Originally Posted by jamato8
Source, source, source. If your source isn't going to give you the best from the original recorded music then you can't change water into wine unless. . .
So, you are asking an amp to change and add back what lossy format is taking away. I use only lossless and with this in mine, yes the P-51 works great, at least for me. This is with my UM2 and other monitors. Do I hear a difference when using the line out of my iRiver 120 or 140? Yes and it is a nice step up and the phone out on the iRiver is good in my opinion.
When I first got my W3s, and then the Mustang, I conducted several tests using 192/256/320 kbps, Apple Lossless, and WAV files to see/ hear for significant changes.
I settled with 256 kbps, though was tempted to settle for 192, to be honest. I suppose on a psychological level, 256 made me feel better, but cannot HONESTLY say that lossless or WAV sounded REALLY/ SIGNIFICANTLY better.
Carried out same test with my HD650s after 200 hrs burn-in, and came to the same conclusion.
Unfortunately, I've come to realise that, in my view, a lot of the reviews & opinions sound as if there really was a serious difference in sound quality.
From the stock iPod phones to the Sony mdrex90s, there was a massive improvement that anyone around me noticed. The next stages in my pursuit for better sound showed me that these changes were not as drastic as I was made to believe by so many reviews.
However, I was and still am VERY happy to have got the W3s and sold the Shure's, and if it wasn't for my new HD650's I would've regretted having spent nearly $450 on the Mustang. I really thought that it would make the W3s sound SIGNIFICANTLY better.
I remember reading Ray's advice on LOD and so on for the Mustang. But in my experience, with the iPod Classic 160gb + W3's and 192/256 kbps mp3s files and using the Headphone out only, I think the sound is absolutely brilliant.
NOW I understand the (unconscious) need to try and get more gear, but, again, in MY opinion, this starts to become an endless quest for something that REALLY isn't there, or at least there to justify the cost.
So, no regrets on the Mustang, but only because they can drive the HD650's nicely.