Sony NW-HD1 Hard Disk MP3 Player

I bought this "gadget" at Xmas. I was going to go for a ipod but thought that Sony have been in the Walkman business for as long as I can remember, so they must have learned to do some things right. Yesterday I got a (semi)better quality interconnect between headphone jack and RCA's. For the heck of it I decided to try it on my system (Lamm driven Wilson Watt-Puppy VI's) and I was really amazed that it sounded almost as good as my Sony 777-ES SACD. The "almost" is due to lack of depth but the width, and the detail were as good if not better. Have any body else experienced the same thing? How can an item cheaper than a (decent) power cord be nearly as good as the stuff for which we need to beg dealers for discounts? Is it because no moving parts? Battery operated? Not as many wires etc? Are there any really good interconnects that go with this (there we go again!)?
I do not own a NW-HD1 but I read that the Sony uses ATRAC3plus compression versus Advanced Audio Coding (aac) which the Ipod uses. Sony developed ATRAC quite a few years ago and perhaps this version sounds better in home audio than other portable formats like MP3 which I think sounds "lacking" outside of a portable device. From my experience with digital audio in general, I found that better sound is always achieved with fewer integrated chips in the digital signal path which results in fewer board traces which can create timing issues when not designed properly. Any IC performing more digital duties on a single chip such as the combination of the digital filter and dac function will produce better playback when all other things are equal (power supply and output stage). For more on formats, take a loot at this article: