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The Astell & Kern AK240 - Page 75

post #1111 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Don't forget iBasso either. Also I think Sony's ZX1 is also priced normal, well still an expensive piece of device but it is worth its money I believe. Sony's pricing is not nightmare, that's what I am trying to say.

 

Of course, big kudos to FiiO, James and his team.

Before I joined head-fi, the only audio people I knew thought the Colourfly C4 was a ludicrous extravagance...

 

my wallet is thinner and their eyebrows are much higher these days

post #1112 of 2782
I think they have decided to push prices as much as they can.
I'm in the UK, and they release the AK100 and it costs roughly £500.
Shortly after that they release the AK120 and it costs roughly £1200.
And they continue to sell loads.
So now they think, hey, why not release another and make it much, much more expensive?!

It doesn't matter if this sounds way better than the AK120 - continuing to quickly release new player after new player at these sorts of prices not only takes the proverbial, it also makes owners of previous models buy into the ultimate version of the materialist, must always buy better models of things-world that we all currently live in.
So, I could have saved and saved and spent £1200 on an AK120 and mere months later I am effectively reading reviews of this new thing and 'being told' that my model that cost an absolute fortune(relatively)is, actually, not really that great because hey, look how fast they've gone and released a much, much better model!

I think it smells very bad. I think they are just seeing how far they can go. Please god let any player they release at this possible price being rumoured, flop.

And yes, indeed, thank Christ a company like FiiO exists, that attempts to continually update their products, design-wise and sound/feature-wise, at price levels that typically remain at the affordable level where folks can enjoy them, and not have to take out a bloody loan to get hold of.

Astell & Kern deserve negative feedback for their current 'business model' in my very humble opinion.
Bugger market forces.
Bugger them.
post #1113 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post


Astell & Kern deserve negative feedback for their current 'business model' in my very humble opinion.
Bugger market forces.
Bugger them.

Personally I applaud market forces, if enough people by the AK240 at the going rate, good luck to AK/I-river, if it fails, it fails, either way, well done market forces...

 

Some people thought I was barking when I spent a little under £600 (UK money), but it's coming up to 2 years now and I don't think I've spent a single minute regretting the expense...

 

The thought of spending around three times that amount does make my eyes water, but I get the same feeling seeing some car prices, or house prices, or restaurant prices for that matter, each potential customer needs to make up their own mind and I don't either of us will be spending our cash on the AK240, but I'm looking forward to hearing from those who do...

post #1114 of 2782

The big question is, can it even compete with other dap's LO + external amp? If not or not much better, then forget about it even it is sold at 50% discount. To me a single portable/pocketable piece and a 1.5" thick stack in an amp wallet makes no difference in terms of portability, as I use it exclusively in office or home hardly put it in my pocket.


Edited by DMinor - 1/25/14 at 11:15am
post #1115 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

I think they have decided to push prices as much as they can.
I'm in the UK, and they release the AK100 and it costs roughly £500.
Shortly after that they release the AK120 and it costs roughly £1200.
And they continue to sell loads.
So now they think, hey, why not release another and make it much, much more expensive?!...

 

It's not just price alone they're pushing. They've also substantially improved its performance, added features, and completely overhauled and improved the software and user interface (building it on Android). And, for this, the price (which I am not 100% clear on yet) is bound to be substantially higher. Relative to most of the electronics that surround us, the AK240 isn't exactly a mass market item.

 

Oh, and in case you didn't know, you don't have to buy it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

...It doesn't matter if this sounds way better than the AK120...
 

I have a feeling that those who do choose to spend for the AK240 will disagree with this sentiment.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

...continuing to quickly release new player after new player at these sorts of prices not only takes the proverbial, it also makes owners of previous models buy into the ultimate version of the materialist, must always buy better models of things-world that we all currently live in.
So, I could have saved and saved and spent £1200 on an AK120 and mere months later I am effectively reading reviews of this new thing and 'being told' that my model that cost an absolute fortune(relatively)is, actually, not really that great because hey, look how fast they've gone and released a much, much better model!...
 

