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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. TaylorDawe
    I tend to agree. I absolutely love my 380 - the looks as much as the wonderful sound - and find, personally, that adding the amp spoils what is a slim, stylish, beautifully-designed player and turns it into a brick (well, almost, you know what I mean). So I've tended not to use the amp for quite some time. And now I discover that the ripper doesn't really give the advantage that FLAC files really should give (smaller file of the same quality as WAV) I'm a little disappointed. I shall still use the ripper because of the convenience to me, personally, as itemised in one of my earlier posts. However, I did think that the upcoming (we assume) new TOTL player from AK would be of little interest to me as I have these 'add ons' for my 380. Now, not so sure. Oh, well, I still love my 380, still use the ripper and could use the amp if I chose so, that is life I guess.
  2. Uncle Monty
    I always use the amp and find that it adds greater depth and weight to the sound, but then I'm using full-size phones so with IEMs perhaps this does not matter so much.
    The Ripper conundrum is a strange one - I mean, would there be any advantage - even a tiny one - in ripping to WAV instead of FLAC, if the files are the same size, which they appear to be using the Ripper? 
    Someone mused that the Ripper might one day become a collectors item. Who knows, it is certainly a curio.
  3. TaylorDawe
    I don't have fancy phones/IEMs (I use AK R02) and was going to buy something nice (after taking advice on this forum) instead of buying the new/next player. So perhaps I wouldn't be able to hear a 'tiny' difference/advantage between FLAC and WAV from the ripper. I've never really minded which format I rip to in the past, only that with my software ripper I don't get any data: Album Art and so on. With the ripper, ripping to WAV of course, you do. Although I actually found this a little strange - if the ripper can add album art to WAV why can't my software ripper. Anyway, perhaps I'll rip some more stuff to WAV (stuff I already have as FLAC) both ripped by the ripper and see if I can hear any difference.
  4. Uncle Monty
    I get 95% of album art with FLAC on the Ripper - does WAV get you more? Lyrics etc? 
    As for SQ, can anyone say if there are advantages to WAV over FLAC? 
  5. Dionysus
    I have a copper AMP on its way, but for me, I sometime get fatigue from IEM so the amp was purchased to use with full size cans and drive those higher impedance phones.
    I'm also intrigued by the idea of getting desktop performance with the amp we shall see.

    With regards to WAV vs Flac I don't anyone can hear a decernable difference, has the ripper in fact been discontinued?
  6. TaylorDawe
    I get 100% album art when I rip to FLAC. I don't have many files ripped to WAV as I only ripped a few as an experiment when I first got the ripper. They all have art (which, as I say, surprised me). I'll let you know when I've ripped a few more to WAV. As far as SQ goes - it's my understanding that by the time the file is played (so by the time the FLAC file is uncompressed) the two are identical so shouldn't be possible to have any difference. Just my understanding, and I believe the same holds true for all 'lossless' formats.
  7. Uncle Monty
    Sometimes, when the Ripper doesn't initially get the album art, cancelling the rip and restarting gets the art - the Ripper interrogates Gracenote - so I suppose it doesn't matter whether FLAC or WAV is selected - and I've wondered whether there's a 'time-out' on this because, when you give it another chance, it sometimes finds the art.
  8. rbalcom
    I was going to say that the file type should not matter since you are searching a database by song title for  album art and tag information, but then I noticed that the FLAC and WAV files for my test songs had different tag information from the Gracenote database. Neither found album art and the only field that was different was the Date Tag. The Ripper only uses the Gracenote data while dBpoweramp uses Discogs, GD3, SonataDB (Classical), MusicBrainz and freedb simultaneously to retrieve track names and high resolution Album Art. dBpoweramp found the album art and tag information for my test track. It also shows you the information before you start the rip and allows you to edit it.
    As for SQ, I would say that lossless is lossless and there should be no difference, but the final determination should be based on if you hear a difference. My overall objective is the smallest lossless file with the most complete tag information. Using dBpoweramp and ripping to the default compression Level 5 gives me the best chance of achieving that objective.
  9. bflat
    There are more debates on lossless versus lossy and both sides have valid data. However lossless versus different kind of lossless is not something even the most hardcore audiophile will take sides on. Most arguments are around pure technical aspects like file size, processor demands, and who owns the patents (in terms of long term future availability).
  10. LouisArmstrong
    To complement the best DAP in the world, the AK380Cu, I have ordered what is supposed to be the best IEM in the world - the 1964 Tia Forte. Frankly I was not entirely happy with my Layla despite it being the most expensive IEMs at the time of my purchase. I hope the 1964 Tia Fourte that I have ordered will unleash the full potential of the AK380Cu. It will be an invincible combo until the AK480 comes out. 
  11. raypin
    Mm...I was the last person to audition the Fourte (exhibitors were dismantling their display) and I used my AK380 cu as source. It was a superb combination and it was what convinced me to pre-order with their dealer.
    sonickarma likes this.
  12. LouisArmstrong

    Did you test it with or without the Cu amp? Is it like what they say it is a completely new IEM experience that blows every other IEM on the market out of the roof?
  13. raypin
    Mm..I did not have enough time to test it with balanced and I left the cu amp at home (I wanted to travel lite). So, it was 3.5 mm throughout the audition. First impression: at the very least....a contender for best, new iem.
  14. LouisArmstrong

    Nice - coz I pre-ordered one without hearing it after reading about the tech and a couple of initial reviews. How would you rate it against the Shure stats (which I was not impressed with) and the Layla, or K10? Just tuning difference, or a step above them? 
  15. ironpeg
    I actually like U18 more than TiaForte with ak380cu+amp cu.
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