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DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June. - Page 11

post #151 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

Hey Guys! I realize that this is not explicitly an advise forum but I'm really interested in buying one of these DAPs and so any advice that anyone could provide me with would be truly helpful!!! Like many of you I've spent an ENORMOUS amount of time here trying to work out what I should buy and why!? And indeed, in some instances, it has just got more confusing rather than enlightening!!!.... amp, no amp, single end, balanced output, CIEMs or Closed Backs, etc etc etc! You know how it is! Got rid of my home rig a couple of years ago to make way for the arrival of my daughter and promised myself to replace it when possible. And alas that time has now arrived through an unexpected windfall! Problem is that I'm traveling a lot at the moment and have thus decided that a portable rig is really the best solution! And indeed, although I've relished the thought of amping and stuff I think that the best solution is just to buy the highest quality DAP and CIEMs I can. I've finally managed to listen to JH Roxannes, 16s, and 13s, and for me the 13s won hands down!!! - first time I think I've ever managed to choose the cheaper option of something!!! - The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!! So.... I'm thinking the AK240, but even wondering whether the AK120 plus Hugo might be the way to go? If the sound quality would be that much better I'd consider it rather than the single box solution! And what about balancing stuff? This is possibly a "one shot" purchase before the wife relinquishes her agreement so I want to get it right!!! ;)

Sounds like a great opportunity!  Others might correct me, but with the AK240 in line with the Hugo, the AK would be only a file transport and the Hugo would do the DAC/AMP work.  Still, it would be cool to have that setup for home/office and be able to take the AK on the road.  Best of both worlds!  Good luck!

post #152 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post

Hey Guys! I realize that this is not explicitly an advise forum but I'm really interested in buying one of these DAPs and so any advice that anyone could provide me with would be truly helpful!!! Like many of you I've spent an ENORMOUS amount of time here trying to work out what I should buy and why!? And indeed, in some instances, it has just got more confusing rather than enlightening!!!.... amp, no amp, single end, balanced output, CIEMs or Closed Backs, etc etc etc! You know how it is! Got rid of my home rig a couple of years ago to make way for the arrival of my daughter and promised myself to replace it when possible. And alas that time has now arrived through an unexpected windfall! Problem is that I'm traveling a lot at the moment and have thus decided that a portable rig is really the best solution! And indeed, although I've relished the thought of amping and stuff I think that the best solution is just to buy the highest quality DAP and CIEMs I can. I've finally managed to listen to JH Roxannes, 16s, and 13s, and for me the 13s won hands down!!! - first time I think I've ever managed to choose the cheaper option of something!!! - The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!! So.... I'm thinking the AK240, but even wondering whether the AK120 plus Hugo might be the way to go? If the sound quality would be that much better I'd consider it rather than the single box solution! And what about balancing stuff? This is possibly a "one shot" purchase before the wife relinquishes her agreement so I want to get it right!!! wink.gif
I am biased never have heard the others. With that in mind If you can swing it the AK240 as a stand alone is the one to get.
post #153 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saraguie View Post


I am biased never have heard the others. With that in mind If you can swing it the AK240 as a stand alone is the one to get.

I'm going to weigh in only because I've been there and done that, am familiar with most of the equipment you mention and because you used a couple of key discriptors: "clarity", "detail", "separate" and "soundstage". I totally agree with Saraguie on the 240. After auditioning, nothing else came close. Then some very knowledgeable folk recommended the perfect pairing for it: the UE Reference Monitors Capital studio design. Amazing clarity and detail with no coloration. I am now awaiting the final piece of the puzzle, a custom cable from Ted Allen so I can go balanced. That should do it for all listening purposes.

post #154 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

Hey Guys! I realize that this is not explicitly an advise forum but I'm really interested in buying one of these DAPs and so any advice that anyone could provide me with would be truly helpful!!! Like many of you I've spent an ENORMOUS amount of time here trying to work out what I should buy and why!? And indeed, in some instances, it has just got more confusing rather than enlightening!!!.... amp, no amp, single end, balanced output, CIEMs or Closed Backs, etc etc etc! You know how it is! Got rid of my home rig a couple of years ago to make way for the arrival of my daughter and promised myself to replace it when possible. And alas that time has now arrived through an unexpected windfall! Problem is that I'm traveling a lot at the moment and have thus decided that a portable rig is really the best solution! And indeed, although I've relished the thought of amping and stuff I think that the best solution is just to buy the highest quality DAP and CIEMs I can. I've finally managed to listen to JH Roxannes, 16s, and 13s, and for me the 13s won hands down!!! - first time I think I've ever managed to choose the cheaper option of something!!! - The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!! So.... I'm thinking the AK240, but even wondering whether the AK120 plus Hugo might be the way to go? If the sound quality would be that much better I'd consider it rather than the single box solution! And what about balancing stuff? This is possibly a "one shot" purchase before the wife relinquishes her agreement so I want to get it right!!! ;)

