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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. orifiel
    84E9A746-8D4D-4F92-9FD3-655CEF4E130B.jpeg

    Now i have an SP1000cu...
    But it has no serial number engraved in the DAP itself, only in the box...
    Is this normal??
     
  2. JasonNYC
    The Copper have the serial number on the microSD card tray.

    SP1000_serial.jpg
     
    Astell&Kern Stay updated on Astell&Kern at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
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  3. orifiel
    Ok, thanks
     
  4. TYATYA
    20190306_230717.jpg
    On body of SS.
    Wonder to see CU printed on sd card's tray
     
  5. nicolitis
    I have got a Pathos Aurium home on a trial as I am intrigued to see if there will be a benefit of using an amp with my Sp1000m.

    I have not got any clever way of switching quickly between A and B so its just swapping cables about which is not ideal but anyway I hoped to hear a discernible improvement using the amp but I am not sure if I can or not, the sound overall may be a little cleaner and a touch more spacious but certainly nothing too obvious.

    Would you guys expect much improvement or is this fine machine so good in its own right that the Aurium or similar would shine better with a less capable Dap?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  6. Imusicman
    Great question. I’m using mine as a USB DAC at the moment and experiencing great results. I also wondered what it would be like if introduced a amp only. Saying that my headphones are pretty easy to drive. LCD4Z, Empyrean & PM-1
     
  7. DonR
    I've owned my SPKcu for months now (with MySpheres) and finally decided to just give a pair of air-pods a try on the BT connection.

    They work, but I'm getting such a low output that I have to crank it up to max (150) to even hear some music.

    Am I missing something here (regarding settings) or is this very low output normal for driving the air -pods with the SPK?
     
  8. Andricop
    You mean Apple AirPods ?? Their output is incredibly low, even on the iPhone I have the volume nearly at max.
    And BTW they are really bad to listen to music, especially when you have a SPK :)
    You should try something like the Shure SE846 with their BT cable
     
  9. CreditingKarma
    I am using the sp1000cu with my LCD 4z and it drives as them well around 90 to 100 on the volume out of single ended. What volume do you listen to them on. I found it interesting how loud others were driving their Solaris with the sp1000.

    That said I did notice an improvement in sound when I auditioned the hugo tt2 with the 4z. That was before the drivers were replaced. I am excited to get my tt2 and do some real listening at home. I find it hard to really audition headphone equipment at a store and get into the music.

    How do you find the empyrean compared to your 4z. I was on the fence between the two. I don't think my wife would be happy if I bought another headphone right now. :beyersmile:
     
  10. nicolitis
    I also want to check about using the 2.5mm balanced out on the SPKm. It says on the spec sheet only 4 pole supported, does this mean that as the Auriums balanced ports are 3 pin I cannot use a balanced connection between the two?

    Sorry if silly question.
     
  11. DeepSouth
    Sounds like heresy.
    I tried to use my sp1000 with my old tivoli once. The output too was incredibly low. My iphone seems to make a better preamp for BT devices.
     
  12. DeepSouth
    How does the LCD-4Z do with the sp1000? Are there other full size models that do well? I have several IEMs and CIEMs, but after I auditioned with a focal utopia (3.5 and very long cable) I was turned off. There was no way for me to audition utopia with a 2.5 cable in store.
     
  13. CreditingKarma
    I like the LCD 4Z out of the sp1000cu. I use the se output I have a balanced cable that I used with my LCD X but have not tried it yet. The x sounds good out of the sp1000 too as well as the clears. I actually like the clears more than the utopia. All of them will scale with more amplification. I have an idsd bl. The dac is not as good as the sp1000 but the amp is more robust.

    The alo cv5 pairs well with the sp1000. It gives a bit more width to the sound. I am waiting for my Hugo TT2 to come in and I am done for the time being with dacs and amps. I will add an mscaler in the future though.

    What iems do you have that you really like. What sound signature are you looking for? The 4z is different than the utopia. There is not as much treble but in all other respects I think the 4z is better.
     
  14. DeepSouth
    I didn't like utopia because the bass was gone, the treble was hurting my ears. I read something about some stock cables ruining bass, and it's probably underpowered on the 3.5. I'm not saying it's a bad HP, I just had a bad experience with it. At canjam utopia's treble seemed to bright for my ears and I'm realizing I'm sensitive to it.
    Layla is my favorite so far, but it's my best IEM too. I have layla, shure se846, andromeda, and equinox. My only headphones are a very old bose that I won't wear anymore, and a pryma.
    I bought LCD-X and really liked them after my first Canjam, but they were defective, and customer service tried to convince me that my problem was a feature. Once they got them back, they admitted my pair was defective and they handled me better. It was just a rocky road in the beginning. My LCD-X was driven with my iphone or ipad. It sounded good some of the time, but if there was a lot going on, I begun to hear a ton of defects so now I know how the sound degrades when underdriven.

    I did some more demoing at my local audio store, and in the showroom I no longer cared for LCD-X compared to LCD-3 (if I recall). LCD-X had a better sound signature, but LCD-X lacked the clarity I was looking for. I was using a Mcintosh MHA150 as the headphone amp. They did not have LCD-4z for me to hear. Hearing high quality headphones on a MHA150 probably won't give the same end result as a handheld device no matter how awesome it is.

    I also like Auteur, but at RMAF it was so dependant on the amp I'm afraid to buy without a demo on sp1000. autuer sounded great on the head amp, yet terrible on their tube amp demo.
     
  15. DeepSouth
    Please let me know when you do use the 2.5 cable with the lcd-4z!
    Also how does LCD-X sound with 3.5 vs 2.5 cable?
     
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