I don't see a point to open it and find what chip they are using. I doubt that it is all in a single chip. There are number of components that can influence sound quality. I have spent number of years in a record industry as a producer and I see that you are all missing the major issue. Only the sound created in a recording studio is the original. That's the sound producer and engineer wanted to have in specific studio listening room atmosphere. Everything else, out of that room is just a reproduction, more or less great. How guys can discuss about missing frequencies or SOUND COLORATION when they do NOT have a source to compare with. How they know how original sound was created, they have no chance to compare it. The very only way is to compare with their old earphones and players, the sound they have used to it. Simply, they do not have a reference sound to compare with. So, as a bottom line, we have all reviewers just guessing how the original sound should sound! Or worst, we just read about their personal taste! Boring.
So, what is the key? Simple way indeed. During a recording in studio EVERY producer and engineer try to record each instrument precisely so when mixed to a song listeners can distinguish it among other instruments and vocals. Hence, while listening various types of music genres, if we can distinguish instruments one by one, place them at their position in stereo image, we probably have the sound close to original. That's how creators of that sound (producers and engineers) wanted to have it.
For me , the key word when describing Studio V is musicality. That player has necessary musicality of the sound. While listening it with different earphones and headphones (including Grado, Sony, Sennheiser), as well as a part of my home system: British valve amp Audio Innovation, Tannoy speakers, RSC Tarra Labs speakers cable, I found Studio V sounding amazing and almost identical to a CD player while reproducing the same tunes . I tried hooking to my home system iPod, Sansa, Sony...and all of them sounded awful. Nice work Hisoundaudio. You are on the right track!