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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:00 pm 
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In the age of the smart phone, I figured these things were obsolete. Someone directed my attention to a "high-end" player, able to do 24-bit/192KHZ playback with a pretty good DAC and the ability to hold two microsd cards. Full disclosure, I'm all in on music streaming and love Google Music. But the ability to hold my entire collection in a lossless format was attractive.

And so I bought one - http://www.techradar.com/reviews/audio- ... 550/review

I received it yesterday. I didn't spend the ridiculous $700 or whatever it launched at. At $219 for an open-box unit, it's still a pricey toy. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hear the difference between this and my Axon 7 phone, but there's a pretty clear difference in sound quality with my FLAC files. I've had plenty of eye-rolling worthy moments of "I've never heard that detail before!" Who's to say if I'm just listening more intently or not, though this is with recordings I've listened upwards of a hundred times.

Anyways, there you go. Leave it to audio dorks to make me want a device that's less convenient than my cell phone.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:19 pm 
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I'm over here hoping my last-generation click-wheel iPod Classic never dies.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Eric wrote:
I'm over here hoping my last-generation click-wheel iPod Classic never dies.


I used to rock an Iriver HP-120. It was a geeky alternative to the ipod - had a TOSLINK digital out, line in for bootlegging shows, radio, internal MIC, and allowed playback of .ogg... ( :lol: ) gapless audio playback, way back in 2003.

I modded it with Rockbox, which even furthered its compatibility. It still works, though I replaced the harddrive with a compactflash card and the battery has been replaced a few times. I loved that thing, and I still use it time to time to bootleg shows, record radio in foreign countries, or make field recordings. The smartphone dethroned it from my daily use, but it still has its place.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:27 pm 
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I'm not that geeky. Just old. And convinced that gadgets that do one thing tend to do it better than gadgets that try to do everything.

I've still got a Kindle in addition to my phone, as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Eric wrote:
I'm not that geeky. Just old. And convinced that gadgets that do one thing tend to do it better than gadgets that try to do everything.

I've still got a Kindle in addition to my phone, as well.


For sure, though I sure felt smug in 2003 when my friend's ipod couldn't play Pink Floyd without pausing between tracks and my player could.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:52 pm 
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There are a lot of early 21st century portable players with decent D/A converters (and/or sporting digital outs). They all sound way better than any phone or Apple product (which all use cheap D/A converters designed for voice or mid-range frequency playback). There was a huge push for portable FLAC players about a decade ago, with a lot of companies retrofitting click-wheel iPods with better audio outputs.

The Microsoft Zune sported a decent audio chip as well, which is why the 120GB version sells for quite a bit of money on eBay.

It would be nice if Samsung put out an audiophile version of their galaxy phone, because I would be all over that.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
It would be nice if Samsung put out an audiophile version of their galaxy phone, because I would be all over that.

For sure.

The Axon 7 has decent sound output (better than my former Galaxy S4 anyways) but this dedicated player kicks it but. My old Iriver was better than the S4.

Pretty soon I'll have 400GB (+32 internal storage) on this Pioneer player. It also has wifi for streaming. Woop.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:22 pm 
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My 2nd CD player was a Discman D-88. Had better audio quality output than any 21st century portable player. Measured only 4 x 4 inches, so it was a lot smaller than early MP3 players as well. The CDs stuck out of the player, but it was introduced the same time as 3" CD singles (they were very popular in Holland), which fit perfectly inside the device.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Just looking at that gives me anxiety.

I've never owned a portable CD player. I was a late bloomer with music - didn't really get into it until I was 17 or so, and started off with a RCA Lyra with 32MB (it sucked a lot) and later my dad bought me a Sony minidisc recorder/player. Loved that thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:54 pm 
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I had a Discman in the early 90s, but mine actually enveloped the whole disc. And the batteries lasted for maybe an hour, if you were lucky.

As for the iPod, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a big jazzhead maybe 20 years ago. This was the kind of guy who had a high-end tube amplifier for his stereo, and we were talking about music for a while before he asked me what I was listening on. When I told him it was just whatever POS stereo I had at the time, he immediately asked, "Do you play?" I said yes, and he told me that every musician he'd ever met listened to his music on the shittiest system.

