Speaking of the influence other components can have on the MG3, a refurbished HM-801 arrived from China today. Joy!
I have almost no interest in its headphone amp. This evening, I'll be eagerly comparing its Line Out to that of the Sony PCM-M10 (currently my favorite portable source) - into the MG3 > SM45s (I'm still waiting for the LCD-2 impedance match.)
The HM-801 has the venerable, no longer in production, PCM1074UK PCM1704UK DAC and is often described with adjectives such as "smooth" and "musical," yet very detailed and good at separating instruments in congested recordings. So I can't wait to hear it with the MG3.
Speaking of expensive DAPs, I recently learned that for $250, Red Wine Audio will replace the $1299 Astell & Kern AK120 volume control with a 3.5mm TRS Line Out (at a total cost of $1549). If paying an extra $250 sounds appealing (for a feature that should have been included on the AK120 in the first place), RWA also offers a $595 mod (at a total cost of $1895), that includes the Line Out jack and upgrading the two WM8740 chips to WM8741, putting them into "hardware mode."
$1895? I thought the Altmann Tera Player was expensive.
Edited by zilch0md - 9/4/13 at 3:04pm