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Ibasso D4 / T3 Review Thread

post #1 of 442
Thread Starter 
Just received confirmation of the shipping of my new amps from IBasso...just as when I ordered my D3, fast response to emails, fast response to order, next day shipping both times.
Photos to come when they arrive!
I figured Id combine the two amps in one thread to simplify my time on the board.

__________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

Hello, Paul,
Your shipment has been shipped.
THe UPS shipping reference is XXXXXXXXXX
If you have any questions, please dont hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely
iBasso audio

____________________________

Just got the amps...going to get them unpacked as soon as I can (need to wait for them to acclimate, it was a little cold this evening)

Total Time 3 Business Days!
_____________________________

11/10/09
D4
Using CD source, 24ga silver IC, Ultrasone PL2500 (I prefer the 750s, but need to hear the kiddies!)
Dispatch: All Points Bulletin (Live)

Against my environmental conscience I had to throw in an alkaline (my rechargeables were N/A)
Right out of the box very impressive:
crisp, clear, distinct
This is one musical amp...all I have to say is that if you were on the fence do not hesitate on this.
In addition the build quality is top notch, that volume control is fantastic, smooth and precise...I can definitely tell they were selective with the pots for sure...it is dead nutz on accurate

I am enjoying the amp in the low gain setting, at low volume 830-9 and I can hear everything, I like it right at 1030 for listening

Already out of the box three dimensionality is there, separation, bongos (have that pop), cymbal crashes...I do agree with Hiflight's thread here, this amp is way up there...I will report back when it is fully broken in, life can only get better

D4 DAC section initial impressions
It is plug and play, simply plugged the amp into my laptop and it was up and running (likely because I had a D3 and it was configured(already set-up))
Suprised I just grabbed the first mp3 I could grab:
Pearl Jam Live (SF 2006) Yellow Ledbetter
Sounded fantastic as well, though had to listen at a higher volume due to low bitrate (it was a freebee from PJ 128K, however it sounded great, the DAC did a perfect job...always rip at 320 or lossless

...I had a random unnamed hip-hop track ripped at 256 and it was a lot thicker and rivaled the CD source in terms of punch
Decided to test the battery versus USB amp power
I flipped the switch, I think the battery setting (battery powering the amp) sounds a little better, a little more punch
< I'd have to give the amp some time to loosen up and this is a quick A/Bing but a slightly noticeable difference.

...I will report back on the D4 when it is fully broken in, life can only get better

I do not think this amp will have any trouble driving larger more challenging phones, I am a sold Ultrasone fan...
______

T3 Initial Impressions (on factory charge)

First off, I did not realize how tiny this thing really was, it is small

Identical CD source as above
All I can say is
WOW!

Try this on for size, on low gain...and understand I am not using IEMs but my PL2500s and sounds fantastic, I think it sounds as good as the D4, definitely a slightly warmer sound, but clear, crisp and up-front with the sound...there are those bongos now popping in my right ear, crisply...just a pure and accurate presentation of the music

Bass is solid(, booms) and thick right out of the box...

Also to reiterate what others have noted the volume control is tight and accurate

I did not think such a small amp could drive larger headphones...I mean the volume just keeps going to a level (decided to go all the way) that it enough to deafen anyone and doesnt clip at all until right before the end of the road.

***Anyone considering either do not hesitate on either of these amps...I cannot emphasize enough that I am simply impressed with both of these amps. IBasso has not only come a long way but is just simply unbeatable in my honest opinion, the price performance ratio can't be touched

________________
D4 11/28 FULLY BURNED IN!!!!

First off, the unit is just fantastic, everything has fallen into place perfectly...there wasnt much to go, but its just a stellar amp!

I decided to have a go head to head with the Triad LISAIII
I was rooting for the D4, no contest with LisaIII at all.
It really isn't a fair comparison, apples to an apple tree in terms of SQ, separation and soundstage the LISA easily tops the D4 and anything out there...however in terms of portability, the DAC which is the nutz...sounds fantastic, which I will use to feed Lisa when I am home, the D4 with USB power just cannot be beat for 200 bucks. I do not rate it as close as hiflight (well it's up in the air, read a couple posts with another CD it's closer IMO...still LISA is the best hands down) and will roll with his set likely in a few weeks after school is out to try it. So the skinny, both amps are great, the D4 will go no where as the price performance can't be beat, rivaling other amps in the 3-400 range. As far as the Lisa, again not a fair contest, it's a 6-900 setup whether you have the LLP or not, and again you'd still need a DAC too. But it comes short, but close...this little D4 is a masterwork.

