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Old 02-25-2010, 02:08 PM
creep creep is offline
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Default Feeding my old stereo with the little Clip

Hi guys!

I was just wondering... would this be a bad idea? Since I'm not really familiar with the hi-fi world (too expensive stuff for a poor student like me ) I thought it would be appropriate to ask you people out there. Well, it's not a secret that the Clip is one of the best sounding DAPs out there, and recently I found out that it plays back even 24 bit/96 khz flac files (using Rockbox), so is there a possibility that it sounds pleasant when plugged to a 'big' stereo? Thing is, I got this old Pioneer stereo from my grandpa and I listened to some LPs. Guys, it sounds sweet! Mint vinyl (mostly completely analog recorded/mixed/produced music from the sixties or seventies like Beatles and Pink Floyd) sounds really great through my AKG K 240, so I would also have a good headphone amp to drive something more demanding. The Clip even manages to add dithering (as far as I know it 'only' has a 18 bit D/A converter, so it would not be a bad idea to activate dithering when 24 bps files are being played back. Well, this is controversial.) and crossfeed to the high-resolution material (Quite impressive in my opinion, this little thing has some power!). So, basically I could play back redbook lossless files and even rips from the few DVD-Audio discs I've got and in this way stay away from jitter because there's no optical media involved anymore.

Alright so far, but the problem is that I only have one speaker here, the second one is out of town (don't ask why ) and I wonder if it's worth the trouble to get it. Well, is it worth the trouble? Has anyone experience with this?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2010, 02:18 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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I've run Clips, Fuze, Clip+, Sony, and Samsung players into my stereo. Just get the right patch cord, 3.5mm-2RCA jack , turn the EQ to Normal, max the volume, and it's all good. If you have a wall charger you can leave it running like that all day.
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2010, 02:54 PM
creep creep is offline
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Thanks for the input, Marvin the Martian! I've got another rather weird question: How good would this little player be as compared with a 'real' source like an expensive Teac player and whatnot? Does it make sense to use this player (the Clip) as source with a modern amp and quality speakers? This is enough information to answer my question, but I'm aware that this is theory ... Is this really doable and enjoyable? (haha, it seems like I can't believe that this little player actually seems to be so capable)

I am also wondering how the Clip behaves with ultrasonic frequencies, because of intermodulation. As of yet I haven't heard anything suspicious when listening to flac files ripped from DVD-A, but I'm still curious if there's anything wrong, since this player probably wasn't developed for 24 bit playback with high(er) sampling rates.

Last but not least: I'm just asking out of curiosity, I do not actually expect that this little player replaces equipment that's worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Last edited by creep; 02-25-2010 at 03:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2010, 03:10 PM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post
I am also wondering how the Clip behaves with ultrasonic frequencies. As of yet I haven't heard anything suspicious when listening to flac files ripped from DVD-A, but I'm still curious if there's anything wrong, since this player probably wasn't developed for 24 bit playback with high sampling rates.
No (reasonable) portable player plays 24bit files, they only handle 16bit audio. They usually play up to 48kHz sample rate. A few weird exotic ones might play 24/96, but they're few and far in between (and generally not very good all-round players).

There's nothing 'ultrasonic' in DVDA or SACD anyways, the 96kHz sample rate (which could contain audio up to 48kHz according to the Nyquist frequency) is mostly a marketing gag. It's useful in DAW editing, but not in playback of audio.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:16 PM
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FrododorF FrododorF is offline
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Where is the other speaker?
...is it having an affair?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:06 PM
creep creep is offline
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@dfkt: So the Clip is no 'reasonable' DAP? Because it does play back 'high resolution' files, just like I wrote. Using Rockbox, it goes up to 24 bps at 96 khz.

Quote:
There's nothing 'ultrasonic' in DVDA or SACD anyways, the 96kHz sample rate (which could contain audio up to 48kHz according to the Nyquist frequency) is mostly a marketing gag. It's useful in DAW editing, but not in playback of audio.
I have no scientific knowledge regarding this, but I thought that there could be undesirable effects because the device isn't able to handle such frequencies. It seems like you got me wrong about the 'high resolution' (intentionally written like this) files. I do know that probably nobody can ABX any difference between the good old CD and the 'successors', but I also keep in mind that there are some older albums which have rather bad CD releases. While older CD releases are no victims of the loudness insanity, some of them are dull to me. Maybe it's just a matter of taste or the placebo-effect, I don't know. Still, it's _kinda_ no big surprise, because digital audio was more or less in its infancy. Now with better A/D converters, dithering, noise shaping and the like, it's a different thing. So I simply prefer these so-called 'high resolution'-releases (if possible), because there's mature PCM (only talking about DVD-A) behind them and also the will to make the outcome sound enjoyable. Some of the best sounding music I've ever heard comes from 'simple' CDs, so please don't get me wrong about the stuff I wrote about DVD-A

@FrododorF: Now I'm terrified. What if you're right and I actually catch the speaker trying to mate with one of the other speakers in the room?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post
@dfkt: So the Clip is no 'reasonable' DAP? Because it does play back 'high resolution' files, just like I wrote. Using Rockbox, it goes up to 24 bps at 96 khz.
Not likely. The SoC used in the Clip is capable of maximum 18bit resolution, up to 48kHz. Specs: http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/e...rollers/AS3525

EDIT: A Rockbox developer just confirmed that Rockbox runs at CD quality, 16bit 44.1kHz, on the Clip. It might be possible to downsample 24/96 to 16/44.1, though. Of course that would sound no better than normal CD quality to begin with. Possibly even worse, due to the resampling algorithm. Not that DVDA sounded 'better' in 2-channel stereo to begin with.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:56 PM
creep creep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Not likely. The SoC used in the Clip is capable of 18bit resolution, up to 48kHz. Specs: http://www.austriamicrosystems.com/e...rollers/AS3525
Did you read my first post entirely?

