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General Serious V20 Problem!!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mlknez1, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    Let's face it. The primary reason that people are going to buy this phone is because it has the equivalent of a $300 external DAC/Amp built into it. LG has done advertising for months touting the ES9218 "Quad" DAC that they included. The only problem is that they include NO WAY TO USE IT!! The phones API only exposes the ES9218 DAC as a PCM 48Khz capable device. That means that the built in Qualcomm DAC that is worth about thirty cents is about as good. Here is proof from the developer of NeutronMP...


    According your logs (Thank you for making them!) OS declares only one
    (!!!) frequency - 48000 kHz. You can see it in logs:

    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: device 0
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: id = 1
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: type = 1
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: name = LG-LS997
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: is sink = 1
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: is source = 0
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: channels [1]:
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| - 1
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: sample rates [1]:
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| - 48000
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| enum: sample types [1]:
    [13:08:16] I <SFX>| - 2

    It means firmware does not expose Hi-Fi DAC via this new API. Why LG can not make it and expose DAC and solve the problem with using full potential of the device - puzzle. Neutron would use it automatically if DAC is exposed by the firmware.

    I have contacted both LG and Sprint and neither support staff is willing to escalate. We need to demand action as a group as this is the PRIMARY unique feature of this particular smartphone.
     

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    #1 mlknez1, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  2. 666cowboy

    666cowboy Newbie
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    I am not quite sure the point of this post. The DAC make s HUGE difference when turned on and I am very happy with the outcome. Are you saying we paid too much for it? Or that we should be getting more functionality than we are getting?
     
  3. Damar1979

    Damar1979 Android Enthusiast
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    What kind of headphones are you using with it?
     
  4. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    I have a feeling that you have a high impedance headphone and that you are getting benefit from the increased gain stage. What player are you using?
     
  5. 666cowboy

    666cowboy Newbie
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    I use PowerAmp Pro and a pair of $50 headphones. I will be interested to see what the fancy LG 150 headphones sound like.
     
  6. Damar1979

    Damar1979 Android Enthusiast
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    LG and other reviews have specified that in order to really experience the quad DAC, you need to use headphones that have an impedance of at least 50 to 100 ohms
     
  7. bigralphn

    bigralphn Newbie
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    I have Neutron. How do you log with it? Or did you run a debugger in the developer section? As stated, what type of headphones did you use? Did you try it with multiple headphones of various quality (at least one high end). . Did all of the various headphones show identical results? If there is an issue they will not listen unless you have a ton of stuff to back up the claim
     
    #7 bigralphn, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  8. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    That is incorrect! You should get excellent results with ANY headphone. The higher gain stage may kick in if you have inefficient (high impedance) headphones. The only result will be loudness increase. If they kicked in the higher gain stage with efficient headphones, you would hear hiss in the background
     
  9. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    Who are you posing this question to? I worked with the developer and used the dev .apk to send him a full log. I used 3 different IEMs and three different headphones including a Senn 800s, Visio HP-1 and an OPPO PM-1.
     
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  10. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    Are you referring to the free headphones included as a promotion? If so, those are the B&O H3 in-ear headphones. They are just ok.
     
  11. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    uhm - OK few things. Auto sense circut on the phone is detecting what is connected because of the AMP function included. As I understand it the LG HIFI dac circuit pushes some 64mW to the output vs a normal 32-42mW as is most headphone outputs on mobiles.

    Secondly the DAC outputs based on what it recieves from the OS. As I understand it. SO based on player - and OS system ability it might not be able to process beyond 48000.
     
  12. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    The problem is not with the impedance detection. That works just fine. The problem is that LG provided no exposure of the DAC to the Android AudioManager API beyond 48khz PCM.

    There are two methods to for an Android app to detect the presence of an output device.
    1. Use the AudioManager getDevices() function. This will find any internal/external devices and enumerate capabilities
    2.Use your own driver to get around any Android limitations

    Most music player apps that support high-resolution audio files assume that you will attach an external DAC via the digital interface (lightning on Apple, USB on Android). To more finely control playback and processing, the app developers provide their own digital interface driver to talk directly to the hardware on the device and get around operating system limitations.

    The ES9218 DAC is not connected via an external digital interface, thus the app developer must rely upon the operating system to enumerate the devices and capabilities via an operating system function call.

    D0es that make sense?
     
  13. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    I'm with you on theory but I'm not sure your testing is complete. IE what does it report when you play back something recorded on the phone? IE though the LG software system - across android and back out through their player?

    Did you try more than one audio player app and did you also try the one packaged by LG?

    what sound settings do you have turned on and did the Hi FI dac symbol show up on the notification panel in your testing. It might not have been activated.

    Just trying to be through - not trying to be mean.

    finally what is your source material and what's it's encoding and format?

    My alternate theory - it's possible the main stream players don't know now to parse out to a higher capability - so they cap to 48khz PCM because that's about as high a standard as they were programed to expect.

