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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 22

post #316 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


The RWAK120s will definitely improve SQ I would think, and works ONLY with external amp. To me it is not thinkable to be unable to use my ak120 solo.

 

Let's pay $1500 or whatever for a device that can't be used stand alone... that's a joke. Add the various amp you will need, tact on another $300 or so. No thank you. 

post #317 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

Let's pay $1500 or whatever for a device that can't be used stand alone... that's a joke. Add the various amp you will need, tact on another $300 or so. No thank you. 


I'd say with such a mod you'd want an even better amp at this stage in the game to make it worth the while. Probably a $800+ amp to max it's performance out. Whether it's worth it or not is up to the individual. But I wouldn't waste my time with a $300.00 amp for such a mod to not get the max out of it.

post #318 of 656
FYI: I just got my mini-toslink interconnect to test out my SDT, hopefully I can report back later about my findings.
post #319 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

FYI: I just got my mini-toslink interconnect to test out my SDT, hopefully I can report back later about my findings.

Great! I would be interested to read what you have to say about using the AK120 via optical out to Typhoon playing DSD files biggrin.gif

post #320 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanYWM View Post

Great! I would be interested to read what you have to say about using the AK120 via optical out to Typhoon playing DSD files biggrin.gif

The quick answer is that it sounded identical to the SDT hocked to the PC and play DSD via fb2k.  My quick overall impression is that the SDT beings the body fuller but not overpowering, but the warm sound is gone yet no less enjoyable.  However, I can definitely say that the SDT sounds better with the AK120 with 24/192 FLAC than with an iPod M4A up convert to 32/192.  So far I am having a hard time deciding which is better...

 

Here is what I am listening for the test right now:

Geen Day: American Idiot in 24/192 FLAC from HDtracks.

Daft Punk: Random Access Memories in 24/88 FLAC from HDtracks.

Various 64DSD samples from 2L.

Lindsey Stirling and The Piano Guys 2 in 16/44 accruite CD rips with dBpoweramp.

post #321 of 656
Hello, joining the conversation here.
post #322 of 656

Hi

post #323 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

Let's pay $1500 or whatever for a device that can't be used stand alone... that's a joke. Add the various amp you will need, tact on another $300 or so. No thank you. 

 

To each his own.  I view it a little differently.  I'm sure many of us would get flamed for some of the purchases we made in this audio hobby we pursue.  Some would view a $100 set of headphones as an outrageous splurge.  Other's wouldn't go near them.  It's all relative and depends on what you're looking for.

 

Some people are trying to push the limits of their gear as far as possible.  Those people might find Vinnie's mods of the AK100 or AK120 to be out of this world.  Maybe they're willing to carry a bigger pack with an external amp for the potential of better sound from better dac chips and a cleaner path.  Maybe they're willing to pay their hard earned dollars to eek out a slight improvement.  Is it a good value?  That's a judgment only they can make.  Is it a joke?  Maybe?  Maybe not.

 

One thing is absolutely clear.....there's no one size fits all here.

post #324 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

To each his own.  I view it a little differently.  I'm sure many of us would get flamed for some of the purchases we made in this audio hobby we pursue.  Some would view a $100 set of headphones as an outrageous splurge.  Other's wouldn't go near them.  It's all relative and depends on what you're looking for.

 

Some people are trying to push the limits of their gear as far as possible.  Those people might find Vinnie's mods of the AK100 or AK120 to be out of this world.  Maybe they're willing to carry a bigger pack with an external amp for the potential of better sound from better dac chips and a cleaner path.  Maybe they're willing to pay their hard earned dollars to eek out a slight improvement.  Is it a good value?  That's a judgment only they can make.  Is it a joke?  Maybe?  Maybe not.

 

One thing is absolutely clear.....there's no one size fits all here.

 

I don't really understand the purpose of your paragraph here (bolded text). You talked yourself in circles. There is no impressions, reviews, etc. of his mods yet so "better sound" has not been proven. Furthermore, this mod is going to cost upwards of almost $2K. For that kind of cash, you can buy full sized units that will sound better than any modified AK120. Now, if portability is a concern, then again getting the mod is completely useless because you have to add an amp. Not only does that cost quite a bit more, but it adds weight and footprint. The whole marketing point of the AK series of DAPs is its ultra-portability and way it sounds on its own, especially with IEMs. Getting that mod would be counterintuitive, IMO. 

 

Also, my comments were my opinion - surely that could have been insinuated. 

post #325 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

I don't really understand the purpose of your paragraph here (bolded text). You talked yourself in circles. There is no impressions, reviews, etc. of his mods yet so "better sound" has not been proven. Furthermore, this mod is going to cost upwards of almost $2K. For that kind of cash, you can buy full sized units that will sound better than any modified AK120. Now, if portability is a concern, then again getting the mod is completely useless because you have to add an amp. Not only does that cost quite a bit more, but it adds weight and footprint. The whole marketing point of the AK series of DAPs is its ultra-portability and way it sounds on its own, especially with IEMs. Getting that mod would be counterintuitive, IMO. 

