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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 49

post #721 of 1389

Question- 

 

I have the AK240 , RSA Intruder, Balanced connectors and so on.

 

When i listen to the AK240 with my SE846 and LCD 2.2, both benefit from an external amp.  In the case SE846, I feel it sounds a little thin on the AK240 (not bad), it just has more presence with the Intruder plugged in.  With the W60, it is a marginal change and the amp is not  necessary IMHO.  

 

Does the RWAK240 sound like my Intruder+AK240?  Or does one sound better?

post #722 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post
 

 

Assuming 500mb per CD, that is approx. 6000cds! I didnt even have 600cd when I was 16. :beerchug:

I've got a little more than 3000 cds or so in flac :) I've got a lot of files that are above the cd resolution so that's why I've got to have about 3tb of space.

post #723 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Coupe View Post

 

 

Does the RWAK240 sound like my Intruder+AK240?  Or does one sound better?

I wish to know, too... it is exactly what the Red Wine page described that the mod could upgrade its amp section.

post #724 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I thought the DX90, X5, and HDP-R10 sounded different with the LO using Vorzuge pure ii.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the DX90, I thought it sounded better with pure ii though LO.

 

Unless it's really noisy and has a LO, there probably isn't much benefit to adding an external amp to modern DAPs unless it has high output impedance or needed to drive harder to drive phones.  I think there could be some benefits to adding an external amp though a LO if there is audible difference that one hears.  There could be better dynamics and stage as people would point out.

I've found better clarity & definition with AK240 direct than Vorzuge Duo that I have (using Tralucent Uber interconnector cable)

post #725 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Coupe View Post
 

Question- 

 

I have the AK240 , RSA Intruder, Balanced connectors and so on.

 

When i listen to the AK240 with my SE846 and LCD 2.2, both benefit from an external amp.  In the case SE846, I feel it sounds a little thin on the AK240 (not bad), it just has more presence with the Intruder plugged in.  With the W60, it is a marginal change and the amp is not  necessary IMHO.  

 

Does the RWAK240 sound like my Intruder+AK240?  Or does one sound better?

I've read from other headfiers that the RWAK240 gives more punch and low end definition.  

post #726 of 1389
It does. But a would guess a really good amp would make more of difference. I tried my RWAK240 with an amp (cannot remember the name) and it brought additional body to the sound.

Edit: was this amp http://www.head-fi.org/t/731934/599-lehmannaudio-traveller#
Edited by Mimouille - 8/31/14 at 1:58am
post #727 of 1389
Thread Starter 

It's funny that I never thought to do this comparison before as I kind-of knew what the result was going to be, but I compared listening to Shelby Lynn from the AK240 (single-ended otherwise I'd have to change cables) and then from the Hugo via the AK240. In the technical sense, it is hard to say that Hugo has more detail with my UERMs, but the Hugo delivers what I could best describe as music with an organic and natural flow a step above the AK240.  I think it might be because of more detail, but in the sense that the flow of each note, either sung or from an instrument seems to have more to it, even in the most subtle aspects. It is like frozen vegetables versus freshly cut. 

 

It is uncanny how some CD-quality versions of albums sound better on the Hugo than the DSD versions. 

post #728 of 1389

it is an elephant in the room that Hugo sounds better than the AK240 in every way but every time this question is raised, some AK240 owners will jump in and say "it is not apple to apple comparison!". no more discussion is allowed afterward LoL

post #729 of 1389
And then some think the geek out gets to 90/95% of the Hugo for a fraction of the price. So we have that too.

I've moved away from stacks, so none of that matters to me but it does bode well for the upcoming geek wave I pledged towards.
post #730 of 1389

And then there is an army of kids who think anything more expensive than odac is rip-off.. :tongue_smile:

post #731 of 1389
Perhaps those kids can create a product of their own and see whether it's that easy to rip off consumers. When they grow up.
post #732 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

And then some think the geek out gets to 90/95% of the Hugo for a fraction of the price. So we have that too.