My last car was a little SUV I drove for around 12 years. Never, throughout its time with me, did I not have the means to update the vehicle, and still somehow I resisted.

 

My current car is an inexpensive little economy car that will likely be my young son's first car (meaning I'll likely drive it about as long as the last one). The model year version the year after I bought mine added several updates, key among them being stability control. Several new updates and improvements to this model have happened since. An entirely new model of it is coming out later this year. And still I have a feeling I'll still be driving the one that's in my driveway for years to come.

 

The problem isn't that the cars keep getting updated. The key is that I'm still perfectly happy with the one I've got, despite all of the updates, improvements, and now an all-new version of it, that have come since I bought it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

...Please god let any player they release at this possible price being rumoured, flop...
 

You're praying to a higher power for this?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

...And yes, indeed, thank Christ a company like FiiO exists, that attempts to continually update their products, design-wise and sound/feature-wise, at price levels that typically remain at the affordable level where folks can enjoy them, and not have to take out a bloody loan to get hold of...
 

I have a FiiO X5 arriving in the next few days. I played with the X5 briefly at CES, and it definitely looks very promising. Since I haven't yet spent time with it with my own music and outside of a show environment, I'm not going to venture to comment on its sound yet (though I've come to expect great value from FiiO). I am comfortable saying, however, that the user interface is not nearly as polished, fast and intuitive as the AK240's is (nor does it have the storage and feature set that the AK240 has).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaceHane2 View Post

...Astell & Kern deserve negative feedback for their current 'business model' in my very humble opinion.
Bugger market forces.
Bugger them.
 

:rolleyes: 

post #1116 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmberOzL View Post
 


Don't forget iBasso either. Also I think Sony's ZX1 is also priced normal, well still an expensive piece of device but it is worth its money I believe. Sony's pricing is not nightmare, that's what I am trying to say.

 

Of course, big kudos to FiiO, James and his team.

If there was a small footprint solution for the ZX1 to have more space, I think it would be home run.  What's it have,128 GB? I have about 185 on the 120 with the option of changing cards if I need more. BTW, I do not think I have anything in WAV.....just MP3 & AALC.

post #1117 of 2782

1. Android is a free, open source OS. As far as I know, the AK240 does not include any of the Android apps that would require licensing from Google.

 

2. Most of the AK240's marquee described features are already part of Android.

 

3. Download music on your computer if you really need it. Plus, there are several of these music store type apps available for free, or for less than $5 on stores. Plus you're still paying for the music. It's not like they added a DSD-streaming version of Spotify.

 

4. I've become rather skeptical as to the "improved performance" moniker. The change in DACs seems to me like a change in sound sig. There are people here who would argue the chosen chips inferior.

 

5. Thanks for bringing up the car analogy. MSRP for a 2012 Camry is $22,045. MSRP for a 2014 Camry is $22,450. I'll leave the conclusions for others to draw.

 

 

So, I still don't see why it costs 3x the price of its competitors.

post #1118 of 2782

Maybe I'm still missing something here but here's my take.

 

AK100 was more like mid-end level.

 

AK120 was getting closer to the high-end for sure.

 

AK100 MKII was obviously somewhere in between.

 

Now AK240 is simply going for the ultra-high end market where money is more or less (almost) no object. They might not really have to sell that many AK240 in order to achieve their goal. And that's only part of what they've got in store since they already showed their own tube amp as well as speakers before

 

http://www.whathifi.com/news/astell-kern-launches-akr02-earphones-plus-first-ever-amplifier-and-speakers

 

IMHO they could have planned ahead for something like AK240 a fairly long time ago. Somehow it reminded me something similar to what IBM did to start coming up with new stuff

 

http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/dl.aspx?id=104086

 

They've been making plenty of lower-end players to target a very different market back in the days of iriver. Now they're just going for market segmentation with the introduction A&K so a product like AK240 is only natural to cover that particular segment of the market.

