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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 18

post #256 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatalethal View Post

 

 

my favourite is the Round Up album.

 

Hmm I'll have to look into that :).

post #257 of 591

Gang,

here let me help you out.  I wrote the SACD Ripping Guide, and recently wrote up a simple step-by-step to take multiple ISOs and batch convert them.  I ALWAYS use DSF (btw, there are only two DSD formats, DSF and DFF...nothing really called DSD.  "DSD" is like "PCM", it is the format's name, but the "file format" is called DSF or DFF, like Wav or AIFF in the PCM world.)  Anyway, I always use DSF cuz it supports full ID3V2 tagging, cover art, etc and there is no downside.  It is digitally identical to DFF but adds the metadata in its header. I always convert using the bat file I will attach, cuz it also looks for DST compression (seldom on stereo only discs, or on stereo layers of hybrids, but you never know).  Here:

 

Hi.  I am more than pleased to send you what I have put together.  I have edited this for both stereo and multichannel extraction.  This is to be used on your personal SACD library only, and not commercially, and used  for archiving and playing the files on a DSD-capable DACs (I also co-ordinate the Google Docs DSD database and will read further about this AK120 to add to our database).  Any PCM playback would require a player to do on-the-fly DSD-to-PCM conversion, or use a tool like Audiogate (instructions in the guide) to convert offline.

 

Here are my links to my guide and the tools.

 

First read the guide throughout.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/SACD%20ripper%20primer%20v3.0.zip

 

Then (if PS3 ripping) download the firmware

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/CFW355-OTHEROS%2B%2B.zip

 

Then (if PS3 ripping)  download the ripper and keys

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/sacd-ripper.zip

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/ps3free-ps3keys.zip

 

For Windows extraction (once you have the ISOs ripped):

Here is a simple primer (in case you don’t already have a root folder and Programs subfolder):

 

1) First make a new folder close to a root drive (so the naming path doesn’t get too long..sometimes the classical ones are ridiculous).  Call it anything, say, ISO2DSD. 

2) Then make a subfolder in it called Programs (capital “P”). 

3) Put the SACD-extract.exe (first link below, unzip) executable in the Programs subfolder. 

 

http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/downloads/detail?name=sacd_extract_0.3.7_WIN32.zip&can=2&q=

 

4) Put the bat files (link below, unzip) in the main folder.  One is for stereo extraction, one for multichannel

 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3487125/Extract%20DST%20Stereo%20DSF%20Files.zip

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/Extract%20DST%20DSF%20Multichannel%20Files.zip

 

5) So then put any number of ISOs (rename the ISOs if their name is too long; something that will uniquely identify them but not too long) you want to extract in the main folder (the one with the bat, the one we hypothetically called ISO2DSD). 

6) Click on the bat file of your choice, and voila……and then each ISO will extract to DSF tracks, putting one album full of tracks in a folder each (20 ISOs, 20 new folders created).  When you do this again (for more ISOs) remove the already-extracted ISOs or they will get worked on again!  Each ISO can take 10 minutes or more (multichannel much longer), so once you have this down well do a bunch overnight.

 

Ted

post #258 of 591

So it is version 1.3 of the AK firmware/software that brings DSD, right?  Can anyone explain how they did that with a chipset that is not known to support DSD?  Regardless, your experiences tells me it works, so I'll add it in.  Take a look and tell me if the entry is in error anywhere.  Thx

Ted

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgVhKcl_3lHfdFVyenBBNjNpQ2lieG81WGpqQTNfVUE#gid=0


Edited by ted_b - 7/21/13 at 8:31am
post #259 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
 

 

Ted..

 

Let me thank you for the SACD Ripping Guide..

 

Although it is too complicated for me, I am sure many, more technical than I, will find it truly useful.

 

beerchug.gif

post #260 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_b View Post
I wrote the SACD Ripping Guide, and recently wrote up a simple step-by-step to take multiple ISOs and batch convert them.

Sorry for the noob question, but all of this is only possible if you have an SACD capable PS3, correct?  Thanks.

post #261 of 591

Yes, the ripping project requires a PS3 model CECH-A, B, C or E (all of which are 2007 or earlier).  Even worse, they need to NOT have ever been updated beyond firmware/system version 3.55.  Anything above that requires a hardware service to bring it back to 3.55 or below (respectable Ebay service guys like PS3Specialist can do this for $100).  Spodtware down-revs don't work.

