Astell&Kern new flagship A&Ultima SP2000
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aaf evo

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Thanks, that actually sounds pretty good. I had the Gorilla Glass for my AK380 CU and I liked it a lot as it is real glass. But if you are going to get this please let me know how it is. I always worry plastic will get dull over time.
I’m going to bite the bullet as i find the provided protectors are of poor quality also, I’m just worried the back one may make the Dignis case fit weird. Ill report back.
 
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twister6

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LP6Ti @ 32 Ohm output 800 MW (as published)
SP2K @ 36 Ohm output 1W (based on 6vrms)

How is LP6Ti is more suited for full size power hungry headphones. By the above comparison both based on balance output, SP2K actually has more driving power. In terms of portable output power, one one comes close to AK Khan Cube with 2x the power of the SP2K.
I don't want to drag this off-topic, but A&K stated 6Vrms balanced output is listed under condition without load, while LP6Ti is based on measurements with a full load. Plus, for some headphones, it's not just the output voltage but also the current. But anyway. As it was mentioned above, numbers are numbers and they won't replace the first hand listening experience (just like you need to analyze IEMs with your ears, not your eyes looking at FR measurements from different people) :wink:

I'm not pretending to know everything about sound science and all the numbers behind it, but I can tell you with certainty that, for example, pair up of Empyrean is more enjoyable with SP2000 SS than it is with SP1000 SS. Playing Counting Crows "Big yellow taxi", I hear a more 3D holographic soundstage expansion and more transparent sound with a noticeably better layering and separation of instruments with SP2k vs SPK from a balanced output. Could it be due to 6Vrms vs 4Vrms (per A&K unloaded spec) or AK4499 vs AK4497? I can't tell and don't want to speculate. But to my ears in this specific example SP2k pair up synergy is better! :D
 
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audionewbi

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Based on the spec, LP6Ti is suited more for full size power hungry headphones (balanced output is 800mW with higher 4.4 ohm output impedance), and its single ended output is 1/4" (it doesn't even have 3.5mm headphone output). Thus, it won't be a fair comparison between SP2000 and LP6ti where tested with IEMs the former one might perform better and tested with full size cans the latter one will have the advantage. Not to mention that LP6Ti rumored to be priced around $6k.

Ti has 3.5mm and 1/4 inch and 4.4mm. Upon ordering, since it is custom made, the manufacturer ask you the power requirements whether you want to tune it for headphones or IEM. This is only for Ti version not the gold.

Still insanely expensive, and tbh the LP6 Gold sounded better to my ears.
 
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F208Frank

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Wow, the Dignis case from Korea came today and it is designed much much better than the stock SP2000 case. Thank you for the solid recommendation.

I like how you can slide the device in sideways with ease since there is a left flap you can open, I also like how on that same left flap once closed when hitting the 3 left side buttons on the SP2000, you hear the clicking of the buttons feedback.

I dislike how on the stock case you have to shove the SP2000 down the case so forcefully.
And of course the main reason for buying this Dignis case is because it does not expose much of the DAP. The stock case exposes the top right side of the device as well as the top and I HATED that.
 
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mt-hifidelity

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SS more accurate, technical, fast, and airy. Copper version is warmer, funner, and less detailed. I feel the u18t specifically shines with its detail retrieval so opted for the SS version for myself.

Also for my case I am eyeing the aftermarket copper cables, which generally add warmth so I did not want a warmer DAP along with the warmer cables. Currently eyeing the pw1950s and pw1960s.

Everyone is different though, preference call at the end of the day. I enjoyed my music more with the copper version but since I have OCD, knowingly noticing certain details missing or less prominent bothers me to a point where the copper version being not as fun for me. Hope that makes sense. I would assume most people lean towards the copper version as this thread has proven. (Past posts of peoples' preferences)
SS more accurate, technical, fast, and airy. Copper version is warmer, funner, and less detailed. I feel the u18t specifically shines with its detail retrieval so opted for the SS version for myself.

Also for my case I am eyeing the aftermarket copper cables, which generally add warmth so I did not want a warmer DAP along with the warmer cables. Currently eyeing the pw1950s and pw1960s.

Everyone is different though, preference call at the end of the day. I enjoyed my music more with the copper version but since I have OCD, knowingly noticing certain details missing or less prominent bothers me to a point where the copper version being not as fun for me. Hope that makes sense. I would assume most people lean towards the copper version as this thread has proven. (Past posts of peoples' preferences)

I loved my SP1000cu but recently took the plunge and ordered the SS version of the SP2000. Do you think the copper version of the SP2000 has more bass quantity? What makes you say that you enjoyed your music more with the SP2000cu than the SS version? After reading your review here, I also felt that I'd be paranoid that I'm missing out on resolution/detail, which is why I went with the SS version. But now I'm wondering what I'll may be missing out on from the SP2000cu. So hard to choose!
 
