I'm really intrigued by your affection for the X3's Line Out, no longer using your Mac as a transport. I've been on the hunt for a great portable transport to Line Out for a long time.
AgentXXL's compelling review... (Click to show)
Originally Posted by AgentXXL
To start off, thank you James and Fiio for the excellent support and extremely well priced products, considering the current and future features.
I have owned the E17 and companion E09 since the first batch of E17s hit Canadian shores. I was a liitle slower in purchasing the X3, mainly becuase I never thought it would make that much of a difference to my listening. That said, I have now owned the X3 for a month and have finally caught up and read this entire thread.
I have a decently large library of lossless audio, mainly encoded in flac. When I first heard the X3 at a local Head-fi meet, I was pleasantly surprised. The unit only contained some lossy AAC content and the included Chesky 192/24 sampler. I knew the sampler fairly well, previously having purchased it from HDTracks in 96/24 format.
Comparing it to what I remembered was enough to convince me that the $199 MSRP was a very affordable price for a player that supported high resolution lossless audio playback and I bought it 'on the spot'. You'll be happy to know that I'm even more overjoyed now that I have two 64GB microSD cards loaded with my own music.
The headphone output shines with my Shure SE530s, and even does quite well with my 250 ohm Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros. What really surprised and overwhelmed me was when I paired it using the line out with my RSA Intruder to drive my balanced Sennheiser HD800s. What an amazing combo! I had heard it at the meet using the single ended E12 with the line out, but the HD800s really sound best when driven by a balanced amp.
You and your team should be very proud of this product. It breaks the price/performance ratio into pieces and has an outstanding set of features. I will say that it sounds like the real early adopters had a bit of a tougher time at first, but you should be seriously commended and applauded for your efforts to improve the product by eliminating bugs and adding features. I am especially pleased to hear about the implementation of async 192/24 USB DAC support - unbelievable at this price point!
My thoughts on the sound signature: indeed it's a dark player, with some awesome fidelity when using the line out and the coaxial out. The headphone out is defintely suitable for IEMs and low impedance or easier to drive full size cans. I got to try it with a friends HD650s yesterday and even they were driven to satisfaction. The warmth matches well with the Intruder and HD800 combo, so much so that I now rarely use my Mac to supply my music.
Technically, I'm using the Patriot Memory 64GB Class 10 microSD cards and have had no problems with them in either formatting or being able to see all of my music after library updates. I do have a little work to do to get all of my cover art standardized and working, but I so rarely look at the screen it's not that big of a deal. The library updates on a full 64GB card took about 10 - 15 minutes, but it was fine after that - patience is a virtue!
One last thing to say - reading this entire thread was painful at times. So many people that are unwilling to do a simple search to find the answers they are looking for, especially when a lot of the early questions were answered in the first post! Please my fellow music enthusiasts, use your time wisely by making use of the search features provided by Head-fi (and even Google) when necessary.
Dale - a proud X3 owner and I'll definitely recommend it to other audiophiles and enthusiasts!
Edited for spelling/grammar....
I've read this entire thread, having been along for the ride for quite a while, but right now, as I write this, I am unable to list the current, outstanding, unfixed bugs. And despite the fantastic support offered by James (my sincere praise) with firmware updates knocking down the bugs left and right, my money stays in my wallet for the simple fact that I cannot find a current list of outstanding bugs.
I'm waiting for the X3 to become stable, but for all I know, it might be "good enough" for me right now, yet I have no way of knowing, because I can't find a list of current bugs. In the interest of increased sales, I think it would be a great idea to go for maximum transparency by maintaining a list of current bugs, which ones are slated to be corrected in the next firmware release, which ones cannot be corrected, which ones will be deferred, etc.
It's not as if FiiO is competing against DAPs that are shipped bug-free. No way. Everybody is releasing DAPs with lots of bugs, but I perceive FiiO to be the best DAP manufacturer out there, in terms of support and updates, so why not outshine the other brands further still by going for total transparency? I recently returned a very expensive DAP made by one of FiiO's competitors, in short, due to all the problems it had, some of which took me completely by surprise after thoroughly reading literally everything I could find on that DAP.
We all know that these "audiophile" DAPs are produced in small quantities, that many of their limitations are beyond the control of the manufacturer, in part because of dependency on 3rd party software engineers, but I just can't stand the thought of rolling the dice - gambling that I will be able to tolerate undocumented limitations.
Can you please tell me which firmware you are running with your X3 and what is not working correctly in the context of using the X3 as a transport for Line Out? I'm very close to purchasing an X3 and do not want to return it for lack of knowing what I'm buying.