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Astell&Kern AK380

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

    That did it-thanks! As for album art, can I embed after the music is downloaded and the art doesn't show up?
  2. olddude

    Yes/but not in the AK.  Simply open the files using XLD and when they are on the page drag and drop the album art (no need to size it) to the art box at upper left.  If you need to edit (or enter) tagging info, hit the edit metadata button and you will see the box to do it in.  You have to do it one track at a time this way.  Using Yate it's much quicker and you can do more, but it costs about thirty bucks where XLD is free.
    You can ALWAYS go back and use this to embed art.  You CAN'Y do it when the music is already in the AK.  Again, drag out to the desktop to do editing.
  3. Gosod
    380 is the last player, as far as I know!
    1. Пе
  4. bflat

    I had high hopes for the Fiio because the paper specs are really impressive. However, if you read the impressions from the NYC CanJam, it pretty much ended up on the lower end of all of the DAPs mentioned. From that event, the closest competitor to AK380 seemed to be iBasso DX200. If none of the AK3xx accessories are relevant to you, then you may want to audition the DX200 and save some dough. If some of those AK3xx accessories like the amp are something you feel you may want down the road, the AK3xx line is the only one that has the range of add ons and they are all mature and function very well.
  5. Gosod
    thank you so Fiio XIII is not a competitor for the 380?
  6. bflat

    I personally can't comment on the sound quality since I have not tried it. However the following are true:
    Price point of Fiio is several segments apart from AK, which would indicate that the Fiio users probably don't purchase higher end IEMs and headphones. This would make it difficult to approach a more apples-to-apples comparison.
    The biggest criticism of the Fiio XIII seems to be that UI and firmware. While some would argue only sound matters, I think everyone eventually realizes that firmware bugs and laggy UI are equally harmful to the listening experience as is sound quality. On that, there is nearly a universal agreement that AK has the best firmware and certainly the longest running Android based system.
    No femto clock on the Fiio. I personally didn't think this was a big deal, but I appreciate this feature more and more each time I compare to other lower end DACs.
    I would add one speculative comment - I have tried Fiio products ranging from DACs to amps. In all cases, I find they are all fairly noisy (e.g. hiss) for moderate to sensitive IEMs. Perhaps this has improved with the XIII, but I would not count on it.
    Lavakugel likes this.
  7. olddude
    Lootoo Paw Gold, Tera Player and Sony WM-1Z would seem to be the major competitors to the 380, at least from what I read at Head-Fi.    
  8. bflat
    For post rip or post download editing of tags or album art, I would recommend xAct (freeware). It has a very simple drag and drop interface and can also encode/decode to all of the popular formats. It also lets you max out the number of CPU threads and is really fast. On my Mac Pro, I can encode/decode 12 files at a time! Really nice if you want to redo your entire collection from FLAC to ALAC or vice a versa.
  9. olddude
    I use xACT as well, but I find XLD a bit easier to use.  xACT is a great converter from one format to another, albeit a limited number of formats.  I find the UI of XLD a bit more...friendly.  For tagging I prefer Yate, even though it's not freeware, as it does a lot of things the others won't do.   
    Alson Chua likes this.
  10. Uncle Monty

    I wonder how the iBasso DX200 compares - around 25% the price and review I read said no discernible difference.
  11. mysony1

    Ak380 definely is a winner on every spec here compare to dx200.

    I own both this dap. in term of price tag dx200 is good value.
  12. olddude
    I suppose it depends who's discerning.  It's true lower-end DAPs are improving, but there is something to be said for the upper-end as well.  
  13. Dellwolf
    I don't own an AK380, but I am on the review tour for the Fiio X5 3rd Gen.(I'm the last person on the US tour, so I don't have it yet). I tried it out at Canjam NYC and personally I am very impressed by it because of A) Price to Performance, it's only $400 B) The features/specs at the Price are great, the Dual AKM DACs and balanced output C) Build and Aesthetics, all metal and glass with a scroll whell for volume. One of the things that I spent the most time talking with Michael miceblue about at the Fiio booth was about the balanced vs. unbalanced output on the X5 3rd gen. and both have the same power output unlike how a majority of players with both functions are only most powerful using balanced.
  14. olddude
    Price to performance is very important.  Basically, the higher up the ladder you go the less amount of differences (percentage) in sound you hear- but you still hear differences.  If that amount of difference is of value to a listener, then that person will enjoy the device and listening experience.  If not, then a lower-priced device makes a lot of sense.  Also worth noting is that some people want streaming and apps and some want the best sound possible with no extras.  Personally, I have no interest in streaming and look for the best-quality files I can get my hands on.   
    That said, I went up the ladder (iPhone to Colorfly C3 to iBasso DX50) to a Fiio X5 and was very happy with it.  Then I was given a Pono as a holiday present and found it sounded better to me.  Both were at about the same price point.  But I kept reading about AK's and decided to give the lower end one (at that time) a shot and got a 120ll at four times the cost of the X5 or Pono.  No, it wasn't four times as good, but it was discernibly clearer and had more detail and more bottom and top, the mids were more involving, the floor was totally silent, and the UI was incredibly better than anything I'd ever used (including an iPod/iPhone).   So to me that made the cost worthwhile.  Still reading threads here at Head-Fi I came across talk of the AK240 SS but there was no way I'd pay $3K for a DAP.  But I eventually found one used here for about half that price and, oh my, so much better than my 120ll.  Same UI, but even more detail and clarity and transition from note to note and much brighter and much tighter and deeper lows.  
    So I can imagine that a 380 is very good indeed.  And I'm sure an X5lll or a Questyle or an Opus is also very good.  But based on my experience, I would question whether any of them are THAT good.  At the upper end it seems to be a matter of personal taste, with people arguing over the Lotoo or the Tera or the 1Z or the 380, but it seems to come down to the kind of sound someone prefers (although some seem to like the Sony due to its long-lasting battery life).  No one is arguing that any of them are really better, it's just a matter of taste.  
    For a lot of people now I would suggest forgoing a DAP and getting a Mojo for their cell phone.  One-stop shopping, five hundred bucks and done, with no need to upgrade.  For those of us who are sticking with DAPs, there is a constant push (from outside and from inside) to upgrade.  I would suggest getting a device just above your price point because, my guess, eventually you will become curious as to what a better one sounds like and then the ladder is staring you in the face.  
  15. Jalo
    Great description of your upgrade journey.  Excepting the Tera, I have the LPG (Diana Edition), 1Z, 380CU, 240SS (RW Mod), Mojo and Hugo. I do not like the Mojo pairing with cell phone.  I think a dedicated dap is better.  Your 240SS is very good and is a gem. I actually like it better than the LPG. But the LPG has one thing that no one has in the group that is the power to drive full size can. It is the most powerful dap in the group may be with the exception of Hugo2 that is coming out. Yes the 1Z and the 380cu are at the top of dap at present with the 1Z leading slightly. However, the 380cu has more air and clarity whereas the 1Z is warmer, darker and thicker or lusher as some people will describe it. Some people may like one over the other. As for UI, until I use the 1Z, AK has the best UI, but 1Z give you much more intuitive control over your music. 
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