Astell & Kern Junior (AK Jr.) Impressions Thread
Apr 28, 2017 at 12:43 PM Post #3,106 of 3,287

damobananna

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USB DAC ISSUE *SOLVED* [WIN10/64BIT]

Pardon the super huge title. I just like to make sure those of you who, like me, bought the AK JR and got frustrated over the lack of sound when connecting as a USB DAC to not miss this read. I actually just created this account for this post.

Preamble (skip to [the fix] if you don't wanna hear my rants)
Scrolling through this forum, I quickly understood that the USB DAC was either a hit or miss function. Undeterred, with multiple reviews singing praises of the AK Stepchild's sound quality as well as finding a brand new ak jr sapphire edition set for sale at $200, I, like many of you lovely Headfiers here, decided to pull the trigger.

The ak jr immediately connect to my desktop. Driver installed smoothly without any issues and my playback devices was automatically configured to iriver USB DAC. Seeing how smooth sailing things were going, I thought I was one of the lucky ones with a working USB DAC unit until... no sound came out of my IEMS. Slightly annoyed, I composed myself and followed the recommended fix from this thread.

I tried:
1. Every single USB port inclusive USB 2.0 and 3.0 - no sound
2. Stock cable and a whole bunch of high quality Micro-USB cables on every port - no sound
3. Uninstalling/Disabling/Reinstalling its drivers via Device Manager - no sound
(starting to panic)
Reading that it did work on laptops with older windows version and with the packaging explicitly listing support:
4. I tried it out on my Windows 7 pro dell laptop, repeating steps 1-3 and.... no sound
5. Using an external USB 2.0 HUB - nope.

Alas. None worked. I started questioning myself - coming from a Hidizs AP60, a BUDGET DAP that costed me $60, which managed USB DAC functions easily with totally no issues - how does a well known company such as Astell&Kern manage to mess this up. They are not even showing initiative to rectify this issue. All of you headfi-ers here are right - this is totally unacceptable. I was so ready to sell my set away.

I must have almost scrolled through this entire thread searching for a viable solution.

The Fix

It must have been around page 70+ of this forum. I finally found the solution. It was right there, just not too obvious.

NOTE: I am using a Windows 10, 64-bit operating system on a DESKTOP. This fix requires you to access BIOS therefore i cannot guarantee that it can work for laptop users.

1. Restart/Boot Up your computer
2. Hit the BIOS keys (F2 or DEL on my Asus H81 motherboard)
3. Look for USB CONFIGURATION (mine was under advanced settings)
4. Look for INTEL xHCI (could state USB 3.0 or not) and hit DISABLE
/*if you cannot find this, just keep looking around - the key is to disable xHCI or anything that looks like it.*/

5. Reboot

Sweet sound started pouring out of my IEMS. [Finally] USB DAC function even extended to all my USB 3.0 ports.

Taken from Intel:
The eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) specification describes the register-level host controller interface for universal serial bus revision 2.0 (USB2) and above.

To sum this up - No. The USB DAC function is not a HIT/MISS or a "Phantom" function. AK might not have foresaw this issue, but they definitely could have easily found a fix for it if they bothered.

HOPE THIS HELPS Y'ALL. CHEERS!

-A friendly Headfi-er

EDIT: I'll try my best to help all WINDOWS users as i am quite familiar with the platform/hardware. If you're a mac user, I can't help much but I happened to see many mac users solving this issue by using a USB 2.0 HUB - this can be found even on an external mac keyboard.




This is bolony dont waste your time
 
Apr 28, 2017 at 1:26 PM Post #3,109 of 3,287

MikeLitoris

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This is bolony dont waste your time

Dude, look. As much as i can understand your frustration over the akjr, I am in no way obliged to help anyone here. I certainly do not appreciate dedicating my own time creating an account and spending half an hour on a post in hope that it may help someone reconcile with their AK - just to be met with comments like "bolony". It is a solution that worked for me and one that I am certain will help others.

I am deeply sorry if my solution has brought nothing to your situation. And I'm sure I won't bring any other viable suggestions that might "waste your time".

Cheers. :)
 
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Apr 29, 2017 at 7:53 PM Post #3,110 of 3,287

tonyc2468

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For anyone picking up one of these units and is concerned about DAC functionality from desktop - I have purchased 3 different AK JR and had the same experience with all 3 - My experience was DAC functionality worked perfectly when using rear USB port on windows xp professional operating system , was hit and miss on front usb port - bit of stutter. However I could not get any of the 3 units I have had to function on windows 7 or windows 10 - no sound.
Interestingly on the xp the AK JR performed better than the AK100ii and AK300 as DAC in terms of stutter.
 
