Brand Spanking New A&K AK120II and AK100II
Mar 1, 2016 at 7:36 PM Post #5,972 of 6,668

olddude

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  I bought mine new at a hundred bucks off and I'm happy with my purchase.  I'd rather buy new and have that new car smell.
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 4:37 AM Post #5,974 of 6,668

M-13

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Yes! the difference is HUGE~~~ MASSIVE~~~~ BIGGER THAN THE UNIVERSE times a ZILLION Universes
very_evil_smiley.gif

 
GO SPEND MORE MONEY!!!
evil_smiley.gif

 
I'm obviously kidding
wink.gif
. The differences are slight. Like "Brooko Slight/small/tiny" Yes... really. In fact I'm not surprised people who have had a quick listen to the AK100ii and AK120ii or a casual comparison thinks they sound exactly the same. The reason I think they're different is that I've gotten to know the AK100ii so well. I lived with it and listened to the AK100ii ONLY for half-a-year. Loving it, enjoying it, and knowing exactly the sound it produces with my Layla. I can still hear the AK100ii in my mind... certain songs I probably listened to 500 times in the last half-a-year. Yes I enjoy my music.
 
Also... I'm very sensitive to DACs in general. I come from a desktop oriented background where the Schiit Bifrost was kind of a revelation and opened my eyes about what DACs can do (This was back in 2011 when I was still a "skeptic")... the Concero was brilliant too. So yeah I appreciate those micro-details inside macro-details. I appreciate the nuanced details that people normally don't care about or even hear?. It actually increases my enjoyment of music. And indeed the AK120ii is more detailed (micro-details only). On the face of it will sound the same as the Ak100ii, they have the exact same macro-details or so similar I won't be surprised people say it's the same. For me... I would say it's like a 10%~ (personal number). There is more clarity/transparency/details/layering/seperation and even fullness. There is also more power/drive/grunt. And I like the tonal balance better. The slightly elevated upper-mid/treble presentation makes it sound more lively and more "neutral". It is also more fatiguing because of this and also because it's more "explosive". AK100ii is calm/fatigue-free and gives 90%+ of micro-details and 100% of macro-details... the black background is mesmerizing too, but sometimes it gets a bit too quiet... I think it's a win-win, either one gets you something. You have to remember the money you save too.
 
Also.. I noticed that the AK120ii battery is running down much faster than the AK100ii... I looked up the battery capacities and it looks like the AK120ii has only a slightly bigger capacity while using up much more power with dual DACs and higher output, much higher output in balanced mode especially. I'm just kind of surprised this never came up on this thread...
 
As for "worth it"... I don't know do you normally find spending double the money is "worth it" for you to get a 10% increase in quality you may or may no hear? For me Yes... my Head-Fi spending logic is based on insanity and also the AK120ii gets me over a personal threshold where I can stop upgrading for a while. I know there is better out there... but maybe I can be more patient? and weight for truely next level stuff from AK or Cowon. I'm sure 2017/18 will bring us things we can't even imagine now.. the DAP market is moving fast. Maybe AK will collaborate with Chord and bring us a Super Hugo DAP?
very_evil_smiley.gif
 
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 5:58 AM Post #5,975 of 6,668

musicinmymind

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What's the best haggled price new an AK240 can be had for you think?

 
not new, but good price.
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Astell-Kern-AK240-Portable-Audiophile-Player-with-Dock-Cradle-/131737693616?hash=item1eac2dadb0:g:Qa0AAOSwDuJW0RmQ
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 6:09 AM Post #5,976 of 6,668

Sorensiim

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 Maybe AK will collaborate with Chord and bring us a Super Hugo DAP?
very_evil_smiley.gif
 

Chord is working on a SD module for the Mojo, effectively turning it into a DAP... Kinda curious to see how that one turns out. 
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 6:52 AM Post #5,977 of 6,668

Dionysus

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I've seen several video regarding that SD module. I wonder how that is going to fit with the unusual form factor that the Mojo has, It will be interesting. Thx M-13 appreciate the feedback.
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 6:58 AM Post #5,978 of 6,668

PinkyPowers

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Yes! the difference is HUGE~~~ MASSIVE~~~~ BIGGER THAN THE UNIVERSE times a ZILLION Universes :veryevil:

GO SPEND MORE MONEY!!! :evil:

I'm obviously kidding :wink: . The differences are slight. Like "Brooko Slight/small/tiny" Yes... really. In fact I'm not surprised people who have had a quick listen to the AK100ii and AK120ii or a casual comparison thinks they sound exactly the same. The reason I think they're different is that I've gotten to know the AK100ii so well. I lived with it and listened to the AK100ii ONLY for half-a-year. Loving it, enjoying it, and knowing exactly the sound it produces with my Layla. I can still hear the AK100ii in my mind... certain songs I probably listened to 500 times in the last half-a-year. Yes I enjoy my music.

