Hi and happy new year.
Sorry if this question is off topic.
I'm trying to figure out if the AK120 I just bought is worth keeping. I previously had an AK100, which I got rid of because at the time (at least compared to this 120) the firmware was laggy and it required amping. I didn't feeling like spending more to mod it because frankly it seemed like throwing good money after bad.
So instead I decided to spend $1300 on this thing. It's markedly better in browsing the database and playing files than my old 100. However, I find it also needs amping. I'm only using a JDS C5D (line in), which I guess makes me unqualified to even be posting on this forum. However, I do think it sounds pretty good and the 1st level bass boost fills in the bottom nicely to my unwashed ears.
To further confess my low stature, I only have a handful of 24/96 FLAC albums. The rest is all 16/44 ALAC CD rips.
I'm comparing it to:
touch5 (Accudio player)->C5D->ER4S
touch5 (Accudio player)->C5D->SE535
I find that in all instances the AK-120->C5D->SE535 is superior in terms of sound stage and a sort of refined warmth.
Ok, so it's better. What I'm wondering is if I'm now amping it anyway (and I no longer have my old AK100 to compare it to), if I can get a similar improvement if I get an AK100 mk2 and save myself $500 in the process. I haven't really seen anyone doing direct comparisons of the 100 mk2 with the 120 (both stock and amped). I don't know what, besides the dual DAC and larger battery is really different about a 100mk2 and 120 when using an external amp.