I've read what feels like a thousand posts and am still no closer to making a decision due to all the conflicting viewpoints. I don't know of any stockists in the area for DAP products so getting a demo is out of the question.
A long time ago I got my first DAP, an iAudio X5. Loved it, but eventually the battery started to give out. I got a D2 instead, I'll be honest the sound never really 'worked' for me like it did on the X5, no idea what changed. Next I got the X7 when it came out, sound is very similar to the D2.
Percussion just sounds 'muddled', the bass is too weak unless you EQ things and then sounds overdone, I've never really found the sweet spot on it at all.
So over to you guys, I'd love recommendations particularly if anyone is familiar with the various Cowon sounds. I like a wide variety of music but the majority is 70s/80s, my headphones are the Denon AHD-7100 (a free 'upgrade' from the AHA-100s which broke at the cup arms, and sounded better). I'd ideally like something that doesnt take 12 hours to charge for 5 hours use, EQ settings are important since a lot of old recordings frankly have the sound mix wrong (example a few of the older Genesis albums, but the remasters are pretty awful).
My budget is enough for the AK240 but I've seen lots of mixed opinions on that one, I really like my sound to be smooth, perhaps slightly warm - perhaps that's what's missing in the newer Cowons but I'm tired of fiddling with those and never getting the sound I had before.