Astell & Kern SR25: The next A&norma player
Apr 11, 2021 at 7:59 AM Post #1,576 of 1,918

neil74

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Hi all, I am curious for those who have moved up from a cheaper unit, how much of a step up for example is the SR25 over say the Sony A55?

I have the A55 running Mr Walkman FW through HD599s and I like it but am curious about what improvements may be achievable.
 
Apr 11, 2021 at 8:26 AM Post #1,577 of 1,918

paulobao

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Sorry! I just moved from a usb dac (iBasso DC04) + Galaxy S10+ to the SR25. Soundwise, not a big difference (not because SR25 it's not good but because DC04 docked to a S10+ with 12GB RAM + 1 TB internal storage (+ 1 TB external micro SD) it's really good).
The SR25 advantage: an autonomous device, no disconnections between dac and smartphone (that usb C interface really wears fast with all those insert/remove procedures), very small, incredible battery life and, why not, a piece of art 🙂.
Very, very satisfied. Anyway, I'm waiting for a small but, imo, very important improvement regarding usability!
 
Apr 11, 2021 at 8:44 AM Post #1,578 of 1,918

Luis Mad

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Hi all, I am curious for those who have moved up from a cheaper unit, how much of a step up for example is the SR25 over say the Sony A55?

I have the A55 running Mr Walkman FW through HD599s and I like it but am curious about what improvements may be achievable.
Hi neil74, I used to have exactly your setup, Sony nwa55L and Sennheiser HD599. I still have them both.
Later I bought the Sr25 and the Denon 7200 as my main headphones . There is sound improvement in my opinion from the Sony to the Astell. I find the Astell tuning really nice. It has a velvet touch. Nevertheless I still like the sound of the Sony, particularly with dsd files. The main difference though is the streaming capabilities. I spend a lot of time streaming Apple Music, Tidal and also files from my pc with Foobar2000. Another important difference is the balanced output. If you buy the Sr25, you should get a balanced cable for the Sennheiser, there is a clear improvemen imo. If you are not going to stream then I would buy better headphones. The Hd599 are really nice but there is more room to clearly improve with the headphone if only sound is concerned. My Denons sound amazing with the Sony 55. Hope it helps!
 
Apr 11, 2021 at 8:55 AM Post #1,579 of 1,918

Queen6

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Hi all, I am curious for those who have moved up from a cheaper unit, how much of a step up for example is the SR25 over say the Sony A55?

I have the A55 running Mr Walkman FW through HD599s and I like it but am curious about what improvements may be achievable.
SR 25 will be a step up on the A55 especially if using the balanced port where even the WM1A struggles with some tracks versus the SR25.

Q-6
 
Apr 11, 2021 at 9:24 AM Post #1,580 of 1,918

neil74

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Hi neil74, I used to have exactly your setup, Sony nwa55L and Sennheiser HD599. I still have them both.
Later I bought the Sr25 and the Denon 7200 as my main headphones . There is sound improvement in my opinion from the Sony to the Astell. I find the Astell tuning really nice. It has a velvet touch. Nevertheless I still like the sound of the Sony, particularly with dsd files. The main difference though is the streaming capabilities. I spend a lot of time streaming Apple Music, Tidal and also files from my pc with Foobar2000. Another important difference is the balanced output. If you buy the Sr25, you should get a balanced cable for the Sennheiser, there is a clear improvemen imo. If you are not going to stream then I would buy better headphones. The Hd599 are really nice but there is more room to clearly improve with the headphone if only sound is concerned. My Denons sound amazing with the Sony 55. Hope it helps!

SR 25 will be a step up on the A55 especially if using the balanced port where even the WM1A struggles with some tracks versus the SR25.

Q-6

Thanks both, not intending on upgrading from the HD599s anytime soon (I also have some 1more TD over ears) so just wondering about diminishing returns the higher up you go or whether the SR25 might need better cans to hear a difference.

I do subscribe to Tidal but have a large collection of FLACS of varying qualities which is what I have loaded the A55 with. I like that the SR25 has skinned android which is why I am eying it over the COWON/iBasso/Fiio options that seem to offer similar to the SR25 for slightly less. Not keen on something that just boots me me to android, not having android at all would be preferable actually if only for battery life.

