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Old 12-05-2016   #976
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by ErinH View Post
yea... as long as you only listen to CDs (or don't mind a crude, non-USB connection for your digital files)
Well yeah.

Funny I hadn't seen so many CD users still hanging on until I started attending the meets. Car audio guys still waving around optical donuts.

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Old 12-05-2016   #977
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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That's fair, obviously it's pretty much impossible to quantify what another person sees/hears/tastes/etc. but when were talking about differences that have been shown to be far below our threshold, I suspect there may be something else involved. I can't quantify what you hear, but you have to agree that the mind plays a role as well. Whether or not that's the case, we won't know, but I suspect it is.


Yes of course - we buy a Ferrari and therefore it must be faster than a golf syndrome....

The reality is the blend of design, components make or break a DAC - I have a LG V20 with a ESS 32bit DAC - it sucks the IPhone 6s sounds better...

The DAC ultimately is totally reliant on how it's used on a circuit board....



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Old 12-05-2016   #978
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Yes of course - we buy a Ferrari and therefore it must be faster than a golf syndrome....

The reality is the blend of design, components make or break a DAC - I have a LG V20 with a ESS 32bit DAC - it sucks the IPhone 6s sounds better...

The DAC ultimately is totally reliant on how it's used on a circuit board....



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Certainly. It is highly unlikely that in modern audio (especially high end like we're discussing) that the DAC is the bottleneck. Regardless of whether or not there are immediate audible differences in the equipment we are discussing, there are good reasons for someone to buy either one, depending on their needs. I think we can all agree that any of the Pioneers, the Sony, and many other head unit can be used to create exceptional systems.

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Old 12-05-2016   #979
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
Certainly. It is highly unlikely that in modern audio (especially high end like we're discussing) that the DAC is the bottleneck. Regardless of whether or not there are immediate audible differences in the equipment we are discussing, there are good reasons for someone to buy either one, depending on their needs. I think we can all agree that any of the Pioneers, the Sony, and many other head unit can be used to create exceptional systems.


Yes indeed... I bought the Sony for a decent DAC to encode my iPhone - the Istreamer was not good enough for me... also a pain in the butt to use as it always went to max volume every time I connected it and the AUX of my P90 was not coping with the output signal so it distorted all the time...

I just wanted a audiophile DAC that doesn't distort when I connect it and played the music with a degree of accuracy that meets the high expectations in audio I have

So far Sony checks all my boxes!

I'll be interested in the new PRO2 and how the direct input for the Idevice relates to the Sony audio capabilities - knowing Helix it won't be crap... so that's something I'll look into when it's available.

Also if my iPhone sounds as good if not better and has more capabilities in terms of recordings - why must I carry 50 CDs with me? That's so 90's....


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Old 12-05-2016   #980
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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I'm not using the Apple music app on my iPhone since it will not work with FLAC files. I use Vox media player on my iPhone and use a program called WALTR to load the FLAC files onto my iPhone from my desk computer. Vox will also play any tracks I loaded through Itunes also. Whenever I hook my iPhone back up to my computer and start iTunes to do a backup or load more music through iTunes, iTunes deletes all my FLAC files. I have to reload all my FLAC files from my computer after I close out iTunes. It's a small annoyance, but I don't really mind it in order to listen to high resolution music from my iPhone.

I agree on the CDs, high resolution files are the future of audiophile quality music. CDs are going out like the way of the 8-track and cassette. Every time I walk past the CD (and DVD) section in Walmart and I see some music that I want, I don't even think about buying the CD, I just download it to my phone.

I really like the GS9 but I feel that once processors like the Helix DSP Pro 2, the Mosconi 8 to 12, and the upcoming Zapco HDRs that for use high end Car audiophiles, streaming directly to the processor will be easier and more cost effective than using a $1500 GS9. Just like all technology, the first generation is always the most expensive. Following generations have been less expensive and most of the time better.
True , but some of us love our steering wheel controls , and like being able to see what song you're listening to want to normal screen of somekind .

As far as sound quality goes and connectivity you're right it doesn't really matter

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Old 12-05-2016   #981
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Imo the dac and the final (opamp) combo is where different sounding outputs come into play ...some of these dacs have the opamp as part of the chipset. So your kinda stick with it.

