Hello everyone. I'm going crazy trying to decide between an E10 and an E17. Kind of have to do it within the next couple of weeks so my brother can take them with him from the US to Portugal. I know the E17 are portable but since I'm leaning towards the E10, I thought I'd open up in this forum (I had one over at the portable amp section, but was much broader and didn't help much).
Basically my situation is this:
-A set of ATH M-50s, mostly playing out of a laptop (I know these are easy to drive). Very, very rarely do I use my Ipod or phone. So portability in the amplifier is of very little use, almost irrelevant. The actual headphone model isn't too, as I'll likely be getting other ones in the future, possibly high impedance, etc, but it's still a good guideline as that future is still far.
-I listen to many types of music. I'll spend an evening listening to dubstep and electronic, the next listening to Arcade Fire and some rock, and over the weekend I might go into Sungha Jung accoustic-guitar mode. I know the E10 and E17 should be fairly neutral, so I don't think there is an issue there, but more features obviously allows for better adjustments to the genre.
-A small budget, not exactly "Up to 130", but more of a "Want to spend ~60 USD, but if going up to 130 makes a huge difference, then I will go there". I want to start low on the DAC/Amp section, and after reading for days on end, FiiO seems ideal. E7 is out of the question, as are the E9 (for no DAC, unless someone convinces me my Asus N56VZ's onboard RealTek would be almost as good as the DAC on the E10/E17) and the E11 (not looking after a portable amp).
-Not really sure how all the extra features on the E17 improve the overall experience. The EQ and bass boost have good reputation, as have the separate treble and bass controls. Stuff like balance, sleep timer and whatnot don't really matter at all to me. No volume knob is big minus, but not a deal breaker by any means. I do love its appearance, super clean, thin, and I like it that there's a screen.
-Reviews on the differences in the DAC and Amp sections vary a lot. The DAC is supposed to be the same chip, so I'm not getting into that. But as far as the Amp goes, reviewers go from "almost the same, slight difference" to "oh god it just doesn't compare, cleaner sound, tighter bass, better soundstage, overall improvement of sound quality across the board", obviously in favor of the E17.
So basically my question is. Given that I'm not looking for portability in the Amp at all, and that the E17 costs twice as much (actually, a tad bit more even. Currently USD64 for the E10 and 136 for the E17 at Amazon), is there any good set of reasons I should get it? Or am I just wasting too much for portability I will not be using? I really love the looks, the screen, the gadgets and all that on the E17 (as well as no loose jack... big minus in the E10 for me), but I only consider that a reason for a 10-20 dollar difference, not 70. In the end, and even though I know E10 is obviously better value (even if only slightly), does the E17 offer that much more, considering my situation, that it'd be worth doubling the investment?
Thank you so much for your opinions. I know there are similar threads and that this is an old feud, but I'm pretty sure I've read literally everything there is to read about this on the interwebz, and right now just wanted a last bit of direct input over my situation in particular.