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The Astell & Kern AK240 - Page 45

post #661 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
 

Mython,

 

No no, no apology is needed! I totally understand. Its hard for me to post as a MFG, I am a long time head-fi sponsor but its still very hard for me to post. I think anyone who knows me knows me to be a straight shooter and honest but via email and posting its hard to know what people are up to, I understand this. People are naturally suspicious of vendors and I totally understand. ;-)

 

Thanks for the reply

 

Ken

 

I've met Ken a couple of times now in his visits to Tokyo I'll totally back him up in this statement.

 

I've been sitting on the sidelines here reading what's going on and seriously biting my tongue hard. The crowd here seriously needs to tone down a notch and I'm sure everyone likes a little tongue and cheek a little but as I wrote a few posts back, this has been going on for more than 10 pages with very little -real- contribution. There's probably a lot more stronger words I'd like to say but will continue biting my tongue so for now but can only ask you chaps to dial down a little.

post #662 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimOgawa View Post
 

Thanks Ken, people here like to judge the product too quickly. ALO will sell the AK240 right?

 

I totally agree and I hope so ;-) 

 

The expressed written thoughts and impressions of my posts are solely my personal (Kenneth Ball) opinion, yes I will sell them and I am by that fact bias! however my thoughts and impressions are truthful. If something sounds, looks, works poorly I do not post or talk about that in public, no way never, nor do we carry it. As everyone knows I rarely post about stuff, but in this case I guess I was a bit smitten with the player and I am at CES, and there was not much info on it so I posted. 

 

Wow I think this is the most I have posted ever in one day, sorry for the diversion on the item. 

 

Anyhow yes I am bias, the price of the player is controversial so this will be a hot issue, everyone has to listen for themselves and be your own judge and not my opinion.

 

thank you

 

Ken


Edited by KB - 1/10/14 at 8:55am
post #663 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by OK-Guy View Post
 

 

I never insinuated you was but it's always nice to plug something you sell... btw your amps are nice.

 

you may want to get some K-10's for your AK240 they might take things to a higher than higher level... did I ever mention I'm connected to Noble? :veryevil: 

 

Thank you OK-guy. noted. 

 

I love the Noble designs, I actually bought a pair. nice work.

 

Ken

post #664 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post

yes but that does not mean I am lying. Yes I have tried them, and yes I did not have one there to AB so this is of course my personal opinion. I would like to hear what Vinnies impression of it are at some point. 

You have to try it yourself to make the determination.

Ken
From what I understand the DAC chips used arw nothing to write home about. But we all know implementation is key. Would you say you really feel they arw surpassing existing competition with this? Or are you just talking about the amp stage?
post #665 of 8541
Ken,
Please could you describe the AK240 UI ? Is it much better than the graphical interface of the AK100 ( that I don't like and find "Stone âge") ? Does it take really advantage of the bigger screen to make music selection easier ? And... To create playlists ? Does it display nice panels of cover arts like iTune on a PC ?

Thanks

PS: do you think that the Line-out is a real Line-out or just an headphone out set to Max volume ?
Edited by bmichels - 1/10/14 at 10:24am
post #666 of 8541

Ken, et al,

 

I'm looking forward to hearing the AK240.  I'm sure the built-in headphone stage is going to be very good.  The question is "how good?"

 

I can only speculate that it will not be on the same level as an RX3, Continental, or SR71A / 71B.  It is not fair to expect them to be when dealing with an all-in-one portable solution.  Dedicated portable amps have dedicated boards the size of the AK240 (or slightly larger) DEDICATED for audio.  They are using top notch parts and have the space to put them in there.  And a battery supply dedicated for just audio - not shared with the LCD, SSD, USB, DAC, etc.  So I'd be mightily impressed if the AK240 output stage can reach those levels.  Ken told me that he thought the AK240 output stage was a big step up from the AK120's and  comes closer to the quality of some good portables out there - so that is promising.  But it was busy and hard to do good comparisons, which I understand.  

