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iBasso D-Zero - is it an upgrade from Fiio?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I would like to request some opinions from those of you with knowledge of portable analog amplifiers:

 

I have been a music/audio enthusiast many years now with 2-channel home audio systems.  Recently, I have joined the ranks of many who enjoy listening to music on the go.  I have put together (IMO) a nice little starter system:  iPhone 4 playing FLAC tracks via FLAC Player and 256kbps iTunes media; Grado iGi earphones, Grado SR-60i headphones, Etymotic MC5 and HF5 earphones; and lastly a Fiio E11 amplifier with a Fiio L9 LOD.

 

I can tell a wonderful difference (especially with the SR-60is) when using the E11 amplifier.  Soundstaging, scale, and pace are drastically improved over iPhone-only playback.  The iBasso D-Zero caught my attention recently with it's dual functionality as a portable amp and as a DAC/amp to use with my MacBook Pro.  I paid about $60 for my E11, making the $110 D-Zero double in price.  As far as portable amps are concerned, I still don't know what is considered pricey and what is cheap.  Right now, and amazed at the quality music that I get from the E11, the Grados, and the Ety's.

 

So here's the question:  DAC features aside, is the preamplifier and amplifier section cleaner and more musical on the D-Zero, compared to the E11.  The DAC alone makes the higher price seem much more of a bargain, but how does it sound?  Thank you for all of your assistance and direction!

 

PS - I do not care for any form of tone control, so losing the E11's bass EQ is a non-issue for me if I do upgrade to the iBasso.

PSS - I would like to eventually move to custom-fit IEMs, such as the JH Audios, Westones, etc.

post #2 of 3

yes i think that's an upgrade from e11 L3000.gif

post #3 of 3
^no, I think not.

Having own both, the amp section of D-zero is not going to beat E11. It is upgrade over E7, but not over E11. If you want an iBasso that is cleanly better than E11, you need to get the T5, not the D-zero. But if you are spending T5 level of money, there are even better option such as Leckerton Audio UHA-4 or JDS labs C421.
Edited by ClieOS - 5/27/12 at 7:40am
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