Astell&Kern Launches KANN ALPHA Digital Audio Player
Dec 28, 2020 at 1:12 PM Post #796 of 1,243

newworld666

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there is an "advanced" function where you can find 20 bands:
  1. 30hz
  2. 45hz
  3. 60hz
  4. 90hz
  5. 120hz
  6. 180hz
  7. 250hz
  8. 380hz
  9. 500hz
  10. 750hz
  11. 1khz
  12. 1.5khz
  13. 2khz
  14. 3khz
  15. 4khz
  16. 6khz
  17. 8khz
  18. 12khz
  19. 14khz
  20. 18khz

For each of them you an adjust gain dB and Q curve

Q is far too limited range to be useful
Db is also limited to +/- 5Db ..
Why fixed band ? even 20 is not accurate ..
even without taking care of these bands issue => 80% of these adjustments can't be done with Kann Alpha (DB and Q range far too restricted) though it can be done with almost any android DAP or smartphone (UAPP/Neuron) and even with Qdelix 5K dongle (through LDAC 990kpbs 24/96).
1609179078781.png
 
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Dec 29, 2020 at 5:30 AM Post #797 of 1,243

newworld666

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Some more feedback ...

1) I could find a way to format my 1Tb micro SD and being partially able to use it (on a Windows Workstation + 4 hours synchronizing 10220 hires files) .. Though randomly it's telling files are not in a correct format (When it happens, I have to restart to fix it, and it's working again for a while)
It's quite annoying and a bit frustrating, but at least usable.

The good news is that with this SD format I can choose the SD card to download my playlists from Qobuz (at least with a smaller SD card it will work fine with a IER-Z1R for travels). I was not thinking to use it for travels, but seems to be possible to do.

2) It's a surprise but, with my tiny USB-C micro SD reader, I can access to 1 more Tb with 8800 hires Files, it makes 2 Tb files and more than 20 000 files for travel.

3) Bluetooth is perfectly working with Qudelix 5K with LDAC@990kbps (Fiio M11 is limited to 660Kbps), and my Android BT Remote Control working fine too.

4) I tried again AK connect to pilot the Kann Alpha trough DLNA with mconnect with an iphone Xsmax and a Galaxy Z Fold 2 .. And today I waited a much longer time, now I can see the Kann Alpha as a Dlna render in the list... which is very good news as I intend to use the Alpha Kann as a standalone DAP via the Spdif/Toslink connection to myM500/THX887 (unfortunately, the EQ has no effect via Spdif/Toslink).

Unfortunately the Spdif/Toslink output doesn't pass trough DSD format and converts them. It's not a big deal, but the Fiio M11 can pass through any DSD64 trough spdif or even make all to DSD 64 with any file format.

Otherwise, I really like the AK Connect, though it's a bit annoying to select between "My Device" and the "Upnp NAS" every time. Qobuz also is not at the same menu level. So it's not really easy to switch between Upnp NAS, SD Card, Qobuz.

5) I don't know what is the real output power of the Kann Alpha, but probably more or less 1W/1.4W at 42 Ohms and not 3.4W as intended.. (activating the EQ is lowering significantly the output power) => It's not a big deal too in my case, but it can be for other high demanding headphones.

As I am using it for only 1 day and a half, I am not sure the sound of the Kann Alpha is representative of its real qualities.
But actually, the output power already makes the job comparing to my actual Fiio M11+ Xduoo XD-05plus ...
So for less than €1000 => it looks like a good way for power demanding headphones.

I have still to test the A&K CD ripper and reader.. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that it can find on Internet the artists and track names automatically before ripping.
 
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Dec 29, 2020 at 6:50 AM Post #798 of 1,243

WyattEarp

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Some more feedback ...

1) I could find a way to format my 1Tb micro SD and being partially able to use it (on a Windows Workstation + 4 hours synchronizing 10220 hires files) .. Though randomly it's telling files are not in a correct format (When it happens, I have to restart to fix it, and it's working again for a while)
It's quite annoying and a bit frustrating, but at least usable.

The good news is that with this SD format I can choose the SD card to download my playlists from Qobuz (at least with a smaller SD card it will work fine with a IER-Z1R for travels). I was not thinking to use it for travels, but seems to be possible to do.

2) It's a surprise but, with my tiny USB-C micro SD reader, I can access to 1 more Tb with 8800 hires Files, it makes 2 Tb files and more than 20 000 files for travel.

3) Bluetooth is perfectly working with Qudelix 5K with LDAC@990kbps (Fiio M11 is limited to 660Kbps), and my Android BT Remote Control working fine too.

4) I tried again AK connect to pilot the Kann Alpha trough DLNA with mconnect with an iphone Xsmax and a Galaxy Z Fold 2 .. And today I waited a much longer time, now I can see the Kann Alpha as a Dlna render in the list... which is very good news as I intend to use the Alpha Kann as a standalone DAP via the Spdif/Toslink connection to myM500/THX887 (unfortunately, the EQ has no effect via Spdif/Toslink).

Unfortunately the Spdif/Toslink output doesn't pass trough DSD format and converts them. It's not a big deal, but the Fiio M11 can pass through any DSD64 trough spdif or even make all to DSD 64 with any file format.

Otherwise, I really like the AK Connect, though it's a bit annoying to select between "My Device" and the "Upnp NAS" every time. Qobuz also is not at the same menu level. So it's not really easy to switch between Upnp NAS, SD Card, Qobuz.