 

Besides that, he said the screen resolution for the album art was amazing (better than his iphone), and the UI was really slick.  And that in person, it looks much better and looks/feels the part of uber-high end component.  

 

So we'll see what happens - I am itching to hear it with a pair of LCD-3s and compare to the stock AK120.  Then compare AK240 to modded AK120-S/B + amp with the LCD-3s.  

 

If the AK240 can get close to that, then they deserve a lot of credit for their design (the price of it is another story and only you can decide what it is worth after you hear it for yourself, 

right?).  

 

Vinnie


Edited by Vinnie R. - 1/10/14 at 9:35am
post #667 of 8541

Hey fellas, I can understand how the price of the AK240 is going be controversial for quite some time to come... and people will have very polarized opinions of the unit in light of it.  But that doesn't mean the following rule has been suspended:

 

Quote:
From Head-Fi.org's Posting Guidelines View Post

 

Likewise, please avoid trashing equipment you haven't used or aren't familiar with.

 

So, for those of us who have NOT heard it or used it (including myself), let's try to be fair with our comments m'kay?  :smile:

 

Also, obligatory reminder gif:

 


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

Reply
post #668 of 8541

 

Looks different in different pics.  I like this shot...

post #669 of 8541

I really am trying to understand all this malarkey surrounding the AK240... on the one hand we have a DAP that is meant to be the all-dancing best thing, then I read you'll probably need a Amp to improve things further, then it will be probably be modded to sound even better... even Confucius would of had difficulty understanding all of this.

 

I cannot for the life of me see any giant steps forward in sound-quality if any over the current breed of hi-end DAP's... why not just get a RWA-AK120 and a ALO amp and be done with it... the way I'm surmising things is that all you're really paying for a upgraded UI and more memory. 


Edited by OK-Guy - 1/10/14 at 10:32am
post #670 of 8541

I am new to this forum, and would like to offer what is perhaps a different/new perspective to this discussion about the Astell & Kern AK240.

   

As introduction, I am a long time "audiophile", and have owned analog equipment (i.e., high end turntable, tube and hybrid pre-amps and amps, high end speakers, audiophile cables, etc.).  I resisted the temptation of digital for years as I preferred the sound of analog. In August 2013,  I purchased a Fiio X3, and later a pair of Westone 4r's, and began downloading 192 mgh/24bit albums for my new DAP.  Having dipped my toe in the world of Digital Audio Players and high definition downloads, I began researching an upgrade of my digital audio player.  My thinking in upgrading has been that although the Fiio X3 sounded good, there was no doubt better out there in the world.  The limited storage of the Fiio X3 was also an issue for me.

 

It didn't take long for me to discover this forum, and I began to research what exists as to current and upcoming digital audio players. I was particularly interested in the Astell & Kern product line, as the design and user interface  of the AK 100 and AK120 seemed on par, if not better than the products of other companies.  I was also intrigued by the Sony product and the Calyx M, because of their design.  However, for me the two most important factors I considered are sound quality and storage capability.

 

The upcoming Astell & Kern AK240 certainly caught my eye, hence my attention to this particular thread.  Because there is no one convenient source for comparison of sound quality, as a consumer I am forced to rely on reviews, and if possible, attend meets of others gathering to compare and discuss portable source gear.  Nevertheless, it is fair to say that purchasing portable source gear, and in fact all other related components, is ultimately buying somewhat blind.

 

For my needs, and based on my research, I am in the process of purchasing upgraded gear.  Before describing what I am buying, and why, given that this is the Astell & Kern AK240 discussion forum, I will describe why I am not purchasing the AK240, despite my initial interest.

