android
  #1  
Old 01-31-2012, 08:56 AM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default rock boxed Zip (sound adjustments)

hey guys

after deciding to buy a Sansa Zip from some helpful posts on here, im back for some more advice.

first of all this thing is amazing roxboxed! i had no idea these things could do so much more than just play music.

i have been messing with all kinds of settings to make things just the way i like em, but when it comes to the SQ im left wanting more...

now im coming from a ZuneHD, but i assumed the Zip was pretty much in the same ballpark as far as SQ goes. i might add im using the same headphones i was using with the ZuneHD which sounded awesome with the Zune (JVC marshmallow).

but it seems no matter how much i tweak the EQ i just cant get very clear sound. i even tried the presets & messing with the freq adjustments on the different EQ settings. but to be honest as of right now the Zip sounds like junk. im not saying the player sucks. i just cant seem to find the sweet spot to make this thing sound good. im haven't ruled out that i may have messed up a setting and may just restore the OG config later tonight, but before i did i just wanted to get your guys advice.

so i guess what im asking is. is there a tweak that i dont know about that is commonly missed, is the sound chip in the Zip not as good when compaired to something like the ZuneHD? any suggestions are welcome.

thanks.
Reply With Quote

Advertisement [Remove Advertisement]

  #2  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:09 AM
Marvin the Martian's Avatar
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: east central NY state
Posts: 10,602
Default

I found that the Zip, even with the EQ disabled and all settings flat, sounded better than the Zune HD. The Z:HD sounded a bit thin and bass-light in comparison....also with all settings flat. I suspect if you tried some different earphones you might hear what I heard.
__________________
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB. Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 520
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:28 AM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

thanks for the reply. i did try some other headphones too. including the mammoth ones i use for DJ-ing and also another set of Sony's i have that "clip" to your ears, but the results were very similar...

one thing i will say, the Zip does seem like it has more "power" to move bigger drivers easily than compaired to the ZuneHD. even when they are both set to the flat EQ. i seem to get much more bass out of the Zip because of this. but its just not as clear.

also, i noticed a slight high pitched hum when no music is playing on the Zip. is this a Rockbox thing? i don't remember it doing that on the OF. but then again i only used the OF for about 2 songs before i rockboxed it.

no offence to anyone but the OF theme looks like puke. im lovin the stock rockbox theme. it does the display much more justice. i love the refresh rate with scrolling set to 1px & the faster scrolling speeds.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:38 AM
Marvin the Martian's Avatar
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: east central NY state
Posts: 10,602
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post

one thing i will say, the Zip does seem like it has more "power" to move bigger drivers easily than compaired to the ZuneHD. even when they are both set to the flat EQ. i seem to get much more bass out of the Zip because of this. but its just not as clear.
You'll have to tinker more with the EQ settings, maybe....you can set every one of the 5 bands to the frequency you desire. Maybe at first though, disable the EQ and simply boost the treble setting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
also, i noticed a slight high pitched hum when no music is playing on the Zip. is this a Rockbox thing? i don't remember it doing that on the OF. but then again i only used the OF for about 2 songs before i rockboxed it.
I don't hear this, on any of my three Zips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
no offence to anyone but the OF theme looks like puke. im lovin the stock rockbox theme. it does the display much more justice. i love the refresh rate with scrolling set to 1px & the faster scrolling speeds.
I haven't looked at the OF in weeks, and have no plans to either!
__________________
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB. Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 520
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:55 AM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

hmm if you dont hear that noise... im wondering if i have a dud then....

ill boot into the OF when i get home. if i still hear the hum i might have to get a replacement assuming that is related to the sound issues im having.

i know the screen emits a noise when its on (i can hear it if im in a quiet room) but not sure if its related to the noise coming thru the headphones when no media is playing.

they may be totally unrelated altogether tho... IDK, ill post back with my results/findings.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old 01-31-2012, 09:59 AM
Marvin the Martian's Avatar
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: east central NY state
Posts: 10,602
Default

Do you always hear the noise, or just with IEM's? I don't use those, but I don't hear anything with any of my various headphones.
__________________
iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB. Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 520
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old 01-31-2012, 10:12 AM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

ill get back to you on that.

the thing is that its a hum around say 10-12k+ so it doesn't stand out easily if any other sound is being played. i would say its easily drowned out by "noise" in the audio file. so i dont seem to notice it when audio is playing, but i guess that doesnt mean it goes away. it is 100% audible when no audio is playing tho. i dont have to try to listen for it, its just there.

to be honest i haven't done much trouble shooting in regards to the hum cuz i just thought it was a rockbox thing. when i was switching back and forth with different headphones last night the vol was always around -10 to 0 db. so if the hum was present, it was drowned out by the audio being played.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old 01-31-2012, 10:25 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,409
Default

dfkt posted a high quality silence file here some time ago. I've found it useful in tracking down hum and background noises. It lets you listen without the noise of a music file masking any sounds that are coming from the player itself.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old 01-31-2012, 12:30 PM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

a file like that would help a lot. thank you!

also, related to the thread you linked. i do think this is "CPU noise", now that i think about it makes perfect sense. i probably mis-described the "noise" as a hum, to be honest it sounds more like alien robot mice talking to each other.

so double thank you!
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old 01-31-2012, 01:55 PM
WalkGood's Avatar
WalkGood WalkGood is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 12,579
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
… i have been messing with all kinds of settings to make things just the way i like em, but when it comes to the SQ im left wanting more...
I’d look at better IEMs for better sound if you are “left wanting more.”