 

I didn't post those links to ask you folks to learn the ripping guide; I primarily posted it to hopefully clear up, in a few steps (5 min or less) how easy it is to take a legit SACD ISO (many of which have been talked about on this thread) and extract DSF files.  This extraction does not take place on a PS3, but instead on a WIndows machine (or OSX, but that software requires a slightly different setup).
 


Edited by ted_b - 7/21/13 at 8:31am
post #262 of 591

Any comparisons sound wise with a Colorfly C4, please?

post #263 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by ted_b View Post

Gang,

here let me help you out.  I wrote the SACD Ripping Guide, and recently wrote up a simple step-by-step to take multiple ISOs and batch convert them.  I ALWAYS use DSF (btw, there are only two DSD formats, DSF and DFF...nothing really called DSD.  "DSD" is like "PCM", it is the format's name, but the "file format" is called DSF or DFF, like Wav or AIFF in the PCM world.)  Anyway, I always use DSF cuz it supports full ID3V2 tagging, cover art, etc and there is no downside.  It is digitally identical to DFF but adds the metadata in its header. I always convert using the bat file I will attach, cuz it also looks for DST compression (seldom on stereo only discs, or on stereo layers of hybrids, but you never know).  Here:

 

Hi.  I am more than pleased to send you what I have put together.  I have edited this for both stereo and multichannel extraction.  This is to be used on your personal SACD library only, and not commercially, and used  for archiving and playing the files on a DSD-capable DACs (I also co-ordinate the Google Docs DSD database and will read further about this AK120 to add to our database).  Any PCM playback would require a player to do on-the-fly DSD-to-PCM conversion, or use a tool like Audiogate (instructions in the guide) to convert offline.

 

Here are my links to my guide and the tools.

 

First read the guide throughout.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/SACD%20ripper%20primer%20v3.0.zip

 

Then (if PS3 ripping) download the firmware

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/CFW355-OTHEROS%2B%2B.zip

 

Then (if PS3 ripping)  download the ripper and keys

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/sacd-ripper.zip

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/ps3free-ps3keys.zip

 

For Windows extraction (once you have the ISOs ripped):

Here is a simple primer (in case you don’t already have a root folder and Programs subfolder):

 

1) First make a new folder close to a root drive (so the naming path doesn’t get too long..sometimes the classical ones are ridiculous).  Call it anything, say, ISO2DSD. 

2) Then make a subfolder in it called Programs (capital “P”). 

3) Put the SACD-extract.exe (first link below, unzip) executable in the Programs subfolder. 

 

http://code.google.com/p/sacd-ripper/downloads/detail?name=sacd_extract_0.3.7_WIN32.zip&can=2&q=

 

4) Put the bat files (link below, unzip) in the main folder.  One is for stereo extraction, one for multichannel

 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3487125/Extract%20DST%20Stereo%20DSF%20Files.zip

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3487125/Extract%20DST%20DSF%20Multichannel%20Files.zip

 

5) So then put any number of ISOs (rename the ISOs if their name is too long; something that will uniquely identify them but not too long) you want to extract in the main folder (the one with the bat, the one we hypothetically called ISO2DSD). 

6) Click on the bat file of your choice, and voila……and then each ISO will extract to DSF tracks, putting one album full of tracks in a folder each (20 ISOs, 20 new folders created).  When you do this again (for more ISOs) remove the already-extracted ISOs or they will get worked on again!  Each ISO can take 10 minutes or more (multichannel much longer), so once you have this down well do a bunch overnight.

 

Ted

 

Ah thanks Ted. So you got my email :).

 

Thank you so much for your contributions. It's really taken the listening experience on the go to a whole other level.

 

Cheers,

 

Jim.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespertine View Post

Any comparisons sound wise with a Colorfly C4, please?

 

I suggest you contact spkrs01 via pm. He owns both.


Edited by lee730 - 7/21/13 at 4:08pm
post #264 of 591

Hello All; My very first post and I am a newbie here so please excuse my behaviour. After doing research on the AK120, I stumbled on this very valuable thread. I have been reading all the threads that relates to AK120 and wanted to give back and share my impression.