Apr 30, 2017 at 2:44 AM Post #3,111 of 3,287

Necron99

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Dude, look. As much as i can understand your frustration over the akjr, I am in no way obliged to help anyone here. I certainly do not appreciate dedicating my own time creating an account and spending half an hour on a post in hope that it may help someone reconcile with their AK - just to be met with comments like "bolony". It is a solution that worked for me and one that I am certain will help others.

I am deeply sorry if my solution has brought nothing to your situation. And I'm sure I won't bring any other viable suggestions that might "waste your time".

Cheers. :)

Regardless if it works for me or not, I appreciate that you did more than Astell & Kern to resolve this problem. Thanks!
 
May 5, 2017 at 12:25 PM Post #3,112 of 3,287

damobananna

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regardless of your help which is appreciated btw, the ak jnr is still a sharp, fragile non functioning peice of garbage , do not buy this,,
blue tooth is also dodgy having to reload the firmware everytime new hardware is connected to my go + play
 
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May 5, 2017 at 9:31 PM Post #3,113 of 3,287

puppyfi

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I would be a little kinder....
Some users had expressed they prefer the sound of AK jr better than AK 70 or AK 300.
If you have no need for USB DAC function, no need for bluetooth function, ok for a little slow touchscreen user interface and most importantly, can get it cheap at below the discounted MSRP price, AK Jr is still worth your consideration.
 
May 5, 2017 at 11:17 PM Post #3,115 of 3,287

puppyfi

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As a sound alone DAP, I have to say that I am pretty happy with my purchase (got it around US$170 used for a 2 month old unit).
As I don't need it for USB DAC or Bluetooth function, I won't bother even if AK will not come out with anymore firmware update for this 2 years old model.
I had also other DAPs (Colorfly C3, Hifiman HM650, Fiio M3) that users complaint on manufacturers of abandoned care despite unfixed bugs.
To me, these DAPs already satisfied my (their) basic requirements and I have no issues with the manufacturers.
Anyway, to avoid buyer's remorse or getting disappointment, best is always to read up plenty of reviews (to know it's pros and cons) so that you know what to expect when settling for a product.
 
May 6, 2017 at 12:10 AM Post #3,116 of 3,287

forestitalia

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I would be a little kinder....
Some users had expressed they prefer the sound of AK jr better than AK 70 or AK 300.
If you have no need for USB DAC function, no need for bluetooth function, ok for a little slow touchscreen user interface and most importantly, can get it cheap at below the discounted MSRP price, AK Jr is still worth your consideration.

I can bring evidence that JR sounds better than the K240 too, that is quite weird, but hey if at AK are not capable to fix a stupid thing such usb connection......
 
May 6, 2017 at 10:22 AM Post #3,117 of 3,287

damobananna

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As a sound alone DAP, I have to say that I am pretty happy with my purchase (got it around US$170 used for a 2 month old unit).
As I don't need it for USB DAC or Bluetooth function, I won't bother even if AK will not come out with anymore firmware update for this 2 years old model.
I had also other DAPs (Colorfly C3, Hifiman HM650, Fiio M3) that users complaint on manufacturers of abandoned care despite unfixed bugs.
To me, these DAPs already satisfied my (their) basic requirements and I have no issues with the manufacturers.
Anyway, to avoid buyer's remorse or getting disappointment, best is always to read up plenty of reviews (to know it's pros and cons) so that you know what to expect when settling for a product.


gotta admit i did impulse buy it based on the sound, I also expected for 600 aussie dollars all claimed features would be working my laptop is a 2 and half thousand dollar machine that has more ports u can poke a stick at pretty much compatible with anything unless you are an ak jnr
 
May 7, 2017 at 4:36 PM Post #3,118 of 3,287

nzouF

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Would you recommend the AK Jr as an upgrade from a Sony nwz-a15 ? Or should i aim for something else ?
I'm looking for a dap who can read dsd files. (being able to read cue files would be a big plus)
 
May 8, 2017 at 12:32 AM Post #3,119 of 3,287

Necron99

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Would you recommend the AK Jr as an upgrade from a Sony nwz-a15 ? Or should i aim for something else ?
I'm looking for a dap who can read dsd files. (being able to read cue files would be a big plus)
Based on the overall reviews from users, concerning both products, look elsewhere. Both disappoint in their own ways. UNLESS you score them dirt cheap and are aware of what you're getting into.
 

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