Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12) - Page 112

post #1666 of 2012

Just got the AK120 S-mod back in and I can easily say it kills any DAP I've heard including the DX100 amped. This is out of the T1 amp. Extremely good. I can even say it is up there with my Desktop rig and this is just on the T1 amp. It will get even better I can tell with a better amp. Extremely happy with this purchase. I'm set for portables.

post #1667 of 2012

Lee you put the RWAK120-B mod onto your AK120?

http://redwineaudio.com/mods/rwak120-s

post #1668 of 2012

No I went for the S mod as I wanted a better single ended termination on the side vs a balanced output. If I opted for a balanced output it would have limited the sound quality I could have gotten vs the S mod based on the balanced amps available. Basically when you move up the chain there are much better single ended amps available than the balanced amps. So it was only natural for me to go the route where I can potentially get the most out of the AK120 S mod vs being limited by the amp I have. I can always upgrade my single ended amps later, not so much options with balanced.  Eventually I think I'll opt for a ASP TU-05 amp :).


Edited by lee730 - 12/6/13 at 2:17am
post #1669 of 2012
So right now, what amp are you getting?
post #1670 of 2012

UHA760 from Leckerton. Will see how that pairs. I can use the Triad at home with it if I want to take it further. But so far on the T1 I am more impressed than I thought I'd be. lol I've never heard a portable sound anywhere near this good before....

post #1671 of 2012

So Lee you are using the RWAK120-S mod? Now, am I correct that the AK120 and the (forthcoming) UHA760, you mainly use them just as a DAC, bypassing their built-in amps and instead they have a line-out that you run into your T1 amp? You just need a DX100 and a Sony ZX1 and you can compare them...

post #1672 of 2012
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing Lee...the gear seems very interesting and I would love to try it.  But, at this time I won't kid myself (or anyone else) since I have limited time and a large review backlog I NEED to take care of) and will have to watch and admire from the sideline.

post #1673 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post
 

So Lee you are using the RWAK120-S mod? Now, am I correct that the AK120 and the (forthcoming) UHA760, you mainly use them just as a DAC, bypassing their built-in amps and instead they have a line-out that you run into your T1 amp? You just need a DX100 and a Sony ZX1 and you can compare them...

 

Yes the AK120-S mod bypasses the amp section and they replaced the original DAC chips for the upgraded ones (forgot the exact number but its 1 number above the original chips). This particular chip has better features and does noticeably improve upon the sound including how Vinnie implemented the mod. He replaces the volume knob with a high quality line out and you can also use the top HO as a LO as well but it won't sound as good as the one he puts on the side. Thus for my reasoning of opting for the S mod over the B-mod. The DX100 honestly isn't comparable IMO. I owned one for over a year and can tell you now totally different levels. Not to say the DX100 ain't good because it is. But not worthy of desktop rig status still. The UHA760 does give you the option to use its upsampling DAC or you can just use its amp section (to my knowledge). I'll try both out and see what I like more. Most likely will just use its amp section and the cross feed and gain features. Has 2 settings for crossfeed and low, med and hig gain. It also has a digital potentiometer for low level listening without channel imbalance and improved power management for better sound than the UHA6.


Edited by lee730 - 12/6/13 at 10:30am
post #1674 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by average_joe View Post
 

Thanks for sharing Lee...the gear seems very interesting and I would love to try it.  But, at this time I won't kid myself (or anyone else) since I have limited time and a large review backlog I NEED to take care of) and will have to watch and admire from the sideline.

 

No problem. I was pretty much after an endgame portable. Pretty much I want to stop or at least limit the spending and go for the very best in terms of portable sources. Considering how much money I've wasted on lower gear and reselling it, it does get old after a while (upgraditis). Having this quality of audio on the go is just sick. I'm pretty much over portables at this point. Will look into amps later besides the one I have coming in but not for some time. Maybe will have to update my desktop DAC as well lol.


Edited by lee730 - 12/6/13 at 10:31am
post #1675 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

No problem. I was pretty much after an endgame portable. Pretty much I want to stop or at least limit the spending and go for the very best in terms of portable sources. Considering how much money I've wasted on lower gear and reselling it, it does get old after a while (upgraditis). Having this quality of audio on the go is just sick. I'm pretty much over portables at this point. Will look into amps later besides the one I have coming in but not for some time. Maybe will have to update my desktop DAC as well lol.

