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AK120 & DX50 Optical Out Question - Please Help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Guys,


I currently have an AK120 and waiting delivery of an iBasso DX50 to try out as well. The main reason for buying the DX50 is to see what it sounds like and whether the AK120 is "Sound for Pound" better.


Both of these players have optical out, or so I understand anyway....but having only ever used players via LOD or mini to mini out into Amps or as is in the case AK120 direct H/O with my IEM's. So just had a couple of questions I hoped you guys could confirm / help me with.


Would I be right in saying that I could use the Optical Out on both the AK120 and DX50 into a dedicated desktop set-up (i.e. Dac - Amp - IEM?) and even directly into a home based speaker system if the AMP or DAC have optical In?


Secondly and probably more importantly for me at the moment......Does this mean that I could connect either the AK120 or DX50 to a portable DAC / Amp and bypass the internal DAC of the DAP. Of course the dac/amp would need an optical input.....Any recommendations on these......I believe the two I have listed below would be suitable:


Centrance Hi-Fi M8 LX (with IEM mod)


Leckerton UHA-6s MkII


Are there any others at all I could look at that would improve on the AK120 / DX50 DAC's


Also I assume that in the case of the AK120  where the Headphone Output is also the Optical Output, it detects what cable is being used.


Sorry if this is a bit all over the place, just trying to get my head round the options 




post #2 of 5

I can only speak for the AK series; but yes you can use the optical out to feed into another DAC.


As for which DAC, that's up to you. I feed mine into NuWave DAC once in a while.

post #3 of 5
The DX50 is Coax out only and yes you can feed the signal to a home system, desktop setup as well as the Leckerton via Coax in order to bypass the internal DAC.
Edited by Vidmaven - 10/14/13 at 2:59pm
post #4 of 5

Hi Jason

AK120 can do optical output, you just need an optical cable with 3.5mm jack and plug it in the phone out.

DX50 can do coaxial output, with a 3.5mm mono jack.

The popular portable pairing for AK120 is RSA intruder using phone out to intruder single line in. It can produce balance sound and suitable even for iem usage. Intruder is a clean sounding and powerful amp so that you can drive full sized cans as well. If you only use iem, you can also consider its little brother The Lightning.


You can also cosnider Centrance Hi-Fi M8 LX, you can feed the optical spdif and bypass AK120 DAC/Amp, and M8 can output in various balance configurations...from the reviews/impressions, it is powerful to drive HD800... But it is an expensive venture to just use AK120 as a source transport, as I think that an AK100 should perform the same in this setup. M8 is way bigger than Intruder.


For DX50, the popular bypass pairing is ibasso D12 which is equipped with dual 8740 chips (same as your AK120),you can do opamp rolling and order kit from Hiflight to take it to another level. D12 also takes optical input from AK120.


If you want to use hard to drive phones, you can consider ibasso DB2/PB2 combo.


Good luck finding the right pairing to your taste...


People in this part only accepts stack for idevice... so I think you may not get much useful advices...

post #5 of 5
I am sending the optical out to a Parasound zdac. Just on those occasions that I want to feed an integrated amp based stereo. I am finding there is no sound above 24/96 files. So 24/192 does not play although the zdac is spec'd to receive 192. So my question is whether the AK120 does not pass anything above 24/96 through optical out?
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