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ibasso D3 Review! - Page 5

post #61 of 200

D3 USB DAC quality

Sorry for a totally noob question, hoping someone in this thread would know the answer. I purchased D3(my first amp ) after reading so many rave reviews on head-fi including this thread. When connecting in analogue, it sounds fantastic. It even gets rid of most of the static sound that originally exists in line-out of my mac book. When I try to use it as USB DAC and here's my question, why does it sound so poorly compare to analogue?

It sounded very muddy as if vocal and instruments are mixed up then put behind a wall. Unlike the analogue line in from MBP and headphone out where it gives a much punchier bass and nice separation of vocal, DAC's output sounds terrible. I am probably missing something very fundamental. My original idea with D3 was so I can have clear/digital sound from MBP. Maybe it's not meant to be used this way? Maybe D3 just decodes the sound and I need another amp to bring the sound quality up?

Here's how things are connected.

MBP -> USB(one that came with D3) -> D3 -> Tri Fi 10


I ask my co-worker to try D3's DAC out on his MBP and his own headphone and surprisingly, D3's DAC improved the sound a little bit when using his IEM. I then asked him to use TF10 to see if he hears the degradation in quality and he also confirms the poor quality as I describe above. Could it be because TF10 just doesn't play nice with this DAC?

Would much appreciate someone in the know to shed on light on this embarrassingly noob question.
post #62 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by headnoob View Post
Sorry for a totally noob question, hoping someone in this thread would know the answer. I purchased D3(my first amp ) after reading so many rave reviews on head-fi including this thread. When connecting in analogue, it sounds fantastic. It even gets rid of most of the static sound that originally exists in line-out of my mac book. When I try to use it as USB DAC and here's my question, why does it sound so poorly compare to analogue?

It sounded very muddy as if vocal and instruments are mixed up then put behind a wall. Unlike the analogue line in from MBP and headphone out where it gives a much punchier bass and nice separation of vocal, DAC's output sounds terrible. I am probably missing something very fundamental. My original idea with D3 was so I can have clear/digital sound from MBP. Maybe it's not meant to be used this way? Maybe D3 just decodes the sound and I need another amp to bring the sound quality up?

Here's how things are connected.

MBP -> USB(one that came with D3) -> D3 -> Tri Fi 10


I ask my co-worker to try D3's DAC out on his MBP and his own headphone and surprisingly, D3's DAC improved the sound a little bit when using his IEM. I then asked him to use TF10 to see if he hears the degradation in quality and he also confirms the poor quality as I describe above. Could it be because TF10 just doesn't play nice with this DAC?

Would much appreciate someone in the know to shed on light on this embarrassingly noob question.
I'm baffled because the D3 USB DAC for me is noticeably superior to the Macbook headphone out. Have you checked your setting in the Audio Midi Setup application found in Applications>Utilities ?

Now, if you are using lower bitrate (less than 256 or 320K) music files, the extra detail from the USB DAC will reveal compression artifacts and sound like poop. You could try playing a CD in your laptop, or rip a CD into lossless, and I suspect the sound is going to be much better with the USB DAC then.
post #63 of 200
When using the D3 as a DAC, are you using the line in or line out? Using the line in will only give a steady volume while using the line out will send the signal through the D3 Amp allowing you to increase the volume; though the TF10 should not be very hard to drive. Just make sure you're not confusing the volume with SQ. Otherwise pretty much what Larry says above.

George
post #64 of 200
Thread Starter 

D3

Getting better every time I listen...going to try it with my 2500s this weekend if I get a spare minute.
post #65 of 200
glc, you nailed it. Now I feel dumb. After connecting to line out and turn "on" the power, DAC sounds much much MUCH better. Thanks for pointing out the obivous.

I am then also curious, so when does one use line-in with USB DAC? Connect to another amp? If so then I am even more puzzled because from what I heard, sound is so muffed.

Anyway, thanks for the great help.
post #66 of 200
You can use the line in to use the amp only bypassing the internal dac of the D3. If I am understanding your question.
post #67 of 200
jamato,

Here's what D3 operation manual says:
"When the USB is connected, the input port works as a line out port."

From the observation, if USB is connected, I can get sound from input port without turning on the amp although it doesn't sound good. So my question was more toward "if you connect the USB and use the DAC, why would one want to connect anything to the input port?
post #68 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakankles View Post
I was considering the Tomahawk & 2Move but then I threw the D3 into the mix (as I've been reading many good things) and I think I've all but eliminated the Tomahawk. I have IEMs (Atrio M5 & Head Direct RE2) to drive as well as the Ultrasone 780. I hadn't read much about the RFI interference until this thread so now I'm not sure I want to pull the trigger on the D3. I do see my inventory changing in the near future, probably full headphones rather than IEMs.

