I am not going to dwell on the DX50 "CODECgate" but I do want to quickly report on the subjective conclusions of my experimenting last week. In particular, I owe a shoutout to GoldfishX as I butted heads with him on this but my view has changed.
I spent all last week going back and forth between 1.2.2 and 1.2.7 with some detours to other firmware versions. The end result (for now) is that I am listening to... 1.2.6. I find it to have the most natural rendering of the soundstage, both to my preference and also in similarity to other DAC sources. To the extent that a CODEC can be deemed correct, I find 1.2.6 to be the one. (Note that I am listening to Lame 320kbps CBR MP3s; it is possible that different conclusions would be reached for other CODECs.) Overall I am finding, again subjectively, that this translates into the best SQ to my ears from 1.2.6.
So I am crossfade guy for now and I can live with that. It is a bit annoying how it cuts the last 5 seconds from the last song an an album but this is life.
To be clear, my DX50 > Pico Power > Heaven VI is sounding spectacular. My enthusiasm is renewed every time that I plug in. Neither 1.2.2 nor 1.2.7 was giving me this level of satisfaction and so it is 1.2.6 and music bliss for me.
As I said I will not dwell on this issue. I do hope though that iBasso will adopt mature CODECs for future firmware releases rather than the random variations of the experimental daily updates that they are apparently using. That would just be good practice, both to benefit its loyal customers and also for the DX50's positioning in a competitive DAP market. It would also mean that I could look forward to getting my gapless playback back.
Edited by cooperpwc - 1/13/14 at 3:03am