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The ultimate basic, no BS/snake oil DAP
Serpent
post Apr 4 2014, 18:36
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There's probably no such thing. Still, I'm getting a new DAP because so far, nothing I've used has completely satisfied me. I've been investigating for a while and want to finish my decision with some input from this forum, which I appreciate above all others in this respect.

I want:

ˇ FM Radio.

ˇ Good UI: This means no bugs, correct metadata display and sorting, and so on. (I'm guessing this rules out all 'boutique' 'audiophile' DAPs, unless Rockboxed)

ˇ 0 Ohm output.

ˇ Noiseless. (Understandably, hard measurement isn't necessary here, a subjective comparison between multiple DAPs that claims noiseless playback would do.)

ˇ 40 gb of storage or more, be it in-built or through SD cards.

ˇ FLAC, AAC, OGG, ALAC, WavPack playback. (Because usually, I'm too lazy to re-encode.)

ˇ I'm partial towards physical buttons and wireless data transfer.

Am I correct in thinking that the only practical option is a Sandisk Clip?

This post has been edited by Serpent: Apr 4 2014, 18:41
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2Bdecided
post Apr 4 2014, 22:30
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Rockboxed sansa clip zip +SD card is the obvious answer, but it's not 0 Ohms (nothing is), not noiseless (audibility depends on headphone sensitivity, environment, ears), and not wireless.
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RonaldDumsfeld
post Apr 4 2014, 22:31
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Smartphone?
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includemeout
post Apr 4 2014, 22:50
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QUOTE (Serpent @ Apr 4 2014, 14:36) *
ˇ Noiseless. (Understandably, hard measurement isn't necessary here, a subjective comparison between multiple DAPs that claims noiseless playback would do.)

"Subjective" wouldn't match TOS8's requirements, would it?

Regarding you wishing it to be "noiseless" and there not being such a thing, as 2Bdecided pointed out, would you care sharing with us under which hypothetical use do you believe you would require it (ie, be able to hear any difference)?


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SonsOfSound
post Apr 5 2014, 01:52
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I had the sansa clip zip. I lost it and replaced it with a fuze+, which has better battery life, a bigger display, and can play movies. Got it for $40 on clearance at radio shack, and picked up a 64 gig microSD. Sound-wise, both are exactly the same, and use the same basic circuitry inside. The problem with the fuze+ is that the touch controls are absolutely horrible. I can't even play doom on rockbox any more...

Oh, and you will need to put rockbox on it if you want to use SDXC cards.

These links might be of interest:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sansa-clip-measured.html
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sansa-...ini-review.html


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Mach-X
post Apr 5 2014, 02:25
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See if you can find an original Samsung Galaxy phone used for $50. Wireless synching using winamp. Might meet your needs.
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Serpent
post Apr 5 2014, 05:06
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 4 2014, 17:30) *
Rockboxed sansa clip zip +SD card is the obvious answer, but it's not 0 Ohms (nothing is), not noiseless (audibility depends on headphone sensitivity, environment, ears), and not wireless.


My mistake, I meant 1 Ohm.

QUOTE (includemeout @ Apr 4 2014, 17:50) *
QUOTE (Serpent @ Apr 4 2014, 14:36) *
ˇ Noiseless. (Understandably, hard measurement isn't necessary here, a subjective comparison between multiple DAPs that claims noiseless playback would do.)

"Subjective" wouldn't match TOS8's requirements, would it?

Regarding you wishing it to be "noiseless" and there not being such a thing, as 2Bdecided pointed out, would you care sharing with us under which hypothetical use do you believe you would require it (ie, be able to hear any difference)?


Library.

QUOTE (SonsOfSound @ Apr 4 2014, 20:52) *
I had the sansa clip zip. I lost it and replaced it with a fuze+, which has better battery life, a bigger display, and can play movies. Got it for $40 on clearance at radio shack, and picked up a 64 gig microSD. Sound-wise, both are exactly the same, and use the same basic circuitry inside. The problem with the fuze+ is that the touch controls are absolutely horrible. I can't even play doom on rockbox any more...

Oh, and you will need to put rockbox on it if you want to use SDXC cards.

These links might be of interest:

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sansa-clip-measured.html
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/sansa-...ini-review.html


Thank you. I'm probably buying a Clip Zip

QUOTE (Mach-X @ Apr 4 2014, 21:25) *
See if you can find an original Samsung Galaxy phone used for $50. Wireless synching using winamp. Might meet your needs.


