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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 165

post #2461 of 8516

I have no issue with the volume knob. From what I can tell the vast majority here that actually own an AK100 or RWAK100 don't have an issue with the volume knob.

 

You do not need an amp with the RWAK100(for IEMs). I don't know about the AK100 since I don't own that one. On the other hand having a really nice amp is something you can do to improve the quality even more. 

 

Last night when I was just working at my desk I hooked up the RWAK100 to my MKIIIB and it sounded fantastic. 

post #2462 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by AUDIOBREEDER View Post

I don't mean to 'Start a fire' but I'm trying my best, finding a way (into my brain) to buy this thing but now I'm finding 2 gripes with it (and thats not including the volume knob, that I mentioned earlier)

 

1. I see many of you plugging this into amps. Does AK100 really need additional gear? For the price I was under the conclusion that these didnt need anything but good music files (flac, 320mp3) and a good IEM.

 

2. Is pc mag reputable. they gave this a 2/5

 

I'm beginning to think because of the small size, chances for adding dac/amps are now increased. Something like DX100 many wouldnt think of adding an amp/dac.


Really it depends on the headphones you are using.  If they have high impedance and/or low efficiency or sensitivity, you will need an amp.   However, most IEMs are pretty efficient.   The unmodded AK100 has decent volume - not spectacular but able to drive most IEMSs with reasonable impedance and efficiency.  For instance, I listen to my hifiman 262s with 150 ohm impedance daily.   The AK can easily drive them.   From time to time, I will come close to maxing the volume if the track in question has low gain though.   This would not be a surprise given the 150 ohm impedance.  If the impedance on your headphones are less than that and reasonably efficient, you should be able to drive them without an amp.

 

This does not mean that using an amp with the AK would not make the sound better.   Often times using an amp with an audio source - even a good one - will improve the sound.   This does not mean that the original source does not sound good, but many people just want to get the maximum sound quality possible.

 

Personally, I think the AK sounds great unamped using my hifiman 262, he400 or fischer tandems.  Definitely better than the rockboxed sansa clip or the hifiman 602s i was using before.

post #2463 of 8516

Sorry to "rewind the tape"...and a bit off topic...basshead.gif

But some how can't withstand his "Joke" on PC Mag

[ though I still highly respect others' freedom of Speech and Expression of Opinions ]

 

And I would kindly suggest AUDIOBREEDER to go through the Comments of the Review,

Then He would understand the Review is kind of "Irrelevant".

 

Actually, I am the first one who post the comment as ptobvzqk

(I am the idiot who opens an account just for posting that single comment...)

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2413076,00.asp

 

He compared AK100 with Android Phone... OMG

Most of All, he didn't respond to my questions about his  "unjustified Cons"

[e.g. buggy software, no AC adapter, no stock earphones, no WiFi,......]

 

He commented:

the AK100 sounds just a *little* better

Android and iOS devices come with high quality headphone jacks and amps inside (What???ROFL)

but they're much better than xxx CD players you may remember from 15 years ago. (OK, can you talk about 50 years ago also???)

-you're still assuming that there's a huge difference in sound quality between the AK100 (I heard, hear and am hearing the difference, dude...)

 

Fine... His perspective is from a "PC user" not  an "Audiophile / Head fier".

 

Well, most of my friends ever asked me how much my AK100 or Colorfly C4 is,

When they know the price --> their reaction is --> You have an iPhone already! ( I say OK.....don't wanna explain)

 

All in all, I wanna say is...

Don't Trust most "Magazine" reviews too much....

Instead, Trust We real users and Your Ears.

 

What's more, for Sound Quality,

Comparing my rigs (without AMP)

 

Colorfly C4 > AK100 > HM601 >Cowon D3 > Cowon C2 > iPhone 4 or 4S > iPod Nano 6g > Sony Xperia Arc S > Philips RAGA 4g


Edited by jackrabbitslim0 - 2/5/13 at 5:16pm
post #2464 of 8516

I would say people here don't have to take The PC mag review so seriously - you should know that the review was written from a completely different POV and usage scenario than people here.  Car analogy usually sucks but it applies here - it's like someone complaining about a 2-seater sports car for not being family friendly, sure if I want all the bells and whistles I would have gotten the new iPod Touch too but that's not what I want (and I assume that's the same for most of us here interested in the unit) so just keep that in mind.  As for bugs I've never encountered any and it's more stable than most Android players' I've used throught the years though yes it doesn't quite measure up to iPod UI design friendly-ness.

