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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 222

post #3316 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

There are two levels of modification.  The RWAK120 mod will allow the player to continue to be used as stand alone.  The RWAK120-S mod that upgrades the DAC chips will require the unit to be played with an external amp.

 

Perhaps this is a dumb question, but wouldn't it be possible to upgrade the DACs without removing the volume control?

post #3317 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashton View Post

 

Perhaps this is a dumb question, but wouldn't it be possible to upgrade the DACs without removing the volume control?

 

The only reason they removed the volume control is that the replaced DAC chips would not respond to the control unless there is a corresponding change in the firmware codes, and RW don't have the access/resources/expertise/sourcecode/whatnot to do it.

post #3318 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Well at the end of the day whatever makes you happy :). That is good though that Vinnie does warranty the unit after modification. But what does that entail and for how long?

 

Now if Vinnie was able to do such a mod without removing the ability to still use it as a single unit solution I'd be much more interested in this. As I mentioned earlier making the coaxial a dedicated LO with just as good of a signal (if possible) with the S mod would be very appealing for me. That way you'd be able to still use the unit as a single unit (probably still benefit from the updated DAC chips) and use it as a dedicated LO for a purer signal.
 

 

Certainly I think we all agree that if Vinnie (or someone) could reprogram the software to control the Wolfson 8741 DAC chips with the digital volume control so that the unit could still be used as a standalone OR with an external amp that would be most desirable.  But currently, that's not an option.....so the decision to modify is a bit tougher.

post #3319 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

Certainly I think we all agree that if Vinnie (or someone) could reprogram the software to control the Wolfson 8741 DAC chips with the digital volume control so that the unit could still be used as a standalone OR with an external amp that would be most desirable.  But currently, that's not an option.....so the decision to modify is a bit tougher.

If only Astell & Kern could team up with RedWine Audio we could have a perfect audiophile DAP. However miracles do not happen.
post #3320 of 6313
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. 

 

(1) If you understood me to mean i ever thought iRiver produced the AK120 with the "intention" that it be modified, you misunderstood.  Not worth discussing because it would be a patently absurd discussion.  No high end audio company produces a product with the intention that it be modified.  Not worth discussing.

 

(2) I also agree that iRiver probably correctly assumes and intends that most users of their product will NOT use it with an external amp.  I don't really care much how they "intend" for others to use their product.  Frankly, I think it sounds pretty darn good without external amplification.  Some, of course, will choose to use external amplification.  I think you mentioned that you sometimes use yours with Pico Power.

 

(3) Not sure what comments of mine you find "snark".   I guess those reading the post can draw their own conclusions.

 

(4)  Sure, I could have chosen a DX100 or HM-901 to use as a transport.  I considered both.  Not sure I want to get into all the pros and cons of these units here, but suffice to say that I was quite intrigued by the dual mono aspect of AK120 as well as its size.  As mentioned previously, I'm finding the AK120 + RS71a to be quite manageable.  YMMV.


Edited by harryb - 8/18/13 at 12:45pm
post #3321 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post


If only Astell & Kern could team up with RedWine Audio we could have a perfect audiophile DAP. However miracles do not happen.

 

I discussed this with Vinnie.  He thought it extremely unlikely that he could get the software code from iRiver.  

post #3322 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

I discussed this with Vinnie.  He thought it extremely unlikely that he could get the software code from iRiver.  

In this day and age, there must be many people smart enough to figure out the code and then change it to  support the 8731!

post #3323 of 6313
Saraguie, right but the issue is Why on earth a company which charges huge premium canNot make a real audiophile product and ignores the wishes of customers? Is it only because of relative monopoly? I wonder how AK would feel if one day Apple would decide to enter premium DAP market? Lets call Tim Cook and introduce Vinnie to him :-D
post #3324 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

Saraguie, right but the issue is Why on earth a company which charges huge premium canNot make a real audiophile product and ignores the wishes of customers? Is it only because of relative monopoly? I wonder how AK would feel if one day Apple would decide to enter premium DAP market? Lets call Tim Cook and introduce Vinnie to him :-D

Gin, I'm with you 1001% ~ Why can't they?

 

'Tim and Vinny sitting in a tree'  L3000.gif

post #3325 of 6313
Hey Harrb,

Looking forward to your impressions on the "S" mod.

Thx
post #3326 of 6313
Funny is i appreciate what iRiver and AK do, but they could have created a flawless perfect product that could become the king of high end DAPs, why do not they want to gain big position? Apple with their iPods was the first one by far and flalwess implementation allowed them to take the market.

Anyway, sorry for provoking, :-)
post #3327 of 6313

I don't know and suspect the AK already have a lion's share their specific market. They achieved their instant success by choosing the correct design parameters and good marketing. If you don't think every piece of kit is a compromise of attributes and function, you're fooling yourself. Coming out with what is one of the 4 best DAPs at any price and arguably the best all arounder of form, function, sound and play time is not something to be scolding about. It was in my back pocket today while I walked the dog, repaired the inside of a water damaged kitchen cabinet and did a basement cleaning. It sounded great, never got in the way, I could control it without looking and it looks like it would play the rest of the day as well. What's to not like?normal_smile%20.gif

 

I understand that it wont be everybody's favorite sounding player but it will be to others and it's a pleasure in use just how it came in the box.

 

That said, for those that want to use an amp and don't mind the extra bulk or outlay, Vinnie is doing a fine service. If you speak to him, ask Vinnie about how many pieces of even top kit that he's felt that he could massage a bit more from given an opportunity. There's a reason they are the way they are but they may have actually sounded better earlier in their development and before they were consumerized.


Edited by goodvibes - 8/18/13 at 2:14pm
post #3328 of 6313
Just a quick technical question, will the 120 play 24/192 wav files? Just downloading Astral Weeks in that format and not sure if I have to convert it to FLAC after to play on this player, hopefully it plays high rez wav files unlike my 801!

WOW! Just finished the download... 3.29 G for the album!! eek.gif
Edited by ianmedium - 8/18/13 at 3:53pm
post #3329 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post

Gin, I'm with you 1001% ~ Why can't they?

 

'Tim and Vinny sitting in a tree'  L3000.gif


AK200 ;).

post #3330 of 6313
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlychild View Post

Hey Harrb,

Looking forward to your impressions on the "S" mod.

Thx

 

Letting it burn in for one more day.  So far, I'm VERY happy.  More to follow.

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