Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II - Page 69

post #1021 of 1550

I posted this small review on the SE846 & I think its relevant for this thread as well so here you go..

 

Originally Posted by Audiowood View Post
 

I have got the Ak100ii for almost 3 days pairing with SE846. I am aware of the impedance of 2 ohm of the headphone out but decided to give a shot as chances that 2 ohm may not swing that much although less than 1 ohm would be ideal. After some intense shoot out will all my 1ohm portable amplifier including the Hugo, I notice that the impedance "mismatch" has become its strength rather than weakness.

 

 As expected, the bass went up, but luckily its not the mid bass bloat, but the sub bass shot up like 1-2 db more than all my 1 ohm portable amps and is now at similar to Hugo bass level.. Very very good. Deep and impactful with great control, never muddy or bloated. It just so well control here. Now what surprises me is that the level of perceptible treble did not decrease like ZX1, in fact, it has some extended boost to it so much that its a hair more treble at the very top than Hugo, I was thrill, despite the impedance of 2 ohm into 9 ohm SE846, the clarity is superb. In fact the treble level is on par with a 1ohm portable amp like Pico silm. Overall the AK100ii sound neutral with slightly boost in the sub bass and not mid bass thereby making less prone to bloat & an overall warmth with SE846.

 

I do find the vocal a little distant and that is expected from AK tonality, there is a little lacking in body but nothing serious, that being said, for those who find the SE846 shouty or too mid centric will appreciate this quality as they both pair up so well that I don't really find it lacking overall in comparison to say TH900 & Pico slim. There is still more vocal on SE846/AK100ii than those 2 combo.

 

 

It has a balance (1ohm) and Headphone out (2ohm) impedance. Power button at the top like Iphone.

 

Man - I love the dedicated volume control. This vol control is so refine, I think it is design for sensitive IEM like SE846, I can get any level of volume with this, I believe there are 75 steps overall. Unlike Pico slim or Dacport, a little turn is sometimes too much. Its clickable and each click is 0.5 steps. Volume can also be control on touch screen by sliding up and down anywhere after one click on the wheel.

 

Love the size, its pretty small and really easy for pocket .

 

But then, its not slim, its as thick as a cig box and weigh 6.6oz with leather case

 

Despite its small footprint, this toy has an impressive 192Gb storage overall. 64gb internal and 128gb Micro SD card.

 

 

Now compared to my dedicated portable amp, I would not say the AK100ii beat them flat as a dedicated portable amp like the HiFI M8 has way more power and can easily drive most of the planar magnetic phones, the AK100ii has almost reach its peak when driving a HD650, but then the HD650 is not that easy to drive to begin with. 

 

I am still burning in and sound may change over time so this is just an initial testing phase. I have now understand why so many audiophile love the Ak tonality, the AK100ii has a lot of resolution and details, and tonality is pretty neutral, so that leaves one to choose the kind of tonality they like on a headphone which is good. The sound stage is on par with amps like Pico slim but I wish it was as good as Hugo (asking too much?). If there is a con, I would actually love the SQ to have more body  and rich like the Hugo. There are quite a number of experts mentioning that the AK 240 tonality is thin and flat, I cannot disagree with this statement as it could be thin and flat if pair with another flat neutral phone, but since this is SE846 thread, all of us will not have this problem.. 

 

AK 100ii provide some useful EQ - from 30, 60, 120, 250, 500, 1K, 2K, 4K, 8K and 16K. These are exactly what I wanted for EQ especially on the bass level 30, 60 and 120, and this pretty much covered what I need for just the bass. 

 

In short, I love the AK100ii, it's s probably has the most function in a DAP out there for its price at $899. Functions I really love like;

 

1) a very very good Amoled screen with great UI, with no lag at all, just turn it on an we have a selection of Songs, Albums, Artist, Genres, playlist and folder, no need to scroll wheel or so several click to get to this... any better, it will be the Iphone.

 

2) Use as a dedicated DAC and Amp for my Macbook and PC 

 

3) Have a balance out and best of all its 1ohm impedance (need TED help to terminate me another cable)

 

5) Nice aluminum body and a real (not fake) leather case that is really beautiful

 

6) It can stream lossless files from PC using WIFI to AK100ii

 

7) Easy Drag and drop files for transfer or use Jriver

 

8) Useful & good selection of EQ

 

9) love the dedicated volume knob (dun like  button vol found most phone today, the knob has very fine level of adjustment and because I am too old school - I just love knobs)

 

10) Side control play, skip and back (I just reach my hand into pocket and easily adjust vol and skip track without looking)

 

11) Digital output to connect to my home rig - S-PDIF output via heaphone jack

 

12) 24bit/192kHz digital audio playback (converts to PCM). 

 

Ok for $899, I got features I really like..  I am impress with the SQ as a DAP with SE846 that I am now curious about the AK120ii ($1699). 

post #1022 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by flymetothemoon View Post
 

Among the 3 AKs I think 120ii has the best balance in terms of performance/pricing/design/built.  Too bad that I took the dive a few months earlier on the 240 LOL.

Yeah I am looking hard at the AK120 but keep coming back to feeling like a victim of goldilocks retail strategy.  

post #1023 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiowood View Post
 

I posted this small review on the SE846 & I think its relevant for this thread as well so here you go..

 

Originally Posted by Audiowood View Post

 

 

 

It has a balance (1ohm) and Headphone out (2ohm) impedance. Power button at the top like Iphone.

 

 

Man - I love the dedicated volume control. This vol control is so refine, I think it is design for sensitive IEM like SE846, I can get any level of volume with this, I believe there are 75 steps overall. Unlike Pico slim or Dacport, a little turn is sometimes too much. Its clickable and each click is 0.5 steps. Volume can also be control on touch screen by sliding up and down anywhere after one click on the wheel.

