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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 25

post #361 of 5736

Here is probably the very first detailed review that actually compared AK120 against AK100 and DX100:

 

 

 

Quote:
Author:Bad_Robot Moderator at hifi-forum
 
So, I've heard all the late afternoon and evening compared, measured, and tested.
 
Here the AK120 times next to its predecessor, the AK100, and the iBasso DX100:
 

 

 
The AK120 was somewhat larger than the AK100, but is still less than the DX100.
 
Here is the display of the AK120 compared to the DX100:

 

 
 
I have examined the AK120 for its suitability for InEars. (Like other clip-on headphones to try, that is not my core competency.) Tested and I have heard today with the Sennheiser IE800 (dynamic driver), UE 10 and Triple.Fi JHAudio JH-13Pro (both multi-BA-InEars).
 
To pre-empt the outcome: sound can not scratch the AK120 on the throne of the iBasso DX100 IMHO. The AK120 is indeed much better than its predecessor, the AK100 (and not only in terms of output impedance), but he does not reach the DX100.
 
Here the AK120 RMAA measurements of a UE 10 are Triple.Fi even think about it.
 
Both the frequency response as well as the other measured values ​​are slightly better than - for example - an iPhone 5 with UE 10 Triple.Fi it. The iPhone 5 was measured somewhere once with 3.27 ohms, so the specification of 3 ohms when AK120 seems to be true already.
The values ​​of AK120 are quite good, but whether it is worth the price of one, everyone must decide for themselves.
 
Next, the Sennheiser IE800 turn came. I was thinking at first that the AK120 with these InEars (with dynamic range driver) can cope better, but as it turned out, not really:
 
AK120 with Sennheiser IE800.
 
Although the true frequency response (which was expected), but strangely, bagged the channel separation of the AK120 with the IE800 off in the basement.
 
I first thought of a measurement error or poor contact with the cable. Therefore, I have time to umgeswitcht iBasso DX100 and those measured with the IE800:
 
iBasso DX100 Sennheiser IE800.
 
As you can see, all right. Then put back the AK120, measured again, and again the same result (channel separation sags).
 
Well, a measuring technique "worse" channel separation is often even subjectively perceived as "nice" as worse values ​​in the separation channel, the acoustic stage slightly increase. The stage presentation is certainly quite a bit different between AK120 and DX100 (whether "better" or "worse" is a matter of personal taste). It seems to me the direct comparison before and as if the AK120 plays a bit of "crystal clear". This is (either my imagination or) may on the other DAC or other digital filters. DX100 first I was really written that he was a bit "soft flushed" to me sounds like. I could fix this, as I had changed the DX100. Somewhere in the menus, you can change the digital filter of "slow roll-off" to "fast / sharp roll-off". This has the "problem" that I fixed with the DX100 for me.
 
Well, the AK120 is such that he probably still a "faster" setting runs. The difference DX100 from "slow" to "fast" is about as how the difference of DX100 (the "sharp") for AK120. (The AK120 plays virtually in "super sharp".)
 
Whichever is better, like everything else, however, is also a matter of personal taste.
 
The AK120 makes quite a few things but not different, but better than the DX100. What I noticed is this:
 
- Smaller housing
 
- Does not require a separate charger as the DX100. The AK120 is charged via the USB cable.
 
- Longer battery life (7 hours vs 16 hours in the DX100 AK120).
 
- I also like the UI of the AK120 better. Although it's kind of minimalist, but "more responsive". It seems to react faster. The DX100 always carry a complete halt in the background Android 'around with it. Who knows what's going on, always in the background. DX100 somehow it always takes a bite until he responds to display oppressors. The AK120 is there faster.
 
Measurement techniques can be considered the AK120 but only heave on the DX100 level if you connect an external pKHV very good. In my case it was an RSA Hornet (something in the caliber then IMHO it should be already). The metrological looks like this:
 
AK120 -> RSA Hornet -> UE Triple.Fi 10
 
So, that's it for today.
 
Best regards,
Markus
 
PS: The iBasso DX100 UE Triple.Fi 10 off can be found here.

source  :http://www.hifi-forum.de/viewthread-125-8492.html


Edited by audionewbi - 5/17/13 at 2:01am
post #362 of 5736

I take more import in his subjective opinions on the devices than the measurements. An Ipod touch 5 probably equals or betters anything in measurements. If it were just about #s why would you go beyond this? http://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipod-touch-5g/audio-quality.htm


Edited by goodvibes - 5/17/13 at 5:13am
post #363 of 5736

This is exactly why I ordered the AK120 as I like my ears to make the final judgement. 

post #364 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbi View Post

This is exactly why I ordered the AK120 as I like my ears to make the final judgement. 

