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- brandAstell Kerntagged by JmoonAK, 6/24/13
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- productMezzo Soprano MS-AK100tagged by milarepa, 5/30/13
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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs) (page 2)
Last edited: 12/22/15
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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 348
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Errr...not too certain where to put this but since there's 2xAK100's so in here it goes I guess.
I'll leave it up to ExpatInJapan to divulge his thoughts. As for me I didn't get to test as much as EIJ. For 1xtrack, I preferred the AK120 over my DX100 but listening to more tracks, I had my senses knocked back straight and the DX100 had the nicer fuller sound. Meanwhile between the DX100 and HM-901, I enjoyed the HM-901 very much. My issue with the HM-901 is it wouldn't read my 2GB MicroSD regardless of SD adapters used. I found another microSD which did read but twice the OS crashed on me in the middle of a track (and this time it wasn't a WAV file).
Between the MS-AK100 and RWAK100, I couldn't decide which one I'd consider better. For my ears the RWAK100 was a warmer signature whilst the MS-AK100 was a somewhat more sparkly. With my FitEar MH335DW, the MS-AK100 was more agreeable. However with the Tralucent 1Plus2, I think I'd lean more towards the RWAK100. So headphone signature plays a part as to which one would be more suitable.
MS-AK100/RWAK100 comparisons with the AK120 from me unfortunately.
By the way, a big thank you to Fujiya for letting us sit there for almost 2 hrs demoing their gear almost without buying anything.
guys, i am ignorant of the issues like programming or hardware but one question i have: IF new firmware includes new equalizer and some tweaks to sound processing and you find new EQ on your RUS updated firmware would not this be safe to assume some subtle sound changes are possible.
another question in follow up: does anyone believe this is technically possible to modify only interface in firmware patch and omit the rest given that new EQ and some else improvements are on the new version???
@Anak, and so how do they all sound in comparison? especially Mezzo Mod vs. AK120? :-D
Depends on what you're after. If you're looking for a compromise of size, battery life, fast GUI, & SQ then yep sure between the HM-901 and AK120, then sure the AK120 would live up to its value 'cos it's great for daily use.
However if SQ is the sole priority and one is willing to put up with the issues of the HM-901, OS crashes, slow boot up, or somewhat clunky GUI, (note, except for the OS crashes, most of the other points are just a user learning curve), then the HM-901 would be my preferred DAP.
The same goes for my RWAK100 and DX100. The DX100 does have the more satisfying SQ however when I commute to work and home, the RWAK100 is the one that gets slipped into the pocket.
Big thanks to those who brought us the Russian patch. Apart from the UI being a bit tidier all my database scanning woes are now fixed. Now if Iriver can just do the same job officially.
AK120, RWAK100. MS-AK100, Hifiman 901, DX100, Fostex hp_p1.
Headphones ATH-ESW11 Limited Ed, ATH-ESW9 and Translucent 1plus2 IEMs.
(Anakchan and my tastes in headphone sound and music differ quite a lot, but our findings/opinions on gear have proved eerily similar in the past).
NOTE:We need a `Battle of the DAPs -Comparisons` thread, imho. Where users and experimenters can post their findings/impressions.
Anyway here I go with my crappy ears......and crappy bullet points.......BRIEF impressions.
MS-AK100 - Nice, lush, full, deeper bass.
RWAK100 - Clear, accurate, honest.
Fostex hpp1 - More forward.
Fostex hpp1 (gain1, filter2) - MS-AK100 -They sound similar.
Fostex hpp1 (gain1, Filter 1) -RWAK100 has slightly more treble.
MS-AK100 is darker.
DX100 -clear, full, `flat`, no romance, slightly darker.
AK120 vs DX100.
AK120 -slightly shrill
DX100 - laidback.
Fostex hpp1 vs DX100.
Fostex - Full, lush, nice highs.
DX100 - Accurate, not sterile.
Hifiman 901 vs DX100.
Hifiman (gain1, HD) - Full deep bass, more highs, a bit more soundstage, slightly blacker background.
DX100 -Duller, but still rich, richer in some parts.
MS-AK100 - clear, a lttle grainy, likes a bit of bass, crisp, slight warmth.
RWAK100 - Neutral, flat, `quieter`, likes flat headphones, more `body`.
Fostex hpp1 (Gain1, Filter 2) - Power, full, lush, clear, recessed, more body and bass.
Fostex hpp1 (Gain 1, Filter 1) - Lighter, accurate, more grain).
All sounded very similar, any differences were rather subtle to my ears and very minor, but they were there.
It did lead me to think that the differences would be more pronounced with high end In Ear Monitors (IEMs), I did find the differences were easier to spot at the Tokyo headphone show when I demo`ed with Fitear 335(?) and custom cable.
Translucent 1 plus2.
DX100- Accurate, clean, neutral
RWAK100 - Ok, light, very slight hiss.
MS-AK100 - Ok, light, slight hiss.
AK120 - Ok, listenable, light, good.
Fostex hpp1 (Gain1, Filter 2) - Nice.
AK120 and the Fostex hpp1 sounded similar.
The DAPs didnt like it at too loud a volume, got a bit shrill for me.
Hopefully these short impressions i wrote down whilst listening can help someone out, at the very least more for us gear-nuts to read and fret over ;)
*Also I didnt pay attention and thought I was listening to the AK100 not the AK120!. I was quite surprised at how much better it sounded from last time. Only when I got home did Anakchan set me straight lol.
I thought all are quite stellar products as far as sound goes, they are more similar than radically different.
Lets say that again, repeat after me :)
DX100, Hifiman and dare I say it perhaps even the AK120 belong on the top shelf, although I did find the AK120 and the MODDED AK100s to be on a fairly even par (whilst i write this I am mentally only putting the DX100 and Hifiman on the top shelf, fyi). i was quite surprised for some unknown reason to find the Fostex hp_p1 held its own against the specialized daps.
If I was to buy one for myself out of all the DAPs (not counting the Fostex) i would probably go for the Hifiman 901 - something in the sound just edged it forward for me.
But in the end it is all about synergy of source, headphones and even taste in music. What suits my ears may not suit yours etc.
Thanks again to Anakchan for getting me out of the house and for Fujiya Avic for letting us sit there.
Edited by ExpatinJapan - 5/26/13 at 1:39am
Wow did you really pick up hiss on the RWA AK100 and AK100? I never heard the slightest of hiss when I had it. I thought it was one of the blackest sounding DAPs I've heard....
I vote he (Anakchan) starts it, he has more DAP street cred than me, I just mainly suckle at the Apple teat.
RWAK100 and MS-AK100 (didnt demo AK100) Very, very slight hiss-barely audible-but there at the bottom of that dark, black pit. I hope it wasnt the track i was listening to. I dont remember If it disappeared when i turned down the volume either.
At the time it was Anakchans music I think - which causes me pain and distress anyway
Perhaps Anakchan can retest for any hiss at home before he goes all Russian on us tonight.
Edited by ExpatinJapan - 5/26/13 at 1:40am
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