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Classical Music - Sony NW-5HD

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by richard_milsom, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. richard_milsom

    richard_milsom
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    I am considering getting a Sony NW-5HD which I would load with my mainly classical CD collection. I would use the Shure E2c earphone currently used with my CD Walkman.

    I would welcome any views on the suitablity of the NW-5HD or other similar devices for classical music both in respect of (a) quality of reproduction and (b) orginisation of the file/menu system.
     
  2. watchinthewheel

    watchinthewheel
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    most people would say that the sony players have the best sound quality out there though its so personal you cant say for sure.

    as for organisation, it sortes into artist->album->track or through groups, which can be whatever you want.
     
  3. extremelydodgy

    extremelydodgy
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    Classical Music has some quirks when using CDDB... a lot of it is mistagged, in that composers and performer names can be jumbled around.


    Some classical afficionados do prefer UMS (i.e. non databasing) players like those from iRiver and Cowon iAudio where they're free to organise music as they see fit.


    Databased players do have their advantages though. Provided the music tagging on CDDB is correct, it's pretty effortless to keep your player and your music collection organised. The Sony HD5 is one of the less flexible databased players in that on-player, it only allows you search by Artist, Album, track of course and Genre. The iPod, another databasing player, allows searching by Composer as well as the above and features a superior navigation interface to the HD5. The now-obsolete but still on sale Rio Karma is a truly excellent player in terms finding and playlisting music. Although the navigation system is not quite as slick as the iPod, it is very well implemented. I find gapless playback to be almost a non-issue on classical albums, so I don't think you need to worry about that a lot. The software supplied with the Rio and iPod make it pretty easy to re-tag music as necessary. The Sony software still needs some work in this respect.


    Impressions will differ according to experience, but I listen to a fair amount of classical and own players from Sony (including the HD5), Apple, Creative, Rio and iRiver with a Cowon iAudio on loan. And I think the HD5 does not offer superior sound quality, especially with classical. The iPod, whereas it does offer excellent clarity of sound is affected by a lack of bass, and some distortion issues with low impedance ear/headphones (so with your choice of earphones, proceed with caution).The Karma has generally excellent sound quality, as good as the iPod in terms of clarity but unaffected by the issues of bass loss. It also has the most tweakable EQ in the business which is good for compensating the responses of some headphones. The Creative Zen's have been getting fluctuating reports as of late, even among the same models but the older models are rather good in terms of SQ. The older iRiver H-series (1xx, 3xx) and the Cowon iAudio's seem to strike a reasonable balance between quality and adjustability.
     
  4. rp92

    rp92
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    I just returned back my HD5 because of the button cracks BUT ALSO and especially because of its sound quality with Classical music.

    I almost only listen to classical music in portable devices that I bring with me in my long journeys for work. Coming from my wonderful Sony D-NE1 cd player (supports MP3 and Atrac3Plus as well), I got almost in shock by the bass loss in the HD5. This is something barely noticeable listening to, say, Paul Oakenfold (which is a test I made rightly after). But the bass loss in an full orchestra or even a solo cello (e.g. the Bach Suites played by Anner Bylsma with the Servais, which are special for the profound and rounded sound of the cello and which was not special at all on the HD5) was unacceptable. I was frustrated when I realized that there was no way to compensate it (not even pushing the EQ to the max bass).

    Note that I usually am not a "bass fun". Indeed, in my D-NE1 I keep the sound boost set to just 1. But I hate to "miss" entire sets of instruments playing softly in the bass range during a classical piece (some cello or bass pizzicato almost totally disappeared in the HD5).

    Except for the bass loss, the mid and high ranges presented a wonderful clarity. Yet, the overal sound in classical music has been for me a dismay.

    I'm really disappointed as I've always been a Sony addict, especially in matters of portable audio devices (this was my fifth Sony).

    bye
    Peppe
     

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