Ok folks. I went to the store at HK to audition this Media player and the store owner told me that his display/demo unit is for sale at a very tempting price. After some intense negotiation, I walked away with it.
This is one heavy beast. 12kg or around 25lbs extremely well build. The unit I have is the basic version, 32gb CF, no touch screen with CDP built in (TEAC drive). There are 3 different versions.
Standard : no cdp, no internal memory, usb input from computer and usb input frm external storage
Basic : The one I have
Classic : bigger internal storage up to 2tb (I believe its 1tb mirrored to each other), touch screen, pre amp section, 2 more additional filters (one hardware which is kind of separate DAC section itself and another software modified section which is based on this DAC). For more tech spec, please refer to the 6moons audio review http://www.6moons.co...us/embla_2.html
The CDP can also rip CD inserted to the internal or external storage. The error correction software is done by this Swedish company http://www.moceanlabs.com/
To increase the storage I'm currently using a docking station with 128gb so that to keep the concept of "no moving parts". It sounded better compared if I stream it from computer (which is self explanatory).
I pair this DAC with BHSE and 007 and 009. I tried not to got overly excited with the new toy syndrome (and I suck big time at describing sound), but here's my impression SO FAR (bear in mind I did not do a comparison with the DAC I have in hand now - Neko D100 and Stello DA100):
Overall : It's a very neutral DAC. Very faithful reproduction. With a hint of brightness on upper mid.
With 009 : Some recording, it can be unbearable at slightly high volume. Like some of the folks, I found that 009 is a bright headphone or at least brighter than 007 so on the condition described, I found that the upper mid can be unbearable.
With 007 : Perfect. The hint of brightness actually helped this headphone to lift some of the "curtain" that sometimes can cover this headphones. Although the bass still did not extend as deep as 009 but I can listen to it longer than I can with 009.
This DAC make me prefer 007 to 009 on my setup. Now I wonder if the 009 will get more or same listening time to 007 (mk2.5 btw)
What I like about this DAC is the all in box solution and I don't have to use computer for playback anymore. One slight complaint is that fr Basic version all the interactions are done through remote control so if you have to scroll to find a song in a say 300 folders collections, it can be quite a chore compared to computer playback with eg. foobar. But outside from that, its a perfect one box solution.
IMHO, this cannot be considered as full fledged media center as it can only stream through wired ethernet. There's no wireless streaming capability
I wouldn't buy this thing if it's full retail price (between $5-6k for my config). But for the price I got it for. It's a hell of good deal.
Edited by forbigger - 7/1/12 at 7:36am