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Fiio E12 EDIT

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I got me an E12, lucky boy! They are still not even in mass production, yet!


[unboxing pics to come]


Noisy Motel hooked me up with a unit, because when Billy heard it at CES he sent me an email saying he immediately knew id love it (that and the Soundmagic HP100- review coming as soon as i get the cans!). 


So far (after hearing his unit tonight with my usual fave cans FA002W Karelian Birch, AND the ALL NEW FA003TI TITANIUM DRIVER EDITION - more on these later, they seriously deserve their own thread!) He was certainly right.


While my unit charges i turn it over in my hand, my finger always goes straight to caressing that bass boost, that audio opiet that had me at hello. This little switch is the the ducks nuts (on SOME headphones), it really is. I LOVE BASS, yeah i said it, and its no secret either. Im an audiophile with a deep seeded dirty addiction to driving high quality low frequencies into my brain as much as possible and at just about any cost. 


EDIT: from here onward can be ignored, why? Because the effects as stated above only happen with select headphones, with others i struggle to notice if anything happens at all. I still think this is a fantastic amp! But not for bassheads with the "wrong cans"- however that works?


I can speak with experience in comparing this sound to both the C421 (opamp 2227), and E17. Lets start in more familiar Fiio territory, the E17. Imagine your E17 (obviously without the DAC), more powerful, MUCH more powerful. Now imagine it a little sleeker, with a brushed aluminium black finish, a tad slimmer, but overall bigger. Imagine it without a digital display, but instead with a VERY sturdy and nice feeling volume knob that audibly 'clicks' on and off, a switchable crossfeed, a two position gain toggle, and a fat little shiny bass boost pot. Thats an E12.


Now for sound. Lets start at my favorite feature (With selected cans), the bass boost. Turn your E17 eq settings to 3rd increment bass, and as much volume as you can muster. That was a waste of time, it sounds nothing like that. Ok then, turn your C421 bass boost on and.... No wait its nothing like that either. The bass boost on the E12 is like an overall EQ, not just a bass boost. Its deep, but its punchy and tight. Its classy bass, but on a HUGE scale- I LOVE IT!!! In general when comparing the E12 to the C421 the sound is fuller and a little more coloured as you would expect comparing a Fiio to something from JDS labs, so tastes will vary here. I would say the C421 is probably more suited to those who prefer a flatter more honest sound with a bass boost that well, boosts the bass, while the E12 to those after a bit of audio entertainment- the booty shakers looking for an overall sonic depth boost. 


This likely isnt the most powerful portable amp in the world, but its likely the most powerful Fiio, and its also almost certainly the most powerful $140 portable amp with these features. Add an ODAC to this thing and its simply astonishing. Highly recommended. Unless your a sick F&%k like me and have to buy gear as much as a shark has to swim to keep from drowning, you will likely need no other amp, portable or otherwise. If your a "buy one, but buy a good one- within reason" or a "want the best i can get for a budget" kind of guy/gal, this is it, look no further, keep your arms and legs inside the carriage at all times, try not to stare them in the eye, dont speak to strangers with candy, always hold hands when crossing the road, if you think you need to go- you probably do need to go, dont look directly into the sun, and go buy this amp.


Pics and more tests/final thoughts in a couple days.

Edited by mrbigsby - 2/5/13 at 1:42am
post #2 of 8
post #3 of 8

I bought one from Micca and it ought to arrive today. I read a couple people say that the bass boost was weak, so I already had buyer's remorse without even hearing the amp. What you described in this post has turned my feelings back around to excitement. I crave the same type of bass... textured, detailed, and massive all at the same time. I listen to some electronic music that has sickening sub-bass that gets lost in a lot of setups. I really hope the E12 delivers! I will try to reply to this thread with my thoughts about it this afternoon.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Please do! I can understand how some people may have not understood the bass boost, however to me it was instantly satisfying especially when compared to the C421's boost. As i said above with Fiio it thickens and changes almost all of the EQ, rather than just adding more sub bass to the same sound. Hard to describe- id be interested on your thoughts. FOr me its a little bigger than i hoped as i like tiny gear and always assume new models will be smaller, but a definite win!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have DISTURBING news to report. Either my units bass boost doesn't work, or the unit I used last night works better, or the Fiio e12 doesn't pair with the dt770? Which I find most unlikely. Ill update when I know more.
post #6 of 8

Well, the amp sounds great. I am using a pair of modified t50rp with it from an ipod Classic, and I really like it. The bass boost isn't terribly pronounced, but it does help fill in the sound quite a bit. I don't see myself listening to this amp without it on because it sounds good with all the music I normally listen to. I imagine some bassheads would be disappointed though.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm not overly happy with this finding. I think it may be not working with the dt770 because the dt770 is inherently scooped, so there's not enough mid bass to boost? Either that or there's another issue. Certainly not what I heard on the other unit last night. Admittedly that was with fischers. Ill know more tonight when I compare both units.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Edit as above. THis may be a pre-production thing (I assume), but my unit was very very select with its pairings- and for this it looses some points. But still a great buy for those who dont thrive on bass alone or those who have the right cans (best results with FA002W and FA003ti, im guessing anything fischer might do it). anyway you cut it its certainly an improvement on the E11, which is mission accomplished for the good guys at Fiio.


I expect the actual production units will have any bass boost issue ironed out, as well as a more appropriate gain and crossfeed switch (at the moment you need a pen to change them?


If you liked the E11, youll likely love the E12! Dont sell your C421 just yet (I did blink.gif i dont know why, and wish i didnt triportsad.gif)

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