....the Cowon J3, isn't very good and anyone considering a J3 should seriously take this point into consideration before picking one up.
I could not more strongly disagree with this statement. The Cowon J3 is a superb player in many respects, I will not mention all the reasons why as there are other threads for that.
Maybe I was not being clear in previous statements but I would like to make it clear that the J3 and IE8s by themselves sound good. A tweak of the EQ or two and it's wonderful...Now, the J3, D4 and IE8s sound out of this cosmos. This is not the end all or be all setup but it pleases my ears after much search for the "sweet spot" of my music.
My J3 is EQd so that the lowest frequencies are dropped a notch or two. Normally it feels like the sound stage is expanded and everything seems more refined. When I add the D4 it adds those parts that were taken away without being overbearing and in addition to that makes things even more refined and wider at the same time.
Hope this clarifies things some.