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The Astell & Kern AK240 - Page 104

post #1546 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph86 View Post
 

Hi in relation to your question above about line-out please see summery below:

1.   There are common misunderstandings of hardware structure for Astell&Kern players - Basically there is no AMP or Volume control structure in AK H/W.

All A&K units (Including AK100 and AK120) do not use AMP or Volume control H/W. The volume is controlled by DAC chip itself.

Signal moves as below :

DAC(Volume is controlled here) -> LPF (Low Pass Filter / we call it as OPAMP) -> headphone Jack 

Many people misunderstand this OPAMP and assume it’s for volume control and AMP feature, but actually it works only for turning and refining the sound.

Without knowledge of this, some mod companies bypass the signal from the DAC directly to line out jack but essentially this results in poor sound quality.

In pure technical terms, the headphone out is Line out hence the reason for not incorporating a separate line out Jack. The reason this option is set in the menu to max line out volume is to maximise the audio quality with better THD+N and crosstalk values for connection to a separate portable/desktop amps. Hence the reason for using an encoder switch on the side volume control wheel.

 

Thanks for your detailed answer.  

 

- Please can you also tell us if there a possibility to have a balanced Line-Out  to feed a balanced AMP ? And what is exactly the purpose of the strange "LO Block" if in fact, as you say, there is no need to have a separate LO ???

 

- Re your answer above, I have to say that I am not fully convinced: For many people here, including myself who did the Mod to my AK100, the Line out of a MODDED RWAK120-S sound much better through an External AMP than the original headphone-out (set to max volume) of a AK120 to an external AMP.  So.... RWA must do something useful to change the Headphone out into a "clean real" line out ??

 

Here is what RWA says about his MOD: "...if you are referring to the RWAK100-S / 120-S, there is more being done than re-routing the output to bypass the head amp.  The d/a's are changed to WM8741.  They are configured to run in "hardware mode" (not software mode), so there is no longer volume control of the dac, period.  The d/a's are configured to use their internal minimal phase filter option that the 8741 offers (not a linear phase filter, so there is no 'pre-ringing' of the output signal - so it sounds much more natural).  In the case of the 120-B, a true balanced line-out is send to a new output jack (the SE out of the AK120-S also goes to a new jack).  So there was more to it than just re-rounting to bypass the headphone output. "

 

so.... the question will become:  Will the AK240 line out to an External AMP sound as good as the "RWA" line out of a MODDED RWAL120 ? 

 

 

And, thanks in advance to A&K for taking the time to clarify thoses aspects here

post #1547 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

 

Thanks for your detailed answer.  

 

- Please can you also tell us if there a possibility to have a balanced Line-Out  to feed a balanced AMP ? And what is exactly the purpose of the strange "LO Block" if in fact, as you say, there is no need to have a separate LO ???

 

- Re your answer above, I have to say that I am not fully convinced: For many people here, including myself who did the Mod to my AK100, the Line out of a MODDED RWAK120-S sound much better through an External AMP than the original headphone-out (set to max volume) of a AK120 to an external AMP.  So.... RWA must do something useful to change the Headphone out into a "clean real" line out ??

 

Here is what RWA says about his MOD: "...if you are referring to the RWAK100-S / 120-S, there is more being done than re-routing the output to bypass the head amp.  The d/a's are changed to WM8741.  They are configured to run in "hardware mode" (not software mode), so there is no longer volume control of the dac, period.  The d/a's are configured to use their internal minimal phase filter option that the 8741 offers (not a linear phase filter, so there is no 'pre-ringing' of the output signal - so it sounds much more natural).  In the case of the 120-B, a true balanced line-out is send to a new output jack (the SE out of the AK120-S also goes to a new jack).  So there was more to it than just re-rounting to bypass the headphone output. "

 

so.... the question will become:  Will the AK240 line out to an External AMP sound as good as the "RWA" line out of a MODDED RWAL120 ? 

 

 

And, thanks in advance to A&K for taking the time to clarify thoses aspects here

Hi,

 

According to A&K the "LO Block" is a balanced output to connect to a Balanced Audio Device.
Connect to an external audio device by using both the Earphones port and Balanced port in conjunction. The earphone Jack is used as a ground. As technically speaking the headphone/balanced outputs are true "line out" there is no need for a separate connection.

post #1548 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph86 View Post

Hi - The AK240 is not an android media device and will therefore not support access to the Google play store. The Google android code is only used to develop the firmware for the AK240.

There will be a propriety A&K software which will allow you to stream music straight from your computer or NAS drive directly to the device. I will try and test this tonight. 


Looking forwards for your findings. I hope this isn't restricted to a home network but that this will allow streaming when you're not at home as well. Proprietary or not, that really doesn't bother me that much as long as it works. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by Fafner - 2/4/14 at 5:45am
post #1549 of 8541

I am waiting for the AK 480 at 4800 Euro:beyersmile:

post #1550 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafner View Post

Maybe this has been covered in this very long topic (couldn't find much), but as this new device has WiFi built-in and is based on Android...will it be possible to stream music from a home NAS?

I asked A&K US directly and the answer is yes! They are providing free soft wear to manage it, I don't know any more details than that at the moment.
post #1551 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gintaras View Post

mate, when AK240 costs 2.5K for me a question sounds as follows: a 2.5k DAP or a 12K pure triode state of the art amplifier and guess i am leaning to the second option. For me portable was a cheap way to indulge in changing and buying gear, but with 2.5k i can add a good front end DAC, a pair of nice bookshelf speakers and etc... and since my listen time for portable is only 10% you might guess what i will buy first tongue.gif

You know, you have brought up something i have been wondering about myself. From what I am reading of the comments so far about the 240 I am getting all of that increase in sound quality when I plug my 120 into my TU-05.

