Astell&Kern new flagship A&Ultima SP2000
Oct 3, 2019 at 11:51 PM Post #1,321 of 5,056

aaf evo

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Do you feel the case is of better quality than the stock one? I'm a little annoyed that the stock one reveals some of the sp2000 to potential damage...

Black looks better but I also wonder if the dignis patina case is more protection.

yes in just about every way.
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM Post #1,322 of 5,056

Chianti

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The amp for the SP1K is a whooping 10 Volts. Very good. I am really curious about the above text by Chianti with regard to fullsize headphones. I have the HD800 and the Utopia and I have not even try them out on my SP2k. I am just so satisfied or glued to my SP2K with Erlkonig. Power aside, I find the new Dac AKM4499EQ throw a very textural and lively sound image. Vocal just comes alive. I did try the HD800 at Can Jam and liked the HD800 with SP2K balance. Will try the Utopia and report.

As I said: Listen just to full size headphones on the Sp2k sounds 'ok-ish' at first. Then switching (Focal Utopia, DHC Prion 4 cable balanced - used for Sp2k and desktop) to the Mark Levinson 585 (weight: 72 pounds) fed by Metrum Adagio (weight: 20 pounds) is a different category of sound altogether.

E.g. test track "Talent Show (Matt Walace Mix)" from The Replacements, Dead Man's Pop.
It's the sonic equivalent of racing a bicycle (SP2k) vs. a Bugatti Veyron ...
 
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Oct 4, 2019 at 3:41 AM Post #1,323 of 5,056

cheznous

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As I said: Listen just to full size headphones on the Sp2k sounds 'ok-ish' at first. Then switching (Focal Utopia, DHC Prion 4 cable balanced - used for Sp2k and desktop) to the Mark Levinson 585 (weight: 72 pounds) fed by Metrum Adagio (weight: 20 pounds) is a different category of sound altogether.

E.g. test track "Talent Show (Matt Walace Mix)" from The Replacements, Dead Man's Pop.
It's the sonic equivalent of racing a bicycle (SP2k) vs. a Bugatti Veyron ...
I accept what you say but the beauty of the SP2k and Utopias is I can sit in any room in my house and enjoy. I am not bound to one area.
I do applaud you choice in music though.
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 4:06 AM Post #1,324 of 5,056

noplsestar

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As I said: Listen just to full size headphones on the Sp2k sounds 'ok-ish' at first. Then switching (Focal Utopia, DHC Prion 4 cable balanced - used for Sp2k and desktop) to the Mark Levinson 585 (weight: 72 pounds) fed by Metrum Adagio (weight: 20 pounds) is a different category of sound altogether.

E.g. test track "Talent Show (Matt Walace Mix)" from The Replacements, Dead Man's Pop.
It's the sonic equivalent of racing a bicycle (SP2k) vs. a Bugatti Veyron ...
But why wouldn’t it be a different sound altogether with a full desktop rig? It would be a shame for all home desktop DAC and amp producers, if a tiny DAP would beat it soundquality wise!
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 7:17 AM Post #1,325 of 5,056

ChisChas

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Not even close to a competent desktop system.

Your comment doesn't surprise me, my more loved than your Hugo 2 performs better than my N8 Brass Black but I can't take my Hugo 2 downstairs for breakfast, walk it around the house or take it (easily) on holiday. Since I spend many more hours listening to music in this way than sitting at my desk in my study, I'd rather upgrade my DAP regularly than spend more than a Hugo 2. And maybe a few more A & K fanboys should listen to the N8 to see how that compares to a SP1000 or SP2000?
And some on the Dave & Hugo 2 threads say that a Dave is a fantastic DAC looking for a better amplifier so there's always more money we can spend for that 'ultimate' SQ.

And the cost of the Mark Levinson & Metrum Adagio compared to a SP2000?
 
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Oct 4, 2019 at 12:05 PM Post #1,327 of 5,056

javahut

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As I said: Listen just to full size headphones on the Sp2k sounds 'ok-ish' at first. Then switching (Focal Utopia, DHC Prion 4 cable balanced - used for Sp2k and desktop) to the Mark Levinson 585 (weight: 72 pounds) fed by Metrum Adagio (weight: 20 pounds) is a different category of sound altogether.

Ridiculous comparison. You're comparing $20k of "desktop"/home equipment versus a $3k DAP? If I were you, I'd be quite disappointed if the home system didn't sound better.

