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The Astell and Kern AK240 Impressions Thread - Page 34

post #496 of 2222

Hey Rudi,

Can you direct me to a post of you opinions using the AK240 with your Pico Power and how it measures up.  I have that amp and probably pick up the 240 at THE SHOW at the end of May if i can swing it so it will hopefully fit with the Pico Power…observations?  I probably missed it.

post #497 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudi0504 View Post


As I promised to you , tonight I have time the comparison between Duet vs RS 71 B new version ( up April 2013 Ray Samuel increase the high gain similar to his Intruder )

Source : AK 240 use line out
Amp : Cypher Labs Duet
RSA RS 71 B
Iem : Earsonic Sm 64 v2 use stock cable
Cable : mini to mini Crystal Cable Dream line with Viablue mini plug DIY

RS 71 B
High : more extended than Duet , better clarity than Duet , but sound to thin
Mid : more to mid high and thin sounding mid
Bass : is not so tight , a bit blur , not so bass impact and slam
Separation : very good separation ,
Soundstage : slightly wider soundstage than Duet , but less depth , less fuller sound
Power : below Duet , we can feel Duet has better power
Background : on par , duet has slightly black background
Noise : no hiss , very low noise floor
Gain : low

Overall :
RS 71 B sound with very good clarity , but overall sound so thin with a bit blur bass

Duet
High : not so extended like RS 71 B , SQ more present and more natural
Mid : very sweet , thicker , better pronounce and sound more natural
Bass : Duet has better bass impact , detail. And full Budy bass impact and cleaner with better rendering
Separation : very good separation too
Soundstage : less wide than RS 71 B , with better depth
Power : Duet has more juice than RS 71 B
Background : black background , slightly better than RS 71 B
Noise : very low noise floor / no hiss
Gain : low

Overall :
I prefer Duet sound character pair with AK 240 , to my ears more natural with slightly less clarity , but it is not dull
Cymbal sound more natural and more presents.
Midrange more weight , guitar more body and better pronounce , RS 71 B Guitar sound a bit Thin
Bass : better bass body and bass impact
If you turn the volume Lauder , you hear Duet has fuller sound

I haven't tried to headphone , my opinion would be the same impression

IMO

 

Thanks rudi for the detailed comparison. Do you think the Duet stack well dimension wise with AK240? I can't find Duet's dimension stated on CL's website. The one thing I like about Duet is that it can be charged via micro USB for real portability use. I only need to bring along a micro USB charger for both AK240 and Duet. SR71-B and ALO Mk 3B+ both use the pin type conventional AC wall adapters for charging, so I will need to bring along their power adapters.

post #498 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post
 

Received my AK240 late last week.  Finally got around to listening - especially compared to my RWAK120.  I have to admit that I'm less than overwhelmed in the differences in the sound between the two.  I'm not saying the sound is bad - it's good, but not significantly better than the RWAK120.  Perhaps I unrealistically expected to be blown away by the AK240 in comparison to the RWAK120 but, simply from a sound quality point of view, single ended using my IE800's, they're very close in sound.  For the huge price differential I'm not sure it's worth keeping the AK240.  Decisions...

 

Also, I'm finding that the side control buttons aren't working for me.  I can pause a track but I'm unable to resume play or switch tracks if the screen is off.  Works fine with the screen on but that kind of defeats the purpose of the buttons.  Anyone else have this problem? I don't see a setting related to the the buttons - maybe I'm missing something.

 

Is your RWAK120 S-mod or B-mod? If it is a S-mod, it lacks balanced out feature. If it is a B-mod, you will need to fork out additional money to get a good amp which will come close to AK240's price anyway. I bought my AK240 at around 2400 USD. AK240 is also much more compact as an all-in-one DAP with balanced out, so it explains the premium cost over the RWAK120.

