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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 27

post #391 of 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post
 

 

I found substantial differences between the stock AK120 and the RWAK120-S as detailed earlier.  Keeps getting better and better.  Of course, with the S mod, you will need external amplification.

I can't remember but the S mod keeps the optical out right?

post #392 of 609
I believe it keeps the optical out and replaces the HP out with a Pure Line Out so external amplification is needed on the S Mod.
post #393 of 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason36 View Post

I believe it keeps the optical out and replaces the HP out with a Pure Line Out so external amplification is needed on the S Mod.

 

yes....the headphone out becomes a pure line out, and Vinnie also adds another pure line out with a better connector after removing the volume wheel.  It's sounds absolutely awesome.  I'm using it single ended with an RSA-71a.  Couldn't be happier.

post #394 of 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb View Post
 

 

I found substantial differences between the stock AK120 and the RWAK120-S as detailed earlier.  Keeps getting better and better.  Of course, with the S mod, you will need external amplification.  

 

Yeah, I expected the S-mod to be substantial, with replacing the dual DAC's. And I would love to hear it. But now more I'm interested in the differences the 'standard' mod bring, not the S-mod. 

post #395 of 609
Hi there I am using the ak120 with Ray Samuels Sr71a and it sounds incredible. I cannot wait to get the mod sorted. Only thing is my portable becomes a bit cumbersome for running with. Has anyone any ideas of how to carry amp and am120 more efficiently for running or will it just be the old elastic band syndrome.
Regards Ann
post #396 of 609

Hi,

 

Newbie to the world of higher end portable audiophile equipment though pretty versed in the two floor based speaker world, (mainly a tube guy with MasterSound of Italy providing the Class A and a LINN DSM Majik providing the DAC and file playing roll off the house network).

 

Picked up a AK120 yesterday and filled up the core storage plus two 64GB SanDisk Ultra chips. Started playing and listening with my couple of years old Westone UM3X. 

 

Coming from the uncompressed ALAC on the iPod to the dual DACs was clearly worth the entrance fee but what I wanted was to hear was the 96 and 192 kHz stuff. Turned to my HDTracks downloaded Tea for the Tillerman, (192, 4Mbps) and the troubles started. Could not get through any of the songs with out the AK120 starting to stutter and choke!

 

Pausing and then continuing rectified the problem for a short while then it would start again, choking on the ALAC files.Seems like the I/O buffers are not staying in sync. 

 

Transcoded the source from ALAC to FLAC, 192 24 bit, same 4Mbps bandwidth using db Music Converter and upon replacing the ALAC files on the AK120, problem gone!

 

Now going through all the High Rez files and moving from ALAC to FLAC which I am comfortable with but I am hoping, A & H does something in a future firmware upgrade to address the ALAC transcoding issue.

 

As a note, I have played the HD Tracks provided ALAC files substantially through the LINN and off my office computer via JRiver and never had this stuttering before.

 

I don't think I am alone but had not seen this commented on in the 27+ pages so thought I should table. Hopefully, I am putting this on the right forum.

 

Cheers

 

Bob

post #397 of 609

Hey guys... just bought me an AK120 and am busy looking for an amp to go with it, sitting here I'm in a muddle eying up an SR-71B considering an Ibasso DB2 for its optical out... am seeing a lot of images of people using the 120 with all kinds of headphones straight from the device and am left wondering whether it really NEEDS an amp, let alone one with a DAC as it already is a DAC and it would seem pointless/wasteful bypassing it in favor of another which in some cases may be inferior to its signal.

 

Is late and my mind is not functioning right, basically, why are people using the optical out to pass signal through another set of DAC's on such a high end device? How does the AK120 fare against other DAC's as a DAC?

post #398 of 609

Hi Goldlion973

 

Congrats on the acquisition! It is one delightful player! The argument normally tabled for using an amp is that one has higher demanding headphones like Stax, etc., (seems stuff over 350 to 400 ohm), but up to that level, I do not see it really the necessary.

