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Old 10-28-2012, 07:32 AM
Heterodoxa Heterodoxa is offline
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Default Is The Cowon DAC Responsible For It's Sound Or Is It The BBE Software?

Hi guys, do you know if cowon has a quality DAC inside or its wonderful sound is all made by the bbe software??
I'm searching for a player with a good DAC because i listen only lossless music!
thx all
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2012, 07:40 AM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Both,...
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:45 AM
Heterodoxa Heterodoxa is offline
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can you tell me something more?
For example in comparison with hifiman or colorfly for example
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:03 AM
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The DarkSide The DarkSide is offline
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Hifiman is garbage, and the Colorfly I have no idea about. The hifiman has major treble rolloff,...

Please read (we really don't care all that much for an overpriced, recycled garbage player like the hifiman): http://anythingbutipod.com/forum/sho...hlight=Hifiman
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:53 AM
Heterodoxa Heterodoxa is offline
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Thnaks dark side for the infos! I'm just looking for a good player as my cowon s9 is broken!
Of course i'm wondering about a j3 but i'm looking also for other solutions!
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:55 AM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heterodoxa View Post
Thnaks dark side for the infos! I'm just looking for a good player as my cowon s9 is broken!
Of course i'm wondering about a j3 but i'm looking also for other solutions!
A J3 should sound just like your S9 did, but you would have a microsd slot for holding more music. If you can find one you'd probably like it alot.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:02 AM
Heterodoxa Heterodoxa is offline
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Thanks guys for the replies!
Of course I can find a J3 but i looked also for other, less famous, brands.
Curiously they are all made by china companies, and lot of their marketing is about the dac quality.
I post here the models I saw:
http://www.colorfly.eu/product_index.html
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=78
http://www.nationiteplayers.com/sfloPresentation.htm
and the hifiman of course!
Do you know these brands? What do you think about their?
I was in love wiht my s9 and so, of course, the j3 is the thing i want!
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heterodoxa View Post
Thanks guys for the replies!
Of course I can find a J3 but i looked also for other, less famous, brands.
Curiously they are all made by china companies, and lot of their marketing is about the dac quality.
I post here the models I saw:
http://www.colorfly.eu/product_index.html
http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/show.asp?ID=78
http://www.nationiteplayers.com/sfloPresentation.htm
and the hifiman of course!
Do you know these brands? What do you think about their?
I was in love wiht my s9 and so, of course, the j3 is the thing i want!
^Those are all garbage. Get a cowon, sansa clip or a decent smartphone.
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2012, 11:24 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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The amp section of the Cowon players is good, not great. It doesn't really sound any better without the BBE enhancements. Once you volume match and listen there's no substantial difference between a Cowon and another quality player.

From the site's review of the Cowon J3
Quote:
Sound

So, how does it sound? It sounds perfectly fine, it can drive low and not so low impedance phones without any issues. The really good part about the J3 is that it doesnít hiss much, even with the most sensitive and finicky to drive multi-armature IEMs, such as the Shure SE530 or Ultimate Ears UE11. Other Cowons generally hiss more and arenít that enjoyable with low-impedance/high-sensitivity IEMs as the J3, especially in quiet surroundings at low listening levels.

Iím not going into any delusional audiophile ramblings here, instead I AB-tested the J3 against two of my references, my Echo AudioFire sound card and my Sansa Clip+ (yes, this inconspicuous $30 player is a reference product), in a volume matched setting. Conclusion: they all sound the same with a Ďflatí output (without EQ or other sound enhancements), which of course is a very good thing. Same as any other decent player, the J3 reproduces audio material faithfully, and you canít really top that.
There's lots of hype out there that one DAC vs. another will sound substantially better and that just isn't true as long as they're both decent quality and properly implemented.

The makers of the over priced, under performing boutique players have to tell you something in order to get you to buy one. Their firmwares tend to buggy, the internal construction is frequently substandard and the battery life is poor considering the size of the bricks they usually are. What's left?

