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The Astell & Kern AK240 - Page 80

post #1186 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post

I understand. 

Innovative look maybe.  There is nothing new, not even the price though you may get more features than the other dap that has almost none but is around 2400 dollars. And if the dacs they used sound great, all the more surprise and fine with me but how much better had they used even better dacs.

Nothing new? Hmm, I am not aware of any other portable DAP that can stream music from another source or download directly from dedicated icons that go direct to the download site. Perhaps I have missed something there, please correct me if i have.
I would call that feature an innovation if you go by the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary..
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/innovative

Oh, and does the 901 do DSD in native form? If not then that is another innovation the 240 has over other portable DAP's. I believe as well the 240 does both resolutions of DSD, does the 901?
Edited by ianmedium - 1/25/14 at 4:58pm
post #1187 of 6201
Here is simple question. Regarding the bal output . Why is the adaptor so large. With that metal plug . What is inside the plug ? It cannot just be a passive adaptor. Is the bal amp inside the adaptor or what ?

Al
post #1188 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

I agree with you about the competition leads to better alternatives. I think a lot of us worried that AK pricing model would inspire other audiophile DAP companies to follow... However, it was discussed a few pages back that this was never the case..... So I guess I am no longer worried.

 

There is no point to rationalize why well heeled people buy expensive things... lets focus back on the product itself.

That is a very very valid worry. I made note of it in my mega post. 

 

It's just that, as you may have noted. 

 

My argument was in that while it will set a precedent in the future (see the $100,000 speakers). If those speakers aren't things that people as a majority see to be something that they want to TRULy attain and at a cheaper price. Then those are just enthusiast items that those with money will puruse. The example here being all the $500 and sub speakers you have today. They are cheaper, but have the sound quality of some of the most innovative systems from 30 years ago etc. This is because that was something that the majority of people in that field, and in the consumer field truly wanted and at an 'affordable' price. Obviously, many concessions have to be made, but in the end, its a 'good' unit.

 

But if that product is something that is expensive but is truly innovative and good. Then competition will come in and fill the market gap. See the first automobile, air travel etc

post #1189 of 6201

Jude... what would you say is more innovative & has the best SQ, the AK240 or the Chord Hugo?... out of interest.


Edited by OK-Guy - 1/25/14 at 5:02pm
post #1190 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Here is simple question. Regarding the bal output . Why is the adaptor so large. With that metal plug . What is inside the plug ? It cannot just be a passive adaptor. Is the bal amp inside the adaptor or what ?

Al


This should give you a clue:

 

post #1191 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post
 

CS4398 sounds a lot better than WM8741 by the way in my opinion. I haven't met many that have disagreed. 

 

Also, the WM 8740 has been very very overused as of late. Gotta change it up is what I think they are doing.

 

Since not everyone can agree which dac chip is better, my guess is AK's engineer tossed a coin and it turned out to be heads up for the CS4398. :)

 

By the way, is the CS4398 cheaper than the wolfson?

post #1192 of 6201

My guess, each of the lineout will feed one of the channel?

Quote:

Originally Posted by razorblader View Post
 


This should give you a clue:

 

post #1193 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMinor View Post
 

 

Since not everyone can agree which dac chip is better, my guess is AK's engineer tossed a coin and it turned out to be heads up for the CS4398. :)

 

By the way, is the CS4398 cheaper than the wolfson?

It's unknown really if CL or Wolfson offered special pricing so its hard to tell

post #1194 of 6201
It is not just the dac but how it is implemented. I believe the 4398 is their flagship or was. The 4398 has been used previously in higher end systems, it also comes down to your sound preference as well.
post #1195 of 6201
I own all those headphones and you left out the best one witch I own too. The HE6.

Al
post #1196 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poimandres View Post

It is not just the dac but how it is implemented. I believe the 4398 is their flagship or was. The 4398 has been used previously in higher end systems, it also comes down to your sound preference as well.

 

Absolutely.

 

IMO, the design concept for a better audio path is not rocket science. You take the analog signals from dac immediately to the line out to amp, and then let the amp do its magic however it is designed. Now speaking of innovation, I consider Nick's design on the UHA-6S.MK2 to be innovative in that it has no dc blocking caps along the entire audio path yet it is capable of compensating a few volts of DC and drive that to zero at output to headphones. It's so much clean and transparent.

post #1197 of 6201

What amuses me is that there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding on how economics works. The AK240 is expensive, no doubt about that, but all that means is they will sell less of them. And they'll make the same amount of profit or even less than if it was priced at a lower price point of say 2k and they sold more of them (no clue what the R&D/manufacturing costs were). So they'd make more money by lowering the price and increasing demand but when you look at their previous products then that wouldn't make any sense. The AK120 is 1300, the AK120 Titan is 1500. So given those prices and what the AK240 brings to the table it's hard to imagine that the AK240 would be anywhere under 2k.

