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Astell and Kern iRiver High Resolution Player AK100 24/192 !! - Page 3

post #31 of 56

Anak, thanks, will look there. sorry for my impressions but i only today noticed this player and on paper it looks like a big winner.

post #32 of 56

read all the reviews on the AK100  on pc sites  , as a stupid priced  ipod with  no camera etc

waiting on a audiophile magazine to give a review of the sound quality alone and nothing else

hifi world in the uk this month had this to say , using 845 tube monoblocks & quad Esl

 

bought one myself based on the review for my main hifi rig - it is actually better than the review 

ordering a 2nd one for my car

 

 

the AK100 is at heart a wonderful digital source player, deeply engineered in a unique fashion. It's best seen as a portable high resolution 'CD player', masquerading as an MP3 player. I used it as such through its headphone outlet and got spectacular sound quality from high resolution 24/96 and 24/192 digital recordings. It's very well made and finished and it works well too...

....casual listening in a quiet room made obvious the AK100 has a darkness to its silences and a sense of silky smoothness, almost warmth. I found myself winding the volume right up, the sound was so clean... I switched to a pair of Sennheiser HD650s and it all got much better, greater dynamic scale, firmer bass and more extended treble becoming obvious in particular.... the message is the AK100 is way above a normal portable in quality terms, in another league in fact.

Moving onto a Marantz SR8002 receiver in an AV system with Martin Logan Electromotion electrostatic loudspeakers up front made clear that the headphones do not reveal the AK100's potential .... its smooth, almost silky quality was obvious, characteristic of digital done properly, meaning not CD. Violins hung in space and were clear and stable, and also clearly separated from each other... swapping over to to a direct optical connection bought out greater low level filigree detailing and a stronger sense of depth and space to the sound stage... the same was was true of Rock, kick drum sounding firm, brushed cymbals shimmering with fine detail... This is a top quality, high definition music player that can be connected up to a hi-fi through its headphone output [or digital output]. The AK100 is no ordinary portable, that's for sure.

.... idiosyncrasies apart the Astell&Kern AK100 is an astonishing player, with fabulous sound quality and an amazing spread of ability as a source. It's a must have in fact.

Measured Performance

The AK100 produced exceptional results for a portable player. It has massively greater dynamic range, lower distortion and negligible jitter than typical portables, measuring a well as a high quality stand-alone DAC. It's a portable hi-res player that approaches the limits of what is possible.

Reviewed by Noel Keywood, Editor of Hi-Fi World.

Hi-Fi World's '5 Globes + Value' award

5 Globes + Value / 5

post #33 of 56

n00b question alert

 

Can the following combo work AK100>-dB>RX3b?

 

As I'm really liking my Audirvana Plus from my MBA with hiRes FLACS to my -dB>RX3b.LCD3s so could the AK100 replace my MBA?


Edited by Room40 - 2/8/13 at 5:22pm
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Room40 View Post

n00b question alert

Can the following combo work AK100>-dB>RX3b?

As I'm really liking my Audirvana Plus from my MBA with hiRes FLACS to my -dB>RX3b.LCD3s so could the AK100 replace my MBA?
Sadly no. The AK100 outputs headphone out which could be used as line out too (although its not exactly double amping for some weird tech reason), or optical out.

The dB doesn't take optical in. I've talked to David/Cypherlabs about that earlier this week.

So for now it'll have to be AK100 -> Rx Mk3.
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

The dB doesn't take optical in. I've talked to David/Cypherlabs about that earlier this week.

Bugger!

 

modded OPTICAL>mini USB cable maybe?

post #36 of 56

I like the idea of not using an ipod and wish there was more modular capabilities of these newer products.

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Room40 View Post

Bugger!

 

modded OPTICAL>mini USB cable maybe?

 

That's a possibility. Usually though do Optical -> mini USB adapters require some kind of power source? At least the few I know run off mains/adapter plugged into that converter.

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by daytona600 View Post

bought one myself based on the review for my main hifi rig - it is actually better than the review 

ordering a 2nd one for my car

 

5 Globes + Value / 5

 

Daytona, thanks for impressions. I look for portable solution on the way. I doubt this small unit can replace my dedicated Macmini + Audirvana Plus + Rega DAC combo. that said i believe this can be really very good for those who wants to combine digital setup on smallish yet powerful device and be able to use it both at home and on the go.