 

I can forward, back and pause/resume my music tracks even with AK240's screen off and in my pocket without taking it out to look at it. Check your settings. Either that or your unit is defective.

post #499 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

Thanks rudi for the detailed comparison. Do you think the Duet stack well dimension wise with AK240? I can't find Duet's dimension stated on CL's website. The one thing I like about Duet is that it can be charged via micro USB for real portability use. I only need to bring along a micro USB charger for both AK240 and Duet. SR71-B and ALO Mk 3B+ both use the pin type conventional AC wall adapters for charging, so I will need to bring along their power adapters.
2 pages back, there is a photo of Rudi's ak-240 and the Duet. It's 2 pages on my I phone, don't know if it's different if your on a computer.
post #500 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

Is your RWAK120 S-mod or B-mod? If it is a S-mod, it lacks balanced out feature. If it is a B-mod, you will need to fork out additional money to get a good amp which will come close to AK240's price anyway. I bought my AK240 at around 2400 USD. AK240 is also much more compact as an all-in-one DAP with balanced out, so it explains the premium cost over the RWAK120.

 

I can forward, back and pause/resume my music tracks even with AK240's screen off and in my pocket without taking it out to look at it. Check your settings. Either that or your unit is defective.


It's actually neither - the simple RWA120:

 

  • Bypassing the 3.3 ohm resistors in the headphone output stage, which results in a < 1-ohm output impedance that can drive IEMs and headphones whose impedance is as low as 8-ohms
  • Hardwiring the headphone output stage FETs directly to the pins of the headphone output jack to provide the shortest, cleanest signal path. This also bypasses the tiny circuit board traces and the header that connects the main board to the smaller headphone jack board.

 

It applied the latest FW update and that fortunately took care of the button issue.

post #501 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post

It applied the latest FW update and that fortunately took care of the button issue.

I recall in one of the previous firmware version, when you turned on the lock it would lock those buttons too. Maybe that was the reason.

You mentioned IE800 - I'm not sure how it is for our head/earphones, but for IE800, AK240 wouldn't outperform even stock AK120 for every single song/music, not by a lot at least. Basically put, the better the recording is, the bigger the difference it would be reflected in Ak240 vs AK120. You just need to hit the right pieces to go "ah, this is why I got AK240".

Balanced IE800, on the other hand, is a whole different story. After listening via that for more than 3 weeks, I tried to go back to stock IE800 a few days ago and oh my, stock IE800 sounded extremely boring comparatively. As I said before, balanced out is where AK240 truly shines. If for some reason you have absolutely no intention of utilizing that feature, then Ak240 is not worth the upgrade.
post #502 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by my-2000 View Post



Balanced IE800, on the other hand, is a whole different story. After listening via that for more than 3 weeks, I tried to go back to stock IE800 a few days ago and oh my, stock IE800 sounded extremely boring comparatively. As I said before, balanced out is where AK240 truly shines. If for some reason you have absolutely no intention of utilizing that feature, then Ak240 is not worth the upgrade.

 

That is making me feel better….:o  

post #503 of 2222

I do get the feeling that I'll only get the most out of the AK240 by going balanced.  As a result, perhaps the upgrade isn't worth it for me.  As for the IE800's, I'm not aware of anyone that will recable an existing IE800.  To the best of my knowledge, only ALO is offering new balanced IE800's but isn't recabling existing ones?  Where did you get yours?

post #504 of 2222
Today is public holiday for Hindu Religion in Indonesia , than I have time to hear my morning set up with my ak 240

Source : AK 240 through Line out setting
Amp : Pico Power
Headphone : LCD XC with SAA Endorphin balance 4 Pin > use 4 pin balance adapter to mini plug
Cable : mini to mini Crystal Cable Dream Line DIY
Music file : WAV , AIFF , FLAC 24 bit and DSD
Gain : Medium
Ak 240 : NO EQ
Size : PIco Power match to AK 240 about the Same size
Duet slightly longer and wider
RS 71 B is smaller than AK 240


My impression :

