I've had my S9 since early 2009, and before than a rockboxed H140. My S9 is becoming increasingly glitchy and has been through a lot. Including staying dunked 2/3rds in water overnight (it survived after taking it apart and drying it in rice for a day, lucky!). I'd like to look up replacements that are similar, but I'm unfamiliar with the current market!
Getting another S9 may be possible, but the 32GB version is impossible to find. Just a few 16GB here and there. I would have considered the J3, but it's basically disappeared off the face of the earth now. The S9 and J3 are as far as I'm concerned, the benchmark player, except they don't make them anymore. I've looked at Cowon's recent offerings. They've seemed to forgotten to add buttons to them, so I might look elsewhere.
I only have a few requirements:
1. Buttons. At the very least fwd/rev and pause. I use the crap out of these from my pocket, and am constantly seeking through large and long audio files. I suppose I could live without volume buttons if I attach a good quality volume cable, but fwd/rev is pretty much non-negotiable.
2. Flexible EQ. Cowon's jetaudio sounds perfect through my headphones, for my tastes in music and tastes in sound. Something similar would be nice, though I can live with a little less. I use the bass enhancement a lot.
3. 32+ GB. Or if it's less, an option for expanding memory with an SD card (like the J3). Again, because I have many large files, 16GB doesn't cut it. I'm even having to delete less listened to files on my 32GB S9 to fit new stuff on there. 16GB would be painful!
I guess the rest is optional. I dont care about video (it's just a nice extra). OGG support would be nice, but not 100% essential. It would just mean I'd need to re-rip hundreds of CDs. Ouch, but doable. I can live with battery life being only a couple tens of hours. But mainly. I want comparable sound-quality with lots of bass if I want it, and clarity! I normally use Senn PX200 phones, though I'm not glued to them or anything. I'm willing to spend quite a bit of money on this if it proves high quality ($500-ish), but I will not pay an artificially-high price for something that normally costs half as much. The $500+ J3 I occasionally come accross, for example.
Edited by cloudscapes - 8/11/12 at 1:52pm