Ok, I have tried the new driver v1.22 with the FW#4 to compare it with the v1.1 on FW#3.
Now I am ready to form and state my first impressions on this comparison.
But before I tell about the comparison results, let me briefly describe my setup as I believe that setup components may dramatically affect the feelings from suchlike comparison, so I think info on setup is worth to take into account.
So, I use:
Win 7x64 >> F2K >>USB port >> NFB 11.32 (TXO upgraded) >> Exposure 3010S2 preamp/Exposure 3010S2 poweramp >> AE Aegis Neo One speakers.
Now about my impressions from the comparison.
In both cases (v1.1 / FW#3 and v1.22 / FW#4) everything operated smoothly without any fails or drop-outs.
In the 1-st case (v1.1 / FW#3) I set the driver sound deck to 32/384 kHz, in the 2-nd case (v1.22 / FW#4) - to 32/192 kHz. I didn’t face any problems with operation on these maximum settings.
Now about the feelings from the listening.
Earlier, I found the v1.1 / FW#3 with KS HIEND USB output most optimal to me, so I chose this option as a “reference” to be compared with subsequent v1.22 / FW#4 options.
v1.22 / FW#4, ASIO KS output:
Well, I heard some base and middle improvement making them a bit more distinctive (especially base) in comparison with v1.1 / FW#3. The high middles and highs seemed to be more detailed and emphasized as well. Overall sound seemed more full and mature as compared to v1.1 / FW#3. But at the same time it sounded too bright and unbalanced to my ears. I would not say that the whole picture was comfortable to listen to for more than 5-10 minutes. The detailing and emphasizing the highs (in my case it felt as rather emphasizing than detailing) caused ear fatigue of sharp highs, especially it was represented by sibilants. Highs were too accented to my ears.
Unlike the v1.22, the whole sound picture of the v1.1 perceived mild and balanced though with a bit less distinctive base and, maybe, middle. The highs of v1.1 do not get crazy and sit tight and properly in the sound picture which perceived more delicate and “aerial”.
v1.22 / FW#4, Wasapi (push/event) output:
When switching to Wasapi (push/event) output I noticed that the highs are not so wild which made the listening more comfortable. But the whole picture did not sound as “full” as with ASIO KS output.
To be honest, I could not catch the difference between v1.1 /KS HIEND USB output and v1.22 / FW#4, Wasapi (push/event) output. The switching took some time for flashing firmware and install/uninstall drivers so I would not say for sure about the difference. Nevertheless, the wasapi output of v1.22, seemed to me less “full” in sound than the v1.1 /KS HIEND USB output. Anyway, I think the difference is possible to notice only upon fast switching between drivers.
Probably I should live on both v1.1 and v1.22 drivers for a couple of days to have more “brushed up” opinion on the difference, but I think it would not change much.
I think it would be great to have full and distinct base/middle of v1.22 / ASIO KS output and delicate highs of v1.1 / KS HIEND USB output at the same time.
However, as I said before, the difference described above may vary depending on individual setup used.
In my case, I would prefer to stay on v1.1 with KS HIEND USB output so far.