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Astell & Kern SR15: A&norma Impressions & Reviews

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by pitch_black, Jul 29, 2018.
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  1. JTori
    Wow! Not sure I need to experience that! :wink:
    abitdeef likes this.
  2. sensenick
    To make the burn, should the 200 hours be connected to the charger?
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  3. buonassi
    what? no man. Just play the thing through a couple battery cycles and don't sweat it. It'll settle in just fine. No special rituals needed!

    General Dap advice.... I don't own SR15, but any other component just needs to be run in a bit. Not sure why the SR15 would be any different.

    A tip, after running the battery through a few whole cycles, try and keep your charge between 20 and 80%. I'll spare you the science behind this, but lithium batteries don't like deep cycles. Keeping your discharge/recharge away from the extremes will prolong its life. If you're going to store it for more than a couple weeks, make sure it's at 50% charge.



    whoever wants to sell one of these things PM me please. Looking for a second hand unit.
  4. AndyGer75
    I can again completely agree and I will keep them forever, especially together with my SR15 they sound Killer!
  5. requiemmetal
    Hi All,

    I'm thinking this is the dap for me, but wanted to check a couple of things with people who have this.
    • I use album view for pretty much everything....so even if I'm listening to random songs, I'll be scrolling through the album list, go into an album and choose a song, back out and continue scrolling through my albums until I find the next one etc. On my iPod Classic, when you back out of looking at an album, it returns you to the point in the album list you were just at, rather than bringing you to the start of your albums. A comment earlier in this thread suggested the sr15 does the latter....is that the case? I'd find it really annoying having to scroll back through the albums I've just looked at, after selecting a song, so I could continue my browse. Could someone confirm?
    • Does the device support replaygain....all my flacs have replaygain in the tags, but I can't see any reference to replaygain settings in the sr15 manual, or on here yet. For a player of this standard I assumed it would have this functionality??
    Thanks for your time....much appreciated.
  6. abone
    you can skip back to the point of origin with a couple of clicks, tap the cover art and the album details overlay the artwork, tap the back arrow and then the other back arrow in the top left corner and that will take you back to the same point in your collection.
    I do this all the time.
  7. abitdeef
    Sadly no reply gain, probably because AK is so nutty about their sound sig they don’t want any kind of extra processing going on. You’ll notice you don’t see digital filter settings for the DAC.

    You can read about replay gain affecting sound on hydrogen audio. I’ve used it before on my Sonys and it did alter the sound- it actually sounded more dynamic ha ha. Of course that’s Sony’s own thing but it works the same.

    I’m just guessing tbo but I feel we’ll never see replay gain on SR15. So you got 1out of two. It’s the only reason I can think of because it’s cheap to implement (20 dollar daps have it) so it has to be sound I would guess.
    bgtip likes this.
  8. buonassi
    yet there's a +/- 5db equalizer I saw on porta_fi youtube review? Speaking of, is the EQ global? IE will it work with Tidal apk (offline tidal downloads)?

    literally minutes after posting this, I was alerted to one being sold in the forums here, so I nabbed it! I'll be joining the ranks of (hopefully) happy SR15 owners soon. I love it when I get to quote myself.
  9. Tsukuyomi
    I got my SR15 yesterday!!! and....
    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    first thing i noticed when i took it out of the box is that its super tiny and cute lol. smaller than my old FiiO X5III and a midget compared to my Samsung Note 9.

    the corners are pointy, but nothing you would hurt yourself on. the lips covering the analogue volume knob are a bit sharp.. almost nicked some of my thumb skin but no biggie.
    the screen is very bright even on 0 brightness (where i have it now).

    screen is a good size but the keyboard to type in wifi pw or search words is very cramped :X its fine just.. cramped.

    it charges quite fast but i havent had enough time to test my personal players battery drain. i will say that from leaving my home to getting to work it went from 100% to 94%.. not bad since my volume was around 70-75 playing 16/44.1 and 24/48 tracks.

    so this is what ive gathered so far, keep in mind ive had it for a total of maybe... 6hrs so far.

