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Can anyone confirm that you can swap the opamps as listed?
Yes you can swap the opamps but buffer chip is soldered. It would be great if the buffer ic also can be swap able.
I'm not familiar with the chip they are using for the buffer but the LME is a decent chip. I already have a NX3 but I think I might grab the NX3S too. For $60 it can't be too bad. I already like the NX3 better then the Fiio offerings. The slight warmth really works well with my Beyers.
Okay here goes, I'm no expert in giving reviews but now that I have the NX3s in the house I'll give you some quick impressions vs the original NX3 and Fiio A5.
I've not swapped opamps yet so this is in stock form. First off the build quality is top rate just like the original. It feels very sturdy in the hand even more so then the A5. The A5 is of top quality as well.
The NX3s is in the same form factor as the original but just about a few mm longer, it looks like they needed need a little more room for the recessed knob and maybe internals. As far as sound goes, WOW!!! it really sounds fantastic. The differences between the original and the S is very slight.
As I said I haven't swapped opamps yet but here is my take:
I don't have the original specs for the original but I think the NX3s might not be true as listed. They have it rated at much more power but I'm not hearing it, oh it has plenty of power for my 250 ohm Beyers but if you volume match, the Original has just a tad more power in low gain, high gain for me it's hard to tell as they both get way too loud for me to make a call.
For complete sound is where it gets a bit crazy. Both in low gain no Bass boost. The Nx3s is clean and crisp sounding just a tad cleaner then the original. Not by much it seems just a tad more detailed but both are really detailed. The bass on both are completely the same in my opinion, Now the mids on the Nx3s seems to just sound more detailed.
The highs are nearly identical as well. I think the NX3s just has a tad longer decay in the notes. As far as sound stage the NX3s is for sure wider and a tad deeper. Much better then the A5 IMO.
Now if you put both into High gain they both retain the same sound as in Low gain. I'm only hearing gain here, no coloration or anything added which is fantastic. But once you hit the Bass boost things get crazy. The NX3s has some serious bass here. I think it might be more of Mid-Bass but I don't notice it bleeding into anything else. If you kick in the boost on the original it is Sub-Bass and Imo works much better. It's tighter and cleaner.
It's really a hard call on which on to recommend? Both are $60 and Imo a deal for what you get.. You really have to up your spending maybe in the 200-300 range to beat this little thing. I'd say grab the NX3s, the plus here is its a tad cleaner sound even tho the Bass boost is not my cup of tea. Plus you can roll the opamps. $60 it's really a fantastic deal if you just need a standalone small foot print amp.
Thanks for your words. I am going to pick it in 11.11 alliexpress sale for 50 $.
Thanks for the review. So, are you saying that it is a better unit than the A5? It is on MassDrop at $50.00 and the A5 goes for like $129.00, which is almost triple the price. Can you compare bass boost on the NX3s and the A5? My 'phones are all pretty easy to drive, but I do have a HE4XX on the way. While I don't llisten loud (I only use 50% to 60% of the power available on my Sony NW-ZX300), I am curious about the sound.
IMO the NX3s is better. The Bass Boost on both are about the same but the Topping has a tad more punch. The A5 sounds thin IMO, It's very good not knocking it at all.
I think the NX3s just sounds so much more detailed and musical. Both are very flat/neutral sounding amps but the resolution and details hands down go to the Topping.
it very well could be the LME chip. It's very clean sounding, very hard to explain. It's one of those you have to hear it yourself kinda things. I think it might even beat out my Meier XXS, and that's saying a lot
Thanks for the reply. Hard to. Believe it can be that cheap AND great.
I am in Canada and looking at the A5 ($169.00 plus 15% tax), the O2 (about $180.00, all in Can $'s) and the SMSL APII ($90.00, plus 15% tax). I was Leery about the SMSL due to the low price.
And the Topping would be the cheapest, by far. Some of the reviews refer to cheap quality and that they don't hold up, but if it sounds good and doesn't cost much...
I think I will order this tomorrow via MassDrop.
Thanks for the feedback!
Went ahead and ordered this today in silver. MassDrop doesn't ship it until December 27th.
Awesome man, I'm still being blown away by this little thing. I'll tell you what tho, I am a big fan of the LME chip it comes with but I swapped it out with a LME49860, Holy Hell, It still retains the same details of the 720 but is SO much smoother and the Bass digs deeper and even tighter. No idea why they didn't use the LME49860 to begin with? Maybe the slight price increase stopped them?, or the 720 just was the best to their ears? Either way you're going to dig this thing. The wait will be worth it
I AM looking forward to it. After I ordered it, I noticed that it ships December 27th. For some reason I thought it would ship right away. I guess I was confused with the HE4XX's.
Oh well, a few weeks isn't bad.