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Old 05-10-2011, 01:20 PM
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sYlt sYlt is offline
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Default Zen X-Fi 2 RMAA

I earlier planned to RMAA my X-Fi 2 player out of curiosity. I haven't done that YET, still going to learn/setup it properly.

Anyway, meanwhile I found these RMAA tests of the player NO LOAD, and I thought it might be interesting to share:

http://to4.it/yn9m

EDIT: Scroll down and click on Detailed report under the RMAA table, there's no direct link.

EDIT2: Here's another RMAA test: http://www.markuskraus.com/RMAA/xfi2/data.htm Somehow very different results on some categories, those seem to be with LOAD -> Triple Fi 10

Not as bad as I thought it would be, but not that good performing compared to others, here's dfkt's website filled with RMAA tests/comparisons:

http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/

I'm hoping on testing with load with my Panas. I'll be posting it here.

Last edited by sYlt; 05-10-2011 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:26 PM
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Nice! I'd like to see those tests, or perhaps I should say; I'd like to see a discussion about the results. This player isn't too popular in recommendations, and while I'm aware there are other factors involved with that, some exact testing on the sound quality would be welcome I think.
I'm not an expert by far, but to me the frequency response looks quite good on the first (ixbt.com) test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sYlt View Post
EDIT2: Here's another RMAA test: http://www.markuskraus.com/RMAA/xfi2/data.htm Somehow very different results on some categories, those seem to be with LOAD -> Triple Fi 10
I noticed that besides the LOAD/NO LOAD, the markuskraus test also says "Polarity = inverted/inverted" whereas your first link says "Polarity = correct/correct". Don't know what it means but I figured it may be of some importance since that difference also shows in these two tests; Clip 16 Ohm and Clip 16 Ohm Headsix.

Anyway I encourage your testing!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:32 PM
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The IBXT test was made without a load, with no headphone attached. This is not realistic, it's an 'ideal' condition. For that the frequency response looks rather poorly - as if they used MP3 instead of WAV for the test.

The Markus Kraus test was made with a very difficult to drive load, a multi-armature IEM with crossover. For that the Zen performs not too bad. It seems it has a similar bass roll-off with low impedance phones as the Cowon players, and an acceptably low output impedance. Not as low as the Sansas or the new iPods, but way better than Sony players or the Hifiman stuff. Here's a good example of how output impedance messes the frequency response up when it comes to multi-armature IEMs: Clip+ vs. Hifiman.

Polarity is not relevant for these tests. What you see in my Clip/Headsix test is how the Headsix rolls off the treble when used in low gain mode. In that test it's about how the Headsix performs, not so much about the Clip. However, if you compare the two, you see what the Headsix improves (crosstalk, THD) over the Clip's own output, and what it makes worse (frequency response).
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:53 PM
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Ok...

So after a long time trying to set it up correctly and trying to get the desired results, which was the hardest task (thanks a lot dfkt for the help), I finally was able to properly test the Zen X-Fi 2, kinda.

Why kinda? Apparently my sound card (Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer) isn't the best to get the ideal results, you'll see why:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4012390/comp...Comparison.htm

Values go around -70 ish db with NO LOAD, (none of these is with any load, on purpose at least ) when ideally it should be around -90 ish db. But as dfkt said, and I quote it: 'works well enough to get a rought picture of the device', which I completely agree.

Moving forward! I decided to put something to the test that I've been wondering about for quite some time now, how Crystalizer option performs on different firmwares; I once said that with the new firmwares (1.2x.xx) X-Fi features sounded broken/bad. To me 1.12.01 Crystalizer sounds better against the 1.23.08 one, even if on those graphs you can see that IMD (Intermodulation Distortion) looks better on the latest firmware. I don't know why this happens but to my ears it's just worse. An example I can describe: on this song: the view from the afternoon, I can hear the snare drum like it's the only thing being recorded at normal volume, everything else sounds like it's on background.

I'll try to make those tests with load on the weekend, I still need to get the Y splitter though.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:24 PM
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Little update.

I've tested the player with LOAD this time, using the Panasonic HJE-900, which reportedly have 26ohm:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4012390/zen%...Comparison.htm

EDIT: A more complete comparison, with 3 different IEMS, the Panas, the Creative EP-830 (16ohm) and the Sony MDR-EX082 (16ohm): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4012390/no%2...Comparison.htm

PS: I know the firmware versions name has been slightly wrong on some of my tests.

Last edited by sYlt; 05-23-2011 at 08:00 PM.
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