I've moved away from stacks, so none of that matters to me but it does bode well for the upcoming geek wave I pledged towards.

Re GO being 90% of Hugo, that can be true if we can also say iPod shuffle is 90% of AK240... I surely hope the GW is a big step up from GO!!

I had been stack-free for almost 3 years now but the Hugo, which I bought picked over PWD2 and Vega to replace my NFB28 for my desktop rig, dragged me back to carrying the big ak-hugo stack way more than I should.
post #733 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunshane View Post

And then some think the geek out gets to 90/95% of the Hugo for a fraction of the price. So we have that too.

I've moved away from stacks, so none of that matters to me but it does bode well for the upcoming geek wave I pledged towards.

Re GO being 90% of Hugo, that can be true if we can also say iPod shuffle is 90% of AK240... I surely hope the GW is a big step up from GO!!

I had been stack-free for almost 3 years now but the Hugo, which I bought picked over PWD2 and Vega to replace my NFB28 for my desktop rig, dragged me back to carrying the big ak-hugo stack way more than I should.

Having auditioned both the go and the Hugo side by side extensively for a week, the Hugo clearly has better SQ - more refined, bigger sound stage, more 3d, higher resolution - and obviously way more versatile and pairs better with a wider variety of headphones ....... But they both share a powerful A-class amp in common that give them a very similar lush tube-like signature that makes the presentation very big and musical. IMO, they sounded more similar than different in signature. While the Hugo may by more resolving, I was enjoying the music too much with both to care and I would forget which one I was listening to until I would focus on the sound stage size and 3d nature.

Unfortunately I don't have a need for either as I am not a stacker and I hate being tied to my desk/computer and my desktop already sounds better anyways. If the Hugo was reasonably priced, I would get one for sleeping duties only. But given the go's $299 price, I will probably grab one just to capture that fun and musical signature for cheap. However, it will probably become mostly redundant and gather dust when I finally get my BH Crack tube amp.

But remember, this is all just my opinion and based on my needs and my signature preferences.
post #734 of 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

it is an elephant in the room that Hugo sounds better than the AK240 in every way but every time this question is raised, some AK240 owners will jump in and say "it is not apple to apple comparison!". no more discussion is allowed afterward LoL
Not sure if it's a hidden fact no one wishes to deal with or not.

All in one vs component pieces. One is one is isn't. Simple. My home rig kicks the AK240 around the planet...twice.
However it is not correct to compare. Never having heard the Hugo, I'm willing to believe it sounds better most of the time with the variables
being complimentary to it.

At this point in time NO STACK FOR ME so it's not relevant. In fact it does not belong in this comparison thread
post #735 of 1389
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post
 
Re GO being 90% of Hugo, that can be true if we can also say iPod shuffle is 90% of AK240... I surely hope the GW is a big step up from GO!!

 

Naa, the iDevices can't drive headphones well at all.

 

IMO the Hugo comes into its own with acoustic music. That is where the difference is really noticed. What really disappoints me is when I see someone who listens to rubbish-quality music buys something like an AK240 or Hugo and expects miracles, then doesn't get any, not realising that what they needed was different headphones. But that's a different rant.

 

Back to the DAPs though. The HM901 I thought sounded nicest with the balanced card, which has OPA627s, giving it a slightly warm and forgiving sound signature. With this hard-to-get all-discrete amp card in there, I feel it is a bit more resolving.... of the DAC, revealing the ES9018 sound signature, which I don't like as much. Almost entirely because I listen primarily with the Hugo, the HM901 and Calyx sound a bit "flat" in comparison. I suppose the AK240 too, but in a slightly different way.

 

I finally got around to trying the X5 with an amp (the Pico Power in this case) and I like the results of that with IEMs so far. That makes me wonder how good the FiiO E12 would be paired with it and how well it drives headphones.

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