New hifi gear is bad for your (w)health
Well I've spent some quality time with my D3, using a MZ-NH1 line-out, IPod 160 GB Classic, and a Sony Vaio laptop, going through my music collection from Miles Davis, through Frazk Zappa to Pucinni and The Band!
Prior to the D3 my portable had been as much about blocking out noise when travelling than really just providing a suitable listenening environment. The extra ommph and calrity that the Python provides has breathed life back into my Ety Er-6i's - heck there is even some bass to be heard in there.
In terms of portable, using the lineout on my HiMD playing lossless PCM files, it was wonderful, even really complex music was clear and precise, very bright, but not hissy sibilant, just like 'superclear' (imagine getting your teeth scraped, polished etc, that superclean feeling that lasts until your first coffee and bagel!) - I found myself doing the old 'I don't remember hearing that before!' routine (thats just because you've stopped listening properly), but hearing familiar music with 'new' details is just such fun. Ok, I'm very fond of Sony MD gear, I do like that sound and I pretty much only ever listen to lossless files, but I was after a portable setup that sounded like a 'budget' home deskbound system, and I have to say that this does that very well.
Comparing to my DV332 there is a loss of the 'prescence' of that amp - that very hard to describe quality in the music, that better sound pressure, faster transient, 'life like quality' - but then this is a portable amp the size of a small pack of cards, but with more and more listening time on the D3, I'm enjoying the sound more and more.
The real revelation comes when the DAC/AMP combination comes into play. I am still very surprised about how good this sounds - there is a real synergy between the DAc and AMP that isn't there when you split them up. I ran laptop to DAC-DV332 for a few hours, and the wow factor wasn't there - it was a good sound, but not, well 'special'. But back to DAC/AMP it sounded much better, the colouration of the amp works well with the DAC. Playing flac's with winamp 5.4 on the laptop through both my DT770 and ER-6i's just sounded lovely - and ... and this is the hard but to say .. better than the Sony HiMD D3 combo, but then its not quite so portable. But already I'm considering a mini notebook with SS drive and a USB disc full of flacs, I just wished that my N810 could output via the USB - but this seems an option thats just not going to be realised.
So, in summary, I really like the D3, think its pretty decent value at $219 plus shipping, it will breath life into your portable rig and can work as a pretty decent 'luggable' system. I'm glad I waited for this amp to hit the streets, I was so close to buying just an amp, which I now realise would have been a worse choice as the best combination with the D3 is the FLAC-DAC/Amp-Head=Huge Grin!
So I'm sorted on the amp side, now to get some killer cans!
Update : The customs men have had their fill of my IPod LOD so the kind MrPostie handed it over 30 mins ago. Going to test this out today, heres hoping for a nice improvement (well some improvement at least!)