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Astell&Kern new flagship A&Ultima SP2000

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by beaux, May 7, 2019.
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  1. szore
    That's not true at all.
  2. jmills8
    Ha , but no eq sounds good but not great. Wide but not deep. Bass is pretty much the same as in the sp1000. I think the desire for better is clouding reality.
    You looking for a SP2000 to go with your 11Pro ?
  3. KPzypher
    Yeah whatever floats your boat.
  4. Torq
    Unless you were using pretty quiet source material, and are consequently running out of gain, that seems very strange. You don't need even one volt to hit 115 dB with the TH900, and well below 2V for 120 dB ... so none of the A&K players should have any trouble driving those into "instant hearing damage" territory.

    If the SP2000 was twice as powerful as the 1000 (and it isn't), then with both at maximum output, there would only be a 6 dB change in SPL anyway.

    Regardless, for the same headphones, and using test files to ensure levels are being compared directly, so far any given SPL output level from the SP2000 is usefully lower on the volume setting than for the same level (if it can reach it) output on the SP1000M. Which is about what I'd expect given the difference in voltage swing available from the SP2000.

    Not that this says anything about the quality of reproduction, just that the SP2000 has more available grunt than the SP1000M.
    tigros likes this.
  5. jmills8
    Well I have been buying daps since 2007 so its not like I dont know what I heard. I demoed 3 daps plus the dap I brought. I had the SP1000 then SP1000 plus amp , 380 , 320 , 240 , 120 , 100. There were only two customers cause I got to the shop early. Whats interesting I walked in a busy city using my TH900 and a tiny Hifiman R2R dap with no volume issues. The SP2000 with eq on the volume drops big time and my th900 was in balance 2.5. The SP2000 lacks depth and bass punch , its basically wide and shallow sounding. It actually sounded better with no eq but better was shallow , not deep sounding.
  6. Torq
    I'm not saying you don't know what you heard.

    If you had the EQ turned on with the SP2000, then yes the volume drops significantly - since it applies an overall level reduction so that increasing gain on a per-band basis doesn't result in digital clipping. But that's still a gain issue, not a power issue. On the bench, across several headphones, the SP2000 has demonstrably more power than the 1000. Which doesn't mean it'll be enough for everyone, in every situation, but it's definitely more than its predecessor (effectively the same as the SP1000 AMP on it's low-gain setting) - and still 4x what's needed to push a TH900 to 120+ dB.

    The actual volume number is immaterial if you can get to the replay level you want with the amplifier still delivering clean power.

    Anyway, I'm not making any other qualitative statements at the moment, as I've only had the SP2000 in my hands for a couple of days. But its easy to hear, and measure, that it has more clean grunt than the SP1000 and that comes across both in playback levels, and drive authority, particularly for harder to drive loads. But it'll be something that gets compared to my SP1000M and N8, at a minimum, since I own all three and can take my time to do so.

    Three DAPS (1024).jpg
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    tigros and raelamb like this.
  7. jmills8
    I agree it has more power than the SP1000 which I only used iems on it. I tried headphones with the SP2000 cause I was expecting it would do the job.
  8. gazzington
    The n8 is still my bench mark to compare other players to. If it doesn't equal or better it then I'm not interested.
    Torq and jmills8 like this.
  9. dhc0329
    I am an eq man myself but AK should remove the option if they cannot make it functional for users.
  10. kel77
    Sp2000 Kurogane version. Limited to 70 units worldwide.


    aaf evo likes this.
  11. Torq
    If the N8 could do on-device streaming, it'd be the only DAP I needed (feeding it from a phone is a non-starter ... I don't ever want another Android phone, and to feed it from an iPhone needs a pointlessly complex and fiddly array of adapters, cables and external power). Still letting the SP2000 have some play-time before I start doing any real comparisons though. All I know at this point is that it has better drive than the SP1000(M).
  12. Levanter
    The differences btw TOTL DAPs technical abilities are all very very subtle to negligible, you’d see more improvement in upgrading your IEMs instead of DAPs. Though TOTL IEMs technical abilities are also very subtle to negligible, I find them having more differences compared to DAPs.
    tenedosian, Progisus and Torq like this.
  13. Sound Eq
    and how is that supposed to sound differently than the others, hmmmm
  14. noplsestar
    it‘s sounding better. It has to be! :wink:
  15. cheznous
    God no, not until the SP3K anyway.
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