Wow, this thread has grown in just a few days. OK I skimmed read and feel compelled to answer some of them.
1) K10 vs Ref1
- To me apples to oranges. They're different. I heard both at the show and would say that I agree about the "pace" comment however there's something nice about the K10s too which wow-ed me in terms of it's tonal balance, detail without being forced in my ears. The Ref1 is speeeedy. I personally do feel that the Ref1 has a fantastic sub bass and tight mid bass. In addition to my ears the lower mids seem to pull back a little but come back in the middle and upper midrange and trebles well extended but not offensive
2) Ref1 cables
- Uber -not- necessary but a welcoming upgrade to the sound. Value for money is entirely personal. It's not like it'll make horrible signature sound wonderful. It's more like making a great sounding signature sound excellent
- Tried the Whiplash TWAu balanced to the AK240 with the Ref1, and to me it's a step up in sounding expansive. What I don't know if it's the TWAu balanced vs Silver/Gold SE, or if it's Whiplash TWAu vs Tralucent Silver/Gold.
- will answer that tonight
- if one intends to use the AK240 with this, IMHO just go straight for the 2.5mm TRRS balanced termination (assuming that's your only DAP or if you want to get a adapter later). This past weekend, I tried various IEMs (the K10, Ref1, TG!334, Dita, etc.) from SE to balanced in the AK240 and I left the exhibit smiling. Maybe it's the cable from stock to 3rd party, maybe it's SE -> Balanced but I was highly impressed.