Probably true. I'm sure audiophile gear would be wasted on me, as I've had tinnitus my entire adult life.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:06 pm 
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Yeah, that tiny discman wasn't meant to be played in your pocket...Sony used to advertise their players as "transportable," meaning they could easily be moved around from one place to another, but the playing needed be done at a stable, plugged-in, location. I think the batteries lasted just over an hour with mine, which was a record at the time (I bought it in 1988, and the earlier "portable" model used 6 C-sized batteries, lasting all of 45 minutes).

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:11 pm 
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Eric wrote:
I've had tinnitus my entire adult life.

Isn't that fun? I have it in my left ear, and it only rears its head when someone mentions it (thanks, btw), or if I'm in a really quiet room.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:37 pm 
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I still listen to CDs on my 20-year-old laserdisc player.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
...but the playing needed be done at a stable, plugged-in, location.


Yep. Skippy as fuck. It was a few more years before they invented skip protection and you could actually move around with the things. Later, I had one with the tape deck adapter to play through the car stereo.

Chris Knight wrote:
Isn't that fun? I have it in my left ear, and it only rears its head when someone mentions it (thanks, btw), or if I'm in a really quiet room.


You brought it to mind for me with your mention of audiophile shit, so right back at you. Hadn't actually thought of (and therefore heard) the ringing for weeks. But I can hear it now.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Tinnitus sufferer here, as well. :( Started up in earnest maybe seven or eight years back. Most of the time, I can just tune it out, but if I'm alone in a quiet room, with nothing to distract me, it becomes very obvious. That's why I hate scenes in movies where they go for that Saving Private Ryan effect of putting a high-pitched whine on the soundtrack while all of the other sounds are intentionally muffled...I'm like, is that the movie, or me? :flip:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Monterey Jack wrote:
I still listen to CDs on my 20-year-old laserdisc player.

That doesn't sound very portable.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Here's the battery for the LD player to make it portable:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:17 pm 
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I don't like to listen to music on the go anyways...I sit down and LISTEN TO MUSIC, I don't just have it playing in the background (ironic, as I only listen to background music).

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:39 pm 
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Monterey Jack wrote:
I don't like to listen to music on the go anyways...I sit down and LISTEN TO MUSIC, I don't just have it playing in the background (ironic, as I only listen to background music).


I like the emphasis on LISTEN. I go do things and listen to music. It's pretty ok sometimes.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:30 am 
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So, here's a question. I like having all of my music on one device, and currently my ancient 160 GB iPod has been fine for that. But as it ages, it's getting wonkier (especially the battery life), and I only have 2 GB of room for new stuff (and I already have 5-10 GB of stuff on my iTunes that I can't sync to the iPod). Would something like this, which, if I read the review correctly, I could have 2 x 200 GB on micro SD cards, plus the internal be a good alternative? The 400 GB+ of potential space would be more than enough to allow me access to everything that I own currently, and should have enough to accommodate future additions.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:59 am 
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There seem to be MicroSD cards ranging from 256G to 512G. They're hundreds of dollars, but as we're moving toward just listening to everything on our phones, that might be the way to go.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:10 am 
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Eric wrote:
There seem to be MicroSD cards ranging from 256G to 512G. They're hundreds of dollars, but as we're moving toward just listening to everything on our phones, that might be the way to go.

Any android device with a Micro-USB charge slot can use that same slot to attach a flash drive, and WiFi enabled hard drives provide an alternate solution to expensive flash memory. The latter are a bit bulkier, but being able to access 4TB of data on the go is pretty cool.

The advantage of the Pioneer (and identical Onkyo-branded) players is the audio quality playback. The dual memory card slot is a nice bonus, considering 2 x 200GB cards will set you back no more than $160.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:26 am 
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Eric wrote:
I'm over here hoping my last-generation click-wheel iPod Classic never dies.

Mine finally did a few weeks ago. Heartbreaking!

I'm pretty sure it's the battery, which in theory I could get repaired, but I instead got a card for my phone and added about 40gb of music to it.

