Glad my attempt at humor was a success...so.... am I to understand you're a skinny runt like I am? I'm still that way, after 68 years on Earth (this time around, mind you) and my vegan ways help me stay very fit, too! Ah, you went to the LA meet, was it this just last one that happened? I wanted to go, but even though I am pretty close to LA (San Diego), I couldn't make it. Is that the HTC phone you mean by M8? Top tier for AK would be the 240. Even that? Did you get a chance to hear that one?
So, even a McIntosh, huh? That's pretty good. I was into tubes back in my Boston days, owning Jadis tube Monoblocks and premamp with Duntech Marquises and a Basis turntable, very expensive stuff from my cab driving days, but now I am very happy with portable magnificence, actually happier. Well, I am in general a much happier person tha n I was then. My favorite album at that time though was a budget label Turnabout recording, believe it or not, for the most air, best performance, that being with Donald Johanos and the Dallas Symphony!!! of all things.Playing Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. It actually made this man, me.... cry, yes. That's what classical music can do to you, right, skinny? But the engineering of the recording was so .... THERE! I wonder what that particular recording would sound like as a cd rather than vinyl on an X5, lol!
By M8, I meant CEntrance M8, a fairly new transportable DAC/AMP with MFI certification. I am, unfortunately, saddled with an iPhone 5 until September--the new HTC One does look to be a killer phone!
Though I seriously considered purchasing an AK240 at the $500 off meet price before I actually listened to it, such thoughts evaporated as soon as I was able to sneak an X5 over for comparison (well, I didn't need to sneak it from TekFX, but I did need to make sure that the AK rep didn't see me comparing the two). With the HD800, it was a complete toss-up. Neither had enough juice to make it sing, and I couldn't tell apart detail levels or soundstage. Both did have the muscle to push around my T70, but...uh...due to...let's say...uh..."meet conditions," I couldn't give either player a plus in any way. It was only when I used Noble Audio's flagship universal that I was able to hear the AK240's barely deeper soundstage.
Like any other human who indulges his depression with...depressing music, I always find myself crying, or, at the very least, tearing by the end of the fifth movement (Adagio) of Mahler's symphony #5.