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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 237

post #3541 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Is that an 801 in your picture? Have you compared them in terms of sound quality? How about when amping is the 120 better? 

I look forward to your impressions. Most of the time I am using the AK120 amped. Although its not due to it being a requirement. Just I'm spoiled and I love the sound. Still reasonable portable with the T1 amp. I have to admit though I don't take it out with me very much. Usually use it at home and take the 3rd ANV with me when out and about.
That is the problem with amping the ak120...hard to go back.
post #3542 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

That is the problem with amping the ak120...hard to go back.
Very true, ak120 has clean line out but its amp section is just don't cut it for me. I even prefer the T5 amp over the ak120 amp section.
post #3543 of 6295
Yes, its an 801. Directly out I find the biggest difference is refinement. The AK120 sounds more refined, less digital grain. Of course prior to the 120 arriving I thought the 801 grainless. This is the story of upgrading I guess, its not until you hear something better that you realize what your using has any issues!

Listening to .wav files has been one of the biggest differences I feel. On the AK120 they sound much more like well done high resolution files that ones ripped from CD. I have experienced this before only on really good home CD players.

It is great as it means I am enjoying my CD ripped collection a great deal more now, to the point where I am wondering if I need high resolution alternatives with some albums. Case in point is Astral weeks which I got in 24/192 and to be honest it is not a lot different to the CD to my ears. However some high resolution albums are certainly better. I said it before but will say it again, High resolution can be somewhat of a crapshoot and I have to say the ones from HD tracks seem to be the biggest crapshoot of the lot!

2L, Channel Classic or HDTT have proven to be consistently excellent though.

I will compare both with the 05 when it gets back. I don't use the Stax often enough to do a fair comparison. Very impressed with the stock line out from the AK120 though. It was very easy to discern the differences in my three cables.

I have a feeling tubes and the AK120 will prove to be very good bedfellows. The T1 looks to be superb value!
post #3544 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

Yes, its an 801. Directly out I find the biggest difference is refinement. The AK120 sounds more refined, less digital grain. Of course prior to the 120 arriving I thought the 801 grainless. This is the story of upgrading I guess, its not until you hear something better that you realize what your using has any issues!

Listening to .wav files has been one of the biggest differences I feel. On the AK120 they sound much more like well done high resolution files that ones ripped from CD. I have experienced this before only on really good home CD players.

It is great as it means I am enjoying my CD ripped collection a great deal more now, to the point where I am wondering if I need high resolution alternatives with some albums. Case in point is Astral weeks which I got in 24/192 and to be honest it is not a lot different to the CD to my ears. However some high resolution albums are certainly better. I said it before but will say it again, High resolution can be somewhat of a crapshoot and I have to say the ones from HD tracks seem to be the biggest crapshoot of the lot!

2L, Channel Classic or HDTT have proven to be consistently excellent though.

I will compare both with the 05 when it gets back. I don't use the Stax often enough to do a fair comparison. Very impressed with the stock line out from the AK120 though. It was very easy to discern the differences in my three cables.

I have a feeling tubes and the AK120 will prove to be very good bedfellows. The T1 looks to be superb value!

 

I totally agree with the above. You could have the perfect setup in the world according to your current experiences and then it all crashes down once you've heard better. You realize the weaknesses in the chain (your sources). Isn't that refreshing when you learn something new in this hobby :).

 

I also agree with the WAV. I don't know why but it just sounds more natural to me. Maybe even slightly warmer. But I notice the sound is overall more smooth in WAV and there is more control in the frequencies. Now this isn't night and day but something I could hear and appreciated enough to convert all my FLAC on the player to WAV. Haven't bothered with the 24 bit material though as it's so big as is. But even then I've heard differences using cPlay vs Foobar. cPlay creates a seperate file in WAV and then plays it back in memory cache. Sounds overall smoother and more spacious to me.

 

I'm still a bit surprised you found the 801 to be grainy afterwards though. I figured the 801 was one of the smoothest sounding DAPs out there :P.


Edited by lee730 - 8/25/13 at 5:15pm
post #3545 of 6295
All, I pair my ak120 with 1p2uber, for the past month since I had them, I had been going back n forth struggling if an amp should be added, this would sound silly to many of u experts, but the reason I struggle is that I am uncertain what will be gained by adding the to the bulk n is it necessary? I know this is highly personal n would appreciate your sharings. Thanks in advance!
post #3546 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunchi99 View Post

