I definitely prefer the WM8741 to a CS4398 - I can't think of any reason why they went with CS4398 except to get better battery life, and lower cost. CS4398 is less power hungry and cheaper, but I'll take WM8741 any day of the week! Or an AKM4396 dac....
They could have also done native DSD with the WM8741, and could of ran the WM8741 in software mode to allow the user to change the digital filters via the screen menus (e.g. Linear phase filter, minimal phase filter). That would have been so sweet.
For the $2400 asking price (that is what I read on DAR's Facebook page), I would have loved to also see:
-- The enclosure more useful in terms of fitting a bigger battery to get better play time
-- More onboard storage (256GB is good, but 2 x 256GB on board would make me drool!)
-- Fitting an analog volume control instead of a digital one like they've been doing.
-- A design focused on sound that could beat out many DAP + headphone amp combos and drive almost any headphone out there (with low, med, and high gain settings).
-- The AK100/AK120 screen size is fine. Save the space for a kick ass headphone stage!
Hopefully it sounds excellent and better than any other DAP since it will top them all on price. I wish them all the best with it as they have been pushing the envelope with DAPs and I'm sure it has been a lot of hard work in doing so, and frustrating and rewarding at the same time. I'm looking forward to listening to one, but I won't be at CES unfortunately.
I'm with you on this Vinnie. I have yet to hear a Cirrus DAC that I like the sound of. Wolfson to my ears always seems more musical where as the Cirrus HiFi, a bit too bright for my tastes. However, its how its implemented that matters most.
As for native DSD, well, I am preferring my non DSD files in my AK120 and they take up less room, its nice to have the capability to play them back but my ears have yet to experience the Ah Ha moment with DSD as they have with 24/192.
As to looks, heck, if it is a substantial improvement over the AK120 ( and to my ears that is going to take some doing) then I could not care less about the looks, likewise the memory. What I have now with 2 32G cards is more than enough as it is so easy to transfer albums.
I have not read through the whole thread yet as to what price it will be if we know yet but my bet is 2K.