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So, what is the best portable FLAC player for sound quality and build?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

There are alot of individual threads about various players but I am finding it tough to find out what direction to actually be looking in buying a high end portable FLAC player.

 

The AK100

 

Colorfly

 

Cowen

 

anything else?

 

I am willing to spend upwards ot $2000 to $3000 for a high end portable setup including a FLAC capable source and IEM's. If the source unit did not include a DAC I might get a external one as well.

 

I could not care less about a camera, video playback, or anything else of that nature, I simply want the best source unit possible for accurate sound with no added base or distortion. I listen to alot of 80's stuff, reggae, 60's stuff, african big band stuff, not alot of modern stuff but bands like the Killers and Arcade Fire I am into.

 

Is there a clear go to current FLAC portable player that beats out all the othes on sound recreation in the $1500 or less catagory? Has it not actually been released yet and one should wait?

post #2 of 8

i found the dx100 receive quite somebit of praises around here, the current top 3 is

dx100

ak100(mod)

and the hm 801/901

 

there is no clear results or authoritative all encompassing opinion

post #3 of 8

The RWAK100 is pretty great. It's built well. very solid aluminum. I liked the volume wheel and the playback buttons. small size (bit thick) but easily pocketable and with a great sound.

 

the AK100, no mod, has some great details and texture with bass but the 22 ohm output impedence results in some loss of bass impact and can cause weirdness with IEM frequency response.

post #4 of 8
What ak100 mod are you guys talking about?

To the op: if you're an objectivist then the Sansa fuze strapped to a leckerton uha 6s mkii should be quite transparent. It's what I use and I haven't seen a better option for any price beside maybe the dx100.
post #5 of 8
You might want to look into altmann tera player. It only plays wav though, no flac. But, from sq alone it betters ak100, dx100, any cowons..
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnarlsagan View Post

What ak100 mod are you guys talking about?

To the op: if you're an objectivist then the Sansa fuze strapped to a leckerton uha 6s mkii should be quite transparent. It's what I use and I haven't seen a better option for any price beside maybe the dx100.

 

red wine audio bypasses the 22 ohm resistors in the AK100 output stage. makes the frequency response much more linear for  wider variety of low impedence headphones and IEMs.

 

Maybe about half the talk in the AK100 thread is from people with a modded version.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses so far, they help alot.

 

With regards to these players how much does each player vary on how they recreate the sound?

 

When I was buying headphones a couple years back I did alot of shopping around, tried out higher end Beyerdynamic, Grado, and went with AKG 702's which TBH impressed me greatly with their very clean and detailed sound recreation without any distortion or added base. They seem to create a very divided response in people as alot of people tend to find them "flat" and with weak base but I myself see them as flat out more realistic in what a single beat from a dampened base drum is actually supposed to sound like when the kicker hits it.

 

Do some players have a more "reference" type of sound aiming for detailed and balanced recreation of the source material while others tend to tweak the output to "create" a certain sound that might not be true to the original recording?

 

I ask this mainly due to the AK100 and the RWAK100, what exactly changed here? Did the RWAK100 alterations bring the units into a more true sound presentation or does it enhance things in the other direction?

 

With regards to someone who liked very clean very precise sound reproduction such as the 702's create which player is the best to look into (and FLAC is essential, I do not want to mess around with WAV despite the fact I really kind like the minimalist appraoch the TERA actually took with that player)

 

One song that I find myself using more and more to test various audio is Duran Duran's "Hungry Like a Wolf", that song has a very distinct part of that track which is "popping" that bounces around in the background of the entire song. On most cheap sources and speakers it gets muddied up and largely disappears into the background of the music but when I first listened to that song on my 702's that portion of that song is VERY apparent and becomes quite an important aspect of the complete song. I want to make sure that whatever player I get it is very detailed at all the levels and does not masks any individual portions of a song such as often happens on that particular track. "Enola Gay" by OMD is another song where the music can quickly get very muddled and it is one of my favorite tunes and I really don't want that happening.

post #8 of 8

Heya.  Can you tell us what you ended up getting?  I'm in a bit of a quandary w/ this exact issue.  I have an old Zune mp3 player that just sucks balls in so many ways, for reasons you all would guess.  Anyone else have experience here?

 

So, what portable FLAC players are recommended?  Sorry to hijack your thread, btw.  Haven't done enough research myself.

 

Thanks!

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