Luxury and Precision - Crowdfunding Promotion on the L3 Digital Music Player, Available Soon!
Apr 7, 2016 at 12:18 AM Post #646 of 1,603
No problems fellas.  Won't be for a few hours yet.  Just about end of work day here.  I then have to pick my daughter up from sports, get dinner organised, and I have a meeting from 7 until about 9.30 pm.  Once I get home I'll see what I can do.
Apr 7, 2016 at 12:40 AM Post #647 of 1,603
Wait, so L&P is blindly shipping the 50 or so crowdfunded units?

Hmm, What.

I guess better early than never.
Apr 7, 2016 at 12:56 AM Post #648 of 1,603
I'll charge my X5II as well and see if I can't do a bit of a comparison.
Apr 7, 2016 at 1:05 AM Post #650 of 1,603
Hey All,
Sorry, been rather busy as you can imagine this week. I asked the manufacturer to start shipping units to backers as soon as they're ready to go, it looks like we're actually quite a bit ahead of schedule. 
I haven't received tracking info for each individual unit yet, but I'll be uploading as soon as I get the batch tracking sheet. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
I have two particular things on my to-do list that I hope to accomplish very soon:
1. Tracking for everyone
2. English manual
Thanks for your patience!
Apr 7, 2016 at 8:43 AM Post #653 of 1,603
OK – as promised, quick comparison between the X3ii, X5ii and L3.  I didn’t include the original X5 as my meeting ran late, and I’m running out of time.  It’s also time consuming doing the volume matching and constantly rechecking.
Rather than going straight to sound, I thought it might be better to first have a look at features and specs.  So without further ado …..
L&P L3
Fiio X3ii
Fiio X5ii
Approx cost
USD299 – USD 399
USD 200
USD 349
Current fw version
1.44 beta
1.27 beta
114 x 60 x 15mm
96 x 57 x 16mm
109 x 64 x 15mm
480 x 320 OGS
320 x 240 TFT
400 x 360 IPS
Buttons + Touch Screen
Buttons + wheel
Buttons + wheel
PCM Lossless Support
Not stated
Lossy Support
Not stated
mp2, mp3, aac, ogg
mp2, mp3, aac, ogg
Highest Res
Native up to DSD256
Native up to DSD128
Native up to DSD128
External DAC (USB)
Yes – up to 16/96
Yes – up to 24/192 + DSD
Yes – up to 24/192 + DSD
Not stated
2600 mAh
3300 mAh
Play Time
Not tested
11+ hours
10+ hours
Dac Chip
CS4398 (Dual)
Main Amp Chip
18120 + 1812A (Dual)
110 dB
>113 dB (A weight)
>117 dB (A weight)
Impedance H/O
Not stated
<0.2 ohm
<0.2 ohm
Line Out
Yes (shared with dig out)
Yes (shared with dig out)
Yes (shared with dig out)
Balanced Out
Digital Out
Yes (shared with L/O)
Yes (shared with L/O)
Yes (shared with L/O)
Internal Storage
16 Gb
External Storage
Single micro SD
Single micro SD
Double micro SD
Max external storage
128 Gb
128 Gb
256 Gb
Shell / Casing
Aluminium-lithium alloy
Aluminium alloy
Aluminium alloy
Recommended H/P
32-300 ohm
16-150 ohm
16-150 ohm
Output into 16 ohm
Not stated
224 mW
436 mW
Output into 32 ohm
Not stated
200 mW
255 mW
Output into 300 ohm
Not stated
24 mW
27 mW
Max output voltage
Not stated
7.2 Vp-p
8.2 Vp-p
Balance adjustment
5 db L, 5 dB R
10 db L, 10 dB R
Gain adjustment
2.6 dB L, 8.6 db H
3.6 dB L, 9.1 db H
Presets only
10 band adjustable + preset
10 band adjustable + preset
DAC Filters
Yes – 2 + phase settings
Yes - 2
As you’ll see above, a lot of the info on the L3 isn’t available, so a lot of it is pure guess work.  We can make a few reasonable observances though.
  1. The DAC resolutions I’ve shown above are with Windows only, and may not reflect current support with Mac / Linux, and are dependent on maturity of drivers. It is likely L3’s USB Dac resolution will increase with proper driver.  The specs of the chipset certainly suggest they will.
  2. I haven’t been able to test L3 battery life yet – but I’d guess at this stage that the 10-11 hour mark wouldn’t be far away.
  3. There are no power specs for the L3, so I kept the X3ii and X5ii on low gain, plugged my 600ohm T1’s in and played 10 seconds of a single track (Sultans of Swing), measuring peak output SPL at max volume for each player.  The X5ii registered 97.1db, the X3ii 9.4 dB, and the L3 96.4 dB.  Not exactly scientific, but from that I’d expect somewhat similar power output to both the X3ii and X5ii.  Note though – both the X3ii and X5ii had extra gain settings available – my tests were on low gain. For me personally (and I am a quiet listener), the L3 seems perfectly comfortable with my HD600 and Dire Straits at around 40/60 volume. Playing a much quieter track (Amber Rubarth’s “Tundra”) and you really need close to the entire volume output though – so the claim of 32-300 ohm might be very dependent on the dynamics of the music being played.  It may struggle with some classical – especially if you are a high volume listener.