    Follow on - I could see how as an OS android 7 might not support it yet - and LG didn't count on the OS needing tweaking. I'd like to think they tested it but you never know.
     
  14. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    how do you activate the android audio manager by the way? Is that via a terminal or something?
     
  15. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
    I am an audiophile and have exceptional hearing. I have tested my source files (pcm 44.1khz, 48khz, 88khz, 192khz, 384khz, dsd64, dsd128, dsd512) on a large number of DACs and headphones/IEMs. I know what they SHOULD sound like. When I started playing them on the Sprint variant V20 (LS997) using the stock music player shipped with it (Google Play Music) I was excited as it was able to play every files that I threw at it. I did notice, however, that the sound was lacking. Many of the DACs that I have tested on contain a Sabre chipset.

    I am also, as you can probably tell, an amateur developer. I understand how a music app on Android should work. I made sure that the ES9812 was toggled on prior to testing. I tried many player apps that purport to support hi-res audio file playback including, but not limited to, Google Play Music LG Flow, Onkyo HF Player, NeutronMP, Black, Aimp, USB Audio Pro, Foobar2000, etc. I then made a quick app myself to query the Android OS. I got the result of 48khz PCM always. I then asked the developer of NeutronMP to verify my results and he did.

    I could try using Alsa on a rooted V20, but I probably would get access denied because Android still runs in a sandbox and I would probably get a denial.

    AudioManager is an API that is used to access the Android OS audio subsystem.
     
  16. Lateck

    Lateck Android Enthusiast
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    Really??? A serious problem?
    Mlknez1, please change the title to, a problem with some audio equipment (maybe?).
    I have found that with the headphones I own and use, I get the product I was promised . Now I am not an audiophile.

    Lateck ,
     
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  17. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    Hello Lateck,

    If you purchased a motorcycle and you were told by the manufacturer that it could go 180mph but after riding it, you found out that it was limited to 60mph, would you get the "product you were promised" because it was indeed a motorcycle and it did indeed move? After all, most people would be satisfied going 60mph, right?
     
  18. Lateck

    Lateck Android Enthusiast
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    mlknez1, I'm not saying that there may not be a problem.... But, it is not serious.
    Like I said most of us would never even notice this problem, you have and for you it is very real. I do not want to discount that, I am sorry if it came off like that.
    But this issue is not a note 7 recall serious for 95+% of folks, that's all.
    By the way my motorcycle could only get up to 125mph even though it was stated as a sports bike :eek:

    Lateck,
     
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  19. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    OK! Finally! LG has confirmed that there is an issue with access to the ES9218 DAC. I was able to prove it to them and they confirmed that it is now in their queue to fix. They actually admitted that they never tested the DAC above standard definition files.
     
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  20. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    Not that surprised. It's a mobile after all.

    So I checked some of my stuff with Jet Audio - as that's my prefered player and I have to say it reported 44100Khz on most of the stuff I handed it - and 48000 on a few of the FLAC files. None of these are items I created myself - they are all downloads/spotify rips. SO I was only mildly surprised.

    the FLAC I used is a downgraded file because I always cut them down for playing on my mobile or creative player - off the NAS box I run the full file and it's a few GB.

    For a mainstream audience 48000 is plenty for most recordings downloaded or streamed.

    Good discussion. I view it as icing on a cake right now - by far and away the best sounding mobile I've ever used and as good as my older COWON players. Which I liked better than Creative devices but mostly because of capability over price. but I don't expect much from a portable player even when I use my grado's at work. No I've never bothered with a headphone amp at work either for similar reasons.

    So if LG fixes this and hell if android supports this - which I wonder about - then I'll consider it more icing on a bigger cake.

    side note I'd love a linux phone - really wanted that to happen
     
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  21. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    android=linux
     
  22. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    partially. that's why I say that. It is and it isn't.

    can't run a linux Deb unmolested on android. unless it happens to be composed only in Java - and even then I think it needs to be modified. Been awhile since I dabbled.

    Meanwhile how did you get a DSD encoded file to the mobile. Only DSD I know of is on SA CD's or other hard coded direct media. IE I know you can stream it off a computer via USB but only certain software will do that as far as I know. Is that why you used the Onkyo HF player for? I don't have anything in the format that I know of. I've not tried to rip the SA CD's that I have.
     
  23. mlknez1

    mlknez1 Newbie
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    You are correct about the Linux issues. I have ripped most of my SACD collection https://www.hraudio.net/library.php?user=12104
    Some I have purchased and others I have downloaded from various record labels. I actually prefer hi-res PCM but I can't always find those in the musicians that I like.
     
  24. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    so what file format does a DSD file turn into - FLAC or ?

    I have that king and vaughn SA CD - one of my favorites.
     
  25. Napalm

    Napalm Android Expert
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    nevermind should have googled it first.
     

LG V20

The LG V20 is a flagship that launched in September 2016. The device launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The phone featured a 5.7-inch Quantum IPS display, Snapdragon 820 chipset, dua-rear cameras,a secondary display, and more.
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