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Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:52 pm
by MTPapaDan
I know digital is sacrilegious on this site, but I took a risk on a product because the price was slashed by 50%. This DAC retails at 699 USD and I purchased mine for $402.98 with the added case. First impressions. I liked the quality feel, size, and heft. Clearly a well made product. On inspection its looks as if the whole chassis is milled aluminum. The 300R has all the very latest electronics on board. Probably easier if I just give you the URL: http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/ ... XDP-300R-S Set up was fairly easy (through) because I am familiar with Android OS. How does it sound? Well, I bought it to replace the PC with its "high rez" sound card. I connected it using the unbalanced output directly to the Anthem 720. I was absolutely floored! I never imagined digital could sound so good. This isn't a cell phone! Open, clear, and imaged are the 3 words I first come up with. But there is so much more... add precise and nuanced. AND I was listening to Lossless WAV at 48K! I am going to Tidal and download a few MQA songs today. I will report back when I have more. I think this product is impressive because its so "outside" the mainstream market. I equate the 330R with stand alone music players (Sonos) costing 3 or 4 times as much. And its portable when you need it. I can use this to feed the stereo in the cars. I wonder if its hard to sell a DMP at $700 when someone can buy a cell phone with a music player app for less? Next I am going to find some balanced headphones. I hope they don't cost as much as the player.

Happy Holidays to all
Dan

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:25 pm
by YNWaN
Oh, I’m glad I followed your link - that’s not at all what I expected:

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Now that does look, and sound, super cool :).

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:33 pm
by YNWaN
Audeze make some of the best headphones I have recently heard. I like the LCD-2 but they are twice the price of the Pioneer player;

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Looking at the UK shops you can get the Pioneer for £320.00 which does seem a bit of a bargain!

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:02 pm
by MTPapaDan
Are these balanced headphones? Pioneer has some that are both balanced and unbalanced on same website. They are a grand plus! I haven't had a chance to properly research balanced headphones. More soon.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:23 pm
by YNWaN
I don’t know I’m afraid, I’ll have to look into it. I know they do make balanced headphones, but not sure which ones.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:30 pm
by YNWaN
OK, my research is complete :).

Apparently any headphone can be wired to operate balanced but this is very much easier to accomplish if the cable is detachable from the headphones - as it is the cable, not the headphones as such, that is wired slightly differently. The Audeze models (and many others) do have detachable cables so can be used balanced or otherwise, depending on the connecting cable used.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:15 am
by MTPapaDan
Yes the 2 different cords swap out very easily. Apparently, they are wired to use the same receptacle. Unbalanced plug has 2 wires and the balanced 3 or 4. Two possible wirings for the Pioneer DAP. Interesting.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:43 pm
by sq225917
Like cartridges, and other other types of speaker drivers, headphones are inherently push-pull and hence ' balanced'. A balanced headphone amp just drives them with a signal that is +/- rather than just +/gnd. So you get a touch more drive, and with long leads maybe a tiny bit less noise- maybe, tiny. Christ knows why everyone seems to charge an arm and a leg for it.

All the talk you may read about 2X slew rate is bollocks, if your amp was that slow you'd know about it already, it's a none issue. 2x voltage swing is useful enough, but it likely comes at the cost of lower current drive unless it's a bridged amp.


Something like the Pioneer is going to have a hard time with a set of planar magnetics, unless you get ones specifically designed to be driven portable.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:40 pm
by MTPapaDan
Thanks for that info. I won't be buying balanced phones.

Re: Pioneer XDP-300R Digital Audio Player

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:59 pm
by YNWaN
Balanced operation definately does seem to be one of the current fashion in headphones at minute.

On reflection though, I’m sure Si is right that planar-magnetic phones may be a step too far.