When the HM901 has the balanced card installed, does it have a hunchback like the HM801?
The HM801's hunchback makes it tough to tie to other amps. Sounds awesome, so I won't be giving it up, but limits my use cases.
What do you mean? Hunchback? The card is internal. No difference is size of the 901.
Thanks KKCC. That's awesome news. Anyone had a chance to compare the HM801 and HM901 balanced vs balanced?
I'm in two minds about this. The HM801 is something quite special, and as the 901 also has the same opamps on the amps, I'm not sure whether to go for the 901 or get one of the other FOTMs eg. Tera or DX100
No doubt about it, the AK120 and HM901 are not cheap regardless how we look at it.
However, with progressive software updates and improvements, am sure the HM901 will scale higher than what they're capable of today.
As it is, even with the standard amp, personally, they are better than most (if not all) high end players by a good margin.
Once the software is optimized, can't imagine how much more we can get out of the dual sabre dac.
Eh, all of that is debateable too, since you skewed it in AK120s favor. How about amp versatility, (HM-901 has a "functional" UI), it still has good battery life just not with balanced card, it also has a replaceable battery, "great design" is had by both, HM-901 also has good capacity, HM-901 also has DAC function, DSD is possible in future firmware update, AK120 also has a dock but it doesn't have WiFi like the HifiMan will, nor the myriad of options it has.
Regardless, both are great players, but atleast be objective in your overall comparison :)
You're happy with the tera player because you've never heard the HM901