Alright, I'm going to offer my brief impression of how the FiiO E17 sounds via the L7 LOD to the E11 Amp.
I've seen at least one person ask how the E17/L7/E11 combo would sound. Here we go...
The E17 alone sounds great. I could have been satisfied with that. It plays low impedance cans, it can even plays orthos (I have a pair of Yamaha HP-3, and 2 pair of cans with SFI orthos in them now) at acceptable levels.
That said, and switching gears; I was pretty happy with the the E11 when I was just using that as an analog amp only (as I find it to sound nicer than my Practical Devices XM4), but I wanted a portable DAC/Amp for my iRiver H140. Mostly since I no longer have my iBasso D10, and wanted to see if a "different" "house sound" than I was used to would fit the bill for me, and at a savings, which led to the E17 purchase. The savings, if you're wondering, was compared to an upgrade to a D12 Anaconda or something even "bigger" and more expensive.
So I've been subscribed to the E17 impressions thread, and the Basshead Club threads for awhile, mostly reading, until someone asked if anyone had listened to the E11 via the L7 LOD through the E17. Since I had both, I decided to get the LOD, and have given the combo a whirl.
On to the impressions...
Again, alone the E17 sounds great, but... different... than the E11.
I would have to venture a guess that this is either due to the E11 being a fully dedicated amp, and the designers being able focus on and decicate all that internal volume to just an analog amplifier circuit and parts; which should lead to a better implementation you would think. Being an "amp-only" box while the E17 has a somewhat smaller volume to work with for its amp section, or maybe its circuit design, or then again possibly due to it being more "broken in" aka "burned in" than my somewhat new E17's amp section.
Lets keep this part short. I'm aware there are many who DO believe in equipment burn-in, and then again, many who don't notice sonic differences, and therefore don't belive in burn-in/break-in/wear-in or whatever term you want to give it. I'm giving my impressions with the devices I own, and not interested in sparking a sound science debate, so please, lets avoid all of that, thanks. To each their own.
What I myself notice is specifically nicer so-called technical performance with somewhat less "homogenized" or as coherent an experience from a sound image perspective on the E17, while a more musical and more liquid image and experience via LOD to the E11. Of course, the E11 would probably not sound as good straight out of the iRiver H140's analog Line Out, compared to being fed digital SPDIF/TOSLINK to the E17 and then being given an analog Line Out signal from the E17. That seems to make the E11 shine, compared to listening to the E11 all by itself.
So I'm hoping that the E17's amp section will smooth out over time and approach the smoothness and liquidity that the E11 currently has, but either way, they both sound GOOD, just a bit DIFFERENT. But hey, that's audio for ya!
As for the EQ (bass boost) on the E11 vs. the EQ (bass + and - , as well as treble + and -) controls on the E17, I have to agree with everyone that the E17's controls sound "cleaner" when you add or subtract bass or treble from the audio spectrum, compared to the controls on the E11.