 

I use in-ear phones and the volume is very satisfactory.

 

The dual DACs are phenomenal! 

 

I at first had some high res ALAC files that really needed to be re-compiled with an updated code in dbPowerAmp and they now play with out a hitch. Most of my library is FLAC now ranging from CD quality to 192kHz/24 bit and not a peep.

 

Start using your unit, get familier with the loading of songs and have fun. You will be headphone rolling pretty fast as the source is so good!

 

Cheers

 

Bob 

post #399 of 609
My UERMs sound better with the Meridian Explorer than with the AK120 and I was hoping an amp would close the gap a bit. My guess is there's more power there to get all the grunt out of the low end. I don't imagine there are many dual DACs out there so I was just thinking of analogue amplification is what's needed. I hope someone will chime in with a recommendation. Anybody tried the TUR-06?
post #400 of 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by boba2013 View Post
 

Hi Goldlion973

 

Congrats on the acquisition! It is one delightful player! The argument normally tabled for using an amp is that one has higher demanding headphones like Stax, etc., (seems stuff over 350 to 400 ohm), but up to that level, I do not see it really the necessary.

 

I use in-ear phones and the volume is very satisfactory.

 

The dual DACs are phenomenal! 

 

I at first had some high res ALAC files that really needed to be re-compiled with an updated code in dbPowerAmp and they now play with out a hitch. Most of my library is FLAC now ranging from CD quality to 192kHz/24 bit and not a peep.

 

Start using your unit, get familier with the loading of songs and have fun. You will be headphone rolling pretty fast as the source is so good!

 

Cheers

 

Bob 

 

Thanks for the reply, have eased any doubt I may have had about the device.

 

Am hoping to use it with a pair of Beoplay H6's (perhaps the Nad HP50) and IEM's when on the go and would probably be using it with a higher spec set of headphones later on, HE range/Alpha Dogs etc. Thing with me is that I have to have everything in all at once like a grand opening .lol. Unboxing pleasure is magnified multiple times when you have a new DAP/new Amp/new Headphones and few new albums you've not heard before to play it all on. Was odd seeing people using the 120 with some hefty phones although some images may well be of the Red Wine mod.

 

Couldn't see the purpose in bypassing the DAC's via optical/line to output to another DAC to then be boosted by an Amp unless each stage was from a premium device, would make sense in order to get a balanced signal... idea would be to use the AK120 DA section you've already paid a premium for and only boost the signal it provides...does it bypass the section with both optical and line out or just optical?

post #401 of 609

Sorry... continuing a line of thought... it should output an analogue signal when the line out is used, wondering as it uses the same port for optical as it does line.

post #402 of 609
I think majority are using the headphone out which is also a line out so still use DACs. Even when pair to amp use headphone out unless had RWA balanced mod and then use new out in place of volume switch.
post #403 of 609

Ok, brill... had it in my mind that the optical shared the same output as the line out for some reason :-/

post #404 of 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Edwards View Post

My UERMs sound better with the Meridian Explorer than with the AK120 and I was hoping an amp would close the gap a bit. My guess is there's more power there to get all the grunt out of the low end. I don't imagine there are many dual DACs out there so I was just thinking of analogue amplification is what's needed. I hope someone will chime in with a recommendation. Anybody tried the TUR-06?

 

You looking for a portable set up?

 

So far my choices for a portable rig are between the Ibasso range of amps either the DB2 or the PB2... the SR-71B or the Intruder... and either the ALO MKIII or the International.

 

The ibasso range does very well for value and adaptability but most I'm reading up on would recommend the 71B.

post #405 of 609
Consider the RSA lightning amp too. Super small, yet able to drive LCD-2s wo/issue and no hiss with sensitive iems like Jh16. Fits great with the Ak120, about same length but slightly narrower.

Headphoneaddict posted his thoughts on it from Canjam in the canjam thread

Here it is with my ak120

Edited by onlychild - 10/16/13 at 6:52am
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