Oops sorry I skipped that part of the (long) thread, nice to read those inputs that I missed as it gives me great feedback!
This topic might need a thread of its own over time :)
Funny I had the exact same setup as Truckdriver (Note 3 and DragonFly) to begin with, and as on the go setup thanks to headfiers I went for the Touch 5G and it's a really big improvement over the Note3 in terms of dynamic range and detail, what I do lack is that touch of warmth the Note3's woflson brings. Maybe I'll try the white filter with the Note3 again just for fun. I am waiting on a FiiO E18, that should be interresting.
I am so smitten with the new world the SE846 opens that I'll consider having an headphone amp to use @home (that plus my Pandora Hope VI is 8ohm so I guess there is some mutualizing that can be done). Everyone speaks highly of the RSA Protector being a great match, I am still intimidated by all the balanced amp + specific cable thing but I fell down the rabbit hole there who knows, I might make the jump! In the meantime I am just dazzed by the jump from the PFE232 :) All this time buying incremental improvements, I should have gone straight up TOTL in the end less costly than trying a bunch of mid tier!
A good single-ended amp that would have the qualities of the Protector/Lightning for portable use would be the Shadow. FWIW, I love mine, and until I someday get to hear a balanced setup, see no need personally to switch to balanced.