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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. Juan Virgo
    Never try the Audiorvana...
    But Amarra is the worst sounding software ever. 100% garbage.
    Much worse then free Vox and itunes.

    As you know the eq from ak daps is affecting the digital output.
    That can be the reason for the difference.
    The pro eq on ak120 for example, can ruin the sound.
  2. Rico613
    Audiorvana is good !!  
  3. Jeff Y
    Ah. Okay. Got it. I didn't really get what you were saying. My bad.
  4. kerrys30
    I just noticed the amp and AKT1 are now listed on astell and kern website.
    The AK380's First Accessory, AK380 AMP
    The primary goal of Astell&Kern has always been to deliver the original sound.

    We're proud to introduce the AK380 AMP, an amplifier that supports high-impedance headphones and high-gain output while remaining faithful to the original sound.

    Expansion-type amplifier with design unity.
    3,400 mAh large-capacity battery.
    8.1 VRMS high-gain balanced output.
    4.1 VRMS unbalanced output.

    Introducing AK380 AMP,
    the first accessory to complement the AK380.

  5. kerrys30
    looking at AMP specs:
    3,400 mAh Large-capacity Battery
    An amplifier, which increases audio output, consumes a great amount of energy.
    Thus, the AK380 AMP features a 3,400 mAh large-capacity battery – identical to the one in the AK380 itself - to support up to nine hours of continuous unbalanced-output playback.
    So I presume we could use the AMP attached to extend battery life considerably even if just using low imepedence CIEM.  (I know....an expensive battery pack but then have option for headphones when need it and extra battery say when on plane!)
  6. my-2000
    So I went to demo AK380+amp yesterday, anticipating it couldn't be that much better than v1.15 AK240 and after 20mins I ended up burning a huge hole in my wallet... so huge that my wallet pretty much turned into ashes. Holy !@#$%^&*, v1.11 AK380 alone was already that much better than v1.15 AK240 (I'm specifying v1.11 AK380 because it sounds better than stock version v1.03) - much more powerful yet much more delicate that even SE846 sounded emotional. The amp, on the other hand, was strange. The demo unit, as new as it was, made the SQ sound so rough (especially on high gain) that all the delicacy was gone, so I didn't bother to try it out for much longer. Might be something wrong with the demo unit as the one I got turns out to be much better, although it would still require burn-in.
    Finally a DAP that can push IE800 to its limit~
    lextheimpaler likes this.
  7. kerrys30
    Wow...good stuff. 
    I am putting off and putting off going for a demo as so scared i will love this player!!!!  
  8. piercer
    All non-lossy non-DSD audio files contain bit perfect PCM information - They are just containers for PCM. An ALAC of some PCM on a 240 will produce an identical PCM stream as a FLAC of the same data on a 380.
    An ALAC is PCM
    A FLAC is PCM
    an AIFF file is PCM
    There is no conversion process, just an unpacking and decompression process ending up in bit-for-bit identical PCM data.
    This could not be the cause of any difference.
    cantara256 likes this.
  9. bflat

    Thanks for the clarification. So if there are measurable differences in SQ do you agree with others that it must be EQ tweaking of the PCM stream?
  10. vnmslsrbms
    But if you're saying EQ tweaking, that would mean that the player decodes the PCM stream, applies EQ, and then reencodes to PCM all in real time.  I think that's possible with how powerful DACs are nowadays, but seems like a lot of work for a function that most people won't even use.  
  11. neuron
    Just wanted to share my experience having had the AK380 for 5 weeks. I personally prefer its sound compared to my previous setup consisting of the Chord Hugo connected to an Asus notebook running JRiver software. Connection is via HD USB. Based on my listening, the AK380 has noticeably wider soundstage, and greater clarity. Hugo with JRiver is no slouch but AK380 is just on a higher level. I have tried connecting the AK380 via Toslink to the Hugo in order to drive my Audeze LCD-2 (non-Fazor). However, as expected the sound characteristics changed to Hugo-like as the DAC section of AK380 is effectively bypassed. I hope my listening observation can be useful to those considering the AK380.
    keepitsimple likes this.
  12. The New Black
    So, that took some time.  I read that entire thread over two days.  Does the AK380 have enough to push your Audeze LCD-2s by itself?  I just ordered a pair of LCD-XCs and I'm looking to get the AK380.  Was just wondering if I'm going to need the add on amp or not?
  13. neuron
    The AK380 by itself is insufficient to drive the Audeze LCD-2. I had to use the Chord Hugo but lost the AK380 sound. I hope to get a demo with the AK380 amp driving my LCD-2 soon. Since the Audeze LCD-XC is more efficient, there is a chance that the AK380 will be able to drive it. However, I believe greater power can drive any headphone better.
  14. bmichels
    So, if I understand well, you prefer " AK380 alone"   to the combo  "AK380>toshlink>HUGO" ?    
    Wasn't the Amp of the AK380 to weak to drive the LCD-2 which is not super efficient ? 
  15. neuron
    Yes, I prefer the sound of AK380 to the Ak380, toslink, Hugo. I have not had the chance to try if the AK380 plus AK380 amp is sufficient to drive my LCD-2. I heard that the AK380 amp is almost as powerful as desktop amp.
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