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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 29

post #421 of 751

Really good product, charges via usb as well.. takes USB in and not only an idevice... just missing that one thing.


Looks like ALO is winning me over on this, have written to Centrance about modding a hifi M8 to include a line in for me... will let you know how it goes .lol.

post #422 of 751
Originally Posted by Goldlion973 View Post

Really good product, charges via usb as well.. takes USB in and not only an idevice... just missing that one thing.


Looks like ALO is winning me over on this, have written to Centrance about modding a hifi M8 to include a line in for me... will let you know how it goes .lol.

Sure, keep us posted.

post #423 of 751

Yeah, no doubt they'll reply but as to a mod... its doubtful to say the least .lol. Did think that DAC chips could tell if a signal is analogue and would let it pass through without conversion as none is needed if this is true then it wouldn't be difficult to solder in a jack port and cut a hole into the chassis for it. In theory.


All of this has got my mind in a mess, the C-M8 is too good on value for money for me to consider the ALO MIII as its only $50 extra but at the same time I can't bring myself to not use the 120 to its fullest... have chickened out and am sticking with the Ibasso amp, good price point, swappable opamps, balanced in/out


**shrugs shoulders**


Will post Centrance's reply.


Thanks for your advice btw.

post #424 of 751

I just got AK120 and played with my JH13. Although the DSD files came with the player sounded awesome, non HD audio files sounded unbearable to listen. 

Unless, I find a way to download the HD files on net, this player with my current MP3 collection seem useless. My Sony X1061 sounded better with the low bitrate files.

How do you all collect the HD files? 

post #425 of 751

HDtracks and rip CDs into 16/44 FLAC.  I use dBpoweramp for this.

post #426 of 751

In addition to HDTracks, especially if you like classical music there's /www.eclassical.com, www.theclassicalshop.net, www.linnrecords.com, www.challengerecords.com, www.channelclassics.com, www.2l.no.  Also check out www.itrax.com.

post #427 of 751

Gosh, if I have to rip all my CDs into FLAC and the HD tracks are so expensive, I may have to return this player. Only if this player is as good as a cheap Sony player in playing inferior tracks, I would love to keep it. :(

post #428 of 751

Well... like a lot of other things in life, you have to pay to play.

post #429 of 751

Do you know if this play requires any burn-in period to open up? The player sounds so muddy with low bitrate. 

post #430 of 751

Dude... its a professional audio player, its only supposed to be used with high bitrate files as you've noticed its quality will only reveal lower bitrate recordings.... you're better off using that as encouragement to re-rip your CD's to FLAC, if you think that's a mammoth task you should see the mountain of vinyl I have to re-record after having initially recorded them at 24/48. Ripping CD's is easy.

post #431 of 751

I am thinking of getting this unit. I currently have an iMod as well as a CLAS along with a Portaphile 627 and ALO Rx Mk3 amps.


Is there a noticeable sound quality difference if listening non hi res music such as CD's I have ripped as well as 256 kps songs from iTunes?




post #432 of 751

If you intend to play anything below DSD or 24bit lossless files, this player is a big disappointment. It has to be 24bit or above. I just ripped my CD tonight into wav file (16bit/44.1khz)

but it sounded still muddy and mediocre compared to Sony X1061. This would be a future DAP when DSD tracks are easily attainable. A person having thousands of 320K MP3 collections this player has no merit. But then again I am playing it with the original JH13, so it could be my IEM (only a 1K IEM). I love the size, built and control though.

Edited by dhc0329 - 10/24/13 at 7:42pm
post #433 of 751

Generally why I try to keep well away from CD's only in some cases where there's no other format available would I buy one.... their value depreciates rapidly first off secondly vinyl is often near to the same cost, maintains a value over the years, has a greater show of artwork and of course sounds much better.


Its odd to think that with technology advancing quality has been allowed to depreciate... that MP3s literally loose audio quality in favor of ease of consumption really says a lot about society. In reality it should long have been discarded by the industry, I mean, what artist would want their album, after all that effort in the studio to be released in a format that shaves off audio quality from the end result? Its daft, ridiculously so. FLAC should be the standard and if a format such as CD's can't compete with the quality of its predecessor it shouldn't be considered a valid replacement, despite its benefits for ease of consumption.

post #434 of 751

Conversely I'm glad that people have taken up arms against the industry and are refusing to pay for the drivel they've been marketing over the past few decades... in that regard as a 'revolutionary format' the MP3 has done well.

post #435 of 751

Anyway.... sorry for posting so much.


Woke this morning and looked at my AK120 (unopened in its fedex packaging) wondering if Ibasso would send me a PB2 and cables in a package to avoid excessive custom fees, considering the price, tax and what I'm looking for from a device I decided that a full Red Wine mod would be best... updated chips, balanced output to a suitable amp with my pockets hurting for the next two months, am going to ask them if they've considered a mod for two microsd to sd cards, no one seems to have updated the idea so far, need to see if the adapter can be better fixed into the SD card slots and weigh up what effect it has on the player, battery life, software, how the hardware manages etc.


With the AK120 fully balanced I suppose the MIII would still be on the table, from what I recall Red Wine use RSA ports to balance out... have also decided to take up a course in cable manufacturing as they're otherwise too expensive for anyone interested: http://www.vacuumstate.com/index.dna?rubrik=3 is the best out there at the moment.


Centrance reply........


Hi **Goldlion973**,
If you get the optical version (HiFi-M8 LX) you will notice that the balanced amp sounds much better than unbalanced he amp on the AK120. Our DAC is actually preferred by a number of prominent reviewers. Don't be lead to believe that a dual DAC is better. Balanced is even better than that.
Michael Goodman
CEntrance, Inc. 



Very kind of them, still doesn't do well for those who have spent a lot of money on a source player with two DAC's, anyone considering using a balanced DAC/Amp device would be better off with the AK100 rather than spend so much money on hardware they're going to avoid with such an upgrade. Still surprised with all of the crowd sourcing on here that no one had considered an analogue in to the Hifi M8, an amp without a line in? Is just mind boggling to me, perhaps it would have pushed the price up too much as it would make it one hell of a device... if it had a balanced in I would have opted for it with the RW modded AK120 seeing it as a swiss army knife of audio devices... suppose it still is in its own way.

Edited by Goldlion973 - 10/25/13 at 3:46am
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