Venturecraft Go-Dap X impressions:
The X is very nice size that matches up with the iPhone 5 just about perfectly. Controls are somewhat counter intuitive, especially activating the bass boost. It requires holding the battery button down until the switch on the front blinks, then flipping said switch down and back up - to deactivate bass boost, follow the same process. The best feature is the auto charging of the iDevice. The convenience and importance of this should not be overlooked when considering an all-in-one amp/DAC device for traveling, especially for an iPhone. It’s so convenient to listen with the X for several hours and have your phone still fully charged when you’re finished!
The X I used is the black version with the Burr Brown OPA2134. I find the description from VentureCraft, to another head-fier (earlier in this thread), of the black X to be pretty accurate: “focuses on and enriches mid and high pitch really well…”. Basically I find the black X to have a midrange focus with a bit of an upper mid/lower treble edge; bass is slightly less impactful. This makes for an engaging or musical presentation. Those observations were made versus the stock iPhone 5 with the GR07 mk2 and TG334. With the GR07, these changes are less apparent than with the TG334.
I also compared the X to my Leckerton UHA-6s (OPA209) both via computer and with iPod/iPhone. The computer connection was using both their DACs and amps, whereas with the iPod/iPhone, I was using the Leckerton as an amp only (so not exactly an apples to apples comparison but worth noting none-the-less).
From the computer, with the TG334, the differences were quite obvious. The X is much more upfront and upper mid/lower treble focused. The overall presentation is brighter, closer, musical and aggressive. The X midrange is definitely the focus. The UHA-6s is more transparent, articulate and spacious. The Leckerton’s bass had more slam and better definition, as well as cymbals rendered more articulate, even if not as bright as the X. These observations still hold true with the iPod/iPhone but to a lesser extent, since the Leckerton was using the Apple DAC.
I prefer the Leckerton to the X, as I am more focussed on detail resolution and transparency and I find the UHA-6s to do this in spades. Its amp and DAC section are simply excellent IMO but if I did not already own the UHA-6s, I would be perfectly happy with the VentureCraft. It’s simply fun and engaging. It definitely gets the head bobbing and the small form factor combined with the charging feature is something I definitely desire; it will be hard to give that particular feature up!