speakers sealed, definately... speaker designs are a consideration and the parts generally selected are built to suit. Porting speakers has been a thing for quite awhile. (Eg the early seventies Castle ‘Kendals’ are front ported).. many speakers without porting are designed that way.. the ‘loading’ is factored into their sound output. Definately re surround those infinities’. not to say you couldn’t buy replacement drivers, but the crossovers and driver units have been built to achieve a certain sound.. and you are right in that many modern speakers cost a lot more than their equivalent models of old. (Even factoring $ conversion) Bargains from yesteryear are worth considering. With regards to your dads hifi, if it is 25 years, it is pre ‘dolby digital’. Dolby surround used a matrix decode to figure out the extra two channels.. (it was created from a two channel source).. so source was stereo:L & R (left and right), centre was derived from L + R, and the rear was frequency limited, and mono and processed from L-R.. it still achieved incredible surround positioning. Yamahas’ legendary DSPa1000 ruled the hifi theatre amp of the year for about 8 years in a row if I am correct, and it even had front effects speakers, (like 15-25watts that added ambiance/echo for the DSP, which was actually Digital Soundfield Processing, not every competitors version of DSP which was Digital Signal Processing. The difference? Yamahas customer LSIs’ (Large Scale integration, custom processors) held room information for 50 + famous venues from around the world... when you selected Jazz club,.. fifty odd microphones had recorded the presense of some beautiful acoustic space, and now you could replay YOUR music from the stage.... Yamaha DSP was something special. If Dads amp isn’t a top tier Yammy, or something else ‘beyond esoteric’ (costing a third the cost of a car back then...) then next time it has an issue, just replace it with anything post ‘dolby digital’. Ideally with DTS. (And/or six channel inputs) Case in point- a flagship 8500$ receiver circa 2000 generally resells for $200 today. heck I nabbed a Denon AVR 3300 for $50 a few weeks ago... (It wasn’t quite flagship, but certainly worth $50)... Those flagship parts will make any dolby digital soundtrack sound vastly better than cheapie bluray surround setups that technically play back dts master audio. (Just not very well) Case in point, a few years ago I ran a Denon 3807 (it has HDMI and could do ‘lossless surround’ formats) on lossless formats it did sound better than an Onkyo TS-dx989 (a flagship from 2000), but on dolby digital stuff, the much older onkyo destroyed it for sound playback. (The Onkyo is THX Ultra back when that was something to brag about (not ‘THX select’ “consumers want a THX bragging right)(THX multimedia etc)) For a very little amount of money (probably less than your time servicing the older part might be worth) you could net a massive upgrade in surround sound quality. dolby surround was great (Xfiles/thesimpsons etc) back in the nineties, but dolby digital, and more so DTS were a nice step up. (Proper dedicated channels, so stuff could pan from rear left to rear right rather than the rears being a mono sound that was steered from the front speakers...) HDMI is an easy way to pass lossless formats... I retired that crappy sounding Denon 3807 (not picking on Denon, just that unit doesn’t hold a candle to flagship receivers) in favour of higher quality bluray players with six /eight channel outputs.. So I can feed the lossless formats into the THX Ultra amplifier. to be fair I take things a step further, generally using true high quality outboard power amplifiers to handle Left/Right/Centre etc... we don’t all need our home cinema to be better than the one down the road that people pay money to sit in.. but... I do like an amp that can do music well. I have seldom heard a surround receiver than does. Flagships generally being the exception to the rule as they sometimes have ‘hand selected parts’ critical to top tier audio playback. The onkyo Ts-dx989 (eek model from memory) actually can play rock music and not make me cringe. It isn’t about volume but the way it renders the music. Mostly I have never used surround amps for my music playback which generally favour 2 channel setups. For your dad to not be ‘dissapointed’ if you ever have to replace his receiver,.. just buy the best ‘most expensive launch price’ part available on the second hand market. anything preHDMI has zero resale value and is worth nabbing for pennies. Being able to use COAX for digital sound will make for a nicer playback. Wouldn’t worry about eight and ten (or even six channel setups). 5.1 is fine for true surround sound. And is what netflix etc are expecting... (dolby digital) If you can find something with a setup microphone and an awesome re-equalisation (no doubt like your pioneer ‘air studios’ recalibration can do..) then mixing speakers and having odd placements/uneven room layouts can sound quite seamless... we hear the soundfield intended and the ease of setup is too cool... I literally just loaned my two sound pressure level metres and THX optomiser discs to a local business to extend to customers to ‘self help’.. but true, most people don’t need this stuff anymore due to auto setup built in to modern surround systems. The few times I have heard dedicated processor boxes (for surround sound) - another option for Dads setup (if it has six channel inputs) - they sound brilliant. Literally DACs for surround sound! twelve years ago I picked up a yamaha first gen dolby digital decoder for $20 more recently a parasound part of similar design (with DTS etc) I imagine you could find one for the cost of a few beers, and it would bring dads kit out of the dark ages and offer a massive performance upgrade to boot... Or even feed from your PC and then into those logitechs for a sound upgrade few consider, and some get.... (big smiles when they hear them...) TL:DR good idea- the entire text is specific to the OP
Sep 23, 2019
YearZer0
11
Sep 24, 2019
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No offense, but I'm surprised you would post all that.
