best way to listen to digital music

Discussion in 'DJ' started by ca5plays, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. ca5plays

    ca5plays Member

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    hey peeps wass opp, ok i been " DJing " on the go more now playing all kinds of music from all kids of sources , depending on the sitchy-ation , im really trying to nail down , " THE BEST " way to play digital media , i even went and dug up some old sony minidisc players to compare quality ......

    i wanted to know if i should invest in aye large mobile device or lapertopp with the biggest hard-D so i can just get all my music in lossless format like flacc or wav ........... i know the downside is huge files???????? , but i just want the best , let me know plz if you know , cuz i dont really know yet thanks ,,,,,,,:)~
     
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  3. Gnib

    Gnib Producer

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    If you care about quality, but a hirez portable music player that supports 24/192. FIIO has the affordable ones Astell & Kern is the high end of the market. In the USA you have the PONO player.

    This is the new way portable audio is heading. Back in the day, Minidisc were fine though but as happened before: Sony killed it`s own invention.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  4. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Fiio X3 2nd gen and X5 2nd gen are great choices as portable players. I have them both, though prefer X3II over X5II, even though X5II is much more expensive.
    Both players support microSDXC up to 200GB in capacity. X5II has two card slots, with theoretical maximum 400GB.
    As for file formats, FLAC, APE, ALAC and WAV are supported up to 24/192 stereo.
    MP3, OGG, AAC as well. And finally DSD 2.8MHz and DSD 5.6MHz.
    Really awesome hardware inside, and powerful headphone amp too. 6 times more voltage than your average iPhone - perfect for high impedance headphones.
    However modest battery life - only 10-12 hours. This is easily fixed by using powerbank, with my 5000mAh Xiaomi, I get 20 more hours on X3II and 16 more hours on X5II
     
  5. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Buy USB3 HDDs - and something simple and good that can read them and output in whatever formats you need (optical, stereo audio, whatever).

    I'm thinking a nice notebook type thing (or laptop) with a small but fast solid state drive (for OS and audio player) and a USB soundcard - connected to some USB3 regular, portable HDDs.

    If you get a few 3TB external drives then you can get all the audio you want at whatever quality you want. You'll struggle to fill it. I use FLAC (much smaller than WAV).

    I have PC, drives, external soundcard out to amp. It could be made pretty small and portable, very flexible and potentially limitless amounts of music (how many 3TB drives can you fill?)

    Any other solution (geared to DJs/musicians) will be expensive, I imagine.
     
  6. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Neat little thing - though at Amazon it says

    "Audiophile-grade components with Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC"

    Those DAC chips only cost $10 each and it has only 128Gb storage (For $200?) Whereas a 3TB external drive is circa $100.

    I would find something that will read USB hard drives and which has some digital output. And buy a little $60 DAC too? Sorted!
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    What?
    Sabre ES9018 costs $40.
    CS4398 has good enough specs, also when it comes to DACs it's more about the implementation than the chip alone. Price tag of the DAC mean usually nothing.
    Not sure what you mean by that CMOY link (especially from untrustworthy source such as Headfonia). :dunno:

    Also no, it supports all microSDXC compliant cards, including Sandisk 200GB.

    Dual platter drives are noisy and since OP asked for best way to listen to digital music, I cannot recommend mechanical hard drives in the chain.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
  8. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    I use a Hex Editor, so that I can really get a feel for the fine details in the music.
     
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  9. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Nobody mentioned that? Well, not until you did?

    I only mention the price of the DAC in the FIIO thing because it is so low compared to the price of the device: you're paying for the rest of the device (including non-audio stuff such as screen, case, marketing, etc)

    Sure - but costs £85-£150 at Amazon atm. At that price you can get a 3TB USB drive and change. Almost enough change for 2x3TB. Anyway, it's about 30 times the storage......or 1/30th of the price. £80-£150 is a lot for a small drive to be used just for music streaming. Whereas 6TB is vast, and USB is ....universal.

    They are not at all noisy compared to the music. I sometimes shake books off their shelf, but hard drive noise is not an issue. :) But you mean in the signal itself, right? Hmmm, I've never noticed any, but if it's an issue to OP, sure........get solid state at 30 times the price..........

