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The New iRiver AK100: A High-End DAP - Page 497

post #7441 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by daseinpdx View Post
 

The AK can drive the HE400.  I have that myself.   I like the pairing in general, but at times it comes close to maxing out the volume of the AK100 - if you have something that is really low in volume.

 

The AK is good with 320 files and will sound better than your iphone setup amped in terms of precision and clarity.   You may get more impact though with your current setup.   The unamped stock AK100 has a clean precise, smooth sound signature.   I don't think this would necessarily be the best for the type of music you listen too.   It will deliver your bass in a very clean, tight and precise way though.   If you like that, then this would be good for you.  If you want the bass to be more impactful, then you would probably consider something else.

 

If you're having to push your volume near full for decent listening levels you're not getting the best out of your headphones, get a nice little amp to help drive those puppies. Don't have to spend too much money for decent power these days either.

post #7442 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewh133 View Post
 

 

If you're having to push your volume near full for decent listening levels you're not getting the best out of your headphones, get a nice little amp to help drive those puppies. Don't have to spend too much money for decent power these days either.

 

Agree. JDS Labs C5 and Tralucent T1 both jump to mind as brilliant options for he AK100 + HE-400 combo with the T1 being warmer and the C5 being a little more neutral (perhaps a touch analytical)

post #7443 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Levanter View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzle77 View Post

I am considering purchasing the AK100. Current setup...

Portable:
iPhone 4 + E17 + Future Sonics MG7 (with VModa m100 on order)

Home:
Denon D3000
HE400
Yamaha RXV1600

Music
Drum & Bass, Hip Hop, Funk, Rock, Trip Hop, Dubstep, Electronica.....

Carrying around my portable rig can be annoying at times, due to the bulk, rubber band getting in the way of screen and e17 controls etc I've recently been looking at DAPs and the AK100 sounds ideal for my needs. I just wondered whether anyone would be able to help on the following

1. I mainly listen to 320kps mp3 files. Would I generally hear a difference with AK100?

2. Will the depth of sound produced be better than my current iphone+E17 setup?

3. Is the AK100 capable of driving the HE400 and V-Moda m100?

4. Is gapless playback supported?

5. How is the sound when compared to DX100?

6. Would I be able to use AK100 as usb DAC for use with Macbook Air?

7. My music files are sorted by iTunes, so in the format 


   
        Tracks

When copying over to the AK100, I would probably drag over the . Would this cause an issue with playback?

Any help greatly appreciated  wink_face.gif  

Based on your music preference, I'd say X3 would be a better option.

Why? Does the X3 have more bass?

 

Bass is important, but I would rather have bass that sounds refined and smooth rather than too much. 

 

What kind of bass would you say the AK100 has? 

post #7444 of 8689

Hi,


I cannot speak for the x3.

However I would say that the Ak100 has a musical sound to it.

It is more or less neutral without being analytic or clinical.

There is no emphasis on bass or any part of the range.


IMO.


Scott

post #7445 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyd4 View Post
 

Hi,


I cannot speak for the x3.

However I would say that the Ak100 has a musical sound to it.

It is more or less neutral without being analytic or clinical.

There is no emphasis on bass or any part of the range.


IMO.


Scott

+1

 

AK100 has very neutral(flat) sound with very good smoothness, which causes them to be clean, but never cold and analytical.

post #7446 of 8689

and to answer all of your questions:

 

Firstly I listen to a lot of the Genre's you have listed, along with Acoustic, Metalcore, Classical, Rock.  But a great deal of my listening is electronic.  So hopefully my opinions (and that is all they are) are of use.

 

1. I mainly listen to 320kps mp3 files. Would I generally hear a difference with AK100?

 

Yes you will hear a difference.  The DAC is still better in the AK and you will get benefit from 320kps files.  I would suggest below that however the AK will expose the files as apposed to enhance them and you will feel as though it will sound worse.

2. Will the depth of sound produced be better than my current iphone+E17 setup?

 

That is hard to say.  The AK alone will not provide the power that the e17 will.  The sound will be more neutral, however with full sized phones to get "depth of sound" I would recommend an external amp such as a Tralucent t1, which will help power the phones without adding coloration to the sound.

3. Is the AK100 capable of driving the HE400 and V-Moda m100? HE400 would be more than likely "loud" enough, however far from ideal.  The M100 should be powered to near its potential.