All, I pair my ak120 with 1p2uber, for the past month since I had them, I had been going back n forth struggling if an amp should be added, this would sound silly to many of u experts, but the reason I struggle is that I am uncertain what will be gained by adding the to the bulk n is it necessary? I know this is highly personal n would appreciate your sharings. Thanks in advance!
Just try an amp. If you do not miss anything do not amp. I find it does not change much but with a good such as RSA71B you add more authority and power...you can listen at lower volumes and still have nice note weight and bass impact. But if portability is important, it is clearly NOT night and day improvement.
post #3547 of 6295
Thank
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Just try an amp. If you do not miss anything do not amp. I find it does not change much but with a good such as RSA71B you add more authority and power...you can listen at lower volumes and still have nice note weight and bass impact. But if portability is important, it is clearly NOT night and day improvement.
Thanks! I tried the intruder balanced to the 1p2, for about 15mins, n it seemed a bit more "3D", but like u said its not night and day and that's why would like to know experiences from others. The being able to listen in lower volumes is quite tempting though, as I almost always have to turn it up quite a bit to get the more impactful sound. Thx thx for your sharing.
post #3548 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunchi99 View Post

All, I pair my ak120 with 1p2uber, for the past month since I had them, I had been going back n forth struggling if an amp should be added, this would sound silly to many of u experts, but the reason I struggle is that I am uncertain what will be gained by adding the to the bulk n is it necessary? I know this is highly personal n would appreciate your sharings. Thanks in advance!

I'm using AK120 with TG!334 with BTG Starlight SPC cable. Last weekend I tried SR-71b and Intruder with the pair for about an hour or so at my local audio store.
With the Intruder, I found the combo has too much warm and bass quantity, considering the 334 is quite a warm sounding IEM.
When I swapped the amp with SR-71b, it brings out the mid and treble, but I noticed the bass is slightly roll-off. I don't know what it the output impedance of the 71b, but the 334 is very fussy with high OI, from my experienced with my previou stock AK100 which had 22 Ohm OI.
I only used the single-ended connection, instead of the balance output on both amps as I don't have balance IEM cable.
At the end of the demo, I decided that I don't need either amp for the time being.
post #3549 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhyar View Post


I'm using AK120 with TG!334 with BTG Starlight SPC cable. Last weekend I tried SR-71b and Intruder with the pair for about an hour or so at my local audio store.
With the Intruder, I found the combo has too much warm and bass quantity, considering the 334 is quite a warm sounding IEM.
When I swapped the amp with SR-71b, it brings out the mid and treble, but I noticed the bass is slightly roll-off. I don't know what it the output impedance of the 71b, but the 334 is very fussy with high OI, from my experienced with my previou stock AK100 which had 22 Ohm OI.
I only used the single-ended connection, instead of the balance output on both amps as I don't have balance IEM cable.
At the end of the demo, I decided that I don't need either amp for the time being.

 

With the 71B, you really must use it on it's balanced output, this is where it excels.......

post #3550 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

With the 71B, you really must use it on it's balanced output, this is where it excels.......

Thanks. If only there is an adaptor for a mini 3.5 to balance. I know there's already DIY post for adaptor to convert balance to mini 3.5 plug
post #3551 of 6295
I guess I am now leaning to the "need an amp" camp for ak120. Probably got spoiled by the 901's amp section.

It really defeats my original intend to get a high quality pocketable standalone dap with the AKs. May sell it or just get the 120S mod from Vinnie and pair with 71B/mass-kobo/intruder for a ministack again. Tho dunno how much headtime I will have for it.
Edited by kkcc - 8/25/13 at 8:07pm
post #3552 of 6295

Hi Guys,

 

While we are talking about Amp. Do you guys have any recommendation for AK120? Size wise I prefer an amp with similar footprint as the 120.

 

Thanks

 

Kith

post #3553 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhyar View Post

Thanks. If only there is an adaptor for a mini 3.5 to balance. I know there's already DIY post for adaptor to convert balance to mini 3.5 plug
I am the other way round with a balanced uber for 1p2 n thinking of converting it back to SE if not getting an amp. I know ultimately it's my own ears n my own choice, it's very helpful to listen to all your experiences.
With the SE GS cable and the balanced uber I have for the 1p2, the most logical option perhaps is to get a balanced amp to use with uber, while direct on ak120 with the gs... Back to square one... Lol
post #3554 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk2013 View Post

Hi Guys,

While we are talking about Amp. Do you guys have any recommendation for AK120? Size wise I prefer an amp with similar footprint as the 120.

Thanks

Kith
Hi, just curious, u feel that the ak120 requires amping too? Thx
post #3555 of 6295
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk2013 View Post

Hi Guys,

While we are talking about Amp. Do you guys have any recommendation for AK120? Size wise I prefer an amp with similar footprint as the 120.

Thanks

Kith

I m setting my sights on sr71b. Almost same size:

Ak120: 2.3x3.5x0.6
SR71B: 2.25x3.25x0.7

Cheers
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