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Astell&Kern AK380

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Dopaminer, Apr 22, 2015.
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  1. denis1976
    Ie800 hybrid transducer????where?????
  2. maii
    oops my bad dynamic transducer ;P
  3. tienbasse
    The 380 amp can be bought for less than 600$ currently, it is discounted in MANY places, at least the meteoric and black models. The copper/SS ones are much harder to find and usually not discounted.

    Sonically, it is indeed not night and day, and I was a bit disappointed by the balanced ouput of the amp.
    It doesn't expand the soundstage as much as the balanced ouput of the DAP itself, when compared to the single outputs.
    But it does a good job with 64-300 ohms headphones, and the integration if very well done.
    xxx1313 likes this.
  4. Bosk
    My impression from the latest AK380 (duralumin) firmware update is the sound now appears more focused and cohesive with increased warmth, along with a more prominent bottom end and increased musicality, but the soundstage feels narrower and less three dimensional with less treble sparkle. The player seems to handle rock & pop genres with more power and drive (DSD albums could previously sound sterile) but acoustic & jazz albums now lack the delicacy and refinement of the previous firmware, while vocals seem to have lost some of the magic that made them special.

    I would definitely choose to revert to the previous firmware if it is all possible, but expect many owners will prefer the current firmware as a matter of taste and listening preferences.
  5. wldcohso

    Revert?? edited: personally I enjoy my music better after this firmware update. If I didn't have my SP1000 it to compare it to it could sway either way. I have a totally different perception of what I'm hearing.. sounds more resolving, clarity is better, detail is better, base more present... comparing to my AK SP1000 using 64Audio U18.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  6. denis1976
    maii likes this.
  7. lights
    maii likes this.
  8. Malevolent
    Yes, I didn't think it changed the sound in any meaningful way - it just added more power, which is an improvement that some people may desire. Hence, if a prospective buyer is offered a really good price on the AK amp, they could consider getting the stack. Otherwise, if you're looking at anything north of $300, you might as well get a standalone amp. For example, a 2nd hand VorzAMP Pure II could fetch that price, and it'll sound a whole lot better, too.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  9. Uncle Monty
    I've come across a heavily discounted brand new AK380cu. Happy with my set-up - no intention of buying another 380 - thought I'd wait a few years and maybe upgrade to SP1000. But it is a substantial discount - over $1000 off MRSP. Have never heard the copper and remain dubious over sound improvement on standard, but should I take the plunge or is SP1000 the way to go, eventually?
  10. wldcohso

    Personally, I don’t think they’re competing devices. Both have their own distinct sound and certain strengths and weaknesses between them both. Even though I have my SP1000 I still REALLY enjoy my AK380cu. If it’s deeply discounted and you can get it I’d say go for it and just enjoy your music until you’re ready for the SP1000. Can’t go wrong with either one.
    xxx1313 and maii like this.
  11. Eroica4th
    I still wonder why ak380 aluminium is/was priced exactly as the sp1000. Yet sp1000 is SS and more advanced
  12. lights
    The price of the CU is still dropping on Amazon, now £2,383. Not sure I want to know the margins if they can drop the prices over £800 in a matter of days.

    The prices have no correlation to performance. The players can't cost more than $300 to manufacture.
  13. Uncle Monty
    £2,263 now
  14. Uncle Monty
  15. Eroica4th
    Wow guys... i meant the release price...
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