Hi there. I've read the entire thread and now I'm very interested in this tiny DAP. For now I'll translate some impressions from the owner of the Tera-player on a Russian forum.
The first post.
I've listened to it today on my way to work and on the way back. The first impressions are strictly positive. The sound is very smooth with no apparent bias in tonal balance. Bass goes deep all the way to the bottom without hurting mids or highs. Vocals sound natural with no sibilance, very clear. The guitars sound aggressive. Highs are full of detail but do not force themself on the listener and has zero annoyance level. The detail level is remarkable - there're nuances that I've never heard before with a portable setup. Drums sound amazing; they are accurate, detailed; the metal and dark genre must be delighted by the presentation of bass. Even on higher listening levels my ears does not get weary of music which is an indirect sign of a high quality sound.
The second post.
Tera by itself and comparison to HM801, DAC OCU 1866, Stello U3+ DAC OCU 1866.
After two weeks of listening I can post more detailed impressions.
Tera vs HM-801. In general the sound characters are close to each other. Tera-player has two headphone exits. In my sample there're differences between them. The difference is not just in output level (the one that's on the edge sounds louder) but also is in tonal balance. If listen from the one that is closer to the middle, the player is very similar to the 801 with slightly less in quantity but noticeably better in quality bass and with more detailed sound. The other out of TP sounds brighter.
Tera compared by itself. Lower frequencies are the best of all DAPs I heard. In quantity they are perfect for me, but the way they are detailed and accurate is simply fantastic. Middle range is not a bit worse. No other DAP can achieve such accuracy and such a lifelike sound of the vocals. Acoustic guitar and grand piano also sound superb. The quality of the soundstage is on top. It may not be the largest but it has depth width and a clear understanding where each sound comes from. The fly in the ointment are the highs. On the one hand - they are marked with the same detail and precision level as the rest of the sound. But they seem dimmed; while the quality of the highs is great there's lack in quantity. In the end we got ourself the third multi-bit player (after 801 and 601/602) which suffers from the same disease - the dark, "warm" sound.
Tera vs DAC OCU 1866 via USB. They are approximately equal. 1866 plays every frequency even with no bias in tonal balance, highs are accurate and fairly bright, the same kind you want to hear from the TP. But 1866 delivers flat and compressed soundstage; it also hides micro details.
Tera vs Stello U3+DAC OCU 1866. This is the kind of sound you dream to find in a portable setup - and you don't. You try hifimans, coloflys and others - and you seek it again and again. And you will not find it in Tera-player. That amazing sound can be found in the duo of Stello and 1866. The soundstage is very similar in size and quality of presentation to the one of TP, they're almost identical twins when it goes to it. The detail level of the duo is better than the one of TP. The bass is more powerful and is richer. And, finally, the highs are bright and loud, but not forced, the ones that Tera-player can not be boast about. This setup has almost reference sound. And is not much more expensive than TP (roughly $1600 vs $1200)
The third post.
Comparison to DX100
(It's mainly about the sound quality of the DX100 so I'll translate just the comparison part)
Tera-player looses in terms of detail level and muted highs, but it has more natural, solid sound, better articulated bass, better instrument separation and more precise soundstage.
Sorry for my English anyways.
Edited by drmind - 12/13/12 at 5:31am