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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. haiku
    Here´s a quote from Yu Kuk - il, AK´s Sound Designer
     
    "...I don't eat anything at all but only drink for several days while tuning the sound. When getting hungry, you get extremely sensitive, right? Hearing can also be that much acute. I lose more than 9 pounds in weight because of that..."
     
    Now, that´s what I call commitment to Sound Quality!
     
  2. pofdstudios
    Yeah ummm If in his mind that approach works but Id put more trust in a more scientific approach as opposed to tuning sound while craving a cheese burger.
     
  3. olddude
    It's not just equipment.  It is our ears and brains and taste in music.  Some like lush, some like bass, some like treble, some like exciting and some like smooth.  Reading Malevolent's profile, he likes  EDM and he's a basshead,  I listen to 60's rock (Beatles etc.) and like treble.  So our opinions may not mesh on a specific source device or iem.  Doesn't mean good or bad, just different tastes.  That's why it is so hard to quantify.  What sounds good to one may not sound good to another.  You really can't go by specs (purely) as they do not always translate into how we hear or what we like.  I had a Shure 846 that had good bass and great mids but just did not please me on top end.  I got an Angie and it was much better (for me).  My UERM is fairly flat and I love it, others may feel it's not exciting enough. 
     
    I find that if I read about a source or an iem I have to take into consideration the person talking about it/reviewing it.  What do they listen to and what do they like.  I might even pm them and talk about it.  
     
    So saying one or another is "the best" is fruitless.  Best for who?  I ask, will I like it, will it do what I want and need?  If it does, I am happy.  
     
  4. LouisArmstrong
    No matter it's an iPhone or an AK380Cu, they all produce the same notes for the same track. It is the coherence between the notes, the presentation of the sound stage and the emotional influence that matters. Frankly, when I commute I mostly just use iPhone and Layla only, and at home I have a much better headphone setup as well as a speaker system. That makes my AK380Cu almost exclusive for listening when I travel, usually with my K10 customs - but every time I do get  to enjoy it, I am amazed at how good it is. Simply the best.
     
  5. bflat
    The "best" rig is the one you listen to the most.
     
  6. Malevolent
     
    Yes, people often understate the importance of sonic preferences. As you have mentioned, I'm a huge basshead, so I'm always inclined to audio devices that are slightly skewed towards a heavier low-end presentation. In fact, as I'm speaking now, I'm listening to some awesome dance tracks with an X5iii and an IE80 (with the bass dial at its max, of course). Hence, I'll always find balanced IEMs a little too sterile and boring for my tastes. Of course, my opinion matters less (or none at all) to those whose tastes differ from mine. After all, how can I decide if say, an IEM, is good if I am subjectively biased?
     
    In the end, I think we should all simply decide with our ears. I know it's hard for some if they have limited access to choices, but our ears are the best judges of the quality of a product. The next closest option is to align yourself with reviewers/Head-Fi members whose tastes closely match yours. I've found a few on this board, and thankfully, their recommendations are quite in tune with mine.
     
  7. xxx1313
    I am just burning in my Utopia (as well as the balanced cable) 24/7, using my AK380. I leave the AK380 plugged in, so I am keeping the the battery 100% charged. Is this ok for the battery, or it would it be better for it to have normal uncharge/charge cycles?
     
  8. Gosod
    Has anyone listened to this player with dunu titan 5? what's the verdict?
     
  9. Uncle Monty

    No expert, but I understand these new lithium batteries last longer if kept constantly topped-up, whereas people used to say the old ones worked on cycles, so to charge and discharge constantly. My AK380 has been sitting, more or less constantly, in its cradle ripping CDs for about a month now - assume this is okay.
     
    xxx1313 likes this.
  10. Gosod
    how many hours your player plays?
     
  11. xxx1313
     


    I do not clock it and normally I start to charge as soon as it falls below 20 %. It plays approximately 7 hours until the battery is empty.
     
  12. rbalcom
    About 10 day ago we were having a discussion about file size using Astell & Kern's CD-Ripper to rip directly to the AK380. My guess was that the file size for a FLAC file rip was so large because the AK implementation was uncompressed and not using the lossless compression capability of FLAC. Thought that I would compare some rips using the Ripper and dBpoweramp on my Mac to see if that was true. The following files are for the same 5 minute 29 second track:
     
    1. Ripper & AK380 to WAV produced a 58,981,560 bytes or 59 MB file
    2. Ripper & AK380 to FLAC produced a 59,134,052 bytes or 59.1 MB file
    3. dBpowermp to uncompressed FLAC produced a 59,033,628 bytes or 59 MB file
    4. dBpoweramp to Level 5 (default) compression FLAC produced a 22,784,154 bytes or 22.8 MB file
     
    Another thing that I had not seen before was that leaving the ripped files in the Ripper folder on the AK380 added a new button on the Home page called CD library with the albums displayed that I had ripped using the AK380.
     
    Just information for anyone interested.
     
  13. TaylorDawe
    Yes, a button I use a bit since finding it to get to the 'latest' rips, i.e. those I have ripped but not moved out of ripping.
     
  14. Uncle Monty
    So, if using the Ripper, there's no file size advantage in using FLAC over WAV. 
     
    As I mentioned before, I got around 5000 tracks on the AK's internal memory whereas using ALAC on iTunes squeezed approx 8000 tracks on to the same space (using FLAC on iTunes would have got the same), so FLAC files from the Ripper are approx 50% larger than 'normal' FLAC files.
     
    I'd be really interested to know why AK did this, whether it is the compression limitations of the Ripper or whether they thought there was some advantage to the larger file sizes. 
     
    Of course, AK don't make the Ripper any more and perhaps this is why.
     
  15. rbalcom

    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that it has to do with the processing power required to run the compression algorithm and the resulting time it would take to compress the file. Sales most likely drove the decision to discontinue it. Personally, I'm not really surprised that the AK380SS is sold as a bundle with the amp because I'd bet they sold a lot less amps than they thought they would. I sure don't use mine enough to make it worth the cost. Love my AK380 and use it daily but not so much the add-on's I bought with it.
     
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