4. Is gapless playback supported? It says so in the menu... Never played with it sorry.

5. How is the sound when compared to DX100? I havent heard the DX100, however some say that its Sabre Dac is more analytical/technical than the Wolfson of the AK100.  This would be consistent with the general rule of thumb of these 2 dacs.  AK - Musical/smooth, DX - Technically correct/detail aplenty.

 

To be honest, if you were planning on running the HE400's with the either portable you have a small issue.  With the DX100 you may find the high's of the HE400 a little strident, however the DX will power them better than the AK100.  On the flipside the AK will be less fatiguing with the HE400, however not be able to power them as well.

6. Would I be able to use AK100 as usb DAC for use with Macbook Air? Yes

Regarding your folder setup, it shouldnt matter as the AK works off ID3 data as best I can tell.  So you have Artist, album, Song, but also the ability to search via folder if that is how you prefer to do it.

 

It is a very good unit and I cannot recommend it highly enough, apart from the 22ohm out if you are planning on running sensitive multi drive IEM's.

I use mine with ASG1.3 in ears and it is completely fine.  When using my full sized cans (Mr Speakers Mad Dogs) I use a iBasso PB2 with it to power them.

 

The above is purely my opinion and someone more knowledgeable may be able to contradict me/shed some more light for you.


Hopefully this was of assistance.

 

Scott


Edited by Wyd4 - 10/27/13 at 5:34pm
post #7447 of 8689

Answers / additions within quote below... Not trying to take anything away from Wyd4's excellent responses, just adding some extra detail that might be helpful.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wyd4 View Post
 

and to answer all of your questions:

 

Firstly I listen to a lot of the Genre's you have listed, along with Acoustic, Metalcore, Classical, Rock.  But a great deal of my listening is electronic.  So hopefully my opinions (and that is all they are) are of use.

 

1. I mainly listen to 320kps mp3 files. Would I generally hear a difference with AK100?

 

Yes you will hear a difference.  The DAC is still better in the AK and you will get benefit from 320kps files.  I would suggest below that however the AK will expose the files as apposed to enhance them and you will feel as though it will sound worse. Sort of agree. The AK100 with compressed tracks will sound as good as compressed music can sound. You will notice a big difference compared to higher quality music, but it's not so much that the AK100 makes the lower rate stuff worse, it's just that the lower quality gets highlighted in contrast with how good it can sound with lossless and/or hi-res.

2. Will the depth of sound produced be better than my current iphone+E17 setup?

 

That is hard to say.  The AK alone will not provide the power that the e17 will.  The sound will be more neutral, however with full sized phones to get "depth of sound" I would recommend an external amp such as a Tralucent t1, which will help power the phones without adding coloration to the sound. Agree, but this all depends on the earphones / headphones (as below)


3. Is the AK100 capable of driving the HE400 and V-Moda m100? HE400 would be more than likely "loud" enough, however far from ideal.  The M100 should be powered to near its potential. +1

4. Is gapless playback supported? It says so in the menu... Never played with it sorry. Yes. It is supported. You need to switch it on via the menu where you also activate EQ. When it's on you will see a "G" icon at the top of the playback screen.

5. How is the sound when compared to DX100? I havent heard the DX100, however some say that its Sabre Dac is more analytical/technical than the Wolfson of the AK100.  This would be consistent with the general rule of thumb of these 2 dacs.  AK - Musical/smooth, DX - Technically correct/detail aplenty.

 

To be honest, if you were planning on running the HE400's with the either portable you have a small issue.  With the DX100 you may find the high's of the HE400 a little strident, however the DX will power them better than the AK100.  On the flipside the AK will be less fatiguing with the HE400, however not be able to power them as well. I personally find the AK100 a more enjoyable presentation than the DX100. The DX100 may present more detail than the AK100, but the AK100 is just so listenable with pretty much any music and any ear/headphone whereas, like Wyd4 said, the DX100 can get a bit nasty with certain tracks / phones.

6. Would I be able to use AK100 as usb DAC for use with Macbook Air? Yes Some people have had issues with Macs with USB 3.0 ports only. It is solvable apparently, but you might need to fiddle a bit to get it working via USB 3.0 on a Mac.

Regarding your folder setup, it shouldnt matter as the AK works off ID3 data as best I can tell.  So you have Artist, album, Song, but also the ability to search via folder if that is how you prefer to do it.

 

It is a very good unit and I cannot recommend it highly enough, apart from the 22ohm out if you are planning on running sensitive multi drive IEM's.

I use mine with ASG1.3 in ears and it is completely fine.  When using my full sized cans (Mr Speakers Mad Dogs) I use a iBasso PB2 with it to power them.

