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Old 01-07-2011, 12:12 PM
abiWolff abiWolff is offline
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Default Which DAC chip in which player?

Hi there, I had the opportunity the other day to listen to QA350 WAV-player which really blew me away soundwise. This device is using a Wolfson chip and I read in this forum that older iPods have been using "better" Wolfson chips as well - no longer now though.

I was wondering if there is some overview which chip is used in which of the current players out there?

And is there some ranking in regard of the DAC chips currently available?

Thanks for shedding some light on this.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:19 PM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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You could start by reading this, just so you know what huge can of worms you're opening with a thread like this.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:01 PM
abiWolff abiWolff is offline
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OK, thanks. You are right:
Quote:
It's just a fucking MP3 player, it's no religion.
And I was not into starting some basic discussion about the "one and only DAC chip"... I know that I have to trust my ears.

I am new to this forum. Things are looking promising. I will start reading your reviews...
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:30 PM
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To answer your question, most Cowon players use Wolfson DACs... and so does my $70 Chinese no-name DVD player.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:34 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abiWolff View Post
Hi there, I had the opportunity the other day to listen to QA350 WAV-player which really blew me away soundwise. This device is using a Wolfson chip and I read in this forum that older iPods have been using "better" Wolfson chips as well - no longer now though.
The older ipods used Wolfson chips. They were considered to have mediocre results by modern standards.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:14 PM
abiWolff abiWolff is offline
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As pointed out above it was not in my intention to start sort of a "flame war on DAC chips" - or "open a can of worms...". It was pure curiosity after an amazing hearing experience I had.

I am not quite sure what your answers are trying to tell me. Is it that what kind of DAC chip is used in a player is of no importance?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:17 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abiWolff View Post
It was pure curiosity after an amazing hearing experience I had.
It probably had nothing to do with the hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abiWolff View Post
I am not quite sure what your answers are trying to tell me. Is it that what kind of DAC chip is used in a player is of no importance?
Pretty much. Its been a while since there was any actual difference between these chips. They're pretty much identical these days.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:23 PM
abiWolff abiWolff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratoga View Post
Pretty much. Its been a while since there was any actual difference between these chips. They're pretty much identical these days.
Thanks. That's a clear statement.
So given that there _are_ differences in current DAPs, where would you see these?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:27 PM
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Some players have a high output impedance and won't work well with multi-armature IEMs, some players display a rolloff in the bass with low impedance phones (but barely ever noticeable), some players have more powerful amps than others, driving demanding full-sized phones better/louder than others... but in the end dozens of A/B tests with volume-matched players showed me that they all sound basically the same, as long as they're not faulty one way or another.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:39 PM
abiWolff abiWolff is offline
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Quote:
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...that they all sound basically the same...
Well... something to keep in mind and think about.
Your growing list of gear might indicate that you are keeping searching anyway for something different/better...!?
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:47 PM
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As far as audio/video players are concerned, I'm always searching for a feature-set that fit my needs - sound-wise I'm content with all of the players I use.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:51 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abiWolff View Post
So given that there _are_ differences in current DAPs
There are?

Take a look at RMAA results. Pretty much everything is the same. Or record and level match the output of a couple players with a good sound card. No one cane ever tell the difference.

Headphones sound different, thats where you should be looking if you want to see differences. Comparing players or codec chips though is like comparing 56k modems. They haven't changed in a long time because they're a finished technology with nothing left to change and no where left to go.
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