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Astell & Kern AK120 impression thread - Page 44

post #646 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by aharitt View Post

This is my first posting in this site. I got my AK120 yesterday and have been listening it non-stop via Shure SE425. It runs AKG K271 very well too. So far, no complain, only pleasure.

This is just introducing myself. I will visit this thread often from now smily_headphones1.gif 

Congrats! I just picked up one as well while amazon had them on sale for 779 last week! I've been doing extensive lab testing on calibrated equipment and finding some really cool results on how their mysterious ProEQ and Line Out truly operate. For listening I've settled on SE535s LTD Reds and couldn't be more excited! In fact I just sold my x5 as the AK signature is more my taste 😄

Also, starting to dig into how their hybrid android Linux.rom operates to see if the TCC9201 chip code can be modded to unlock the various digital filters (slow / fast / brick wall / etc) can be changed for the WM8840s.

Angain congrats and welcome!
post #647 of 657

Thanks oscar777 and anon65535 for your warm welcome. I am continuing to enjoy this little treasure :) 

 

I have a question for you. I got Senn HD650 at the almost same time.  I bought it mainly for my pc-fi with Audioengine D1, since I spent a lot of time on desk. I connected HD 650 to AK120 just for curiosity.  Surprisingly, AK120 can drive HD650 quite loudly. With over volume 65, it becomes quite loud.  I heard many times that AK120 do not have enough power to drive this headphone. 

 

I bought HD650 as a used one via Amazon.  This is my first HD650.  So I wonder if this headphone is genuine.  Or I had wrong knowledge about impedance.  With 300 ohms of rated impedance, I thought AK120 cannot make this headphone loud enough.  Was I misunderstanding the concept of impedance? Or did I buy a fake one?  BTW, this unit sounds great with Audioengine D1.  So I had no doubt until I tried it with AK120.

 

 

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post #648 of 657

As I don't have an HD650 or 800 I couldn't test.  However, I do vaguely recall someone in this thread using 650's (maybe 800's) with the AK120.  They thought it wouldn't work well however it did perform nicely.  I agree 300ohm should require a separate amp to drive.  As Ohms get higher, resistance get's lower...meaning you need less current (amps) and more volts vs. low ohms need to be able to crank out a lot of current (amps) to drive.

 

If someone on the forum can clarify how the amp section is laid out inside the AK120 that would be awesome!  Looking at folks disassembled pics, I don't see the typical array of caps (unless they're hidden under the HP jack section.  This is part of my Q and research on how the AK120 and switchable LO/HP out works.  I know many have stated either the LO (switched ON) or Volume at Max is very clean and like a line out.

 

My question on that has more to do with: "is the AK120 HP out just simply a pre-amp section" and not a traditional HP amp section?".  Take a look at pics between the insides of a DX90, X5, Meridian Explorer, iFi iDSD and you'll see what I mean.  Would love to better know how their amp and buf's are arranged. 

 

Hoping the guru's here can shed some light on this :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by aharitt View Post
 

Thanks oscar777 and anon65535 for your warm welcome. I am continuing to enjoy this little treasure :) 

 

I have a question for you. I got Senn HD650 at the almost same time.  I bought it mainly for my pc-fi with Audioengine D1, since I spent a lot of time on desk. I connected HD 650 to AK120 just for curiosity.  Surprisingly, AK120 can drive HD650 quite loudly. With over volume 65, it becomes quite loud.  I heard many times that AK120 do not have enough power to drive this headphone. 

 

I bought HD650 as a used one via Amazon.  This is my first HD650.  So I wonder if this headphone is genuine.  Or I had wrong knowledge about impedance.  With 300 ohms of rated impedance, I thought AK120 cannot make this headphone loud enough.  Was I misunderstanding the concept of impedance? Or did I buy a fake one?  BTW, this unit sounds great with Audioengine D1.  So I had no doubt until I tried it with AK120.

