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  #1  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:16 AM
make_or_break make_or_break is offline
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Default S really does come before X

In the past couple of days I've come to a disturbing and financially sad conclusion: without tweaking and tarting up the sound, relatively speaking the SQ of my X1061 actually sucks.

It wasn't just my recent revelation when comparing my old A829 to the X that drove this point home. No, it was my time with my wife's new S545 that did my X1061 in. IMHO, straight out of the box the new S-series sounds better than the supposedly top-dog X-series. Nearly everything about the S545 suits my ears better: the depth and imaging of the soundstage is more involving, the tone, timbre and presence of the music sounds more warm, 'analog' and natural. There's much less of the cold, uptight and analytic tenor that my X1061 brings to the table. The new S545 doesn't yet have the warmth and depth that my well burned-in A829 has, but it wouldn't be hard to believe that with use and time that this too-chintzy, plastic sound machine would equal if not exceed the sonic performance of my old Walkman. In comparison, my X seems like it would have a long, LONG time to burn before it would get to the level of the A829.

The X may have more 'wow' tech than the relatively plain S545, but the S has the SOUND, and to me that's what counts more than anything else. Major bummer...and the feeling that I wasted $400 for the privilege of finding this out...oh well...live and learn.

Hope the ZuneHD I just ordered can keep up with the S...
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2009, 10:54 AM
hpilot hpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by make_or_break View Post
In the past couple of days I've come to a disturbing and financially sad conclusion: without tweaking and tarting up the sound, relatively speaking the SQ of my X1061 actually sucks.

It wasn't just my recent revelation when comparing my old A829 to the X that drove this point home. No, it was my time with my wife's new S545 that did my X1061 in. IMHO, straight out of the box the new S-series sounds better than the supposedly top-dog X-series. Nearly everything about the S545 suits my ears better: the depth and imaging of the soundstage is more involving, the tone, timbre and presence of the music sounds more warm, 'analog' and natural. There's much less of the cold, uptight and analytic tenor that my X1061 brings to the table. The new S545 doesn't yet have the warmth and depth that my well burned-in A829 has, but it wouldn't be hard to believe that with use and time that this too-chintzy, plastic sound machine would equal if not exceed the sonic performance of my old Walkman. In comparison, my X seems like it would have a long, LONG time to burn before it would get to the level of the A829.

The X may have more 'wow' tech than the relatively plain S545, but the S has the SOUND, and to me that's what counts more than anything else. Major bummer...and the feeling that I wasted $400 for the privilege of finding this out...oh well...live and learn.

Hope the ZuneHD I just ordered can keep up with the S...
Wow! You have a lot of players. I doubt the Zune will sound better. I had the last gen Zune, and it sounded about like an iPod classic. BTW, the new Zune does not have a dedicated volume and next button - you have to use the touch screen. I didn't know a digital device could sound better over time. If the 'X sounds better after tweaking and tarting up the sound, why not just tweak and tart up the sound? I don't see that as a negative...

P.S. 64GB is here: http://gizmodo.com/5360552/sony-a+se...as-oled-screen

Last edited by hpilot; 09-16-2009 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Link added
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2009, 11:10 AM
Dreamnine Dreamnine is offline
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The X series really is pointless now as the new S640 is coming and the A840 - minus the half-assed browser, with an OLED screen and the A series goes up to 64GB.http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=47431

Last edited by Dreamnine; 09-16-2009 at 11:19 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2009, 02:38 PM
make_or_break make_or_break is offline
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Originally Posted by hpilot View Post
I didn't know a digital device could sound better over time. If the 'X sounds better after tweaking and tarting up the sound, why not just tweak and tart up the sound? I don't see that as a negative...
Don't forget, the signal that goes into your typical headphones is not digital, but analog. The amplification section of any PMP/DAP device is still subject to some degree of burn-in. Fact is, I'd argue that it's this section of a player's circuitry that probably affects the SQ more than any other.

As for tweaking...one reason I hate fiddling with equalization and DSP processing is that I listen to a wide range of music; what sounds good for one genre doesn't necessarily work for another. Even from recording to recording among similar types of music a specific tweak may not work well for both. As I use random play quite often, tweaking settings song-after-song is a non-starter for me. And being something of a purist from my "audiophile" years, I generally like to leave my gear set to flat and judge (and use) based upon that.

As for the quantity of devices...it's an unfortunate old habit I carried over from my heady hi-fi and mobile audio days, where I could spend WAY too much going after the "perfect" sound in the home and in the car. I stopped playing with those when I discovered Porsches; had to, since there's only so much money to go around and as I rudely discovered Porsches LOVE to eat up as much money and available credit limit as I've got just to keep them running. Yet I never really abandoned audio, but fortunately MP3 devices--compressed and spindled and mutilated as they are--are still a LOT cheaper than the excesses from my "good old audio days".
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2009, 03:24 PM
hpilot hpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by make_or_break View Post
Don't forget, the signal that goes into your typical headphones is not digital, but analog. The amplification section of any PMP/DAP device is still subject to some degree of burn-in. Fact is, I'd argue that it's this section of a player's circuitry that probably affects the SQ more than any other.

As for tweaking...one reason I hate fiddling with equalization and DSP processing is that I listen to a wide range of music; what sounds good for one genre doesn't necessarily work for another. Even from recording to recording among similar types of music a specific tweak may not work well for both. As I use random play quite often, tweaking settings song-after-song is a non-starter for me. And being something of a purist from my "audiophile" years, I generally like to leave my gear set to flat and judge (and use) based upon that.

As for the quantity of devices...it's an unfortunate old habit I carried over from my heady hi-fi and mobile audio days, where I could spend WAY too much going after the "perfect" sound in the home and in the car. I stopped playing with those when I discovered Porsches; had to, since there's only so much money to go around and as I rudely discovered Porsches LOVE to eat up as much money and available credit limit as I've got just to keep them running. Yet I never really abandoned audio, but fortunately MP3 devices--compressed and spindled and mutilated as they are--are still a LOT cheaper than the excesses from my "good old audio days".
OK, I'll buy that. One reason I didn't like the sound on the last Zune was it had NO EQ settings - way too flat for me. I have $500 earphones, but I could hear almost no bass on tracks I knew had a lot. The new Zune HD, I understand, has brought EQ back. I have never had an audio system I liked the sound of without at least a loudness control - even my quadraphonic system with a CD-4 turntable and four huge pioneer speakers in fine wood cabinets! But I guess after 35 years of noisy airplane cockpits, my ears are shot...
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2013, 02:59 PM
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miow miow is offline
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IMO the A828 is very close to the X (excelent sound quality), but theres something in the X that makes it sound more involving, more emotional, more "hi-fi".
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2013, 05:48 PM
singer12 singer12 is offline
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I have the Sony x50 and the Sony s754 and the X with the right earphones sounds better sorry but the xseries walkman was the best when it came out and still has a great stylish design
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2013, 06:44 PM
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Good Lord, people...This thread died in 2009. Let it rest in peace...
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:09 PM
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:53 AM
jamaica jamaica is offline
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i have both s764 and x1050 and the last is superior to s764 in all aspects...sound, navigation, design...ive used hifi headphones as sennheiser hd598, hd650...
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