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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 235

post #3511 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

Terrible picture but the best I could do late at night with the lights down low. Horace Silver, AK120, FAD PF IX = musical bliss!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


 

 

Ian, very sweet...normal_smile%20.gif 

 

The PF-IX does sound very nice out of the 120....................

 

Just received shipping notice from Vinnie for my RWA120S, so will receive it next Tuesday/Wednesday...................also Shikada-san is shipping my TU-06 which should also arrive Monday/Tuedsay.

 

Gonna be a fun week!!! 

post #3512 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


I see NO problem with usability. What issues do you have. My only issue is that since I have somethimg5 like 140gb on it, it takes some time to charge whem I come back to my main folder or playlist. And I would defintely be VERY interested by a new define with even better sound and all the existing qualities in terms of build and ergonomics.

 

Just a few...

 

1) Playlist function is rudimentary at best, requiring off-device manipulation of files from other software and then copying to the player via a file interface. Who wants to go through all that

2) No support for favouriting or rating of tracks and allowing you to play cross-album, cross-genre etc of those favourites

3) Playlists are hidden, should be a main menu icon

4) The quick-scan function (by dragging down on the side bar on the right) is so tiny that one has to try several times to grab it. The interface is clearly designed for people with small collections, not large ones. As you note, it slows down with a lot of music (I am always maxed out with about 3GB free across the three file systems

 

These are the main issues. Then, there is the documentation on the website (I'm not the first to suggest it is woefully inadequate). Then there is the iriver player, which supports some of these features (I think) but which doesn't work properly on anything other than Windows PCs (and even there it is widely panned as pretty buggy).

 

Look at the ease of use of something like an iPod - then look at this. There's just no comparison, despite one having a huge multiple of cost over the other.

post #3513 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by radi9red View Post

i got a loan set (AK120) and compared closely with AK100 , the Fiio X3 and my iphone5 - Same couple of tracks copied and i repeated the tests again with default settings -

Here's a short summary of the findings.


AK120 Observations : Sound is clean - background extremely clean and quiet , no distortions, no hiss... I'ts just done rightly , not too airy , nor too dark. Bass were well controlled and tight. Mids were sharp & clear, treble were tight. Sound overall has good slight warm and with tight impact. Sound stage : medium size - mids were centric (sound stage very similar to iphone 5 - unmodded)


Ak 100 Observations : Changing from AK120 -to Ak100 - immediately noticed that the sounds (mid/treble) sounds brighter - there's an additional sparkle on the Ak100 comparing to Ak120. Sounds oveerall were looser comparing to Ak120. After closer inspection - i realised that the Ak100 sounded thinner with lesser control - especially on the mids. Some of the tracks - the mids sounds a bit harsh - which i didn't observed that on the AK120. Sound stage : appears larger than Ak120 which is medium size - mids were not so centric


Fiio X3 : Observations : Immediately - you can get a feel of the 3D and wider soundstage. All sounds (bass/mid/treble) felt lighter. The background sound of X3 is airy and a little open sounding. Bass has similar depth , comparing to Ak120. Mids of x3 is slightly distant and softer due to the airy nature and wider soundstage. Overall x3 sounds lesser impact comparing to the Ak100,and ak120.


Iphone 5: Oberservants : extremely clean output similar to ak120 . no distortions, no hiss . clean quier background. Music has good bass impactful , tight mids - mids appear quite forward and impactful but not to the extend it became harsh. still within controlled. treble : very similar to Ak100. Brighter than ak120.



Summary : which would i prefer ?


Ak120 - would suits folks who like clean controlled sound - almost none distortions - extremely balanced - does nothing out of the norm - it will not excite you , it will not bore you too.

Ak100 - brighter signature version of the ak120 (mids/treble) all sounded brigher - more consumer style sounding - musical & fun, however sounded thinner across all frequencies

Fiio x3 - wide soundstage , airy . deep bass , excellent treble , above average mids - sound were thinner as it sounded more distant due to wider soundstage.

Iphone 5 - Just one word - musical and clean - very mid centric sounding - average soundstage. very close resemblence to ak100 - but better controlled.



Which is better for bucks ?

i wouldn't want to start a spam war by commenting on this - but each has it's pros and cons. Really depends on your earphones that you are using , any AMP or external DAC that you are going to use - or just listening it straight from the DAP. All the 4 of them are strong performers - trust me. I also had the 1st generation Sanclips.. honestly for DAP players that forummers has been raving about , the differences are mostly signature sounding and slight differences if you nitpick - more importantly , you can consider the weight , battery life , connectivity , storage options, price etc...

I agree with him of iPhone 5, the SQ is comparable to AK120. If compare only play with AAC file. Just different in term of each signature. Both are good in term of play AAC file. Must give credit to iPhone for best player of AAC file. I use FitEar togo334 with 99%silver1%silver cable. AK120 is superior SQ if you play with higher resolution files. If I have limited budget and play only AAC file. I recommend to start with best IEM and Cable first. And expand later to AK120 or other players when you have more budget. Don't be worry that your iPhone is not worth to your best or expensive IEM.
post #3514 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie R. View Post

Wish list for the "next" AK120:

 

- Dual WM8741s, software controlled and with the option to run MPF (minimal phase filter) in the software menus.

- Line out (can use the same jack as the optical in, as there is not signal going in/out of the contacts of this jack) and HP out.

- 3-ohm OI is not bad, but not ideal if you are using low impedance IEMs (like 8 or 16 ohm).

- Native DSD playback, since this is possible with the WM8741s

- Drop the bluetooth if it saves any battery life (probably not much if the bluetooth is turned "off", but I haven't tested it).

