FiiO AM3D-Get one from FiiO Aliexpress store
May 27, 2019 at 4:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

FiiO

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FiiO AM3D New Fully Balanced THX AAA Amp Module was released in china mainland market,however some customer they wanna experience this product.So in order to satisfy the needs of customers who want to get the AM3D at this very early stage,we have arranged a very small quantity on FiiO Aliexpress store(Click here).If you need it, please hurry up to get on the bus.

Best Regards

FiiO Electronics Technology Co., Ltd
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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May 30, 2019 at 5:06 AM Post #4 of 25

FiiO

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@FiiO You guys are SURE you're not going to release any more DAPs that use a modular amp system?
Dear friend,

We don't have the plan for DAPs that use a modular amp system currently.

Best regards
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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May 30, 2019 at 5:31 AM Post #5 of 25

gazzington

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What's going to be the upgrade to x7ii?
 
May 30, 2019 at 6:11 AM Post #6 of 25

Sonic Defender

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I just ordered the AM3D now. I don't currently have a 4.4mm terminated cable for any headphone, but I do want to see what the THX AAA hype is all about. Really looking forward to the addition for my Q5 which I think is a stellar product that I use everyday.
 
Jan 31, 2020 at 12:32 PM Post #8 of 25

Sonic Defender

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Apparently it is too late to buy AM3D now from any official store or distributor. Are there any plans to do a second batch?
I don't think so, but I wouldn't be surprised if FiiO introduces another THX AAA amp module down the road. I can only guess this was caused by shortage of supply out of the hands of FiiO although they won't comment one way or the other. If you already have the AM3E module it is already quite nice sounding so no major loss. Cheers.
 
Jan 31, 2020 at 6:42 PM Post #9 of 25

alekc

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I don't think so, but I wouldn't be surprised if FiiO introduces another THX AAA amp module down the road. I can only guess this was caused by shortage of supply out of the hands of FiiO although they won't comment one way or the other. If you already have the AM3E module it is already quite nice sounding so no major loss. Cheers.

Good point and I am not perceiving it like a major loss rather as inconvenience, but I would still like to have it and I guess there are others like me as it is an very interesting add-on to Q5s in my book
 
May 1, 2020 at 11:37 AM Post #12 of 25

alekc

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,,, sorry, Should be AM3D. The availability of this module determines whether I am going to get a Monolith THX portable, Panda THX or a Fiio Q5s.

Thanks for update. In the meantime I've stopped using Q5s almost completely due to 2 reasons: 1) I prefer Mojo sound much better 2) I do not travel those days so bluetooth option is not so important to me at the moment. On the good side I must say I am surprise how well Q5s keeps battery when not in used for a month or so. Availability of AM3D would probably push me to use it again more. Honestly speaking the AM3D was one of the reasons why I went Q5s way... to bad it is still not available.
 
May 4, 2020 at 11:25 PM Post #13 of 25

FiiO

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,,, sorry, Should be AM3D. The availability of this module determines whether I am going to get a Monolith THX portable, Panda THX or a Fiio Q5s.
Yes, if everything goes well, the AM3D will be available this month.

Best regards
 
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May 23, 2020 at 9:04 PM Post #15 of 25

IPodPJ

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As of today it is now available from the FiiO store on Aliexpress! Get one before they’re all gone! $159.99 + $10.00 tax (?) to USA with free shipping. I was told by FiiO they would be $149.99 (so I should get $10 back). Click below.

FiiO AM3D THX AAA-78 Amp Module

I had asked FiiO to notify me when it became available. So far there are (edit on 5/26/20, 2 a.m. EST) 38 orders, and this run will go fast! There’s already been 5 more orders in the past 24 hrs. (I think I was #34, thanks to a friend I traded services with.) I got the Q5s (on Amazon with many a gift card I had accumulated) to power my Audeze LCDi4 properly, even though I don’t travel much at all really, and even though the LCDi4 still sounds a good deal better through my killer home system (with my B22/S22).

But the Q5s is a great portable solution and hopefully this module will really raise the bar on sound quality. I wish it had just a bit more power so I could drive my full-size 200 ohm LCD-4 as loud as I like.

Delta Sigma DACs, not the best in my opinion, do much better the higher the resolution of the file is which wastes precious storage space, which is why I prefer sign-magnitude (or ladder/R-2R) DACs (but they require more operating power), as 24/96 is really all you need if mastered properly. Master Quality Audio files (MQA) from a TIDAL Hi-Fi subscription sound exceptionally good, with or without a hardware MQA decoder. TIDAL has a setting for “MQA Passthrough” where you can let TIDAL unpack it for you (which is what I do as my sign-magnitude DAC is an older one, Audio-gd Ref 7.1, but I modded my Transporter streamer to mate perfectly with it) and it still sounds phenomenal! (Make sure that setting is set to to on only if you have an MQA decoder; otherwise set it to off.) For the record, I would never buy another piece of Audio-gd equipment; not for lack of sound quality but for lack of quality control. My DAC was wired with reversed polarity on the unbalanced left channel. Since I can solder and have some of the best soldering stations and irons, I could easily fix it. Unfortunately I can’t because all the top chassis screws are stripped beyond the point of any screwdriver even making any screw turn. Quality control. It’s necessary. In fact, I’ve had issues with every product I ever got from them. It’s a shame really. Many of their DACs when properly matched with a great transport really shine.

