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Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II - Page 33

post #481 of 6520

Yes it has line out.  Yes the AK volume is done in the DAC while not on line out mode.

post #482 of 6520
I think the model nomenclature is causing a lot of confusion and performance assumptions that may not be logical. Below are the key hardware differences of the AK models:

AK120 v AK100: dual WM8740, different AMP section, 3ohm v 22ohm OI

AK100 MK2 v AK100: 3ohm v 22ohm OI

AK240 v AK120: dual CS4398, XMOS, different AMP section, balanced output

AK240 v AK120II: XMOS

AK240 v AK100II: dual CS4398, XMOS

AK120II v AK100II: dual CS4398

You can see that, hardware wise, AK240, AK120II, and AK100II shared same amp and are much more closer with each other than say AK100 vs AK120, or AK120 vs AK240 where they have different AMP and DAC.

Personally I find AK120 a small improvement over AK100 and the AK240 a huge improvement over AK120. With AK100II and AK120II sharing much of the same internals of the AK240, I felt a bit troubled knowing I could probably have spent a lot less to get very similar sound of my AK240.

IMHO if you are getting an AK dap now, unless Wolfson type warmish sound, storage and/or appearance is important, AK100II is your best bet.
post #483 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post


AK120II v AK100II: dual CS4398

You can see that, hardware wise, AK240, AK120II, and AK100II shared same amp and are much more closer with each other than say AK100 vs AK120, or AK120 vs AK240 where they have different AMP and DAC.

Personally I find AK120 a small improvement over AK100 and the AK240 a huge improvement over AK120. With AK100II and AK120II sharing much of the same internals of the AK240, I felt a bit troubled knowing I could probably have spent a lot less to get very similar sound of my AK240.

IMHO if you are getting an AK dap now, unless Wolfson type warmish sound, storage and/or appearance is important, AK100II is your best bet.

This is why I am very very interested to hear about the AK100II. Sounds like it is a good and 'more' affordable option for people that were looking at the AK240. I even think it looks better than the AK120II.
post #484 of 6520
I think AK100II looks like a more sophisticated device than Calyx M
post #485 of 6520

Okay guys, @mikemercer and I have been putting the AK100 Mk2, AK120, AK100II, AK120II and AK240 through some intensive listening for the past two days in a quiet environment.  We quickly realized that T.H.E. Show was not ideal for this, so we asked Astell&Kern for loaners and they were kind enough to oblige.

 

In case you guys ever try something crazy like this, let me give you two tips:

 

1.  Comparative critical listening is best done with fresh ears.  You'll get better results by taking frequent breaks.

 

2.  Do NOT underestimate how long it can take to volume match five different units with all of the test tracks you are using.

 

That said, we have some pretty clear impressions now.  We'll be posting our findings tomorrow.  But before we do, I just wanted to throw out one quick thing:  AK240 owners need not be butthurt.  The AK240's SQ is (IMO) better than all of the others... both noticeably and consistently.

 

Thanks for being patient guys!  :smile: 


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #486 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

You can see that, hardware wise, AK240, AK120II, and AK100II shared same amp

 

I've asked AK to confirm but the AK100II might use a different analog section since there is a power difference and the balanced/single ended ratings are reversed.  That said there is no technical reason why it couldn't have used it.

post #487 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

You can see that, hardware wise, AK240, AK120II, and AK100II shared same amp

 

I've asked AK to confirm but the AK100II might use a different analog section since there is a power difference and the balanced/single ended ratings are reversed.  That said there is no technical reason why it couldn't have used it.

 

I found that the AK240 seems to have a slightly higher gain than the AK100II and AK120II.


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #488 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

AK240 owners need not be butthurt. The AK240's SQ is (IMO) better than all of the others... both noticeably and consistently.

Thank you sir! Even tho I'm not a big fan of company arbitrarily limiting performance of the same hardware to create model differentiation, personally I do feel a bit better for the $$$ I spent if ak240 still sound just a bit better smily_headphones1.gif

But then I guess the clock is on to see how soon our friends from Russia find a way to flash the AK240 firmware onto the two little bros, or for vinnie or some Chinese hackers to "unlock" the hardware and provide the same ak240 SQ....!
Edited by kkcc - 6/4/14 at 4:54am
post #489 of 6520

Gain is related to quality now? :blink:

post #490 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post
 

Gain is related to quality now? :blink:

 

No, lol, it's a completely separate issue.  I just happened to notice some interesting changes in gain while I was volume matching for the impressions.

 

The AK240 sounds better to me for specific reasons related to soundstage and a more refined presentation overall.


Edited by warrenpchi - 6/4/14 at 4:50am


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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post #491 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 

 

No, lol, it's a completely separate issue.  I just happened to notice some interesting changes in gain while I was volume matching for the impressions.

 

The AK240 sounds better to me for specific reasons related to soundstage and a more refined presentation overall.

Yeah, I take it, it means AK240 has a more powerful output amp section.  I've noticed with portable setups, if you increase gain, sound becomes more punchier.  Not sure what explains that.  

post #492 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

 

Not sure what explains that.  

 

Not using a metre to dB match :P  Gain has nothing to do with power output unless the gain is too low to reach the maximum output.  Given the AK line only needs unity gain to max out... not an issue.

post #493 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcc View Post

I think the model nomenclature is causing a lot of confusion and performance assumptions that may not be logical. Below are the key hardware differences of the AK models:

AK120 v AK100: dual WM8740, different AMP section, 3ohm v 22ohm OI

AK100 MK2 v AK100: 3ohm v 22ohm OI

AK240 v AK120: dual CS4398, XMOS, different AMP section, balanced output

AK240 v AK120II: XMOS

AK240 v AK100II: dual CS4398, XMOS

AK120II v AK100II: dual CS4398

You can see that, hardware wise, AK240, AK120II, and AK100II shared same amp and are much more closer with each other than say AK100 vs AK120, or AK120 vs AK240 where they have different AMP and DAC.

Personally I find AK120 a small improvement over AK100 and the AK240 a huge improvement over AK120. With AK100II and AK120II sharing much of the same internals of the AK240, I felt a bit troubled knowing I could probably have spent a lot less to get very similar sound of my AK240.

IMHO if you are getting an AK dap now, unless Wolfson type warmish sound, storage and/or appearance is important, AK100II is your best bet.

This is one very good analysis

post #494 of 6520
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 

Okay guys, @mikemercer and I have been putting the AK100 Mk2, AK120, AK100II, AK120II and AK240 through some intensive listening for the past two days in a quiet environment.  We quickly realized that T.H.E. Show was not ideal for this, so we asked Astell&Kern for loaners and they were kind enough to oblige.

 

In case you guys ever try something crazy like this, let me give you two tips:

 

1.  Comparative critical listening is best done with fresh ears.  You'll get better results by taking frequent breaks.

 

2.  Do NOT underestimate how long it can take to volume match five different units with all of the test tracks you are using.

 

That said, we have some pretty clear impressions now.  We'll be posting our findings tomorrow.  But before we do, I just wanted to throw out one quick thing:  AK240 owners need not be butthurt.  The AK240's SQ is (IMO) better than all of the others... both noticeably and consistently.

 

Thanks for being patient guys!  :smile: 

Any idea what make the 240 stands out from the 100ll and 120ll as they both spec very similar to the 240's

post #495 of 6520

Expectation bias?  Using DSD instead of 16/44 FLAC?

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