I listen mostly to hip hop, r&b and west indian music (reggae, zouk, kompas)

EDIT- I don't really need a DAC. I'll probably be sticking w/Cowon players and I'm thinking about buying a Sony 639f by January at the latest.

Thanks in advance for any input.
I'm not trying to hijack this thread but I've found this one pretty useful.
Can anyone give any thoughts to the amp section of the D3 vs. 2Move? I appreciate any info.

@paulybatz

How does the D3 sound w/hip hop? I don't think you ever left your thoughts on this.
post #69 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by headnoob View Post
jamato,

Here's what D3 operation manual says:
"When the USB is connected, the input port works as a line out port."

From the observation, if USB is connected, I can get sound from input port without turning on the amp although it doesn't sound good. So my question was more toward "if you connect the USB and use the DAC, why would one want to connect anything to the input port?
Because that is the output of the dac section to another amp. You can use the D3 as a dac only, without turning on the amp section. You could use it with any amp that way from another portable to a large home amp. The output of what was an imput acts as a line out that requires an amplifier. Mine sounds fine.

That is the end of your question allotment. So sorry. Tomorrow you get 5 more.
post #70 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakankles View Post
I'm not trying to hijack this thread but I've found this one pretty useful.
Can anyone give any thoughts to the amp section of the D3 vs. 2Move? I appreciate any info.

@paulybatz

How does the D3 sound w/hip hop? I don't think you ever left your thoughts on this.
The D3 and 2MOVE are on a comparable level, but with the D3 being a little more open and spacious and the 2MOVE being a little more forward and intimate. For example, with a Proline 2500's recessed mids (or a Darth Beyer V3 shallow cup) the 2MOVE will be a better choice, and with the Edition 9's or HFI-780's fuller mids the D3 will be a better choice. Both are good with hip hop and most of my phones.

See http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f105/u...vid-v1-306883/

I will be adding the Nuforce Icon Mobile to the USB DAC amp review before Xmas, after it is burned in.
post #71 of 200
jamato,

heh, thanks for the clarification.


So that got me intrigued, how could the sound from input get any better when it's so muffed when I heard it. So I did this,

MBP -> D3 via USB -> D3 input -> MBP line in -> LineIn -> MBP line out with TF10.
(funky, I know)

I used an app called "LineIn" to pass whatever MBP received on line in to line out. And what do you know, it IS a much better sound. I am guessing MBP does something to the sound then. How interesting...I have much to learn around here.
post #72 of 200
Sorry, double post
post #73 of 200
Thread Starter 

getting there

Getting there. I listened to one song but do not want to "bass" my review and opinions on that. Sunday night for shizzle my nizzle.
Pauly

Quote:
Originally Posted by breakankles View Post
I'm not trying to hijack this thread but I've found this one pretty useful.
Can anyone give any thoughts to the amp section of the D3 vs. 2Move? I appreciate any info.

@paulybatz

How does the D3 sound w/hip hop? I don't think you ever left your thoughts on this.
post #74 of 200
Thanks HeadphoneAddict & paulybatz. I was just about to edit my post to say that I had read through a good bulk of that review thread you have. I guess I got overwhelmed by the info & need a bit of simplification and clarification. lol!

I'm leaning towards the D3. I've have tmobile svc but it very weak in my neighborhood so maybe the RF interference will not bother me too much.

I look out for the Nuforce review. I'm still relatively new here so I'm trying to learn how to describe sound sig and things like that. Reading your thread has helped.
post #75 of 200
The DAC/AMP in the MBP headphone out is poor at best. I don't remember my sisters iPod sounding this bad. Even with Sennheiser PX100's I don't care for the sound quality. It feels constricted and has the "sound suck" effect. I find myself just getting annoyed with the music, which is a first for me. Not good enough. That's what led me here. I suppose that any music/sound professional who buys a MBP is going to be using dedicated DAC, AMP's, mixers, etc. so Apple only puts a standard crappy DAC/AMP in the MBP. I guess I can understand that. The optical mini-toslink output is the saving grace for that output port, is all I can say.

The D3 should make a HUGE difference. If it doesn't, something is wrong.
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