 

 

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post #649 of 657
Great review. I had a ak100 which was very good but the high ohm's 22 made my se535 sound slightly less than perfect. So returned it and went with the ak120 , the sound was excellent. In my persuit of perfect I chose the se846 iem's rated at 9ohms which made the vocals and high's sound very harsh.. I really love the ak120 so then it was time for the mod rwak120 at less than 1ohm my se846 are playing amazing and I'm done searching for a few years at least.The cost was 1250 rwak120 plus 1000 for the se846 so 2250 very expensive.
post #650 of 657

I spent more time with HD 650.  It still sounds wonderful with Audioengine D1, but not with AK120.  I can get enough volume, but it doesn't sound clear as with D1 or SE425 with AK120. I guess I misunderstood the concept of impedance and loudness.  

post #651 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sure View Post

Great review. I had a ak100 which was very good but the high ohm's 22 made my se535 sound slightly less than perfect. So returned it and went with the ak120 , the sound was excellent. In my persuit of perfect I chose the se846 iem's rated at 9ohms which made the vocals and high's sound very harsh.. I really love the ak120 so then it was time for the mod rwak120 at less than 1ohm my se846 are playing amazing and I'm done searching for a few years at least.The cost was 1250 rwak120 plus 1000 for the se846 so 2250 very expensive.

I agree. But, I really love the signature of the ak120 with my se535. I've done Blaine ab testing with the ProEQ on vs off. Depending on the source material I switch it. With the 535s there have been times where I've been started with soundstage hearing the band pick up their instruments and prepare to their section, and I've literally turned my head thinking someone was in the room (not really there in real life) LOL. This I did not get with my Beyer T51s or 846s. For a stock portable rig, think I'll stick with the AK120 & se535 ..for now at least 😃

Also, agree with your assessment on the 846s. I don't like some of the harshness the the 120....likely due to the lack of ideal impedance matching using the 1/8 rule.

I'm playing with my fiio e22 diy LTD and trying listen tests this weekend. If you've had other experiences with tunable dIY portable amps, I'd love to know. Soo far not bad, but feel there could be better.
post #652 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by aharitt View Post

I spent more time with HD 650.  It still sounds wonderful with Audioengine D1, but not with AK120.  I can get enough volume, but it doesn't sound clear as with D1 or SE425 with AK120. I guess I misunderstood the concept of impedance and loudness.  

Aharrit, would love know your experiences with the D1 more. Was looking at it, but hard to justify the cost right now. What do you like or dislike when using as amp for the ak100 or ak120?
post #653 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by anon65535 View Post


Aharrit, would love know your experiences with the D1 more. Was looking at it, but hard to justify the cost right now. What do you like or dislike when using as amp for the ak100 or ak120?

D1 is for my desk-fi. It is a USB DAC/Headphone amp which is connected to my work laptop. I connected a power amp to the D1 to run two bookshelf speakers.  That is my music set up for my office. I like this small unit. With $169 price tag, it works as a DAC, headphone amp, and a pre-amp.  And it sounds good. D1 is USB-powered and it appears to have have enough power to run HD 650. 

 

I don't use D1 as an amp for AK100 or AK120.  I guess you thought I am using it as an amp to AK systems. I just compared them for how HD 650 sounds. The sound of AK120 via se425 is as good as se425 with my desk-fi. AK120 just doesn't have enough power as a portable player. 

post #654 of 657

It's been almost three weeks since I got my AK120.  I am enjoying it a lot.  Just one thing I am looking forward is easier scroll.  With iPhone, I select by album, with A-Z search. With AK120, the scroll bar at the right side is pretty useless.  Instead, I switched to use artist->album->song.

 

Still I wish there is an easier way to scroll, and I think there is a way to do that, if iRiver improves its user interface.  As you know, the volume of AK120 is not analog.  The knob just sends a signal to change the volume.  What about if the knob works to scroll up/down when the screen shows a list, such as album, artist, or song?  I don't think it is a huge loss if you can't control volume when you browse. I am going to send the suggestion to iRiver this weekend.  

post #655 of 657
Has anyone tried the mezzo soprano ak120 modification? Any thoughts please? Looks really interesting!
http://www.mezzohifi.com
post #656 of 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by SckT View Post

Has anyone tried the mezzo soprano ak120 modification? Any thoughts please? Looks really interesting!
http://www.mezzohifi.com

There is a review for this modification on Headfonia.  Here is the link - http://www.headfonia.com/mezzo-hifi-mzak100-mzak120-perfect-nipples/

post #657 of 657
For any of you folks with an AK100 or AK120, B&H Photo has the matching AKS01 docking cradle on sale for $109 (usually $199). Sale runs until Dec. 2 (or until supplies run out).
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