 

 

The only thing that I'd like to see on the new 100ii/120ii is the protection to the volume control if the case extension can be extended further more to have the whole volume knob covered and that would be ideal.


Edited by flymetothemoon - 8/1/14 at 8:22pm
post #1024 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by M Coupe View Post
 

Yeah I am looking hard at the AK120 but keep coming back to feeling like a victim of goldilocks retail strategy.  

There are a few things that you could justify the 240 over the 120ii...

 

- kill your craving for the 240 as you know it is one step better than the 120ii

- actually slightly better SQ performance overall (diminishing return, remember, not in the same scale as the price difference)

- The look of 240.  Unique in a way love it or hate it

- once you get the ultimate that also kills your other thoughts for another DAP as there is not much competitions, at least for now LOL.

 

 

Hope the above helps. 

post #1025 of 1550
Hi flymetothemoon
U A/B the 120I vs. 240 before?
post #1026 of 1550
I just ABed the 240 and 120ii in hmv using my 8s and jason Mraz song, and the 240 is richer smoother. Is it worth almost double the price? Not for me as I would like to spend on cables. I still find the 120ii aesthetically better too. Without ABing I am not sure you can tell the difference that easily. This was through single ended out and the difference might be more park ounces through balanced out. Not sure.
post #1027 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicHolyGhost View Post

Hi flymetothemoon
U A/B the 120I vs. 240 before?

Nope.  Not yet. But read the article from mikemercer that would give me sense of how they perform against each other.

post #1028 of 1550
I received my balanced silver cable for my SE846 and AK100II. The connection to the left IEM clicked in without any problems and swivels smoothly. The right IEM connection required so much force to click in that I worried to break my SE846. Eventually, it connected, but there was no click. It's very tight when I turn it, so I think it's not fully entered. It can't be pushed any further.



The difference between the stock cable and the silver balanced cables to my ears is that the volume level of the balanced is lower. I will test more and share my experiences.
Edited by s0ny - 8/2/14 at 9:29am
post #1029 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0ny View Post

I received my balanced silver cable for my SE846 and AK100II. The connection to the left IEM clicked in without any problems and swivels smoothly. The right IEM connection required so much force to click in that I worried to break my SE846. Eventually, it connected, but there was no click. It's very tight when I turn it, so I think it's not fully entered. It can't be pushed any further.



The difference between the stock cable and the silver balanced cables to my ears is that the volume level of the balanced is lower. The dynamics, mids, bass and everything else sounds weaker/veiled. I used lossless CD's to test. When I use the stock cable, everything sounds seriously impressive. When I use the balanced setup, it's as if everything is toned down. It's almost as if I switched back to my smartphone.

These are my early findings. I will test more and share my experiences.


That's some bad impressions mate. Maybe there is a problem with the connectors or maybe with your unit I don't know but I am pretty sure, that's what is not supposed to happen here.

post #1030 of 1550
I disconnected the right-sided connector and reconnected twice. Now it does click in and it swivels correctly. I guess the ring that is used for the click needed to adjust through more attempts. The downside is that it can lose signal when I wiggle the cable at the connection.
Edited by s0ny - 8/2/14 at 10:16am
post #1031 of 1550

Deoxit red and gold solve that problem 95% of time.  They are cheap to buy and good to have on hand for any of these connectors.  I treat my IEMs/cable tips about 1 time per 2 months to avoid this either initially or over the long run.  Anytime it ever happens with stock or aftermarket cable, a little Deoxit gets it fixed. 

 

Also, the cable can be adjusted if that does not solve very easily to get better contact. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=deoxit&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=31463436057&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4446620293522296542&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_9b0esdpjsu_b


Edited by M Coupe - 8/2/14 at 11:14am
post #1032 of 1550
Thanks for the link. I might buy a can. By the way, I think the lower volume on balanced output is caused by the AK100II hardware. A silver balanced cable should be as good as it gets.
Edited by s0ny - 8/2/14 at 12:16pm
post #1033 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0ny View Post

Thanks for the link. I might buy a can. By the way, I think the lower volume on balanced output is caused by the AK100II hardware. A silver balanced cable should be as good as it gets.

... I am about to embark on the same path as u.. How is the quality despite a lower volume?
post #1034 of 1550
The details and separation is good, but everything sounds "small". While the stock cable has a very ferocious in-your-face sound that overwhelms you, the balanced sound is exactly the opposite. Even though the details are very well present, the "sound is underwhelming". Not that it's bad. It's just that the stock cable is extremely musical and exaggerates/extends everything while the balanced setup is like "okay, you heard a guitar, time to go home" while the stock cable really colors, extends and accentuates the instruments. The balanced setup sounds lazy. It's like cassette sound where it feels like the soundstage is smaller and the sound "behind a wall".

I did try increase the volume to hear if it makes a difference but it doesn't. It's the same signature, but louder. The instruments have a good layout, but they sound very suppressed as if they are unmotivated or lazy. Even though the details are present, the type of sound makes it appear as if the sound is held back.

It's as if the artist slammed a door and the balanced output timidly closes the door. If you turn up the volume, it loudly closes the door, but still timidly and not a slam. As if it doesn't want to. With this type of sound, even if I put the volume on max, it stll sounds as if it is holding back.
Edited by s0ny - 8/2/14 at 1:51pm
post #1035 of 1550
Quote:
Originally Posted by flymetothemoon View Post

Among the 3 AKs I think 120ii has the best balance in terms of performance/pricing/design/built.  Too bad that I took the dive a few months earlier on the 240 LOL.

This is my dilemma, took the plunge for the 240 and I love the sound. I want the same sound but something that cost less for daily use. I hate taking my $2500 DAP "on the go".

Jim
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Source Gear
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Source Gear › Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II