I can help with this one. The iPhone4 is pretty much dead flat (which is why some people call it boring). As far as neutrality goes - the iP4 would sit between the Studio V3 and X5. With the V3 being neutral with a tinge of brightness, and the X5 being neutral with a tinge of warmth.
Real pity you didn't get on the tour. My time with the X5 is pretty much done, and I'll be sad to see it go - but will be sending it off to Auckland tomorrow :( Funny thing is John - it's not a case of NZ being any more beautiful than anywhere else around the World. Our advantage is that there is a lot of scenery in a very smallish country - and hardly any population so you get plenty of space :)
Because the headphone out is so good, I don't think I'd bother with an additional amp.
I did try it paired with my LD MK IV and it sounded pretty sublime with the Beyers - so I guess if you were around a desktop situation the opportunity is always there.
For me personally though the advantage is the built in power and the small form factor.
No doubt there will be some who still want to create a stack though
Mimouille - go to:Menu > Play Settings 5th item down lets you choose either "Last Setting" or "Fixed Volume" when powering on. You choose by highlighting - and hit the bottom left or right button. If you choose 'fixed' - the actual volume setting is the next menu item down, and can be adjusted to suit.
You're correct. At present - using the library in 'tag-mode' - you can either select by artist OR by album OR by genre. Once you select the top tier - there is no 'next tier' yet. IE I have 4 Dido albums. So selecting Artist "Dido" puts me into a list with all 4 albums files mixed together - sorted by file name 01-name, 01, name, 01 name, 01 name, 02 name, 02 name .... etc
Folder mode is the work around at present - but I'm condfident that Fiio will...
Fiio X5 – Potential To Be Best In Class
Pros: Sound quality, build, usability, interface, output power, versatility, boot speed
Cons: UI features not yet complete (gapless, hierarchical menus artist/album/track), scroll wheel a little loose, SD slot caps difficult to remove. -FW 1.00
X5 - Strength and Beauty
The Fiio X5
My audio chain has actually been pretty stable of late, my last addition being the Studio...
My review is up. I checked it with Joe first before submitting.
To the guys in the Oceania Tour - I've had the unit 5 days so far - so will use it for two more then send it on ahead of schedule.
Joe also asked me to post the review in this thread - so it's in the post below.