The solution to their dilemma is to convince you there's a magic chip inside that makes theirs sound sooooooo much better. Unfortunately that's just not true. Quality DACs that are able to produce a signal that is as good as a decent sound card are dead cheap. They may be made by Cirrus, Wolfson, Yamaha or another maker but if they're doing the job right they all produce a signal that's beyond the human ear's ability to tell one from the next.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There isn't enough difference in sound quality to let that be a criteria when shopping for a DAP. Shop features instead. The BBE enhancements might be one of those features to look at. Longer battery life, larger screens, wider codec support, more reliable firmware are all features I look at.

I've experienced enough players to know if I want better sound quality that will come from better headphones, not some chip that's producing the same sound as any other decent player.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:55 PM
Heterodoxa Heterodoxa is offline
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Great replies guys.. posting in abi is always a guarante to get good and useful tips...
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:44 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Great replies guys.. posting in abi is always a guarante to get good and useful tips...
We try

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  #12  
Old 10-28-2012, 03:51 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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To be fair, I've seen RMAA test results for the iBasso, ColorFly and the sflo2 and they seem to be putting out a clean signal. They don't seem to have the high impedance or rolloff problems some of the other boutique players have. The problem is they don't do anything a Clip+ and a Fiio E6 amp can't. They have more powerful amps so the signal is louder but it isn't better.

Considering the sflo2 is no longer available and the cost of the others that don't sound any better the J3 would be the way to go, if you can find one. They seemed to just vanish right after they were discontinued. There's one listed in the Classifieds here http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...d.php?p=625019. No idea the current status on that but you may want to look into that one if it's still available.
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2012, 01:31 AM
Typhoon859 Typhoon859 is offline
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I may be a little late on this but imo, or rather, in the conclusion to which I have come to from the knowledge I've gathered and extensive observations I've made, the J3 is only really good for midrange IEM headphones that sound great but need that little bit of correction (and probably ones that are more warm-sounding than not). There's a reason why it's so specific. I'd really have to dig into my reserves to rehash this deduction but ask if you really want my reasoning for it, only if for reasons which aren't for the sole intent of contradicting.

I've learned to start small and not just lay it all out there when the input is unwelcomed by so many people, so testing the waters first is always prefferable. I've also learned that even with the most logically presented rational thoughts, there's no use in trying to convince so I'm certainly not motivated enough to put in the thinking power and time only to have it backfire due to the often uncontrolled defensive mechanisms of people. I don't mind criticism; I actually welcome it! The type of which I describe is not at all based on being constructive and stupidity is a pet peeve of mine which often gets me banned everywhere so I'll leave it at that for now. Hopefully this forum empire is built on the philosophy that all its willing participants are of equal status so that it never comes to that point involving specific people feeling threatened of their falsely believed power. BUT ANYWAY...
(too long)

I will however leave this at the following.. For the intent of such a device, it does however end up working very well in the context of what it's made for which is really just relatively short-term listening pleasures during travel. This is why despite the (what I see as) limitation, there is nothing I think that will replace my combination of the Cowon J3 and Brainwavz M2 IEMs (and the EQ I have set for it) for a long time when it comes to portable listening. I have a feeling that a line-out connection could have alleviated most complaints I would otherwise have but unfortunately, the player doesn't have such an option which is strange considering it is one of the few which has line-in...

Considering the fact that this thread IS inquiring about the DAC, it has always been my suspicion that despite all the claims, the main problems SQ wise that the J3 has always been for me had to do with the implementation of the chip because I couldn't imagine it being the amplifier although I'm sure that's a contributor of other insufficiencies I feel the player has. Never got to really disect the problem and on the premise that I'm wrong, I mentioned the bit about line-out. It would certainly answer that question anyway...


PS- To answer your primary question, it's the BBE software which makes it great. If you're looking for outboard ways of manipulating a flat & neutral signal or simply looking to drive headphones which you feel are best suited uncolored and just the way they are, look elsewhere.


EDIT: Dammit!.. Because of I guess mostly my little rant, my post still ended up being long! I guess there's just no way around it... <facepalm> And no, not including that little paragraph wouldn't have been one. In short, it's pre-juistification for not providing detailed reasoning and at the same time to not have my statement(s) written off/passed as being conjectural. It may have been excessive though so I apologize, also in advance, for that...

Last edited by Typhoon859; 12-30-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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