    My take is to ignore 'gimmicky' things or stuff marketed at DJs and audio folk. A small PC (even Raspberry PI?) a few huge USB drives and a USB DAC is a relatively straightforward solution - plus it gives a whole lot more (a PC! and everything that means.) All these things are computers.....why not get a proper one? And if you want pristine audio, don't use a PC? Instead get dedicated audio stuff.......sure.

    I'm not a DJ, more a computer person. I like good solutions to problems like this one. I'm perhaps averse to 'fancy' solutions. OTOH, maybe a few USB drives, a laptop, and external soundcard is overkill? Hmm, could be as big/small as a lunch box? It'd be vastly more flexible and useful than a dedicated tool. And much better value. Just my opinion.
     
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  10. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Except that it's not really portable, maybe transportable at best and requires a lot of power.
    For Raspberry Pi you actually need a HDMI screen and keyboard. With enough skills I guess one could program an environment for which you don't need either (control interface with just few buttons), but it gets quite complicated for regular user.
    Then there's all those issues that can arise - hardware mismatch, aggressive power management, bad drivers, all of which can cause audio drop-outs.
    Hard drive noise might be an issue (yes, I meant physical noise, not RFI), OP didn't state how loud his/her music is.

    Fiio players are in my opinion still good value, compared to all those audiophool HiFiMan DAP nonsense, easily reaching over $1200.
    But for large FLAC library, your solution does seem better suited.

    BTW, it's quite common for DAC chip to be fraction of the price for the whole set. But DAC chip in itself is useless without precise TCXO, which X3II implements very well.
     
  11. fraifikmushi

    fraifikmushi Audiosexual

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    I like what you're saying and I tend to agree with you but you have to keep in mind that your comparison only makes sense if you put your time and work into the equation with the equivalent of 0,- $ (or whatever currency).
    Judging the price of a product by the sum of its individual components is a naive assassment of the situation.
     
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  12. Hardlock

    Hardlock Ultrasonic

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    Ears that can distinguish between zeros and ones is the best way to listen to digital :wink:
     
  13. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    Well, dude was on about $100 Harman Kardon speaker for mixing previously, so anything will be a stretch, perhaps.

    I get the impression the OP wants everything bangin', with minimal outlay (don't we all?) Perhaps a secondhand MS Surface with a big USB hard drive would do it? But then, why have a huge hard drive, if it isn't needed? Hmmm, maybe one of those dedicated little players is worth it. It just seems a lot of dough and being tied to XYZ gadget, that's all.

    I suspect what OP wants for speakers are my Xarus 5000 :D though portable they are not! DJ speakers....try find more bangs for the buck!?
     
  14. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    Record it to cassette tape and jam it on a boombox.
     
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  15. solo83

    solo83 Producer

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    Pint of good whiskey or cognac, a nice joint if your into that, an mp3 player with a ton of gigs, some good earbuds and you're set.
     
  16. G String

    G String Platinum Record

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    My mind has kept coming back to this little FIIO player thing, which Andrew suggested.

    I've come around to thinking it's a very good solution, one which makes my suggestion relatively very cumbersome and ungainly. My solution would give you vastly more storage and flexibility, but that isn't what a DJ wants? Whereas, whilst they're expensive, those 200GB SD cards are mad. And tiny. Gosh, I feel old.

    I do have a FIIO Taishan and it's a neat little DAC. USB, matchbox sized, two optical in and RCA and headphones out. Very simple and it just works (no drivers) - up to 24/192. So I can vouch for FIIO somewhat.
     
  17. Army of Ninjas

    Army of Ninjas Rock Star

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    I'm with you up until the earbud part.... Earbuds are horrible. Simply horrible. Get some cans.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Blame the tiny cables for their perfect ability to tangle up, not the buds :bleh:.
    In all seriousness, IEMs are even worse. The fact that you have to force the tiny transducer up your ear canal. And the fact they're extremely sensitive, you can damage your hearing very easily.
    I do have three pairs of VE Monks, $5 each - best earbud I've ever had. Can't match full sized cans, but for what they're worth - perfect. And super light for transport.
     
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