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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. JasonNYC
    @Sparx81 Confirmed it is showing as MQA for me also on SR15, SE100 and SP1000M. We reached out to our HDTracks contact to confirm it should not be an MQA album. I will also pass this onto our HQ team.
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/astellnkern/ https://twitter.com/astell_kern https://instagram.com/astellnkern https://us.astellnkern.com support.inc@iriver.com
    robbi22 and pilgrimbilly like this.
  2. JTori
    Thanks for the recommendations. And, fair point. I prefer natural, sonorous bass when it's there in the recording and natural (not shouty) mids. As for highs, not biting. I've tried a couple different phones with the SR15 and concluded impedance match and sensitivity matter with this player.
  3. Leftbehind
    I've have had an AK300 for about a year now and have been watching this thread and considering an upgrade to the Sr15, mostly to get Spotify. Recently the device has begun bootlooping, sitting at the spinning 'A'. I have a number of Android based devices in the past and in the rare event that this happens this can almost always be fixed by a system restore from the recovery menu, or even as easy as removing the battery.
    Worst case scenario, unless it's a hardware issue you can use ADB/Fastboot to reinstall the operating system.

    Unfortunately, with the AK300 there is no documentation on the recovery menu and no recovery tools.

    You'd think when you pay this kind of money they would have some sort of restore tool for PC, readily available roms, or at least some sort recovery mode described in the manual that can be done from outside the OS. This is provided by every android based cell phone and tablet manufacturer, even the old iPod, yet this is not available from AK. Without a service center in my area, I'd be charged nearly $200 for the software reinstall and $50+ for shipping. Seems like a cash grab when this type of information could be made accessible, and nearly always is.

    I guess during the first year when you have a device that works well it's easy not to consider the importance of the support behind the product. Recently I found that a device costing as much or more than any phone has less support, no support tools, few support centres, and no interest in providing the tools or diagnostics. Android devices are known to bootloop, at least give your customers a way to restore for an android menu that exists for every device.

    It's unfortunate, but it's likely driven me to look for a device with a actual support professionals that are willing to help instead of just ask for money, recovery tools, firmware posted, or one that isn't so locked down . A&K is often known as the apple of audio but at least I could reset my iPod from iTunes.
  4. Leetransform25
    Sorry for the very generic question, but would this DAP or the ZX300A be better? If any of you have had experience with both DAPs, I'd love to hear your input.
  5. Swoti
    Has anybody experience with using the balanced cable of the t5p2 with the sr15? Is there a hearable difference to the standard cable and connection?
  6. JeremyLaurenson
    This is amazing news. Jason, I hope you can show this post to the folks at AK, you are making a real and visible difference to your customer base.
    I can not tell you hos big a deal this is. Having been around for years building an app that syncs these various manufacturers devices I can tell you that what you personally are doing here is rare and extremely valuable to Astell and Kern.
    buonassi likes this.
  7. Dustpond
    I have the AK t5p2. So did a test for you.
    The balanced cable which comes with it, is much much better than using the adapter and going in on the unbalanced. It is how it should be (in my opinion). Wide sound stage and natural sounding. As if I was in the room.
    I hope that helps.
    Swoti and abitdeef like this.
  8. abitdeef
    Depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a good basic UI and great battery life I’d go with the ZX300. Or if you want a dap that can stream I’d go with SR15.

    Both sound great, but I prefer the SR15 personally. It just sounds more natural and correct in timbre/precise to me.

    Both are very good choices imo.
    Leetransform25 likes this.
  9. abitdeef
    Just to point out, the balanced out and SE out DO definitely sound different.

    The SE is fuller sounding with closer/fuller mids and everything mixing/blending in better in the stage.

    The balanced is wider with bass and treble more defined and mids further back in the mix. Everything is more defined and has more space in the stage- it can be a tiny bit thinner sounding because of the space between instruments and wider stage.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  10. Vincentaria
    Hi Jason, may I know if there is any news of last fm support? I also strongly need last fm scrobble on my SE100, I've tried some methods to manually install the last fm app but it can't detect the AK music player for scrobble, really hope last fm scrobble can be supported in next SE100 firmware upgrade, thanks!
    bgtip likes this.
  11. Swoti
    Thanks for the testing. The balanced cable was in the package when you bought the t5p? Or did you buy it extra at Beyer dynamic? It is about 100 euro, so I'm thinking if it's worth it? Thanks again.
  12. Dustpond
    What I have is the Astell and Kern version of the Beyerdynamic T5p so it comes with a balanced 2.5mm cable and two adapters. I don’t know the full difference.
    Swoti likes this.
  13. Swoti
    Would you agree that sr15 and t5p2 is a good package? I read a lot in the last days and it seems that many people are quite happy with using a smartphone and state that there's no quality difference
  14. JTori
    Thanks for this information. I'm contemplating buying a pair of AK T5Ps. How would you characterize the sound and the SR15's ability to drive them. Very interested in listening impressions.
  15. JeremyLaurenson
    MQA is supposed to be transparent to players which don't decode mqa. That was one of the "features"... so the fact it plays back on "dumb" equipment isn't conclusive
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