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Mini-Review: iBasso T3 portable amp - Page 6

post #76 of 154
Larry, I was wondering what you think of pairing the T3 with the HD25-1 II? I am in search of the best portable amp around 100 for these cans. I was also considering a mini3. Thanks for any advice you may have.
post #77 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshelton View Post
Larry, I was wondering what you think of pairing the T3 with the HD25-1 II? I am in search of the best portable amp around 100 for these cans. I was also considering a mini3. Thanks for any advice you may have.
They work well together, slammin' bass too, but not too out of control either. I prefer the D4 if you can afford to spend the extra.
post #78 of 154
There is always more to spend! lol I don't really want an amp that will add that much bass. I like bass but not overload, and from what I understand the HD25 has very decent bass on its own. (I am waiting for my set in the mail so I haven't got a listen yet) How does the mini3 stack up against the T3, D4?
post #79 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshelton View Post
There is always more to spend! lol I don't really want an amp that will add that much bass. I like bass but not overload, and from what I understand the HD25 has very decent bass on its own. (I am waiting for my set in the mail so I haven't got a listen yet) How does the mini3 stack up against the T3, D4?
It doesn't add too much bass, but I wouldn't want any more.
post #80 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
It doesn't add too much bass, but I wouldn't want any more.
Hummm... well I don't think I am going to have the money for the D4 for a while. I think I down to the T3, mini3, and I hope the E7 comes out very soon. Thanks for the advice!
post #81 of 154
Thanks a bunch. How is NuForce uDac compared to this ?
Thanks again.
post #82 of 154
HeadphoneAddict, can you please give your impressions about the T3+Westone 3 combo? I'm pretty happy with my W3s, but ideally I would like to bring forward the somewhat recessed vocals and increase the soundstage (although I'm not sure if these features are mutually exclusive).

At $140, I'm worried that the T3 will only be a marginal improvement over my W3+UM56 combo. I would be using a ipod Touch 2g with LOD and a Cowon s9 headphone out. What do you think? Thanks.
post #83 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by richbass View Post
Thanks a bunch. How is NuForce uDac compared to this ?
Thanks again.
RE: uDAC via USB vs T3 from a nice source like my iMod or iPhone with a nice LOD, the uDAC holds up well. uDAC has a slightly recessed treble vs the T3, and is very slightly more forward sounding, while the T3 is slightly more forward sounding than the D4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dj nellie View Post
HeadphoneAddict, can you please give your impressions about the T3+Westone 3 combo? I'm pretty happy with my W3s, but ideally I would like to bring forward the somewhat recessed vocals and increase the soundstage (although I'm not sure if these features are mutually exclusive).

At $140, I'm worried that the T3 will only be a marginal improvement over my W3+UM56 combo. I would be using a ipod Touch 2g with LOD and a Cowon s9 headphone out. What do you think? Thanks.
Right now I am listening to Eva Cassidy "Live at Blues Alley - Stormy Monday" on my 5.5G iMod video > ALO Jumbo Cryo Silver X LOD > T3 > Westone 3 with single flange slicone tips and the combo sounds nice. The bass is well controlled but a little stronger than the headphone out, highs are crisp but a little brighter than the headphone out, while the mids do not seem recessed at all with either. The detail and soundstage is a little better via T3 than the headphone out as well.

NOTE on TIPS - With these stock silicone tips both the headphone out and T3 were a little bright with the W3 vs the uDAC which tamed them. But, I tend to find the W3 bright with the single flange tips when listening to many female vocal recordings like Diana Krall or Eva Cassidy, and if I don't have my UM56 tips with me I often switch to the Complys P-100 tips. So, after listening with the silicone tips I switched to my silicone UM56 tips (which I had out in the car with my W2 that I am going to review soon). With the UM56 tips the W3's treble fell right into place and I find them to have a good balance in bass-mids-treble with the iMod/T3 and iPhone/T3. The iPhone headphone out is better than the 5.5G iMod video's, but the T3 still seems to offer a slight improvement over that.

In this respect, going back to richbass' question asking which is better - with W3 and the silicone single flange tips the uDAC was a better combo, but with the UM56 tips the iMod/T3 is a better combo to listen to. And so it switches back and forth as I try other IEM, where the uDAC pulls ahead again with UE 11Pro, but the iMod/T3 being better with the RE252, and then both being on a similar level with ES3X or JH13Pro, but the iMod/T3 being better with the Westone 2, etc. It's all about synergy between amp and IEM.
post #84 of 154
Thread Starter 
PS: Above where I said "the iMod/T3 has better synergy with the Westone 2 than uDAC" - interestingly while the uDAC is more recessed in the treble with the W3, it is brighter in the treble with the W2 vs the T3 = just the opposite behavior. This was using the single flange silicone tips that I pulled off the W3 a few minutes ago.

