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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. JasonNYC
    What version of Qobuz are you using? Are you experiencing with Qobuz only? We cannot offer support on individual apps as they are developed by a third party, but if you are experiencing the issue with other apps, it could be an AK issue. We are working closely with the Qobuz team, so we will pass this along to them and our development team.
     
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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  2. Hifi2jungle
    I am using 5.0.2. Please also tell them that the color of the font in the search bar is white. Thank you.

    Tidal is fine so far.
     
  3. JasonNYC
    Thank you @Hifi2jungle I'm pretty sure it is an issue with the Qobuz 5.0.2 app. I installed 5.0.2 on the SR15 and had a number of issues. At first I thought it was the beta firmware for the SR15, but after uninstalling and reinstalling 5.0.1, the issues went away.

    I have held off on installing 5.0.2 on the SP1000/SP1000M/SE100. I have 5.0.1 on all three and use Qobuz multiple hours a day without issue. I would recommend going back to 5.0.1 if you can. I have already given feedback to the Qobuz team on 5.0.2.
     
    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
  4. Fafner
    Btw, whats's the status
    Btw, what's the status of Roon and MQA support? Is the update coming before the end of the year?
     
  5. JasonNYC
    @Fafner Both are on target for before the end of the year. We have a number of players with the MQA team now undergoing the certification process. Once certified, we will be able to release the updated firmware. Hoping to do so by the end of this month.

    Roon has always been scheduled for closer to the end of December. We are still on track for that timeframe.
     
    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 likes this.
  6. greenmountain
    I am interested to get the SP1000M to replace my A120. I want to use it directly with my headphones (mostly Audeze iSine10 and Abyss Diana) but also as a source in my vacation home. I am interested to get small active speakers there like Devialet Phantom Reactor or KEF LSX but these have no USB input only WiFi, ethernet or optical (not too positive about optical in its present implementation for HiRes). Could the SP1000M stream from its library via WiFi? Or what other options would be possible?
    I try to avoid using line out as it will result in more digital conversions
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  7. JasonNYC
    The SP1000M supports DLNA networking. It can act as a digital source and stream via wifi to a device that also supports DLNA.
     
    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
  8. aaf evo
    Has anyone used the SP1000 with the same cable on both unbalanced 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm?

    I'm debating switching back to 3.5mm unbalanced on a new cable I may buy just for the sake of convenience for when I have to use other devices such as my iPad.

    I'd love to hear thoughts on the 3.5mm output vs the 2.5mm :)

    Appreciate it!
     
  9. koven Contributor
    I think balanced sounds noticeably better on the M at least. I just use an adapter plug for 3.5mm sources.
     
    aaf evo likes this.
  10. Barra
    AK has always had a wonderful DAC producing incredible sound, but the amps have always been lacking where any cheap portable amp will significantly increase the SQ. Even highly sensitive CIEMs that I have listened to have benefited from the increased amperage when adding an external amp. IMO, what is so impressive about the SP1000 and the SP1000m is that it finally has a serious amp in it that can rock our world without requiring a stack. Listening with my a18, it took it to a whole new level of performance like using my desktop. Unfortunately, though, the SE output is still gimped at half the output of the balanced. I am sure that you will feel that the SE output still sounds great, but not desktop great which is the reason that the SP variants are so exciting.
     
    aaf evo likes this.
  11. aaf evo
    Appreciate that @Barra :) 2.5mm it is then!
     
  12. javahut
    Sounds noticeably better how? I haven't tried balanced on the SP1000M yet. But on the SE100... there is hardly a difference (provided SE output can drive your IEMs/phones with enough headroom left). The only noticeable difference on the SE100 was that the SE output seemed to have just a touch more low end than the balanced, with my Westone W80... and even that was so slight, I may have just imagined it.

    One of the best DAC/headphone amps out there, Benchmark, only uses single ended, and publishes their reason for doing so over using a balanced headphone amp.

    Balanced headphone outputs over single-ended is highly overrated, IMO. I find much more difference between a Moon Audio Silver Dragon versus a Double Helix Cables Silver Litz v3, than the difference between a quality single ended versus balanced headphone out.
     
  13. koven Contributor
    Haven't used SE100 but soundstage and bass are better to me on M balanced. I am actually of the exact opposite opinion where I feel balanced vs SE makes a much bigger difference than different wire cables. I swap cables for ergonomics/aesthetics primarily. I am speaking specifically to my AK experience though, I don't doubt sometimes SE sounds better than balanced depending on the implementation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  14. Barra
    This has nothing to do with balanced vs. SE - it is about the power of 2.2Vrms SE vs. 3.9Vrms balanced.

    Don't want to overstate the difference as YMMV. It depends on the CIEM scalability and the DAP SQ as well as the signature pairing. This DAP will not turn a $20 cheapie HP into an Abyss. However, in general, a quality desktop amp with ample power just sounds bigger like taking a microscope to the music, or perhaps like watching a movie on an 85-inch screen vs. a 40-inch screen - bigger. It allows you to hear more details effortlessly at a lower volume as well as to turn the volume up higher without sounding shrill or bright or fighting with congestion or a soundstage collapse. The singer/instruments sound full sized rather than small and distant and the subtle details pop as well as a huge increase in dynamics. That being said, the a18 is a great CIEM for scaling up IMO reaching exotic sound quality with the right gear - think Utopia with more bass. It is wonderful with my H2>EC ZDs full sized setup. So if my desktop is a 10 and my iPhone is a 2 or a 3, the SP1000 balanced is a 7 or an 8 - that is saying a lot. SE ended still sounds great but roughly is only a 5 IMO. Remember, this is subject to my tastes. Hope this helps.
     
  15. olddude
    Yes I have (both Zeus and Phantom using an Ares ll), and balanced is my preference. 3.5 is fine, 2.5 opens things up.
     
    aaf evo and kubig123 like this.
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