I've heard high slew rate opamps are the bees kneez but I haven't really got to play with a bunch of different setups.
Low jitter , high bit , dac is nice and I would only imagine if any have good specs they'll perform, the opamps that drives the output would be where I think a real noticeable difference would be heard.

Prett interesting stuff and definitely something I want to start learning about.
I found some pages about swapping the dac in my dsps to find out the akm chip has the opamp built in and is of relatively good quality . I wasn't happy about the 2vRMS output and did find I can put up to 5v going into the chip and make it a 5v output. However after looking at the data sheet for this akm chip I need to learn a lot more on which leg is the Power input leg because it shows a few .

Anyway here's a pretty interesting article I found when digging for info

Doing your own DAC mods: a Primer

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Old 12-06-2016   #982
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Babs View Post
By itself the fidelity and output strength is great. Limiting factor is 31-band graphic which is easily surpassed by outbound DSP's like Helix, and having individual driver tuning verses just left and right.

I'll report back once she's in my take on 99 vs 80


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You should get someone else to listen to a before and after as well. You are definitely gonna have a psychoacoustic bias because the cash you spent.
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Old 12-06-2016   #983
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by oabeieo View Post
Imo the dac and the final (opamp) combo is where different sounding outputs come into play ...some of these dacs have the opamp as part of the chipset. So your kinda stick with it.

I've heard high slew rate opamps are the bees kneez but I haven't really got to play with a bunch of different setups.
Low jitter , high bit , dac is nice and I would only imagine if any have good specs they'll perform, the opamps that drives the output would be where I think a real noticeable difference would be heard.

Prett interesting stuff and definitely something I want to start learning about.
I found some pages about swapping the dac in my dsps to find out the akm chip has the opamp built in and is of relatively good quality . I wasn't happy about the 2vRMS output and did find I can put up to 5v going into the chip and make it a 5v output. However after looking at the data sheet for this akm chip I need to learn a lot more on which leg is the Power input leg because it shows a few .

Anyway here's a pretty interesting article I found when digging for info

Doing your own DAC mods: a Primer
Modify 80prs(s) or some C-dsps and you might have yourself a nice side business
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Old 12-06-2016   #984
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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You should get someone else to listen to a before and after as well. You are definitely gonna have a psychoacoustic bias because the cash you spent.
You'd be surprised. 99RS's are out there. But I'll be reporting as honestly as possible.. If it doesn't spank the previous head unit, after the time in the car, I'll know it.

I've heard several cars with these though and there is definitely a signal quality that's unmatched IMHO in any current CD 1-dins. You have to tune the Car badly to make the 99 sound less than stellar. The GS9 Sony is the only other head unit I'd consider in 1-din and was actually my first choice, but couldn't spring for it at twice the coin for the one I found. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot out there at all in 2-dins with anywhere near the internals either the 99 or GS9 have.

With any of these though, after some different amp experiences, I can tell if I were still running the budget amps, I wouldn't tell a bit of difference because the amps introduced enough grain to veil over whatever signal they got. So, on subjective testing, the whole system is a system. Weak links will diminish it.

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Old 12-06-2016   #985
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Jscoyne2 View Post
Modify 80prs(s) or some C-dsps and you might have yourself a nice side business
I'd say for if someone could take a good interface unit with good face, good Build etc (lets say a NEX 4200 or 8200 or 149BT) and bypass all that junk with just a good clocked toslink output mod, they could sell those like hotcakes. Sign me up for a NEX. Capacitive touch, carplay, digital output and I'd be home.

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Old 12-06-2016   #986
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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I'd say for if someone could take a good interface unit with good face, good Build etc (lets say a NEX 4200 or 8200 or 149BT) and bypass all that junk with just a good clocked toslink output mod, they could sell those like hotcakes. Sign me up for a NEX. Capacitive touch, carplay, digital output and I'd be home.
OH that's a dream for sure.
Love the 8200. Hate the AN outs .

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Old 12-06-2016   #987
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Modify 80prs(s) or some C-dsps and you might have yourself a nice side business
Yeah that what I was looking into , but there all in one chips. Pointless and not doable. Even if it had 12s the lines would have to be so short it wouldn't be feasible . But some of these all in ones are codecs so that wouldn't work either.

