Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5

garyk00 Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5

A good sound setup doesn’t have to cost $1500. There are plenty of equipment out there that will give you excellent sound quality without killing your food budget. Forum member garyk was bitten by the audio bug after upgrading from stock earbuds with his Zen Stone Plus and has been gradually improving his rig ever since.

Garyk Writes:

For a while now I have been using a simple Zen stone plus with the included buds. Then one day I bought a pair of PX-100′s, needless to say I was very impressed. From there I decided to upgrade even further. The Samsung P3 itself was more of an impulse buy. I had actually considered buying an itouch before deciding on the P3 and I’m very glad I changed my mind. After checking out some reviews I took a chance and bought it and I’m not disappointed. I love the control the P3 gives you over your music. The customisable equaliser and DNSe settings are something I have never had or used before and after a little tweaking my music sounds amazing. That you can set it to UMS mode is also a bonus as I am not a big fan of MTP. I’d never had a touch screen device before so had nothing to compare it to but the P3 responds pretty fast and the interface appears nice and smooth. The screen itself is nice and bright and looks very sharp. I have read 6 books on it so far and it makes an amazing ebook reader, which has saved me a lot of money as I was looking to buy one of those to. I’d say my only regret was getting the 8gb model and not 16 or 32. Once you start using it you just want to keep putting more and more on it.

After getting the P3 i needed some new headphones to go with it. I liked my PX-100′s so decided to stick with Sennheiser. I didn’t have a big budget and ended up getting the HD-205′s first but they were extremely tight on my head and I just didn’t like the closed back. After checking a lot of reviews I settled on a the HD-485′s. They are larger than the 205′s and a lot more comfortable. I have worn them for hours on end with no discomfort. I also really like the soft fabric padding as opposed to the leatherette style. The sound is the best I have ever heard from anything I have owned, but then that’s subjective. To me they sound very clear and warm with nice deep bass. They do leak sound quite a bit but then what do you expect from open backs. It’s not something that bothers me and I much prefer the more open sound. Personally i think they are a good compliment to the P3.

For going out and about I decided on the CX-350 Street II. I had read a lot of good things about the 300′s, but in this case I just prefered the look of the 350′s. Having had good results with Sennheiser so far I took a little chance on them. Not having heard the 300′s before I have no way of comparing them but i really like my 350′s. They have pretty decent bass and are very comfortable to wear. They also isolate outside sounds very well.

After looking around the forums for a while I decided to try an amp. I wasn’t sure if I really needed one as the P3 seems to drive my headphones ok, but I was curious to see what difference it would make to the sound if any. I had heard good things about the FiiO E5 and I couldn’t justify the more expensive amps so decided to give it a try. It does definitely increase volume and the bass boost certainly does its job if and when it’s needed. Spotting any other difference in sound is a little more difficult though, at least for me. Apart from the change in volume I sometimes find it hard to tell the difference between using the amp with bass boost off or just not using the amp at all with the HD-485′s I am still glad I got it though and do think its a great little amp for the price. It would be interesting to try a better amp sometime. I’m sure at some point I will be upgrading everything yet again and spending yet more money I don’t have, all because I bought some PX-100′s a while back. Some would say ignorance is bliss but I think its more than worth it now.

garyk03 Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5garyk01 thumb 130x86 Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5garyk02 thumb 130x86 Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5garyk04 thumb 86x130 Reader Rigs: garyk’s Samsung P3 + FiiO E5

Want to share your portable rig? Drop by the show off your gear forum and post to the long running thread or if you think its extra special or unique, start a thread just for your setup. Remember, we are not just looking for the most high end setups, we are looking for personal ways you use your player. Adding some text discussing the photos and/or the setup and also having more than one pic will increase your chances of it being featured on the front page. Show us your gear!


homan on June 17, 2009 6:48 PM

E5 was designed to plug into lineouts, not phoneoutsif you are happy with its performance now, your jaws might drop when you let it work with LO, cheers

Vladimir on June 17, 2009 7:34 PM

I have a similar set-up, and it’s pretty nice: Sansa Clip (4gb) –> FiiO E3/E5 –> Sennheiser HD-595 / JLab J2.HD595′s are for home, J2′s are for the train. One thing I did notice though, is that the E5 is just not as loud as the E3.

MarvintheMartian on June 18, 2009 12:06 AM

@ Vladimir….were you using the E5 volume maxed, as if it was the E3, and controlling volume with your Clip?Sounds that way…it works far better if you approach max volume on the Clip and control the volume with the E5. The sound is cleaner than the E3′s output too, IMO.

Garyk on June 18, 2009 2:51 AM

Yay im famous :) @Homan, Unfortunately the P3 doesnt have line out. Im curious how it would sound. It would sound better to if I wasn’t using mp3′s but iv’e only got the 8gb model. WIll have to get something with more space next time.

Djini on June 18, 2009 9:05 AM

Love the rig! Very clean looking, prob sounds amazing! Quick question: were did you get the funky sock thing? I want one for my D2 (+)

WindSpear on June 18, 2009 3:24 PM

isn’t that just a simple iSock that you get from walmart lol

Alan on June 18, 2009 9:52 PM

Great photography.Looks like pictures you would see in a catalog.Cool.Alan

Garyk on June 19, 2009 8:21 AM

@Djini: Thanks, it does :) Oh and WindSpear’s right, just type isock into amazon and you will find a lot of them. Or loads of stores sell them to.Thanks Alan, I hadn’t thought they were that good to (used to be a photographer). I did them in a bit of a rush before the sun was about to set and couldn’t find the

Jentse, Netherlands on June 19, 2009 1:14 PM

Hey Garyk,Very nice set-up indeed!I own a Zune 80, just ordered an E5 amp + Brainwavz Pro IEMs (just $37 at mp4nation!!). My current CX300′s are really good, just curious to hear the Brainwavz to compare.Now I was wondering what cable (length) you use to interconnect the P3 and E5 inside the iSock. I would really like to fit the E5 in my Zune-sleeve just like that!Is it custommade or did you order it somewhere?Thanks a lot, greetings from Holland!

Garyk on June 19, 2009 4:05 PM

Its actually just the one that comes with the E5 for now, shown in the pictures. It coils round easily inside the sock. Was thinking bout getting another shorter but not sure what or where yet and dunno how to make In the picture I have amp and player pulled out just so they can be seen, they would normally both be pushed down further inside.

Joe on July 3, 2009 11:35 PM

Nice rig. I appreciate the frugality (relatively) and simplicity… Portable rigs costing 2x or even 5x the price wouldn’t sound incredibly better.I have a Sansa Clip, Fiio E5, and Sennheiser HD555 open headphones (KSC75 for on-the-go, and Creative EP630 for even more portable). I also listen from my laptop and have an Altec Lansing im415 Sansa speaker dock for on-the-go loudness ($20, thanks woot).I honestly cannot justify spending much more for a small increase in audio quality. What I’ve got is plenty good for now :D …Well, unless I can make a LOD for pennies or buy some more cheap microsd cards to fill with discographies in FLAC…

PodD on July 5, 2009 8:56 AM

How do you read ebooks on P3? Do you use P3BlueMan? Great rig, man!

Garyk on July 12, 2009 3:06 AM

The P3 reads txt files. I simply convert them to txt format. Ive never tried P3Blueman. I download books from bean free library in rtf format then just open in abi word and save as txt.

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