It is now 2017 and I am still using Fuzes as my mp3 players. Most of my use is audiobooks, but I also use them for music. I can easily use one for 6 to 8 hours in a day. As a former studio guitarist and mid-level recording engineer, I have developed too good an ear, unfortunately, for most music reproduction devices. I have tested my Fuzes against the most expensive iPods using $2,000+ studio reference headphones through a studio DSP/headphone amplifier, and none of the iPods comes close to the Fuze in overall sound quality to my ear. The Fuze is so popular that on eBay, a brand new Fuze still in its packaging can bring between $300 and $800 dollars. The only better mp3 players I’ve seen are upwards of $2,000 to $3,000 new. I bought a bunch of Fuzes as backups when you discontinued the model and have found 3 excellent used ones since (even a used one often goes for $125 or higher). I’m on my third original one now with only 2 left after this (due mostly to battery fade after a number of years and an annoying headphone jack that loosens up internally and will intermittently drop the left track - fixable, usually, but very delicate work to do it correctly). In a pinch, I can get one of the discarded ones back into working order. The White Screens and skewed displays have been no problem - easy to fix and rare.
I have used Sansas starting with several of the e-series, the View (a real letdown), the Clip+ (pretty good if it had more battery power & worked correctly with .pla playlists, which for some reason it still will give me a context menu option to create, even if it then ignores them), The other Clip models I’ve tried weren’t as good), and, of course, my hoard of Fuzes. I tried a Fuze+, but it’s touchscreen was a pain - too easy to tell it to do something you don’t want it to do while digging it out of a pocket). I returned it within a week.
Would it be too much to ask to see if you have any left-over unused Fuzes somewhere in your storeroom and make them available for sale? Heck, with such a winner (based on a new Fuze’s current sales value) I’m kind of surprized you ever let it get away. It’s by far the best one you’ve made.
You can buy old Sansa Fuzes from Ebay for around $50 dollars. You can also buy an iPod Nano 3rd generation, which looks like a chubby fuze, for around $30 dollars (4 & 8b), but it lacks an micro sd slot.
My Fuze’s audio jack finally died completely, and I stumbled on the iPod Nano 3rd gen and got one this week. I still want to get another fuze.
As a former studio guitarist for Western Cine Studios, which records, among other things, Hollywood movie scores, I’ve had a chance to learn recording engineering & to develop my ear to a higher degree than is good for me (when I did, I found I could no longer stand to listen to my beloved stereo system, and had to upgrade to custom components modified for me by the studio’s technical engineer. I’ve compared the music quality of the Fuze against all of the iPods, including the Nano, using multi-thousand dollar studio reference headphones through a headphone digital signal processor, and, while I have found several $1,000+ mp3 players that can match & even exceed the Fuze, no iPod has come close (Apple seems unable to get the bass correct & you always have to use artificial bass boost to make them even palatable). The earphone jack is the acknowledged weak spot on Fuzes, and after much use, you will see one channel begin to drop out intermittently until it finally disappears. Careful opening of the case & using delicate tools like medical mosquito clamps & probes, you can delicately squeeze the contact for the dropped channel back in place & restore the Fuze. I’ve done this on a number of Fuzes. As to cheap eBay prices, they are usually for used or refurbished Fuzes. I’ve seen Fuzes in original blister packs go on eBay for as low as $125 if you are lucky, but usually a pristine new one can fetch between $299.00 and $799.00. True audiophiles with well-trained ears (and enough money not to worry about the price) will still pay 15 times the cost of the original to get a new one.
I always say that, when you can’t tell the difference between the system you are listening to and the more expensive ones, you have found the right level. If the iPod satisfies you, it is a keeper. But, as long as the next higher level is noticeably better to my own ear, I will always buy up. I also am crazy when it comes to headphones, using a BeyerDynamic 550 for rock & blues, and a 990 for jazz & classical. I also have a top-of-the-line Senheiser I got from the studio and two pairs of Boze noise cancellers (one with full ear cuff and one using earbuds). For those looking for a (comparitively) inexpensive set of reference-quality earbuds (wired) the Etymotic ER4XR, ER4SR, or ER3XR (From $310 to under $200.00).