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The Astell and Kern AK240 Impressions Thread - Page 53

post #781 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by sutjahjo View Post

Ah, yes, AK240 doesn't output DSD at all via optical. Not sure if this can be fixed by a firmware update in the future.

Secondly, yes, even using optical out (the only possible connection between AK and Hugo), the SQ is different between AK240 and AK120. Not sure why but it's noticeable (I suspect not just to me but should be to others as well).

It got fixed by the last update
Dsd now outputs thru optical as 176 PCM
post #782 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by sutjahjo View Post


As of now, the AK240 doesn't output DSD, so only non DSD with Hugo.

Secondly, I am comparing AK240 and and AK120 using optical out (AK100 is loaned out), and AK240 does sound better even through optical. Hence my conclusion that AK240 is a better source.

 

DSD can be transported out through optical without undergoing any conversion by packing it into a PCM file format like FLAC, i.e. DSD over PCM (DoP). Do not confuse it with the DSD playback support commonly mentioned by DAPs which actually convert DSD into PCM sound before sending the sound out of the DAPs to other devices, e.g. Hugo/Amps, etc. Someone over at the Hugo thread has already proven it using his AK100 -> Hugo via optical and his Hugo lights up with white light showing that it is receiving DSD and not PCM signal. Read a few more posts down to see that is done. The DoP method also works on coaxial output. The only difference between DoP vs DSD is the additional wrapping FLAC format information bits around the actual data (sound) bits in DoP. So far only DSD64 works using DoP. DSD128 is still not possible probably due to bandwidth limit issue over the optical transport channel. So if you want to enjoy native DSD128, only AK240 currently supports it.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarainfo View Post


It got fixed by the last update
Dsd now outputs thru optical as 176 PCM

 

This is still not real DSD. It is coverted to PCM before output. You will still have to resort to the DoP method if you want the output to be in DSD to be handled by another device's DAC, e.g. Hugo.

Edited by Bluebear - 4/25/14 at 7:19pm
post #783 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by twill upgrade nfo View Post

It got fixed by the last update
Dsd now outputs thru optical as 176 PCM

That's Just great! I will update it the moment I am home.

Excited to find out how DSD sounds through Hugo after PCM conversion. Hopefully, it will still match or close to native DSD without Hugo.
post #784 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by sutjahjo View Post
 
Secondly, yes, even using optical out (the only possible connection between AK and Hugo), the SQ is different between AK240 and AK120. Not sure why but it's noticeable (I suspect not just to me but should be to others as well).

 

How does it sound better? I'm curious.

post #785 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

How does it sound better? I'm curious.

 

The jitter in the DACs are different, perhaps? We all know the AK240 uses dual CS4398 whereas AK120 uses WM8740. There could also be differently implemented dejitterizer circuitry in both to reduce the jitter.

post #786 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

The jitter in the DACs are different, perhaps? We all know the AK240 uses dual CS4398 whereas AK120 uses WM8740. There could also be differently implemented dejitterizer circuitry in both to reduce the jitter.
We're talking about digital transport...pre-DAC stage. It'll have to be the optical output or any DDC stage differences between the AK240 & AK1x0's (if any).
post #787 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post


We're talking about digital transport...pre-DAC stage. It'll have to be the optical output or any DDC stage differences between the AK240 & AK1x0's (if any).

 

No idea. Perhaps @Vinnie R. is familiar with the inside circuitry and can give us some idea why they could sound diffferent since he does the RWA mods on them.


Edited by Bluebear - 4/25/14 at 8:10pm
post #788 of 2224
In case anyone interested my 128 card from Amazon will be delivered May 1.

I'm going to keep it even though I'm hard praised to fill up the 64gb card I've been using until it arrived.
There's 22 Gigs left.
post #789 of 2224

I may get a chance to listen to an AK240 at a local shop this week, but I'm reminded of something another member posted - "Never test-drive a car that you cannot afford."

post #790 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post


We're talking about digital transport...pre-DAC stage. It'll have to be the optical output or any DDC stage differences between the AK240 & AK1x0's (if any).

 

No idea. Perhaps @Vinnie R. is familiar with the inside circuitry and can give us some idea why they could sound diffferent since he does the RWA mods on them.

 

Vinnie can't post about products he modifies on here. 

 

Anakchan is right: Any digital output will come from the circuitry before the DAC (otherwise it wouldn't be a digital output). Optical outputs are generally so poor that I suppose it is possible the optical transmitter in the AK240 is better than what is in the AK100 and AK120.

post #791 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

How does it sound better? I'm curious.

Better clarity and a richer undertone.
post #792 of 2224
How did I end up with a Hugo while loving my ak240? It really depends on how u rock your portable lifestyle. I love my lossless music but I also love exploring the world of sound out there via spotify. The Hugo gets me almost the same experience on my spotified iPod as when I'm plugged in to my ak240. But what I found out since spending almost everyday listening to both is that the ak240 is all about revealing pristine clarity and nuances uncovered. The Hugo design , while, is also looking to be revealing, goes all out for musicality above all. Same 2 vocal tracks, the Hugo moves my heart more as I don't know how the dac manages to restore humanity back into the voices n instruments. So does that mean the ak240 is not as emotive? I still enjoy the same track immensely and if I were focused on rating it on technicalities in reproducing the music I would never fault it but the Hugo does move my heart that bit more. When I read the Hugo designer intent is to first and foremost recreate the live venue experience via the Hugo I finally get it. I listen to loads of edm, and those to me are not as differentiated to me as on vocal and acoustics. That said, I'm hard pressed to notice much differences on my w4r and above is based on my LCD xc. Sorry for my Saturday rants guys...I'm still very amazed by the ak240 and I no longer head out with stacks, just 1 clean player...the Hugo only follows on real travels where planes and hotel rooms are involved. I walk ard w the ak. I don't w the Hugo.
post #793 of 2224

I cannot seem to find the specs. for the optical out from the AK240… can someone please kindly enlighten me?

I had a serious thought and I'm looking at using an AK240 + Dock as a possible source for my music through its optical out rather than getting a mac mini as a source to replace my iMac.

post #794 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarainfo View Post


It got fixed by the last update
Dsd now outputs thru optical as 176 PCM

like...my AK100 does since long time... (tested with hugo: 176 PCM Colour in the HUGO)

 

I Am surprised that peoples can be surprised that a source can be better than another source in source mode !!  :p

 

Isn't it the reason why an AURENSER W20 (no DAC inside) cost $ 15.000 while other transporter cost $1000 ? All sources are not egal !


Edited by bmichels - 4/26/14 at 1:38am
post #795 of 2224
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmichels View Post
 

like...my AK100 does since long time... (tested with hugo: 176 PCM Colour in the HUGO)

 

I Am surprised that peoples can be surprised that a source can be better than another source in source mode !!  :p

 

Isn't it the reason why an AURENSER W20 (no DAC inside) cost $ 15.000 while other transporter cost $1000 ? All sources are not egal !

 

I don't believe anyone is saying all digital transports are equal. This is quite apparent especially when looking at home speaker components (e.g. Accuphase's implementation of transport vs other brands, etc.). What we're questioning is if the digital out optical differences between AK1x0 & AK240. The assumption I personally made was that iRiver wouldn't have invested into changing the optical out from the AK1x0 to the AK240 but would be pleasantly (& welcomingly) surprised if they did.

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