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Astell&Kern Launches Four New Products at High End 2019 Munich

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  1. JasonNYC
    • Two new players – the A&ultima SP2000 & KANN CUBE featuring the latest high-performance DACs
    • The SP2000 is Astell&Kern’s first player to support 32bit/768kHz high resolution PCM and DSD512 native, bit to bit playback
    • SP1000 AMP provides more power output and improves playback time when combined with the SP1000 portable player
    • New AK T9iE In-Ear Monitor by partner Beyerdynamic features an acoustic vent port with filter

    Astell&Kern, a global leader in portable high-resolution audio products, will unveil four new products, including two new portable players, an amplifier and In-Ear Monitors at High End 2019 in Munich, Germany on May 9, 2019. These four new products are targeted at high-end audio/headphone enthusiasts and feature improved performance compared to existing models.

    A&ultima SP2000
    The SP2000 is the latest portable player from the Astell&Kern A&ultima line that integrates the latest flagship Asahi Kasei DACs, the AKM AK4499EQ. The SP2000 features two AK4499EQ DACs, arranged in a dual-mono configuration to provide a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The SP2000 is the first Astell&Kern player to use separate, independent audio channels between the Unbalanced and Balanced outputs. This design offers much more power than ever before, with 6Vrms for Balanced output and 3Vrms for Unbalanced output and offers the ultimate audio experience as Astell&Kern’s newest flagship player.

    The SP2000 supports up to 32-bit/768KHz bit-to-bit playback of high resolution PCM audio and native playback of DSD up to DSD512. It also features an Octa-Core CPU, a 5-inch touchscreen, 512GB of internal memory (double of previous Astell&Kern players), MQA support (pending final testing and certification) and dual-band Wi-Fi with a stereo antenna, for improved network performance when streaming music. The A&ultima SP2000 will be available in Stainless Steel and Copper bodies with a unique crown pattern volume/power wheel.

    NativeDSD Music specially produced the "NativeDSD Presents: 5 Tracks in DSD 512" sampler to demo on the SP2000 at High End Munich. NativeDSD.com provides listeners a top-quality resource for DSD, DXD and Analog-to-DSD Music in Stereo & Multichannel channel configurations, directly from record labels and engineers making these recordings. They share Astell&Kern’s goal of getting you as close to the actual performance as possible.

    The A&ultima SP2000 will be available in July 2019 for $3,500.

    The KANN CUBE is the next generation player in the Astell&Kern KANN Performance series of portable high-resolution audio players. The KANN series of portable high-resolution audio players is equipped with a more powerful, built-in headphone amplifier, which provides high power output that allows KANN players to drive any headphone without the need for a separate amplifier. Although KANN CUBE has a much higher power output than previous Astell&Kern models, the player features a new amplifier design that produces a low noise floor, delivering the best sound close to the original studio sound, without distortion.

    KANN CUBE features two (2) 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs in a dual-mono configuration, providing a wider soundstage and better stereo separation. The ES9038PRO, which is used in high end studio and home pro audio equipment, delivers the ultimate in spaciousness and massive sound scale. The new 5-pin Mini XLR also makes it easy to connect to a home Hi-Fi audio amplifier. KANN CUBE features a Quad-Core CPU, 128GB internal memory, 7,400mA battery capacity for about 9 hours of music playback and support for MQA (pending final testing and certification). KANN CUBE will be available in June 2019 for $1,500

    SP1000 AMP
    A new amplifier module for the SP1000 will also debut at the High End 2019 Show. The Astell&Kern SP1000 AMP delivers high gain balanced 10 Vrms and unbalanced 6.2 Vrms output, providing more power to drive more power-hungry headphones. The SP1000 AMP docks with the SP1000 player to provide a one-piece, seamless device for charging and volume control, unlike using a separate amplifier which requires additional cables and controls. Equipped with a 3,700mA battery, the SP1000 AMP supports continuous music playback of up to 9 hours. The SP1000 AMP will retail for $800 and will be available in June 2019.