 

Without any intent to derail the SE-5 thread, I'll just briefly add to Lee's discussion of the AK120-S as a source, with the following news (with thanks to 'bmichels', over in the NW-ZX1 thread):

 

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.post76.com%2Fwordpress%2F%3Fp%3D43207

 

"AK100 and AK120 he said Sales are very successful, but in the future there will also launch two products, a market just for the low-order bits, .... the other is for a more high-end market, high-end.   ....also a change in appearance  ....  with a larger screen"

 

Can't see any mention in there about a smaller price for the new flagship, though, so I'm hoping that bit was just lost in the Google translation! :evil:

 

 

Also:

 

www.head-fi.org/t/680853/sony-nwz-zx1-35th-walkman-anniversary-model/1455#post_10046944 :

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicday View Post

There will be a AK140,due next year as I have been told in secret by somebody at the London Head first meet..
Will be very impressive but I dont have any other details unfortunately.

 

 

.


Edited by Mython - 12/8/13 at 6:42am
post #1676 of 2012
The new AK flagship will be priced im the same line of crazy prices i.e. around 15.000 HKD, do not remember where I got that, from the AK interview I think. Their new ak120 Titan already costs a testicule.
Edited by Mimouille - 12/6/13 at 3:51pm
post #1677 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

The new AK flagship will be priced im the same line of crazy prices i.e. around 15.000 HKD, do not remember where I got that, from the AK interview I think. Their new ak120 Titan already costs a testicule.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
 

 

Without any intent to derail the SE-5 thread, I'll just briefly add to Lee's discussion of the AK120-S as a source, with the following news (with thanks to 'bmichels', over in the NW-ZX1 thread):

 

 

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.post76.com%2Fwordpress%2F%3Fp%3D43207

 

"AK100 and AK120 he said Sales are very successful, but in the future there will also launch two products, a market just for the low-order bits, .... the other is for a more high-end market, high-end.   ....also a change in appearance  ....  with a larger screen"

 

Can't see any mention in there about a smaller price for the new flagship, though, so I'm hoping that bit was just lost in the Google translation! :evil:

.

 

Double the price and you got it right ;).

post #1678 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

The new AK flagship will be priced im the same line of crazy prices i.e. around 15.000 HKD, do not remember where I got that, from the AK interview I think. Their new ak120 Titan already costs a testicule.

 

In your case that is half a nut ;).

post #1679 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

No I went for the S mod as I wanted a better single ended termination on the side vs a balanced output. If I opted for a balanced output it would have limited the sound quality I could have gotten vs the S mod based on the balanced amps available. Basically when you move up the chain there are much better single ended amps available than the balanced amps. So it was only natural for me to go the route where I can potentially get the most out of the AK120 S mod vs being limited by the amp I have. I can always upgrade my single ended amps later, not so much options with balanced.  Eventually I think I'll opt for a ASP TU-05 amp :).

 

 

Lee....you finally got the S mod.  Congrats.   Needless to say, I'm not surprised you think it's awesome.  For some reason, I just haven't been motivated to play around with amps lately.  Just sounds too good with my SR-71a.  I'll be interested to hear what you think of the TU-05, although it will be a while as I've heard it takes quite a while to get one.

 

Harry

post #1680 of 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

Yes the AK120-S mod bypasses the amp section and they replaced the original DAC chips for the upgraded ones (forgot the exact number but its 1 number above the original chips). This particular chip has better features and does noticeably improve upon the sound including how Vinnie implemented the mod. He replaces the volume knob with a high quality line out and you can also use the top HO as a LO as well but it won't sound as good as the one he puts on the side. Thus for my reasoning of opting for the S mod over the B-mod. The DX100 honestly isn't comparable IMO. I owned one for over a year and can tell you now totally different levels. Not to say the DX100 ain't good because it is. But not worthy of desktop rig status still. The UHA760 does give you the option to use its upsampling DAC or you can just use its amp section (to my knowledge). I'll try both out and see what I like more. Most likely will just use its amp section and the cross feed and gain features. Has 2 settings for crossfeed and low, med and hig gain. It also has a digital potentiometer for low level listening without channel imbalance and improved power management for better sound than the UHA6.

 

Replaces the Wolfson WM8740's with the WM8741's.  This allows them to run in "hardware mode" without digital volume control, and also allows programming into the minimal phase digital filter option.  An audio guru friend of mine told me that his home dac uses the WM8741 and he always sets it into this mode because of its sonic excellence.

 

I never had the chance to directly compare a stock AK120 with the RWAK120s, although I was listening exclusively to the stock AK120 for weeks before getting the mod, and the impact of the mod was immediately apparent to me.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12)