Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Amazing Audioengine D3 ...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Amazing Audioengine D3 ... - Page 2

post #16 of 44

It seems in the review they wanted the dac to texture the music , I quote "We’d like a bit more subtle detail and texturing of notes too."

Thats not really what I am looking for.  I want to hear the music as it was intended to sound.  Unless I am misunderstanding the quote above.

 

I have used the d3 as a dac source feeding my ALO Pan Am as the amp (Mullard tubes) and I really like the sound using HD 650 cans.

post #17 of 44

Yeah, I have a feeling that the Dragonfly sounds "better" on lower-end headphones where they're lacking high-end extension and need extra sharpness in that area. The top end is just piercing on my D5000's with the Dragonfly, though. They also don't have as forward a presentation as the D3. I would describe the Dragonfly as having more depth than the D3, but not as much width. I would probably keep the Dragonfly around the use with my lower-end portable headphones in place of the D3... just not worth it, though. The D3 sounds good with everything I have.

post #18 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shultzee View Post
 

It seems in the review they wanted the dac to texture the music , I quote "We’d like a bit more subtle detail and texturing of notes too."

Thats not really what I am looking for.  I want to hear the music as it was intended to sound.  Unless I am misunderstanding the quote above.

 

I have used the d3 as a dac source feeding my ALO Pan Am as the amp (Mullard tubes) and I really like the sound using HD 650 cans.

 

I'm not sure how notes can have textures. You can hear "texture" of instruments, voices .. etc  (recording quality dependent)  so maybe that's correct referral. I was always a bit reserved for their reviews.

 

Anyhow, look, at one point of time I was so obsessed with those micro details that I lost touch with the music and it was not good at all. It was time for a change and I'm really not looking back! Critical listening is fine, of course, but it's probably the same thing as when you bench your graphic card every day and not actually enjoying any game you bought! Don't get me wrong ... I'm not saying that digital micro details are bad thing, but it's probably more subjective thing these days. I'm maybe getting old, but I'm slowly reverting back to that old school type of sound signature from the analog days. I would trade micro details, subtle textures for more body, more weight, more dynamics, more toe tap ... with no questions asked.

 

Speaking of D3, that relaxing sonic delivery was something that immediately caught my attention. As mentioned in the write up, detail retrieval is just on the right edge. I wouldn't want no more, no less.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whereas View Post
 

Yeah, I have a feeling that the Dragonfly sounds "better" on lower-end headphones where they're lacking high-end extension and need extra sharpness in that area. The top end is just piercing on my D5000's with the Dragonfly, though. They also don't have as forward a presentation as the D3. I would describe the Dragonfly as having more depth than the D3, but not as much width. I would probably keep the Dragonfly around the use with my lower-end portable headphones in place of the D3... just not worth it, though. The D3 sounds good with everything I have.

 

Yes. Same experience here. Generally speaking, it's better to have neutral dac/amp. It's simply more future proof. Apart from the top end, low end is quote intriguing with D3 too. It's not that "beats" like overblown bass overhang. It simply does have more quality, more tonality  and more importantly impact is not elevated.  Such neutrality is good as it will give a helping hand to bass shy headphones but at the same time complement headphones with already excellent bass signature (as with Ultrasone Pro900 in my case).

post #19 of 44

I've used the D3 for a few weeks now and it's a spectacular DAC/amp.  I think the DAC is better than any portable I've used yet like the Dragonfly, Explorer, or built-in DACs of the International, Pan-Am, or WA7.  The amp is pretty solid too.

 

I've got the A5+ speakers from AudioEngine too.  I don't think I've ever been disappointed with any product they make.

post #20 of 44
How do you use the D3 as a DAC only and bypass the amp?
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by utdeep View Post

How do you use the D3 as a DAC only and bypass the amp?


 This and also how do these compare to a Schiit Modi or ODAC. I know it's not portable like the D3 but audio-wise are they up to par or am I losing something by going to a small profile?

post #22 of 44

A few weeks ago, I started off with a Dragonfly, then got the iFi DSD nano. 

In comparison with the Dragonfly, I totally agree with what you guys have said about the Dragonfly, 

and I like what you had to say about the D3 in comparing it with the Dragonfly, so I also received the D3.

 

Now, I am trying to decided which one to keep. The Dragonfly is definitely going back, but I am really having trouble between the D3

and the iFi DSD nano. One thing I am having trouble with is the driver and/or firmware for the DSD nano totally sucks, as it can only be used in 16-bit 44.1 or 48 KHz modes on USB3 ports.  

 

I think it might have the better sound though, but I am having a real hard time with that too.

 

Would love to hear some other feedback regarding these DACs!

post #23 of 44

Well, the Audioengine D3 certainly rocks. I like it very, very much.

I have been leaning towards the D3, especially with the driver problems I have been having with the iFi iDSD.

 

HOWEVER, listening to FLAC files in JRiver with the realtime PCM2DSD conversion turned on through the iDSD is just f***ing amazing!!!  I am listening to Infected Mushroom's Army of Mushrooms, and I am nearly having an orgasm.