Also, Metrum Adagio into Mark Levinson 585 is redundant... also known as overkill. You must have lots of disposable income.
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 12:07 PM Post #1,328 of 5,056

mwhals

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Also, Metrum Adagio into Mark Levinson 585 is redundant... also known as overkill. You must have lots of disposable income.

.... or lots of debt, but that is not what I use.
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 12:21 PM Post #1,329 of 5,056

aaf evo

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@JasonNYC is there anyway you can have your team look into Spotify issues with the hardware buttons when the screen is off? It won’t ever just skip to to the next track, it is usually about 3-5 tracks. Sometimes it’ll get stuck in a skipping loop and there is no way to stop it, just constantly skips songs. Only happens with the SP2000 screen off, I had this same issue back when I had my SP1000M Gold also a few months back. Most recent version of Spotify.

Is there anything A&K can even do about this or would this be purely a Spotify problem? It’s getting super annoying.

Is there anyone else who uses or has access to a spotify account on their sp2000 that can replicate this issue?

Thanks!
 
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Oct 4, 2019 at 12:27 PM Post #1,330 of 5,056

Chianti

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Ridiculous comparison. You're comparing $20k of "desktop"/home equipment versus a $3k DAP? If I were you, I'd be quite disappointed if the home system didn't sound better.

Also, Metrum Adagio into Mark Levinson 585 is redundant... also known as overkill. You must have lots of disposable income.
I don't buy audio equipment because of price, but because of sound. I prefer the DAC in the Adagio over the ML.

My point is that
1. SP2k doesn't drive full size headphones anywhere near their potential
2. This requires a baseline 'how do I know what near their potential sounds like', no?
3. SP2k with IEMs is a good scenario; in most cases the sound is significantly more enjoyable compared to (1.)
4. 'Known good' IEM pairings are Tia Forte Noir and Shure KSE 1500/1200

Of course you can spend $3-4k on something like a Stellia or Utopia, use it with SP2k and just enjoy the music ...
My advice would be to just don't necessarily
- upgrade from another PMP to the SP2k because you expect TOTL sound with full size phones (e.g. if you have the SP1k, that's not the reason to move)
- buy an expensive full size can you don't already have for use with SP2k (driving Ferrari in 1st gear)
- throw away your desktop setup
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 12:29 PM Post #1,331 of 5,056
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@JasonNYC is there anyway you can have your team look into Spotify issues with the hardware buttons when the screen is off? It won’t ever just skip to to the next track, it is usually about 3-5 tracks. Sometimes it’ll get stuck in a skipping loop and there is no way to stop it, just constantly skips songs. Only happens with the SP2000 screen off, I had this same issue back when I had my SP1000M Gold also a few months back. Most recent version of Spotify.

Is there anything A&K can even do about this or would this be purely a Spotify problem? It’s getting super annoying.

Is there anyone else who uses or has access to a spotify account on their sp2000 that can replicate this issue?

Thanks!
There has been a few reports on this. I am in the process of writing up a list of outstanding issues for our HQ team that need to be followed up on and will be including this.
 
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Oct 4, 2019 at 12:30 PM Post #1,332 of 5,056

aaf evo

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There has been a few reports on this. I am in the process of writing up a list of outstanding issues for our HQ team that need to be followed up on and will be including this.

cool thanks, looking forward to any follow ups. I appreciate it.
 
Oct 4, 2019 at 1:31 PM Post #1,333 of 5,056
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given the recent posts about full-sized headphones with the SP2k, i'm more than ever interested in your impressions with the Empyrean...

Don't know when it's going to happen, but certainly I'm curious as well. SPK and Empyrean was not a good pair up to my ears since it was underpowered, and Emp needs some juice to drive them to their full potential. Thus I'm curious about SP2k or SPK amp module.

Another thing to keep in mind, some of these latest more powerful DAPs (like SP2k, N8, LPGT, R2R2000, etc) are tuned to sound more neutral while desktop equipment might be coloring the sound. Thus, in some cases we are comparing apples to oranges if you prefer one vs the other tonality where the difference in power might not be a contributing factor. Personally, I'm not a desktop equipment expert, I review portable audio gear (mostly DAPs and IEMs). But every time I visit CanJam NYC and take my time to listen to some of the desktop equipment at the show, I find it to color the sound sweeter than other neutral sounding DAPs.
 

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