Oh I hear ya, the other night I spent hours trying to get my player to stop endlessly cycling on and off (it's fine now) All the factory FW mods act just like they came from Ibasso in terms of ease of use
"hi-fi" is short for high fidelity. It has nothing to do with cost If you really want to strive for that last 1% then by all means spend enormous amounts of money (say hi to your brother Bill Koch for me) then so be it Actually my personal endgame is more along the lines of $5k. $8-10k is 2/3 of the way up the summit, the rest of the way is 130 degree climb. Sure you can pay for it, but why?
Entry level? Lol. You have to realize that price =/= performance, and even when it does you can easily save money with other products. Also you should probably evaluate your priorities. Many of these companies build expensive equipment for the sole purpose of "richer than you" materialism, and performance is not top priority. Besides if you do go ahead and get all the frivolous junk, then what?
Hey, recently released mellow death that doesn't suck! Seriously, if you are going to spend that much money then get a proper freaking hifi system. Loudspeakers, a subwoofer, mono blocks, preamp and turntable. $8k would make an absolute endgame rig