after playing around with my new Cowon J3 and J3 + Fiio E17..... I think i like the J3's BBE a little more than just keeping it normal + E17 amp +Treble +Bass (which is how i normally amp other sources).
I really like the E17, but I kinda feel the J3 doesn't need it...and with the J3, I feel like I could do without the E17 amp..... :O Similar feeling that I get with my Galaxy S / rooted with Voodoo...
For $140 that the E17 cost, I think there is very marginal gain for either J3 and Galaxy S. This might be because I have learned I like a more warm sound. I don't miss my iPod 5.5g which was way more neutral/cold sounding....which i DID like better with the E17. But J3 by itself with BBE... or Galaxy S with Voodoo......I like more than the iPod + E17.
This said--the E17 is more refined and is awesome in general. People who don't love a warmer Cowon sound I'm sure would love it--and it's getting well deserved hype on these boards.
I'll probably be looking to sell the E17 and either J3 or Galaxy S. I find the J3 drives my 250ohm dt880 just fine. I think as well as my hybrid Tube amp (trends pa-10) which I sold. My next step is probably to get a serious tube amp like the Little Dot MK3--but I don't expect to be blown away by improvement.
Edited by hyogen - 5/5/12 at 12:20am