 

again thanks for your impressions, i will dig further into that as the player looks and apparently sounds good. perhaps i wait for release of Fiio X3 in March to compare between them.

post #39 of 56

gintras AK100 is superb little portable machine , also used it as a transport into my main system & it sounded superb

not as good as my main digital system a 4 box DCS rig , but for 1/70th of the price very , very good
 

post #40 of 56

Used to have a rega dac with my mac mini on my desktop system , replaced with a Mytek dsd 192 stereo

system at a whole new level now , mytek drives my Taket H2+ phones


Edited by daytona600 - 2/10/13 at 5:22pm
post #41 of 56
Thanks and great to hear.

I have couple of questions if you do not mind. You use AK as source only or also with IEMs and which IEMs you use with it. have you tried Colorfly C3 player with C&C BH amp? for me C3 was a revelation when money does not matter and you can achieve superb result by spending relatively little.

however i am curious about AK100 since this has better UI and looks also has more connects as i understand, simply pairs like DAC and that it accepts 24bit files. cost also seems acceptable if all advertised features work well. it can live as my second rig for high resolution only :-)

On a side note your DSC rig must be heavenly sounding, one of the best rigs sane money can buy without moving into mega-mega buck territory where sanity is lost.

Curious about Mytek DAC, is this so good? i love Rega so much for its musical body and analogue like sound. Can you tell me what you liked more in Mytek and what version you took? I know Mytek gets high praise and i looked at their page and shop but they sell three versions of same DAC, so which one you picked? i need only DAC, no preamp as i will never trade tubes for solid state.

you can write into my message box since this is off-the-mark topic for AK100.
Edited by Gintaras - 2/17/13 at 12:45am
post #42 of 56

I am very interested in the unit.

 

Main concern for me is that 1.5V is not enough to drive orthos (a separate amp is not an option).

 

Are these available to demo at ALO?

post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

Thanks and great to hear.

I have couple of questions if you do not mind. You use AK as source only or also with IEMs and which IEMs you use with it. have you tried Colorfly C3 player with C&C BH amp? for me C3 was a revelation when money does not matter and you can achieve superb result by spending relatively little.

however i am curious about AK100 since this has better UI and looks also has more connects as i understand, simply pairs like DAC and that it accepts 24bit files. cost also seems acceptable if all advertised features work well. it can live as my second rig for high resolution only :-)

On a side note your DSC rig must be heavenly sounding, one of the best rigs sane money can buy without moving into mega-mega buck territory where sanity is lost.

Curious about Mytek DAC, is this so good? i love Rega so much for its musical body and analogue like sound. Can you tell me what you liked more in Mytek and what version you took? I know Mytek gets high praise and i looked at their page and shop but they sell three versions of same DAC, so which one you picked? i need only DAC, no preamp as i will never trade tubes for solid state.

you can write into my message box since this is off-the-mark topic for AK100.
 
use the AK100 as a digital transport with either as per below 3.5mm to rca adaptor and connect directly to your power amp and use the ak100 built in preamp
mine is plugged into the external crossover or my active electrostatic speakers
or optical out into a external dac , also drives my headphones taket H2+ via matching step up transformer
Mytek is a giant killer , 98% of the sound of a $10,000 dac Rega dac not even close in sound + excellent headphone amp , pre amp & DSD
 
post #44 of 56
Daytona, thanks, i already purchased Rwak100 and next Monday one high end dealer will bring Mytek for auditioning at my home :-)

As for transport in home music rig i use dedicated mac mini via usb-spdif converter into dac and from dac into tube preamp. Rwak will be truly portable for me so will pair with portable amp and good IEMs.

Will see how Mytek sings in my system, you know synergy in system is important, great gear may sound great in one and not so in another system, so will report back how this pairs in my system. i keep fingers crossed since this also costs less than Wadia or Niam dacs which i was considering before, so i truly wish Mytek saves me some pennies :-)
Edited by Gintaras - 3/29/13 at 4:06pm
post #45 of 56

Myteks are superb , just make sure it is run in , they takes ages to come on song fresh from the box

100-500hours before they sound at there best

mac should connect directly into the mytek they have every input you will ever need

good isolation platform/rack , good mains cable & digital interconnect will take them up a level again 

then just forget about hifi & spend your money on music

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