 

Besides the fear that the volume knob might break off I like that thing - it makes the unit's outline distinctive and is quite functional.

 

As for amping - while I can only comment on the unmodded unit I would say it depends on the headphone you will be using due to the impedance issue which you may know of.  I think it sounds fine with my JH16s but it sounds weird with my ED8s, so the mileage varies with the headphones you use if you are using the stock unit. 

post #2465 of 8516

You are right, "Why So Serious"...

 

btw, for the knob, it is truly a plus, the increment of a turn of it is around 0.5 - 1 of 70 levels of volume.

 

besides, I don't know why some reviews else where commented the Knob as "Loose".

WTF.... It is Called "Smooth" not "Loose", when it is "Tight" you will say it is "Hard" to turn...

Real difficult to satisfy people...

 

Without Amp + my W4R / UE900 --> Sound very decent, (don't feel distorted yet)

Without Amp + my Shure SRH1840 [ go to MAX 70 Volume ] --> Sound very decent, but seems kind of not enough "Power"

With an Amp (Pico Slim / iBasso T5) --> Sound Great! 

 

 

 

To me, Head Fiers Never get Satisfied, 

Even for the so-called Best DAP, we would still try to add an AMP to try to see whether it will get better,

Until there is an Ultimate BE ALL END ALL DAP appears.


Edited by jackrabbitslim0 - 2/5/13 at 5:39pm
post #2466 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrabbitslim0 View Post

You are right, "Why So Serious"...

 

btw, for the knob, it is truly a plus, the increment of a turn of it is around 0.5 - 1 of 70 levels of volume.

 

besides, I don't know why some reviews else where commented the Knob as "Loose".

WTF.... It is Called "Smooth" not "Loose", when it is "Tight" you will say it is "Hard" to turn...

Real difficult to satisfy people...

 

Without Amp + my W4R / UE900 --> Sound very decent, (don't feel distorted yet)

Without Amp + my Shure SRH1840 [ go to MAX 70 Volume ] --> Sound very decent, but seems kind of not enough "Power"

With an Amp (Pico Slim / iBasso T5) --> Sound Great! 

 

 

 

To me, Head Fiers Never get Satisfied, 

Even for the so-called Best DAP, we would still try to add an AMP to try to see whether it will get better,

Until there is an Ultimate BE ALL END ALL DAP appears.


Well by loose I think I know what they mean. It has some play. It jiggles a little bit and that is a fact. It may make some concerned regarding longevity of that volume pot. Not that that is a problem, but down the road it possibly could be.

post #2467 of 8516

Well, some how I am OK with the Knob.

But I still Wonder why not make it to be two buttons?

Or How about making it like a Thin Disc?

 

Considering the Volume Control, I do love the ALPS volume potentiometer of Colorfly C4.

The worst one would be that kind on Hifiman HM601... so sluggish 

 

Whatsoever, I guess that Ak100's Knob (without damaging it), it should last for more than 5 + years....

post #2468 of 8516

The volume knob is genius.  One of my favorite features.

post #2469 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrabbitslim0 View Post

Well, some how I am OK with the Knob.

But I still Wonder why not make it to be two buttons?

Or How about making it like a Thin Disc?

 

Considering the Volume Control, I do love the ALPS volume potentiometer of Colorfly C4.

The worst one would be that kind on Hifiman HM601... so sluggish 

 

Whatsoever, I guess that Ak100's Knob (without damaging it), it should last for more than 5 + years....

 

I actually like how it is a knob and not two buttons, especially with the unit having play control buttons on the opposite side.  So if I have it in my pocket just by touch I know exactly which are buttons for play control and the knob is for volume. 