 

I receive my AK120 today from my dealer in VN after waiting anxiously for the last month. First, I was extremely impress with the unit. It is small, light, and beautiful all around. The best portable unit that I have bought period, even better than my Sony DAT back in the old days. I immediately turn it on and have a quick listen to the sample tracks with my Shure SE535 IEM, and my jaw just drop wide-open. I bought the Shure SE535 and have been using them with my desktop Schiit DAC & Lyr amp, Also use it with my Sony Xperia Z and iPad with good decent results. But holy cow, I did not know that the AK120 bring out the best of the 535 with awesome clean imaging and soundstage. I did not believe it thinking that this must be the DSD and Flac samples that is so good. So I charge up my unit, while waiting went and copy some favorites AIFF albums to the Sandisk 64mb. Insert the card, scan and I play my favorite songs and could not believe how nice and full it sounded. The unit is just awesome, I let my wife listen and she smile giving me the thumbs up. She knows I work hard for my toys... :-)

 

At home the past two-weeks, I have been listening to the Shure SE535 with the Schitt Lyr + Schitt Bifrost via USB from my computer and guess what, that combination did not give me the goose bump like the AK120 straight. The AK120 output is amazing, I listen pretty loud and find myself up to 60/65 and that's it, no more... I guess it's time to buy a better IEM, but the 535 right now makes me very happy.

 

This coming days, I will let the unit burn-in have a listen with my LCD-2 Rev II and see how the AK120 drive it. I heard that I can drive the LCD-3 no problem. Will give my impression soon...

 

Oh BTW, my unit comes with firmware 1.30, should I upgrade to 1.32 ?

 

Well, thanks to everyone here for their contribution. This is my best purchase this year....

post #265 of 591
Thread Starter 
Congrats and welcome to the forum smily_headphones1.gif
post #266 of 591
This was sent by email to an120 owners. Hope this helps

sstell&Kern AK120 Software Patch v1.32

We would like to annouce that the v1.30 system software of the Astell&Kern AK120 that was released earlier this week has a small glitch with reading certain Micro SD cards. We have relased the software patch: v1.32 that addresses the

We advise current owners of the AK120 to upgrade to v1.32 and apologize for any inconveniences the glitch may have caused to AK120 owners.
post #267 of 591
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

 

Hmm I'll have to look into that :).

 

let me know if it pleases you.

 

BUT... warning, it may damage your equipments.. *look @ the bottom right corner of the album cover*

 

 

Happy listening !   L3000.gif

post #268 of 591

Apdate on my impression:

 

Well I have used it for two days logging about 20 hours. The sound is getting even better than out of the box. The battery is strong and last long. I did a full charge and get about 8 hours, but I was using the brightest screen setting, Pro EQ, and doing a lot of copying and listening to Hi-Res 24/192 files.

 

Today, I got the Bluetooth to work with my Plantronic 901 Headphone for my daliy gym. WOW, the sound is superb even to the $100 Plantronic. I LOVE IT...

 

To me the Bluetooth function is a PLUS, I did not even know it was there when I bought the unit, but now I am in heaven. I can now buy Bluetooth speakers for the home and stream the music.

 

The unit drive my Shure SE535 much better today than first day, I think it will get better. However, I will go try the IE800 and see if it is worth upgrading.

 

I tested AK120 + LCD2 Rev 2 and it drive the headphone fine, with clear clean sounds. However, the HO is not strong enough to get maximum quality out of the LCD-2.

 

I think it needs to be amped to use with LCD-2 for best result. I will test with my Schiit Lyr to see how it compare with the Bifrost DAC.

 

I also spend a lot of time testing the Album Art cover and here is what I found:

- No album art for AIFF

- No album art for WAV

- Album art show correctly for Apple Lossless .m4a

- Album art show correctly for FLAC

 

I have all my music in AIFF at the moment, because I live in the Apple environment, with iMac, iPad, iPod, iEverything so using AIFF with iTunes for all my music management.

I have converted 10+ albums to Apple Lossless for the AK120 and have a listen to see if it sounds as good as AIFF. This way I can have Album Art and still live in Apple ecosystem...

 

Well that is it for today, continue to listen and give my feedback. 

post #269 of 591

Oh one more thing;

 

I have intermitten issues with SD card not mounting and not showing up on the unit. I was on FW 1.30.

 

Yesterday, I upgraded to FW 1.32 and the issue no longer exist. At least not yet. I will see if it the issue is finally fixed.

 

IMO, The sounds of 1.32 is the same as 1.30

 

Will test DAC feature tonight with my Bifrost, Lyr and AUDIOLAB Sabre DAC.

post #270 of 591

Glad to report that the AK120 -> Schitt Lyr -> LCD-2 Rev2 is Awesome... I turn the volume Max on AK120 and Lyr at 11-12 hour and the LCD-2 is plenty loud. Cannot go any higher.

 

It actually sound better than my iMac (Amarra) -> Bifrost -> Lyr -> LCD-2 Rev2

 

I think I will need to sell the Bifrost DAC, since it will not be used...

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