 

I find it funny is that it is accepted throughout the headphone industry (and really any electronics industry) that you'll pay a whole lot more for small increases in performance/UI/aesthetics yet when someone tries it with a DAP people lose their minds. Seems silly to me.

 

BTW, the CS4398 is a really good DAC. Marantz uses it in all their high end SACD players, they don't use it in their reference line but then again the DAC in their reference line is 7x larger. The Woflson WM8741 is used by Pioneer and Cambridge Audio. They are both really good DACs, it's not like the CS4398 is some value DAC like some people are making it out to be, it's a top of the line DAC.


Edited by JackDiesel - 1/25/14 at 6:56pm
post #1198 of 6201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldlion973 View Post
 

When I say afraid of mods I don't mean us... meant the reviews given... was wondering if you felt comfortable  reviewing a RW mod or if you feel it might compromise your standing with iRiver is all...

 

Here's a link to a recent post I made about this subject:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/684396/new-jh-audio-flagship-siren-series-roxanne/1725#post_10078176

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldlion973 View Post
 

...Its not a future proof device IMO, it will last five years or so before its replaced if not by iRiver then either another company, big or small, short or tall...

 

The AK240's support of all current formats makes it reasonably resistant to rapid obsolescence, but you're right that not much is truly futureproof.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldlion973 View Post
 

...an explanation on why you would bypass the dual DAC sectionon the AK120 via optical out to pass the signal through an external amp with only one DAC would come in handy, seems extravagant.

 

Thanks .lol.

 

I don't pay much mind to how many DACs are in it, or which DAC chips are used. The HiFi-M8 is made by CEntrance, a company with vast experience doing digital development for a lot of different companies, like McIntosh, Bel Canto, Benchmark, PS Audio, Lavry Engineering, and others. Try driving an Audeze LCD-3 or HD 800 with the AK120 and then using the more powerful balanced amp in the HiFi-M8, and that would probably answer your question.

 

 

To me, it's the whole, very pocketable package that's the AK240 that excites me. Even with it--even at the price--at this size, there's going to be compromises versus putting together a stack of components. I haven't tried its balanced output yet, but there's no way its amp section is going to have the drive of, say, my Ray Samuels Audio SR-71b.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

jude,

 

on the LO topic, any idea about this strange little "obstrusive" box ?  Why is is needed rather than simply a cable  ? is there some electronic inside ?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRAINBOW View Post

Here is simple question. Regarding the bal output . Why is the adaptor so large. With that metal plug . What is inside the plug ? It cannot just be a passive adaptor. Is the bal amp inside the adaptor or what ?

Al

 

I'm not sure what's inside the box--I don't have one of those here yet. To run a balanced headphone, you need a balanced headphone cable terminated in a balanced 2.5mm plug (not common, but Moon Audio made just such an end for me to go with my Moon Audio adapter system cables).

 

I'll try to find out more about that box.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post
 

How is the battery life on these anyway?

 

@anetode, I'm not sure how long battery life is rated for. I haven't measured/estimated that with my own typical use yet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


Just to add, HM901 has balance phone out before AK240. I am interested to demo AK240 but I cannot understand what innovation it has achieved

 

I have the HM-901, too, and I think part of the reason I've seen a lot more AK120's in the wild than HM-901's is that most, when faced with reasonably competitive choices, will take a simpler, smaller solution, when shopping for a portable player. The HM-901's amp modules allow for excellent flexibility, but I think most would rather accept a reasonable compromise that'll work with most headphones, versus specific modules purpose-built for specific use cases. Again, this is just part of the reason, as I see it: certainly, the AK120's user interface is also (for me) significantly smoother and more intuitive.

 

On its balanced output, specifically, I don't think there's necessarily innovation being claimed. However, for its size--and combined with the rest of its feature set--balanced output isn't quite common yet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post
 

Jude... what would you say is more innovative & has the best SQ, the AK240 or the Chord Hugo?... out of interest.

 

@OK-Guy, that's a tough question. In terms of innovation, one is made to be an all-in-one (including music storage and UI for playback), the other is a DAC/amp (with a very cool bespoke DAC implementation) without media storage. As for which one sounds better, it's the Hugo. The Hugo is one of the best DAC/amps I've ever heard, regardless of form factor, and I can't wait to use it as a DAC-only with some of my favorite desktop DACs.

post #1199 of 6201

Jude, do you know if the AK240 does true dsd or does it convert dsd to pcm like all other daps? The CPU of most all daps do not have native DSD I2S so the have to do dsd to pcm. edit: It appears iRiver is saying that their system does do the dsd. I think that would be the first if it does. 


Edited by jamato8 - 1/25/14 at 7:25pm
post #1200 of 6201
The Chord is cheaper.... Then €1500 vs €2500 if my math is right. €1000 in change left can go a long way.

Don't forget most people already have the transport in the form of a smart phone (ie android or iOS device)....
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