New Adventures in Chi-Fi

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Fretless
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Been doing a bit of reading up about Class D processing, crosstalk and Bridge-Tied Load.

A common thing found with Class D is that, because both stereo channels are being processed simultaneously within the same chip, that there is some leakage of audio between the two channels; 'Crosstalk'.
This leads to a smearing of the stereo image and a reduction in detail.

Running in mono mode eradicates this problem. But there are two different approaches utilised by Class D chips to achieve this:
The TPA3255 processors in the Aiyima A07 make use of Parallel Bridge-Tied Load where the two stereo channels both process the mono signal in tandem, producing twice the output with a maximum (using the right PSU) of 600W.

The Infineon chips in the Sabaj A10a 2022, run BTL mono mode where one of the stereo channels inverts the mono signal, creating a push-pull clamp on the loudspeaker drivers that provides more dynamic control and detail.

Information overload !

:banana-explosion:
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slinger (Tue Feb 06, 2024 4:07 pm) • TheRealAleman (Tue Feb 06, 2024 5:02 pm)

Upstairs:
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DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
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HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Soooo ... to cheer myself up a bit, I have ordered a new toy.

The very excellent Fiio X3 music player that I use in the car has been doing sterling service for at least 10 years now but I am concerned that it'll stop working one of these days and, also, modern connectivity demands that you have devices that have Bluetooth (ugh!).

Image

The first-gen X3 was a reasonable price when I bought it, a top-quality device, solidly-built, played every format known to science and could double as a USB-DAC if necessary. Terrific. Nowadays Fiio have gone so up-market that their players are in the esoterica bracket and unattainable for the likes of me.

Idly perusing Amazon, like one does, I caught sight of a player very similar to the X3 and with things like DSD and Bluetooth. Another solid-looking unit with positive reviews - the Hifi Walker H2. This also happened to be discounted to just over 100 euros - very attractive price, how could I refuse?

Image

One of these is on the way and it'll be fun to see what it can do and how it sounds. It'll make my mobile listening future-proof for the time being as well.

More when it arrives ..... :epopc:
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slinger (Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:40 pm) • CN211276 (Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:46 pm) • Latteman (Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:47 pm) • antonio66 (Thu Mar 14, 2024 7:02 am)

Upstairs:
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Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
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Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by CN211276 »

I do not like blue tooth and use a flash drive with an adaptor in the car. My Bose blue tooth speaker which I use in the smal room with the computer is long in the tooth now and I am looking at a better sounding WiFi alterative. The Sonus era 100 paired seems to be good at the price. It would be state of the art for 90% of people. Class D has come a long. way and lowered the cost of decent sound.
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Fretless (Wed Mar 13, 2024 3:08 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Latteman »

In my car I have ditched my ICE double din thingy and installed an ifi zen sig dac which I feed via usb from iPhone- this to a power amp etc.
Always wondered about a Hi-Res player instead
Ill watch with interest
Analogue Source -
Denon DP47f; AT-VM95SH
GL-59; ARB uni pivot; AT- Signet
Ifi Zen Phono
Doug Self balanced Pre amp
Akai 4000DS mk2 R2R
Digital Sources- Argon Pi4 v2; IfI iUSB 3.0, Ifi Neo idsd Dac;
Tidal / Radio Paradise
Amplification Nva 300va mono blocks
Speakers Lii Audio F-15 in Open Baffle; Ls6
Weiduka AC8.8- for digital sources
Mini BMU for analog sources

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

The Hifi Walker H2 has arrived and I'm giving it a quick initial listen.

1. It doesn't like earphone plugs that have the extra connection for a phone mic. Standard stereo 3.5mm plug works fine.
(EDIT: not entirely correct - only the Sony Buds I tried first)

2. It drives my AudioQuest Nighthawk Carbon cans effortlessly.

3. Lovely chunky casing. Feels like a quality device.

4. Sound quality is awesome.

:music-listening:


Further thoughts tomorrow....
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slinger (Thu Mar 14, 2024 12:20 am) • antonio66 (Thu Mar 14, 2024 7:04 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Lindsayt »

Jack and the Crosstalk.

Feeo Fiiio Fo Fum, I smell the DAC up my English bum!


...And the Hi-fi Walker, is that like a Zimmer Frame for audiophiles?

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Been having a good mess-around with the H2 player and have got a grip on what it's capable of.

Included was a 64Gb micro SD card, very nice. The H2 accepts up to 256Gb extra storage or a maximum of 15,000 songs in its database. The operating system is fairly easy to master. I like proper buttons rather than touchscreens - certainly easier in the car without having to take your eyes off the road or in your pocket whilst walking.

Had to run an errand so took the opportunity to road-test the player and plugged it into the car audio via the line-out socket. Immediately hearing an improvement over the Fiio X3. There has never been much of a stereo image in the car but the H2 changed that; detail, dynamics, soundstage, placement. A new experience whilst driving, very impressed. Sorry Fiio X3, I fear that retirement time has come.

