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Old 11-05-2009, 03:59 PM
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Golden Ears Golden Ears is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: England, United Kingdom
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Default Sony NWZ-B143 too quiet/poor quality.. help needed

Hello abi people, I've benn a lurker for quite a fair while here. However, I really need a solution to a problem I have with my new dap I bought a few weeks ago.

Background: I was happily owning a Sony NW-E013 lipstick style player for a couple of years, until a couple of weeks ago when I left it on a shop counter, and when I went back some tosser had nicked it.
It had superb sound quality (considering it was the no bells and whistles model at the time), brilliant max volume, and a very user-friendly interface with a little LCD colour display. Even though I had to use SonicStage to transfer files, it didn't bother me too much because the hassle pays off with a great organisation of music/albums etc.

So, I couldn't go without a dap, you know. It just feels wrong to not have your music with you wherever you are, it's a basic fundamental human right. So I went to the nearest store selling mp3 players, and found out that my previous model was no longer produced by sony. Damn. So I went with what looked like the replacement, the B series stick type (because I don't care about video, radio, bluetooth, internet whatever). Just the basic Sony mp3 player. It looked uglier than my previous model, but I thought "ahh, you can't judge a book by it's cover, right?" Wrong.

Got home, charged it up by usb, found out that it no longer needed SonicStage (to my dissapointment actually), and only needed drag n drop or MTP by WMP. So a few of my favourite albums on there, and put in the stack cans. It sounded terrible. So quiet, I thought I had AVLS on, I checked, it was off. All my mp3s are encoded at 320kb/s and no less, becasue sound quality is top priority for me. But the tracks sounded more like 96kb/s, like Myspace Music quality. No punch, no life or crisp to the music, limited dynamic range.

I have been searching and searching and searching for an answer for my model, and I swear there must be a fix, either something to do with EU volume restriction or bad microcode in the ICs controlling the DAC circuitry whatever, firmware whatnot. But all the fixes online are for the NWA-xxx series players, and Apple iPods. I cannot find a way to get into the service menu of my stick, or hack the firmware, or whatever hocus-pocus needs to be done to get it sounding good.

Please, somebody shed their attention to this disgraceful model of players - they all seem to be receiving great reviews from people all over the place, have I got a duff model? Is it that Sony have decided after two years that the sound quality of their low-end players is no longer important compared to the HD video and other stuff of their high end models? Can I replace the DAC with one from my old Sony Discman?

Music is so important to me, even though I am not made of money, please help. Thankyou.
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