 

Don't jump on the AK240 just yet, I would wait for the Calyx M to release first and read up on comparisons between the Calyx M & AK240 before taking the plunge. If the Calyx M comes out on top in regards to SQ, then you can save yourself a decent 1.5k

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/687944/999-calyx-m-with-dxd-dsd-64gb-sd-sd-storage

post #155 of 1128

Saraguie! Thanks for your extraordinarily quick response!!! That was my suspicion! About to go to Singapore for work so hopefully will find one to listen to/buy!! ;)

post #156 of 1128

Awesome recommendations! Will have to check out the cables. God! re the UEs! Am I really going to have to try and find them to try out now!! Just when I thought I was sorted and had saved some cash on the Roxanne's! "C'est la vie"!!! Was really surprising to find the 13s sooo much more appealing than the Roxannes! Just shows how IMPORTANT auditioning gear is! Thanks for recommendations though!

post #157 of 1128

Thanks mate! No your absolutely right! I suggested the 120 with the Hugo. As Currawong has suggested in his review of the 240 - I think! - to use it merely as a transport would be an absolute waste of money. So either 240 by itself or something else plus Hugo! Probably 120. Steering toward 240 though I think. Cheers

post #158 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

Thanks mate! No your absolutely right! I suggested the 120 with the Hugo. As Currawong has suggested in his review of the 240 - I think! - to use it merely as a transport would be an absolute waste of money. So either 240 by itself or something else plus Hugo! Probably 120. Steering toward 240 though I think. Cheers

 

If you're going for the AK240, Vinnie's RWAK240 & RWAK240+ mods are also options to take into consideration (albeit at a greater expense)

 

http://redwineaudio.com/mods/rwak240


Edited by zachchen1996 - 5/1/14 at 12:39pm
post #159 of 1128

Too true!!!!

post #160 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!!

 

Also take into consideration the Hidition NT-6 & NT-6 PRO ciems

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/627365/custom-iem-review-hidition-nt-6-pro-clear-precise-fun

http://www.head-fi.org/t/589208/hidition-nt-6-custom-iem-review-the-ultimate-reference

http://www.head-fi.org/t/668279/usa-order-just-got-my-hidition-nt6-pros

 

Product page:

 

http://hidition.co.kr/products/170

post #161 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

Too true!!!!

Wait!  I know how this wife thing goes (27 years).  With this window of opportunity, get the best, most expensive stuff you can get!!  And as much as you can!  These chances are rare in marriage!  :D

post #162 of 1128

Yeah these have indeed figured into my decision because I actually work in Korea a bit, and am well aware of their attention to detail etc - well at least in everything except ferry evacuation! (too soon? ;) - but having just tested the JHAs and had a long discussion with the awesome distributor here in the UK that did my impressions I think I'll probably go with the 13s. Interesting he's been involved in the business a long time and, although it's undoubtedly a product he distributes, he raved about the quality of production, reliability, build etc, and dispelled all of the anxieties that people have experienced here about delivery of their Roxannes. And the sound spoke for itself! Thanks for the recommendation though! 

post #163 of 1128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irvin59 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I've finally gotten around to listen with the ZX-1 again after the software update. It sounds a little bit smoother and seems to have lost that aggression that it had before. Comparing it again to the AK240 (SE only) the upgrade makes it closer, but the dynamics of individual instruments are still slightly better with the AK240. 

 

Taking into account the price, the Sony has come out very strongly.

Have you tried the volume boost method described on one of the other threads(copied below)? Imho it really is a big improvement-this turns the sony into a very powerful unit. Bass is very deep and controlled. It also sounds more dynamic and exciting to me. With large orchestral works I find a significant improvement in scale and authority-I suppose not that surprising with all the extra power. The downside is that you lose the sound enhancements and equaliser, which is not a factor for me as I don't like them anyway. The background may also be a little less dark. Makes me wonder why sony hobbled the power of the amp ( maybe for legal reasons). I'd love to hear what other people think. It's very easy to revert if you don't like the effect-just enable sound enhancements and restart.

