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  #1  
Old 05-07-2010, 07:51 AM
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Default Hifiman HM-801 RMAA Tests

The RMAA results for this somewhat sad, expensive brick of an antiquated, barely usable player are actually not as good (or rather, adequate) as expected. However, it somehow managed to sound the same as a Sansa Clip in a volume-matched AB-comparison I did some time ago, despite its rolled off treble. Maybe my ears weren't up to the task (clogged, cold, tired, etc) when I did the AB comparison. I should repeat that.

Either way, compared to the other "audiophile" player, the utterly pathetic AMP3 Pro 1, the Hifiman is almost acceptable in its measurements. At least the $800 Hifiman sounds like an average MP3 player, while the $300 AMP3 sounds just bad (I'm talking about my ears, not measurements).

Frequency response... amusing, especially considering the Hifiman is advertised as 24/96-capable, yet it doesn't even reproduce 16/44 treble to its fullest:





Crosstalk - the Cowon V5, iPhone 3G, and Sony B143 beat the Hifiman a lot in channel separation. It's also the Clip's (and most other players) weakness - but at least the Clip gets the frequency response right, which the Hifiman doesn't.





Full results:

RMAA: Hifiman vs AMP3 Pro 1 vs Sony B143 vs Clip+
RMAA: Hifiman vs Clip vs Clip+ vs H300
RMAA: Hifiman vs Cowon V5 vs iPhone 3G
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the testing, not that I would ever buy one … just think how many clips you could give away, keeping one, enjoying rockbox, better overall sq and still save a few hundred
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2010, 08:03 AM
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I hope you borrowed it, and didn't buy it!
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:18 AM
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I wish I could understand these graphs properly. Could anyone point me to a tutorial? I do get the frequency response bit but not the rest.

As for the Hifiman, WOW is all I can say. The thing costs how much? 790 bucks? You could buy high end IEMs and a good MP3 player for that money easily!

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:01 AM
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At the price they are asking for, the fact that this device will not transport me through a timewarp tunnel/probability matrix and put me right on stage next to all of my favorite artists anytime I want means one simple thing for me:

Epic Fail.....
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:07 AM
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I forgot to ask.....dfkt, will you be posting these results in the HiFiMAN appreciation thread over at Head-Fi? That should ruffle a few feathers
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2010, 09:09 AM
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The real joke is when people haul around a portable amp with this fatty.

  #8  
Old 05-07-2010, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Larch View Post
The real joke is when people haul around a portable amp with this fatty.
LOL!

Yes, because everyone knows an $800USD mp3 player absolutely must be played through a portable amp...

I can see the rigs now...
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:20 AM
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Yeh, I almost died laughing when I saw the photos of people using that ridiculous thing with the "balanced" RSA amp, or the nice looking, portable Pico Slim... they could, you know, just use a $30 Sansa Clip, get better frequency response, better battery life, gapless, a usable UI, etc, etc - and if they really need to drive their HD650 on the go, they could add a better amp than the Hifiman's (like the Arrow or Pico) to the Clip and still only pay a third the price of that thing.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:26 AM
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dfkt: and not pay extra at the airline counter for all that weight they are toting around...

I wanna start a "Far Better Uses Of $800USD Than Buying a HiFiMan" thread...
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:50 AM
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I'm so glad there is at least one reviewer out there who is using measurements and volume matched testing. If this was done on a regular basis I wonder how many well reviewed products would be shown to be poorly engineered.

Most reviewers are not doing much more than regurgitating marketing and placebo. The more expensive the product, the better it is!

dfkt, I really appreciate all the work you do. After many years of reading reviews you are one of the few people who actually gives balanced and accurate reviews.

Thanks for that!

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Larch View Post
The real joke is when people haul around a portable amp with this fatty.
Just look in the Pico Slim appreciation thread on headfi to see the pictures and have a good laugh.
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2010, 12:05 PM
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Here's more results, from Line-Out, USB, S/PDIF: http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Compa...2C%20SPDIF.htm

Same thing, it's just not a really good amp/DAC. I even tried the amp board from the second Hifiman, same results.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Just look in the Pico Slim appreciation thread on headfi to see the pictures and have a good laugh.
It is almost sad to see such a nice looking amp(I'm on the waiting list) partnered with such a monstrosity.

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Old 05-07-2010, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
dfkt, I really appreciate all the work you do. After many years of reading reviews you are one of the few people who actually gives balanced and accurate reviews.

Thanks for that!
Thank you, Odigg. I appreciate it. It's hard mixing something as personal and emotional as music with rational tests, but for some products it seems somewhat necessary to make it public how "WTF" they are.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:56 PM
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Seems some feathers were indeed ruffled over there in the other forum, dfkt.

Are they going to start chasing you with torches, and calling you a blasphemer or a heretic now? lol.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:29 PM
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Oh yeah, the knuckleheads on head-fi are coming out of the woodwork,.................

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Old 05-07-2010, 02:34 PM
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I'm tired of that. Sad that people can't accept facts. Well, they might feel like idiots, spending that much money on something as sub-par as this player (I mean as a whole, firmware, size, battery, and all - as said, sound quality is average). But nobody likes to get called out for their 'Emperor's new clothes', so some get all defensive. "I see your facts, and I raise you two hearsay anecdotes."

This is the last time I waste time and effort on such nonsense. Every reasonable person smells the truth from a mile away, and 'audiophiles' who don't even want to AB test the player against anything 'normal' can't be helped anyway. I should leave them in peace, with their way too expensive toys, and concentrate on useful things instead. Preaching to the choir isn't really fruitful - and neither is raining on someone's parade. Well, I hope you guys at least had a somewhat informative laugh...

It's just a fucking MP3 player, it's no religion.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:35 PM
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Ah! Nothin like a good fight on a Friday afternoon... :-)
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  #20  
Old 05-07-2010, 03:01 PM
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Hi dfkt,

We appreciate your help very much to finish the RMAA test of HM-801. As the chief orgnizer of HM-801 project, I wish to explain some issues here.

In our experience of design the portable PCM1704 source (HM-801), we noticed similar observation of freq graph. The flater plot we had, the more "digital" sound we heard. Actually lots of flat plot source (for example, most Japanese CD players) are very "digital" sound signature, cold and harsh. Wadia 861 is a perfect example of hi-end player with high freq roll-off. Normally the top plot is the test result with load, the bottom plot is the result without any load.

Wadia 861 from Stereophile
$7950
DAC: PCM1704K (same to HM-801)
http://www.stereophile.com/cdplayers/540/index.html




Best,
Fang

Last edited by nankai; 05-07-2010 at 03:10 PM.

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