Also... I'm very sensitive to DACs in general. I come from a desktop oriented background where the Schiit Bifrost was kind of a revelation and opened my eyes about what DACs can do (This was back in 2011 when I was still a "skeptic")... the Concero was brilliant too. So yeah I appreciate those micro-details inside macro-details. I appreciate the nuanced details that people normally don't care about or even hear?. It actually increases my enjoyment of music. And indeed the AK120ii is more detailed (micro-details only). On the face of it will sound the same as the Ak100ii, they have the exact same macro-details or so similar I won't be surprised people say it's the same. For me... I would say it's like a 10%~ (personal number). There is more clarity/transparency/details/layering/seperation and even fullness. There is also more power/drive/grunt. And I like the tonal balance better. The slightly elevated upper-mid/treble presentation makes it sound more lively and more "neutral". It is also more fatiguing because of this and also because it's more "explosive". AK100ii is calm/fatigue-free and gives 90%+ of micro-details and 100% of macro-details... the black background is mesmerizing too, but sometimes it gets a bit too quiet... I think it's a win-win, either one gets you something. You have to remember the money you save too.

Also.. I noticed that the AK120ii battery is running down much faster than the AK100ii... I looked up the battery capacities and it looks like the AK120ii has only a slightly bigger capacity while using up much more power with dual DACs and higher output, much higher output in balanced mode especially. I'm just kind of surprised this never came up on this thread...

As for "worth it"... I don't know do you normally find spending double the money is "worth it" for you to get a 10% increase in quality you may or may no hear? For me Yes... my Head-Fi spending logic is based on insanity and also the AK120ii gets me over a personal threshold where I can stop upgrading for a while. I know there is better out there... but maybe I can be more patient? and weight for truely next level stuff from AK or Cowon. I'm sure 2017/18 will bring us things we can't even imagine now.. the DAP market is moving fast. Maybe AK will collaborate with Chord and bring us a Super Hugo DAP?:veryevil:  


It boggles my mind every time you use the word "fatiguing" to describe the 120ii. To my ears it's so warm and smooth it could never fatigue.
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 7:26 AM Post #5,980 of 6,668

M-13

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It boggles my mind every time you use the word "fatiguing" to describe the 120ii. To my ears it's so warm and smooth it could never fatigue.

It's not fatiguing, AK120ii is silky smooth with very black/silent background, only comparatively to the AK100ii... again only comparatively to the AK100ii... the AK100 is like a calm silent pond in a quiet forest, very relaxing. It's like the AK120ii on sleeping pills... haha or relaxation pills. Again all of this is very subtle... small differences one might or might not notice if they really get to know/love both devices. But yeah for the price you do get a lot for the money with the AK100ii... you almost get everything.
 
I think it really depends on what kind of deal you can get the AK120ii for. If you have to pay just a few extra hundred dollars then yeah... might be worth it. Double the price? a lot people would/should say "no".
 
Just for the record I think the AK120ii is not fatiguing. I think AK's presentation in general is silky/smooth and non-fatiguing... that's actually the strength of AK Daps... you can just listen forever basically...
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 8:05 AM Post #5,981 of 6,668

PinkyPowers

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Ah, I see.

This is where the confusion comes from.

One could say the 120ii is bright "compared" to the 240. That is perfectly fair, even though the 120ii is not bright.

But fatigue is something else. It has to be at least a little fatiguing for it to be "more fatiguing" than something else. To say it's more fatiguing than the 100 in one sentence, and then state it's "not fatiguing" at all in another doesn't really work.

Please don't take my words as hostile. I'm just trying to keep the information in this thread clear to everyone.
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 8:29 AM Post #5,982 of 6,668

M-13

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Ah, I see.

This is where the confusion comes from.

One could say the 120ii is bright "compared" to the 240. That is perfectly fair, even though the 120ii is not bright.

