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  1. #1

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    Default High End MP3 player

    Any suggestions on a higher end MP3 player....16-32 gig....under maybe $350?

    I've done some research on iaudio and cowen and hifiman....but never heard any of these.

    thanks...

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    High end and MP3 do not go together at all. What are you trying to accomplish? You want extra features, formats, etc or just one that sounds good?

    What don't you like about an iPod Touch? I'm not a fan of the iTunes interphase but you can load your own mp3's rather than buy them from iTunes.

    I think JRiver makes some nice units, not sure you'll find a "high end" sounding mp3 player as the format is not high end.

    Just some thoughts

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I use MP3 as a generic term for a portable player....I would like "high end" sound from a portable player that I can carry in my pocket, take on a trip, using .wav, ogg or flac.....a player with a DAC that might cost more then 25 cents....

    I have a Sony Walkman (8 gig) and the sound is good even when using decent headphones, but I understand that I can step up significantly from this.....I gotta believe that a $150 player isn't going to have the highest quality components.

    Might add, would like to be able to use it as at least a smalllibrary of music that I can hook to 2 channel system when I want.

    Off base?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGabriel View Post
    I use MP3 as a generic term for a portable player....I would like "high end" sound from a portable player that I can carry in my pocket, take on a trip, using .wav, ogg or flac.....a player with a DAC that might cost more then 25 cents....

    I have a Sony Walkman (8 gig) and the sound is good even when using decent headphones, but I understand that I can step up significantly from this.....I gotta believe that a $150 player isn't going to have the highest quality components.

    Might add, would like to be able to use it as at least a smalllibrary of music that I can hook to 2 channel system when I want.

    Off base?
    Perhaps a little off base as I don't think of a portable as being a high end unit and I don't think there would be a huge market for it, especially since the iPod, unfortuneatly, is the standard, especially when talking about a "small library" of music you can hook to a 2 ch system. I don't agree that the iPod is a high end player but it has become the standard and many companies make docking units and upgraded parts for it. It seems silly to me to buy a $500-700 dock for an iPod, but it seems to be catching on like the Bose Wave Radio.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    I think your asking to much from condensed audio files.

    That said, I have found that the better the phones the better the MP3 player. I have tried a bunch from the stock in ears to Skullcandy and Sennheiser. the better the phone the better the sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

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    Nicer headphones are probably going to be your best bet as well as a player that will support FLAC, which the iPod does not do. Beyond that I doubt there is much you can find.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Like it or not...probably an iPod. Contenders like Zune and some of the others have shown promise...but in the end...it is the iPod.

    And like the others have said, your earphones may have the greatest impact on the sound.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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    There is the Zune 32GB. Here are some details. Note that it does WMA lossless.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-029-_-Product
    Here is the dock to hook it up via HDMI, digital, and component. Also note it does 720p.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-342-_-Product
    You can get these at amazon cheaper.
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    I have a Zune and a pair of Klipsch Image S4 and am very happy with the sound. A huge improvement over the stock earbuds.
    --Gary--

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    WMA lossless isn't as good as FLAC, but then again this is a portable device.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    WMA lossless isn't as good as FLAC, but then again this is a portable device.

    H9
    Why do you say that?
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    Why do you say that?
    The final product is only as good as the program that encodes it. In my limited experience FLAC made with dBpower amp sound better than WMA lossless files. Is it splitting hairs and being a little anal? Sure?

    I also don't like the lack of support of WMA files. I prefer FLAC because it has a lot more support than WMA files outside a Windows based computer. In fact I'd probably choose high bit mp3's over WMA simply because they are more universal for portable players, but that's just me.

    I use Media Monkey for all my cataloging, database, transefering between devices, computer playing, etc so FLAC and high bit mp3's are where I choose to be.

    I'm sure this is a moot point since this is a portable device and the small differences that could occur won't be audible. There is very limited support of WMA files outside of a Windows based PC.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGabriel View Post
    I use MP3 as a generic term for a portable player....I would like "high end" sound from a portable player that I can carry in my pocket, take on a trip, using .wav, ogg or flac.....a player with a DAC that might cost more then 25 cents....

    I have a Sony Walkman (8 gig) and the sound is good even when using decent headphones, but I understand that I can step up significantly from this.....I gotta believe that a $150 player isn't going to have the highest quality components.