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Old 12-06-2016   #988
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

What makes the P99 "better" than the 80PRS is the extra processing, without the extra processing, the P99 will not sound better. Erin has tested all of the recent Pioneer active head units, and the response on all of them is excellent, and nearly identical. Yes, you will likely have a better sounding system with the P99, but only because of the processing. Then again, as mentioned, you will hear a difference anyway, because you've convinced yourself that you will.

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Old 12-06-2016   #989
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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What makes the P99 "better" than the 80PRS is the extra processing, without the extra processing, the P99 will not sound better.
Given the differences in the quality of the circuitry, the symmetrical board design, better clocks, better DAC's etc, I'm inclined to disagree. Although the sonic difference, in an apples-to-apples comparison, might not be apparent to some. The 80PRS is no slouch though and does incorporate some things sort of "trickle down" from the 99RS such as a configuration of multiple DAC pair per Speaker group, burr-brown instead of AKM, and DSP network business. If they'd done the Build quality, display, chassis and face as nice, I would probably still have the 80PRS running.

Quote:
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Erin has tested all of the recent Pioneer active head units, and the response on all of them is excellent, and nearly identical. Yes, you will likely have a better sounding system with the P99, but only because of the processing. Then again, as mentioned, you will hear a difference anyway, because you've convinced yourself that you will.
I'm actually using none of the processing, running through a Helix DSP, but having that option for full 4-way processing built in has made me decide to go ahead and run the extra RCA's just for testing the 99 on it's own. Wish it were SPDIF, but alas no.

I don't know where the "convinced" part is coming from.. I should put it this way, I suspect and have a hypothesis given all I know, the 99 "should" have some sonic improvements, one being output quality and S/N ratio feeding the DSP, just quantified by the hotter output specs. And secondly just based on perception that the internals are better, but that remains to be tested.

But as I've said, I'll assess as objectively as possible and certainly report what's better or what might not have improved at all. If it's better, great.. If it's no appreciable change, great. I'll take the nicer display and interface and remote, and like it. I've made gear changes in the past that weren't improvements, and some with obvious and instant improvement, so I try to put bias aside and trust my ears. I'm certainly not afraid to accept it because if anything I'll be extra critical on first listening because that's how I am. I'll also certainly hope my critical listening skills are good enough to overcome an ego-induced idea "it's gotta be better" and perceptual bias.

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Old 12-06-2016   #990
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Given the differences in the quality of the circuitry, the symmetrical board design, better clocks, better DAC's etc, I'm inclined to disagree. Although the sonic difference, in an apples-to-apples comparison, might not be apparent to some. The 80PRS is no slouch though and does incorporate some things sort of "trickle down" from the 99RS such as a configuration of multiple DAC pair per Speaker group, burr-brown instead of AKM, and DSP network business. If they'd done the Build quality, display, chassis and face as nice, I would probably still have the 80PRS running.



I'm actually using none of the processing, running through a Helix DSP, but having that option for full 4-way processing built in has made me decide to go ahead and run the extra RCA's just for testing the 99 on it's own. Wish it were SPDIF, but alas no.

I don't know where the "convinced" part is coming from.. I should put it this way, I suspect and have a hypothesis given all I know, the 99 "should" have some sonic improvements, one being output quality and S/N ratio feeding the DSP, just quantified by the hotter output specs.

But as I've said, I'll assess as objectively as possible and certainly report what's better or what might not have improved at all. If it's better, great.. If it's no appreciable change, great. I'll take the nicer display and interface and remote, and like it. I've made gear changes in the past that weren't improvements, and some with obvious and instant improvement, so I try to put bias aside and trust my ears. I'm certainly not afraid to accept it because if anything I'll be extra critical on first listening because that's how I am. I'll also certainly hope my critical listening skills are good enough to overcome an ego-induced idea "it's gotta be better" and perceptual bias.
I'm not arguing that the the P99 isn't a superior product, but I am saying that echoic memory lasts a couple of seconds, there is no way to make an accurate, objective comparison unless you can switch back and forth between the two sources, playing the same content, at the same level, within seconds.

