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The Astell & Kern AK120 - Page 447

post #6691 of 6694
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

It's not like they're playing with the codecs. This has to do with resources, buffers, background functions or simple subtleties due to code and registry config. Ears are just very sensitive, especially if dealing with something that's inherently revealing and relatively neutral.

Do you think that iRiver/AK might have changed or tweaked the software digital filters in-between firmware versions? I grabbed an RWAK120-B last fall (2014) that had 1.40 pre-loaded on it, and it provided a very "liquidy" sound that, while hyper-detailed and nuanced, sounded slightly smeared/indistinct at the same time. I installed 1.42 about a month ago and felt that the sound became a little more lively, but it might have just been placebo as any difference between the two seemed insignificant as I listened to it more.


Anyway, I just got around to loading 1.32 earlier today (downgraded from 1.42), and the first thing that I noticed when listening to the same track was the gain/volume being less "hot", with more room to adjust the travel on my amp's volume pot. Overall, 1.32 seems to produce a more detailed and less weighty/liquidy sound, with faster transitions and improved dynamics.


Could it be possible that maybe AK configured 1.32 using a minimum phase software filter, which they changed (to a linear filter, or some other software adjustment) in newer firmware versions? Just curious if this might be the reason for the differences in sound from 1.32 to 1.4/1.42, or if there might be some other underlying reason for it.


post #6692 of 6694

Who knows but they did say theve adopted some 32bit processing in and after 1.37 which seems to smooth it some.

post #6693 of 6694

So I just did the output mod running some wires direct from the last transistor tag to the output jack. It's a keeper. I'll go through the FWs again but 1.32 is sounding mighty fine. I had lost some bass with the jh13s and the stock output. jh13s drop to probably below 10 ohms in the bass and maybe the highs as well so the mod warmed it up some.

post #6694 of 6694

I'm back to 1.30 on the resistor bypassed unit.which is where I started on a stock unit before upgrading the IEM cable and waiting for it to run in. I just prefer it to 1.32. They're close but 1.30 has slightly better prat and bass delineation for me. 1.37 isn't bad either but a little smooth. If you like it warmer and more laid back, it's got a nice open texture. I'd probably just go with 1.30 or 1.37 depending on my preference. On a modded DAC unit or different transducer 1.32 may well be the trick but I slightly prefer 1.30 for that general flavor a bit more, as I originally did. I also found that there can be slight variations on install. I snappy install of 1.37 is quite good and may be where I end up.

Edited by goodvibes - 7/29/15 at 4:12pm
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