I've just come back from Munich where I spent some time with the A&K DAPs, they are nice sounding. But. I went to Munich to meet up with a dac designer, who is going to release a dual-diff ESS 32 bit dac, with class A output stage, hi-res async USB, optical/AES/spdif inputs and clock locked optical transport link, DSD input, rca and xlr out, hi-res OLED display, remote control, full pre-amp functionality and a whole host of sweet interoperability functions with their upcoming amps- they will want 450 euros for this little 10x10" anodised masterpiece.
The A&K 120 price point is in la-la land. I don't care how good it sounds, the MSRP is hovering around 10x the cost of manufacture and that is scandalous.
That DAP sounds potentially wonderful and for a wonderful price. Still not exactly cheap, but it sounds very much like it may actually justify it's price.
Totally, 100% agree with you about AK120 scandalous pricing.
The parts in the AK120 in no way represent the price being asked. It is an insult to those that don't realize how little the parts cost. I am sure it will sell and even if its sound is excellent, that does not warrant the very exaggerated price. I could see 799 for the AK120 and 599 for the AK100. There will be some daps from China that will sound very fine and cost less with the same and better parts quality. It isn't just that China can produce for less money but also a more down to earth hard costs to mark-up ratio.