    AKT9iE IEM
    Astell&Kern expands the partnership with Beyerdynamic with the release of the new Astell&Kern AKT9iE, a high-end IEM and update to the highly successful AKT8iE. The AKT9iE is optimized for use with Astell&Kern Digital Audio Players (DAP). The AKT9iE features a newly designed acoustic vent port and filter that are used to complement the bass and deliver much smoother musical highs. A pure silver and OCC hybrid cable with low electrical resistivity, combines dynamics and clarity for a smooth and comfortable sound. The AKT9iE is available in July 2019 for $1,100.
    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
    szore, TYATYA, alota and 3 others like this.
  2. kdbur
    AK really should be offering a BT receiver in these new DAP's. For this kind of money it should be standard by now. Sony can do it with their flagship DAP, so why not AK?

    A BT receiver function is hugely useful sometimes.
  3. joshuachew
    Still no 4.4?
    Not sure what AK is trying to prove by not wanting to adopt a tried, tested and proven Balanced Architecture.
    Structurally durable. Dimensionally compact. Plugs easily available to cable makers and other big audio houses have started to already adopt Pentacon as their balanced jack standard (think Sennheiser)
    But no, we prefer to meme you with our balanced plug option - just cause we won't lose face by adopting the Pentacon
    praetor47, Currawong, KS80 and 5 others like this.
  4. Edric Li
    IMO the AMP is the perfect opportunity to introduce 4.4 to your user base, and you misses it.
  5. Whitigir
    Amazing! Already hopping on AK4499EQ ! Wooooo
  6. jwbrent
    I’ve never had any trouble with the 2.5mm connector on my AK240SS in regards to durability/connectivity.

    The SP2000 looks very nice to me. I hope AK releases an M version in stainless since I prefer smaller sized daps.
    329161 and bidn like this.
  7. joshuachew
    The issue is also usability with other equipment. Like for example the Woo Audio amps are now using Pentacon. If you want to use the WA11 with the balanced out configurations, you can't. Unless you use an adapter etc. And more and more equipment in the future, will be using Pentacon. Because it simply works.
    praetor47 and Redcarmoose like this.
  8. Zhanming057
    You can always build a cable specifically for the sp1000 - WA11 link. I did this and am pretty happy with the result.

    AK should keep the 2.5mm jack - lots of old AK customers have 2.5mm trrs cables, and it's good to be able to keep using them without having to run an adapter straight out of the DAP.
    bidn and raypin like this.
  9. maira
    With this kind of argumention you ll never change anything... .
    praetor47, John2e, KS80 and 2 others like this.
  10. Zhanming057
    Why change if there's nothing wrong with the 2.5mm jack?
  11. Schwibbles
    They could have a 4.4mm and a 2.5mm jack. There's no reason you can have one and not the other unless it's a size issue.
  12. ledzep
    Just when I thought I'd be able to add something extra to my retirement pot.
    Should have never bought that 120 titan !
    leaky74 likes this.
  13. jwbrent
    AK set the standard by employing 2.5mm for balanced connection on daps. Might also have something to do with the small internal room on its first daps, and the 240 series. Perhaps it still is an issue with the now larger chassis designs like the SP1000/2000.

    Good quality adapter cables are available; I just ordered the new FiiO BL35 so I can use my balanced cable with a 3.5mm TRS jack. FiiO also has a 4.4mm adapter as well in this new series. They are made by Oyaide from Japan and look nicely built.

    Woo using the 4.4mm on its WA11 does not mean a sea change, it’s just their choice for a larger chassis size designed DAC/amp.

    If one looks at the long history of Sony using proprietary connectors on its products, many never went mainstream. I’m not convinced the 4.4mm will either.
    bidn, kel77, raypin and 4 others like this.
  14. jwbrent
    I wish I got one of those, too.
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