High : is more or less like my Duet , not so bright my RS 71 B, Duet has slightly more detail and brighter
Mid : good and clear mid , Duet mid is sweeter and natural and more presence , Pico Power more forward
Bass : this the strong Point from Pico power , very deep and very good impact , and faster bass speed than
Duet and RS 71 B.
Separation : very good , Duet and. Rs 71 B are slightly better
Soundstage : not as wide as these two amps Duet and RS 71 B , but better depth
Background : black background
Hiss : No Hiss
Power : pico power has the bigger power compare to Duet and RS 71 B



Overall :
AK 240 with Pico Power pair with LCD XC is very good with high WOW factor , the sound quality overall more forward than the other two amps Duet and RS 71 B , very fast and forward .
I can hear max 2 hours , I feel fatigue to my ears
These set up is very good for Rock and hard rock and Blues like form Joe Bonamassa

IMO




Top RS 71 B below AK 240 below Pico Power Bottom Duet


Edited by rudi0504 - 3/30/14 at 9:26pm
post #505 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post

I do get the feeling that I'll only get the most out of the AK240 by going balanced.  As a result, perhaps the upgrade isn't worth it for me.  As for the IE800's, I'm not aware of anyone that will recable an existing IE800.  To the best of my knowledge, only ALO is offering new balanced IE800's but isn't recabling existing ones?  Where did you get yours?

I don't personally like IE800 (mainly due to fit issues) but it did have good synergy with AK120 when I had a loaner to pair with my stock ak120. If you love the IE800 sound maybe it make more sense to just keep your rwak120...

To me, to get the best out of AK240, balanced is important but not as important as a pair of extremely transparent IEM or headphones to allow you to take advantage of all the resolution and micro-contrast in well produced music.
Edited by kkcc - 3/30/14 at 10:23pm
post #506 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post

I do get the feeling that I'll only get the most out of the AK240 by going balanced.  As a result, perhaps the upgrade isn't worth it for me.  As for the IE800's, I'm not aware of anyone that will recable an existing IE800.  To the best of my knowledge, only ALO is offering new balanced IE800's but isn't recabling existing ones?  Where did you get yours?
Would be nice to have someone resoldering existing IE800s but yeah, I got mine from ALO. Getting one from them and selling yours is one way to go, though for me I intend to keep my stock one too. Just love IE800 too much. That love will last for a good while till one day someone comes up with a better dynamic IEM.
post #507 of 2222

Since I am using the stock IE800, I cannot speak about the improvement of SQ by going balanced.  However, the stock IE800 does benefit from the higher voltage of the AK240.   Sometimes I have struggled to get sufficient volume out of the older AKs using the 800s.  I regularly have to max it out or nearly max it with music recorded at low volumes.  No such issues with the AK240.  In addition, I find that the AK240 adds more weight and depth to the IE800s.

 

If you have had similar experiences with your IE800s with the other AKs and don't want to run a stack with an external amp, you might want to consider the AK240 - even if you aren't going balanced.  Combo sounds much better to me than the DX50.

post #508 of 2222
Well
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

I don't personally like IE800 (mainly due to fit issues) but it did have good synergy with AK120 when I had a loaner to pair with my stock ak120. If you love the IE800 sound maybe it make more sense to just keep your rwak120...

To me, to get the best out of AK240, balanced is important but not as important as a pair of extremely transparent IEM or headphones to allow you to take advantage of all the resolution and micro-contrast in well produced music.

Well said!
post #509 of 2222

With IEMs, the SE out is excellent. Full-sized headphones benefit the most from the balanced output IMO. I just plugged my FitEar Parterres in (SE) and I've never heard them sound that good. 

 

The point about synergy is definitely a good one. IEMs that mated well with the AK100 or AK120 may sound a bit thin on the AK240, but if you're buying or have bought an AK240 a third party cable or the PRO EQ option may fix that going by my experiences.

post #510 of 2222
I tend to listen with the EQ off while using my IE-800. I'm really looking forward to getting a noble K-10, with a balanced cable.
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