The unit is based around the popular Burr-Brown PCM5102 DAC chip, known for its low energy requirements and pleasant sound. Certainly it does a good Job here coupled with a headphone amp section hefty enough to drive my HifiMan Sundara's in a very convincing way. Almost had me wondering if I hadn't plugged them into a full-blown amplifier by mistake. A wide soundstage, excellent imaging, a solid, powerful sound with plenty of detail.

Bluetooth - not tried it but the H2 can act as a receiver for streaming music from a phone, or transmit from it's own storage to an external DAC or speaker. Versatile. Can also be attached to a computer for use as a USB DAC.

The Hifi Walker H2 is definitely a 'keeper' and will certainly find a home in the car and in my pocket. Looking forward to many years of enjoyment from this!

:dance:
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slinger (Thu Mar 14, 2024 6:32 pm) • antonio66 (Fri Mar 15, 2024 6:27 am) • CN211276 (Fri Mar 15, 2024 10:28 am) • karatestu (Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:25 pm)

Upstairs:
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Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

Rediscovering the joys of a pocket MP3-player also led me back to in-ear bud-phones. In the early 2000's I went through a series of these from: Sony, Philips, Shure, Creative, Sennheiser, etc. It was a cheap way of varying my audio-hobby and a lot of fun. But through the years I appear to have lost, had-stolen, lent-out/given away or thrown out almost all of the useable earbuds in house and am left with a (good) Sony that does not work with the new player and a set from Creative that are reasonable but a bit dull-sounding.

Amazon has the sneaky habit of, when you buy something, throwing related product at you with the hope that you will take the bait. This also occurred after the Hifi Walker H2 purchase and their A1 earphones were promptly pushed forward to grab my attention.

Image

Reading the related reviews, digging around for more info and being seduced by the very-reasonable price of under €35, I hit the 'buy' button and have been giving these a good listen over the weekend.

Earbud design has obviously come a long way since I last bought any, about 15 years ago. The A1 buds are compact, fit snugly in the ear and feel solid with their rugged aluminium housing. Supplied with various-sized tips and a nice leather(?) carry-bag they look more expensive than they are. Care has also been taken to make a reinforced joint where the (fixed) cable enters the earpiece. And a wire-mounted mic/volume controller is included for smartphone use.

Soundwise, these earphones immediately impress, they claim a frequency response of 10Hz-70KHz and the bass does go very deep, but not in an overblown way. Treble is extremely detailed and could get a bit sharp if you're not careful. Mids are somewhat recessed - however that can always be fixed with the application of a bit of EQ in the player.

The H2 does have a pleasant, rounded sonic character and matches excellently with the A1 buds. Soundstage is wide, detail enough to be very satisfactory and plenty of authoritative weight and punch in the delivery. I have paid far more in the past for earbuds that are far less enjoyable than these. There are also mods online for the A1 buds that apparently boost them into esoteric territory, don't know if I'll bother.

As usual with Chifi, where a lot of brands are copycat, box-stuffer designs putting cheap components in flashy casings, the exception is sometimes a manufacturer that does strive to give solid quality at an affordable price. Hifi Walker show that the dedicated pocket DAP and quality earbuds don't have to cost the earth and can get your music out and about in an audiophile-friendly way.

:music-listening:
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antonio66 (Tue Mar 19, 2024 7:04 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by CN211276 »

https://www.amazon.com/sephia-SP3060-Ea ... B0170RBJ9Q

I bought these last year for around £20, seems like the price has gone down since. For the price they are excellent and sound better than ear buds I bought costing morey 10-15 years ago. Use them streaming offline Qobuz from my android phone when on public transport. Always get the bus into town as it is free with my seniors transport card. The cost of parking is extortionate. :grin:
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Fretless (Mon Mar 18, 2024 4:59 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Colbat

RIP Doc

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Re: New Adventures in Chi-Fi

Unread post by Fretless »

There are several Digital Audio Players almost identical to the Hifi Walker H2 on Amazon from names like Surfans and Mechen. Similar layout, casing, specs etc. Maybe they sound similar - probably depends on the DAC chip and headphone amp section.

Anyway the new player and buds are maintaining my sanity as the better half has had a severe bladder infection and I am having to spend long periods of being 'on call' close by should she need anything in her very confused state.

Reading a lot, working my way through the Wisting detective series (recommended) and the new earbuds mean I can enjoy music without disturbing anyone as they snooze.

:shhh:
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slinger (Tue Mar 19, 2024 1:42 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 - SSP - LS6+ Sabaj A10a {x2)
Little Bear MC2 + AQ NightHawk
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 & PSU - BMUAiyima A07 MAX + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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