 

Also, my comments were my opinion - surely that could have been insinuated. 

 

Well now, I'm going to have to say we have to give Vinnie some credit here. i.e. I don't believe Vinnie would publicly come up with an AK120S mod service that does not "improve" the sound. If it didn't I doubt Vinnie would even dare market such a service, and just shelve that as a failed mod attempt. True no one has received a RWAK120S yet (I think?) but many have received his RWAK100 mod and I've yet to hear an owner claim they cannot hear the difference from a stock AK100. i.e. Vinnie's reputation is already there.

Edit: I think the question for each individual is if the "improvement" in the mod is worthy of the price. Only the individual can answer that.
post #326 of 656

Can someone confrim the cost of the mod?  Is it 2K for just the mod?  I thought i read somewhere what the cost was around $1600 that includes a new AK120 in the price.  So the mod alone for someone that already owned an AK120 would be around $400?  Thanks.

post #327 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

I don't really understand the purpose of your paragraph here (bolded text). You talked yourself in circles. There is no impressions, reviews, etc. of his mods yet so "better sound" has not been proven. Furthermore, this mod is going to cost upwards of almost $2K. For that kind of cash, you can buy full sized units that will sound better than any modified AK120. Now, if portability is a concern, then again getting the mod is completely useless because you have to add an amp. Not only does that cost quite a bit more, but it adds weight and footprint. The whole marketing point of the AK series of DAPs is its ultra-portability and way it sounds on its own, especially with IEMs. Getting that mod would be counterintuitive, IMO. 

 

Also, my comments were my opinion - surely that could have been insinuated.

 

(1)  You are correct....no reviews yet.  The mod isn't even available yet.  Some might decide based in reviews of the mod on the AK100 that they would be willing to give it a try......others might want to wait several months to read reviews of the modified AK120.  To each his own.

 

(2)  Don't know what you mean by "full sized unit".  To me a stack of AK120 plus an RS-71b will be manageable.  Obviously, others might want the "ultra-portability" of the stock AK120.  To each his own.

 

(3).  If getting the mod is counterintuitive to you, I'd recommend you not get it.  For me, having thought a lot about it, and after extensive discussion with Vinnie and Ray Samuels about the design, the difference between the WM8740 and WM8741 dac chips, I figure I'll give it a whirl.  To each his own.

post #328 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

 

Well now, I'm going to have to say we have to give Vinnie some credit here. i.e. I don't believe Vinnie would publicly come up with an AK120S mod service that does not "improve" the sound. If it didn't I doubt Vinnie would even dare market such a service, and just shelve that as a failed mod attempt. True no one has received a RWAK120S yet (I think?) but many have received his RWAK100 mod and I've yet to hear an owner claim they cannot hear the difference from a stock AK100. i.e. Vinnie's reputation is already there.

Edit: I think the question for each individual is if the "improvement" in the mod is worthy of the price. Only the individual can answer that.

 

Normally I would completely agree with you Sean, but in this particular case, for me, the price more than likely won't justify the price. Not only that, improved sound quality will not only be dependent on the mod itself (i.e dac chips swap, other tweaks) but also the amp being used with the setup. As Lee mentioned earlier, to have a "better sound" one would need to spend a good amount of money for a good (not just average) portable amp to equate the loss of the amp stage of the AK120. I do agree the sound increase will be completely subjective, and some may find it worth it, but it just doesn't make sense - to me. For people that already have a good portable amp, the mod maybe more enticing, but for those that don't fool around with external amping - especially with regards to their portable audio, then the price will definitely start to become a huge factor, and for some will deter them away from the -S Mod. 

 

YMMV. 


Edited by Greed - 8/6/13 at 6:44pm
post #329 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrys30 View Post

Can someone confrim the cost of the mod?  Is it 2K for just the mod?  I thought i read somewhere what the cost was around $1600 that includes a new AK120 in the price.  So the mod alone for someone that already owned an AK120 would be around $400?  

 

 

No way....the S mod is in the 600-700 range.

post #330 of 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

(1)  You are correct....no reviews yet.  The mod isn't even available yet.  Some might decide based in reviews of the mod on the AK100 that they would be willing to give it a try......others might want to wait several months to read reviews of the modified AK120.  To each his own.

 

(2)  Don't know what you mean by "full sized unit".  To me a stack of AK120 plus an RS-71b will be manageable.  Obviously, others might want the "ultra-portability" of the stock AK120.  To each his own.

 

(3).  If getting the mod is counterintuitive to you, I'd recommend you not get it.  For me, having thought a lot about it, and after extensive discussion with Vinnie and Ray Samuels about the design, the difference between the WM8740 and WM8741 dac chips, I figure I'll give it a whirl.  To each his own.

 

"Full sized" unit as in a good desktop setup. Since I've read some people use their AK120 for home/office use. Regarding a manageable "brick" that is true, completely dependent on the person. My opinion is that the AK120 is very good on its own. Getting a mod that totally gets rid of the amp stage, would not be something I would be interested in. Also, I never said I'm getting the mod, actually I said I'm not. wink.gif

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