    Might add, would like to be able to use it as at least a smalllibrary of music that I can hook to 2 channel system when I want.

    Off base?
    Not at all. Take a look at this...http://www.head-direct.com/ There are several choices, including the HiFi Man 801/2, and the 601/2. These are very high-end players, for audiophiles and those demanding the best from a portable player.

    This is also soon to be released by Little Dot: http://www.littledot.net/forum/viewt...b55c9950da15ea

    I have several Little Dot products that I have been very happy with, including and LD DAC_1 & an LD MKVII+ headphone amp, both of which are outstanding pieces, and the price is just icing on the cake.

    Keep us up to date with your purchase decision, OK?

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Last edited by polkapolka; 01-25-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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    The reason why I am going WMA is because there is no support via automotive electronics. Just make sure you turn off DRM before transcoding. Also nearly every player that does FLAC does WMA.
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
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    Matt,thanks, has given links to portable players that are the size of a deck of playing cards and allegedly have much better DAC's and other components (lareger batteries, 30+ hours of playing time)...I know higher price doesn't necessarily mean higher quality...but wouldn't an $800 portable player likely sound better than a $159-$200 one. There is a $250 Hifiman that plays all lossless sound formats...and I thin allows for swithcing out mini SD cards.....maybe my memory is bad but I think the high priced Hifiman has a Burr Brown DAC if that is impressive.

    seems like this could make a good link with a good 2 channel system....

    I am assuming that once the digital format whatever it might be is converted it can play through the 2 channel system,
    Last edited by NeilGabriel; 01-25-2011 at 11:04 AM.

  16. #16
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    I've heard good things about the HiFiMan players, and even plays up to 24/96 files I believe. Fang is the gentleman who runs head-direct.com, and he's really easy to work with.


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    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10466722-47.html

    comparison of Hifiman 801 with Ipod....makes the high priced spread sound awfully nice

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    You are welcome Neil! I think, and I get this from reading the reviews, that you would be quite happy with the 602. The link talks about the 602 sharing the same sound signature with the 801, which is quite impressive.

    If I understand you correctly, you want to be able to use this as a source for your two channel system, is that right?

    Personally, I would recommend getting the 602, and get an external DAC with the money you save vs. the 801, which will improve the sound quality on your two channel system. That is not to say that the DAC in the 601 is bad, just that if you are interested in truly great sound at home, buying an external DAC would help with the sound quality a great deal.

    Matt
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    Well, there you go . Would I spend $500-800 on a portable, no way, but I don't have a specific need for one.

    Let us know how it goes Neil and good luck

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilGabriel View Post
    Any suggestions on a higher end MP3 player....16-32 gig....under maybe $350?
    What is wrong with an iPod Classic with a 160GB hard drive for $225? Granted, it does have a $1.69 DAC chip (only guessing), but you can store songs in Apple Lossless (CD quality), and that effectivly nearly doubles the disk size. Even with a cheap DAC it probably sounds better than an MP3.

    Even better, you can get one of the new docks (Wadia, Cambridge-Audio, Peachtree) that take the digital off the iPod, run it through your home standalone DAC, and add a first rate music server for a nominal cost to your stereo.

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    Well, if you want the best, get the 801. You can buy them used off Audiogon, Head-fi.org, and maybe Ebay-saving hundreds off retail.

    If you don't have to have the absolute top of the line, then get the 602, as it shares the sound signature with the 801, just has fewer bells and whistles.

    Either way, I think you are on the right track with either of these players. They are well regarded as high quality, great sounding portable players that are worth their asking price.

    I wish you the best in your decision,
    Matt
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    I believe that the HiFiman and probably others use a flash drive.,...if you have high capacity and digital out, wouldn't the unit make an excellect transport instead of using the spinning disc on a cdp? Out of my pay grade now.

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    I'd agree that the iPod Classic / Touch + Apple lossless should do the trick if you're just using the iPod as a digital transport. If you're planning on using the analog out to connect to your system, obviously that's not going to result in great sound.

    Otherwise...I saw this other 'mod' for iPods the other day. Looks like an interesting mod if what they say is true about some generations of the iPod having decent DACs.


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