Just FYI, CD live dead 1991, NYC, terrapin station
PL2500s

So don't hesitate with buying the D4, but do try a Lisa if you get a chance.
I'll post when I roll the opamps with hiflights kit.

Feeling a bit let down I decided to, AB'd again...tried another CD
slightly stoopid
closer to the sun

now I find it closer, studio album, both full sounding and very close

the D4 is a very pleasurable am to listen to, not fatiguing at all... it is no doubt worth not only every penny but much more...this music is reggae fusion and bass intensive and the D4 doesn't miss a beat...I'll say it's a close second with this CD...so hiflight not far off here

I think the difference lies with LIVE music, the LISA excels relative to the D4 (again not by much, perhaps 15%...is that worth the extra $$$, and a lot of it, well it depends if you have it or not, my LISA is going no where, however...IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT, Lisa is just perfect accuracy, the cleanest and clearest amp out there!)

The D4 is a tremendous little package and what you get, a supurb DAC (dual DAC one for each channel), an amplifier section that is just up there with the best, that can be powered by battery OR USB...just cant be beat!

ALSO, the T3 is fantastic as well, the price performance ratio cannot be beat, if you have a set of IEMs or easy to drive full-size cans (like the Ultrasone ED9s or what I have the 750s 2500s) this is a great throw in your Tshirt pocket amplifier...I just cannot believe the full sound that comes out of such a small package, and the ALPS pot is the nutz.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D4
OPAMP Swap (Hiflight's set)

I only swapped the opamp and did not use the dummy buffers as per Headphoneaddict and MMaroyyo's feedback

ALSO THANKS TO HEADPHONEADDICT FOR HELPING ME FIGURE OUT (BY FORWARDING VERY DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS) HOW TO SWAP THE OPAMP, NOW FEELING VERY SMALL, COULDNT FIGURE IT OUT, WELL NOT THAT I COULDNT, JUST DIDNT WISH TO DO ANYTHING TO HURT THE AMP, SO ILL TAKE THE HIT ON MY EGO...BUT THANKS HPA AS ALWAYS FOR HELPING ME OUT IN A PINCH!!!!

The overall sound is definitely better, what is better, that is subjective, good sound to one is perhaps not to someone else. Some like warm, tubey sound, while others like myself prefer a very analytical sound.

What I find is that the opamp swap ups the quality of the amp for sure, by a significant margin.

I felt it definitely improved the sound IMO; the clarity was much greater, transparency is the audiophile word.

Definitely the sound stage is much more open, deeper bass, higher highs and wider...classical guitar sounds much more detailed than before

However, having greater detail and sensitivity means, much more revealing in terms of sound...which means your source has to be that much better

In trying a CD source...as well some other ripped high bitrate stuff, sounds fantastic.

However, now streaming music isnt as pleasurable because it is not as forgiving now as the stock opamp set was.

________

I was a bit skeptical about IEMs...They are nice experience/alternative, the music is right there, in some ways too close, well its just that Im used to the drivers being outside of my head...still working on the right combo for the tips, I am preferring double flange. I mean Its like they are playing in my ear canal, a little mini Jerry in my right ear!

What is too nice is that you only need a fraction of the volume for the same effect...only about 9 o'clock is all I personally need if the recording is thick.

Doing some early AM listening:
Garcia Grisman on Pandora

Right now
Grisman: Neon Tetra on Hot Dawg

Its just a fantastic experience...lot of plucking, strings and right on...

I cannot do a better job than my buddy:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/r...thread-386477/

I tried them unamped in my iphone and two laptops, my HP laptop had the nicest HP out and drove them well...however garbage compared to what the D4 is doing right now, simple perfection...

If you are budget minded and looking for a top of the line IEM at a budget price for what you are getting, triple driver...for just about 300 on the forums, W3s rock...