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jscmd2000

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Haha, you need both!

I can definitely attest to the fact that the Stellias are currently one of the best, if not the best closed hp! Not sure why I have this ongoing infatuation with closed cans, but I know there is a few out there. And they sound absolutely heavenly with sp2k cu where slightly sibilant tendency of beryllium driver go really well with the warmth of cu version. I am pretty picky but this is really really good. They don't sound thick or rich like the planars but the resolution is almost second to none and overall balance and coherence... first rate.

Be careful there... once I mentioned how a particular gear is better over another since it is more 3d and holographic. I was corrected that some people don't like that. Too dizzy maybe. Some people like it kind of like a peaceful painting not crazy with stuff sticking out. Take you eye out.
 
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noplsestar

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Haha, you need both!

I can definitely attest to the fact that the Stellias are currently one of the best, if not the best closed hp! Not sure why I have this ongoing infatuation with closed cans, but I know there is a few out there. And they sound absolutely heavenly with sp2k cu where slightly sibilant tendency of beryllium driver go really well with the warmth of cu version. I am pretty picky but this is really really good. They don't sound thick or rich like the planars but the resolution is almost second to none and overall balance and coherence... first rate.

Be careful there... once I mentioned how a particular gear is better over another since it is more 3d and holographic. I was corrected that some people don't like that. Too dizzy maybe. Some people like it kind of like a peaceful painting not crazy with stuff sticking out. Take you eye out.
Have also heard the Stellia with the Sp2kSS version?
 
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F208Frank

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I loved my SP1000cu but recently took the plunge and ordered the SS version of the SP2000. Do you think the copper version of the SP2000 has more bass quantity? What makes you say that you enjoyed your music more with the SP2000cu than the SS version? After reading your review here, I also felt that I'd be paranoid that I'm missing out on resolution/detail, which is why I went with the SS version. But now I'm wondering what I'll may be missing out on from the SP2000cu. So hard to choose!
The bass is a little fuller on the copper version and overall the signature is warmer, if you hate losing out on details SS definitely the way to go. If anything use a cable to do a minor tweak if needed but SS all the way for details.

You will always wonder if you just read reviews, go test yourself. But from my experience testing them back to back, in the end the details were more important to me than the warmer sound sig.

I mean if you already read my review and went with SS and always still wondering what the copper version sounds like. You are just torturing yourself. Either trust my review and leave it at that or be your own judge and listen yourself. Don't do half and half and put yourself in pain.
 
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The bass is a little fuller on the copper version and overall the signature is warmer, if you hate losing out on details SS definitely the way to go. If anything use a cable to do a minor tweak if needed but SS all the way for details.

You will always wonder if you just read reviews, go test yourself. But from my experience testing them back to back, in the end the details were more important to me than the warmer sound sig.

I mean if you already read my review and went with SS and always still wondering what the copper version sounds like. You are just torturing yourself. Either trust my review and leave it at that or be your own judge and listen yourself. Don't do half and half and put yourself in pain.
Very true, @F208Frank. I will eventually do some back to back tests between the two versions, but I'll also remember to take a breath and enjoy what I have. There's always going to something else out there and its too easy to dwell on that.
 
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To my ears with my trinity ss, the SP2000 cu is the best, compared to the SP1000 ss + Amp SS.
 
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Looks like AK has reduced the price of the SP1000 to $2,999 now.
 
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I just like more the sound quality ! musically I realize that the cu is better to my ears!
 
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Have also heard the Stellia with the Sp2kSS version?
Sorry, no. I have not heard the ss version with Stellia.

If you listen to the cu and ss versions of the sp2k side by side, I think most people will be able to tell a slight difference, but... If you have any one of the two and get accustomed to the sound signature, I think most people will enjoy what they have pretty much equally. Cu-warm and musical vs. ss-detail and analytical? Maybe, but the difference is probably less than 5% and certainly not enough to agonize over. If you are torn, pick the color you like. You can't go wrong.
 
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My thoughts on this whole CU vs SS is that one must know your own sound preference and one must be experienced with different daps. I purchased both the Cu and the SS so I was able to compare both units side by side. Originally I liked the SS sound when I was at Can Jam, but after I have both units with me for a week and did a blind test, I then thought the Cu is slightly warmer, funnier, and the sound is slightly bigger. However, as I became more familiar with the sound of both units, I know I want the SS for its tighter, cleaner, and higher resolution. I already have the Sony WM1Z which is a very warm and organic sound, and I don’t want another dap in the warmer camp. The SS is a totally different sound for me.
 
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