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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5, Chord Hugo, Calyx M, Aurender Flow, Lotoo Paw Gold - Page 25

post #361 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 


It seems you already have the budget for AK240. If that's the case, I would not recommend 901 over AK240 mainly because AK240 is a more recent model with better UI and features.AK240 will have a better resell value considering 901 is not a popular product. The 901 gets a bit warm when using balance card. I find Hugo sounds better than AK240 but it is a portable DAC/AMP. It is not so ideal for walk around listening so it depends on your listening habits (whether 90% of your portable listening is stationary). If you sell your AK120 and can live without one microsd card slot, you can also consider the AK100II and AK120II. This will give you an upgrade with money left to spend on better things (maybe buy your wife a gift, too). :beerchug:

Well that is true until AK puts out another players...as they do very 3 months...look how many AK120 are unsold on the FS thread. More than 901s. I think the best thing is to try them with your iems as synergy is key.

post #362 of 1299

AK120 is in a tough spot because the AK100II will cost what a used AK120 does now.

post #363 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

Well that is true until AK puts out another players...as they do very 3 months...look how many AK120 are unsold on the FS thread. More than 901s. I think the best thing is to try them with your iems as synergy is key.

I agree wholeheartedly about trying it before buy as hobbyists like ourselves get very enthusiastic and excited about new toy whereas some reviewers and distro/member of the trade may want to get on better terms with the manafacturers especially one which is actively releasing new gear.


For digital gadgets, the popular ones have higher chance for resell and consumers need to accept the loss when new models come out. Its a reality for people who wants to keep abreast with technology
post #364 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

I agree wholeheartedly about trying it before buy as hobbyists like ourselves get very enthusiastic and excited about new toy whereas some reviewers and distro/member of the trade may want to get on better terms with the manafacturers especially one which is actively releasing new gear.


For digital gadgets, the popular ones have higher chance for resell and consumers need to accept the loss when new models come out. Its a reality for people who wants to keep abreast with technology

+1
post #365 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

For digital gadgets, the popular ones have higher chance for resell and consumers need to accept the loss when new models come out. Its a reality for people who wants to keep abreast with technology

 

Yeap, same as cars..the more expensive it is..the more your likely going to lose..

post #366 of 1299

I'm sorry to say this to those that own the DX90, but my initial impressions favors X5 when I compare the two.  Totally surprised as I was expecting DX90 given the impressions.  I had a prejudice of Fiio products as I've never been wowed in the past with E17 and lower end amps.  This why you need to hear before making a decision.  I will give more details and better impressions as time goes on.  


Edited by SilverEars - 6/4/14 at 6:24pm
post #367 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

I much prefer Fiio X5 over DX50 as I believe it is a clear upgrade over the DX50. In between the HM-901 and X5, I feel the difference is smaller where HM-901 has better impact and clarity. I sold the Fiio X5 to a close friend as he was looking for a DAP and I could wholeheartedly recommend him the X5 especially he was not looking to spend too much on DAP. He is still very happy with the purchase the last I check. I auditioned again the AK240 this time with balance out and to my untrained ears, I do not feel it is a clear upgrade to the HM-901. I went on to discuss with an experienced head-fier with way better ears than me. He advised that the key difference between the AK240 and HM-901 is that AK240 produces the sound with a sense of ease and great clarify. whereas the HM-901 in which the sound is upfront and  a little more forced/congested. On the other hand, it can also be interpreted that AK240 sound is less engaging unless further modification. I guess either way is true but the money in my pocket is "truer".

LoL

I think I can guess who that is. smily_headphones1.gif He told me the same thing about how he felt about the AK240 after burning in.
post #368 of 1299
This hogo is damn good. It's playing all I give it. And the amp is Stella with the hd800. It was expensive for mobile use but well worth it . Not sure how to do the transport as yet. No waybill will be a ak240 though .
Al
post #369 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

This sound like you can hear a difference between 120 and 240?  I know both have different dual DAC chips.  One is Wolfson and the other is Cirus logic(240).  

I have only demoed the AK series, and I could not distinguish between 120 and 240 based on my demo.  I did distinguish between 100 vs 120 or 240.  It was pretty obvious to my ears 120 or 240 sounded a lot better. Not sure if the 100 was the 22ohm version or the MK2.