But fatigue is something else. It has to be at least a little fatiguing for it to be "more fatiguing" than something else. To say it's more fatiguing than the 100 in one sentence, and then state it's "not fatiguing" at all in another doesn't really work.

Please don't take my words as hostile. I'm just trying to keep the information in this thread clear to everyone.


I see... yeah... I don't see your posts as hostile at all.
 
I'm trying to be a good communicator but failing miserablly... how about me just saying the AK100ii sounds more relaxed? and leaving it at that?
 
Haha.. I think the word "fatigue" might not have been the best choice... when I said not fatiguing I meant in the absolute sense or vs. every other DAC/AMP out there.
 
Also.. me saying the AK120ii is brighter is also not quite right... I'm not sure if I should say that either... it's almost like the upper-end is more extended? or there is more spotlight on it somehow without it actually being bright or emphasized? It's hard to say... but yeah... it does have a slight brighter tilt which sounds more "right" to me and more "correct/neutral" but also more Hi-Fi sounding. AK100ii sounds more relaxed and analog (again slightly) Geebus I'm starting to sound like Brooko with overusing words like "slight"
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 8:33 AM Post #5,983 of 6,668

The Life

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Ah, I see.

This is where the confusion comes from.

One could say the 120ii is bright "compared" to the 240. That is perfectly fair, even though the 120ii is not bright.

But fatigue is something else. It has to be at least a little fatiguing for it to be "more fatiguing" than something else. To say it's more fatiguing than the 100 in one sentence, and then state it's "not fatiguing" at all in another doesn't really work.

Please don't take my words as hostile. I'm just trying to keep the information in this thread clear to everyone.


I don't think that is necessarily the case though. Things such as sound fatigue are subjective and comparative, even within one person's experience. I didn't find my iPhone, Oppo HA2, or 120ii, all of whom I used with my K10s before the 100ii, fatiguing, until I used the 100ii for an extended period of time and recalibrated my mind's definition of what a fatiguing sound is. As un-fatiguing as I find the 100ii currently, I would not be surprised to check out the jr, which I've been meaning to, and then find that it makes the 100ii sound fatiguing in comparison.
 
Mar 2, 2016 at 8:40 AM Post #5,985 of 6,668

M-13

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I don't think that is necessarily the case though. Things such as sound fatigue are subjective and comparative, even within one person's experience. I didn't find my iPhone, Oppo HA2, or 120ii, all of whom I used with my K10s before the 100ii, fatiguing, until I used the 100ii for an extended period of time and recalibrated my mind's definition of what a fatiguing sound is. As un-fatiguing as I find the 100ii currently, I would not be surprised to check out the jr, which I've been meaning to, and then find that it makes the 100ii sound fatiguing in comparison.


Funnily enough the Jr is not like the AK100ii.
 
It's very lively and exciting and engaging. It's even brighter than the AK120ii, but the sound is so meaty... tonal density of the Wolfson will be like WOAH... this is what was missing from my AK100ii. Hence my initial reaction to it was so positive. I definitely felt the loss of seperation and layering... but initially did not care as the tonal density just brings so much texture and meat to music.
 
What kind of annoyed me at the end was the background grain... the AK100ii/120ii has such a quiet deep black background... it's almost spooky. The UI of the Jr is also just barely acceptible which the older brothers have UIs that are a joy to use.
 
My only experience with the Wolfson 8740 was with Fiio stuff which sounded overly dark and too warm. I thought AK was brilliant because they tuned the same Wolfson and made it bright/lively which gives it a much more neutral tilt while maintaing the meatiness/fullness of sound. Very engaging sound... a very musical and emotional sound. The older brothers sound cold and relaxed by comparison but techincally brilliant as they show you every nuance layered and seperated inside a deep quiet space
 
The Wolfson uses up more power than the CS4398 inside the older brothers... and you can almost hear it sucking up the power and projecting it in a torrent of energy. The weight of sound is much heavier. It's also way more fatiguing than the AK100ii... 
 
Jr is like a warm hug from the girl next door which is awesome for the first 40 minutes but then starts to feel congested and bit too hot in the end and you need a break... Haha.
 
AK100ii is like a gorgeous girl who's bored and who won't hug you, but she'll sit real close for as long as you can stay awake.
 
AK120ii is the AK100ii even prettier older sister who will sit next to you and explain why she's absolutely gorgeous and sexy and you will tend to agree. But no hugs from either one. Haha If you need a hug go get it from the Jr
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