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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. shigzeo Contributor

    Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it. 
    I missed this post among the fuss. 
    As to the amp, I'm not sure. Good integrated amps nearly always outperform outboard amps in terms of adhering to original signals. Obviously outboard amps can be much more powerful. I assume it will be more powerful, but unless it has access to the internal signal it shouldn't be able to keep up to the signal of the AK380. It may -- and depending on -- how/for what headphone it is built, be able to sustain current into difficult loads better than the AK380. 
    - NL: no load. I reference it in the review in both balanced and unbalanced and, at ohm image, show both balanced and unbalanced loaded and unloaded. 
    - the screen isn't as contrasty, which isn't quite as fun looking, but is a bit more colour neutral next to a calibrated monitor. (I'm an advertising product photographer by trade.)
    - volume pot: it is more solid than the AK240. Its metal machining is better. I agree on placement. But that thing won't fit in a jacket pocket anyway. I reviewed it as a good-on-table-only device.
    - If you press your hand, or catch the AK380 falling, it will definitely let blood. It is a bad design. But no, they won't cut like a knife. I used the 'cut' a bit figuratively. 
    Thank you again for your feedback. It was wonderful.
  2. jlbrach
    The AK 380 sounds fantastic with the Layla's and optically connected to the Cord Hugo sounds amazing with either the HE-1000 or the Senneiser HD-800’s headphones.
    Is there a benefit “sound and/or audio metric wise” if I strictly used an amp vs. a DAC to connect the AK380 player too?  If so why would I benefit from replacing my Cord Hugo with just an amp?

    it is not the 380 that sounds great with the HD800 or HE-1000 when connected optically to the Chord Hugo,it is the Hugo that sounds great since you are only using the 380 as a transport....I have the 120 and the 240 and i use my 120 with my Chord Hugo and it does indeed sound wonderful but any transport will sound just as good and if there is any difference it is .00001 of difference....I have compared my 240 to my 120 through my Hugo and there is no way I could possibly tell you the difference my ears simply arent that good even if there is some imperceptible difference...I am amazed to read that people buy a 3500 dollar DAP in order to through a Chord Hugo....on the other hand a Vorzuge pure II+ with a 240 is an improvement power wise while using the fine DAC in the 240 and at a modest cost!
    Jeff Y likes this.
  3. kerrys30
    Are people actually buying the 380 purely as a transport for their hugo though or are they buying the 380 as a great portable solution and then hooking it up to their hugo to see what that sounds like?
  4. sutjahjo
    Again, most people believe transport doesn't matter, but I suggest they try with different transports. Hugo is great but transport matters.
    lextheimpaler likes this.
  5. lextheimpaler

    I diagree. I have the 240 also and the 380 /Hugo combo sounds better than the 240/ Hugo.
  6. lextheimpaler
    Agreed. People should try first .
  7. Mimouille
    Yeah people should try...in a blind test.
    MacedonianHero likes this.
  8. Juan Virgo
    In blind test 4 of 4 listeners could not find any difference between ak100/ak120+hugo vs 240+hugo. (that why I sold the ak240)
    I convinced my friend to get an AK380 + a new AK dedicated amp, so next month could post a true opinions. (the trasport test)
    I guess the difference could be only in EQ not the sound signature.
    But the most interesting is the new AK amp.
  9. lextheimpaler
    Blind test by whom? There is a difference with the AK380, I tried it. I have the amp also. Not much difference with the Laylas as they are quite easier to drive.
  10. Juan Virgo
    Two Hugo and AK daps owners and they wives.
  11. sutjahjo
    Blind or otherwise, just try first at least to prove us wrong?
  12. sutjahjo
    Good for you if you can't hear the difference.
    At least you have experienced it and found the result you wanted. I won't try to convince you otherwise.
  13. Jeff Y
    Challenge accepted...
    I'll go try them out in a couple of weeks.
  14. Juan Virgo
    The difference could be equal to zero or very little. I think to  be sure, a few people must check it.
    I talked about EQ difference, the sound signature must be the same. Hugo DAC does all the job.
    Again, it was very easy to make my friend to order a new 380 with an amp, he is on the move all the time...
    I also told him that there must be a difference, but for him a size is meter.
    Actually, I will not believe till we finish the blind test.
    But if it will better or equal, there will be one Hugo on sale with special price.
  15. sutjahjo

    Great, at least you know for sure either way.
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