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
… i assumed the Zip was pretty much in the same ballpark as far as SQ goes. …
I would agree, if you match the volume exactly most all top tier DAPs will sound the same without sound enhancements. Although some are tweaked a little from the manufacturer, for example the sony is tweaked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
… it seems no matter how much i tweak the EQ i just cant get very clear sound. i even tried the presets & messing with the freq adjustments on the different EQ settings. but to be honest as of right now the Zip sounds like junk. …
I’m a little confused, AFAIK rockbox does not have presets unless you created cfg files. If you’re talking about the original firmware (OF) then yes, presets suck and so does the OF EQ on any Clip. I don’t use the OF so I can’t say much there, I use rockbox and do run mine with the EQ tweaked to my liking but I use negative values rather than boosting the bands as it sounds better to my ears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
… is the sound chip in the Zip not as good when compaired to something like the ZuneHD? …
No, it's justs as good IMHO, the Zip uses the AMS DAC which has proven to have great sound via RMAA testing and volume matched ABX tests.


Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
… i noticed a slight high pitched hum when no music is playing on the Zip. is this a Rockbox thing? i don't remember it doing that on the OF. …
I’m not sure what the hum/noise you’re hearing but have you tried the latest build, hopefully that will make a difference. I remember during the beta time that I would hear a little noise from time to time, similar to system noise like a machine sound but no hum. Now I don’t hear any noise, I do hear very small artifact noise between tracks but it’s so minor that I really have to listen hard to pick it up and the win of rockbox for me is worth its weight in gold that I could care less.
__________________
WalkGood,
Ramón

abi >> | Forum Rules | Glossary | Why Rockbox | FLAC or MP3? | irc
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old 01-31-2012, 02:46 PM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

thanks you for your post. the thing is im comparing the Zip to a ZuneHD with using the same headphones. with the ZuneHD the headphones had a very clear sound so much so that i started using higher bit rates cuz i could hear thru the audio track better (if that make any sense).

with the same tracks and headphones on the Zip its just not as clear. almost sounds like someone took my files and re-recorded them with the level a touch too high. like its almost clipping out. not bad, but enough that it takes away from the crispness of any sound thats meant to be sharp. i dont know how else to explain it.

i am runing the latest rockbox build, in regards to the EQ settings there are presets in there. like "rock, jazz, newage, etc. they all sound pretty bad too. i too agree with negative values. i tend to drop part of the mid-range a good bit on single driver set ups, as it seems to leave more room for the lows/highs with much less distortion at higher volumes.

the "hum" was origonally poorly described by me but then better explained here which i believe to be the issue and not really related to the lack of clarity in the audio that im having trouble with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
a file like that would help a lot. thank you!

also, related to the thread you linked. i do think this is "CPU noise", now that i think about it makes perfect sense. i probably mis-described the "noise" as a hum, to be honest it sounds more like alien robot mice talking to each other.

so double thank you!
i do appreciated all you guys helping me out here.

once i get home from work ill try to nail down what might be the issue. i may even restore the defaults just to rule out user error. truth is, i love this lil player & i cant wait to get it sounding nice and clear.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old 01-31-2012, 04:35 PM
WalkGood's Avatar
WalkGood WalkGood is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 12,579
Default

I didn’t mean that better headphones would make up the sound difference you are hearing between two players. I agree with you that comparing one to the other the same phones are a must but also you need to volume match them as close as possible. That can be done by recording what the player is putting out and use something like Audacity’s UV level meters to verify they're volume matched. What I meant to say is; regardless of the player if you are "left wanting more," better headphones does the trick.

Sorry I can't help with the "CPU noise" because I don't have it.
__________________
WalkGood,
Ramón

abi >> | Forum Rules | Glossary | Why Rockbox | FLAC or MP3? | irc
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old 01-31-2012, 04:53 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
Rockbox Developer / Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,628
Default

If you want to compare devices, use RMAA.

If you want to compare devices, and want to do a listening test, record the same track on both players and then use replaygain to equalize the volume. Don't do the thing where people flip out the headphones back and forth between them.
__________________
Interested in Google's Summer of Code ? PM me.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old 01-31-2012, 06:32 PM
l2ob's Avatar
l2ob l2ob is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Default

ok guys.

my problem seems to be sorta fixed by restoring to defaults.

reason i say sorta is i think the Zip might make audio more transparent. for a OCD person like me i think this lead to hearing more junk than im used to with Mp3s even at 320Kbs on the ZuneHD. only thing i can think of. after doing some tweaks to the EQ and runing .wav format i have to say i am more impressed than i thought i was going to be with this lil guy.

only downside i can see is now im left wanting better headphones....

thanks for all your input.

side note: "CPU" noise is still there, but from testing with dfkt's silence file i can say the noise does not increase with the volume level. which makes it inaudible with the slightest bit of sound playing.

so with that in mind its a VERY minor gripe and doesn't bother me.

can someone link me to a area to donate to the Rockbox crew? id love to buy them some beers!
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:49 AM
WalkGood's Avatar
WalkGood WalkGood is offline
Ultra Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 12,579
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by l2ob View Post
... can someone link me to a area to donate to the Rockbox crew? id love to buy them some beers!
http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/DonatedM...Do_I_Donate_63
__________________
WalkGood,
Ramón

abi >> | Forum Rules | Glossary | Why Rockbox | FLAC or MP3? | irc
Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 PM.