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The Astell and Kern AK240 Impressions Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by piercer View Post
 

I wonder what the A&K valve amp they have been teasing will be like? Will it be affordable?

 

 

That's joke right?  ....Just checking, you confused me for a second.

post #152 of 1414

Ok, time for a crazy test.

After a full Gliere's Symphony no.3 from my big home rig, I decided to give it a try with my HD800 from the AK240. The cable chain wasn't exactly the ideal one, being my hardwired balanced HD800 attached to a StefanAudio Art balanced-to-6.3mm adapter, followed by a 6.3mm-to-3.5mm adapter. Anyways...

I'm impressed by the amazing sound this tiny thing is putting out...very clean, amazingly elegant and detailed, good bass, not an hint of distortion and...actually very listenable from the HD800. Yes, I had to crank volume up to the max setting and for many recordings this would still be a little too much on the quiet side, the sound looses quite a bit of body compared to what is coming from the B52, but on the whole it's still very enjoyable and as I said impressive considering the source. Would I recommend using an HD800 with the AK240 unamped? Well, not really, but I didn't expect such a result. I guess balanced mode could really be that good...

 

No reservations can be made for the AK240 in conjunction with my Grado GS1000...the pairing there is as good as it can get. The AK240 can effortlessly drive them to a stunning degree of quality and refinement. Definitely a step-up from the AK120, at least for classical music which is 99.9% of what I listen to. It makes the AK120 sound grained, which of course is not in absolute terms. I stopped using the Grados in my home setup long ago but they may come in new life when I have to go portable-but-not-so-much-to-need-my-IE800. :)

 

Now I just have to decide what I'm going to do with that AK120...I guess I won't use that one that much anymore...


Edited by Fafner - 3/4/14 at 2:23pm
post #153 of 1414
The amp section in the AK240 is indeed very decent. I finally got an adapter 6.3mm -> 3.5mm . I didn't want to get a new cable made not know how it would sound. All I can say is (to my ears and preference) it sound better than my Nad 51 ->WA22 ( fully upgrade tube and all internal caps which cost me over $1500 alone) combo.
The only area that the AK240 fall short was sound stage. It didn't sound as wide or spacious as my desktop rig. But everything else was better. Although the stage was smaller the presentation was most accurate. I can pinpoint where everything was.
It has similiar depth. But the clarity and smoothness is unreal. Instrument seperation was better as well.

Extension on both end was really good. the bass punched solidly and with outstanding detail.


This sounded so good I decide to sell my desktop rig and upgrading to something better and have place and order for a 2.5mm bal cable for the LCD-3.

AK has definitely made something very special indeed. I would go as far as saying the AK240 is the iphone of portable DAP. It has definitely set benckmark in which other makers will have to beat. I am not talking about just in SQ but also built quality,,UI..etc the total package.


PS. when Jude said in his ui video that the LCD XC sound really good...now I sort of know what he means.
Edited by eso6686 - 3/4/14 at 4:57pm
post #154 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fafner View Post

Ok, time for a crazy test.
After a full Gliere's Symphony no.3 from my big home rig, I decided to give it a try with my HD800 from the AK240. The cable chain wasn't exactly the ideal one, being my hardwired balanced HD800 attached to a StefanAudio Art balanced-to-6.3mm adapter, followed by a 6.3mm-to-3.5mm adapter. Anyways...
I'm impressed by the amazing sound this tiny thing is putting out...very clean, amazingly elegant and detailed, good bass, not an hint of distortion and...actually very listenable from the HD800. Yes, I had to crank volume up to the max setting and for many recordings this would still be a little too much on the quiet side, the sound looses quite a bit of body compared to what is coming from the B52, but on the whole it's still very enjoyable and as I said impressive considering the source. Would I recommend using an HD800 with the AK240 unamped? Well, not really, but I didn't expect such a result. I guess balanced mode could really be that good...

No reservations can be made for the AK240 in conjunction with my Grado GS1000...the pairing there is as good as it can get. The AK240 can effortlessly drive them to a stunning degree of quality and refinement. Definitely a step-up from the AK120, at least for classical music which is 99.9% of what I listen to. It makes the AK120 sound grained, which of course is not in absolute terms. I stopped using the Grados in my home setup long ago but they may come in new life when I have to go portable-but-not-so-much-to-need-my-IE800. smily_headphones1.gif

Now I just have to decide what I'm going to do with that AK120...I guess I won't use that one that much anymore...

