Astell & Kern AKR02 SCAM
Jul 27, 2015 at 8:53 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16


Aug 14, 2012
Hi guys,
Sorry for the sensationalist title, but I wanted to highlight a particular point.  For those of you who are not aware, the AKR02 is the detachable cable variant of the Final Audio Design's FI-BA-SS (with some tuning for the AK products but anyone who ABX tests them will probably notice a minimal difference if any).  By having the privilege to demo the FI-BA-SS for myself, I thought the only missing feature, especially for its price, was that the cable was not removable (a stubbornly aesthetic design choice), and so I saw the AKR02 as the solution. 
And while in all technicality the solution is present, here's the kicker, as far as I'm aware: it's not possible to purchase a standalone spare cable, and iRiver will decline to respond to any related inquiries, as they have to half a dozen of mine over the course of several weeks. 
What makes this all the more pressing is that with enough head time the cable will oxidize, as all copper cables do.  Due to the transparent coating, the greening will gradually become front and center as more usage hours accumulate.  Even if that doesn't bother you, the idea that there are no spare cables for sale means that there's as much longevity in the AKR02 as the FI-BA-SS, rendering the detachable solution and resultant price premium pointless. 
The biggest problem is that the AKR02's detachable cable system uses a unique threaded MMCX design, as shown below:

While, to their credit, this is actually rather robust (though slightly annoying) in practice, Astell & Kern controls the distribution of its parts (my apologies in advance if it turns out that was an egregiously misinformed presumption) and apparently refuses to sell them to custom cable manufacturers and DIY'ers for... reasons. 
Anyway, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, and I'll redact all of the above if I am.  Thanks for taking the time to read this. 
Jul 27, 2015 at 9:01 AM Post #2 of 16
Have you tried contacting Fad? I know the removal cable variations is something fad gives to their employees so it is not to gloom, you should still be able to source it.

Warranty is normally covered for one year, and as far as I know AK and FAD no longer do deals so it's natural for them not to have any spare cables.
Jul 27, 2015 at 9:16 AM Post #6 of 16
Also the Q-Jays cable looks remarkably similar although I think the overall stem might be a bit too wide to accommodate.  I'll contact them too to see what their opinion is. 
Jul 27, 2015 at 4:54 PM Post #9 of 16
I have same issue. A&K has ignored emails for over a year. I tried a few cable makers also. No luck.
Aug 6, 2015 at 1:25 PM Post #10 of 16
I actually like the AKR02 alot, this is the only reason why I am defending it, I don't even own one.

I like it a lot as well, which is why the added feature of a removable cable being negated by the lack of supply is rather outrageous.
Also I haven't gotten a response from Q-Jays yet.  Oh well, hopefully they respond some day.
Apparently FAD doesn't field questions about AK products based on a drop-down list of their products in their contacts page, which is a bummer but understandable.
Jan 23, 2016 at 1:07 AM Post #11 of 16
So has anyone gotten anywhere with this cable? I completely agree! When these first came out one of the biggest points AK mase with the ad was that it had a replaceable cable that i found out may be replaceable but impossible to find! I mean come on it was made so someone somewhere had got to have these!

I do really like the iem and for as many has cycled through my collection the akr02 has always seemed to stay!

It is correct that as nice as these are, they without fault and turning green is my biggest gripe i personally have with them! I have recently developed a new iasue with them though, it appears one of the leads is shorting out inside the 3.5 plug! Being out if warranty now im curious of the cable makeup and if i can replace the plug and reterminate it ? If anyone knows if its a possibility to do so let me know. Thanks
Apr 19, 2016 at 10:44 PM Post #12 of 16
So I went ahead and purchased a cable from the Q-Jays brand.  Rejoice!  It fits and works perfectly (with the added bonus of in-line controls if you're into that sort of thing).   Just wanted to give everyone interested a heads up.   Really though, I don't understand what's going with A&K and their decision to not offer replaceable cables for purchase.
Mar 20, 2018 at 1:52 PM Post #13 of 16
Q-jays cable works fine.
Nov 5, 2018 at 9:52 AM Post #15 of 16
I tried several times to get a replacement from A&K, with no luck, so I tried the Q-Jays cable and it does work. Unfortunately, it looks like it's out of stock on the Jays website. I really like the AKR02, but I can't recommend it at $1,400.

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