I own both the AK120 and AK240 and I can tell you very surely there is quite a big upgrade gap between the two. However, you will need very good IEM and hi-res source to hear the upgrade distinctly. Otherwise, it can be hard to catch the difference especially if you are just doing a short duration of auditioning. Also most people who audition an AK240 is on a new unit without sufficient burn in against one of their own familiar DAPs. So it is very likely they find not much difference or not really an upgrade in SQ. Instead, they will only detect the sound signature difference, not the actual sound quality difference. Although I did manage to hear the improvement over my AK120 when it first launch in a local store so I bought the AK240.
post #370 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post
 


Any DAP with a clean digital line out will do for Hugo, so really no need for an AK240. I also use the Hugo as a USB DAC. What I am saying is that the Hugo is worth its 2k price, whereas the AK240 is not worth its 2.5k price, when you take into account what these devices bring. But value is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Many over at the Hugo thread reported that the SQ is different even using the same digital input (e.g. optical) from different DAPs. I am not sure how that is possible. They also reported difference when using different grade optical cables which I do believe in the case of cable quality.

post #371 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post


I own both the AK120 and AK240 and I can tell you very surely there is quite a big upgrade gap between the two. However, you will need very good IEM and hi-res source to hear the upgrade distinctly. Otherwise, it can be hard to catch the difference especially if you are just doing a short duration of auditioning. Also most people who audition an AK240 is on a new unit without sufficient burn in against one of their own familiar DAPs. So it is very likely they find not much difference or not really an upgrade in SQ. Instead, they will only detect the sound signature difference, not the actual sound quality difference. Although I did manage to hear the improvement over my AK120 when it first launch in a local store so I bought the AK240.

I didn't focus on looking for difference between the 240 and 120, but it stood out to me that 100 was subpar.  I was using UERM, which is highly regarded as being accurate and neutral.  

post #372 of 1299
As cables do matter than inputs can as well. But I can say playing for a couple of hours. With and without the offramp.5. The difference is dramatic enough to be noticed easy. The off ramp does make it darker but also lowers the noise floor giving way to more details . Not sure if I likening or not. But the USB without it is very good and not really needing the offramp. This is two dacs I own witha FGPA board and they do not really improve with the offramp. .
Al
post #373 of 1299
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post


Hugo is top of the heap technically but on the surgical side, so if you are hoping for sweetness move along...I myself might give the RWAK240 a try.

 

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I don't find the Hugo to sound "surgical" at all. What I like about it is that it is that it excels in NOT sounding like a "hi-fi" DAC, but can be both ultra-detailed yet musical at the same time, without resorting to compromises to achieve that.

 

 

I hear the same thing as @Currawong during my 1 hour auditioning of the Hugo at Jaben SG when the makers of Hugo was there to showcase it in March. I brought my 2 weeks old AK240 there for A-B comparison against Hugo using my 1plus2 and HD800/TH900 provided by Jaben SG. The Hugo definitely sounds more musical and liquid on the cans, but the gap difference between AK240 and Hugo is much smaller (about 5-10% SQ difference) when I switched over to listen on IEM.

post #374 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post
 

 

Many over at the Hugo thread reported that the SQ is different even using the same digital input (e.g. optical) from different DAPs. I am not sure how that is possible. They also reported difference when using different grade optical cables which I do believe in the case of cable quality.

 

I've seen cases of where optical out from a transport to a source vary in resulting SQ. There's more components at play than we think. You've mentioned cables and I can see that happening (although personally I've not experienced "good" from "bad" optical cable...maybe I was just lucky). Another which I've seen is the the quality of the optical out. Maybe it was coincidence in this case but some I had seen different in intensity strengths between two devices which had corresponding difference in SQ.

One obscure (and may be limited to iOS and  VentureCraft's Go-DAP 4.0) is the sampling output rather than the physical component itself. I wrote a little post about it back in 2012 about it. http://www.head-fi.org/t/533084/venturecraft-go-dap-gd-04-for-iphone-4/60#post_8340059. I asked VentureCraft about it and they think their choice of a fix upsampling to 48kHz to the optical out resulted in it sounding flat.

post #375 of 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

Many over at the Hugo thread reported that the SQ is different even using the same digital input (e.g. optical) from different DAPs. I am not sure how that is possible. They also reported difference when using different grade optical cables which I do believe in the case of cable quality.

Personally, I even hear different between AK120 and AK240 through Hugo. I was told (1) all transport sounds the same and (2) AK120 and AK240 use exactly the same hardware pre DAC/Amp. But I know what I hear.
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