post #1119 of 2782
guys, i believe the question about AK240 is not price per se but the purpose of portable audio. when AK rolls a 2.5k DAP and tells me i can use it as a source in my high end system i begin to laugh.... and in PC audio solutions can be plenty and still better sounding for the money. i understand AK wants steal the money from high end boys but i am laughing at them because i would never use 240 in my front end unless it would come to perform as good as 5k amp+dap combo which i really doubt. so the only sane product of them i see now is AK120 and still this costs too much so i wait to see if Calyx can raise the bar for AK before i make my mind on AK120 or Calyx M.

so its not about the money but the appeal and the purpose. for sure those who use DAP in different desktop systems might disagree. but for me DAP is only about portable playback, when home i rarely use any portable, at home i prefer only my front end.
Edited by Gintaras - 1/25/14 at 11:40am
post #1120 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

guys, i believe the question about AK240 is not price per se but the purpose of portable audio. when AK rolls a 2.5k DAP and tells me i can use it as a source in my high end system i begin to laugh.... and in PC audio solutions can be plenty and still better sounding for the money. i understand AK wants steal the money from high end boys but i am laughing at them because i would never use 240 in my front end unless it would come to perform as good as 5k amp+dap combo which i really doubt. so the only sane product of them i see now is AK120 and still this costs too much so i wait to see if Calyx can raise the bar for AK before i make my mind on AK120 or Calyx M.

so its not about the money but the appeal and the purpose. for sure those who use DAP in different desktop systems might disagree. but for me DAP is only about portable playback, when home i rarely use any portable, at home i prefer only my front end.

 

I use portable all the time at home (I know, I'm weird....I see myself as being on the outside-looking-in as far as this hobby is concerned), and I still can't quite wrap my head around the AK240.

post #1121 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bina View Post

Here is brochure in German, price is 2500€ http://www.astellnkern.de/downloads/AstellKern_Webbrochure_de.pdf
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

guys, i believe the question about AK240 is not price per se

Gintaras, 2500 € Euros = $3,487.89 US (approx.) at today's exchange rate. Holy Crap! :blink: 

post #1122 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

...Thanks for bringing up the car analogy. MSRP for a 2012 Camry is $22,045. MSRP for a 2014 Camry is $22,450. I'll leave the conclusions for others to draw...

 

MSRP for Toyota Camry: $22,425.00.

 

MSRP for Lexus LS 600h L (also made by Toyota): $120,060.00.

 

To the best of my recollection, the base AK120 is still the same price it's been since its launch.

 

I'm not bothered by a company in this space wanting to push the envelope, in terms of features and performance, I'm excited by it. Whether or not they've successfully come up with a product that the intended audience will want will be determined only after it's released. I have almost no doubt the AK240's going to do just fine.

post #1123 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post

Gintaras, 2500 € Euros = $3,487.89 US (approx.) at today's exchange rate. Holy Crap! blink.gif  

some may say "peanuts" by high end standards, where 2.5k might be just a change. but for me ak240 misses the whole purpose, plus i would be mad if ak240 accidentally drops on the floor or gets stolen.
post #1124 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

 

MSRP for Toyota Camry: $22,425.00.

 

MSRP for Lexus LS 600h L (also made by Toyota): $120,060.00.

 

To the best of my recollection, the base AK120 is still the same price it's been since its launch.

 

I'm not bothered by a company in this space wanting to push the envelope, in terms of features and performance, I'm excited by it. Whether or not they've successfully come up with a product that the intended audience will want will be determined only after it's released. I have almost no doubt the AK240's going to do just fine.

 

 

Yes, and the LS 600 is spectacularly better than the Camry as far as driving experience is concerned. And there is empirical evidence for this in terms of performance and building materials used. Read my points 1-4 for the AK240's justifications.

 

Owning a glorified ipod is not the same as driving a luxury car or yachting on the Mediterranean coast. And if the newest Hyundai Genesis offered similar performance and luxury-esque comfort for $40k, would you still get the LS 600?

post #1125 of 2782
Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

To the best of my recollection, the base AK120 is still the same price it's been since its launch.

Feels weird to correct you (probably I'm wrong anyway :) but I think the price dropped from $1,499 US to $1,299. I remember the H.F.ier who sold me mine gave me a 'special group purchase price of $1299. which it was for 5 days, and then the price dropped to $1299.

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