I digress, I'm certain you will be absolutely satisfied with the switch. The Build quality alone is enough to justify the switch, the P99 is beautiful.

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Old 12-06-2016   #991
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
I'm not arguing that the the P99 isn't a superior product, but I am saying that echoic memory lasts a couple of seconds, there is no way to make an accurate, objective comparison unless you can switch back and forth between the two sources, playing the same content, at the same level, within seconds.

I digress, I'm certain you will be absolutely satisfied with the switch. The Build quality alone is enough to justify the switch, the P99 is beautiful.
Understood.. Unfortunately a new owner has the 80PRS so no blind A/B available. But that would have been fun.

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Old 12-06-2016   #992
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Just my 2cents, but when I replaced my long in the tooth 880 (basically the same internals as the 80) with the 99, I noticed no sonic improvement at all........both were clean, both were capable. Of course the tuning prowess was night and day.....but essque wise, I heard no difference.....I think most folks are a lil full of themselves and their ear's capabilities at hearing miniscule lab measured specs.....lmao, but whatever, to each their own I reckon.......
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Old 12-06-2016   #993
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by claydo View Post
Just my 2cents, but when I replaced my long in the tooth 880 (basically the same internals as the 80) with the 99, I noticed no sonic improvement at all........both were clean, both were capable. Of course the tuning prowess was night and day.....but essque wise, I heard no difference.....I think most folks are a lil full of themselves and their ear's capabilities at hearing miniscule lab measured specs.....lmao, but whatever, to each their own I reckon.......
If the ipod interface hadn't been so clunky, I would have kept my 880. Actually, I kind of want one again anyway. If the more modern features aren't necessary, the 880/800 are great head units.

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Old 12-06-2016   #994
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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by claydo View Post
Just my 2cents, but when I replaced my long in the tooth 880 (basically the same internals as the 80) with the 99, I noticed no sonic improvement at all........both were clean, both were capable. Of course the tuning prowess was night and day.....but essque wise, I heard no difference.....I think most folks are a lil full of themselves and their ear's capabilities at hearing miniscule lab measured specs.....lmao, but whatever, to each their own I reckon.......
That'll be the interesting challenge, can I hear the SQ difference plugging right into the same tune before the swap. Challenge accepted.

And I freely admit I have old-man ears that've been way too abused. Am certainly NOT the "man with the golden ears".. 3rd nipple and all. LMAO! You can call me.. Scaramanga.

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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Babs View Post
That'll be the interesting challenge, can I hear the SQ difference plugging right into the same tune before the swap. Challenge accepted.

And I freely admit I have old-man ears that've been way too abused. Am certainly NOT the "man with the golden ears".. 3rd nipple and all. LMAO! You can call me.. Scaramanga.





When I said I thought with one sounded better , TBCH ,
I like the BBe in the 880 and maybe that's why I favor it over sndrtvr .
I remember tge 880 sounding better (just cleaner no processing just the raw signal )

This post (as nerdy as it is ) does bear some truth in its humor
Last time I fired up my 880 was over 5 years ago I still have it , and I've shredded my ears a lot since than. So maybe my statement needs a true re-evaluation. I just remember it sounding really good.

I have the 80 in my van , and maybe it's not so polished look and feel makes me think it sounds tinny , competed to both . I listen to it once a week and it sounds good. I remember the 880 sounding better tho.
The 99 in my Car sounds a lot like the 880 just missing BBe.
But in reality maybe I too am getting old and have worn ears as well

im so in love with my speakers I found a song I sing to them

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Default DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Curious. This thing has a thick gauge fused Power Wire with a bulbous black thing on it. ? Don't know what that is but ok. So it makes me think should I feed it a dedicated Power and ground or just use Car harness power and ground like normal? Just wondering. It's got a big 7.5amp fuse on it.

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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Curious. This thing has a thick gauge fused Power Wire with a bulbous black thing on it. ? Don't know what that is but ok. So it makes me think should I feed it a dedicated Power and ground or just use Car harness power and ground like normal? Just wondering. It's got a big 7.5amp fuse on it.

Sure is gorgeous.



