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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. LouisArmstrong
    Not sure about what you guys hear, but to me the soundstage of SP1000 IS considerably better, and for the lushness of the AK380Cu, which I still appreciate, the WM1Z does better. So AK380Cu, although my previous best, just may no longer be so either way. Or of course, you can say it is the perfect balance. To each his own.
  2. haiku
    I haven´t heard the WM1Z, but I much prefer the musicality of the Wolfson WM8741 DAC as implemented by Vinnie Rossi in my ALO CDM to the sound of the AKM DACs in my AK380 and the SP1000. So to me it´s all about what you prefer, that´s the best for you then.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  3. LouisArmstrong
    To me, you guys' players are the best. The best of the best of the best.
  4. bvng3540
    I have a question, when using ak380 with amp, is there a way we can set the amp to always stay on so that we don't have to turn it on every time we resume the music when pause for a short period of time
  5. haiku
  6. Uncle Monty
    It's a royal pain in the arse on an otherwise stupendous DAP - the amp turning off and the volume being reset - ***! Could a software upgrade solve this?
  7. orifiel
    I have an AK320...is the AK380 an upgrade in sound quality?
    I don't believe in the great differences in sound quality described for AK380cu and i don't like the tarnish issue....
    Maybe the SP1000 is too bright sounding for my preferences, then i think maybe AK380 will be a good upgrade...or has almost the same sound quality as the AK320?
  8. bflat
    SP1000 SS is not bright imho. I don't know of any AKM based DAC that can be described as bright. The sonic difference will be far greater going AK320 to SP1000 versus AK380 since the latter shares most of the components to what you already have. Having said all that, I would also say adding the AK3xx amp to your AK320 would give you a good upgrade as well.
  9. haiku
    I´ve done the whole trip and went from AK300 to AK320, and then AK380. For me, the step from AK320 to AK380 was massive, while the step from AK300 to AK320 wasn´t sooo big. I´ve found the AK320 always a bit too bright for my taste.
    xxx1313 likes this.
  10. JasonNYC
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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  11. tienbasse
    I have to agree, and to add it, when you're using a case to cover the DAP+amp, the "swiping down" becomes VERY tedious.
    It's my only gripe for an otherwise magnificent DAP.
  12. xxx1313
    I fully agree. The AK380 is a surprisingly big step up from the AK320. I also feel that the AK320 is the brightest sounding AK player.
  13. orifiel
    Ok, this is very interesting...
    AK customer service told me that the AK320 has the same footprint of AK380, only have differences in DSD reproduction...
    I don't upgrade only because of this opinion...
    AK380 have better retrieval of details and soundstage than the AK320?
  14. LouisArmstrong
    Nice offer. Really nice.
  15. xxx1313
    The most important difference to me is that the AK380 has a warmer (or rather less cold) sound signature, with better bass and mids. Soundstage and detail retrieval are slightly better too. The AK320 sounds resolving too, but a bit thin and bright to me, while the AK380 does not. I would have loved to buy the AK320 for half the price, if the sound difference was smaller, but obviously the second DAC chip in the AK380 makes a considerably difference. You will definitely not just hear the difference with DSD, but with PCM-files too and even with compressed sound files. At one of the last head-fi meets, a guy owning the AK320 compared it to an AK380 and he told me also that the AK380 was a big step up. He could clearly hear the difference in spite of of the ambient noise. However, he went for a Hugo 2 instead of the AK380, because he mostly listens to music at home, with the possibility of portability.
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