Originally Posted by Jpfe8851
FIRST up I am one of the IDIOT'S who has purchased an AK100.... And I have not regretted the purchase. And no the apology is not accepted. People should be more considerate of fellow members than to use such language at other members. But given the BS in this thread I am going to break that and join in with my own RANT.
Firstly...Good for you...I'm glad you got that off your chest...Feels good doesn't it?
And if you don't choose to accept the apology...well...you know what you can do right?
Secondly...I saw and still feel that the individual I used such "language" at fully deserved my complete attention. You don't like the "language" used? If you don't like it...well...again...you know what you can do...
I've read right through the 90 pages of this thread before posting... ( I basically said the SAME THING...however it was 70 pages at the time ) I've held off hoping some really objective discussion finally came through... Sadly I have to say this has been the least helpful equipment thread I've read at Head-Fi. Some of you guys have really helped in the past through real world experiences of equipment you own or at least have thoroughly tested PERSONALLY. All these accusations about iRiver "lying" to the public about portability and the AK100 being unusable with IEMs is so exaggerated, that some of you people's credibility is out the door!
iRiver was caught in an engineering nightmare. Marketing and engineering were not on the same page. So be it. You took a gamble and came out on top. That's awesome. However, it very well could have gone the other way...couldn't it? You went with instinct...as there was obviously no hard data at the time.
I can't get over how so many of you have been ready to throw your reputations out the door! (Do you really think any of the hard core posters reputation was ruined by being honest and not being a fanboy of a unit that isn't the item they were told it would be at the time? That's ridiculous, and a bit pompous. Because YOU didn't like that some hard core posters didn't give you what you wanted...their rep's are now at stake...OH BOY...run for the hills...) I won't be able to take some of you seriously in future. (WOW...big loss there...you have enormous balls dude. Get over yourself.) The use of graphs has not been OBJECTIVE at all as it has not been used to support real world listening experiences. It's been mostly subjective opinion and supposition on what one might hear with all (sensitive) IEMs.
Almost all the criticism of this DAP has centred on graphs and charts, based on two IEMs, one of which (TF10) is known to have a V-shape output most likely directly linked to its impedance curve. And the other a well respected pioneer of BA earphones. So the DAP gets blamed for the results of the tests. (um...no. The MANUFACTURER of said DAP gets blamed for getting caught in a marketing mistake) And comparing to the DX100 result is moot. (Why is that?) That's the way it performs with that DAP. So what? Is it unlistenable? It is quite listenable... and I have HEARD it. Perfect? NO. But definitely listenable.
(Perhaps...just perhaps...the issue isn't even about the marketing/engineering thing...but it's about the supposed fact that the DAP needs a mod to work with just about every other IEM out there? And..that wasn't what the DAP was billed or hyped as prior to it's manufacture. Then...when they (the manufacturer) realizes..oh boy...we screwed up...they try to cover it up. THEN...when RWA comes up with a FIX...said manufacturer says...hey...if anyone messes with the unit...you can mess up your IEM's and we're not responsible---which...you KNOW their lawyers insisted they say. The whole mistake thing...everyone can get over...however...paying almost a grand for a unit that needs a mod to work with just about the rest of the audiophile communities IEM's...and then not even acknowledging that they made an error in judgement...or an even bigger error in MARKETING? Ha! I'm glad you're happy...and I seriously hope that everyone loves the unit. I'm even interested in it now...and I wasn't before. However...since YOU have heard it with your own ears I defer to your experience with it...as you have HEARD it...
While I am no expert on audiology, I know a little about hearing since I get my hearing tested annually and know the level of hearing loss I have from optimal. (LOL did you read this to see how it sounds before hitting submit?) And given that the highest note on a piano is about 4kHz, and that the average adult can only hear to about 12kHz with many lower and only a few higher, all the charts that have been produced showing treble roll-off or other variations seem to start at 10kHz and above, with most outside of human hearing range. If some of you had really listened to the device with your ears instead of your eyes you might have had a better perspective on this impedance issue. Do any of you know what other technologies iRiver may be using to give good sound that overcomes the impedance issue. And before any of you repeat any of your previous BS, I've read it to death. No need to go over it again. Move on....
(Interesting bit of specs put out by someone who claims he's no "expert" on audiology...but it sounds a LOT like you drank the KoolAid that iRiver supplied...)
A couple of members who have posted some real time listening experience get shot down by the chartbusters... I am not saying graphs don't have a place in the debate, but surely they should be used to explain why certain real time listening findings have occurred. ( I agree. ) NOT simply to bag an item which is not alone in having a higher output impedance in the market. All this HOOHAA over sensitive IEMs when most of you techno-head boffins have libelled iRiver without any reasonable listening through a range of earphones and headphones is a disgrace! ( Now now...I take offense at being called a techno-head boffin..that's just not nice. I expect more from you...I mean...you didn't like it when I called people names...now did you? LOL)
Although I would like to single one member out in particular because of their rudeness and condescending attitude to most if not all contrary views without a thread of experience with the AK100, ( What? You don't like that I spoke my MIND about a unit that generated 70 pages of fluff at the time? When was I condescending to ANYONE but the individual I was posting TO? Get over yourself already! ) I won't because he's not alone... suffice to say, any of you who've bagged the AK100 without any experience or at best an hour or two's listening in some shop with all that background noise, dubious rips and so on have contributed nothing of value to this thread. ( 5 Yard Penalty for a ridiculously long run on sentence. If you're referring to me...just say it like a man...just do it. LOL ) Bloody hell, 90 pages and I'm still to see a review of an un-modded or even a modded RWA one! Yet anyone in the market for a new DAP who was put off the DX100 by another bunch of baggers is going to find it hard going to select one. ( Now now...again...calling just about every poster here names isn't very nice...and that's what I thought you were all about...being nice...lol) The only device you would reasonably feel confident in is a Clip... at least you won't have blown a bunch of dollars!!!! ( Hmmm...condescending a bit here...aren't we..? )
I posed in another thread my dilemma on choosing a new DAP and when I suggested the AK100 met my criteria and after reading many favourable reviews and even Mike's less than flattering one and had decided to order one on-line, a member who I have seen many valuable posts from suggested I read this thread through before purchasing. Well as I posted there, I had already pulled the plug.