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Definitely dedicated.

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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

Has anyone encountered a p99 display stopped working? Mine went black today. Knobs and audio are goo but no OLED

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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by foreman View Post
Has anyone encountered a p99 display stopped working? Mine went black today. Knobs and audio are goo but no OLED
Yes, it happened to me recently too. Clean the contacts between the HU and the face. That should do the trick.

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Default Re: DEX-P99RS Ongoing Review and Discoveries

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Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Yes of course - we buy a Ferrari and therefore it must be faster than a golf syndrome....

The reality is the blend of design, components make or break a DAC - I have a LG V20 with a ESS 32bit DAC - it sucks the IPhone 6s sounds better...

The DAC ultimately is totally reliant on how it's used on a circuit board....



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Exactly, DAC is a tiny part of the greater signal chain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Must say when I tested the 2 units the difference was pretty noticeable - I found the Sony much more revealing and detailed. I found the P99 to very flat sounding in comparison - also found the background noise lower on the Sony - I noticed hiss on the p99

Must say the Sony was BNIB and the Brax MX2 used was also BNIB so maybe a bit of burning in - the Sony initially compared to the P99 was a bit harsh on some of the less well recorded tracks - P99 was more forgiving...

But fast forward a few weeks and lots of hours and the Sony has lost its harshness and is super smooth on everything I listened to...

I use a Utopia Kit 7 and MX2 and Sony combo for my listening sessions - best setup I have heard by far...

Also the Sony has no moving parts so less wear and tear and is a more reliable unit to purchase used - P99 has lots of moving parts so wear and tear more of a issue and more cautious when buying used...

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Weird that you could hear hiss with your P99. Maybe it was affected by something else in your electrical system? Mine picks up a weird noise when I first start my truck in the morning on cold days but then it goes away when it warms up. Might be my alternator but I am not sure.

Cool that you got to compare the two, but I am bummed Sony did not include any DSP. TBH, I don't really get the point of the GS9...$1500 for what amounts to an optical extractor for my phone is puzzling. Or am I missing the point of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jscoyne2 View Post
Eh. Idk. Im just nor buying that the 99rs sounds better than the 80prs. Or hell, skipping the headunit all together and direct usb to ext dsp.

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Just try it for yourself, no matter how much you speculate on others' experience with gear you haven't heard, it won't advance your own personal opinion. And I am saying this in the nicest way possible, if you are really that interested in comparing them, you have to hear it for yourself. I wasn't expecting to hear a big difference but it was substantial. I was hoping I could keep my $250 80PRS and flip my 99 for a gain after scoring the deal of a lifetime on it. Build quality wasn't a big factor; I drive a chunky American Car with the cheapest plastic dash I've ever seen in a newer $40k+ truck, or else I'd have bought a G-wagen years ago.

So then people will say it's the tuning and not the DAC or the opamps or the DSP, etc. But as end users we can't customize individual components so we have to trust the manufacturer's sum of the parts. And that's where we hear the difference. Not the DAC or anything like that, but the entire package. And if someone doesn't hear a difference or thinks the P99 sounds worse, that's not wrong either and they're going to save $1k. But you still owe it to yourself to make the decision first-hand.

I agree with your phone straight to DSP statement. IMHO 90% of headunit funtionality became obsolete the moment you could put lossless and high-res music on a phone. What's missing is an easy to use display with intuitive controls that are safe to use while driving. That's one of my favorite things about the P99, it lets me change tracks in Spotify on my iPhone. I wish it did more in Spotify, but it's better than nothing. However, my patience with Apple has been short lately and the fact that the P99 is married to iOS sadly limits its lifespan. I like discovering new music while I drive so reverting to music on storage is not an option for me. Which is why...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektra View Post
Well look out for the DSP PRO 2 with 32bit dacs and USB input... no HU required...

Interesting prospect...


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...this and the Zapco HDR definitely have my interest. I have some friends working on another option that would put lossless wireless phone connectivity, DSP, and Hypex amps in the same small box. Potentially swappable amp modules too. Options like this are exciting and give me hope despite the SQ HU market having been dead for years.


Last edited by Architect7; 12-09-2016 at 01:03 AM..
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