Originally Posted by lukeap69
Interested to know if there is a big difference in SQ and listening experience between E18 and your new combo.
That is an excellent question my friend and one I thought hard about last night as I was listening to my desktop rig.
The difference is massive! Seriously. The only benefit the E18 brings over nothing at all is power. Volume & headroom are increased. Nothing else changes. If it does then I can't hear it.
The same music via the ODAC & O2 is transformed. The detail is greatly enhanced, the soundstage actually becomes slightly smaller but far tighter and more focused. There is a much greater sense of space as well, particularly with acoustic music. Dynamics are also handled far better and are bigger but at the same time less dramatic. That's a difficult one to put into words actually.
The bass is plentiful yet totally under control (my Q's are bass-modded - YMMV). Treble is now sweet and full, yet delicate when required, and the mids are to die for.
Here's a thing - since I hooked up the ODAC & O2 I haven't given one thought to EQ or tone controls. Not once.
I must also say that, surprisingly for me, the above applies to every genre of music I've thrown at it, from George Winston to Rammstein & everything in between its better. Even fairly low bit-rate files are handled well.
Are there better DAC's and amps out there? Very probably. Not at this price though.