My AK120 arrived at about 11am today. I have to say that the overriding impression with this little device is one of real quality. Coming from an HM-801 and DX100 I could scarcely believe how petite it is. Although I'd prepared myself for this, I didn't really believe that the tiny little box the post-lady was holding could accommodate the AK120 box I'd seen on the internet about a thousand times; I thought it was something my wife must have ordered!
I know it cost shed-loads of money but from the point-of-view of ergonomics, aesthetics and desirability, it's everything I hoped it would be.
I had copied a whole load of flac 16/44.1s and some 24/96s to a micro sd card so I could do a quick comparison with the DX100. But the thing is, the sound is slightly different so on one track I'd start thinking, "oh no, what have I done" and then I'd think, "actually, that sounds lovely"! The long and short is that I have absolutely no regrets. I've hardly taken out my Miracles all day (apart from the odd conference call - work is such an intrusion to serious listening!). I did find the bass rather lean at first but honestly, within an hour it had filled out nicely, and now is very balanced. I am really enjoying the sound. It's detailed, spacious and very smooth (un-fatiguing).
I think it's really amazing that something so small can produce such lovely sound. I tried the line-out in my car earlier and was impressed; the DX100 line-out has always been a disappointment to me. Certainly the HM-801 was much better than the DX100.
Anyway, I need to focus on listening to ELP's Tarkus now. If you've never heard of that then I envy your youth.
Thank you all for your valuable comments on this super little machine, and helping me decide to spend a fortune! (anyone want to buy an 801 and/or DX100? :-)
Congratz! You would appreciate the size and UI even more as you continue to use it on a daily basis. It cost a truckload of money but I have yet to find someone really regretting over its quality.