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The Astell and Kern AK240 Impressions Thread - Page 39

post #571 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

 

Sadly I think that thread still has quite a bit of undesired posts of which I prefer if the impressions on that thread come here instead. If I had full control I'd close that thread (wait I almost do :D but that'll still be abusing my privileges).

 

I actually did some comparisons between the AK240 & HM-901 last night and posted my thoughts in the 901 thread. I will need to do a little more tests like with headphones instead of IEMs and check on driving capability tests on ortho drivers like the Alpha Dogs or V-Modex (V-Moda with T50RP drivers).

Yes, I totally understand. At the beginning (and even now sometimes) all the whining and A&K bashing was pointless. Now we know that IF the price of a AK240 is affordable, and one wants to get the last % out of their gear, it is worth the money.

 

I'm going to head over to the 901 thread and read your thoughts. Thanks Sean, you are certainly a driving force in H.F. and because of your contributions we all benefit.  BTW, my Sean landed and started class today. I give the kid a lot of credit to go to a country so different than his own to live for 1/2 a year.  And I'm jealous as he is in the electronic center of the world! And FT! is there to boot :)

post #572 of 2222
Tonite i have done The comparison between AK 240 + Ko Jo Tsugaru vs Sony ZX 1 + With Ko Jo KM 01 :

Set Up A :
AK 240 + Ko Jo Blue Tsugaru Edition now Only 20 units

Source : AK 240 use line out
Amp : Ko Jo Blue Tsugaru
Cable : mini to mini Crystall cable Dream line edition DIY
Iem : Earsonic SM 64 v1
Music file : WAV ,AIFF , FLAC 24 bit / 196 KHz
Power : is about 3 times from Sony ZX 1

My impression :
High : very detail , more weight but not extended like than Sony ZX 1 , more natural high not so crisp like Sony
ZX 1, overall better clarity
Mid : very natural and better weight , but less clarity
Bass : better Bass impact and more lower bass and full body bass , very good bass detail and very clean .
Separation : excellent , I can easy to know the music placement
Soundstage : wide with very good depth , these two is on par , because Sony has better clarity I hear like
Sony ZX 1 has wider soundstage but less depth .
Hiss: no hiss
Background : black background

Overall:
AK 240 win again Sony ZX 1 , high better weight and detail but not has extended high like Sony ZX 1, mid more weight and natural , bass very good bass impact and fuller bass body , soundstage and separation are very good .
I turn the volume on 11 o clock = Sony ZX 1 full to the max volume on my Ko Jo
Sound quality more natural , I use both Single Ended , if I use Balance I am sure the different is more huge
And with DSD file until now is my best DAP

Set Up B :
Sony ZX 1 + Ko Jo KM 01 Brass Limited Editon 300 units

Source : Sony ZX 1 use line out with Sony Lod
Amp : Ko Jo KM 01 Brass Edition
Cable : sony lod + mini to mini copper gold cable mix DIY
Iem : Earsonic SM 64 v2
Music file : WAV ,AIFF , FLAC 24 bit / 196 KHz
Power : only 1/3 from Ak 240

My Impression :
High : very good clarity , very good detail and more extended than AK 240 , less weight than AK 240
Mid : very clean and clear mid , more to mid high , AK 240 more weight and natural better pronounced
Bass : very good bass detail , less bass impact and less fuller and deep bass compare AK 240
Separation : very good for 1/3 price from AK 240
Soundstage : wider , I feel wider because Sony has better clarity , less depth
Hiss : no hiss
Background : black background

Overall:
Sony ZX 1 sound more to mid high , but for the 1/3 of the price from AK 240 , is one of my best DAP
High has better clarity more extended but not so full pronounce , mid sound to mid high less natural than AK 240
Bass: very clean and detail but less full body bass impact , bass not as low as AK 240
I feel soundstage is slightly wider because Sony ZX 1 has more clarity .but less depth .
Power is only 1/3 from AK 240 , I must turn the volume to max to get the same like AK 240 on my KoJo
Overall sound thin not has so fuller sound , for clarity is one of the best DAP with excellent clarity
Sound quality slightly more digital

IMO


Edited by rudi0504 - 4/3/14 at 9:59am
post #573 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudi0504 View Post

Tonite i have done The comparison between AK 240 + Ko Jo Tsugaru vs Sony ZX 1 + With Ko Jo KM 01 :

Set Up A :
AK 240 + Ko Jo Blue Tsugaru Edition now Only 20 units

Source : AK 240 use line out
Amp : Ko Jo Blue Tsugaru
Cable : mini to mini Crystall cable Dream line edition DIY
Iem : Earsonic SM 64 v1
Music file : WAV ,AIFF , FLAC 24 bit / 196 KHz
Power : is about 3 times from Sony ZX 1