 

The Audioengine D3 sounds really good, probably better than iDSD in normal 44.1 @ 16-bit mode, but this PCM2DSD is making it a whole different experience. There is just so much more going on and it feels multi-dimensional in a way. Hard to describe.

post #24 of 44

With the HTC One requiring a specific application to accept sound conversion through the Micro-USB port, would a portable mp3 player like the Cowon J3 also require specific software or could I simply plug it into the USB port and into a set of headphones or in-earphones? 

 

I'm looking for a highly portable, affordable, well-made DAC+Amp that can work with my Cowon J3 and HTC One and run my UE700's and whatever headphones I'm going to get next (nothing with super high impedance or anything).

post #25 of 44
How does the d3 stack up against full sized dacs just for dac function? Vs Modi? Vs a higher Sabre chip?

Also has anyone got the d3 to work on an Android phone with Spotify or similar streaming?
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 3/13/14 at 1:46pm
post #26 of 44
Thread Starter 

... I was a bit sidetracked, so not much free time to re-visit this thread. Anyhow, regarding the Android devices compatibility with D3 in native form ... I believe that major issue is that stock Android platform is simply unable to output 24-bit audio, required by D3. Hence, you need third party player with custom audio driver (like USB Audio Player Pro). Without Android native support for 24bit audio output, you are unable to use native music apps too (Spotify, Poweramp, Neutron, Internet streaming ... just to name a few). It may happen that CyanogenMod ROM in some of the latest incarnations is able to output 24-bit audio, but firm confirmation is needed.

 

Regarding comparing D3 to standalone DACs, it was on pair with my Xonar Essence sound card and that sound card is on pair with the DACs in $350-$500 price range ... so such performance linearity may tell us that D3 is way above it's nominal price/performance point. However, comparing D3 to standalone DACs is not a fair game generally speaking as D3 is ultimately designed as portable HiFi solution and there is a limit how much of the technological maneuvers such form factor allows.

post #27 of 44
Does plugging the d3 to a line-in of an amp bypass the amp section of the d3? I plan on using it as a dac when at home with the output to a stereo (trying to use as DAC only with a line-out) and to power headphones on the go straight from the d3.
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 3/23/14 at 11:28pm
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post

Essence sound card and that sound card is on pair with the DACs in $350-$500 price range ... so such performance linearity may tell us that D3 is way above it's nominal price/performance point. However, comparing D3 to standalone DACs is not a fair game generally speaking as D3 is ultimately designed as portable HiFi solution and there is a limit how much of the technological maneuvers such form factor allows.

Can you clarify this last bit? It sounds like you're saying it's on par with 300-500 DACs (as with comparison with your Asus Xonar)

but the very last part you make it seem like it isn't up to par of standalone DACs because of it's form factor... confusing.
post #29 of 44
Thread Starter 

Oh yes ... on the second re-read of that post it does sounds a bit confusing. Sorry about that!

 

That was just general thinking ... not strictly related to D3 only. During my observations, I did mention that I don't have a problem to reach for D3 instead of my desktop solution and especially when I'm not in the mood for critical listening (and lately that's really often). I find it engaging, musical, revealing enough and above all non-fatigue-fun to listen to. So, indeed, it may not surpass some more expensive desktop DACs but it's a fair opponent.

 

Speaking of double amping question when connected to pre-amp ... I'm not quite sure what's happening with the circuit when the volume is 100% but I hope that D3 relay units are detecting this and bypassing the stepped attenuator in favour of fixed line level voltage. I didn't noticed any clipping or distortion with my pre-amp.

 

By the way, I was looking for some D3 measurements and by accident stumbled across this review:

 

http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2014/03/measurements-audioengine-d3-usb-dac.html

 

As suspected, D3 measurements are excellent! and it seems that reviewer was quite pleased with the unit, even comparing it to the Xonar Essence One desktop dac/amp ($500 unit).

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post
 

Oh yes ... on the second re-read of that post it does sounds a bit confusing. Sorry about that!

 

That was just general thinking ... not strictly related to D3 only. During my observations, I did mention that I don't have a problem to reach for D3 instead of my desktop solution and especially when I'm not in the mood for critical listening (and lately that's really often). I find it engaging, musical, revealing enough and above all non-fatigue-fun to listen to. So, indeed, it may not surpass some more expensive desktop DACs but it's a fair opponent.

 

Speaking of double amping question when connected to pre-amp ... I'm not quite sure what's happening with the circuit when the volume is 100% but I hope that D3 relay units are detecting this and bypassing the stepped attenuator in favour of fixed line level voltage. I didn't noticed any clipping or distortion with my pre-amp.

 

By the way, I was looking for some D3 measurements and by accident stumbled across this review:

 

http://archimago.blogspot.ca/2014/03/measurements-audioengine-d3-usb-dac.html

 

As suspected, D3 measurements are excellent! and it seems that reviewer was quite pleased with the unit, even comparing it to the Xonar Essence One desktop dac/amp ($500 unit).

Thank you for the review link, excellent!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › Amazing Audioengine D3 ...