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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. Binsterrrrr
    Alright. thanks for your help. very clear instructions. i'll look for the cloth thanks
  2. tienbasse
    Good advice.
    The only way to keep the polished look is apply a clear coat lacquer after polishing.
    It's a bit of an adventure, but a good clear coat with a metal retardant may keep the nice color for up to a year.
    The adventure is that you proceed like for a paint job: covering all parts where the cleat coat shouldn't be applied (screen, holes...). Beside that, it's not that difficult, a lot of clear coat now self-level upon application, for a very neat result.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  3. Binsterrrrr
    any metal retardant or clear coat lacquer to recommend? i might wana experiment with those
  4. SilverEars
    I did more extended listening, and realized that I prefer AK380 over the Mojo. I really do prefer the AK380's treble, and sound presentation much more. I would say, if Mojo is 1080p, AK380 is 4k resolution. I hear more out of the AK380, and therefore I find the AK380 to be the suprior player. AK380 treble can get finer, and the Mojo can get grainy(thicker treble, and seems to have a limitation on how fine it can get).

    I think the difference is that AK380 is not as forward as the Mojo. Mojo happens to sound more forward(some forwardness makes it sound more natural than the AK380), but at a lower resolution. AK380 is more laid back, but with higher resolution, which I find to be nice.

    All in all, I prefer the better resolution on the AK380. Since I hear more details with the AK380, it sounds more accurate, but for some reason the less resolution of the Mojo convinces me that it's more natural sounding. Go figure.. But, for sure, AK380 got to be more accurate as it has more sound information outputted as it outputs more details. I would say due to the treble much finer and having a textures to the sound without the textures being thick and forward(this is what I mean by laid back). Also at the same time, it comes of a bit digital sounding or perhaps analytical. It's characteristics would be described as analytical without the harsh or forward or brightness to it. Detailed without forwardness. Usually I would associate analytical with forwardness and therefore details thrown on your face like the HD800 or the UERM, but it is not the case here, so I describe it as digital sounding(but not in a negative way). Analytical can be described as cold as well, but I would call it warm sounding due to the sound not being forward. So, warm analytical(if that makes any sense what so ever).

    Is the AK380 AKM based DAC? By now I do realize the consistancy in the forwardness sounds that comes from certain chip based DACs such as the ESS, and to some degree the Chords. Not sure about the Cirus Logic characteristics.

    Time to start exploring AKM based DACs.:L3000:
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  5. Emerald Core

    I found an offer of €1500 for AK380 Copper with running warranty.

    Do you guys think it's legit ?
  6. parabellum777
    I think it´s too good to be real.
  7. tienbasse
    Got a normal one at this price, but a copper one...
  8. Gudedomo
    Been reading through a ton of pages, but haven't really found a definite answer or response. I currently have the 380SS+amp, paired with the Roxanne II's.

    Has anyone with the 380SS upgraded to the new SP1000? I've only had the 380SS around half a year so I'm in any hurry to upgrade but was wondering if it's worth it later on. I haven't tried the SP1000's yet, hoping I'll get the chance to in the coming months.
  9. LouisArmstrong
    I have yet to hear the 380SS extensively, but comparing my experience with AK380Cu and SP1000Cu for about a month now, I'd say the SP1000Cu totally wipes the floor with AK380Cu. And I tell you what, the AK380Cu is no mean feat either, so imagine how good the SP1000Cu is.
    junix likes this.
  10. tienbasse
    You should stop using such superlatives in 99% of your posts, it is highly misleading and doesn't make up for detailed impressions.

    I happen to prefer AK380Cu over SP1000Cu, especially with the AK380 amp. Relaxed natural treble and slightly more impactful bass (AK380Cu) vs more extended treble (a tad brighter) and more revealing mids for SP1000Cu, not exactly "wiping the floor" in my opinion, just personal taste coming into play, as always when A&K starts a new range of DAPs.
    If they were keeping the same kind of tuning all the time, less people would be convinced to pay the additional cost for the TOTL model, because the difference would be subltle at best. Good marketing strategy, like the various chassis materials with slightly different tunings. :wink:
    APaudio and xxx1313 like this.
  11. JasonNYC
    The AK380 and SP1000 use different DAC chips, so the sound signature is different.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
    LouisArmstrong likes this.
  12. tienbasse
    You can tune DAPs to sound the same with different DAC config, as well as you can tune DAPs to sound different with the same DAC config.
    It's not like the DAC chip has no settings for manufacturers to play with (some even provide users the access to filters for instance), and the DAC chip is not the only element in the chain to yield sound.

    My intent was not to belittle the SP1000, but stating that it wipes the floor with XYZ is purely subjective and not very informative to help others choosing their gear.
  13. Dionysus
    I've owned both the AK380cu and now the SP1000, I wouldn't say that the SP1000 wipes the floor either with respect to the AK380. But I do prefer the SP1000 more for various reasons, sound being one, I think it's certainly more resolving. But I think it's also true that different tunings are very subjective and better etc is all a preferences to the listeners preferred sound signature.

    What I like a lot more about the SP1000 is the better UI, it's faster has more processing power and a better overall user experience.
    It's Faster at transferring of files. More play time up to 12 hour on 50% volume levels. I prefers the beautiful bigger screen with more real estate. I think it's estetically more pleaseing to my eyes. It has more power output WITHOUT the amp on balanced mode. A better Omni directional antenna for wifi. So for those reasons I think that the SP1000 is worth the upgrade.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  14. Uncle Monty
    Has anyone compared the SP1000 with a RedWine 380 + Amp? I'm glad I managed to get this combination just before Vinnie stopped doing it and some speculated AK might incorporate similar upgrades on their next flagship.
  15. JasonNYC
    @tienbasse didn't take offense at all to what you said.

    We tell people we meet at shows all the time - we can tell you why we feel each player is great, but what it comes down to is what is great for you. You need to listen and play with each one and find out what is best for you. It may be one of our players or it may be another manufacturer. What is important is that it sounds good to you and fits your needs/expectations.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
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