Exactly, DAC is a tiny part of the greater signal chain.
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?
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...
...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.
I wonder if that HDR DSP is ever going to come - I spoke to John about it well over a year ago and he hasn't responded to my latest emails so I wonder if there is a issue there...
The Sony HU can be had for under $1000 now BNIB or lightly used you can buy a DSP PRO for $500 - you could have a decent combo for under $1500
The P99 is a dying product IMHO - as it is only cheap new cars have removable radios and that is changing as well.... the Sony will also have a similar problem - but with the Sony you could operate it in a remote location.
The future really is the DSP PRO.2 with USB input - use your iPhone or iPad as a source and your done - full DSP 32bit dacs etc no need to worry about where to fit your din sized source...
What's nice about the USB input is that it's like a independent source that is not dependent on the HU quality and you can have both OEM and USB
The reason why Sony didn't do a full DSP on the HU is because it would have a much higher retail price so they decided against it - guys are saying $1500 is too much can you imagine if it was $2200 with a DSP - nobody will buy it....
I suspect Sony will make a matching DSP - its the only logical next step...
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