 

The above is purely my opinion and someone more knowledgeable may be able to contradict me/shed some more light for you.


Hopefully this was of assistance.

 

Scott

post #7448 of 8689
Thanks for the detailed responses. This has really helped me a lot.

From how you describe the AK100 sound, I think I prefer that over the analytical DX100.

My main use of the DAP will be for my daily commute and sitting at my desk in work. For this I will only be using my Future Sonics and M100. I suppose the concern here is that the AK100 should provide nearly enough power to M100. I know you say that I could buy another amp to provide the power, but I'm reluctant to do this. My main reason is that I am trying to 'slim down' my portable rig to just a DAP. I'm not sure if this is even possible though for the kind of headphones I want to use on the move. I know my Future Sonics Atrio should be fine, but M100 may need a boost and I am currently considering a pair of W4R. Does a DAP suited to my musical tastes and with sufficient power for my headphones even exist? Could the upcoming X5 or Sony ZX1 maybe be the answers?

The fact that the AK100 may not be enough to power the HE400 is ok as I may end up just keeping the E17 solely for that purpose when using my laptop. They also work really well with my Yamaha AV Receiver, so that's good.
post #7449 of 8689
Another option would be a hifiman 801. The interface is nowhere near as polished as the ak but it has a very analogue sound, has a strong amp section and can be used as a usb dac as well. These pop up for sale second hand well priced.
There is also the colorfly c4.

I think the ak would have no worries with the m100s. I ran them with my HTC one xl and they didnt seem to be held back.

End of the day, most phones are going to sound better with an amp regardless.

As for size, if that is all that is holding you back, the tralucent t1 is about as big as the ak again.
The dx100 is about the size of 3 iPhone 4s stacked ontop of eachother.

The 801 is massive.
post #7450 of 8689

With the AK100, you get that screen protector but it's the size of the actual unit. So is that supposed to go on the front? 

 

I'm contemplating not bothering at all once i remove the original protectors which come applied. As the glass is probably quite hard it's not likely going to scratch, like smart phones for example? And to be honest i'm not going to be throwing this thing around like i do with my smart phone anyway. So is it even worth it? The brushed aluminium case isn't likely to scratch either as that's quite a hard surface too. 

post #7451 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyd4 View Post

Another option would be a hifiman 801. The interface is nowhere near as polished as the ak but it has a very analogue sound, has a strong amp section and can be used as a usb dac as well.

I think the AK is edging it for me to be honest. I like the fact that it will probably be powerful enough for use on the move. Ideally I'd just like to carry around a DAP with no amp connected to it.

I've just been reading about Sony's recently announced ZX1. Although yet to be released this sounds like it could be a great DAP, so long as they get the sound right. With this in mind, I may wait until this is released before making a final decision.

I'm also thinking of upgrading my Future Atrio and getting the Westone W4R, so that may influence my decision too. How my wallet yearns for me to stop visiting this forum. Lol
post #7452 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzle77 View Post

How my wallet yearns for me to stop visiting this forum. Lol

then this one is 4U tongue.gif
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/living-wallet-runs-save-article-1.1494129
post #7453 of 8689

Finally managed to sort out the USB DAC. Yaaaayyyy, decent PC sound. My Arcam rPAC wasn't really cutting it anymore :p

 

Though having to mess about with drivers and usb ports was slightly irritating to say the least.

post #7454 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzle77 View Post

How my wallet yearns for me to stop visiting this forum. Lol

then this one is 4U tongue.gif
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/living-wallet-runs-save-article-1.1494129

 

hehe :D

post #7455 of 8689
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
 

With the AK100, you get that screen protector but it's the size of the actual unit. So is that supposed to go on the front? 

 

I'm contemplating not bothering at all once i remove the original protectors which come applied. As the glass is probably quite hard it's not likely going to scratch, like smart phones for example? And to be honest i'm not going to be throwing this thing around like i do with my smart phone anyway. So is it even worth it? The brushed aluminium case isn't likely to scratch either as that's quite a hard surface too. 

The screen size protector goes on the screen.   The big one goes on the back.  I didn't put the protector on the back, and it did get scratched.  Not a biggie for me, but just so you know it can get scratched.  I think it got scratched from me putting it in the same pocket as my keys.

 

You might not have to bother with the protector for the actual screen.   It probably came with several protectors already applied.  Look closely at the screen again.  Mine already had 2 applied, probably the same with your ak.

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