My impression :
High : very detail , more weight and not extended like / less clarity than Sony ZX 1


Set Up B :
Sony ZX 1 + Ko Jo KM 01 Brass Limited Editon 300 units

Source : Sony ZX 1 use line out with Sony Lod
Amp : Ko Jo KM 01 Brass Edition
Cable : sony lod + mini to mini copper gold cable mix DIY
Iem : Earsonic SM 64 v2
Music file : WAV ,AIFF , FLAC 24 bit / 196 KHz
Power : only 1/3 from Ak 240

 

Please explain what you mean by

 

High: very detail , ... less clarity

 

Don't those two things contradict each other?

post #574 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by piercer View Post

Please explain what you mean by

High: very detail , ... less clarity

Don't those two things contradict each other?

Thank you for the correction

I am sorry for my limitation of my English language
What I mean , sony ZX 1 has more extended high than AK 240
But overall in sound quality AK 240 has better clarity in bass mid and high

I mean for the high :

Sony ZX 1 can produce more extended high : criiiiiiing for cymbals
AK 240 can produce less high but still very good : criing for cymbals but more presence than sony ZX 1

IMO
Edited by rudi0504 - 4/3/14 at 10:06am
post #575 of 2222

I find the bass performance on the 240 a bit light weight when used as a source on my 2 channel system; not as noticeable with my XCs. The bass has a soft texture without the slam I've heard before. This is not a deal breaker for me since in every other way the 240 lights up my senses‚ÄĒit is sooo addictive.

 

My 240 is being replaced by iriver since I have a hardware issue. I should get my new unit by the end of next week, and I will then spend the following 2 weeks running it 24/7 to get the 300-400 hours it needs for a full burn-in. I feel like a drug user going through withdrawal (not that I know anything about such things). :wink_face:

 

If anyone wants details on my iriver experience, I posted my thoughts on the 240 thread.


Edited by jwbrent - 4/3/14 at 12:48pm
post #576 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbrent View Post
 

I find the bass performance on the 240 a bit light weight when used as a source on my 2 channel system; not as noticeable with my XCs. The bass has a soft texture without the slam I've heard before. This is not a deal breaker for me since in every other way the 240 lights up my senses‚ÄĒit is sooo addictive.

 

My 240 is being replaced by iriver since I have a hardware issue. I should get my new unit by the end of next week, and I will then spend the following 2 weeks running it 24/7 to get the 300-400 hours it needs for a full burn-in. I feel like a drug user going through withdrawal (not that I know anything about such things). :wink_face:

 

If anyone wants details on my iriver experience, I posted my thoughts on the 240 thread.

How did you contact iRiver? Everytime I've called, there is no answer. When I've emailed, I received no reply.

post #577 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by chawya22 View Post
 

How did you contact iRiver? Everytime I've called, there is no answer. When I've emailed, I received no reply.

 

PM me ...

post #578 of 2222

Hi all,

 

Here's another free download, Nine Inch Nails', The Slip, an entire album of 24/96 .wav files.

 

Not quite a hi rez genre, but for those who are fans ...


Edited by jwbrent - 4/3/14 at 2:03pm
post #579 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

 

Sadly I think that thread still has quite a bit of undesired posts of which I prefer if the impressions on that thread come here instead. If I had full control I'd close that thread (wait I almost do :D but that'll still be abusing my privileges).

 

I actually did some comparisons between the AK240 & HM-901 last night and posted my thoughts in the 901 thread. I will need to do a little more tests like with headphones instead of IEMs and check on driving capability tests on ortho drivers like the Alpha Dogs or V-Modex (V-Moda with T50RP drivers).

 

Don't feel discouraged as I feel Head-Fi is one of the best fora and online community I had been a part of and in no small part thanks to the hard work put in by all the moderators.  With AK's pricing and the less than stellar SQ performance of AK100/120 the bashing on a $2,500 AK240 is expected and almost understandable, especially for folks who have not had extended time to listen to it.  I was skeptical after my first brief listen but is getting more and more impressed with my usage.

 

Also want to share DSD gapless doesn't work for me either.  These are all SACD concert albums ripped into dsf files.  I had since converted them into 24bit flac and gapless works.  Also I found multi-channel FLAC ripped from DVD-A also doesn't work without converting into 2-channel.  

 

Battery is also draining faster than charging from a 2.1A wall plug when playing DSD files.  AK should have used USB3 and take advantage of the faster charging like my Note3.

post #580 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 

With AK's pricing and the less than stellar SQ performance of AK100/120 the bashing on a $2,500 AK240 is expected and almost understandable, especially for folks who have not had extended time to listen to it.  I was skeptical after my first brief listen but is getting more and more impressed with my usage.

