The DX50 doesn't have the greatest depth and separation at this point (could change with next FW update 1.2.2) but what I do like is the overall musical presentation. To me it is very cohesive and fluid. I have to admit that amping is also a lot of fun and can really open things up but I like both. Live music, at least much of what I have heard and that is many different types of music and venues, often never has the detail that you get with a good speaker system or headphone system but to compensate for the lack of everything else in real live music, we get hyper details and separation to make up for this. IMO.
That the DX50 does so very well with an amp goes to show how well the dac section is implemented. I have the AK100 that bypasses the 22 ohm resistors on the output, which for me made the sound of the AK100 a no go but removal easily brought it up a notch or two, and enjoy the sound and while different, I do not find the DX50 any less a dap to the modified AK100 and this at about 1/3 the cost. Build quality as I have mentioned is great on both. I have torn down both units and internally the AK100 has nothing over the DX50.
We are getting so many good daps now. A dry spell for quite some time, IMO, with the last good dap being the iRiver h120/140 and rockboxed but that has all changed. I see that the 120 and 140 that could go for 250 and more is now around 100 to 150 dollars. Good stuff coming down the pike.
Edited by jamato8 - 10/20/13 at 2:27pm