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Is the Astell & Kern AK10 a DAC and amp? Or just a DAC?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the noob question... I've tried searches, but sifting through the myriad of articles and threads has proved fruitless thus far. Most of the articles and threads refer to the AK10 as a DAC/amp, but there is no mention of it being an amp on the product page at the A&K website. 

 

So what's the deal... Is it an amp? And if so, is it powerful enough to make a larger over-ear like the Audio Technica ATH-W1000X sing?

 

Lastly, as all the stock product photos I see of the AK10 show it plugged into an iPhone 5 (using what I'm assuming is a proprietary A&K cable), am I to take it that if it is an indeed a DAC/amp, it's pretty much plug-and-play with an iPhone 5 running iOS7, so I don't need to worry about double-amping issues, etc.?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earbones View Post
 

Sorry for the noob question... I've tried searches, but sifting through the myriad of articles and threads has proved fruitless thus far. Most of the articles and threads refer to the AK10 as a DAC/amp, but there is no mention of it being an amp on the product page at the A&K website. 

 

So what's the deal... Is it an amp? And if so, is it powerful enough to make a larger over-ear like the Audio Technica ATH-W1000X sing?

 

Lastly, as all the stock product photos I see of the AK10 show it plugged into an iPhone 5 (using what I'm assuming is a proprietary A&K cable), am I to take it that if it is an indeed a DAC/amp, it's pretty much plug-and-play with an iPhone 5 running iOS7, so I don't need to worry about double-amping issues, etc.?

It appears the AK10 takes in a digital audio signal and outputs an analog audio signal using a headphone amplifier.

The AK10 will bypass the iPhone 5's headphone amplifier, so no double amping.

So the AK10 should plug into your iPhone 5 and the W1000X into the AK10's headphone amplifier.

A $27 FiiO E6 could drive the W1000X, so it should be easy for the AK10 do also drive the W1000X

 

I'm thinking of getting the ATH-W1000X, do you already own one, if so, how do you like it?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I guess I do own the ATH-W1000X's, but just barely. I just found them in a Brookstone outlet... I'd heard of them, but hadn't considered them because they are $699, hard to find for an audition, and apparently have a somewhat controversial sound signature. Anyway, the outlet had them knocked down to $419, and then the manager offered them to me for $199, since they'd been on the shelf for a while. My girlfriend has been bugging me about what I want for Christmas, so I put them on hold, and she picked them up. So long story short, I've only listened to them briefly in the store, with downloaded Spotify tracks off an iPhone 5 (on airplane mode) as the source material, without the benefit of an external amp. My initial impression is that they are super, super fast phones. Lush, crystal-clear, almost overly-detailed mids complimented by bright highs, and very tight, very bouncy bass. Definitely a forward signature. I have high hopes that a nice amp will inform the bass depth a little more. Fit was a little loose, and I didn't get quite the seal I wanted (making the isolation not that great), but it seemed I could probably fiddle with them to achieve a better fit and seal. Overall, I was impressed (particularly for $199), and look forward to dialing them in and getting a proper listen.
Edited by Earbones - 12/21/13 at 5:22pm
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earbones View Post

 Anyway, the outlet had them knocked down to $419, and then the manager offered them to me for $199, since they'd been on the shelf for a while. My girlfriend has been bugging me about what I want for Christmas, so I put them on hold, and she picked them up. So long story short, I've only listened to them briefly in the store, with downloaded Spotify tracks off an iPhone 5 (on airplane mode) as the source material, without the benefit of an external amp. My initial impression is that they are super, super fast phones. Lush, crystal-clear, almost overly-detailed mids complimented by bright highs, and very tight, very bouncy bass. Definitely a forward signature. I have high hopes that a nice amp will inform the bass depth a little more. Fit was a little loose, and I didn't get quite the seal I wanted (making the isolation not that great), but it seemed I could probably fiddle with them to achieve a better fit and seal. Overall, I was impressed (particularly for $199), and look forward to dialing them in and getting a proper listen.

ONLY $199!!!!:eek:

 

It's going to cost me $380 for the ATH-W1000X and that from a on-line retailer with a bad rep.

 

Check out the FiiO X3, it's $199 and uses the same WM8740 DAC chip as the Asteil & Kern.

You could leave the iPhone in your pocket.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yeah, it was a pretty cool random score. Thanks for the advice on the X3, I'll research it.

 

PM sent.

post #6 of 6

i dont know whether it has. but the output of it is really LOW! as big as iphone.

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