I'm trying to avoid smartphones but I might follow your advice and use the phone as a DAP only. So far, the Sandisk seems like the easiest choice, IMO.
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Serpent
post Apr 5 2014, 16:18
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So, I think that for absolute clarity, I will state that I would like a 1 Ohm output and that when I say that I want noiseless playback, I don't mean an absolute lack of measurable distortion, but that the music, with ideal encoding, in a silent environment, will sound noise free; that is, there won't be audible distortion, or obvious hiss, or popping sounds, or whatever, during playback.

The best decision for me now seems to be buying a Clip+ or Clip Zip and maybe look for a smartphone with the qualities I listed (which, it seems, will be hard.)

This post has been edited by Serpent: Apr 5 2014, 16:36
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includemeout
post Apr 5 2014, 23:03
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QUOTE (Serpent @ Apr 5 2014, 01:06) *
QUOTE (includemeout @ Apr 4 2014, 17:50) *
QUOTE (Serpent @ Apr 4 2014, 14:36) *
ˇ Noiseless. (Understandably, hard measurement isn't necessary here, a subjective comparison between multiple DAPs that claims noiseless playback would do.)

Regarding you wishing it to be "noiseless" and there not being such a thing, as 2Bdecided pointed out, would you care sharing with us under which hypothetical use do you believe you would require it (ie, be able to hear any difference)?


Library.

You do realise your single-worded answer does not address my last question in the least, don't you?

Either way, I'm happy you seem to have narrowed down your search to a handful of good DAP's (specially if rockboxed) and have come to terms with the fact that an absolutely noiseless DAP does not exist but, on the other hand, there won't be any actual need for such a gadget as, under real use, there is a big, big probability you wouldn't be able to tell it apart from the ones suggested so far.


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Soap
post Apr 6 2014, 00:11
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If listening to in a quiet environment like a library and unwilling to damage your own hearing then the easy answer to DAP "noise" is to increase the DAP's amplification and put an attenuator in-line with your headphones.


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skamp
post Apr 6 2014, 08:22
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QUOTE (Serpent @ Apr 5 2014, 17:18) *
The best decision for me now seems to be buying a Clip+ or Clip Zip


Some Clip+ devices suffer from CPU internal / external storage noise, unfortunately.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=86306
http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/11907

The Fuze+ has some very slight hiss with sensitive IEMs, but in practice it's not really a problem, IMO.
My iPod Classic is fine but it has a 5.5Ω output impedance (also not a problem in practice).


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Mach-X
post Apr 7 2014, 04:49
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QUOTE (skamp @ Apr 6 2014, 02:22) *
My iPod Classic is fine but it has a 5.5Ω output impedance (also not a problem in practice).

Not arguing, just curious. Does that not mean that the Classic needs to dole out 5.5x as much power as the Clip+ to reach the same volume? Wouldn't that be an issue for opamps that only output milliwatts? How would that affect battery life?
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skamp
post Apr 7 2014, 08:57
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Apr 7 2014, 05:49) *
Not arguing, just curious. Does that not mean that the Classic needs to dole out 5.5x as much power as the Clip+ to reach the same volume? Wouldn't that be an issue for opamps that only output milliwatts? How would that affect battery life?


The problem with headphone loudness (volume) and output impedance is mostly a matter of voltage. As output impedance increases, voltage (volume) in headphones (the load) decreases.

Given the Clip's maximum voltage of 0.55V and 0.5Ω output impedance, and a pair of portable headphones with a 25Ω impedance, the voltage that goes into the headphones is:
CODE
Vload = Vsource * (Zload / (Zload + Zout)) = 0.55V * (25Ω / (25Ω + 0.5Ω)) = 0.54V


Compare that to the iPod Classic with its maximum voltage of 0.84V and 5.5Ω impedance, with the same headphones:
CODE
0.84V * (25Ω / (25Ω + 5.5Ω)) = 0.69V


Let's see what voltage gets into the headphones with the iPod outputting the same voltage as the Clip+:
CODE
0.55V * (25Ω / (25Ω + 5.5Ω)) = 0.45V


The iPod Classic is thus able to make those headphones go louder than the Clip+, even though it needs to output a bit more voltage than the Clip+ in order to reach the same volume. Note that the iPod's battery is much larger than the Clip+, and is able to reach over 30 hours of continuous playback, versus only 15 hours for the Clip+.

This post has been edited by skamp: Apr 7 2014, 09:06


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saratoga
post Apr 7 2014, 13:41
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As skamps example shows the output impedance doesn't really relate to volume, but rather how well the device will work with a given impedance load. Usually you want output impedance to be 5 or 10x lower than the load impedance such that it can be neglected entirely.
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