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Any love for the Activo CT10?

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by CarmenC, Jul 10, 2018.
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  1. gr8soundz
    Thanks, but I returned my CT10 weeks ago. Good to know the USB output works for you and your findings might help others here.
  2. Bio-Rhythm
    I ran a little test to see If I could work out what was at the root of the CT10 periodically not being able to play a Qobuz offline library file. I factory reset the CT10,inserted a different SD Sandisk 64Gb card and erased (formatted it) . I then installed the latest Qobuz version 5.1.8 and set the storage location to SDCARD for imported music. I then imported five tracks with qobuz. The Activo/system information shows that the imported tracks are being saved onto the system internel memory even though in Qobuz/settings/storage sdcard is showing as the setting in the imported music section.

    So maybe what has been happenning is something to do with the CT10's memory management. Maybe, after a restart, the player is looking for the offline files on the SD card when they are in fact in internel memory.
    Or maybe I have a faulty unit that can't store music onto the sd card. what's the warranty on the CT10?. Maybe if I format the card on a PC rather than on the CT10 it may function corrrectly. Maybe it won't. A lot of maybe's. Though no firmware updates?.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  3. Bio-Rhythm
    i missed my return time window . Advice for buyers. Check DAP manufactures websites to see if they are releasing timely updates on any particular latest release DAP. If only........ the devs could be seen to be actively trying to sort out bugs.e.g. The Intermittent CT10 won't play the Qobuz offline music library, then I'd recommend this player. Because apart from a few issues the Qobuz app has a good almost phone like feature set on the CT10.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    trellus likes this.
  4. Bio-Rhythm
    You can't purchase music on Qobuz using the CT10 as of yet it seems.. Though compared to some players the Qobuz app does have many phone like features. Have you used the CT10 whilst listening to Qobuz Offline Library?. As my CT10 has a intermittent problem of not being able to play the Qobuz offline music library. So, since Qobuz offline library is one of main music sources I've stopped using the CT10 and reverted back to using my Phone,soon to be a LG V30+ with a High quality DAC :). What the CT10 has going for it is it's compact form factor, especially practical when being active outdoors where a large phone is more likely to get broken and is less practical to carry around.
  5. Bio-Rhythm
    +1 no problems on a windows 10 Laptop using the CT10 as the DAC ( apart from the mentioned intermittent white noise issue )
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  6. Osteopic
    I'm glad to hear that DAC functionality is working for some, it's sure not working for me! I just got the CT10 five days ago, intending to use it as a (hopefully) decent desktop DAC that I could also use as a DAP. For use as a player, I'm very impressed! I enjoy the sound quality, the interface, the portability and the capability for streaming. But it's been a "no go" as a DAC for my desktop or either of my laptops (all are Windows 10). When connected by USB they detect the CT10 as a storage device so that I can move music files into it, but I haven't found any way to treat it as a soundcard so that I can play music or other sounds from the computer. I emailed the support address at Activo’s website, but have received no reply. Disappointed about that, too!
  7. Bio-Rhythm
    I sent an email to them over a month ago. No reply. Since you purchased the Activo only five days ago I'd send it back or you may end up with a buggy player that's not going to get fixed. You can always buy the Activo again if they ever release another firmware update to fix some of it's faults.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  8. Bio-Rhythm
    Ok so another post about the errors experienced whilst using the Activo with the Qobuz app. I'd be pleasantly surprised if there ever fixed but at least the issues will be documented here.
    There is definitely some major memory related bug occurring when importing the Qobuz music on the CT10.

    Another test.

    *Factory reset the Activo.

    *Formated a fresh 128 GB SD card on my PC and inserted it into the Activo SD card slot.

    *Installed Qobuz. Checked Qobuz app was set to = Imported music>SD card.

    *Activo system shows the 128 GB SD card and internel memory with plenty of available space.

    * clicked to import several Qobuz playlists and set the player aside (I did not listen to any of the music).

    *After a few hours I checked Qobuz App/Storage/imported music=7.4GB/119GB (SD card).

    *Checked the Activo/settings/system information and it's showing that all the internal storage has been used ( Total space=13.20GB; Contents=7.89GB;System=7.41GB) . And that 7.4GB is on the SD card listed as "contents".

    Very odd?. The Activo system indicates that the 7.4 GB of imported music is on the SD card , as does the Qobuz app. So what has taken up all the players internal memory?. Also the players pull down info tab is showing many "Download failed" system messages. Probably because all the players internel memory has been used up.

    I took the SD card out of the Activo and checked how much memory my Laptop reported has been used. 111GB free of 119GB. So the imported music does seem to of been stored on the SD card in the 'Android' folder. I then turned the Activo back on without the SD card in place. Just to test if the player would play any of the tracks, which could suggest there actually on the internal memory. The Activo system stated " no internet connection" when I tried to play music in Qobuz offline library. I put the SD card back into the Activo and checked the Qobuz apps memory settings were set to SD card for imported music.

