Astell&Kern Launches KANN ALPHA Digital Audio Player
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dhc0329

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About the size of LPGT and has 4.4mm and GUI best in market? Best of all, affordable device from AK at last!
How's the sound? $1K isn't that exactly cheap still BUT by today's ridiculous standard, the dap's dirt cheap.
Unless I hear sound's horrible, I will probably pick this up and try.
 
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I am seriously thinking about this unit.Where does Kann place in the AK line up? We have Astell and Norma. Astell and Futura.....
and will you release a AK 35 or something in that series sometime soon?
My first step into the "big league" was a AK 120ii that I still have and use regularly so I am a huge fan and a loyal customer-----

I want to buy a newer model but with all the newer ones coming out so fast I do not want to have buyers remorse---
Going by specs alone the Alpha seems to be above the original Kann, on par with the Cube but a bit more portable and minus the versatility.
 
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kann.jpg

Quick listening compared to my trusty DX228 yesterday at TAA Taipei (don't ask me for detailed impressions, I don't have any).

SOUND
More warm then airy.
Most notable part for me was the BIG bottom end. Electronic music / hip-hop sounded awesome.
Soundstage not very big, significantly smaller than DX228.
Nothing noticeably bad, nothing noticeably amazing. Enjoyable, smooth listen overall.

OTHER
FW needs some work it seems. Was quite laggy / jittery. Screen wasn't responding at times. I assume it was some alpha build.
Build quality: not sure why exactly, but build quality just didn't feel quite up to the same level as other AKs. (note, I've owned/own AK70, SR15, SE100 and tried all of them at some point). It's lighter than you expect for starters and it all kind of feels... hollow.
 
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kann.jpg

Quick listening compared to my trusty DX228 yesterday at TAA Taipei (don't ask me for detailed impressions, I don't have any).

SOUND
More warm then airy.
Most notable part for me was the BIG bottom end. Electronic music / hip-hop sounded awesome.
Soundstage not very big, significantly smaller than DX228.
Nothing noticeably bad, nothing noticeably amazing. Enjoyable, smooth listen overall.

OTHER
FW needs some work it seems. Was quite laggy / jittery. Screen wasn't responding at times. I assume it was some alpha build.
Build quality: not sure why exactly, but build quality just didn't feel quite up to the same level as other AKs. (note, I've owned/own AK70, SR15, SE100 and tried all of them at some point). It's lighter than you expect for starters and it all kind of feels... hollow.
Excellent! It will offer some variety for those who are already have the SP1000 and SP2000 which uses the AKM DAC chip and therefore that a wide but thin soundstage. Good contrast to have an AK with a more organic and relaxed sonic signature with deeper soundstage. :)
 
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I wonder what kind of sound can we expect from the Dual ESS Sabre ES9068AS DACs? Any1 here with experience can chip in?
 
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DAPpower

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I wonder what kind of sound can we expect from the Dual ESS Sabre ES9068AS DACs? Any1 here with experience can chip in?
My understanding is that ESS chips tend to have a warmer and more relaxed tuning. This is also true with that LG phone audiophiles hold in high regard as well.
 
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My understanding is that ESS chips tend to have a warmer and more relaxed tuning. This is also true with that LG phone audiophiles hold in high regard as well.
Thanks Bruh, I wonder should I pull the trigger or wait for SP3K, tough decision(currently using SP2KCU)
 
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Thanks Bruh, I wonder should I pull the trigger or wait for SP3K, tough decision(currently using SP2KCU)
One things is for sure, the SP3000 will be very expensive.
I had the SP2000 and recently just sold it.
It's a very great sounding player, very full and thick sounding tuning but I need something a bit smaller and more portable.
 
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Kiats

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Thanks Bruh, I wonder should I pull the trigger or wait for SP3K, tough decision(currently using SP2KCU)
At the end of the day, it really depends on what you will use the Kann Alpha for? It will always be a different signature from the AK flagships which use AKM chips. Further, unless the SP3K comes out with 4.4mm balanced output, there's that too. Finally, while I do love my SP2Kcu and SP1Kcu, I suspect that the Kann Alpha will be more portable and great for when you travel or are out and about. So, different use cases, I think. :)

For me, it will be an option. Complementary rather than a replacement. :)
 
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At the end of the day, it really depends on what you will use the Kann Alpha for? It will always be a different signature from the AK flagships which use AKM chips. Further, unless the SP3K comes out with 4.4mm balanced output, there's that too. Finally, while I do love my SP2Kcu and SP1Kcu, I suspect that the Kann Alpha will be more portable and great for when you travel or are out and about. So, different use cases, I think. :)

For me, it will be an option. Complementary rather than a replacement. :)
Thanks Bruh for the advice, do you reckon the SP3K will come with 4.4mm balanced output too? If you ask me that's not the most important, as much as many had mention before the 2.5mm balanced is much more fragile etc., my SP1K & SP2K 2.5mm balanced is holding up quite well and I am very happy with that
 
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One things is for sure, the SP3000 will be very expensive.
I had the SP2000 and recently just sold it.
It's a very great sounding player, very full and thick sounding tuning but I need something a bit smaller and more portable.
Yea, I guess so, the best option for me now is to skip Kann Alpha and start saving money to buy SP3K
 
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DAPpower

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Thanks Bruh for the advice, do you reckon the SP3K will come with 4.4mm balanced output too? If you ask me that's not the most important, as much as many had mention before the 2.5mm balanced is much more fragile etc., my SP1K & SP2K 2.5mm balanced is holding up quite well and I am very happy with that
The problem with Astell& Kern's 2.5mm socket is that it is a bit loose in the socket, there is no firm insert unlike the 2.5mm sockets on Fiio DAPs. The looser insert can have more wiggling and movement when plugged in and more susceptible to damage.

But maybe the sockets are like that on AK players because it has something to do with their construction regarding the noiseless feature. AK players are really quiet when it comes to any background noise.
 
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