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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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    Do you need detail specs to prove the AK120ii has better frq and THD/N than Sp1000 does ?
    Their boxes show that.

    Specs on paper does not always matching to what you hear.
    denis1976 and korvin12 like this.
  2. greenmountain
    I am interested in the SP 1000M. Presently I am using a AK120 and a Chord Mojo (connected via a short optical cable) when listening to my Abyss Diana (even the AK120 can drive the Diana to reasonable levels the Mojo is necessary sound quality wise).
    I have some questions for SP1000 users:

    How does the SP1000 compared to the Mojo used as an external DAC (via USB) sound wise for headphone use?

    Any experience to use the SP1000 as a music server connected to a DAC (or DAC/amp). I tried the optical out of my AK120 testing various optical cables and it did not work very well with my Devialet D250Pro. Obviously optical connections are not optimal (or at least their implementations).
  3. DarginMahkum
    Optical connections as output for devices: Does not matter if it costs $100 or $4000. It is just raw bitstream of the audio data. No changes. So, it does not matter if it is AK120 or SP1000. Also as it is a pure optical connection, there is no possibility of any noise reaching the input device (your DAC). No reason to invest in any expensive optical cable. They will all result in the same bitstream being sent to the target.

    What might happen is the conversion of the optically transmitted data to the electrical representation. I don't know the techniques used, but I guess jitter during the conversion might effect the sound. But again, a high quality device should be able to handle this properly.
  4. greenmountain
    My experience is the implementation of the sender and receiver chip is the main issue with optical (not the optical transmission itself). My Devialet in its original version as D-Premier had a much better functioning optical input up to 192kHz than after it got upgraded. I was told that the input chips of that quality are not anymore available. So most DACs nowadays work only reliable to 96kHz (including my Mojo).
    Doesn't SP1000 have USB out?
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  5. twister6 Contributor
    Well, it's partially true since we are dealing with a slow speed transmision and a short piece of fiber optic cable. But you also have to keep in mind the connectors fused to the fiber and their mechanical tolerance. Shielding is also important for safety reasons (fiber string is fragile). In general, if you are buying a dirt cheap mini toslink cable from ebay for a few dollars, I would question the quality of the material and the workmanship. I personally use a short mini-toslink $20 cable from amazon (by xtreme audio) to connect to Micro iDSD BL, and perfectly happy with it. But not too long ago used a cheap $6 cable from ebay with DX150, and damaged the jack.
  6. lithiumnk
    My dealer has received 2 units of sp1000m.
    The listed price is 2289 usd (after currency conversion).
    My sp1000cu was 3000 usd.
  7. DarginMahkum
    There was a discussion about Bluetooth receiver implementation of the (I think) xDSD. As there is no very high precision clock in the Qualcomm Bluetooth receiver chip, what they did in the design was, they implemented a buffer between the bluetooth receiver output and the DAC chip. This way they were able to attain a better quality signal fed into the DAC with a much reduced jitter. I would expect that this is also done for a high end device, optical in. If they are able to put it in a lower cost xDSD, it should also be in for a much more expensive device.
  8. DarginMahkum
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  9. Imusicman
    What noise are you referring to?
  10. greenmountain
    I looked at the user manual for the SP1000M and did not find any optical output only USB-C (not that will be a major issue for me)
  11. x RELIC x Contributor

    Not sure where you got this information. My Mojo works very reliably playing 24/192, using optical from an AK240. It’s usually the internal light difractions and the quality of lens that are the cause of not enough bandwidth using optical so a good cable is recommended.
  12. Imusicman
    I do not have experience with the mojo as a DAC via USB but I do have experience with owning the Dave for over a year. I've just sold my Dave so I find myself AMP/DAC less at the moment. I am using the SP1000 as a DAC from my iMac as a temporary stop gap until I pull the trigger on my next purchase which is looking like a TT2/HMS combo. I've got to say temporary or not im really enjoying the quality of sound that im hearing right now. Sure its not the Dave but its damn good :L3000:
  13. greenmountain
    Not with my Mojo and my AK120. I used several different cables including glass fiber ones and the same result. 192 is intermittent but no issues with 92kHz
  14. JasonNYC
    The SP1000M DOES NOT have optical output, only USB digital audio out via the USB-C.
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  15. greenmountain
    Thanks for that comment. I compared the Mojo with the TT2 at the last Highend in Munich and after telling them that there is no comparison they told me that the Mojo is voiced for low-end IEMs
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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