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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 330

post #4936 of 6936

Hi and happy new year.

 

Sorry if this question is off topic.  

 

I'm trying to figure out if the AK120 I just bought is worth keeping.  I previously had an AK100, which I got rid of because at the time (at least compared to this 120) the firmware was laggy and it required amping.  I didn't feeling like spending more to mod it because frankly it seemed like throwing good money after bad.  

 

So instead I decided to spend $1300 on this thing.  It's markedly better in browsing the database and playing files than my old 100.  However, I find it also needs amping.  I'm only using a JDS C5D (line in), which I guess makes me unqualified to even be posting on this forum.  However, I do think it sounds pretty good and the 1st level bass boost fills in the bottom nicely to my unwashed ears.

 

To further confess my low stature, I only have a handful of 24/96 FLAC albums.  The rest is all 16/44 ALAC CD rips.

I'm comparing it to:

touch5 (Accudio player)->C5D->ER4S

touch5 (Accudio player)->C5D->SE535

ipod6.5->CLAS -db-C5D->ER4S

ipod6.5->CLAS -db-C5D->SE535

ipod6.5 LOD->C5D->ER4S

ipod6.5 LOD->C5D->SE535

 

I find that in all instances the AK-120->C5D->SE535 is superior in terms of sound stage and a sort of refined warmth.

 

Ok, so it's better.  What I'm wondering is if I'm now amping it anyway (and I no longer have my old AK100 to compare it to), if I can get a similar improvement if I get an AK100 mk2 and save myself $500 in the process.  I haven't really seen anyone doing direct comparisons of the 100 mk2 with the 120 (both stock and amped).  I don't know what, besides the dual DAC and larger battery is really different about a 100mk2 and 120 when using an external amp.

 

Thanks.

post #4937 of 6936
That's fine if you only use analog amp, but for digital (S/PDIF) I will stick with the AK120.
post #4938 of 6936

Digital from the AK120 to an external Amp/DAC combination.... but you'd need to step it up if you're going to beat the dual DAC and Amp inside the 120. Taste is subjective though. You can find cheaper players with a digital output you can use, like the DX50.

 

Personally don't understand why people are using digital out from the AK120 to another single DAC and Amp device but there you go.

post #4939 of 6936

It's called "transport". I don't see the use of it too...

post #4940 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldlion973 View Post
 

Digital from the AK120 to an external Amp/DAC combination.... but you'd need to step it up if you're going to beat the dual DAC and Amp inside the 120. Taste is subjective though. You can find cheaper players with a digital output you can use, like the DX50.

 

Personally don't understand why people are using digital out from the AK120 to another single DAC and Amp device but there you go.

Are you responding to my post?  

 

I never said I was using an external DAC.  I have no interest in that.  When I referred to the C5D I said I was using the line in, meaning the analog line input.  The C5D is a combo unit which has a C5 amp section with a modified bass boost circuit.  That's what I'm using.

 

My question is this:  has anyone had the AK100 or 100 mk2 and a 120 and used an external amp with them, and observed any substantive difference in this configuration?  

 

I think if I was going to not amp, I'd stick with the 120, since it does sound better to me than I recall my crappy old AK100 sounding.

 

I suppose the only way for me to answer this question is to go to the store and buy the other unit tomorrow when I'm in the city and figure it out on my own.

 

Thank you Mr. Gold Lion, you have been quite helpful.   

post #4941 of 6936

The SQ of the AK120 is better than that of the AK100, I had the AK100 pretty long and was quite satisfied with the purchase. The AK120 has for my taste pretty much more dynamics than the AK100. The soundstage is also bigger and it seems more effortless and not so narrowed or closed in. Some people claim that it is possible to put the AK100 on the level of the AK120 by adding an amp. I for my taste can't believe that and it doesn't make sense to me because the technical abilites of the AK120 are higher, not very much but for my taste enough. I can easily distinguish between the two

post #4942 of 6936

Thank you, Flaco.  That was very helpful information.  (I mean it this time)  :normal_smile :

post #4943 of 6936

That's what we are here for. I just read your last question. 

post #4944 of 6936

They aren't comparable IMO. Even my beater player is better than the AK100 ;).

post #4945 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

Even my beater player is better than the AK100 ;).

 

post #4946 of 6936

Dual low impedance rotary drivers.  Nice. 

post #4947 of 6936

Analog powered...not stinkin' digital..:D

post #4948 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post
 

 

At first you had me excited. But go figure playlist support still doesn't work :(.


Since I'm still in playlist hell with the AK120, has anyone any new information on how to sync playlists from software to the AK120 that works reliably? I use a mac, but I can use a windoze product if that's necessary.

 

Without real playlist support (and where are some usable ratings-type system? This is pretty basic) honestly the player is much less useful than it would be, especially if (like me) you have a large collection of hires music.

post #4949 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel777 View Post
 

 

I'm a mac user and even if i do not have much skills in computing since, would like to collaborate in this project.

 

regards

 

Samuel777


Same here. This is my top issue.

post #4950 of 6936
Quote:
Originally Posted by fonsecaj View Post
 

Are you responding to my post?  

 

I never said I was using an external DAC.  I have no interest in that.  When I referred to the C5D I said I was using the line in, meaning the analog line input.  The C5D is a combo unit which has a C5 amp section with a modified bass boost circuit.  That's what I'm using.

 

My question is this:  has anyone had the AK100 or 100 mk2 and a 120 and used an external amp with them, and observed any substantive difference in this configuration?  

 

I think if I was going to not amp, I'd stick with the 120, since it does sound better to me than I recall my crappy old AK100 sounding.

 

I suppose the only way for me to answer this question is to go to the store and buy the other unit tomorrow when I'm in the city and figure it out on my own.

 

Thank you Mr. Gold Lion, you have been quite helpful.   

 

Sorry, from what I recall the C5 is an amp... the C5D is an amp+dac. I thought you were talking about using the AK100 with such a device and comparing it with the AK120 asking if it was worth it my reply in general was that the AK120 uses two premium DAC's to each channel and would need an Amp+DAC that bettered that for it to be worth while using the AK120's digital out and thereby not using its expensive internals. Most are paring the AK120 with the RSA 71b or the ALO BIII+ to improve its sound quality using the headphone out as a line out which is still using the DAC section whereas using the Digital out would not. 

 

Have a sense of humor so the sarcasm is very, very much appreciated .lol. The AK120 is top dog at the moment, buy an RSA to go with it and you'll be fine.

 

Issues with the album work on the AK120 over here playlisters.... am haivng to send mine to Germany for repairs and am glad I didn't crack it open or ship it to Vinnie for a mod as I'm not sure what is covered by Red Wine if something buggy goes wrong with the device like that. Sucks.

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