 

I suppose a volume rocker would work too, but they don't look as nice and don't fit with the athestics of the unit.  A black slap where it is flushed all around with nothing probing out is functional but I would have to say it would look a bit boring.

post #2470 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

The volume knob is genius.  One of my favorite features.

 

I agree.  In a world full of touchscreens, its nice to have the tactile feel of actually "turning it up."

 

The only way it could get better is if they put it internally in the device with a spring in the button so that it wouldn't stick out all the time, but if you pressed down on it with pressure, it would pop out, and then you could twist for volume change, and then press it back into the device when not in use.

 

Still, the knob doesn't stick out nearly as much as you'd think (probably because the device is so small), and I like it more than the method of volume control on ANY other portable DAP/amp I've ever used.  This device might have shortcomings, but the volume knob isn't one of them.


Edited by ChrisSC - 2/5/13 at 6:29pm
post #2471 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSC View Post

 

I agree.  In a world full of touchscreens, its nice to have the tactile feel of actually "turning it up."

 

The only way it could get better is if they put it internally in the device with a spring in the button so that it wouldn't stick out all the time, but if you pressed down on it with pressure, it would pop out, and then you could twist for volume change, and then press it back into the device when not in use.

 

Still, the knob doesn't stick out nearly as much as you'd think (probably because the device is so small), and I like it more than the method of volume control on ANY other portable DAP/amp I've ever used.  This device might have shortcomings, but the volume knob isn't one of them.


That is the best part I liked about this unit. Being able to adjust the volume and changing tracks without having to power on the screen. This greatly extends the battery life. Something I hope more DAPs will start including in their designs.

post #2472 of 8516

Last night my AK100 battery went flat because I set the auto power off to disable.

 

Just feel that the start up a bit slow when on the player so thought that it should be ok that way.

 

redface.gif

post #2473 of 8516

Got a chance to listen to an AK100 and compare it to an HM-801.  I'd place the sound quality somewhere between an HM-601 and the HM-801.  A bit closer to the HM-801.  The HM-801 still has better details and frequency response, especially in the Bass department.

 

But the AK100 has vastly superior User Interface.  With it's touchscreen it's a joy to use.  Quite sluggish compared to current smart phones, but much better than most DAP's out there now, including high end ones like HiFiMan's.

 

The Volume knob still bugs me from a functional and design point of view.  Such a clean design with an ugly knob sticking out.

 

It would have been much better if it were recessed a bit, half the thickness and larger in diameter.

 

Would be even better if were shrouded like the adjustment knobs on Sony digital audio field recorders like the PCM-D10.

 

 

 

But the real point of contention is the price.

 

$700+?    Really?

 

If it were under $500, I'd buy it in a second.  But over $700?  I don't think so.  Especially with the ESS-Sabre DAC powered HiFiMan HM-901 right around the corner.

post #2474 of 8516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post

Got a chance to listen to an AK100 and compare it to an HM-801.  I'd place the sound quality somewhere between an HM-601 and the HM-801.  A bit closer to the HM-801.  The HM-801 still has better details and frequency response, especially in the Bass department

Having owned both I do not even think they are comparable, the sound signature of both those devices couldn't be more different IMO.
Then when you factor in build quality, UI, portability and SQ its not even close. I firmly believe my RWAK100 is much closer to being worth its price then a cheaply made and always breaking HM-801.
I would keep my RWAK100 over an HM-801 in a heartbeat.
Edited by kcee - 2/5/13 at 8:27pm
post #2475 of 8516

ok i spent way too much time this afternoon trying to convert my new Sandisk 64gb microSD form exFAT to FAT32 on windows 7....

 

WTF is the deal....??!1?...

 

tried the panasonic utility...useless....formats the card, but only to exFAT...no option i can see to change file sys to 32...?

 

tried the hp utility...converted to FAT32, performed a quick format...pc 'sees' it, can drag 'n drop files to it, but the RWAK doesn't see any files despite the fact it sees the card...

 

would a  full erase re-format provide different results that a quickie...?

 

does having a dedicated card reader make any difference....?...this was attempted with card loaded in RWAK....

 

 

what am i missing....?...help anyone...?

 

TIA

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