I just received my Little Dot Q yesterday. I was out the entire day so I only got to hear it today. My apologies for the lack of pics, I'll put some up later when I have my camera. I went on a mountaineering trip a few weeks ago and I haven't gotten my camera back from the person who consolidated our pictures.
Some buzz surrounding this little baby and comparing it to the Bravo amp.
I'm not going to bore you with long details, here's the bottomline: this amp is good as an amp, rubbish as a DAC, and suffers from quality issues which means that ultimately its $89 price point is not going to look so attractive anymore compared to the Bravo.
Now, I have not heard the Bravo. I do not know how good it is from personal experience, although I get a lot of brilliant reviews and feedback praising it. Based on that feedback, I'd say the Q falls short.
Here's some impressions I posted from another forum, have at it:
1. The DAC is pure garbage. Do *not* use it.
2. Small but not very portable because the tube juts out of the top, so it's hard to handle in a bag. You'll need a special case if you want to transport it to ensure it doesn't get damaged. PSU brick is also huge, like 3x the size of the amp and 100x heavier. This is the one major nag on this thing.
3. It's closed in on all sides with no openings, unlike the Bravo, so it's not going to run into an open air mishap.
4. Very nice, clean sound. Has enough power to drive the Mios. Quite mids centric and very rich and vibrant-sounding. As a DAC it is rubbish but as an amp it is pretty good.
I would say this would be a great amp to bring to meets as it is very transportable, it just needs a safety case to keep its tube safe. The tube is soldered straight into the circuit board and cannot be rolled, which is a shame. There seems to be some quality issues around it as well. Not only is it soldered, it is soldered poorly. There are times when you unplug a headphone or source from the Q and a tube rush happens, which causes permanent noise. You then need to touch the tube with your fingers and press lightly for a second to get it "soldered back in place" and remove the sound. This is really poor quality control at work and highly disappointing.
The problem with the DAC is that first it is really weak sounding. In terms of volume output it squeaks like a mouse. Even using sensitive headphones that drive well out of iPods, the DAC of the Q cannot sufficiently drive a headphone without turning the volume way up... and even then it's still not loud enough for my normal istening levels -- and I have moderate listening levels (Zeroblade has very low listening levels, I listen about 60% louder than he does but I listen below many others here). Aside from the low listening volume the DAC lacks in dynamics and excitement, and sounds listless. I tried daisy-chaining it into the P4i and the Marantz and the result was still horrible, again the Q is useless as a DAC. Worse, if you plug the DAC in or out the "tube rush" I mentioned happens and you may get noise in the signal again until you fiddle with the Tube. And I can't imagine fiddling with the tube often is healthy for the device.
For everyone who was thinking of a bang for your buck wonder to come along and blow everyone away... I have to say the Q falls short. I mean it *is* a great sounding amp at its price, but the poor quality standards coupled with the junk DAC means that a lot of its appeal -- a DAC/Amp combo at the $90 price point -- suddenly vanishes.
More regarding the sound quality:
It really brings out vocals and is very nice for listening to the voice of the singer. It works wonders with Dave Matthews Band and I'm guessing it will be great for all the Diana Krall fans out there (wouldn't know though as I don't listen to Diana Krall, someone please try it out).
The low end becomes really tight and well-defined. Coupled with a reference-level headphone like the K701 it helps you listen for exact notes in the low end. Very nice.
The highs are a little harsh using the K701. Me thinks the amp doesn't have enough juice to properly amp the K701 to ultra smooth creaminess. Take note the amp can easily drive the K701, I'm listening at about 11 o'clock using the headphone out of my netbook into the Q's input. This is a sufficient listening level.
Will do further listening with the HD650 and some easier to drive cans like the Beyer DT440 and Air AD700 just to set proper expectations, as I would imagine this amp was designed with easier to drive cans like the Air in mind.