 

this is crazy, just a few days ago we were talking about high price of Ak120 and now list of buyers have grown up so fast...... i start feeling jelaous, lose my sleep basshead.giftongue.gif

 

@customNuts, yes YUMMI... but i have one problem now, my wallet just walked out and told he will not return until i reconsider gear plans tongue_smile.gif


Edited by Gintaras - 5/17/13 at 7:31am
post #365 of 5736

Where did you guys order ?

post #366 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperpwc View Post

^ Technically this is right. 3 ohms is not ideal; 2 or less would be better. In practice, 3 ohms for an 18 ohm headphone is probably going to be a non-issue.

What about this multiplying by 8 rule? So that would come to  24ohms and 18 ohm earphones. 

post #367 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Where did you guys order ?
Dince you are in China, Jaben HK sells them. They are something like $1400 though.
post #368 of 5736
post #369 of 5736
post #370 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

Very nice review.........normal_smile%20.gif

 

http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/internet-audio/594.html


The review is ok but there are errors that you would think an informed reviewer would not make. For one, stating it measures much better than other DAPs is misleading since there are other daps that measure as well, like the DX100. And the jump from 110 to 115 dynamic range isn't going to be noticed by many but he portrays it as huge. Also the reviewer is waiting for DSD but the AK120 will have to change the DSD to PCM since the 8740 doesn't do DSD. What is the point of a review when it is blatantly misleading on a couple of important facts?


Edited by jamato8 - 5/17/13 at 8:11pm
post #371 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post


The review is ok but there are errors that you would think an informed reviewer would not make. For one, stating it measures much better than other DAPs is misleading since there are other daps that measure as well, like the DX100. And the jump from 110 to 115 dynamic range isn't going to be noticed by many but he portrays it as huge. Also the reviewer is waiting for DSD but the AK120 will have to change the DSD to PCM since the 8740 doesn't do DSD. What is the point of a review when it is blatantly misleading on a couple of important facts?

 

I think the reviewer was taking the context of the measurements in terms of Home Rigs, specifically compared to CDPs. In practice, using the optical out driving Dacs and as a line out driving pre amps, the AK120 is considerably better than the DX100 from my experience, and even the AK100 is.

 

We are all waiting to see how DSD will be implemented, and are all fed the same information from A & K, who in their marketing claims DSD compatibility.......we need to wait for the firmware. Rather than blame the messenger, blame the route of the source! I would not be so quick to jump on the poor guynormal_smile%20.gif


Edited by spkrs01 - 5/17/13 at 8:22pm
post #372 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by spkrs01 View Post

 

I think the reviewer was taking the context of the measurements in terms of Home Rigs, specifically compared to CDPs. In practice, using the optical out driving Dacs and as a line out driving pre amps, the AK120 is considerably better than the DX100 from my experience, and even the AK100 is.

 

We are all waiting to see how DSD will be implemented, and are all fed the same information from A & K, who in their marketing claims DSD compatibility.......we need to wait for the firmware. Rather than blame the messenger, blame the route of the source! I would not be so quick to jump on the poor guynormal_smile%20.gif

As a reviewer he is obligated to research what he is saying. As such, if he researched the 8740 he would know it doesn't do DSD. He has a higher standard as a reviewer than the average person who does not hold that position so on that point I do not agree with you. Just like a professional in any occupation is held to a higher standard of performance than someone else. 

post #373 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post


The review is ok but there are errors that you would think an informed reviewer would not make. For one, stating it measures much better than other DAPs is misleading since there are other daps that measure as well, like the DX100. And the jump from 110 to 115 dynamic range isn't going to be noticed by many but he portrays it as huge. Also the reviewer is waiting for DSD but the AK120 will have to change the DSD to PCM since the 8740 doesn't do DSD. What is the point of a review when it is blatantly misleading on a couple of important facts?

 

 

Am I really the only one to notice that that Hi-fi World review makes zero mention of iBasso, HiFiMan, or Fiio, and...oh look, what a coincidence, Astell & Kern just happen to be advertising on the Hi-fi World website, whereas iBasso, HiFiMan, or Fiio aren't advertising there. Just a coincidence?    Pffft!    I think not.  The whole review reads like a publicity piece.

post #374 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mython View Post
Am I really the only one to notice that that Hi-fi World review makes zero mention of iBasso, HiFiMan, or Fiio, and...oh look, what a coincidence, Astell & Kern just happen to be advertising on the Hi-fi World website, whereas iBasso, HiFiMan, or Fiio aren't advertising there. Just a coincidence?    Pffft!    I think not.  The whole review reads like a publicity piece.

And to a degree that is what I was alluding to in the statement that the AK120 measures much better than any other DAP, to paraphrase. The DX100, the HiFiMan 901 both measure very well but then measurements aren't everything but if you are going to state something about measurements, know what you are talking about, especially in a formal manner such has Hi-Fi World. They have a responsibility. 


Edited by jamato8 - 5/17/13 at 9:36pm
post #375 of 5736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumbleroar View Post

What about this multiplying by 8 rule? So that would come to  24ohms and 18 ohm earphones. 

 

That's exactly my point. Hence technically not ideal. Would you hear the difference? I doubt it but I don't know. 

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