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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 269

post #4021 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron NYC View Post
 

Here is my set up: 

RWAK 120-B > Balanced connector > RSA Intruder (balanced)> Moon Audio Silver Dragon IEM Cable (balanced) > UE Pro 18. IEMs.  All FLAC.  Mix of standard and higher res files.  

 

I've had the 120-B for two weeks.  Punchline -- it's terrific.  As you well know, the incremental price of all these gadgets and mods don't produce a linear return...the gains are not only small to medium relative to price, they are 'to taste'...meaning, what I may define as 'awesome' and 'significant change' someone else may find minor and/or not like it at all.  With those disclaimers in mind, I'll offer the following re: my impression of this set up:

 

** "Balanced" is a new thing for me in headphone land.  Prior to the RWAK 120B I had a standard AK120; SE Out to RSA balanced intruder amp.  The reason I bring this up is that I liked the balanced sound in that original config, whereas this fully balanced set up (RWAK120B) is far better.  It's a better balanced experience.  It's more natural to my ears.

** This set up offers more natural attacks and resolution of notes.  Subtle but real.  "Pre-ringing" (or lack thereof) was a new term for me, and as I understand it, the 8741s have this advantage over the other Wolfson DACs.  I'm not sure if this feature or some other part of the chain is responsible for the attack/resolution improvement, but I thought it worth mentioning.  Come to find out I have these DACs in my home system (Linn Klimax, VTL/tube amps, Wilson) and I've been trying to replicate that sound in my head...silly goal, as these are completely different animals, but this SS is closer to my home system, which I happen to like.

** Burn in.  I don't believe in it, but I certainly do believe in aural acclimation.  And I can tell you it is better now than it was 20 listening hours ago.  Whereas some set ups never seem to 'fit', this one keeps getting better.  

** Blend/balance.  Slightly better balance and blend of instruments and voices across all forms of music, but particularly in acoustic oriented folk/bluegrass music.  While you can still pick out each instrument with absolute ease, the separation isn't so stark that it becomes distracting.  I'm not sure why this is happening, or why this particular genre of music makes it more apparent, but it does.

** Sibilance.  There is less of it.  I get distracted by it, so I'm glad this set-up tamps it down.

 

I came from a hifiman 801 (selling by the way) to an AK120 with a stock IEM cord running straight out of the headphone jack to my UE PRO18.  And that experience was terrific!  This little guy is excellent and needs no amp or other mods.  That said, I'm glad to have the set up I have.   In the end this may all boil down to perception, post purchase rationalization, etc.  I don't care.  Sounds better to me so I'm happy.

 

Finally, I echo the other comments on here re: Vinnie.  Good guy.  Put up with all my stupid questions without ever making me feel dumb.  

 

Thanks to all of you for your posts -- I enjoy your perspectives.

 

Hmm.. I am thinking of going SE out to balanced amp (RSA or MK-3) but then I need to get balanced cable for my se846. Any suggestions as to whether it is a significant upgrade?

post #4022 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by j60868 View Post
 

 

Hmm.. I am thinking of going SE out to balanced amp (RSA or MK-3) but then I need to get balanced cable for my se846. Any suggestions as to whether it is a significant upgrade?

 

 

+1 would like to know how much of a difference the SE846 would sound being balanced and with the AK120 too ... haha as i have both 

post #4023 of 6936

I think using the Toslink with the CEntrance HiFi M8 LX will be better for balance, as you can one more analog step, which is always good in my book.

post #4024 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by flaco View Post

how do you set the volume to 100 ?? On my Ak120 it isnt possible to set the volume over 75...

I was thinking the same but then the explanation came.
post #4025 of 6936

I ordered an AK120 today. The gas got the best of me. 

post #4026 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


I was thinking the same but then the explanation came.

 

Yeah sorry, I had no idea the unit didn't go above 75 lol........I just had it at 75 for some reason, it's a weird thing I have where I don't like using maximum settings, always leave a little grace....must be linked to my OCD somewhere!! 

 

So now my AK120 is set to 73 ha ha

 

I love this very much, but it is rather annoying that there isn't a shuffle setting for the entire library, only for a playlist? unless I'm missing something? Surely this can be implemented though, it's a great feature of the iPod. I haven't got time, or the patience to keep using the + to add tracks, I just want to hit shuffle and let it roll!  

 

 

 

walshy

post #4027 of 6936

try all songs.  then under the menu for gapless/eq, details etc you can select random.....

post #4028 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrys30 View Post
 

try all songs.  then under the menu for gapless/eq, details etc you can select random.....

 

 

Edit: Think I've sorted this! ha ha 


Edited by walshyy - 10/9/13 at 6:24am
post #4029 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshyy View Post

Yeah sorry, I had no idea the unit didn't go above 75 lol........I just had it at 75 for some reason, it's a weird thing I have where I don't like using maximum settings, always leave a little grace....must be linked to my OCD somewhere!! 

So now my AK120 is set to 73 ha ha

I love this very much, but it is rather annoying that there isn't a shuffle setting for the entire library, only for a playlist? unless I'm missing something? Surely this can be implemented though, it's a great feature of the iPod. I haven't got time, or the patience to keep using the + to add tracks, I just want to hit shuffle and let it roll!  



walshy

I have done some extensive listening at different volume levels on the 120 and fixed on my TU-05, listened through my T5P's which are very revealing and the only difference I can find is in volume, the quality stays the same at whatever level the 120's volume is set at, least to my ears anyway!

I must say I have been very impressed with this line out/HP out combination. If folks think its like that on the iPod they are in for a very nice surprise as to my ears it just sounds like a dedicated line out, they did a really good job in keeping it clean I feel.

I posted this on the ASP thread but thought I would share it here, last nights listening session. I love listening in the dark! Last night was Mozart through 120/TU-05/PF IX with Audioquest interconnect..


AppleMark
post #4030 of 6936
A great week turned bad.

PayPal'd vinnie for rwak120-b mod......happy exciting days.

Wife took to post office but they got funny about sending by air as battery inside!!! She thought leave it then so can ask me and left player on side!! It has gone! Been every where she went but nothing to be found!!

Police report filed and she is confident someone will find it and take to police station......in my mind, no chance!!!

Gutted. Was nicely burned in. Case was looking nice and a little used....you know what I mean.

I am guessing there is some hidden message but I am damned I know what!!
post #4031 of 6936

Maybe something about wives. Just joking. I bet she feels awful about it.

post #4032 of 6936
Yeah. It's an expensive mistake......wonder how long the lucky finder will take to realize what they found!!!
post #4033 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrys30 View Post

Yeah. It's an expensive mistake......wonder how long the lucky finder will take to realize what they found!!!

 

Well I hope you get a refund from Vinnie at least so that the financial value lost is just the AK120 itself. In Japan there's a high chance one would get it back but in any other country, sadly once its gone it's gone. Crossing my fingers that you'll find it but I've lost things in Hong Kong before...once it's gone, it's gone.

post #4034 of 6936
Yeah. I think the vinnie side is sorted.....can't see any trouble there.

But like you I think it's gone. I'll just never know how that mod would have changed it......even if get another just doesn't feel same!!!!
post #4035 of 6936

Very sorry to hear that. It's a terrible thought to think someone is out there right now using an AK120 with their Apple earbuds. 

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