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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 23

post #331 of 657

ok - thanks.  so that would put it around the 2K mark including an AK120. 

post #332 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

 

"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

 

Yeah, I get it that your not getting the mod.  Not sure I would equate an AK120 plus a portable amp with a "good desktop setup".  If I was building a "Full sized" desktop setup, I would go a much different direction.  That's not what we're talking about here.  I notice you're using your using the AK120 with Pico Power.  wink.gif

post #333 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

Yeah, I get it that your not getting the mod.  Not sure I would equate an AK120 plus a portable amp with a "good desktop setup".  If I was building a "Full sized" desktop setup, I would go a much different direction.  That's not what we're talking about here.  I notice you're using your using the AK120 with Pico Power.  wink.gif

 

Depends on what I'm using. With IEMs, I rarely use my Pico Power unless I'm at home and take the time to strap it to my AK120. It does fine on its own. If I'm using full-sized headphone, then that's a different story. 

 

My comment about desktop setups were for those that use the AK120 for more of a stationary role, in that case - I believe the money would be better spent elsewhere. 

post #334 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

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. 
This, I understand and agree more on where money is better spent. I was caught more off guard by the "no better" phrase before (which to me means "no improvement" which implies Vinnie selling snake oil mods, and that's what I was contending).

Anyway moving on, yes could one get something sonically better whilst sacrificing some other feature (e.g. Transportability) - there's a dual ES9018 desktop DAC kit for less than the AK120 even & looks to be quite well designed, that I'm interested in, for example.

But recently there's been this transportable movement especially with Analog Squared Paper's (A2P) transportable tube class A amps, and it's these very customers who seem keen on something like the RWAK100-S & RWAK120-S where the DAC-only DAP fits in the A2P amp's leather case pocket quite well. Definitely for the niche transportable market.
post #335 of 657

Unless you just want to be able to put the dap into your pocket, I don't see why being bothered by using a portable amp. But I hate the straps tho, the amp wallet really comes handy unless you want to show off your hardware.

post #336 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post

 

Yeah, I get it that your not getting the mod.  Not sure I would equate an AK120 plus a portable amp with a "good desktop setup".  If I was building a "Full sized" desktop setup, I would go a much different direction.  That's not what we're talking about here.  I notice you're using your using the AK120 with Pico Power.  wink.gif


Basically if I was to shoot for this sort of mod (based on pure sound quality alone). I'd use the Triad L3 or something along those lines to get the full potential out of the AK120 S. I don't see a Pico slim et al being worth it if the amp section is going to be the limiting factor in the pairing. Hope that makes sense to you.

post #337 of 657
Mod is now available. $600. I'll be sending mine in for the s mod soon.

http://redwineaudio.com/mods/rwak120-s
post #338 of 657
Delete
Edited by onlychild - 8/7/13 at 6:58am
post #339 of 657

Waiting on both RWAK120 and S mods. Thanks Vinnie!

post #340 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


Basically if I was to shoot for this sort of mod (based on pure sound quality alone). I'd use the Triad L3 or something along those lines to get the full potential out of the AK120 S. I don't see a Pico slim et al being worth it if the amp section is going to be the limiting factor in the pairing. Hope that makes sense to you.

I think the pico slim will pair quite well with the ak120s. It's size matches perfectly with the dap, and its nearly weightless. Without measuring, I'm pretty certain that the whole unit is smaller than the hifiman 901, and I'm certain that its smaller/lighter than the dx100. On the sonic tip, I've read only good things about the pico slim and don't think it's feasible that the ak120's internal amp would be better than it, a dedicated standalone amp. I'm one of those guys who thinks an iem amp doesn't need a lot of power (at least highly sensitive IEMs), but just clean power, which the pico slim delivers in spades. And when something better comes out, the pico can get sold and replaced by it... It's the circle of life!
post #341 of 657

Thats what I'm using currently, the Pico slim with my AK120 and both are such a small package.  Its the perfect travel rig with my Jh16's.  The slim barely adds any extra weight or thickness and completely hides behind the ak120.  

post #342 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisceriousZERO View Post

Waiting on both RWAK120 and S mods. Thanks Vinnie!
Do you mean that you are getting both?
post #343 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


Do you mean that you are getting both?

That... would be awsome.

post #344 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post


Basically if I was to shoot for this sort of mod (based on pure sound quality alone). I'd use the Triad L3 or something along those lines to get the full potential out of the AK120 S. I don't see a Pico slim et al being worth it if the amp section is going to be the limiting factor in the pairing. Hope that makes sense to you.

 

I couldn't agree more.  It would be silly to spend a chunk on a modded AK120 that disables the very adequate internal amp, and then play it through an amp that adds noise or doesn't match well. I went through a similar process with my home system.  I had a Wadia 270se extensively modified, and then systematically worked from there.

 

Not sure what amp i'll end up with.  Probably will try the Triad L3 and a couple of the Ray Samuels amps.  There a bit of a size differential there too so I'll need to sort that out.

post #345 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlychild View Post

Thats what I'm using currently, the Pico slim with my AK120 and both are such a small package.  Its the perfect travel rig with my Jh16's.  The slim barely adds any extra weight or thickness and completely hides behind the ak120.  

How does the ak120 + pico slim sound compared to just the ak120 with your jh-16s?
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