 

I find your comment, kkcc, about the "less than stellar" sound quality of the 100/120 quite interesting. As someone who has owned these two DAPs as well as being a current owner of the 240, all within the last five months, I would respectfully disagree.

 

Perhaps I can understand your comment in regards to the 100‚ÄĒI felt my previously owned Colorfly C4 Pro was more suited to my taste;¬†however, the 120 was a totally different matter. Although I find the 240 in a different league, this does not diminish the fact that the 120, sound wise, is a fantastic DAP. The reviews by the audiophile press, both online and off, support this fact, at least to my knowledge.

 

Given your status on this forum, I acknowledge you may be better qualified to assess the sound quality of these different units, but I just wanted to put my two cents in regarding my empirical acquaintance with the 120.

post #581 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbrent View Post

I find your comment, kkcc, about the "less than stellar" sound quality of the 100/120 quite interesting. As someone who has owned these two DAPs as well as being a current owner of the 240, all within the last five months, I would respectfully disagree.

Perhaps I can understand your comment in regards to the 100‚ÄĒI felt my previously owned Colorfly C4 Pro was more suited to my taste;¬†however, the 120 was a totally different matter. Although I find the 240 in a different league, this does not diminish the fact that the 120, sound wise, is a fantastic DAP. The reviews by the audiophile press, both online and off, support this fact, at least to my knowledge.

Given your status on this forum, I acknowledge you may be better qualified to assess the sound quality of these different units, but I just wanted to put my two cents in regarding my empirical acquaintance with the 120.

Jwbrent, I think it just goes to show we all have different tastes and perception. For example, I still love my AK100 for it's clean and neutral sound. And mine is the MK I. smily_headphones1.gif
post #582 of 2222

I remember comparing the AK120 and Sony ZX1 while I was in Tokyo, and preferred the AK120. I felt that the Sony sounded more harsh. That makes me wonder if what Rudi is hearing in the "extended treble" is because the treble from the AK240 is smoother.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by chawya22 View Post
 
How did you contact iRiver? Everytime I've called, there is no answer. When I've emailed, I received no reply.

 

PM me too if you're having trouble getting a reply, if it is about something important.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 
 AK should have used USB3 and take advantage of the faster charging like my Note3.

 

Charging speed has nothing, as far as I know, to do with the USB being 2.0 or 3.0. It would have to do with the battery. You can fast-charge a lot of batteries, but they degrade faster. How big is the battery in your Note3? Same as the AK240?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwbrent View Post

 

Given your status on this forum, I acknowledge you may be better qualified to assess the sound quality of these different units, but I just wanted to put my two cents in regarding my empirical acquaintance with the 120.

 

Just a thought: There is no status on this forum and no qualification to have an opinion of any value (though experience would be an exception to that, with caveats). People can (and should!) disagree with me if they think I'm wrong! :smile:

 

A fun fact: Anakchan and I disagree about what we think of gear all the time. It's a good thing, because at least for me, it helps me think about why we have differing opinions.

 

Edit: Let's go for broke here and pinch AnakChan's impressions from the HM-901 thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post
 

Attempt #2. Sorry I whacked out my "Live Notes" earlier this evening

 

Setup

- TG!334 with 000 FitEar cable in single ended Oyaide 3.5mm plug

- AK240 (1.09 firmware, nothing special enabled)

- HM-901 (on 1.084 firmware, HD Setting, balanced OPA627-based module)

 

 

- AK240 Jazz vocals are more front forward whilst on the HM-901 feels quite distinctively left & right (kind of like sitting too close to speakers)

- HM-901 has deeper and greater sub bass impact

- HM-901 also seems to have greater bloom in mid-bass to lower mid range

- AK240 seems to shift a little more towards the middle and upper of the midrange

- AK240 trebles seems to be a little bit more forward but a little compressed

- HM-901 trebles are slightly less crisp but feels more airy and spacious

- Overall staging though, AK240 feels more expansive but fills that space well whilst HM-901 sounds a little more intimate by comparison

- Both are highly detailed

 

The AK240 is very smooth though. Together with it's expansive soundstage, these would be the sonic selling points of the AK240. The HM-901, on the other hand with it's warmth and analogue-styled sound feels more mature.

 

P.S. I'll report on using the DAPs as "source only" with an external amp later.

 

Thanks Sean for the impression.  These matched my experience with them.  For me the compressed treble on AK240 is a love-hate affair, it gave the AK240 the smoothness but at times it also lacks the sparkles in cymbals despite more forward .  Vocals on AK240 at times can feel coarse also.  These are the two nitpicks I had with my AK240.