Quote:
The Clip even manages to add dithering (as far as I know it 'only' has a 18 bit D/A converter, so it would not be a bad idea to activate dithering when 24 bps files are being played back. Well, this is controversial.) and crossfeed to the high-resolution material (Quite impressive in my opinion, this little thing has some power!).
I just tried it myself using both the standard firmware and Rockbox. It plays back 16/48 using the standard firmware, but with Rockbox it goes up to 24/96. By the way, I was solely talking about processing power.

Edit: I just read your followup. Well, in that case I'm glad that now I am aware of this. Thanks

EDIT 2: This seems a little weird to me. I don't want to discredit your source of information, but could this really be true? Real-time downsampling (like you suggested), dithering and crossfeed at the same time? Plus decoding the flac file? This little thing has either really a lot of processing power or ... Hmm! (then again: the information on austriamicrosystems.com clearly states that the SoC 'only' goes up to 48 khz sampling rate, so it probably is really just as powerful as this. Poor battery!)

Last edited by creep; 02-25-2010 at 05:10 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2010, 06:12 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post
Did you read my first post entirely?
This seems a little weird to me. I don't want to discredit your source of information, but could this really be true?
Yes. 24/96 playback is worthless. Basically no portable devices support it.

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Originally Posted by creep View Post
Real-time downsampling (like you suggested), dithering and crossfeed at the same time? Plus decoding the flac file? This little thing has either really a lot of processing power
Decoding flac takes like 20 MHz, dithering takes a couple more, and crossfeed is almost nothing at all. Resampling is the only remotely slow part, and rockbox uses a very simple (and very bad) linear interpolator to minimize CPU use. You can measure yourself by enabling the test_codec plugin and benchmarking a flac file with DSP enabled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by creep View Post
I am also wondering how the Clip behaves with ultrasonic frequencies, because of intermodulation. As of yet I haven't heard anything suspicious when listening to flac files ripped from DVD-A, but I'm still curious if there's anything wrong, since this player probably wasn't developed for 24 bit playback with high(er) sampling rates.
You found that a linear interpolator with massive inband distortion sounds ok. Thats not even ultrasound. Thats sound in the middle of your hearing range. If you're ok with 5kHz distortion, I wouldn't worry too much about 25kHz. Its not going to matter at all.

Last edited by saratoga; 02-25-2010 at 06:18 PM. Reason: be more clear, grammar
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:49 PM
creep creep is offline
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Alright, thanks for the information.

Quote:
You think a linear interpolator with massive inband distortion sounds ok. Thats not even ultrasound. Thats sound in the middle of your hearing range. If you're ok with 5kHz distortion, I wouldn't worry too much about 25kHz.
It seems like we've got a little misunderstanding here. I was thinking about ultrasonic frequencies interfering with audible frequencies. I get the impression that you know what I am talking about, but I was wrong. This doesn't affect this part of the chain (as far as I know). Well, but overall it seems like I shouldn't care anyway, since my hearing is apparently rather bad. No, in all honesty: I can't perceive any disturbing distortion. There are a handful of albums that I got on DVD-A, so I liked the idea that this player seemingly played them back. But well, I was wrong. (now I do know that DAPs DO downsample as well )
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:50 AM
creep creep is offline
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Wow, an unpleasant amount of harshness is in this thread.

After seeing that the files are being played back I was happy that this player is able to play back the few DVD-A albums I've got in an 'unaltered' way, and after trying briefly with the (mostly 24/48) files I could only get the idea that it works. In most cases it simply would refuse to play back something unsupported, so please excuse my trust in Rockbox (don't get me wrong, I really like Rockbox and I'm thankful for it). Show me a layman that would assume that a little DAP downsamples the material!

Also, I just had to grin when I realized that the music I tested with contains a heavy amount of distortion for artistic purposes. Listen to 'The Downward Spiral' (in case you don't know it) and you'll see. I did not listen carefully, I just hit the play-button with different files at various depths/sampling rates (from different discs) and grinned each time it started to play back. What's so bad about liking the idea to forget about carrying the DVD-Player from one floor to the other to listen to music?

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I just felt like writing this, because I felt uncomfortable with the fact that to me it seemed like you treated me like a person who listens too much to the local hi-fi dealer. To cut a long story short: Could I tell a difference between CD-DA and DVD-A? No. (assuming that both come from the same master)

Last edited by creep; 02-26-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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