- Keep the thickness the same, but if playtime can be increased by making it a little longer (e.g. length of iPhone), then consider it if it adds

a few hours, as the AK120 is still plenty small. 

- Ideally, allow for some more voltage swing on the output stage so it can go a little louder on headphones like LCD2/3, HE500, etc.  But ONLY

if the quality of the output stage is not compromised in any way.  High/low gain setting would be ideal as well, so one doesn't have to attenuate

so much with sensitive IEMs.

- A bigger screen is always a plus, but not nearly as important to me as the above items.

 

This would make for a bas ass DAP, IMHO!


I would add to this list that rather than make BT go away, make it work properly so one can listen to the player yet hear the phone ring reliably when it is connected via BT.

More importantly, fix all the playlist, DSD playback, etc problems and usability compromises.

And last but not least - change from Micro to regular SD cards so the unit can hold much more music. 192GB is too small.

post #3515 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

Ian, very sweet...normal_smile%20.gif
 

The PF-IX does sound very nice out of the 120....................

Just received shipping notice from Vinnie for my RWA120S, so will receive it next Tuesday/Wednesday...................also 
Shikada-san is shipping my TU-06 which should also arrive Monday/Tuedsay.


Gonna be a fun week!!! 

Oh thats wonderful. When does the 05 arrive?
I am so looking forward to your thoughts on these
post #3516 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


Oh thats wonderful. When does the 05 arrive?
I am so looking forward to your thoughts on these

 

From Japan, it's usually 2/3 days..........so if Shikada-san ships today, earliest will be Monday

 

Initially, I will use my V800 Dac/ RCA to 3.5 to burn in the TU-05, until the RWAK120S arrives. Will definitely try the PF-IX and other IEMs. Also I should be receiving the TH900 this week too, and very much looking forward to using the TU-06 on them.

 

 

post #3517 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApaucalyptiK View Post

Hi,

 

Anyone knows some korean shops where i can buy a AK120 at the best price ? And what would be the best price by the way ?

 

Thanks.

Anyone ? :)

post #3518 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApaucalyptiK View Post

Anyone ? :)

pm sent

post #3519 of 6011
So overall how's the SQ when AK120 pairs with the UM Miracle IEM? As the Miracle only have 16 ohm impedance. In this thread someone has mention it's better to choose those headphones / IEM with at least 25 ohm impedance....

So I really wanna know whether the Miracle can pair well with the AK120? Or should I go for the RWAK120 mod? As the headphone output will be <1 ohm which suits low impedance IEM better...
post #3520 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post

So overall how's the SQ when AK120 pairs with the UM Miracle IEM? As the Miracle only have 16 ohm impedance. In this thread someone has mention it's better to choose those headphones / IEM with at least 25 ohm impedance....

So I really wanna know whether the Miracle can pair well with the AK120? Or should I go for the RWAK120 mod? As the headphone output will be <1 ohm which suits low impedance IEM better...

Anyone... Please let me know, such a pain when I'm thinking about this problem as I have just ordered the AK120. >.<

I used the AK120 stock with my Miracles for 5 hour session on Wednesday. Worked beautifully........bass was there and the clarity is amazing. 

post #3521 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post

I used the AK120 stock with my Miracles for 5 hour session on Wednesday. Worked beautifully........bass was there and the clarity is amazing. 

Wow that's awesome! I was thinking to send my 120 to red wind audio and ask for the RWAK mod. Do you know the sound differences between the stock version and after mod? Thanks smily_headphones1.gif
post #3522 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post

So overall how's the SQ when AK120 pairs with the UM Miracle IEM? As the Miracle only have 16 ohm impedance. In this thread someone has mention it's better to choose those headphones / IEM with at least 25 ohm impedance....

So I really wanna know whether the Miracle can pair well with the AK120? Or should I go for the RWAK120 mod? As the headphone output will be <1 ohm which suits low impedance IEM better...

Anyone... Please let me know, such a pain when I'm thinking about this problem as I have just ordered the AK120. >.<


I got the RWAK120 mod recently - still developing my impressions.  But I think I can safely say that it's helped the pairing with my AKG K3003, which have a very low 8 ohm impedance.  Seems to have improved the bass significantly.  It seems to have a much fuller, weightier sound compared to the thinner sound than it had before.  Wish I still had an unmodded AK120 to compare with though - this is all from memory!

post #3523 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post

I used the AK120 stock with my Miracles for 5 hour session on Wednesday. Worked beautifully........bass was there and the clarity is amazing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by archeryc View Post


Wow that's awesome! I was thinking to send my 120 to red wind audio and ask for the RWAK mod. Do you know the sound differences between the stock version and after mod? Thanks smily_headphones1.gif

Have no clue.......and there are two diff mods, replacing the chips and then you need a separate amp.......or lower the impedance from 3-1. 

post #3524 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post


I got the RWAK120 mod recently - still developing my impressions.  But I think I can safely say that it's helped the pairing with my AKG K3003, which have a very low 8 ohm impedance.  Seems to have improved the bass significantly.  It seems to have a much fuller, weightier sound compared to the thinner sound than it had before.  Wish I still had an unmodded AK120 to compare with though - this is all from memory!

Thank you for your impression! Wish i could have a try your moded AK120 :P I live in Australia Perth

post #3525 of 6011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post

 

Have no clue.......and there are two diff mods, replacing the chips and then you need a separate amp.......or lower the impedance from 3-1. 

Yeah i'm only gonna go for the lower impedance mod. As i gonna use the AK120 for my portable end-game setup. :)

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