Cant wait to try a CD source!
LL
LL
LL
post #2 of 442
Looking forward to your review and pictures.
post #3 of 442
I got my T3 today, will post picture tonight. damn it is tiny. no bass boost button. 2 switch to adjust between 4 gain setting. brown alunimum on one side of case the other side is mirror chrome semi transparent plastic which is finger print magnet. the package come with warranty card, wall charger with USB port, a USB charging cable and ~5 inch interconnect.

I am using UM3X and 5800XM/Clip+ as source. To my untrained ear the first impression is stronger bass but does not darken the vocal. there are tiny hiss, as long as the source is clean the hiss is minimum. not only the bass, it seems like the treble is a little stronger too. not sure if I need to burn it in but this is what's out of the box for now.
post #4 of 442
For you folks with iBasso T3 - If I buy the T3 now to use with IEM's like Shure 530 and UE triple fi's - will I also have use for it in the future if I buy bigger headphones like Grado or Sennheiser?
post #5 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by trentino View Post
For you folks with iBasso T3 - If I buy the T3 now to use with IEM's like Shure 530 and UE triple fi's - will I also have use for it in the future if I buy bigger headphones like Grado or Sennheiser?
It depends upon the how hard the particular model of headphone you choose is to drive. The T3 was designed as a IEM amp but it will also work with phones and do a good job but again, it depends upon how much power they require. It will drive my Ultrasone Ed. 9 and the HD650's fine but the the 650's won't be driven to super high sound levels.
post #6 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
It depends upon the how hard the particular model of headphone you choose is to drive. The T3 was designed as a IEM amp but it will also work with phones and do a good job but again, it depends upon how much power they require. It will drive my Ultrasone Ed. 9 and the HD650's fine but the the 650's won't be driven to super high sound levels.
Thanks so much. I guess what I really want is an allround amp/dac. I want it to work fine with portable player from Cowon with IEM's and also with bigger head phones. And then there's DAC..
Maybe this is not the thread for my issues
post #7 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by trentino View Post
Thanks so much. I guess what I really want is an allround amp/dac. I want it to work fine with portable player from Cowon with IEM's and also with bigger head phones. And then there's DAC..
Maybe this is not the thread for my issues
Sure a different thread would seem to be the ticket. So are you looking for this in a portable or home setup?
post #8 of 442
Portable I guess is most important. Seems AMP/DAC for home setup is another story..
But I really love the looks and reviews of iBAsso models. The question is, T3 (only portalbe amp) or iBasso D2+ Boa (more powerful and DAC) . Is the D2+ a better portable amp than T3?
post #9 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by trentino View Post
Portable I guess is most important. Seems AMP/DAC for home setup is another story..
But I really love the looks and reviews of iBAsso models. The question is, T3 (only portalbe amp) or iBasso D2+ Boa (more powerful and DAC) . Is the D2+ a better portable amp than T3?
For the amp, I prefer the T3. I think the T3 is going to surprise a number of people. It is relatively inexpensive but offers high end portable sound.
post #10 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
For the amp, I prefer the T3. I think the T3 is going to surprise a number of people. It is relatively inexpensive but offers high end portable sound.
Thanks. I think I'll order one. T3 is also really nice looking and small.
post #11 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hsiu View Post
I got my T3 today, will post picture tonight. damn it is tiny. no bass boost button. 2 switch to adjust between 4 gain setting. brown alunimum on one side of case the other side is mirror chrome semi transparent plastic which is finger print magnet. the package come with warranty card, wall charger with USB port, a USB charging cable and ~5 inch interconnect.

I am using UM3X and 5800XM/Clip+ as source. To my untrained ear the first impression is stronger bass but does not darken the vocal. there are tiny hiss, as long as the source is clean the hiss is minimum. not only the bass, it seems like the treble is a little stronger too. not sure if I need to burn it in but this is what's out of the box for now.
hmmm... i'm very curious to hear it for my UM3X as well. i wonder how it would play out of the iPod's line-out. where in NY are you at?
post #12 of 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax View Post
hmmm... i'm very curious to hear it for my UM3X as well. i wonder how it would play out of the iPod's line-out. where in NY are you at?
NYC Manhattan
post #13 of 442
how long does it take to burn in T3 ?



post #14 of 442
Thread Starter 

Wow

I'm definitely excited!!!
They have even stepped up with some nice packaging!
Very sharp little amp indeed.
post #15 of 442
looks really nice. I ordered on Thursday and haven't heard a word about shipping
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