 

Originally Posted by PPCG View Post
 

Here is the way to increase the ZX1's output power

1. Make sure the xLoud & Clear Phase was checked in the sound setting

2. Lower down the volume

3. Go to Setting / Apps / ALL / Sound enhancements / then push "Disable" 

4. Enjoy!


After disable the Sound enhancements, EQ won't work anymore.

You have to restart the ZX1 to make it work again.

 

Thanks for that. I'll give it a go today. I think it wont increase the power as much as it increases the volume. To allow for the EQ and other sound alterations, the DAP has to operate at a lower volume level, otherwise you'll get clipping at any frequencies boosted by the EQ. So I'm guessing that turning that off restores a -0db volume level in the unit. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post
 

Hey Guys! I realize that this is not explicitly an advise forum but I'm really interested in buying one of these DAPs and so any advice that anyone could provide me with would be truly helpful!!! Like many of you I've spent an ENORMOUS amount of time here trying to work out what I should buy and why!? And indeed, in some instances, it has just got more confusing rather than enlightening!!!.... amp, no amp, single end, balanced output, CIEMs or Closed Backs, etc etc etc! You know how it is! Got rid of my home rig a couple of years ago to make way for the arrival of my daughter and promised myself to replace it when possible. And alas that time has now arrived through an unexpected windfall! Problem is that I'm traveling a lot at the moment and have thus decided that a portable rig is really the best solution! And indeed, although I've relished the thought of amping and stuff I think that the best solution is just to buy the highest quality DAP and CIEMs I can. I've finally managed to listen to JH Roxannes, 16s, and 13s, and for me the 13s won hands down!!! - first time I think I've ever managed to choose the cheaper option of something!!! - The clarity is what did it for me. So I've now realized that this is the sort of "sound signature" I like! Clarity, separation, soundstage, and detail all the way!!! So.... I'm thinking the AK240, but even wondering whether the AK120 plus Hugo might be the way to go? If the sound quality would be that much better I'd consider it rather than the single box solution! And what about balancing stuff? This is possibly a "one shot" purchase before the wife relinquishes her agreement so I want to get it right!!! ;)

 

I think you'll be very satisfied with an AK240 and JH13s with a balanced cable. There are other choices, but, as always, they come down to slight differences in sound signatures and different functionality.

post #164 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

Thanks for that. I'll give it a go today. I think it wont increase the power as much as it increases the volume. To allow for the EQ and other sound alterations, the DAP has to operate at a lower volume level, otherwise you'll get clipping at any frequencies boosted by the EQ. So I'm guessing that turning that off restores a -0db volume level in the unit. 

 

 

I think you'll be very satisfied with an AK240 and JH13s with a balanced cable. There are other choices, but, as always, they come down to slight differences in sound signatures and different functionality.

Amos! From a fellow Aussie and probably - at least in my opinion - the most intelligent and sensible contributor here, I'll take that as cracking advice! Was really funny finally getting to listen to some of this stuff after so long and finding out I liked the JH13s more than the Roxannes! - which I would have initially probably bought on the strength of yours (and others!) reviews! Really really showed me that you gotta listen to this stuff! Kind of obvious really I supposed! ;) What cable would you suggest? Cheers mate!

post #165 of 1128
Quote:
Originally Posted by designmaniac View Post

Amos! From a fellow Aussie and probably - at least in my opinion - the most intelligent and sensible contributor here, I'll take that as cracking advice! Was really funny finally getting to listen to some of this stuff after so long and finding out I liked the JH13s more than the Roxannes! - which I would have initially probably bought on the strength of yours (and others!) reviews! Really really showed me that you gotta listen to this stuff! Kind of obvious really I supposed! wink.gif What cable would you suggest? Cheers mate!

You are not alone in preferring jh13 over roxanne smily_headphones1.gif totally understand the weird feeling to prefer the cheaper model in this hobby!

As for ak240 vs hugo, a key consideration is whether you will use it on the go. I picked ak240 as I need it portable and pocketable. Personally I cannot even tolerate a ipod+amp stack so Hugo with a thick coaxial or optical cable with a source is ergonomically impossible for my use.
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › DAP-off: Astell&Kern AK240, HiFiMAN HM-901, Sony ZX-1, FiiO X5 + Chord Hugo & Calyx M from June.