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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 221

post #3301 of 6309

I seem to really be struggling with AK120 sound, I am keeping it for its size and performance but as a source I prefer few other unit I have more than AK120. When feeding in the 627x I still prefer DD socket 1 over AK120, the chords on cello has more body than AK120 alone. 
 

What is weird is that DD socket 1 output is only 0.8 VRM where as Ak120 is suppose to be 1.5 VRM. 

post #3302 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

I seem to really be struggling with AK120 sound, I am keeping it for its size and performance but as a source I prefer few other unit I have more than AK120. When feeding in the 627x I still prefer DD socket 1 over AK120, the chords on cello has more body than AK120 alone. 
 

What is weird is that DD socket 1 output is only 0.8 VRM where as Ak120 is suppose to be 1.5 VRM. 

 

You'd probably like the HM901 /w one of the IEM/Minibox/Balanced board if you perfers the AK120 /w 627x.... interested to see what'd be your impression if you had demo'ed the HM901.

post #3303 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

I seem to really be struggling with AK120 sound, I am keeping it for its size and performance but as a source I prefer few other unit I have more than AK120. When feeding in the 627x I still prefer DD socket 1 over AK120, the chords on cello has more body than AK120 alone. 
 

What is weird is that DD socket 1 output is only 0.8 VRM where as Ak120 is suppose to be 1.5 VRM. 

 

It sounds like your mini i/c is strangling the life out of it..................you fancy a Crystal Micro 1 month loan...PM me buddywink_face.gif

post #3304 of 6309

I do not really care for 627x as it is too smooth at times and for its price point I was expecting to get an amp that rules them all. I do not mind it as I traded it with the AK100 and it seems to be just right for T5p, EX-1000 and CK100PRO. This is great as those are my favourite gears however for some reason AK120 signal seems to not be loud enough for 627x, it just does not make sense as the much weaker signal of DD socket 1 with muses01 seems to be doing 627x wonders. 

 

I wish i could afford to experiment with HM901 but I simply do not have such luxuries. I've loaded 100 GB work of files in Ak120 and I find navigating kind of hard on it. 

 

DSD performance on Ak120 reduced the battery to 4 hours and all it was doing is increase the dB on the track when it converted to PCM hence giving me the illusion of better sound from the DSD file. 

 

I hope iriver finally listens to us and AK200 has native DSD, true line out and something like cover flow! Increase the size to the same size as ipod classic if you have to but get rid of Ak100 and replace it with Ak120 and ofcourse reduce the price on it too. 

 

In my view AK120 should have been what AK100, i am sorry but Ak120 cannot be their flagship. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

 

You'd probably like the HM901 /w one of the IEM/Minibox/Balanced board if you perfers the AK120 /w 627x.... interested to see what'd be your impression if you had demo'ed the HM901.

post #3305 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

 

It sounds like your mini i/c is strangling the life out of it..................you fancy a Crystal Micro 1 month loan...PM me buddywink_face.gif

Thank you sire but I like to keep my two kidneys for as long as possible if wish I had will power to try things without buying but I don't but I will ask you for a favor when I have the cash for the uber :-{ 

post #3306 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

Read iRiver's marketing hype. It all points to an all in one solution that yields high quality sound. If the intended usage was to piggy back it to an amp (i.e using as a transport only) why wouldn't they add a true lineout? Why would the device be as small as it is? I understand that everyone has different priorities and different ideas of what makes them happy, I expressed mine. My condescending tone? To who? I didn't quote you, I wasn't referring to you, and like I said in my previous post the comment was made mostly in jest. Your taking what I said personally for whatever reason I don't know but this argument (?) has no right or wrong answer - we both have started that, so I'm not sure where your snark remarks are coming from. 

 

Just to be clear - there aren't many products that are sold with the intended purpose for them to be modded. That is why mods are done by alternative companies and means. I never pushed my opinion on anyone, I was simply stating my opinion why this mod would void what I believe is the true purpose (and #1 selling point) of the device is. If you want a DAP just to use as a transport, why not get a DX100 or even the HM-901? Obviously your mileage will vary. 

That's all well and good but butchering is a derogatory term for unskilled or crude work. A bad surgeon or tech is often referred to as such. If you didn't get that you do now. It's a judgmental remark that was reacted to as such.

 

Enough people were already using the AK120 with amps to make Vinnie's mod quite viable for those folks. Not for me. I didn't get the 901 because it's not really a back pocket item.

post #3307 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

I do not really care for 627x as it is too smooth at times and for its price point I was expecting to get an amp that rules them all. I do not mind it as I traded it with the AK100 and it seems to be just right for T5p, EX-1000 and CK100PRO. This is great as those are my favourite gears however for some reason AK120 signal seems to not be loud enough for 627x, it just does not make sense as the much weaker signal of DD socket 1 with muses01 seems to be doing 627x wonders. 

 

I wish i could afford to experiment with HM901 but I simply do not have such luxuries. I've loaded 100 GB work of files in Ak120 and I find navigating kind of hard on it. 

 

DSD performance on Ak120 reduced the battery to 4 hours and all it was doing is increase the dB on the track when it converted to PCM hence giving me the illusion of better sound from the DSD file. 

 

I hope iriver finally listens to us and AK200 has native DSD, true line out and something like cover flow! Increase the size to the same size as ipod classic if you have to but get rid of Ak100 and replace it with Ak120 and ofcourse reduce the price on it too. 

 

In my view AK120 should have been what AK100, i am sorry but Ak120 cannot be their flagship. 

