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...)
UPDATED INFOS AND IMPRESSIONS ON PAGE 5
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 headphone-out (16-300 ohm)
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