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New TOL A&K DAP : the AK Ultima SP1000

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Toolman, May 15, 2017.
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  1. Dionysus
    Agreeed. I’ve had JH nice IEM. But the A64 products have passed them by in technology and sound quality. N8t if you like bass, 12t, and the flagship A18t is amazing.
  2. yukiorui
    Try also the IEMs from Empire Ears; I'm using the Phantoms which has amazing synergy with the SP1000CU.
    davidmolliere likes this.
  3. Van Gogh
    H@@@m, I get a lot of A64 recommendations.
    I don't mind getting the A64 A18T if its better than JH Lola/Layla. I was leaning to JH from the get go because Astell & Kern has partnership for IEM's with JH and they sell them bundled together, so I thought they probably have a very good synergy and sound really good together.
    But as I have said before, I already have Beyerdynamics T8ie EIM's ($1,000) that are actually high-end product and sound amazing IMO, so I want to make an upgrade that will be really felt, which means getting a very high-end flagship model!
  4. piphil
    test jomo flamenco......
    Kenneth Galang likes this.
  5. greenmountain
    I wonder if the SP1000M would drive Abyss Diana single ended or needs the balanced output (and thus an extra new cable for me)
  6. cj3209
    Forget another IEM. TRY an in-ear like the Audeze i4. As long as you get it to sit in your ear properly and you don't really care about isolation, it will really blow you away. It has a sense of space that only an open headphone can portray. It will balance nicely with your current IEM.
    rtjoa, popof94 and lithiumnk like this.
  7. NehPets
    o'Bravo Ra-C-Cu is a good pairing, according to Alex @twister6
  8. twister6 Contributor
    I can name you 20-30 other very good pairings with SPK SS. This DAP with the latest fw has one of the smoothest non-fatigue treble (tonality) I heard, resulting in a very good pair up synergy with many iems I've tested/reviewed, even some with a harsher top end. My signature is not just a random list of gear :wink:

    Regarding RA-C-CU, yes, excellent pair up, but the price... In this case, in addition to reading a few available reviews, I strongly suggest auditioning it yourself before you ready to sell your left kidney :D
    kubig123 and aaf evo like this.
  9. Van Gogh
    The problem I have is I won't be able to test most of these suggestions in person as they are not offered anywhere in Toronto.
    I will just have to rely on others reviews to make my decision.
    I am deciding between U18T, JH Layla or JH Lola.
    The only one of these I can test in store in JH Layla, but wouldn't help much as can't test the other 2.
  10. lenkiatleong
    It's the biggest mistake to buy expensive IEM based on other people's reviews and likes. All of them are correct in their assessment and likes because all of them have different set of ears with different hearing power. Some can hear from 5 - 20kHz freq range but most cannot. Some can't even hear >12kHz freq!! I discovered the truth when my bro could not hear a humming high freq noise but i can. No wonder he always has a different taste for IEM/headphones. We stop asking each other about IEM/headphone. :)

    I consider my hearing is still very good and i find the best IEM that i had heard is Layla. Pair it with the correct DAP like AK Ultima or headphone amp, it will make you happy. A64 Tia forte second and VE8/Empire ears comes very close behind. Lola and U18T are last. I feel that Lola is muddy compared to those mentioned earlier. But Lola's JH bass signature is there like Layla. It also depends on the source of music. Some music plays very well on Tia/VE8/Empire. I like Layla because i can adjust the bass to my liking depending on the source and it allows me to hear almost all freq that my ears can receive. It's the ultimate IEM that suits my ears and taste of very wide music genres. Tia/VE8/Empire are equally good but cannot adjust the bass to one's liking. Able to adjust the bass is my winning card. Hope this helps. :)

    And you MUST buy customized IEM to enjoy the freq to the fullest. No leakages.
    Van Gogh likes this.
  11. Van Gogh
    You raise a valid point.
    Yes of course I would sample IEM's if I could but I can't as not available to me.

    With that said, when doing research I did notice that A64 U18T has mixed reviews, some claim it's the best IEM's they ever heard while others say it's not for them, whereas the JH Layla pretty much always got very highly recommended reviews. Yes, and you are right, being able to adjust the bass on JH IEM's is a huge plus.
    Surprised you didn't like Lola as much. Now you have swinged me more towards Layla haha! :)
    bmichels likes this.
  12. bmichels
    Try the A64 U12T (balanced) with the SP1000, you won't be disapointed. I give them now more listening time than to my Shure KSE1500

    IMG_5063.jpg IMG_5059.jpg
  13. twister6 Contributor
    While I agree that we all hear things differently, I have to comment on "MUST buy CIEM". For someone who is not sure about the sound sig, it's a huge risk to buy Custom IEM because if it turns out to be the wrong signature for you, you can't return/exchange and will end up selling it at a huge loss or might not be able sell it at all if the company doesn't offer transfer of ownership with reshell. You can end up being stuck with a hefty investment which you can't use. Unless if you tried universal demo at the show or heard universal version to know that it's in a ballpark of your sound preference, CIEM is a risky investment. Just my 2cents.
    davidmolliere likes this.
  14. davidmolliere
    I totally agree with this, and that's even more true with more and more companies ending transfer of ownership and the spreading no re-shell policy... when I went custom, I really thought I wouldn't go back universal but even when you have the ability to audition no transfer no reshell means an even bigger drop in resell value... so it's a big commitment. Now there is nothing like CIEM for comfort and isolation...
  15. twister6 Contributor
    I know we are a bit off topic discussing this in SPK thread, but just an additional thought on this subject, especially your last comment. I know quite a few people who started with either 64 Audio or Empire Ears universals, due to fear of custom commitment, and then fell in love with the sound so much - they sold UIEM to get the same CIEM :)
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