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Looking for DAP with excellent SQ & lots of storage

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am trying to find a good  DAP with the emphasis on audio quality and storage size and a secondary consideration of an easy to use UI preferably with playlists. I always listen with good headphones/earbuds or some high quality speakers & I have my files in either 320k mp3 or FLAC. I've considered the Sony Walkman F series because it has Android 4+ which means it should be able to use apps that would allow me to access my Seagate GoFlex Satellite 500 gb drive (it has a wifi signal & an android app). But I was also looking at the Sony Xperia S tablet since it can directly add storage via a SDHC card which means I don't have to worry about the sometimes touchy GoFlex interface. But I can't get any actual info about the audio quality difference between the two. Can someone comment on the audio quality between the 2 Sony's or would you recommend something else entirely, based on my requirements for SQ & storage? Oh, and I am also concerned about the reliability of the product. I've had somewhat spotty results with the hard-drive version of the Archos 80 G9, which is erratic & probably going to die soon , the Zune 120GB died, and the Cowon X7 160GB died. I have a Cowon O2 which has decent SQ & can be expanded with a properly reformatted 128 SDXC, but the Cowon UI is notably lacking with no playlists. I'm still using the Zune HD 64gb  & actually prefer the SQ somewhat over the Cowon, but am frustrated by the lack of expandability and it can't play Flac files.  Flac isn't a deal-breaker since to my ears a 320 mp3 sounds really good when played on a good DAC and good earphones. Flac can't overcome poor quality in the audio equipment, IMHO. Lastly, I do have a Fiio E17 usb DAC which could be used to augment the player if it's compatible. But I don't like to use the 'USB Recorder PRO' app that only plays FLAC because some of my music is only available in mp3...Sorry for the overload of info but I have a rather specific situation and I just haven't been able to find an answer on my own. Any help would be greatly appreciated. ps. I don't want any apple products as I don't like itunes. I already have a huge library of music & don't want to deal with that.

Edited by nieta98 - 3/27/13 at 11:53am
post #2 of 5

Well you'll like this but how about a 240 gig hard drive ipod classic from ebay (or do it yourself!).  Now I know you don't like itunes (and hey who does!) but these can now be rockboxed which means it's drag and drop and can play flac etc.


Or you can get a cheapish ipod (must be 5th gen and up, info here :- http://www.tarkan.info/20080115/tutorials/iflash-ipod-compact-flash-mk2)from the bay and get an adapter and use the sdxc card you already have.


Lastly if you are feeling brave you can get a 5.5 ipod (I know, I know but these seem the best/easiest to mod) and stick a 256 gig msata drive in it instead.  Downside to this is you must use itunes with it as rockbox doesn't seem to play nice with it.  With the line out dock you should get some decent sounds with the fiio as well.



post #3 of 5

AK100 is 160 gb cap size I think?

64+64+32 should be good for you

post #4 of 5

Hi nieta98 and welcome to the forum. Unfortunately what you are asking for is very rare. There are very few players on the market that combine large capacity and excellent sound quality. Usually it's llow capacity flash based storage combined with high grade electronics or large capacity (usually HDD) combined with lower grade electronics. Examples of the former are HiFiman HM601 the latter iPod Classic 7th Gen. You can modify players to accept larger HDD or SSDs (Apple's iPod Video) or utilize microSD cards. MicroSD cards sometimes involve compromises like sound quality may be slightly degraded or contents of the card may not be incorporated in the music library, you might lose the card or it becomes defective. Retrias' Astell & Kern AK100 is a very expensive player and you would need to also purchase 2 64GB microSD cards. It should have superb sound quality for over the ear headphones with its 10 hour battery duration. The only thing worse you could wish for in todays market is excellent sound quality, large storage capacity (256GB) and over 100 hours battery duration. Don't hold your breath for one of these players.

post #5 of 5

If youre looking for a one box solution, I would recommend the RWAK100 DAP with 2x 64gb cards. It will come out to approx 160gb in total, with a high quality player. Otherwise, youre looking at using an Ebay 240gb modded Ipod 7g and rockboxing it, and having an external amp connected via LOD.

Edited by brunk - 3/30/13 at 8:21am
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