I went out on Monday to my local Hi-End dealer and voila, he got one single X3 left! Of course I couldn't resist and bought it. It came with FW2.05. After one day of testing with my AKG K167, AKG K701 and my Sennheiser i8 IEM's, I found, that it sounded quite good...a little on the bright side with reduced bass but with a fairly impressive soundstage. I follow this thread since two weeks and nearly all of you who already tested out FW2.14b (incl. volume mod) were really stunned over improved sq and responsiveness of the X3. So I decided to flash the beta FW yesterday evening. Ok Ok, don't punish me because I'm not an official beta-tester (though I would like to be^^), but I'd love to share my initial impressions of the 2.14b+vol.mod:
The sound is destinctly warmer and bass, as well as sub-bass is enhanced. This makes the player more fun to listen to, in comparison with FW2.05. But what I'm missing now is soundstage and this kind of "crystal clear" sound signature of the FW2.05. For my listening habits, I had to previously set the bass to +3 with FW2.05 and now with FW2.14b i have to reduce bass to -1....but that doesn't bring back the better soundstage. In the end, I'm not sure yet if the actual 2.14b is a keeper. I'll test this FW now for the rest of the week and than maybe try out the FW2.1 or go back to the "slower" 2.05.!? ...just my 2c^^
Wow, that's odd. You have the opposite reaction as most of us to 2.14b. Most who've weighed in on 2.14 find it is more neutral, with more controlled lows, crisp highs, and wider soundstage.