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Thanks for the price heads up. Just so you are aware that they are different machines. The main difference I have found is the DAC chip. The model listed here, the IHIFI770, has the WM8740 chip and the one from eBay, the IHIFI770C has the lesser WM8718 chip. On the IHIFI770C, the average going price seems to be around $105 + shipping from Hong Kong. The IHIFI770 is going for $180 +/_ and then shipping, again from Hong Kong.
Hope this helps.
How does the different chip make a difference? File rendering, or sound quality, or power?
A DAC isn't about power at all. That's an amplifiers job further down the path, so it's all about file rendering and the sound character, quality or color.
The chip handles the digital source and converts it to an analog signal. Much like a cartridge on a LP player. That signal then gets amplified and fed to your device of choice for converting electrical energy into sound waves. Headphones or speakers. Digital 1s and 0s become thumps.
At each step, the DAC, amplification, sound creation, even cables.... you influence the character of the final sound. DAC chips can color or distort the sound depending on their architecture. Also the speed of the data crunching, energy efficiency, etc. is a measured characteristic of each chip. Kind of like the processors effect the overall performance of computer.
The Wolfson WM8740 chip, in this Xuelin IHIFI 770 player, is a top of the line DAC that is usually found in flagship devices like CD, DVD, BluRay, SACD, etc., players. The WM8718 chip is designed to fill the gap between Wolfsons entry level chip and the WM8740. Both good chips, but the WM8740, runs faster, cooler, cleaner, sounds better, if you can hear it. I way over simplified this. For more info I recommend the following as starters:
Thanks for that!! Appreciated
So from your experience, is this pretty much one of the best for sub $200 DAP? What are some of my other choices if possible?
Can't say for sure since I haven't played with it yet but the IHIFI 770 looks amazing on paper. I'm willing to get it just on the superior specks alone especially for this price .
I have experience with the FiiO X3, (very good at $150), the FiiO X5, (awesome at $350) and the iBasso DX100 (out dated now and did I really pay $900 for it at the time??? Yikes). There are many new players on the market, most from Asia, a few from Europe. The prices have become reasonable on some really good players.
Also in the sub $200 range FiiO X1, just released (I don't have hands on yet), is around $110 but should be a good contender.
The X5 is pricey but has capacity for 256G with 2 micro cards and sounds AWE-SOME, especially when mated with the FiiO E12 Mont Blanc amp!
Do you know of any database of DACs I can cross reference to whenever I go looking for audio stuff? Like if I want to know what DAC an iPod touch may have as oppposed to a Sony Z3 Compact, for example. Or if the Fiio e17 DAC is better than what the iPod or the Z3 have and is worth getting over just a simple amp. I'd like to avoid having to buy a DAP with a good DAC and then use a DAC/AMP combo with a worse DAC compared to the DAP one.
Thanks for the links, but I guess they're pretty specific. What I'm actually looking for is a place where I can just input the device I'm interested in, say for example an iPod touch or the Beyerdynamic A200P and it'll tell me what dac that specific device has. It's kind of hard to determine the DAC if the manufacturer themselves don't specify what dac they're using, so I most of the time resort to looking for teardowns or searching in forums.
Sorry but I haven't seen anything that convenient. I can imagine how massive a task it would be to compile all that info especially since new models come out so fast. As you noted most manufacturers like Apple don't list their internal components just to complicate things. If you find such a data base please share!