Sure it can. DSD has no advantage other than personal preference. It's a smoother harmonic kind of sound but I haven't found it closer to source files depending on the encoder used. I tend to find it friendlier but less involving, personally. I'm also sticking to wav or aiff  for my favs on this player. Opinions vary. smile.gif It's still nice to be able to play everything regardless of means, especially for musicians etc. on the go.

 

Be careful about the files you use on the AK120. It lets you hear what's missing and rewards when things are right. Having started listening to music back before digital, I've never been a fan of CD quality in a good home system and while I use them because the music is more important, I hear the same things here. It's especially noticeable on speakers like QUAD 5 7s. I was listening to some HIDef dubs of masters and records on the AK and they have plenty of body. Nothing's perfect but this is close enough to where if it's not exactly where you want it, you can get a result with a cable change etc and the unit plays music at a very high level of message and detail. I understand that it's not a warm player but it's not bright or thin either. It also has a natural analog color to it and isn't slightly dry or musically cold like many quality digital products are. All that said, it wont be for everyone as nothing is but I think it's a fine flagship for now. It certainly scales well as def is increased.

 

Just a note. If you're using the EQ or gapless settings, you're also fogging things up a bit and losing some life. They are actually well done but more noticeable here because you an hear more in the first place. Pro EQ sounds like a quick fix for noisy environs but not so much when it's quiet, both tonally and because of a very subtle masking. 


Edited by goodvibes - 8/18/13 at 5:43am
post #3308 of 6309

I will be experimenting with your input this week, thanks.Those issues I've mentioned will not be apparent until I do a direct head to head comparsion, while it is subtle it is enough to annoy me a little mostly because of the amount of time and money I have spend on this hobby. It is just seems like with every purchase i am stepping one step further than finding audio nirvana than getting closer to it.

 

I was reading about how DAC works and it seems like the conversion comes down to algorithm used. Does AK120 use a different algorithm for flac conversion than wav?

post #3309 of 6309

I can't seem to delete any songs on my AK 120 with firmware 1.32 . Does anyone else experience this problem as well?  Whenever i delete a song on my computer ,  my AK 120 does not seem to remove it  

post #3310 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendanz View Post

I can't seem to delete any songs on my AK 120 with firmware 1.32 . Does anyone else experience this problem as well?  Whenever i delete a song on my computer ,  my AK 120 does not seem to remove it  

Have you tried doing a file scan after deleting?

post #3311 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenG View Post

Have you tried doing a file scan after deleting

Yes I did but nothing seems to happen . On pressing transmission , it scans for about one second and nothing happens .

post #3312 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Sure it can. DSD has no advantage other than personal preference. It's a smoother harmonic kind of sound but I haven't found it closer to source files depending on the encoder used. I tend to find it friendlier but less involving, personally. I'm also sticking to wav or aiff  for my favs on this player. Opinions vary. smile.gif
 It's still nice to be able to play everything regardless of means, especially for musicians etc. on the go.

Be careful about the files you use on the AK120. It lets you hear what's missing and rewards when things are right. Having started listening to music back before digital, I've never been a fan of CD quality in a good home system and while I use them because the music is more important, I hear the same things here. It's especially noticeable on speakers like QUAD 5 7s. I was listening to some HIDef dubs of masters and records on the AK and they have plenty of body. Nothing's perfect but this is close enough to where if it's not exactly where you want it, you can get a result with a cable change etc and the unit plays music at a very high level of message and detail. I understand that it's not a warm player but it's not bright or thin either. It also has a natural analog color to it and isn't slightly dry or musically cold like many quality digital products are. All that said, it wont be for everyone as nothing is but I think it's a fine flagship for now. It certainly scales well as def is increased.

Just a note. If you're using the EQ or gapless settings, you're also fogging things up a bit and losing some life. They are actually well done but more noticeable here because you an hear more in the first place. Pro EQ sounds like a quick fix for noisy environs but not so much when it's quiet, both tonally and because of a very subtle masking. 

Well said, junk in, junk out and I feel the higher up one goes the more discernible it becomes. My base line is CD's ripped to WAV using XLD but well done higher resolution recordings of the same albums (well done being an important proviso!) knock the CD rips into a cocked hat for me.

I have some high rez files of albums I owned on tape and vinyl then went the way of things in the eighties and fell into the CD revolution. I was listening to a 24/96 vinyl rip of Dire Straits Love Over Gold recently that a mate of mine did for me and it brought back so many emotions of holidays in spain listening to it on my old Sony Walkman pro cassette player. It was such an emotionally involving album on vinyl and cassette and much less so on CD.

I can't wait to hear it on my 120 (which I have now had conformation arrives Wednesday or Thursday next week!), Likewise I am really looking forward to listening to my library of HDTT recordings on it. For me they are some of the most successful in terms of transferring from tape or LP to digital in terms of feeling and emotion which is what personally I feel is the biggest loss with compressed music, both compressed at source and at home.
post #3313 of 6309

I find it really strange that the hifiman 801 has more features than both the 901 and the AK100/120. I was so close to picking up either the 901 or 120 but neither really have the featureset I was hoping for. The RWA S mod sounds like it would be right for me, but I would really like to have a line out and be able to use the player as a stand alone.  This kind of kills it for me. The 901 needs a dock to act as a DAC for computer audio so that's basically just as expensive as getting vinnies mod lol.  :( depressing. 

post #3314 of 6309
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Just a note. If you're using the EQ or gapless settings, you're also fogging things up a bit and losing some life.

 

Ummm, why would gapless cause any degradation of playback??

post #3315 of 6309

Flat EQ shouldn't either but they need additional buffers which in theory are also bit perfect but it's there and probably negligible for most depending on files or phones. It's just something for owners to try for themselves and see. If you want to talk theory, there another forum for that.

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