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Acoustic Research Mysterious New Audiophile DAP

post #1 of 213
Thread Starter 


Today while looking for stuff at my favorite earphone shop in Shanghai (ALO Audio distributor in Shanghai), I discovered they had a new DAP I had never heard about. The DAP is apparently by Acoustic Research (http://www.acoustic-research.com/), a renown speaker maker (I think). The owner of the shop says it competes with the DX100 in terms of SQ, particularly for modern music (whatever that means).


The DAP is not on their site yet, and all the info I could find (which is not much) is on Taobao (which is kind of fishy, why would it be on taobao before being on the official site...)






Here are some specs:


Full metal enclosure
Optimized for Lossless Music
Built with acoustically matched HiFi Components
-Multiple PCB that maximize isolation of digital and analog stages
-DAC by BurrBrown (PCM1794)
-Op Amp by TI (OPA2134)
-Analogue volume control by Alps
-Headphone Amp by TI (TPA6120A2)
Up to 5 hours continuous playback Outputs
-3.5mm Line-out
-3.5mm headphone-out (16-300 ohm)
Target MSRP(32G)


Build Quality:

The build is top notch. Very solid steel (actually Tungsten Carbide apparently), very sturdy feel an pretty design. Even the buttons are top quality.



The player seems pretty easy to use. No touchscreen, only physical buttons. It is in my short experience almost idevice user-friendly but not quite. Apparently the player reads most formats.


SQ: All I can tell you is that it sounds quite good, but I could not really provide an informed opinion on the SQ as there was only lousy music (to my taste) on the DAP (in WAV though). Since I did not have any reference track, it is hard to judge. But it did sound more like audiophile grade than bad idevice type sound.


There are three key problems in my opinion:

  • Price (5000 RMB which is approximately 800 USD)
  • Capacity (only 32 GB without the possibility of adding memory through)
  • Where the *** does this DAP come from ?


I might take a bullet for the community and buy, but I will try it more before I do...and also try to learn more from Acoustic Research.

Edited by Mimouille - 3/8/13 at 2:22am
post #2 of 213

With that sort of feature and price why shouldnt someone buy a dx100 instead? The dx100 have a ui that is very very workable,  expandable memory and more feature in general,  still interesting though

post #3 of 213



Yeah, I'd definitely try and confirm the existence of this thing with AR before plunking down that cost.  Maybe that's a pre-production model?


Also, that 5-hour battery life is a little bit disappointing.

post #4 of 213
Thread Starter 

I already have a DX100 and love it...but if SQ is comparable, it is less than half the size...so worth a try.

post #5 of 213

If it has SQ comparible to the DX100, and physical buttons, it might be worth considering given its much thinner.

But the battery life and small memory/storage is a bit of a bummer...

post #6 of 213
Thread Starter 

Yes, it is quite weird about the battery life... Maybe the specs are wrong though...

post #7 of 213
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Yes, it is quite weird about the battery life... Maybe the specs are wrong though...


Very possible.


BTW, those vents that run along the sides of the DAP's bottom half... are those SPEAKERS?

post #8 of 213
Thread Starter 

No idea. Maybe vents for cooling ?


Anyways, if you have it in your hand, you really want to own it, the build is so awesome.


Anybody know anything about this DAC and Amp as I am not a technical expert...

post #9 of 213

As a fellow Shanghaier, may I ask the address of your favorite store?

post #10 of 213
Thread Starter 

It is 354 Beijing Lu (close to XinChang). But be warned: it is a really shabby store, but they have awesome stuff, and you can try it all. All the daps, many full size and portable amps, many iems, etc.

post #11 of 213

Xie xie smile.gif

post #12 of 213

The non expandable storage is really something to be missed though , if it have that , I would put this thing into recommendation after seeing the UI and what the ui is capable off

post #13 of 213
5 hours?

gosh. mad.gif
post #14 of 213

At that price it is,   15 or 25 is more likely about it,  well st least i hope

post #15 of 213

Looking good. The only slight concern I have is that TPA6120A2 usually needs a minimum 10 ohm output resistors to avoid instability.

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