Later tonight or tomorrow I will try the uDAC feeding the T3 instead of using the iMod, as it still seems to have slightly more detail than the iMod with ALO dock. Might have to grab the piccolino dock or Vcap dock too for the iMod.
post #85 of 154
Thanks @HeadphoneAddict. What about iCON Mobile vs uDAC ?
post #86 of 154
Ok, so initial impressions about the T3: It really is TINY. Every review I've read says it and have seen quite a few pictures, but it didn't sink in until I got it in my hands. I knew it would be small, but I thought tiny was "tiny in relation to other portable amps" which I think are fairly big. I think what threw me off is the text on the back - the font used is pretty small, a lot smaller than you would expect. So if you were expecting the text on the back to be bigger in real life, you'd also expect the amp to be bigger. But as it turns out, both are actually quite small, if that makes any sense.

Initially, I was pretty disappointed. I was really looking forward to the reported additional bass impact that several have noted, and found it to be distinctly lacking. In fact, I felt that I had less impact over all. I didn't purchase the amp solely for added bass impact, but I would say it's the one aspect I was looking most forward to. I'm not sure if it's just a matter of burn in (I've only put an hour on the amp), re-aligning my expectations, or perhaps the caps were cold from being in a cold UPS truck all day, but while I don't feel I've achieved any additional impact, upon some more A/B listening I really don't notice the decrease at all either. I can only hope that as I get more time on the amp, it opens up to reveal that impact I'm looking for. The TF10s have a decent amount of impact, but I would really like just a little bit more if possible. But there's more to the sound than just the bass impact!

It was also speculated earlier in this thread that the bass-roll off claimed to be exhibited by the S9 (I haven't done any kind of test to verify, nor do I have anything to compare it against) might be corrected by the player feeding a higher impedance load such as an amplifier vs IEMs. I haven't done enough listening to give a solid answer to this, but at the outset I'm not sure that I hear it. Of course, I'm not even sure that the problem even exists in the first place, so...

In terms of the rest of the sound, when I stick it between my Cowon S9 via headphone out (no line out on the S9, sadly) and Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10, there are notable changes to the sound signature. The most drastic, imho, is that the mids are much more forward. The mids on the TF10 are a bit recessed, so this really balances them out quite well. I'm surprised to report this, as I don't think I've read anybody else write that the mids on the iBasso T3 are forward at all, in fact I thought they were going to be slightly recessed (which I was worried about pairing an earphone with recessed mids and an amp with slightly recessed mids). I'm very pleased with the result in that regard. Aside from the balancing of the mids, everything seems much more crisp, slightly more detailed, and cymbals now have a snap to them that I didn't hear before.

The soundstage also seems a bit more forward as reported but the difference appears to be pretty small, to the extent that I can't personally rule out placebo. In my quick listen, the change seems to be most apparent on the track "Paper Bass" by Medeski, Martin and Wood on their Friday Afternoon in the Universe album. This track is short at 59 seconds and is mostly random noise really, but in the background there is what sounds to be a wind chime which has a really cool-in-your-head-holographic effect where you can pin point it's location between ear to ear (and it moves around a lot!). With the T3 the sound still has a wide range of movement, but it doesn't quite have that holographic/pin point effect, nor is it right between your ears (this might be the reason it loses that effect).

Anyway, I only have maybe an hour and a half on the amp so far (all ear time), and I will be curious to see how more time/burn-in changes the sound/my perception. It'll get a good work out of 5-6 hours tonight at work, so we'll see if I have anything to add.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my purchase, if only to finally get to play around with a new gadget that I've been wanting to try out for a while now(pocket amps in general). I also think it makes a notable difference in the over all sound of the TripleFi and I'm curious to see if anyone has the TripleFi/T3 combination and if they notice the changes in the mids as I don't think I've read this anywhere else.
post #87 of 154
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by richbass View Post
Thanks @HeadphoneAddict. What about iCON Mobile vs uDAC ?
The icon mobile is a little more forward in the mids and treble, with a little less bass presence, and less power, detail and refinement overall. I would pick the uDAC without a doubt.
post #88 of 154
I just got my T3, yes, very tiny.
Charging it with USB.
Will test it with my X1050 w/ SE530, and M10 w/ SE530. Also compared with E5.
post #89 of 154
@mesasone: my impressions are similar, only mids of t3 paired with sansa fuze are a little recessed, and yes, 'holographic effect' is not very good, but not worse than headphone out, maybe t3 really needs a line out.

also, i noticed that sound changes quite constantly (soundstage and bass) during burn in, especially after 120 hrs (10 of them pink noise) and 300+ hrs. in the dark i can see a small cap between in and out jacks, so it is not a surprise t3 needs some hours.
post #90 of 154
Just got my T3D this morning, in fact, also got a Linearossa W1 as well. Don't have the time to do detail comparison right now, but W1 actually holds up fairly well against T3D.
I did compare the T3 / T3D to my T4 before I bought T3D - it is a step up, but not a really major step up for me (given the price difference, I don't expect it anyway). I would think someone who already own a T4 would probably get better value upgrades to a bigger amp instead of getting the T3. Nonetheless T3 is a better amp than T4, airier, better detail, more neutral, and more power.
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