    After inserting the SD card the internal storage is now 12.71GB available. And the SD card is diplayed as 119GB with 119GB available and 2.00 MB of contents.
    And none of the offline music will play!. Though all of the tracks that did successfully import are still shown in the Offline library/tracks section including the little 'CD' icon that shows up once a track is imported.
    One bemusing experience. Is the players hardware fundamentally faulty? or the players firmware/qobuz app integration buggy?.Is science mainly wrong or are many people wrong about how they comprehand what science is?. The player sure gets hot after playing and or importing Hi res music files (probably due to the heat retaining plastic case ( Like CO2 in the Atmosphere...? A handy link me thinks as I go off on a critically important tangent)) , though at least it's a nice little hand warmer when it's cold out :wink: (Winking face to denote intended Humour. i.e. A wink may mean different things in other cultures). Though here in the UK we are experiencing unusual swings in temperatures. e.g. record hot temps then back to usual cold for the time of year.( plus more regular than usual floods in winter and droughts/heatwaves in summer). If only science hadn't predicted human induced, comparably fast climate change we could all act surprised and say stuff like " what's going on with the planets climate" and "who knew?" ( This off topic remark is only intended to help though it will anger those whom feel the facts of climate change could lower their social status/esteem/income etc).
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  9. kevlar397
    Hi @JasonNYC ,

    I’ve been searching for a high quality DAP in the $300 price range and am really impressed by the Aptivo CT-10! I really appreciate how responsive and helpful you are to the head-fi community.

    I’m very new to high quality audio equipment and am reading up on the various companies that sell DAP’s. I’ve researched both Astell&Kern and its parent company iRiver. I was wondering if you could expound a little on the involvement of both iRiver and Astell&Kern in the development of the CT-10.

    I also would like to get a sense of the product support structure for the CT-10. Is it shared with Astell&Kern or a stand-alone group? Will firmware updates follow the cadence of Astell&Kern’s or have its own? I think what I’m trying to assess is whether the Activo DAP will have the support of Astell&Kern, which has a strong history and reputation for quality products and product support, or will the work done by a less seasoned and proven organization? Thanks.
  10. digdog
    I was in a similar situation, with little experience of DAPs and made a leap of faith purchase in the CT10 (having seen one going for £190.00 on UK eBay). I know that the internal chips are shared with a much more expensive AK model and that the sound is reportedly similar. I have used it more or less exclusively with 1more quad earphones.
    What I can report is that the sound is detailed and satisfying. It is an easy to use device and I haven't needed any support for it as it does everything it is supposed to (ripping, playing, using Spotify and Tidal), without any real hassle and I use it with a pretty old Mac. My better informed son told me that it compares favourably with all the other DAPs that he has heard and is going to buy one.
  11. Osteopic
    I wanted to post an update to my previous post about not being able to use the CT10 as a DAC for my desktop computer. Activo support did eventually email me back some detailed instructions on getting it working as a DAC. And with that, I did get it working. Sometimes. Most of the time. I then did some listening comparisons (A/B) with the Micca OriGen G2 that I had ordered before reading the unfortunate testing results on it at Audiosciencereview.com. I had planned to return the OriGen and use the CT10 as my desktop DAC, when not using it for my DAP. After the comparison listening, I will be returning the CT10 instead. Both of the units initially sounded good. After many flips back and forth between the two, I came to feel the CT10 was relatively lacking (slightly) in dynamic impact. What should "pop" was just kind of "eh". I tested with both headphones and my Swans m200mk3+ powered speakers (using the line out settings for the Swans).

    Also, while the OriGen tolerated the flipping between units gracefully, the CT10 did not. After returning the connections to it, I would have to perform several steps to get it working again, and it would sometimes put out static instead of clean sound, fail to reconnect as a DAC, or simply completely lock up. Fixing these issues would require restarting the CT10, my computer, or both. I did try a different USB cable, which seemed to make no difference. The OriGen was just solid, dependable plug-and-play.

    Today I was still trying to convince myself to keep the CT10, and while using it as a DAC and watching YouTube videos, I gradually started hearing more and more blatant static. I switched the set-up back to the OriGen and listened to the same videos again... no static.

    I tried to like it. I do like many things about it, but it's just too buggy. It's going back.
  12. Bio-Rhythm
    Not replying to emails and questions on this thread is not what I'd term "responsive". But hey, it's only been just over a month since a reply from @JasonNYC.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  13. Bio-Rhythm
    JasonNYC did'nt get back to any of these!. It could be (speculation) that the CT10 isn't been worked on at all (no firmware update for many months and no commitment to say if a firmware update is coming). But they have stock they want to sell them, thus keeping the image that these issues are being worked on. As I said, that's mere speculation, though if I had to bet I'd say the CT10 has been dropped, like a paper weight, and the Devs are busy working on their next product to sell you happy customers :wink:. Like the current trend of humanity that's evidently heading towards an ecological catastrophe that the blind (ecologically ignorant) just can't see, I'd love to be proved wrong.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  14. JasonNYC
    I apologize, I have been traveling non-stop and for some reason never received any notifications from this group from the last few weeks even though I am subscribed.

    I also didn't see any PMs, if it is an urgent issue, that is the best way to reach out to me.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
  15. Bio-Rhythm
    Hey Jason your back. So, lot's of people like the form factor etc of the CT10. Wut's up with sorting out some of it's bugs?. Also, can you read my above posts and provide some feedback on this thread regarding the Qobuz issue I've mentioned. I'm aware the Qobuz app isn't specifically developed by Astell&Kern & Co ( Co= CT10 partners) though it would be nice to know if these issues could potentially be a firmware issue, i.e solvable by Astell&Kern & Co .
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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