5) I don't know what is the real output power of the Kann Alpha, but probably more or less 1W/1.4W at 42 Ohms and not 3.4W as intended.. (activating the EQ is lowering significantly the output power) => It's not a big deal too in my case, but it can be for other high demanding headphones.

As I am using it for only 1 day and a half, I am not sure the sound of the Kann Alpha is representative of its real qualities.
But actually, the output power already makes the job comparing to my actual Fiio M11+ Xduoo XD-05plus ...
So for less than €1000 => it looks like a good way for power demanding headphones.

I have still to test the A&K CD ripper and reader.. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that it can find on Internet the artists and track names automatically before ripping.
Use the Alpha to format the card which makes it FAT32. Once done you may also have to change how the naming of the files are done. It may also be the that the card itself just isnt working well with the Alpha.
 
Dec 29, 2020 at 7:59 AM Post #799 of 1,243

newworld666

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I got several times a format error when I tried to format with the Alpha itself...

It can be the card which is one of the first 1Tb available on the market 2 or 3 years ago.

It can be also some very long Tags for classical music with a lot of artists described ? or some Japanese/Chinese characters used for some files ?
If it was not so long to transfer all files again, I would give a try to Fat32 instead extFat.
 
Dec 29, 2020 at 9:59 PM Post #800 of 1,243

pkcpga

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Tested the Ak alpha today and paired it with the Z1r as to test the 4.4mm. Yes the 4.4mm is now better than than the 2.5mm as tested both connection and that was using high gain. Had my m15 with me as to compare. Bass with the m15 is deeper and seem to pair better with the Z1r. Tested the 2.5mm with ej07 and still prefer the m15. The machine is smaller than the m15 but thicker. Price is definitely good. I then went back to the sp2000 copper and felt that I missed that baby. Anyway I am waiting for the sp3k (I guess copper). Worth a try and for those in HK, ECT has it.

check my video for directions on where ECT is on arionsreview

Do you use tidal on the m15? Wanted to know if the m15 can have the full access tidal app like A&K. So I can download playlists to play offline on the app in mqa or master quality. If it does, does the m15 play the mqa in full 8 fold? One reviewer stated it only unfolds 2 times and will only play mqa while connected to WiFi. I’m really loving the specs of the m15 for use with my over ears while traveling but with A&K kann alpha st least I know my tidal app will work with full mqa and offline even if it’s not nearly as nice of a dac inside. I currently use the A&K sa700 which I really like for iems. Thanks
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 3:54 AM Post #801 of 1,243

vicens bosch

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Good morning, I am having many problems with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, the Wi-Fi is very unstable and I suffer many stops streaming with Qobuz and Tidal, I have restarted the dap and I have changed the Wi-Fi channel of my router for a less congesting one but it continues Likewise, today I tested the Wi-Fi connection with my nad m10 and it has been a disaster, I do not know if it is my defective unit, someone with the same problem.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 4:07 AM Post #803 of 1,243

HarlanDraka

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Good morning, I am having many problems with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, the Wi-Fi is very unstable and I suffer many stops streaming with Qobuz and Tidal, I have restarted the dap and I have changed the Wi-Fi channel of my router for a less congesting one but it continues Likewise, today I tested the Wi-Fi connection with my nad m10 and it has been a disaster, I do not know if it is my defective unit, someone with the same problem.

After last firmware update the streaming stops after a while and it’s necessary to switch on the screen and press play to continue. I experienced the same when streaming from both Apple music and Qobuz. It may be a more aggressive energy saving setting in last update as it was fine before. It hopefully will be fixed in next update.
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 4:17 AM Post #804 of 1,243

vicens bosch

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After last firmware update the streaming stops after a while and it’s necessary to switch on the screen and press play to continue. I experienced the same when streaming from both Apple music and Qobuz. It may be a more aggressive energy saving setting in last update as it was fine before. It hopefully will be fixed in next update.

It could be, when I buy it I updated it and did not try it with the previous one, if it is not annoying you can test the connection by bluethoot to see if it works correctly
 
Dec 30, 2020 at 5:57 AM Post #808 of 1,243

newworld666

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After 20 minutes .. I had to push play button as Qobuz stopped. It's only two days I am using it and trying various uses, so maybe it didn't have a time to go in Sleep mode.
I tried to rip a CD with A&K CD ripper and it could do it (more than 40 minutes en normal mode) without going in sleep mode.

I didn't try the Kann Alpha as BT receiver yet, but as a BT transmitter with my Qudelix 5K and Xelento IEM (I just tried more than 10 meters away in open air and even in a bathroom with closed door) it seems to be working fine in both case.
 
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Jan 1, 2021 at 12:45 PM Post #809 of 1,243

XP_98

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A little - maybe stupid - question : if I want to connect the Kann Alpha to my desktop DAC (Chord TT2), can I send data from Kann with the USB port ? Means using the Kann as a simple transport via USB...
I red only about USB can be used as external DAC, but I want to do the opposite (of course, not the main use :wink: ).
Thank you for feedback about it.
 
Jan 1, 2021 at 2:25 PM Post #810 of 1,243

newworld666

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Yes !!! by two ways, either a Toslink cable or an OTG USB-C to USB-C Cable ..
I just tried for test purpose with an Xduoo XD-05+ as external DAC+AMP (2xUSB-C OTG connection) and as a standalone system with a SMSL M500 DAC + Monolith THX887 via an Optical Toslink cable (2m long)

But, unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to use the Kann Alpha as a BT5.0 DAC receiver which is really a shame in 2021.
 
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