Out and about I listen in coffee shops and even if I am listening with my ER4S's I still hear a lot of background noise so any sound improvement is moot right out of the DAP I feel. However, at home where it is nice and quiet and I plug my 120 into my amp and listen say with my PF's. Well, all of the descriptions so far of the 240 are truly what i get with that set up. Now of course that begs the question how much better would the home set up be with the 240?

As time goes on though, and with the proviso of me listening to it first, I think I will skip this next generation and wait for the one after. I am actually quite relieved to be reading these thoughts on the 240 as they are I hope going to save me money!
post #1552 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post

Official UK price = £2200 ($3600)

If I were in the UK I know which direction I would be taking at that price! I took the VAT off for fair comparison and without VAT it still comes out to $3390 US. How can they justify such a large increase in price over the US price?
post #1553 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


You know, you have brought up something i have been wondering about myself. From what I am reading of the comments so far about the 240 I am getting all of that increase in sound quality when I plug my 120 into my TU-05.

Out and about I listen in coffee shops and even if I am listening with my ER4S's I still hear a lot of background noise so any sound improvement is moot right out of the DAP I feel. However, at home where it is nice and quiet and I plug my 120 into my amp and listen say with my PF's. Well, all of the descriptions so far of the 240 are truly what i get with that set up. Now of course that begs the question how much better would the home set up be with the 240?

As time goes on though, and with the proviso of me listening to it first, I think I will skip this next generation and wait for the one after. I am actually quite relieved to be reading these thoughts on the 240 as they are I hope going to save me money!


hold on , you can't isolate with the er4s? Is your usual enviroment really loud ?

post #1554 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post


hold on , you can't isolate with the er4s? Is your usual enviroment really loud ?

They isolate well but they still do not take away completely the external noise. Say if someone is having a conversation at the next table or the espresso machine is warming milk. 90% of my listening is classical with many quiet passages and I have found nothing that takes away all the noise. It is low that is for sure but it is there and that detracts from hearing what the player is ultimately able to deliver in performance.

I must admit one of the main reasons i listen to music at coffee shops is to drown out the surrounding noise so I can focus on writing.

I know this is heresy but i am actually thinking of getting a pair of Bose for the coffee shop, the 15 model sounds remarkably good out of the 120 and that does give me silence.
post #1555 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


They isolate well but they still do not take away completely the external noise. Say if someone is having a conversation at the next table or the espresso machine is warming milk. 90% of my listening is classical with many quiet passages and I have found nothing that takes away all the noise. It is low that is for sure but it is there and that detracts from hearing what the player is ultimately able to deliver in performance.

I must admit one of the main reasons i listen to music at coffee shops is to drown out the surrounding noise so I can focus on writing.

I know this is heresy but i am actually thinking of getting a pair of Bose for the coffee shop, the 15 model sounds remarkably good out of the 120 and that does give me silence.

Hmm , i guess I can see that happening with song that have quiet moments , my choice of songs didn't have those kind of quiet passages so the er4p from my ak 100 isolates completely

post #1556 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Do you mean justify the retail pricing, or as in cost to design/implment the native DSD feature? My former and grandfather Marantz DV8500 SACD player had the same DAC went for $1100 back in the day (which I subsequently sold for/traded $50 at the shops BTW).

Personally to me I think (and think Mython may have originated it) it's the 256GB memory that's expensive. I'm hoping as memory prices drop that the AK240 price would drop too.
A 256gb sd can be had for 350$. Without being critical on AK240 price, as I already stated my opinion, I highly doubt the price was defined on a cost+ basis. It is a luxury item and price is a statement. It is also a price based on the rest of the (overpriced) product range. The price would be "justified" if it sounded like the Hugo, i.e. like a desktop DAC, but according to Jude it doesn't.
post #1557 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


A 256gb sd can be had for 350$. Without being critical on AK240 price, as I already stated my opinion, I highly doubt the price was defined on a cost+ basis. It is a luxury item and price is a statement. It is also a price based on the rest of the (overpriced) product range. The price would be "justified" if it sounded like the Hugo, i.e. like a desktop DAC, but according to Jude it doesn't.

SQ-wise the X5 is doing rather well for the price tag versus the asking price of ak240

 

to me the Ak series might try to brand themselves as the premium brand for DAP (which they already have with the 120, and just taking the step too far i reckon), similar to Vertu for cell phones

 

it just depends what kind of user you are, i am sure there are plenty of people who can easily afford it, but for the rest, many choices exist for DAPs

 

recently i just bought the Chinese brand Xiaomi 3 cellphone, gotta say the quality and specs/performance surpasses the Samsung, HTC, Nokia, LG phones i've owned, for 1/3 of the price only. So most of the time the money we pay is going into buying the brand image/reputation, not necessarily the actual performance

post #1558 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

 The price would be "justified" if it sounded like the Hugo, i.e. like a desktop DAC, but according to Jude it doesn't.

 

You are talking of a true hi-end manufacturer versus a wannabe mugger.

post #1559 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post

You are talking of a true hi-end manufacturer versus a wannabe mugger.
Yes exactly.
post #1560 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


Yes exactly.

 

Mimo... my ZX1 cost me £480 to import from Japan, when it goes on sale in March its cost will be £550 (UK)... as a lot of punters have sold their AK120's in favour of the Sony it will be interesting to read a unbiased review of the AK240 v ZX1.

 

in my opinion the ZX1/X5 (or other DAP) paired with the Hugo could be the best portable solution available at present... UK cost ZX1/Hugo £1750... what full-sized headphones can I get for £450? 


Edited by OK-Guy - 2/4/14 at 9:14am
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