Sep 24, 2019
Whitedragem
128
Sep 24, 2019
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(Guessing this was for me)- I am not offended at other peoples’ surprise. The world is an amazing and dynamic place where so much unexpected stuff happens. It is perhaps unusual that people trust to put up personal details on potentially cold webforums. NN and my convo perhaps could have moved to Personal Messages I am fairly new to this community with regards to posting/-quite a long time visitor if we consider the relative short history of (Mass)Drop.. I generally write stuff that most people know or ‘take for granted that others know’. I do that here simply because, having worked retail and understanding the varying needs of a range of customer, some just want to be able to commit with confidence, and ‘don’t have time to run around and research’. As I do the research anyway, and can type quickly, I like to offer up thoughts with the motivation of presenting ‘both sides to a topic’ or as unbiased as possible. Of course we all have personal bias, but many years studying counselling and various related disciplines have nurtured (in me) a skill set that is natural to tie together and offer up to others. Some refer to it as ‘right vocation’. I feel that by covering a few of the issues that a person might be mulling over, and extending their thoughts towards further posts to clarify- its becomes like an informal counselling session. OF course with no money handover or professional contract in place it is more like ‘friendship’ and often will be advice, something a counsellor role is generally not (the aim being to assist a person to make their own decisions). Drop as a forum is filled with nice people who aren’t all demanding, based on ego, ‘they are experts’. Many forums such as GSMARENA and HEADFI have gone through great changes as different demographics start to identify with the posts and enrol to the community. My grandmother lived ‘everyday is a school day’; and taught me well. I am confident in who I am and am not always writing to establish my worth to others, although, being human, I suppose my ego will creep in. The only weakness of typing fast and doing this for free is that I don’t (often) care to proofread and my texts could often be improved if only for a few paragraphs being cut and pasted around to keep the order flowing naturally. (?you get what you pay for?) I do like to use humour where possible, like to define terms and give context (that bulks posts a lot) and write personal example in mostly to clarify to readers why my opinion might we worth a grain of salt. Buying stuff is often retail therapy. We should be able to buy with confidence. Sadly technology and ‘spec sheet manipulation’ go hand in hand when it comes to sales. White belt / yellow belt (think martial arts) consumers who can read spec sheets and are looking for certain figures often are the ones I reach out to.. I was thinking of making a community post to introduce myself and write these things, but felt that was a bit of a wenky thing to do. Hope this post isn’t in the TooLong;Didn’tRead category. I know most people prefer youtube clips ;-) Thanks for your time given :-)
Sep 24, 2019
SexPandaByOdeon
12
Sep 25, 2019
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Your skillset sounds like the typical audiophile forum user, as to say you're perfectly at home here. And if you actually care about the reader, put a quick paragraph of your thoughts and opinions first, then follow it by your TL;DR section. You'll get your point across for every flavor of reader. Not all of us prefer vids.
Sep 25, 2019
Evshrug
1753
Feb 13, 2020
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I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s faster and clearer to read than to watch a talking head on YouTube... but YouTube is popular, the place to be seen. I admit I skimmed over some parts, but I read through all your posts in this thread (especially the parts pertaining to headphones, kind of skipped over the AVRs because I’m pretty happy with my budget setup), and I agree with everything I read. Thanks for sharing.
Feb 13, 2020
Evshrug
1753
Feb 13, 2020
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You may have already realized this courtesy of @Whitedragem, but just to point out... a DAC doesn’t “power” headphones. DAC chips are fairly off the shelf, self contained consistent parts, but they are implemented into a circuit with an analog section and an amp, both of which are what “powers” or drives a headphone. One thing I repeat and repeat about smartphones: they’re designed to be “all things to all people,” and the cost for designing and building that is divided up into many parts including things that have nothing to do with audio, like the camera, high-res screen, cellular signal strength, etc etc. The “budget” for Audio stuff is smaller than what it would be for a dedicated DAP. Furthermore, Smartphone amplification is sacrificed for a Thinner body and longer battery life within that body. A smartphone, particularly LG, might be good for IEMs and portable headphones, or as a transport for connecting to a large desktop setup, but it just can’t provide the voltage and amplifier output to make full-size headphones sound their best. I’m not talking about summit-fi, I mean HD 6XX or TH-X0 (and up).
Feb 13, 2020
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