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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs) (page 2)
Last edited: 12/22/15
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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 404
Gear mentioned in this thread:
No, I get the same. I am listening with my ER4S's at the moment so experimented with an album that is very quite so I knew I would not damage my hearing trying but the volume stays the same but there is a line out symbol displaying. Will report back later once I attach the 120 to my amp.
Just been listening to Amazing Grace from the Mormon tabernacle choir. In the previous firmware choices the massed voices sounded less cohesive but with 1.40 not only can the definition of the voices be hear but the different sections of the choir seem to occupy a clearer space within the sonic. It is also way less tiring to listen to, warmer yes but the odd thing is at the same time there is greater micro details to be heard. Normally one can't have one with the other but you do with this firmware. Orchestral is sublime, listening to a 24/96 version of Sibelius's second symphony and right out of the player with my ER4S's which are notoriously hard to drive there is scale and an effortless deliver that simply was not there yesterday when listening with 1.32.
Best bit for last. My biggest complaint sonically was listening to DSD. It sounded glassy and hard compared to 24/192 but no more, now I think I get what DSD is all about, so natural sounding and effortless, just beautiful.
Really eager to hear others thoughts on all of this but right now it feels like I have bought a whole new player.
I had a shortish listen last night, hooked up to my Violectric V200 amp with my LCD-2s and HD650s.
I don't think there is a significant difference sonically in this case, but it could be different using earphones or headphones directly. If anything I thought the bass felt slightly less defined after the upgrade, but hard to tell since you obviously can't compare side by side with just the one player!
The lineout function doesn't have any impact on sound compared to turning it up to full volume. I guess this is expected and only serves as a convenience.
With DSD, the player is not really playing it in DSD, but rather converting to 24/88.2 PCM. They have probably improved the conversion method which could give a large improvement. I'm actually surprised conversion is possible at all given how much it seems to struggle with viewing libraries in artist view. Can't be too much computing power in there...
I do find the changes to the displaying of titles and in speed while using folder view to be immensely useful, a worthwhile upgrade for this alone.
I have the LCD2's as all and have heard a number of times the HD650's. I tend to find my T5P's much more revealing in nature than either of those so perhaps that might explain our different experiences.
Agree with you as well about the titles display. Its one of the most useful things they have upgraded It is amazing how such a small thing makes using the player so much nicer.
Haha yes that could be it.
I would imagine the extra warmth you are hearing could benefit the T5P but probably go slightly the other way on my already warm headphones, which may explain everything!
I'm hoping this isn't the big final update that was talked about though. It would be nice to keep seeing small improvements like this every so often, at least in navigation and usability.
But then again my amp really took this player up several notches in terms of soundstage anyway.
But there is a little more depth and placement of the instruments is more defined using the amp. Also though its a SET amp it is more on the revealing side than warm so the added warmth with this update has proved the greatest benefit listening via the amp. Bass depth has improved but more importantly the definition and texture of the bass.
Another lovely side to this is that what grain the treble did have before is now simply not there. Silky smooth and yet detailed. So, improvements but not as shocking as when listening directly out. More cumulative to a more engrossing listening session I would say.
Iikeaake I reckon your spot on. I listened through my LCD2's and it was a bit too warm and i lost the detail and texture improvements I got with the T5P's. Having said that it has taken care of the graininess I experience with them in comparison to my T5P's so thats a good thing.
I wonder what the Fostex 900's would be like with this update!
How are you guys extracting using mac?
US site stops downloading after about 14 megs and the Japan site seems to download all the way but I cannot open it because it's a hex file. Any help would be appreciated.
I'm using the Android App.
Don't border to download from the AK site and it sucks.
There's a link somewhere in this or the other AK thread and you need to find it and you will get the download [of the android app] within a minute.
Hope this helps
You don't need to open the hex file... with the AK120 connected, just drag & drop the hex file to the root folder of your unit. Once done, disconnect the unit & it will restart & update the firmware
Just received my 120 titan today. Beautiful little device.
But after I charged it and transferred a few files to the unit, it froze.
The screen is dark, but slightly led en a reset by pushing the > up button and the power button
for seven seconds does not help.
Very disappointing since I am in Europe and bought it in the US. So returning is not that easy.
I will try again after the battery is empty. If any of you has a good idea, please shoot.
sorry to hear that hope you'll get over the problem with the new restart
I am using firmware 1.33
May be I should load less music in a few times, instead of loading everything at once.
Hope I can get it out of the freeze mode, as soon as the battery is exhausted.
The screen is still on, but very dark.
- The Astell & Kern AK120
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