 

No one, except perhaps those who have attended CES, knows how the AK240 sounds.  Although arguably an audiophile, or more accurately someone who appreciates great sound,  no one could ever accuse me of having any technical know how.  I do know, however, for the price premium to purchase the AK240, for me it would necessarily have to sound considerably better than anything on the market.  In addition, in light of the fact that it is a new product on the market, it is more likely than other DAP's on the market to have issues for the early adopters.  On the other hand, the fact that it meets my needs for storage is a major plus.  I also determined that it offers features that I as a consumer have no real desire for, i.e., DSD support.  I don't feel strongly one way or another as to its physical design, but I am sensitive to paying a premium over other devices given the fact that it, at best, is likely to sound incrementally better than what is on the market, and to purchase it means that I am paying for features I have no need for.  I very much appreciated the analogy mentioned by others in the discussion of this product as to Apple products.  I own Apple products, and undoubtedly pay a premium for them, but purchase only products which meet my needs.  So at the end of the day, I will not purchase the Astell & Kern AK240.

 

For what its worth, based on the factors I described above as most important, I have decided to purchase an Astell & Kern AK120 Titan, modified by Red Wine Audio to be a RWAK 120B, a Ray Samuels Audio SR-71B, and a pair of Sennheiser HD 700 headphones with balanced cables.  Hopefully my new gear will provide the sound quality and storage capability that I desire.

post #671 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinnie R. View Post
 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks different in different pics.  I like this shot... Looks a bit like an expensive cell phone/mobile!

post #672 of 8541

Checked out the AK240 twice at Astell and Kern's Booth.

 

The build quality is fantastic.  Real Carbon Fiber backplate.  Solid metal.  It's significantly thicker than the AK120, but not as thick as it looks in pics from the top down view.  It's an optical illusion.  Kind of like an isometric 3D view.  The AK240 is thinner than the HM--901.

 

That said, I don't like the styling of the AK240.  It's bold for sure, but it's not comfortable to hold with it's sharp edges, especially that lower right hand corner.

 

The Android based UI is simply awesome.  Fast, responsive, and very intuitive, especially for anyone with an Android device.

 

The single micro SDXC card slot has cards seating very flush to the side.  Nail-biters will have a tough time ejecting and inserting cards.

 

Initial impressions of the sound quality, is that it's a definite step about the AK120, but still not as good as the HM-901.  There seems to be a slight bump up in the mid base region, making bass a bit muddy sounding overall.  Low bass extension is not as deep as HM-901, nor as tight.

Treble has good extension, and very smooth, even with very sibilant music tracks I use to test for this one.

 

But all of these points are moot if the AK240 is going actually sell for $2400 USD.  It's a difficult sell even at the AK120's old price, IMO.  But it's simply way too much.  So you'll have to ask yourself how much you value a superior UI. 

 

Is the Superior Android based UI, smaller form factor, and better battery life really worth over $1000 over it's nearest competitors?  Not for me, but maybe for a few.  We'll see.

post #673 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickruss View Post
 

I am new to this forum, and would like to offer what is perhaps a different/new perspective to this discussion about the Astell & Kern AK240.

   

As introduction, I am a long time "audiophile", and have owned analog equipment (i.e., high end turntable, tube and hybrid pre-amps and amps, high end speakers, audiophile cables, etc.).  I resisted the temptation of digital for years as I preferred the sound of analog. In August 2013,  I purchased a Fiio X3, and later a pair of Westone 4r's, and began downloading 192 mgh/24bit albums for my new DAP.  Having dipped my toe in the world of Digital Audio Players and high definition downloads, I began researching an upgrade of my digital audio player.  My thinking in upgrading has been that although the Fiio X3 sounded good, there was no doubt better out there in the world.  The limited storage of the Fiio X3 was also an issue for me.

 

It didn't take long for me to discover this forum, and I began to research what exists as to current and upcoming digital audio players. I was particularly interested in the Astell & Kern product line, as the design and user interface  of the AK 100 and AK120 seemed on par, if not better than the products of other companies.  I was also intrigued by the Sony product and the Calyx M, because of their design.  However, for me the two most important factors I considered are sound quality and storage capability.

