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-   -   Digizoid ZO Personal Subwoofer (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62402)

dfkt 04-02-2011 10:37 AM

Digizoid ZO Personal Subwoofer
 
http://www.sharperimage.com/dyn/dyn/...f_200131-p.jpg

Not an amp per se, this device makes some rather interesting claims: http://www.digizoid.com/the-zo/

Quote:

  • Low-frequency reproduction (not just bass, but also extreme low frequencies that you can feel)
  • Spatial expansion for added dimensionality
  • Vocal clarity
  • Hear more detail through dynamic range expansion
  • Improved overall texture (richness) and presence (depth)

digiZoidŽ SmartVector™ sound contouring technology utilizes a new method of sound enhancement, which is expected to become the foundation for future audio system design. It doesn't employ standard audio enhancement techniques such as: cross feed, low-frequency bandwidth extension, common equalization schemes, or digital signal processing algorithms. Instead, we approached the problem from a different angle, and engineered from the perspective of the human auditory system. Our solution is therefore based on principles of hearing sensitivity, psychoacoustics, and in particular, psophometric filtering. SmartVector technology deviates from many of the established audio industry standards; and as a result, breaks some well-known stereotypes (i.e., you can't get big bass out of small speakers, because you actually can with SmartVector).
It obviously uses analog sound processing (not a DSP chip) to achieve that. One of the novel interesting features is dynamic range expansion - it claims to counteract today's dynamic-less brickwall mastering and gives the audio some more room to breathe. I'll believe it when I hear it with my own ears, but it sure sounds good on paper.

Here's a good review about it on Head-Fi: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...able-subwoofer

pseudohippy 04-04-2011 03:24 PM

Hmm... do I want to own more crap, um...... maybe. So when does yours arrive so we can all hear about it from you ;-)

dfkt 04-04-2011 03:26 PM

Damn, I thought *you* would get one and tell me about it. ;)

lestatar 04-05-2011 12:52 AM

Do some namedropping and throw your weight around dfkt - as the biggest basshead I know, this product seems a must for an official ABi review ;)

Seriously, this device seem pretty unique in what it is claiming to offer...?

WalkGood 04-05-2011 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lestatar (Post 547622)
... Seriously, this device seem pretty unique in what it is claiming to offer...?

"Claiming" is the key word there, could mean marketing hype :D

musichound 04-05-2011 08:06 AM

The sharper images is selling it for $99.00. Not a bad price if it works good. However, the type of phones one has makes a big difference. When I listen to trance music, the bass is so deep I don't need a subwoofer.

Marvin the Martian 04-05-2011 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by musichound (Post 547670)
The sharper images is selling it for $99.00. Not a bad price if it works good. However, the type of phones one has makes a big difference. When I listen to trance music, the bass is so deep I don't need a subwoofer.

Quite right! With my PortaPros and Clip+, trance gives me solid bass even with no EQ help.

dfkt 04-05-2011 08:38 AM

The Head-Fi review I linked in the first post sounds convincing to me. The guy who wrote it seems to know his stuff, I would definitely like to hear if that box sounds something like Cowon's BBE or similar.

jupitreas 04-05-2011 08:39 AM

I think its probably another exciter/maximizer like BBE. I'm wondering how it sounds compared to MachBass, but I doubt it does anything truly spectacular. With this said, I'm still curious to read reviews of it.

dfkt 04-05-2011 08:42 AM

The thing I wonder most about is how they could pull it off in the analog domain, without a DSP chip. That approach seems unusual.

EDIT: nevermind, Yuki just told me that the BBE hardware racks are analog as well, contrary to Cowon's digital BBE implementation, or the VST plugin.

jupitreas 04-05-2011 09:04 AM

Im in no way an expert on this topic but having an analogue design for an exciter does not seem all that novel to me. Haven't these devices been around since the 70s? An exciter is based on all-pass filtering, frequency compensated gain adjustment and frequency compensated domain delay. I do believe all of this can be achieved using analogue technology, right?

lestatar 04-05-2011 10:48 AM

^ True that. Analog stuff like exciters and such have been around for guitar stomp boxes/effects pedals for decades. Just had no idea how that stuff would translate to portable amps/portable gear.

