Is the M-Stage warmer and fuller sounding than the E9? To me the E9 has just a small touch of warmth and I imagine with the M-Stage there is just a tiny more more warmth.
I actually found the HRT MSII (DAC) too warm, but most people won't. It was nice for specific headphones, but I didn't like this for my DJ100 and HD-650. That's why I got the ODAC and then the Modi.
I guess in terms of tonality I like something in the middle of say the Magni and an E9. Obviously still ruler flat. Apparently the E9 measures very well, but i'm not surprised.
I think in terms of warmth my Micro with Astrodyne is mid-way between the Magni and E9.
I only really like amps that are good with everything (not IEMs though). The Asgard1 and Magni were not like this for me unfortunately. People love to bash the E9, but I think it's better than the Magni and Asgard1 with the Q701.
Can't decide to get another E9 or just go with the E17. I've converted to apartment living so having two desktop amps is kind of pointless. I do like having a 2nd one for the bedroom though for movies.
I'm just worried the E17 as a DAC is too warm for the HD-650. If it sounds like a clone of the E10 i'll be majorly disappointed.
E12 sounds interesting too, but I'm worried it will be too similar to the Magni.
EDIT: I just bought an E17 and L7. Should arrive sometime next week. Hopefully it's decent as a DAC. Maybe I will like it even as a backup amp for my Q701? I actually wanted to get it just for it's Wolfson DAC and that I need another portable amp for my DJ100.
So far the only Fiio amps i've liked are the E5 and E9. The E11 is just OK. I prefer my Airhead by far.
Edited by tdockweiler - 5/31/13 at 9:13pm