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Astell & Kern AK10 portable DAC and amp - Page 6

post #76 of 311
Can anyone who has this device confirm weather or not it works via a USB 3 port on a 64bit Operating system?

Thanks,
Paul

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post #77 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spadge View Post

Can anyone who has this device confirm weather or not it works via a USB 3 port on a 64bit Operating system?

Thanks,
Paul

Interestingly, my mid 2012 air with usb 3 port works.... I wonder what's up.

 

Edit: My bad. I thought this was the AK100 thread. This is my answer for AK100, not AK10. Disregard this answer.


Edited by kimvictor - 11/4/13 at 6:37pm
post #78 of 311

Just picked up one of these in HK.

 

After listening to it for a few days, I find the sound to be quite adequate for what it is, but I feel it works better as a USB DAC than with my iPhone 5S.

 

The biggest flaw I think is that the Lightning cable is much to short to be useful.  It makes it very awkward to carry; it won't all fit in my pant pocket and its not quite long enough to put in my work bag with the AK10 hanging out for audio controls.

 

Also, this thing is quite expensive, 3000 HKD (~390 USD).  However, after I got back to Taiwan, I was informed that these can be bought locally for about 7000 NTD (~240 USD).

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post
 

Indeed we need an answer on why can't AK10 work with iPod Nano 7G! 

 

Does it work with the old 30-pin? The iClassic! 

 

As to why AK10 won't work on iPod Nano 7, iOS devices that use Lightning connectors utilize a new firmware protocol, iAP2, that was released along with the devices.  Past devices and the Nano 7 use iAP1 as a protocol for firmware.  iRiver would have to rewrite the firmware to use both iAP1 and iAP2 in order for the Nano 7 to be compatible.  But then they would need to re-certify the product with Apple; I doubt they want to do this.

post #79 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW999 View Post
 

 

The biggest flaw I think is that the Lightning cable is much to short to be useful.  It makes it very awkward to carry; it won't all fit in my pant pocket and its not quite long enough to put in my work bag with the AK10 hanging out for audio controls.

As predicted earlier in the thread... :( I hope that Astell & Kern comes out with a longer lighting cable soon, especially since it looks to be proprietary with a plug that exactly fits the resessed opening (maybe for increased solidity, which is likely a good thing). If anyone hears about a longer lighting cable for this device please don't keep it to yourselves...:wink:

post #80 of 311

FYI this from A&K when I asked if they would make a 30-pin cable for the AK10:

 

Dear iriver customer,

 

Thank you for contacting iriver customer support.

When the AK10 gets released, it should have various cables such as the 30-pin cable that would be compatible with older Apple devices. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us back at any time.

 

Thanks & Regards,

iriver Inc.
CS & Tech Support
949-336-4540/4541
shop.iriverinc.com

post #81 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW999 View Post

Just picked up one of these in HK.

 

After listening to it for a few days, I find the sound to be quite adequate for what it is, but I feel it works better as a USB DAC than with my iPhone 5S.

 

The biggest flaw I think is that the Lightning cable is much to short to be useful.  It makes it very awkward to carry; it won't all fit in my pant pocket and its not quite long enough to put in my work bag with the AK10 hanging out for audio controls.

 

Also, this thing is quite expensive, 3000 HKD (~390 USD).  However, after I got back to Taiwan, I was informed that these can be bought locally for about 7000 NTD (~240 USD).

I was going to pick one of these up as well, however pricing was around $2500 hkd though! How is it so much cheaper in Taiwan?!

Do you feel it is worth $300 though for portable usage? I mainly use my phone so was going to try to see if this would improve things or if I should just buy another pair of iems... haha

 

Do you know any taiwan retailers that have a website selling it for that price btw?

post #82 of 311

To be honest, at the price I purchased at, I think this thing is VERY overpriced.  Even at 300 USD (80 USD less than I paid), its overpriced.  I feel the proper price for this should be under 200 USD.

 

As to the price in Taiwan, I am not quite sure why its so much cheaper here.  Price is listed at ~8500 NTD, but can be negotiated down to ~7000 NTD.

 

Unfortunately I don't know any Taiwan online retailers as I cannot read Chinese so I don't bother researching these online, I just normally walk into the local shops.

 

Even though the unit is very compact and light, its very cumbersome to actually use; for portable use, its actually very annoying.

 

One more nitpick about this product is its volume control.  While the turntable design is very neat and aesthetically pleasing, the rate it changes volume is very annoying.  Each quarter turn only increases/decreases by 1 notch on iPhone and Mac.  1 notch of volume every 25-30 degrees would have been much better than 90 degrees.

 

Having said that, the sound quality is better than I expected and I enjoy listening to it while sitting at my desk at work; not so much during my commute to work, which was my main purpose for buying this unit.

post #83 of 311

Wow, 7000 NTD would be an excellent price, as I've bought this in HK 2 weeks ago for HK$2580 (I live in HK), but have just come back from Taiwan, and didn't see the AK10 yet. I probably wasn't looking seriously and didn't go to the right places, but I would have bought one from Taiwan had I found one and not already bought in HK.