There used to be knobs and stuff ;)

Mach 04-06-2011 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfkt (Post 547673)
The Head-Fi review I linked in the first post sounds convincing to me. The guy who wrote it seems to know his stuff, I would definitely like to hear if that box sounds something like Cowon's BBE or similar.

I'm interested in knowing if it would do anything for the J3. The J3 really has an amazing sound (pardon me if I'm overly enthusiastic over it, I've only had it for a week now), and a great amp at that. With my M50, I really don't need my FiiO E5 anymore, as I think it doesn't really do anything for the sound quality.

However, I know that before I got me my J3, I was convinced my Sony DAP with Klipsch S4 was pretty much as good as it would get. Then I got the FiiO amp (to be honest, these three made a pretty decent match). Then I got the M50's. Then I got the J3. I guess you can see where I'm going with this.

I know you also have a J3 and similar headphones to mine, the HFI-780 (at least I think they're kind of similar). If you will be ordering the digiZoid ZO, could you please try to include the match J3 -> ZO -> HFI-780 to see if it really does anything or if J3 with BBE alone is better?

dfkt 05-16-2011 08:55 AM

Got it today. Wow, the bass is really amazing on that thing, even surpassing BBE M3B in punch, tightness, and lack of midrange-bleed. Just the thing phones with little bass (PFE, e-Q5/7, W4, q-Jays, etc) need. And it's admirably tiny.

http://img.elektrokrishna.com/images...7058264732.jpg

http://img.elektrokrishna.com/images...9267886670.jpg

dfkt 05-16-2011 03:15 PM

Some frequency response tests, without load. That thing sure hits deep. Interesting to notice is that it really doesn't change much above half power - the change between level 16 and level 31 is marginal, while the changes at lower settings are quite a bit more noticeable.

http://img.elektrokrishna.com/images...7443008805.png

http://img.elektrokrishna.com/images...6726019847.png

dfkt 05-16-2011 08:32 PM

Full RMAA tests here: http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/index...&search_mode=f

Conclusion: no matter if low impedance or difficult multi-armature IEMs, the ZO drives them just fine, without any issues, without bass roll-off, or without frequency response roller coasters. Everything else is just fine as well.

(Some of the no load tests were with USB plugged in, to recharge - their noise level, THD, IMD, are somewhat off, due to USB being noisy - the 16 Ohm and 32 Ohm tests have no such issues.)

skip252 05-16-2011 09:15 PM

Let me display my ignorance rather than keep running this through my head and coming up with zero. If I have a bass neutral or light set of dynamic driver over the ear headphones this should give a clean boost in the lower frequencies?

I can do some of that by lowering the higher frequencies with a good eq. But if I can get an undistorted bass boost that would put this in the things I'd need to consider category.

dfkt 05-17-2011 07:53 AM

It's more than an EQ, it has some psychoacoustic processing and tricks up its sleeve. It's similar to BBE Mach3Bass, but even punchier, faster, and more natural sounding (and without making a loudness curve with recessed midrange, or affecting the treble). You have to hear it to believe it - personally I couldn't manage to tweak such a bass boost with the use of a regular EQ. It even makes the Koss KSC75 (!) into slightly bass-heavy yet still very clear cans.

Additionally, it's also amping the signal a bit (about as much as a FiiO E5, I'd say) - and it still doesn't distort the bass at all, not even at highest settings, playing some nasty Dubstep tunes with really low sub-bass.

minimix 05-17-2011 08:25 AM

Hi dfkt,

did you try it with the SM3? any diference with and without it?

tks

Marvin the Martian 05-17-2011 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfkt (Post 554382)
It's more than an EQ, it has some psychoacoustic processing and tricks up its sleeve. It's similar to BBE Mach3Bass, but even punchier, faster, and more natural sounding (and without making a loudness curve with recessed midrange, or affecting the treble). You have to hear it to believe it - personally I couldn't manage to tweak such a bass boost with the use of a regular EQ. It even makes the Koss KSC75 (!) into slightly bass-heavy yet still very clear cans.

Additionally, it's also amping the signal a bit (about as much as a FiiO E5, I'd say) - and it still doesn't distort the bass at all, not even at highest settings, playing some nasty Dubstep tunes with really low sub-bass.

Now that is amazing!


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