  4. I haven’t listed supported formats because again a lot of their documentation is missing.  The L3 will play (from my tests) 16/44, 24/96, and 24/192 Flac.  It has issues with high-res ALAC (doesn’t recognise bit-rate), but does play DSD perfectly.  As far as lossy goes, MP3 is good, it chokes on ogg, and won’t play aac at all. I haven’t tested a lot else – but it definitely doesn’t have the same support for file formats as the FiiOs
  5. As far as features go – there are some interesting contrasts:
    1. X3ii and X5ii both have search functions which is great for larger libraries.  L3 does not have this
    2. X3ii and X5ii both have replay gain – L3 doesn’t
    3. X3ii and X5ii both have play through folders – L3 doesn’t
    4. L3 can display lyrics – X5ii and X3ii can’t
    5. L3 has option to isolate the power supply – stops connections via USB drawing power.  Effectively you could use a phone as transport to the L3.  I tried it with my iP5S and it definitely switched to DAC mode, but I couldn’t get any sound – so it may simply have been a pinout issue or drivers.  But looks promising anyway.
    6. L3 has the analog pot – which is great for volume adjustment
    7. L3 does have the touchscreen – but no swiping yet.  It is quick to move around though – especially if you have folder mode enabled, and your folders arranged nicely
    8. With tagged browsing, the L3 is still a bit flaky (like its predecessors).  I have a 128 Gb card filled with FLAC files.  On a lot of them, it recognises the artist and the album – but when I browse to song, it shows the first tracks name, and the rest are blanks.  They are all there – they just don’t show.  Folder mode shows everything though, and if you go to all songs, they all show up (which is great for shuffling your entire library)
    9. L3 does have the balanced out.  I've tested it against the SE output, and there isn't a lot of noticeable difference IMO.
I won’t go through much more because it’s getting late.  So how does it sound?
This was done with the U6, and volume matched against X3ii and X5ii – all playing redbook FLAC. I used Pearl Jam …. because I was in the mood for a little Vedder.
To be taken into account – it’s late, and I’m probably not at my best.
Tonally the X3ii and L3 sound a lot alike. The biggest difference I could pick up was that the L3 sounded a little cleaner – especially with the cymbals, decay was just a little more realistic, more natural sounding. You’re talking very small differences though.  The reality is that both units sounded fantastic with the U6.  No real difference in sound staging, or the usual bass, mids, treble etc
Moving to the L3 vs X5ii – and again very similar sounding – probably closer than with the X3ii.  I concentrated on cymbals again, and this time they have very similar decay.  If I had to make a call IO would say that both the X3ii and X5ii might be the slightest touch warmer than the L3 – but all of them have good balance and bass weight.
For those considering between the 3, I’d suggest buying on features more than sonics.  The L3 definitely has appeal with the touch screen and the analog pot – but it also has a few issues with the current fw (a few bugs, less codec support etc), and the features simply aren’t as mature as the FiiO devices.
All 3 sound pretty darn good and I can’t really say I have a favourite at this stage.  Best value for money (features and sonics) is still probably the X3ii IMO.  Best overall comes down to where your priorities lie.  
Apr 7, 2016 at 9:17 AM Post #655 of 1,603
  OK – as promised, quick comparison between the X3ii, X5ii and L3.  I didn’t include the original X5 as my meeting ran late, and I’m running out of time.  It’s also time consuming doing the volume matching and constantly rechecking.
[Mod Edit: Please don't quote all of a very long post before replying.]

So if I already own a Fiio X3ii, do you still recommend me to get the L3 just for the sonic improvement and signature?
Apr 7, 2016 at 9:56 AM Post #657 of 1,603
Thanks for the comparison! Just a correction Brooko, I am pretty sure the Fiio X3II and X5II have internal storage. 

Neither have internal storage for your library. Both only have external (ie micro sd)
Apr 7, 2016 at 10:36 AM Post #659 of 1,603
All 3 sound pretty darn good and I can’t really say I have a favourite at this stage.  Best value for money (features and sonics) is still probably the X3ii IMO.  Best overall comes down to where your priorities lie.  

Hey brooko,
really thanks for the info... didnt expect such a good comparison.

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