Okay, so I've been using it with and without LOD/amp and have tested it pretty well from both the HPO - 3,5 mm cable to iBasso T3D and from LOD to iBasso T3D and found some issues and securities.
Overall issues: no player this expensive, and especially one which advertises SQ and S-Master should have these problems. It isn't as bad as AMP3, but it is a lot less clear than I'd expected. The X is similar, but somehow, I just expected more.
The midrange is elevated over other frequencies when driving headphones because BOTH treble and BASS roll off. The 'clarity' which people have chatted about is mainly this default loss of definition in both extremes.I've a suite of RMAA scores just for reference here
. Currently, my internet is pretty slow, uploading files at about 1,2 kbps, and I had one test failure, so I will upload loaded tests tomorrow.
Suffice to say: this isn't a high-performance player. In fact, I'd probably take my A828 over it in terms of faithful reproduction of the sound wave. The same goes for the X (in a similar league as the A845), but at least it doesn't suffer clicking artefacts and hiss is a smidgeon less.
That isn't to say listening isn't fun, it's just that Sony sound isn't about SQ as it pertains to the actual music you are listening to. It is dynamically compressed, rolled off, hissy, but has a decent EQ.
As I will show tomorrow, its Line Out isn't implemented very well either, but at least using it with an amp gets rid of certain distortion otherwise present in the signal. That and the clicking is gone!