Thanks for the "crazy" test. I also try it with HD800 just for fun and agree it is very listenable. I wasn't really too surprised though as I already noticed from the onset the AK240 presents treble very very well - extended and with clarity but very smooth with my IEMs. So I guess it is logical that the HD800s and Grados benefited.

What did pleasantly surprised me a bit is with my LCD3 and TG334. They are usually described as darker sounding phones but they sounded more neutral with a lot of clarity in treble with the AK240 while not losing the lush sound I love about them. Really interesting.
post #155 of 1414
I have been using my AK240 with my Shure 846. It sounds amazing. The instrument separation is excellent. The sound stage is expansive. Volume level of 35 is more than enough for most music. I had to turn up AK120 to close to 50 for my Shures. I have been listening to DSD files only. The native DSD support sounds so much better than the PCM conversion in AK120. But when you use DSD, your battery drains quite fast. I am getting about 5 hours. I will be loading up my FLAC files tomorrow. That will help me compare AK240 and AK120 one on one.

I am very happy with my investment. I have put in a request with Moon Audio for an adapter cable for the balanced output. I will post what that sounds like.
post #156 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by sathyam View Post

I have been using my AK240 with my Shure 846. It sounds amazing. The instrument separation is excellent. The sound stage is expansive. Volume level of 35 is more than enough for most music. I had to turn up AK120 to close to 50 for my Shures. I have been listening to DSD files only. The native DSD support sounds so much better than the PCM conversion in AK120. But when you use DSD, your battery drains quite fast. I am getting about 5 hours. I will be loading up my FLAC files tomorrow. That will help me compare AK240 and AK120 one on one.

I am very happy with my investment. I have put in a request with Moon Audio for an adapter cable for the balanced output. I will post what that sounds like.

 

I noticed you also own the SR71-B. Can you also do an A-B test between AK240 and AK120+SR71-B amped and see which setup is better?

post #157 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by burtomr View Post
 

 

That's joke right?  ....Just checking, you confused me for a second.


he bought the ak240 , his affordable is probably pretty high up there

post #158 of 1414
Bluebear, unluckily my SR71-B is busted. Need to send it in for repair. What I have noticed is that I don't need an amplifier for the AK240. It is plenty loud and powerful to drive IEMs. I am waiting on the balanced adapter cable from Moon Audio. I will let you know how it works with my LCD-2.
post #159 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by sathyam View Post

Bluebear, unluckily my SR71-B is busted. Need to send it in for repair. What I have noticed is that I don't need an amplifier for the AK240. It is plenty loud and powerful to drive IEMs. I am waiting on the balanced adapter cable from Moon Audio. I will let you know how it works with my LCD-2.

I am interested too, if its drives your LCD-2 it will probably do so with the TH900... 

post #160 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papiro2 View Post

I am interested too, if its drives your LCD-2 it will probably do so with the TH900... 

I have read elsewhere in this thread or the other AK240 thread that you can drive the TH900 with the AK240. LCD-2 is a little harder to drive. I have not done any impedance calculation for this pairing. But interested if anyone has tried using an LCD-2 with AK240. I have a RxMK3-B+ if the LCD-2 direct pairing does not work.
post #161 of 1414

Reading kkcc comment pages back made me really scared to grab my wallet , especially since there is demo for the AK240 in a local store

post #162 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrias View Post
 

Reading kkcc comment pages back made me really scared to grab my wallet , especially since there is demo for the AK240 in a local store

 

LOL let me give you some help....

 

 

It sound even better with Balanced.  :D

post #163 of 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 

 

LOL let me give you some help....

 

 

It sound even better with Balanced.  :D

 

Compared with HM-901 balanced out?

post #164 of 1414

Can somebody help me out and let me know what the battery life on the 240 is like compared to the 120 Titan which I now have?

post #165 of 1414

I'm getting about 6 hours of use but the micro USB connect allows for portable battery charging so all is good.

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