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User Review: D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier - Sounds lovely, USB works flawlessly under Linux

September 7, 2013

Products: D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier

This is mostly a review of how the D3020 works with my computer system, since this is how I listen to most of my music which is generally encoded in FLAC. I bought this as an upgrade for my existing amp, expecting that the USB audio interface features would be unavailable to me on Linux (at least until drivers caught up.) and that I would have to continue using my my external DAC or interface via optical from the on-board sound card. Plugged it into my Fedora 19 system and it was immediately detected as a sound playback device. Sound playback under linux is flawless, even under high CPU load. The USB Audio device is removed from the system when the amp is powered off and re-detected when the amp is powered on again, as a result once sound card priorities are correctly configured pulse audio will automatically transfer playing audio to the D3020 when it's turned on. The Amp sounds really good, very clean and has ample drive for my Tannoy Mercury speakers. A very significant improvement over my marantz PM42. It would be nice if the remote included a mute button and it would also be nice if unused inputs could be disabled as you have to cycle though the all the input options to get to the ones you want, However neither of these niggles are by any means showstoppers in an otherwise lovely and well implemented amp. lastly a big thank you to the folks in the open source community who wrote such good and versatile USB audio drivers.

Brendan Minish - Ireland

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