Everything after this is actually very helpful. Thank you. And NO..I am NOT being facetious.
After spending weekend worrying had I blown $700, my unmodded AK100 turned up and I've now spent several days listening to a range of FLAC and 320kbps MP3 tracks, through the headphones and earphones as listed in my signature, all I can say is, this little DAP is terrific. I've used both direct from the 3.5mm jack and also through my E17. I've also used the optical which is a line-out despite the miscellaneous misrepresentations herein, and it's good too. Can't say my IEM's have any boomy bass or roll-off or treble roll-off or any of the forewarned unusable sounds. And there is little difference between amped and unamped. Sure some sound different to my other sources, but all are completely listenable, however I will concede the TF10s are not the best, but then I have moved on from them. I lost a pair a while ago and replaced them. I shouldn't have.
I would like to write a full review on MY experiences with this DAP and may do so after a while longer with it. As I will likely draw nothing but flack from the arm-chair experts lurking this thread I don't feel much inclined to waste my time though.
But for those interested, I do have some observations which I will share:
- My favourite IEMs with the AK100 are my Westone 4Rs. They sound better out of the iRiver than any other source I have (iPhone 5, Rockboxed iPod Classic 80gb are most used previously). Someone asked weeks ago how these sound and I will answer fantastic to me. The clarity, sound signature and stage, lack of sibilance, wonderfully toned bass, deep but clear and no boom, is just how I expected these IEMs should sound. Bear in mind I am using the stock cables with these. Every genre I play, these sound good!
- As I said the TF10s are not so good, but then they don't sound good with my other sources anymore since I've had my Shures and Westones. But those graphs that have been posted support what my ears hear within the limits of human hearing range!
- I have both standard 535s and the special edition (red) ones. The SEs are definitely brighter and both brighter through the AK100 than other sources above. I would say I like their sound less than the W4R with this DAP but like them more with my iPhone and iPod. I guess that is the because the iRiver seems to have more treble with IEMs and may be explained by the high impedance (although at odds with the TF10). However, they can be markedly improved with EQ. Something I don't normally do and don't need to do with the W4Rs. Of course the std 535s are known to have forward mids and the SE 535s, even more forward treble so the results are in keeping with each of these IEMs profile.
- I have also tested the AK100 with a couple headphones. I have a pair of HRH-840s I use for keyboard practice on my Korg PA3x and SK-1 Hammond. I chose this can because it is closed back and rates highly as a neutral headphone. With the AK100, they are wonderful. So natural across all frequencies. Definitely the best sound for this DAP for me. But being closed back, and with our humid and hot climate on Australia's Gold Coast (it's 95F here today), I can't wear them for long which is a shame.
- They sound very good with my Bose QC-15 and although these apparently have only 15ohms at their lower impedance setting (73 at high), they sound just great although not as good as the Shure 840s.
- I love the UI. The volume knob is great. As someone finally reported after about 10 pages of knocking the knob, a full rotation only moves about 12 of 150 graduations so an accidental turn in pocket is not going to burst an eardrum. On the contrary, you can adjust volume while to UI is asleep without taking it out of your pocket. The side location is also good as its placed well for your thumb. And the FF, Pause, RW buttons are easy to use by touch after a little practice. All without reactivating the screen. Sure there could be better navigation to some things and I am sure it'll be like any touch screen device, they will change things with firmware upgrades. One I'd like is a quick scroll through albums/artists and so on...
- The ONE thing I am disappointed with is the current lack or Gapless playback. Before I re-rip my live albums into contiguous files, I'll give iRiver a little time to update the firmware.
( Up to this point...now you go and get all cynical again...were you typing angry at the time...? )
I want to close by saying that this fixation with 1:8 rule (I don't see how 1/8 is appropriate to the debate) seems to be based on very old practice in audio circles. While some seem to adhere to it, even on Head-Fi, there are plenty who debunk the theory. I think those that insist that a device should only output 1ohm or less choose this low impedance to justify their insistence that you must apply the 1:8 rule. My receiver is a recent Yamaha Aventage RX-A3000. Its headphone output impedance is 100ohms. Should I buy 800ohm headphones so I here it properly? I don't recall any HOO HAA destroying Yamaha's reputation for producing an AVR that you can only use a handful of headphones with. Are there any headphones with 800ohm impedance? HANG ON, my Shures and Bose sound just fine with it. Oh and so do my IEMs although I don't usually listen to IEMs with a full receiver.
What I can say, is as a small portable, 24bit/192kHz device with a nice UI and brilliant design... I am very happy with it. I didn't choose a DX100 because of flaws in the UI (Old Android OS) and when I already have a iPhone 5, all the DX's bells and whistles were just bells and whistles. I just wanted better sounds from my portable and the AK100 delivers that in a nice package. And the AK100 sounds very nice indeed. I have no DX100 t0 compare to though and even then I think any of us can only comment on what our OWN EARS hear. Mine here this every nicely thanks...
Very good RANT...I give it an 7 out of 10...
Cheers and Happy New Year
Happy New Year.