Astell&Kern Launches KANN ALPHA Digital Audio Player
Jan 21, 2021 at 11:50 PM Post #931 of 1,264

PortableMusic

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Yes I'm using the preloaded Tidal App, I was playing MQA tracks.

i had the same issue with my Kann Alpha when using the preloaded Tidal app. a 3-minute song would play, for example, until around 2 minutes 15 seconds, and then abruptly stop and move on to the next song. very disruptive.

i then loaded the full Tidal app and it's been working fine. i wonder if there's some incompatibility between the preloaded, non-full fledged Tidal app and the Tidal streaming? Who knows?

why don't you try to load the full Tidal app and see if it works as well for you as it has for me?
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 3:54 AM Post #933 of 1,264

sabatar

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A&K won't allow the owner of their DAPs to alter the sound of AK. Even the YouTube Music app (they call it V-Link) in its services section (along with Deezer and Tidal) is stripped from the EQ you get on the web as part of the YT Music app.
I have come to accept this because the sound of AK is insanely good with HiFi IEMs/HPs.
As you can see, I have been an avid listener of DAPs for so many years. I consent to the limited EQing scope on AK DAPs because now I use Solaris 2020 and IER Z1R with my Alpha and SE200. I'm a very happy camper.
 

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Jan 23, 2021 at 11:06 AM Post #934 of 1,264

Onik

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A&K won't allow the owner of their DAPs to alter the sound of AK. Even the YouTube Music app (they call it V-Link) in its services section (along with Deezer and Tidal) is stripped from the EQ you get on the web as part of the YT Music app.
I have come to accept this because the sound of AK is insanely good with HiFi IEMs/HPs.
As you can see, I have been an avid listener of DAPs for so many years. I consent to the limited EQing scope on AK DAPs because now I use Solaris 2020 and IER Z1R with my Alpha and SE200. I'm a very happy camper.

Like for the colourfly C4, still have it modded with audionote caps 🤗
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 12:03 PM Post #936 of 1,264

sabatar

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How do you load full Tidal app? Can you stream mqa stuff with it? and is tidal the best streaming service for high quality music files?
On the main menu you get "services". Click on it and there you go. No need to download the app. It's there. That is an awesome bonus because in my country i can't download it and i tried a vpn it and it still won't download.
The sound quality is day and night different from spotify premium.
 

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Jan 23, 2021 at 1:09 PM Post #937 of 1,264

newworld666

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How do you load full Tidal app? Can you stream mqa stuff with it? and is tidal the best streaming service for high quality music files?

Regarding sound quality, I would say it's almost No !!! MQA used by Tidal is a compact lossy codec mainly interesting for low speed internet..
Qobuz streaming a totally lossless format with real flac Hires files downloadable.
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 1:43 PM Post #938 of 1,264

blotmouse

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Regarding sound quality, I would say it's almost No !!! MQA used by Tidal is a compact lossy codec mainly interesting for low speed internet..
Qobuz streaming a totally lossless format with real flac Hires files downloadable.
All file formats are effectively lossy. Stop repeating nonsense.This is a never ending echo chamber. For everyone that says one thing, someone else says another. Listen for yourself and decide what platform you'll argue is better.
https://www.whathifi.com/us/qobuz/review
 
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Jan 23, 2021 at 6:58 PM Post #939 of 1,264

PortableMusic

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All file formats are effectively lossy. Stop repeating nonsense.This is a never ending echo chamber. For everyone that says one thing, someone else says another. Listen for yourself and decide what platform you'll argue is better.
https://www.whathifi.com/us/qobuz/review

from the above linked article from whathifi.com:

"... The main sticking point for us at the beginning, despite it also sounding a little less sweet that its Tidal equivalent, was the service’s high price..."
 
Jan 23, 2021 at 8:08 PM Post #940 of 1,264

blotmouse

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from the above linked article from whathifi.com:

"... The main sticking point for us at the beginning, despite it also sounding a little less sweet that its Tidal equivalent, was the service’s high price..."
And the the hi res part.
"But when it comes to hi-res streams, Qobuz is distinctly second best. In our previous review of the Sublime+ tier, we noted “a lack of unity to the sound, compared to the same recordings delivered by Tidal Masters”, and that remains the case." But, it's all context, nuance, your specific gear, and what you value in a service.
 
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Jan 24, 2021 at 3:18 AM Post #941 of 1,264

newworld666

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I used both for an all year at the same time (Tidal and Qobuz) before deciding keeping only Qobuz since end of 2018.
I doubt there is any way to make a serious statistical comparison between two providers.
I prefer to buy a totally lossless album files (Flac) than any MQA as I sometimes buy albums on Qobuz that I really want to keep on SD. I don't need someone to do more EQ after the original mixing just before streaming, as I prefer to do my own EQ for my own headphones or IEM.

Intuitively I wouldn't buy any files in MQA format, I feel it's a nonsense to hope any "improvements" from a flac/wav file being arranged and compressed for streaming purposes and still hoping sound quality will be better than the original flac file.

I also heard for years Apple too claiming 320kbps AAC was really very good even better than sbc or aptx => and for a lot of situations, it's a fact, it can be true !!! but they all "destroy" the original wav or flac files.
And another fact is that any 990Kbps LDAC transmission is at least as good as AAC and often better...

And of course free for every one to find a provider better than the other .. and is free to prefer some compressed cooked files than original Wav or Flac files.. Everybody is right to prefer a way or another.
 
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Jan 24, 2021 at 5:51 AM Post #942 of 1,264

newworld666

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Anyway ... the Alpha Kann .. is almost unusable for streaming due to the 15 minutes wifi drops ... which makes it a real pain to listen and reselect music with every drop if we don't touch the DAP to avoid this.

Actually, I copied most of my personal music files to two 1Tb SD cards and I can use a small USB-C 3.0 micro SD card reader with OTG (on this photo) which makes the Alpha Kann still compatible to be inserted in any of my pockets.
I use the Alpha Kann internal memory to store a hundred Qobuz playlists for offline use (Plane & Tranes) and the 2 active microSD cards of 1Tb each are storing all my DSD and Hires Flacs.

2021-01-24 10-59-21 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg



So, I would say, I am finally free to move and use anywhere in my home my HEDDphone for hours (around 6 to 8 hours with my hires files in High Gain)...
It's the best way, I could find till now !!! the only DAP on the market with12V output with a rather good sound including an operational GEQ and still small enough to fit in any of my pockets.
I am just waiting for a new firmware to fix the wifi drops... as Qobuz and my Synology Upnp server should be, basically, my main sources and not really the 2 micro SD more dedicated for travelling.
 
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Jan 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM Post #943 of 1,264

mikel

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@JasonNYC : Is the 4.4mm balanced output internally grounded?
This is important to know if connecting to external Amp.
Thanks, Michael
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 5:29 PM Post #945 of 1,264

vo_obgyn

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I have an old AK 240 and was wondering if it may be worthwhile to “upgrade” to the Kann Alpha. Would the Alpha sound considerably better than the AK 240, everything else being equal - same earphones, etc. I would be using the Kann Alpha for SD playback and for streaming mainly. I would be using mainly earphones but sometimes some full size cans. Thanks.
 

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