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Finally had a chance to test out my two week old 334's and my one week old X5.  Used Joshua Bells Thaikovsky's Violin Concerto 24/192.  All the combinations were fabulous, but of course, some more fabulous then others. The 334's on the deck with the X5 was a real thrill. Best outdoor sound Iv'e had yet. Enjoyed a beautiful 'Spring day in the mountains and was lost in the music. When I came inside I a&b the 334's between the X5 and the macbbok pro>Emotiva Dac 1. The first time I've ever used the headphone jacks on that unit. Just fabulous. For me, a real step up from the  X5. The detail was the same but the soundstage much wider, more depth, and richer without being bassie. Listening to the Sennheiser was nice. A bit boring at times, a bit thrilling at times, but the feeling of being outside looking in , rather the 334's just being there. I've found my 334's to be more fun themn the HD 600's. So I'm a bit disappointed with the X5, but I guess I shouldn't expect it to compete with the Emotiva. But I wanted it to! So I am looking for a plan with th X5. Do you think a portable amp would help? Unfortunately I gave my Fiio E07 to my daughter so I can't try it. I could buy an E 12, although the idea of carrying all that around sounds like a PITA...or I wonder if the X5's DAC is up to it...or do I buy A&K. Its a lot of money, and I don't know if its going to be any better.  If anybody's got any thought on it please chime in......Max

Edited by mordicai - 5/11/14 at 4:07pm