Does not compare. Not for reasons of capacity -- my classic was the 160gb, but more isn't always better -- but for interface. The click-wheel is the best fucking thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:28 am 
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Eric wrote:
I've still got a Kindle in addition to my phone, as well.

:thumbs:

I still have a Kindle in addition to my Kindle. I have a Fire for tablet stuff -- games, Youtube, etc. -- and a classic Kindle for reading. I don't read on the Fire. The whole point of a Kindle was supposed to be that it felt like reading paper, not a screen, so why the fuck would I want my books on a Fire or on my phone? Those devices are fine for a quick magazine article or website, but I like my old school Kindle for book reading, thanks.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:31 am 
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Yeah, I figured audio quality was a big part of the draw, but Kimfair, like me, is happy enough with an iPod, and we're all bitching about tinnitus, so I also figured people would vary in how much value they placed on that.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:45 am 
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Totally not worried about audio quality when I'm just using it for walks and waiting rooms or pushing music into the backyard during a BBQ. Better than radio quality is good enough for me.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 am 
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Kimfair wrote:
So, here's a question. I like having all of my music on one device, and currently my ancient 160 GB iPod has been fine for that. But as it ages, it's getting wonkier (especially the battery life), and I only have 2 GB of room for new stuff (and I already have 5-10 GB of stuff on my iTunes that I can't sync to the iPod). Would something like this, which, if I read the review correctly, I could have 2 x 200 GB on micro SD cards, plus the internal be a good alternative? The 400 GB+ of potential space would be more than enough to allow me access to everything that I own currently, and should have enough to accommodate future additions.


Yes.

Though In the course of 2 days, I've just about filled up this player's two 200GB cards with about 10GB free on the main unit. Keep in mind I'm storing my music as lossless flac files which are considerably larger than MP3 files. You might not care about that.

Beyond the internal storage space, Google Music (compatible with this device since it's Android) lets you store about 50,000 tracks on their server so you could have yourself pretty well covered. Google Music will require a wifi signal


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Yeah, the MP3 or 4 that they are in now if fine by me, so the 400 G should be plenty. It took me until I was 50 to get to 160 G, and I'm quite sure that I don't have another 50 years in me.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:50 am 
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This thing has me buying music again, opposed to just streaming. I have mixed feelings - I went off the deep-end once buying music. On the other hand, being excited to listen to new music brings pleasure. Google Music Streaming was mostly used as background music, but buying specific albums and seeking out new music actively lets me focus on the album and appreciate it.

Also I'm getting most of my music from Bandcamp - https://bandcamp.com/

You all probably know this, but it's one of the better/easier avenues for artists to publish music and get a decent cut. I believe Bandcamp takes 10-15% off the purchase, the rest goes to the musician or the label. Better yet, they let you get your music in lossless quality - support the artist, get good copies of the music, and I'm no longer dealing with towers of CD jewel cases is a bonus.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Yep, Bandcamp is awesome, and it's the only place I buy music from. Some artists do put out physical copies on there, btw. One guy I know sells cassettes like crazy on his artist page. Baffling.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Yeah, I can say I really don't get the cassette thing - I ran into an artist that only sold cassettes back in 2005 or 2006 and it was just as baffling to me then.

Like, if you're making some nostalgic music that reminds people of the 1980s, I'll admire the kitsch factor, otherwise no.

By the way, I just got these for my listening pleasure at home - https://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id= ... oCXHXw_wcB

These may replace my Sennheiser HD600s as my main headphones. They sound pretty damn good.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:28 pm 
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Brian - so what is your opinion of this player? Cary and I are both starting to look into replacements for our iPod classics.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:56 pm 
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...as is Eric.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:37 pm 
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I switched to my phone. Got a 128GB card to expand the capacity. Seems to do the trick. Navigation sucks compared to an iPod, of course.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Congrats.

I got a 256GB card for my music player+another 200gig card in it already.

I put a handmedown 200gig card into the phone, loaded it with MP3s of my collection, but the dac/amp on the phone doesn't compare at all to the music player. Being a dork about quality kind of sucks.


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