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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. aaf evo
    Haha don’t be sorry! Just curious since it’s a big price jump.
  2. dhc0329
    How happy are you? I sold M and was thinking about G but I am not hearing much about G. Perhaps, still new.
    What are some real life differences beside being warmer. Have you had SP1000ss also?
    quantumrush likes this.
  3. aaf evo
    My main concern with the gold is that it’s almost as heavy as the SS, I feel like that takes away from a lot of the portability of the M.
  4. twister6 Contributor
    ... and imho, original SPKM pairs up better with U18t (or your new A18t) in comparison to SPKM G.
    dhc0329 and aaf evo like this.
  5. dhc0329
    This isn't what I wanted to hear. Suppose to be everything sounds so much better on G. :)
    quantumrush likes this.
  6. olddude
    Everything sounds better on SPKSS or SPKCU (depending on preference of course).
    Progisus and kubig123 like this.
  7. Giraku
    I used to own SPKCu. SPKMG has similar "airy" feel but not as warm as Cu. It's hard to describe but there are solid outlines on every single note with SPKMG, which benefits to imaging and separation. Interestingly, these "solid outlines" do not bother me. It's like printed characters become a little bolder making easier to read. On photos, it's like increasing the contrast by 1 notch. These "emphasis" or "outlines" are not overly done. It's a subtle effect but still audible. This is the biggest difference between regular SPKM and SPKMG.
    BTW, recently I also bought Lotoo PAW Gold Touch, which is insanely (and unexpectedly) good.
  8. Giraku
    Oh, I forgot to mention that I pair Noble Audio Khan and Meze RAI Penta with SPKMG. I think both are great match with SPKMG.
    NovaFlyer and lithiumnk like this.
  9. madFloyd
    Care to elaborate why?

    EDIT: nevermind, missed your explanation.... sorry.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  10. junix
    IMHO.. SPKCu pairs better with U18t than SPKM.. so I kept the Cu when the M came out.
    Now that the Gold is out @twister6 words are finally saving me some money (it's usually the other way around :)).
    Of course I'm going to try it and hear for myself when I have a chance.
  11. lithiumnk
    What is the sound signature of khan & penta?
    IN 2019, there are a bunch of estat/piezoelectric driver iems i.e. Noble Khan, AAW Canary, Hyla TE5T/TE5B, Shozy Pola, Fitear estat.. I was not able to audition khan & fitear... from the rest I got Hyla te5t which pairs wonderfully with Horus & sp1kcu.
    I am also getting Oriolus BA300S portable tube amp to pair with sp1kcu & spk1kcu + kobo 424(hybrid setup). BA300s will pair very nicely with my audio technica adx5000 & hyla te5t...
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  12. Giraku
    I posted my impressions on both IEMs to Noble and REI Penta threads separately. But here are my summary on my experience with these IEMs on SPKMG:
    Khan is clean and flat. Bass is fast and tight with good amount of impact. Mid has beautiful timber and full. Treble is energetic and accurate without being harsh. No sibilance. Excellent resolution and separation. Micro details can be easily heard. Staging is very wide with superb layering and imaging. I use Horus 8 with Khan.
    REI Penta has more relaxed and laid back signature. It has similar signature as it’s big brother Empyrean. Very smooth and relaxed presentation without losing resolution and separation. Staging is smaller than Khan but not so small. Khan is better in all the technical departments compared to REI Penta. But thinking about it’s price tag (less than half of Khan), Meze did a great job. I use Leonidas II with REI Penta.
    NovaFlyer likes this.
  13. twister6 Contributor
    Guys/gals, you are are missing the point :D I'm talking about my own personal (subjective) preference of U18t pair up, where my cup of tea is more transparency, less coloring, and more airiness between the sound layers.

    Each of these SPKx DAPs adds its own character into the mix, to fine tune the sound of IEM signature. If you prefer SPK CU pair up with U18t over SPKM, then you will definitely enjoy its pair up with SPKM G. I know, I'm not helping your wallet here, but if you want to scale down your SPK CU to a more pocket friendly size with a sound in the same ballpark, I think you will enjoy SPKM G pair up with U18t.
  14. FOBean
    Sorry for the newb question, but what's an SP1K/Cu DAP? I thought there were only an SP1K/SS, SP1K/M, and SP1K/G?

    Thanks in advance for your help! I've been in pro audio recording for 20+ years, and I'm a relative newbie when it comes to the Hi-Res/Audiophile world.

    I bought my Westone UM Pro 30 IEM's about a year ago, and my Campfire Audio Andromeda and Dorado IEM's about 9 months ago. I know what I like when it comes to IEM's, but I don't know much about the A&K DAP's other than their specs and DAC chips, since ivI' NEVER had the pleasure of listening to one with my own ears. And there aren't ANY local audio shops I can test them out at. I absolutely LOVE my Shanling Audio M5s DAP so far, but I've been eyeing up the A&K DAP's for awhile now and want something I won't be replacing or upgrading for a LONG TIME that's a little bit future proof!!!

    As with my pro audio recording gear, I go BIG or go home (actually I use that mindset for EVERYTHING I do LoL ). I use German made Schoeps mics and kcy cables and USA made Sound Devices MixPre Series recorders. Both top notch and as good as money can buy for what I do, which is essentially being a location sound recordist, except I record live music from Phish>Lotus>Tipper>EVERYTHING in-between.

    I just wanted to give a little bit of info about myself so you guys know that I'm serious about this, and I'm wondering which A&K SP1K DAP would serve me the best with my Campfire Audio Andromeda and Dorado IEM's? I'm also going to be buying a new pair of Xelento IEM's here very soon for a little bit of a different flavor, and probably selling the Dorado's or Xelento's once I pick which pair I like the best! My CA Andromeda's aren't going ANYWHERE, anytime soon, because I absolutely LOVE those for my live recordings.

    So if someone could tell me which SP1K dap would go the best with those 3 pairs of IEM's, I'd greatly appreciate it!!! Obviously the SP1K/M is more appealing to me because of it's lower price compared to the other models, but I want an ENDGAME DAP and not something that I will want to "upgrade" in 6-12 months.

    I probably just answered my own question and should go with the SP1K/SS? Sorry for the huge post, but I wanted to give as much info as possible so that you guys can help me decide which DAP to get ️

    P.S.- I listen to my own live Audio recordings 99.99999% of the time, so I'm not your average music listener. I listen to normal albums like once every 6 months or so LoL So I want something with EXTREMELY low noise and absolutely jaw dropping imaging, layering, resolution and soundstage!!!
  15. DeepSouth
    SP1000 CU is the copper SP1000, I suppose CU is coined from the elemental abbreviation for copper being CU. The copper is supposed to be the warmer sounding variant of SP1000 with the SS stainless being more neutral. To my ears the copper is more natural; and the stainless seems brighter, in some songs my ears cringe from brightness. SS doesn't have a problem, I'm just sensitive to brightness. When I demoed between both, I suppose SS didn't have good synergy with the headphones I demoed with. I bought the copper, no regrets in sound quality or battery life. My wife prefered the SS version when she demoed side by side with me.

    If you have time, twister has some amazing write ups between the two. Other head-fi'ers wrote reviews too, but twister's review is side by side, and rather special.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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