 

As for cables, mine only came with the short Lightning cable, a 1m USB cable and a 80cm cable for Android phones. No 30-pin cable for older iDevices was included. The Android cable was not included inside the box, but given to me by the retailer in a separate bag.

post #84 of 311
I dont get why everyone complains about the price!
If you compare it to the AK100 (whis is pretty much a AK10 with screen and storage) and some comon iDevice Dac/Amp combos --> its a bargain!
A algorhythm solo is only a Dac (not a Wolfson Dac!) and it costs more! A Fostex Hp-p1 costs almost double...
post #85 of 311
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philipperus View Post

I dont get why everyone complains about the price!
If you compare it to the AK100 (whis is pretty much a AK10 with screen and storage) and some comon iDevice Dac/Amp combos --> its a bargain!
A algorhythm solo is only a Dac (not a Wolfson Dac!) and it costs more! A Fostex Hp-p1 costs almost double...

You've hit the nail on the head. If you want a good SMALL DAC/amp to listen to your iPhone on the go, (SMALL is the key operative word here), this is the only product. Slightly bigger might be a CCK+HRT (cumbersome) or a ADL X1 (BIGGER but quite light).

post #86 of 311

In my opinion, EVERYTHING in HiFi industry is overpriced.  That's because companies know they can get us to pay for it.

 

I work in manufacturing, specifically accessories for consumer electronics and can make a few educated guesses on the actual costs of these devices.

 

The AK10 BOM cost shouldn't cost more than 20 USD to manufacture and should have a ex-factory price of 22-25 USD. 

 

Standard industry pricing is to set MSRP 4 times higher than ex-factory pricing meaning a reasonable price for this unit would be ~100 USD (This would include retailers margin as well).  If we were to double that, and give iRiver a HUGE profit, I would still call that reasonable because as someone mentioned before, options for good small DAC/AMP are limited.

 

At a MSRP of over 300 USD, iRiver's margin's are well over 150 USD per unit.  I call this overpriced and unreasonable.  Especially for something that is not "perfect".

 

Also, you cannot compare this unit to the AK100.

 

The AK100 is a DAP and is FAR more complicated to manufacture as well as develop.  The development of the S/W and F/W is considerably more time consuming as is the after sales support; i.e. Firmware updates.

 

Furthermore, taking away a screen and storage should reduce the price by MORE than 50%.  These two "simple" things take up more than 70% of the BOM cost and development of S/W and F/W hasn't even been amortized into it.

 

AK10 is not 50% of a AK100; its more like 30%.

 

While yes, I know the Fostex and Cypher Labs products all cost quite a bit more than the AK10, I believe that these warrant the price, as to me, these sound much better!

 

Anyways, this is just my opinion and I'm sure it will not win me many friends here.

post #87 of 311

You are right, DW999. I guess A&K has the right to charge the highest price they can get away with where consumers are still willing to pay, and this would have absolutely nothing to do with how much it costs to manufacture the product itself in the first place. When you look at competing products, the AK10's price is actually in line with the others (e.g. Solo, HP-P1, Sony's offering). I guess you could also categorize the HRT microstreamer and AQ Dragonfly in there because they would also work with the newer iPhones/iPod Touches running iOS 7 without a powered USB hub, but both the HRT and AQ depend on the player's USB power to drive its headphone amp, with no built-in battery. Whether you think this is a plus or a minus is purely a personal choice.

 

In fact, as a side note, I was prepared to go for the HRT when I walked to the store, but they had none available and would take 2 weeks to order one in, then ended up buying the AK10 instead as it just came hot off the press. I'd read about it before and didn't think I would be one of the first ones to get it in time for my plane trip last week.

 

When I looked back, the AK10 actually did serve a little better in terms of usability due to the external control buttons. Had I gone for the HRT, I would have needed the Lightning CCK, plus the USB connecting cable, and I would need to take out my iPod Touch every time I need to do volume adjustments, skip tracks etc and it will be a bit cumbersome to say the least. The iPod can now stay in my pants pocket, and the AK10 attached to my belt, and I can access the basic controls easily there.

 

P.S. The Meridian Explorer will not work with iPhones/iPod touch/iPads without a powered USB hub, although it is considered another competitor to the microstreamer and Dragonfly.

post #88 of 311
Thread Starter 
I still maintain that if you want to use with laptops, there are many many choices. You want to use with iPhone, there is this, or the slightly more expensive ADL X1 (bigger though light but half the battery life) and then the big boys at higher prices (PHA-1, HP-P1, M8, Theorem).
post #89 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Gazerro View Post

FYI this from A&K when I asked if they would make a 30-pin cable for the AK10:

Dear iriver customer,

Thank you for contacting iriver customer support.
When the AK10 gets released, it should have various cables such as the 30-pin cable that would be compatible with older Apple devices. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us back at any time.

Thanks & Regards,
iriver Inc.

CS & Tech Support

949-336-4540/4541

shop.iriverinc.com

Thanks for the effort!


Isn't the AK10 the cheapest DAC that is specially for iDevices? Or is there cheaper version without using the CCK?
post #90 of 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post


Isn't the AK10 the cheapest DAC that is specially for iDevices? Or is there cheaper version without using the CCK?

If you limit it to without using the CCK, yes indeed the AK10 is the cheapest DAC with headphone amp for iDevices. But on the other side of the coin, the Solo's, HP-P1 etc would work with much older iDevices, including smaller (and cheaper) iPod nano's (don't know about the shuffle), or the higher capacity iPod Classic's, should you wish to. So the overall weight, size and price difference could be smaller than you think.

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