DAP Challenge Chart (Including 26 Portable Sources, the BIT Opus 1 added. More to come..)
May 15, 2015 at 10:27 AM Post #16 of 165

Zaroff

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  AK120 is still strong. I am auditioning an AK100ii at the moment, it does have some better qualities than AK120, such as transparency and liveliness. On the other hand, AK120 sounds more ''organic'' or ''analogue'' than AK100ii with thicker and blacker notes. And yes, AK120 is very user friendly. :)

 
I read on various threads that the Lotoo's soundstage is rather narrow; would you say it's narrower than the 120's? Which one of the two has the best low end, in your opinion?
 
May 15, 2015 at 10:51 AM Post #17 of 165

MikePortnoy

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I read on various threads that the Lotoo's soundstage is rather narrow; would you say it's narrower than the 120's? Which one of the two has the best low end, in your opinion?

 
I don't find Lotoo's stage wide. The depth is quite good, but I can say that AK120 has wider one. Despite this, Lotoo has better separation. Low end is similar, but Lotoo seems to have a little better texturing with better resolution. 
 
May 15, 2015 at 10:53 AM Post #18 of 165

Zaroff

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Thanks for the answer :wink: The Lotoo is temping indeed... Dealbreaker for me right now is the absence of gapless; I listen to quite a bit of classical stuff and gaps are nasty. Bummer. Otherwise it's probably one the best DAPs out there atm.
 
May 15, 2015 at 11:27 AM Post #19 of 165

MikePortnoy

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  Thanks for the answer :wink: The Lotoo is temping indeed... Dealbreaker for me right now is the absence of gapless; I listen to quite a bit of classical stuff and gaps are nasty. Bummer. Otherwise it's probably one the best DAPs out there atm.

My pleasure :)
 
Well, if you listen to classical, you may need a wide stage with a good depth. Surely, Lotoo has a quite good tonality despite its narrow stage. 
 
May 15, 2015 at 1:08 PM Post #20 of 165

Mython

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  Thanks for the answer :wink: The Lotoo is temping indeed... Dealbreaker for me right now is the absence of gapless; I listen to quite a bit of classical stuff and gaps are nasty. Bummer. Otherwise it's probably one the best DAPs out there atm.

 
 
It will be interesting to see how much PAW Gold magic transfers down to the PAW 5000. Never going to be the same level of performance, of course, but I'm very curious to know how much makes it into the cheaper model...
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:12 PM Post #21 of 165

Zaroff

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By adding some head-scratching limitations like it won't play higher than 96k, for starters. And DSD64 only. Battery capacity also took a severe hit. Plus amp power is 75mW vs 500.
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:19 PM Post #22 of 165

Mython

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  By adding some head-scratching limitations like it won't play higher than 96k, for starters. And DSD64 only. Battery capacity also took a severe hit. Plus amp power is 75mW vs 500.

 
 
I don't care about DSD.
 
Most of my music is no higher than 96k, and the stuff that is higher than that, I tend to downsample to 96 or 88.2, etc., anyway.
 
 
Battery capacity hit is a shame, I admit.
 
Amp power... well, I would definitely like to see more than 75mw available, for real clout on music peaks, but it's not as absurd as Sony's ZX1/ZX2 (15mw)
 
 
So, yeah, definite compromises, but it does have a digital-out, unlike it's much more expensive bigger brother.
 
 
And there's also the Questyle QP1 and the Soundaware Esther about to hit the market, too...
 
May 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM Post #23 of 165

Zaroff

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Very interested in the Questyle QP1R too, I've tried to hound it down but so far, no luck. I don't think it's out anywhere yet, despite Questyle's claims that yesterday was the European launch.
 
May 15, 2015 at 5:35 PM Post #26 of 165

Mython

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Hey, don't forget Soundaware's Esther
wink_face.gif

 
 
But yeah, happy times in the world of DAP audiophilia, huh?
bigsmile_face.gif

 
May 15, 2015 at 5:39 PM Post #27 of 165

Mython

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What I also find nice about some of the forthcoming DAPs is that finally, we are beginning to see some makers taking the issue of size and weight seriously. Although they definitely weren't the first, I personally credit iBasso's DX50/90 for helping get the ball rolling in the circa $500 and under arena of fairly-compact/fairly-light audiophile DAPs. The Esther definitely appears to have drawn some inspiration from the DX90, in terms of size, weight, and even price. I posted this size-comparison chart, a while back, in another thread, and I think I'll update it soon, with some extra DAPs:
 
 

 
May 19, 2015 at 10:44 PM Post #30 of 165

xKazelynn

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Would like a few suggestions from headfiers regarding an upgrade for my dap. Currently using ak120, looking at any recommendations. Im looking at hm901, zx2, msak120 mod or lotoo paw gold. Interested at how the esther sounds as well. Dun listen to 24bit, dsd. Importance lies in sq/batt than ui
 

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