Very happy to spend the money if it is worth it
 
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Apr 11, 2021 at 11:17 AM Post #1,581 of 1,918

BL36

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I've been looking at the Astell&Kern SR25. Does the sr 25 have a digital out to send music to a dac or amp with an internal dac? If so, what type of cable options are there. I was thinking of using it to export signal a digital line into a digital rca coax , usb b or optical input on my amp.
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 5:51 AM Post #1,582 of 1,918

neil74

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So I decided to take a punt on the SR25 and just ordered one.

I have a question re the SD card and folder structure, do you have all of your albums inside a music folder or just throw them all in the root? Or does it not matter? Going to try and load everything up before the player arrives.
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 6:30 AM Post #1,583 of 1,918

Queen6

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So I decided to take a punt on the SR25 and just ordered one.

I have a question re the SD card and folder structure, do you have all of your albums inside a music folder or just throw them all in the root? Or does it not matter? Going to try and load everything up before the player arrives.
Either way works with the SE25.

Q-6
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 7:16 AM Post #1,584 of 1,918

paulobao

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Either way indeed.
You will be very happy with it :).
My most recent setup that sounds out of this world, really (SR25 + CA Dorado2020).
 

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Apr 12, 2021 at 12:01 PM Post #1,585 of 1,918

TjFont

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So I decided to take a punt on the SR25 and just ordered one.

I have a question re the SD card and folder structure, do you have all of your albums inside a music folder or just throw them all in the root? Or does it not matter? Going to try and load everything up before the player arrives.
I think you will like it as well. It all seems to work if tagged correctly. I have mine in an Artist/Album/Song folder structure just to help me - not the AR25- stay organized.
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 5:24 PM Post #1,586 of 1,918

neil74

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It arrived and have only had a quick play, early impressions are that it sounds lovely but I need to have a proper play with EQ as right now I prefer the EQ off. Right now it’s not as lively as the Sony A55 but the clarity and soundstage are a definite step up. Might look into getting a balanced cable for the HD599s if one is available.

I’m not a fan of the UI so far but maybe I need to get used to it, biggest disappointment is album sorting, no way it seems to sort by artist for example which is a shame. I also need to have a look at some of my tagging as not all of my albums are showing. General navigation feels a little clunky vs the Sony to be honest but as I say I probably just need to get used to it.

Just using my own FLACS for now as the pre-loaded Tidal app has no download option, will do some digging in this thread as no doubt the answer is in here somewhere!
 
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Apr 12, 2021 at 6:35 PM Post #1,587 of 1,918

paulobao

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"I’m not a fan of the UI so far but maybe I need to get used to it, biggest disappointment is album sorting, no way it seems to sort by artist for example which is a shame."

The UI, you will get used too; the sorting...was my first complain too! I'm used to that in Tidal which I really appreciate a lot!
Apparently they don't like to mess with the Android (if they "brag" about being Android 9)...they are afraid of the bloatware and the security (lol).
Just make your suggestions to improvement here (I did, and I'm waiting anxiously to see the result :) .
 
Apr 12, 2021 at 9:24 PM Post #1,588 of 1,918

Queen6

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"I’m not a fan of the UI so far but maybe I need to get used to it, biggest disappointment is album sorting, no way it seems to sort by artist for example which is a shame."

The UI, you will get used too; the sorting...was my first complain too! I'm used to that in Tidal which I really appreciate a lot!
Apparently they don't like to mess with the Android (if they "brag" about being Android 9)...they are afraid of the bloatware and the security (lol).
Just make your suggestions to improvement here (I did, and I'm waiting anxiously to see the result :) .
SR25 sorts by Album & Artist, maybe your expecting more;. A&K are smart as Open Android 9 has non of the drawbacks of Google's Android, doesn't compromise users data. Just plays music, noting more, nothing less...

Q-6
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 3:59 AM Post #1,590 of 1,918

paulobao

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SR25 sorts by Album & Artist, maybe your expecting more;. A&K are smart as Open Android 9 has non of the drawbacks of Google's Android, doesn't compromise users data. Just plays music, noting more, nothing less...

Q-6
That's why it's called a DAP.

And to be able to sort Albums by Artist will never compromise users data! Can we live it without it? Of course we can? I think I could even live with a "Mono DAP" 🙂.
And, here I go again, giving to the Home Button a double function (as a switch) and be able to arrive to any of the music app installed just by pressing a single button instead of pressing A/Services/App will, once again, not compromise the users data or the security of the device!
And not doing these kind of very small changes it's an option of AK that may please some users and displease so many others!
As we say here, opinions are like navels, each has its own!
 

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