 

The upcoming Astell & Kern AK240 certainly caught my eye, hence my attention to this particular thread.  Because there is no one convenient source for comparison of sound quality, as a consumer I am forced to rely on reviews, and if possible, attend meets of others gathering to compare and discuss portable source gear.  Nevertheless, it is fair to say that purchasing portable source gear, and in fact all other related components, is ultimately buying somewhat blind.

 

For my needs, and based on my research, I am in the process of purchasing upgraded gear.  Before describing what I am buying, and why, given that this is the Astell & Kern AK240 discussion forum, I will describe why I am not purchasing the AK240, despite my initial interest.

 

No one, except perhaps those who have attended CES, knows how the AK240 sounds.  Although arguably an audiophile, or more accurately someone who appreciates great sound,  no one could ever accuse me of having any technical know how.  I do know, however, for the price premium to purchase the AK240, for me it would necessarily have to sound considerably better than anything on the market.  In addition, in light of the fact that it is a new product on the market, it is more likely than other DAP's on the market to have issues for the early adopters.  On the other hand, the fact that it meets my needs for storage is a major plus.  I also determined that it offers features that I as a consumer have no real desire for, i.e., DSD support.  I don't feel strongly one way or another as to its physical design, but I am sensitive to paying a premium over other devices given the fact that it, at best, is likely to sound incrementally better than what is on the market, and to purchase it means that I am paying for features I have no need for.  I very much appreciated the analogy mentioned by others in the discussion of this product as to Apple products.  I own Apple products, and undoubtedly pay a premium for them, but purchase only products which meet my needs.  So at the end of the day, I will not purchase the Astell & Kern AK240.

 

For what its worth, based on the factors I described above as most important, I have decided to purchase an Astell & Kern AK120 Titan, modified by Red Wine Audio to be a RWAK 120B, a Ray Samuels Audio SR-71B, and a pair of Sennheiser HD 700 headphones with balanced cables.  Hopefully my new gear will provide the sound quality and storage capability that I desire.


I have the AKG3003i in ear headphones..on reference setting they are up there with the best of 'em..I would choose them over the hd700s and forget about the ray samuels amp.. If it was me I would get the AK120 Titan with the AKG3003i's..either way you will be happy!


Edited by martin vegas - 1/10/14 at 11:21am
post #674 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
 

Checked out the AK240 twice at Astell and Kern's Booth.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

The build quality is fantastic.  Real Carbon Fiber backplate.  Solid metal.  It's significantly thicker than the AK120, but not as thick as it looks in pics from the top down view.  It's an optical illusion.  Kind of like an isometric 3D view.  The AK240 is thinner than the HM--901.

 

That said, I don't like the styling of the AK240.  It's bold for sure, but it's not comfortable to hold with it's sharp edges, especially that lower right hand corner.

 

The Android based UI is simply awesome.  Fast, responsive, and very intuitive, especially for anyone with an Android device.

 

The single micro SDXC card slot has cards seating very flush to the side.  Nail-biters will have a tough time ejecting and inserting cards.

 

Initial impressions of the sound quality, is that it's a definite step about the AK120, but still not as good as the HM-901.  There seems to be a slight bump up in the mid base region, making bass a bit muddy sounding overall.  Low bass extension is not as deep as HM-901, nor as tight.

Treble has good extension, and very smooth, even with very sibilant music tracks I use to test for this one.

 

But all of these points are moot if the AK240 is going actually sell for $2400 USD.  It's a difficult sell even at the AK120's old price, IMO.  But it's simply way too much.  So you'll have to ask yourself how much you value a superior UI. 

 

Is the Superior Android based UI, smaller form factor, and better battery life really worth over $1000 over it's nearest competitors?  Not for me, but maybe for a few.  We'll see.

 

 

Thanks for the first take impressions. What phones were you using? Any idea if they had enabled Pro EQ or if it's an option? (I preferred it without when I had a 120) Was a bit warm.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/10/14 at 11:46am
post #675 of 8541
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin vegas View Post
 

What are the other 2 pics?

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