Originally Posted by Nirmalanow
Thanks for the perspective.
Charles own tests show that the Tera rolls off quite a bit in the treble, but not in the bass: http://www.tera-player.com/Tera-Player_RMAA.html I would say that fits with what I hear: the bass is definitely all there, but there is a lack of the highest treble starting at about 6khz and dropping rapidly over 10kHz, so not a lot of high end sizzle. But that might be part of the Tera's charm in that it smooths out the sound and has such a natural organic feeling. I am sure the frequency drop off is not the only source of its unique sound, and of course it depends on the rest of your system how that all works out. Also, the Tera is notoriously hard to pair with the right headphones, and with a lot of headphones it does have a huge drop in the bass, so that may be what you heard. I use it to feed an iCAN amp which prevents the problems with matching the headphone to the Tera.
I used to have the 801 and enjoyed it a lot, so an upgrade on the 801 is a good recommendation. I may have to give the 802 a try given their 30 day return policy. Which amp card did you hear with the 802?
I am not saying he did it on purpose, but I can make a bass roll-off player showing a flat FR curve or even a sub-par powered headphone-out looks really nice on RMAA, if wanted. To me, his RMAA result is, well, inconclusive at best. That's not the right way to use RMAA.
Saying a DAP is notoriously hard to pair with headphones only serves as a warning sign to me. It means something is way off on the hardware. I will expect a DAP with a good design to be "good on most headphone and great on a few", not "great on a few and poor on many". I'll expect at least on the hardware level, a pricy DAP should be competent. It might be good if you already have the right headphone to pair it with, but I have too many headphone to consider a DAP that is so limited.
I listened to HM802 with the AD8397 card and balanced card.