Squeezebox Server, which controls my fully-modded (and now discontinued) “transporter” which is a truly amazing unit which supports up to 24/96, and can playback bit-perfect 16/44.1 files with up to -23dB attenuation, and has two gorgeous, old-style VFDs (vacuum fluorescent display). Software support and upgrades to Squeezebox Server from Logitech ended years ago. (Stable open source SS is now at v7.9.3, typically updated bi-weekly as Logitech stopped many years ago at v7.7.3; they no longer support one of the best products they ever made.) It has a force-feedback dial in the middle, though using the remote is easier. Squeezebox Server (which is controlled through a web browser) tells me all about the data. MQA comes over unpacked as a FLAC VBR at 24 bit / 96kHz, though there are a few songs I’ve come across that are only 24/48 which may not be true MQA files as advertised.

(If you have a Transporter and the special ribbon cable that connects the main board to the display/button board broke, contact me. Many years ago an idiot modder decided to glue a full-size trafo to my chassis instead of bolting it down, and it arrived back to me with a moving trafo that not only destroyed the cable but damaged one of the connectors on the display board. Fortunately, I found a company that fixed the SMD connector port for only $25. Then it took me days of research browsing online for almost every ribbon cable ever made, and I finally found the proper one, made by Molex specially for the Transporter. Problem was, they had no stock, only made to order. After a phone call, they agreed to make me about 7 samples free of charge. What nice guys and what luck!! Otherwise my streamer would have been a door stop. So for any people that have real damage and can show me photos, I can spare about three. One per person only.)

In any case, I hope this FiiO AM3D module (bizarre naming system, as the included lesser objective quality one is named AM3E) is a step up from the included amp module. However, I’ve read complaints that it can no longer be used with docks due to the bulging 4.4mm jack which you didn’t have bulging on the AM3E.

Re: AM3E — FiiO completely screwed up the design on that one (and all of them really). First off, and less important is because the short lightning straight cable is not long enough for side by side use (nor is the DD HiFi brand, which has a better build quality if I’m being honest), but the real screw up is that the L shape cables partially block the 2.5mm balanced connector due to the micro-usb port being upside down; the AM3D shouldn’t have that issue as there is only a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced jack. I already had a female 4-pin XLR to 2.5mm balanced adapter cable (since I had my LCDi4 cable terminated with a male 4-pin XLR to connect to my B22, but had I known the included LCDi4 cable was only 4 feet in length I would have requested it be 2 to 2.5 times as long) and it was such a tight fit in the AM3E with the “L” shape connector that it was putting quite a bit of pressure on the micro-usb jack which are known to break easily, (USB-C please?) and pressure on the 2.5mm jack, that I had to purchase a female 4-pin to 4.4mm Pentaconn adapter cable, which it turns out I’ll need for the AM3D. (They were cheaper than me building my own high end ones.) Going forward, the modules should be right side up like normal. Or, they could simply reverse the “L” shape to a “_|” shape.

FiiO definitely makes nice looking and good sounding products with precise CNC machining. But why do they put the gold “Hi-Res Audio” logo in many of their pictures/renderings when there is no gold logo on the unit? (Just take a look at the AM3D module renderings vs. the actual unit pictures. Other units are dead giveaways as one rendering of the logo has rounded corners and then an other rendering of the same product has square corners.)

I really only have 4 major suggestions for FiiO that I know will help:

1). Put USB-C ports on all your products. Have a universal standard! Every company is switching to them because they are solid, durable, and reversible. No more of your special FiiO proprietary Lightning to Micro-USB cables that you don’t even sell replacements for if they break! Thank goodness for “dd HiFi”, the only company who does sell replacements, also on aliexpress. (Micro-USB is 🗑 and breaks fairly easily.)

2). Even though the RadSone ES100 mk. 1 and 2 have a 2.5mm balanced output, have much less power than the Q5s, and their buttons and jacks are plastic crap, their EarStudio app has truly amazing control of its device in every way and is just an incredible app! You need to develop one like that. You have way more money and resources than they do, so it should be a breeze for you. Sadly, your apps don’t cut it. Check out the app for iOS called EarStudio, where you get full control over the DAC filters like “sharp roll off,” over sampling options, and a nice 8 or 10-band EQ. RadSone uses AK chips as well, so there’s really no excuse. Would PCs be of any use to 99% of their owners without an OS like Windows? Do you think the average user knows how to operate DOS?

3). Also, not everyone uses a PC. You need to make your firmware updates work for both Mac and PC, and also included in the iOS app I’m hoping you’ll make. (Also, when I tried updating twice and neither time did the coax light flash, after the second update and then pulling out the USB cable and relaunching the software updater, it confirmed I had installed 0.39, whereas originally it was 0.04 or 0.0.4, I believe.) I actually thought it sounded a tiny bit better before the update, which is quite unusual for a company to make a downgrade, in your words, “enhancements to the DAC” which resulted in a decrease in SQ in my opinion. And I’m using one of the best, if not the best IEMs on the market.

4). You should attempt to make a super module like a top shelf DAC + AM3D amp + MQA decoder all in one (even if it cost $200+) that the iOS and Google Play app have full control of, especially with the DAC filters like “sharp roll off,” oversampling options, and a nice 8 or 10-band EQ.

Despite my critiques, I think the Q5s is a great device with good output power, and drives my 32 ohm LCDi4 like they need to be driven. I just think you guys at FiiO could do so much more with it with a little more effort. 😃 And I’m definitely looking forward to getting my AM3D!!

Welp, that’s all folks! At least until it arrives within 8-14 days.

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