 

On balanced mode vs balanced mode, the soundstage gap is closer then SE vs SE.  (i.e. the 901 stage improved more on balanced vs the case for AK240).  Though the 901 also loses some mid-bass to lower mid range bloom which can be good or bad depending on genre of music.    Overall be it SE or balanced mode I rated both on the same level in terms of SQ.

 

Very interested to hear your impression on the source only mode.  I had been using both (901 with lineout dock cable, and AK240 with 3.5 to 3.5 line out) and in a nutshell I prefer the AK240 on instrumental tracks and prefer the 901 on most any tracks with vocals.

 

The presentation of the AK240 reminds me of other CS4398-based DACs -- a bit too smooth and inoffensive sometimes. I remember comparing it as a source to the Hugo while in LA and I felt the Hugo added more dimension and depth to the music (whatever the heck I mean by that -- I just have this image in my head that came up while listening), more along the lines of my main DAC. 

post #583 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

PM me too if you're having trouble getting a reply, if it is about something important.


Charging speed has nothing, as far as I know, to do with the USB being 2.0 or 3.0. It would have to do with the battery. You can fast-charge a lot of batteries, but they degrade faster. How big is the battery in your Note3? Same as the AK240?


Just a thought: There is no status on this forum and no qualification to have an opinion of any value (though experience would be an exception to that, with caveats). People can (and should!) disagree with me if they think I'm wrong! smile.gif

A fun fact: Anakchan and I disagree about what we think of gear all the time. It's a good thing, because at least for me, it helps me think about why we have differing opinions.

Edit: Let's go for broke here and pinch AnakChan's impressions from the HM-901 thread:


The presentation of the AK240 reminds me of other CS4398-based DACs -- a bit too smooth and inoffensive sometimes. I remember comparing it as a source to the Hugo while in LA and I felt the Hugo added more dimension and depth to the music (whatever the heck I mean by that -- I just have this image in my head that came up while listening), more along the lines of my main DAC. 

Hi Amos

Maybe the words smoother high for AK 240 is the right word biggrin.gif
If you pair directly with Ko Jo KM 01 or another amp , you can hear that the high from Sony more extended than my AK 240, with note AK 240 has better balance SQ
sony ZX 1 overall to thin in SQ
IMO
post #584 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Edit: Let's go for broke here and pinch AnakChan's impressions from the HM-901 thread:

 

 

The presentation of the AK240 reminds me of other CS4398-based DACs -- a bit too smooth and inoffensive sometimes. I remember comparing it as a source to the Hugo while in LA and I felt the Hugo added more dimension and depth to the music (whatever the heck I mean by that -- I just have this image in my head that came up while listening), more along the lines of my main DAC. 

 

I think the high lighted text is my primary issue with the AK240.  I wish it was a little more emotionally involving?  I feel the same way about my RWAK120 (basic mod) and I was hoping that stepping up to the AK240 would add that missing dimension.  As it is, they seem more of the same to me.  I don't feel like it's much of step up, at least running single-ended.  Perhaps running balanced will make a difference.  But I wonder if getting the Hugo would've been more of what I was looking for?

post #585 of 2222
Quote:
Originally Posted by rudi0504 View Post
 
Maybe the words smoother high for AK 240 is the right word biggrin.gif
If you pair directly with Ko Jo KM 01 or another amp , you can hear that the high from Sony more extended than my AK 240, with note AK 240 has better balance SQ
sony ZX 1 overall to thin in SQ
IMO

 

I was listening directly out of the Sony. Maybe it was the amp? I'll try it as a source if I remember to.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankrondaniel View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

Edit: Let's go for broke here and pinch AnakChan's impressions from the HM-901 thread:

 

 

The presentation of the AK240 reminds me of other CS4398-based DACs -- a bit too smooth and inoffensive sometimes. I remember comparing it as a source to the Hugo while in LA and I felt the Hugo added more dimension and depth to the music (whatever the heck I mean by that -- I just have this image in my head that came up while listening), more along the lines of my main DAC. 

 

I think the high lighted text is my primary issue with the AK240.  I wish it was a little more emotionally involving?  I feel the same way about my RWAK120 (basic mod) and I was hoping that stepping up to the AK240 would add that missing dimension.  As it is, they seem more of the same to me.  I don't feel like it's much of step up, at least running single-ended.  Perhaps running balanced will make a difference.  But I wonder if getting the Hugo would've been more of what I was looking for?

 

I think you may be right about the balanced out making the most difference, going by some back-and-forth listening between the AK240 and other DAPs and whatnot tonight. It is inclining me even more to my thought that, other features and the rest of the design notwithstanding, it is best to be considering this DAP only if one intends to use the balanced output with a pair of the best IEMs or headphones as desired, obvious as that sounds.

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