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Best Portable Source

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am interested in music, not interested in gear.  I got a couple of Ipod

classics--one 5th, one 6th gen--an RS P51, and Westone 3 (replace with 4R,

at some point) and forgot about it.  This arrangement sounded good enough that

the equipment didn't get in the way of the music, so I was happy.  

 

But I suspect a lot has happened.  I know about the Centrance dac, and the 

competitor or two it has.  I know there are some new highend players, but don't know 

anything about them.

 

At any rate, it may be time for me to make a move.  It would be excellent to have

a one small box solution.  I use uncompressed files, so I need something that has

large capacity, but I would consider configurations of whatever kind, as long it is

of a size that can be conveniently carried (I walk a lot).  What's out there? As

far as I am concerned, good musical gear should be good for all music.  So

neutral is good.  

 

I am not one to spend a lot of money just for the sake of spending it.  It has

been my experience (being in audio for a long time) that the most expensive

gear is not always the best.

   Thank, Don

post #2 of 9

I don't think you'll find consensus about the "best" portable source. There are certainly some goodies to choose from at the moment. I use an IBasso DX-100 with a 128GB micro SD card and am not convinced there is anything significantly better in the sound quality department. Their DX90 is being well received and will take a 128GB micro SD card which gives a decent amount of storage but if that's not enough then the FIIO X5 is also very well regarded and has two micro sd slots.

 

Astell and Kern AK120 titan has two micro sd slots and 128gb on board but is a fair bit pricier and then there's the AK240, if you've got a lot of spare cash to spend...

 

Just around the corner there's the Calyx M which could well be very good, but it's not out in the real world just yet.

 

There are threads for all of the above.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

dc-k:

 

Thanks.  I was expecting concensus, I guess, but wanted to hear all of the answers.  As I said, I don't pay much attention to gear.  I had never heard of the possibilities you mentioned. So you give me a lot to investigate. 

 

My current rig serves me well, but I listen a lot almost daily, so the components, especially the Ipods, have many hours on them.  The batteries have been replaced and are needing to be again. 

 

If there are other thoughts out there I would be happy to hear them. I have system with a Berkeley Alpha DAC, a Leben CS-300, and Rosinante Signature speakers, but the portable rig gets more hours.

post #4 of 9

I'm working on getting my first high end portable DAC now that I take the train to work everyday.  The real questions are...

 

1.) How much do you want to spend

2.) How big of a library do you need to carry around

3.) Based on the answer to 2, how critical is the interface for navigating your library to you

 

There are a bunch of options, none of which seem to really be all that great.  Yesterday I narrowed my search down to the iBasso DX90 and the AK100mk2, but today I'm thinking I may just buy the AK120.  I want a lot of storage and don't want to mess with changing cards, and I need to be able to navigate the library easily.  I really really really don't want to pay AK120 money, but I have the feeling that if I don't get enough storage I will never use the player.  The AK240 would be ideal, but its just such an incredibly huge ripoff I would never pay for it, even if I did have 2400 to spend on a portable dap.


Edited by endus - 4/11/14 at 6:24am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by endus View Post
 

I'm working on getting my first high end portable DAC now that I take the train to work everyday.  The real questions are...

 

1.) How much do you want to spend

2.) How big of a library do you need to carry around

3.) Based on the answer to 2, how critical is the interface for navigating your library to you

 

There are a bunch of options, none of which seem to really be all that great.  Yesterday I narrowed my search down to the iBasso DX90 and the AK100mk2, but today I'm thinking I may just buy the AK120.  I want a lot of storage and don't want to mess with changing cards, and I need to be able to navigate the library easily.  I really really really don't want to pay AK120 money, but I have the feeling that if I don't get enough storage I will never use the player.  The AK240 would be ideal, but its just such an incredibly huge ripoff I would never pay for it, even if I did have 2400 to spend on a portable dap.

If storage is that important go AK120 titan

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Endus--

Thanks...

 

I have 1.4 terrabytes of aiff files ripped from CDs, so what I have on the portable

rig is a selection.  I have had an 80gb and two 160gb Ipods, load them with aiff

files, shuffle them.  I probably couldn't tell much difference if they were Apple lossless, but I can

definitely tell the difference on my big system, so I would have to store them in

two formats. I usually change Ipods when the one I am using runs out of battery.  

 

And the sound is quite usable, with the RS P51 amp.  Of course, it doesn't sound

like the Leben CS300 with HD800, but it lets the music come through, barely perhaps

but adequately. A little more space and resolution would be welcome.

 

I could spend $2400 on a dap and would if I were convinced, but if there is something

that is almost as good at half the price or less I wouldn't be embarassed to go cheap.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
 

Endus--

Thanks...

 

I have 1.4 terrabytes of aiff files ripped from CDs, so what I have on the portable

rig is a selection.  I have had an 80gb and two 160gb Ipods, load them with aiff

files, shuffle them.  I probably couldn't tell much difference if they were Apple lossless, but I can

definitely tell the difference on my big system, so I would have to store them in

two formats. I usually change Ipods when the one I am using runs out of battery.  

 

And the sound is quite usable, with the RS P51 amp.  Of course, it doesn't sound

like the Leben CS300 with HD800, but it lets the music come through, barely perhaps

but adequately. A little more space and resolution would be welcome.

 

I could spend $2400 on a dap and would if I were convinced, but if there is something

that is almost as good at half the price or less I wouldn't be embarassed to go cheap.

OK, the only way you'll get close to 1.4TB is to go for a device that can handle USB OTG and get youself a large capacity usb stick. 1TB sticks are available, but they're not cheap and I don't know anyone who has run one from a DAP yet, but that, with 128gb micro sd and some on board storage would get you pretty close...

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have been happy enough shuffling parts of the collection on and off the Ipods.

 

I would take 9 months, listening 8 hourse a day to get through all of it, and, there

is a good part of it I haven't litened to in years. 

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstraction View Post
 

I have been happy enough shuffling parts of the collection on and off the Ipods.

 

I would take 9 months, listening 8 hourse a day to get through all of it, and, there

is a good part of it I haven't litened to in years. 

in that case the titan should be fine, it'll do you 384 gb at a time with two cards on board...

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