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Any suggestions that don't cost over $600?
Opus#1, Opus#2, Opus#3, Cowon P1, and some Cayin, and Fiio are all very revealing. AK's are very revealing but I would not suggest one for other reasons, price, UI, EQ, etc. Even your R6 or FiiO X5 Gen III would be more revealing. I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts.
Don't get me wrong, the Cowon D is great but not for critical listening, nor to plug in $1,000+ IEM's and expect to get it all out of your music such as depth, layering, details, etc. My older Cowon P1 outshines the D and it should as it's a true Burr Brown DAC with a very clean amp. They were $1000.00+ when first came out but now are super low priced at $499.00. I only went the Cowon P2 as I know the AK chip is much more revealing, and compared to the Burr Brown which it is. Is it a night and day difference? It depends on the recording. I've seen on some recording when I compared both that the P2 revealed more in the song than the P1, but when the quality of the song was lower, there was no difference and that was expected as you can't pull something out of something that is not there in the first place with the Andromeda's.
Also, the Hiby R3 is out and although it has issues, it's likely the best new competitor with the D in portables. How they stand up against each other is not known yet. Not seen a comparison yet.
There is a review of the HiBy R3 on this site.
According to the reviewer it seems that the Plenue D goes toe-to-toe with the R3 in terms on sonic capabilities. The main difference being that the R3 is warmer than the Plenue D, so I'm not sure that it would actually be a better choice.
I'd also like to state that I'm not looking for critical listening.
I have owned both the FiiO X5 Gen III and the HiBy R6 .. both of them seemed way too warm for my tastes.
You normally want to pair a bright IEM/headphone with a warm DAP. For me the Andro's are on the edge of tad bright so the D would be a good match I would think. I never tried the D with Andro as I don't think the D can do them justice but it should be able to drive it well. The D is dead silent and the Andro will love that about the D or any Cowon as they are all like that. Problem with D is it's not revealing and the depth and layering that the Andro's can pull off won't be apparent. But if you are not critical listening then it won't matter.
Well that says it all then "not looking for critical listening." If you are not into critical listening and don't want all the best the Andro's can do and show, then the D is fine. Enjoy!
Cayin N5 II, FiiO X7 I without amplification module + AM3 module, iBasso DX150.
I appreciate the feedback.
However, does anyone have any experience in actually auditioning the Andromeda with the Plenue D?
I have both but never tried to pair the two. What do you want to know? I can try it and let you know.
That'd be super nice of you!
I'd like to know if it sounds muffled, thick or veiled.
I'll try tonight and give my impressions tomorrow. Am I allowed to use any EQ or BBE or all processing is to be off?
Wait: Why am I doing this? You posted you want to sell your Andromeda for something else? You also don't even own the D according to your profile?
Cowon Plenue D
FiiO X5 Gen III
What's going on?
Review of Cowon Plenue D with the Campfire Audio Andromeda
My initial thought to not pair these two was initially correct, not having a true DAC in the Plenue D shows. I have tried to give the D every chance to successfully pair with my Andromeda's and not to be bias against either, as I do like them both. The Andromeda's are just wonderful and with other sources I can not fault them. I also love my Plenue D for quick on the go/traveling/in the car listening. I will never sell either one.
Plenue D setup: EQ Off - Fully charged
Andromeda: Comply Tips - OEM Litz cable/Worn over ear to eliminate any noise
Physically: Laying down - No movement or activity
Music: FLAC 16/44 resolution CD quality - No additional compression or formatting was used
Genre: Rock - Pop - Reggae - Funk - Hip Hop
Volume: Various from low 30 to 55-65 maxed tolerated
Environment: 11'x14' room with one window, closed - No perceivable external noise - Time of test: 10 PM
► Depth and layering is lacking although timbre is good but nothing mind blowing or impressive in comparison to other pairings.
► Overall tonally balanced, but all types of music come off as somewhat overly warm sometimes thick, in comparison to other pairings.
► Detail is clearly missing, especially when compared to Cowon P1 and P2 and other sources.
► There is not much stereo separation and the sound field always appears to be just between the distance from your ears which never feels expansive with any type of immersion or realism.
► There is a good spacing of instruments but it's still within the limited spacing between the distance of your ears.
► The D has plenty of reserve to push the Andromeda’s - lack of power or to struggle to drive them is NOT an issue at all.
► Bass: It’s tight and punchy but never overbearing or sloppy or bloated and does not overlay any other region.
► Midrange: It’s where all the music is at and the D does show it's a tad forward, but seems veiled in the vocals, male or female.
► Highs: They are there but are not natural sounding nor crispy or sparkly. Highs feel dense sometimes lacking airiness and detail. EQ does not help, nor the BBE.
► The Andromeda paring is the fault of the D not the Andromeda's themselves. The D limits what the Andromeda's can pull out of recording in comparison to other pairings.
Conclusion: There is just no synergy nor realism nor depth nor layering nor detail nor great separation of this pairing. Your results may vary.
Hope that helps.
Wow. That was really nice of you @Hi-Fi'er. Can you do the same for my Skullcandy Ink'd II's?
I don't have the Skullcandy Ink'd II.
Thanks for that Hi-Fi'er!
I bet many people will find it useful.
My plenue D is coming up against the internal 32gb limit and I'm going to buy a micro SD card to add more space. 128 GB is the max. Is there any specific card that I should try to get? I know there's a bunch of slightly different micro sd card formats. And how does the player integrate the music on the SD card with the songs on the internal memory? Is it seamless or does it divy them up into 2 categories? And if you add in an SD card does it make the database updates take longer? Some people have been complaining about that but it never takes more than 1-2 seconds for me so I'm not sure where those complaints are coming from.