Dx300Max Titanium In-depth view by Whitigir

Allow me to introduce you to this article, which I dive deeper into the newest Ibasso “15th anniversary piece”

Disclosure:  perfection as mentioned is really a meaning of “near-perfection”.  This is a personal unit that was purchased and I am not related or affiliated to Ibasso by any meanings.  Just an enthusiast who loves Ibasso products

Notable features: 5 batteries of a total 9800mAh, independent power supplies for Amp/DAC dedicatedly , Ultimate mode that utilizes all 8 channels of Dual AK4499EQ, Premium and largest Titanium Metal for chassis.  Powerful output of 8.8Vrms measured at 300 Ohms load

Sound signatures:  Amazing imagings , depth of cues, instrument placements, separations, clarity, resolving, textures fidelity, trebles extensions .  The best of Ibasso yet as a statement piece that is worth every pennies, and some more 

So , the serviceability for the 3Max is “a little better than the 2Max”.  It is more straightforward.  I had a chance to open up my own Titanium units.

The build quality is Clean !! Every solder joins that is hand soldered are super clean :). But that is just for people who only know that much. A good solder joins is more than that, and from my experiences, they are great! The complication levels to perform these soldering is complex. I don’t know how Ibasso was able to produce it at this price point.

Amplifier batteries are directly powering the amp board and on the board itself 

Digital battery is directly powering DAC/SOC board and by itself 

Quality electronic components parts are being used with 0.01% resistors possibly the same as the 2Max and Dx300. I recall these was disclosed as SusuMu Japanese audio quality grade.  Every other components are of great quality.

Main Interconnect is Peripheral as previously suspected, which is more complicated to services, but preserve the sound quality, signals integrity much better than Ribbon printed metal cables, the like that were used in AK.  There are no snap in connectors or ribbons cables in the audio paths.  This preserves the integrity to the best possibility while retaining the serviceability.

How ? In order to remove these cables, once have to be pretty skillful in soldering works, and I am not talking about simply experiences to build cables alone. I am talking about the level of people who can pull parts, salvage parts, rebuild Printed Circuit Boards, or Fix all electronic related products. But it is doable. This is a very Bold Move from Ibasso, and even Sony DMP Z1 didn’t bother. While Sony DMP Z1 used quality copper cables, it was “Snap In” cables, just because servicing it this way as Ibasso, would be too complicated and which may result in a very expensive products…..How did Ibasso pulled this ? I am amazed ​​

If everything was a Snap in at all like AK, it simply just need any typical Smartphones repair man to pull it out and snap it in in order to replace and services the parts.  The only Snap in connector here is the Touch screen, and it is totally unrelated to music and or preserving signals integrity 

The usages of the capacitors being used inside the Titanium is different than SS from the pictures I see. I don’t think I am seeing those $200 a pop Eros NOS, but I do see NOS axial capacitors. While they are not supremely expensive, they sound supremely good .  I don’t know how Ibasso came to realize it, but over the years I had with Ibasso products, I am pretty sure that they have an amazing acoustic tuning teams at their disposal.  The proofs were from the continuous evolutions of different modular amp boards from DX220 to Dx300 and now 3MAX SS to Titanium.

All of this is a reaffirmation of the quality from the main architecture and implementation with the usage of high quality components on all of the High-End tier of products from Ibasso….well, I am saying that but I can say for sure is that even the mid tier like DX160 isn’t using anything cheaper.  The design of the circuitry may be simpler and that is it.  As far as components wise, Ibasso has always been using the components that they Deemed to be the best for their own design, architecture and implementations.  Even their dongle DC05 or so is measured with a very crazy numbers.

I am unable to identify some parts , the Black Tantalum capacitors in the power smoothing that is an additional from the SS 3Max.  This is using BiCap techniques, and not everyone love BiCap, and some do love it for a reason. Whatever the reason is.  The SS and the Ti are different here.  Instead of using Siemens Axial, Titanium is using Elkos, Again some unknown filmed caps instead of Phillips from Titanium.

So, after all, the Titanium is having capacitors tuned differently, and whether you believe capacitors brands/kind can or not change the sound quality. You have a good choice to pick either SS or TI. If you think all capacitors that has the same specs will Sound the same then you can save $1,100 and easier to find a second hand SS now.

There are cooling Mechanism in the 3Max now, it is Silicon based thermal stripes.  It runs across the entire DAC/SOC and toward the chassis to the plain side (no buttons).  You may find this side being warmer than the other side during operation.

Both the SOC and DAC are shielded shut to protect from interferences.  There are 2 Wireless antennas now instead of 1 as 2Max.  The antennas are installed similarly as the 2Max and at the screen bottom away from the amplifier for the best performances while reducing possible interferences toward analog signals.

So, my final takes on 3Max Titanium.  Not only that it is the best player I have heard to date in this form factor, but it also has the best Line Out possibly for a portable, which DMP Z1 lacks.  In additional to that, the mysterious realizations of mythical NOS capacitors and tuning together with the Titanium chassis as a premium Metal.  The Titanium build is to be appreciated as Jewelry grade, treasured, collected, or as a friend put it, a “Trophy piece”.

I am pretty sure that this excellent development means that Ibasso will no longer player at the segment that is common any longer.  I predict that Ibasso is aiming to break away with pride, and performances to show, while keeping the price to performances ratio to be the best in the industry.  So, this means Ibasso will continue to develop better and better, which I am excited for Ibasso and excited to see.

The 3MTi may be highly priced, but it is worth every pennies, and even more.

I love the 3MTi heads over Heels for the reason that the performances is so good, the original Ibasso house sound is retained but with Improvements.  You may be curious of what Ibasso house sound is to me, it is the natural presentations of everything in tonal bodies, the realistic and vivid timbres, the neutral signatures, the clarity, the details, and textures that is sharp, vivid and yet smooth.  In a sense, it is similar to AK, but with more meats, more

Engaging, more Musical in the highs rather than being “grainy and harsh”.  The last one that heavily resemble the “grainy and harsh trebles” were the 2Max which very closely resemble AK, but with better dynamic and meat as mentioned above.  Now with 3MTi, the original House sound is back and in Aces


As shown​​​​

1/ phillips

2/ Eros Vishay (green caps)

3/ Fine Gold Nichicon 

4/ Unknown film caps

5/ Elkos NOS

6/ Unknown Tantalum

Red circle is the cooling strips

Will not disclose the specific values here, because IMO, there is no need.  The 3MTi is perfect as it is.  If anyone have the desires to modify it, I am sure they can find out what to do with it by themselves.

Perhaps if anything I would like to change up is to bother myself with that complexity and upgrade the peripherals cables into a better quality materials of my choices.

Thank you Ibasso for an excellent products from price to performances stand point, from technologies and implementations, the usage of AK4499EQ and the maximized operation in ultimate mode, the excellent tuning that retains the Ibasso that I love 

This is a “Statement piece” and is an awesome player to be hold, to be had.  I have not the chance to listen and to open the SS, but from what I see and able to analyze, whether you have SS or Titanium, you will be satisfied for a while, especially if you love AKM4499EQ!

Notices: the 3Max uses Analog volume potentiometer that is realized for the best and rawest performances to maximize the dynamic range of the DAC, and also enable the digital attenuations to fine tune your Listening level to your desires whether it is in ears or full sizes.  Being the nature of analog potentiometer, you may observe channel imbalances at very low level such as 5-8% typical, and allowable upto 20%.  So, please use both volumes systems to reach your desires 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post