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how would this one compare to the hifiman HM901s Portable Player? .. im not a huge fan of gold >.< ...never got gold fever >.<
I have the 901s. Very nice player with swappable amp cards. The gold and balanced cards are great! The player has plenty of power for pretty much any headphone and the sound is rich and deep. No EQ (too bad) but in balanced mode, it sounds great with SENN HD800, Audeze LCD-x and XC. It sounds a bit darker with more deep headphones like LCD-3 but still nice. Sound with neutral phones if great. Still pricy at $1500. Battery life is a bit low (about 5 hrs) when driving full size phones like the Audezes. With IEM's about 7hrs. This is with the higher output cards mentioned above. Compared to Lotto Paw, I would say the sound is overall smoother and forward.
Regardless, all these new players are getting out of control with the pricing as are the new audiophile headphones. We are all being taken for a ride as the prices will keep going up as long as people are crazy enough to pay them (including myself). No more of that. It just has gotten way out of hand. If you want a nice player in the $800-900 range, the Cowon Plenue P1 is a great DAP. Awesome sound (with Jet Effect) and a really good screen and UI. I like it better than the HiFiman 901s and the Lotoo Paw Gold. Truly a well done bang for the buck player. Drives pretty much all headphones and has better battery life. There are some new one in the sub $1K coming out like Questyle QPR1 and Luxury and Precision L5 Pro. Both sound very promising. Still some UI work to be done but they are getting there. My L5 Pro arrives next week!
If the parametric eq is truly user-settable for center freq., 'Q', and volume, for at least 6 frequencies at once, it would pay for itself.