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Review: Spiral Ear SE 5-way Reference - A new level of resolution? (Review posted 5/15/12) - Page 113

post #1681 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post
 

 

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.  

 

Is it called RWAk120? I thought that model was with the impedance mod? I haven't been able to compare directly as it is the same unit lol. But from memory there is no comparison. I could amp the stock unit with the Triad and amp the AK120 S mod with the lesser T1 amp and the S mod would still beat it out hands down. The sound is extremely refined. Just effortless its not even funny :P. Also hearing frequencies on some of my songs that I've never heard before (super high treble). Hearing the decay in the treble is also really sick. It just sticks out in such a good way :). Definitely desktop quality music IMO on a portable which shouldn't be the case but it is :P.


Edited by lee730 - 12/8/13 at 3:25pm
post #1682 of 2011

What about using the stock AK120 with the SE 5-Way. Does the output impedance alter the soundquality in any way ? Grzegorz told me that it works ver< well but it would still be better to hear it from one of you guys. Im going for the RWAK120-S when I run out of warranty next year. 

Thanks in advance.

post #1683 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

What about using the stock AK120 with the SE 5-Way. Does the output impedance alter the soundquality in any way ? Grzegorz told me that it works ver< well but it would still be better to hear it from one of you guys. Im going for the RWAK120-S when I run out of warranty next year. 

Thanks in advance.

 

It shouldn't. The AK120 is only 3 ohms and the SE5 has like 130 impedance. I had no issues with it nor did I have any issues on my Rocoo BA.


Edited by lee730 - 12/8/13 at 3:34pm
post #1684 of 2011

Thank you! 

 

Reading through this thread a couple of days ago I still can imagine that someone said the SE 5-way's impedance drops to 20ohm in some area. Or maybe I'm wrong ?!

post #1685 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

Thank you! 

 

Reading through this thread a couple of days ago I still can imagine that someone said the SE 5-way's impedance drops to 20ohm in some area. Or maybe I'm wrong ?!

 

I don't know? I never had an issue with the SE5 from what I could tell though. Although I did definitely prefer using my SE5 from my Triad and LX rig. I haven't tried them yet out of the S mod. I've been bumping the 1Plus2 since getting the mod.

post #1686 of 2011

I prefer using amps too but it is also comfortable using the ak120 without any amp because of the size. It fits great in your pocket. I don't really like carrying around a whole rig when I am on the train. Airplane is something else :)

post #1687 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post
 

I prefer using amps too but it is also comfortable using the ak120 without any amp because of the size. It fits great in your pocket. I don't really like carrying around a whole rig when I am on the train. Airplane is something else :)


True but I went for the S mod based on its pure performance vs convenience. I have the Rocoo BA for convenience and sound in one. :)

post #1688 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

Is it called RWAk120? I thought that model was with the impedance mod? I haven't been able to compare directly as it is the same unit lol. But from memory there is no comparison. I could amp the stock unit with the Triad and amp the AK120 S mod with the lesser T1 amp and the S mod would still beat it out hands down. The sound is extremely refined. Just effortless its not even funny :P. Also hearing frequencies on some of my songs that I've never heard before (super high treble). Hearing the decay in the treble is also really sick. It just sticks out in such a good way :). Definitely desktop quality music IMO on a portable which shouldn't be the case but it is :P.

 We're talking about the same mod......the S mod known as the RWAK120-S has the replacement dac chips.  Couldn't agree with you more that it smokes every other portable source currently known to mankind.  Just can't imagine something coming along better, although i've said that before....so only time will tell.

post #1689 of 2011
Ak120 is to my ears definitely not the best pairing with the SE5...not bad at all, but not great for a 3k rig.
post #1690 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Ak120 is to my ears definitely not the best pairing with the SE5...not bad at all, but not great for a 3k rig.


I can't disagree there. Personally I like the Rocoo BA pairing better on the SE5 than the stock AK120. But I haven't tried the S mod yet. That might change everything. Probably will to be honest. I'll give them a try later and report back on it.

post #1691 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post
 

 We're talking about the same mod......the S mod known as the RWAK120-S has the replacement dac chips.  Couldn't agree with you more that it smokes every other portable source currently known to mankind.  Just can't imagine something coming along better, although i've said that before....so only time will tell.


Gotcha. Just the term was confusing. When you said RWAK120 it also means an AK120 with the impedance lowered to less than 1 ohm.

 

RWAK120

The RWAK120 is a modified version of the Astell & Kern AK120 digital audio player (DAP)

We achieve this by:

  • Bypassing the 3.3 ohm resistors in the headphone output stage, which results in a < 1-ohm output impedance that can drive IEMs and headphones whose impedance is as low as 8-ohms
  • Hardwiring the headphone output stage FETs directly to the pins of the headphone output jack to provide the shortest, cleanest signal path. This also bypasses the tiny circuit board traces and the header that connects the main board to the smaller headphone jack board.

The result is a very portable (smaller and lighter than an iPod) DAP that now has a clean, low-impedance headphone output stage. The RWAK120 can drive IEMs with ease, as well as most full-sized headphones to more-than-adequate volume levels. The RWAK120 unravels layers and layers of detail and nuances from your music, and is free of any audible background noise.


Edited by lee730 - 12/8/13 at 8:41pm
post #1692 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Ak120 is to my ears definitely not the best pairing with the SE5...not bad at all, but not great for a 3k rig.

 

Why didn't you like it? Is there any specific reason, maybe to dark ?

post #1693 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 


Gotcha. Just the term was confusing. When you said RWAK120 it also means an AK120 with the impedance lowered to less than 1 ohm.

 

RWAK120

The RWAK120 is a modified version of the Astell & Kern AK120 digital audio player (DAP)

We achieve this by:

  • Bypassing the 3.3 ohm resistors in the headphone output stage, which results in a < 1-ohm output impedance that can drive IEMs and headphones whose impedance is as low as 8-ohms
  • Hardwiring the headphone output stage FETs directly to the pins of the headphone output jack to provide the shortest, cleanest signal path. This also bypasses the tiny circuit board traces and the header that connects the main board to the smaller headphone jack board.

The result is a very portable (smaller and lighter than an iPod) DAP that now has a clean, low-impedance headphone output stage. The RWAK120 can drive IEMs with ease, as well as most full-sized headphones to more-than-adequate volume levels. The RWAK120 unravels layers and layers of detail and nuances from your music, and is free of any audible background noise.

you got it.   the rwak120 is the impedance mod....the rwak120s swaps out the dacs.....the rwak120b is balanced.   Personally, i agree with you that if you want amp flexibility and your ok with single ended, the S is the way to go.  But boy would i like to compare the S mod to the B mod.

post #1694 of 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post

Why didn't you like it? Is there any specific reason, maybe to dark ?
I felt it sounded better with other DAPs, the Tera or the 901 for instance. I thought it matter of power, but the Tera is powerful like a baby faery, so I doubt it. It feels like the AK120 does not drive the SE5 with authority...the notes attack and decay felt...lazy.
post #1695 of 2011

I've had my Fusion IEM cable for about 3 weeks now and I'm really happy with the purchase. This thing improves upon what I feel already is one of the best CIEMs around. Quite flexible and very ergonomic. 

 

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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)