    the highs are a good amount, nothing crazy but not bad either. perfect imo.
    the mids are great! i think this is this players strongest suit is the clarity and spacing of the mids. very nice. much much better than the FiiO or my samsung. that being said i've listened to my friends SE100 and its 30% better in every way haha but also 2x the price..
    the lows are defined but not super detailed. better than any phone can give.
    sub bass, i havent listened to enough songs to try this yet, however a song from Daftpunk(can't remember) really surprised me with the level of sub-bass.

    so far it is getting warm, but nothing concerning, in fact it does heat a bit more than the fiio but im assuming this is burn in period and should not be an issue any longer in a few more days. i've been told by electrical engineers things like this usualy have a few hours of heating up for the caps/resistors and other things to form and expand/contract and shouldnt take more than a few hours. i'll give it a few days just to be safe.

    its VERY VERY light, i had to double check i had it on my person in my jacket because its so light.

    Astell & Kern, so far you've won another customer. if all goes well in the future, i'll be a strong supporter and continued customer of your products :) i think i'll keep the SR15 until the next generation of players comes out for A&K (maybe in 2ish years from now who knows) and i'll get the next "mid-tier" since the SR15 is considered the "beginner-tier".

    i've only had the chance to use my B&O H6(Gen2) but over the weekend i'll try other headphones.
    also, i like how snappy and fast the software is. fiio was terribly slow and clunky :frowning2:
    Colors, bgtip and abitdeef like this.
  10. abitdeef
    Glad you like it! And nice impressions :) give it a while for the sound to settle in and try the balanced if you didn’t all ready- bass is definitely better on balanced and treble is a bit more forward but it sounds leaner to me. It only gets better with use :wink:

    Was listening to tidal hifi (not masters) last night and I just got lost in the music I’m surprised how good it sounds streaming- just so easy to get lost in the music (mine still gets warm streaming, but so did my ak70) I bet the grey case looks good on the little bugger:wink:

    Anyways enjoy!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
  11. Tsukuyomi
    absolutely, i currently dont have any BE headphones, but i can borrow my friends for a bit and try it out lol.
    i agree it takes a bit more time for me to get used to the sound and the player to settle.
    PS: i got the grey case with it and its very nice! i just wish it had better cover for the top and maybe a flap for the bottom micro port.
    im not using the screen or back protectors they gave me since i have it in a case and will always leave it in there unless its to clean it.
  12. Maxistallone
    Hi @JasonNYC any further progress on Roon Readiness and the apk launch date?

  13. abitdeef
    I didn’t put any screen protectors on mine either- it’s not like I’m going jogging with the little thing, although I could ha ha. Besides the back is so cool looking I didn’t want to diminish it’s brilliance with a piece of plastic over it ha ha.

    One two many ha ha’s:triportsad:
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
  14. Tsukuyomi
    yeah, when i got mine i spent a good few min just admiring the back pattern and the single milled body. its very beautiful. A&K make sure to make not only a good product but a pretty one too :)
    my friends SE100 is drop dead gorgeous tho.. lol im still a tiny bit jelly.
    abitdeef likes this.
  15. abitdeef
    I bet the se100 is gorgeous, but I like small daps and I don’t know if I could ever spend 1700.00 ducetts on a dap. I think I’d rather buy more iems/cans.

    That being said, if they had a tiny ‘mid’ tier dap- well that would be most tempting :wink: But at least SR15 sounds better than most and I’d take it over pretty much anything mid price wise. I’ve tried most in the mid tier (normal mid tier) lol and I like this the best.

    Fiio x7ii, ibasso dx 150-200, Sony wm 1A, all too big for my tastes. ZX300 is good, but having tidal and stuff is cool and there is less noise/hiss on SR15, plus I think SR15 sounds a bit more natural imo, and I like the separation everything gets in the stage- even on the SE out.

    And it’s a HUGE improvement over ak70, it’s much clearer and detailed and much less hissy. I must say I’m eyeing the mini total model, but that’s even crazier price wise. Hell I even like the sound of my lowly Fiio m6.

    I remember really hissy cassette Walkmans/ cd Walkmans and really hissy iPods (my 3 gen nano hisses a lot). Newer players really do sound excellent.
    Tsukuyomi likes this.
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