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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. JaredRose
    So I just received an SP1000M and see in the manual that for charging it should be used with a 5v2a adapter for normal charge speeds or 9v1.67a for fast-charging. The charger that came with my Google Pixel 3 has output ratings of 5v3a and 9v2a. Would using that charger damage the battery? I'm a noob when it comes to electrical stuff and haven't been able to find anything about this in this thread or elsewhere on Google.
  2. SP1000_WOW
    Is the a way to feed SP1000 with Chord MScaler?
  3. CreditingKarma

    I couldn't get it to work when I had the mscaler. Not sure if there is a way to do bnc to USB. That is the only way that I think it could work. In the end I went with a r2r nos dac for my desktop setup and couldn't be more happy. For now the sp1000 is relagated to mobile use most of the time. The onyx just sounds a bit better than the sp1000.
    lithiumnk likes this.
  4. Omega139
    I have two questions on Roon:

    First: Does using exclusive mode with my SP1000 provide the "same quality" audio as running directly from the device?

    Second: Also, for the Roon users, what kinds of settings are you running with the SP1000? Not sure what to use for "DSD playback strategy, MQA capabilities" etc.
  5. Andricop
    Anyone, please ? Thanks :)

  6. Progisus
    AFAIC there is no roon for the SP1000 yet unless you are just using it in dac mode. I then assume you are connected to a computer by usb. Just set roon to do the first unfold. The SP1k in dac mode does not do the final unfold. The software setting for mqa in usb mode is only for using the SP1k as a streamer to another dac. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I have asked for a mqa primer from AK on several occasions but nothing yet. I am looking forward to roon implementation.
    Omega139 likes this.
  7. JasonNYC
    Currently not possible to install the Naim app on SP1000, but I will pass on the suggestion to our team.

    SP1000 supports both DLNA and aptx HD, so you would be able to stream using either to the Naim speaker. For DLNA networking, you would need to turn on AK Connect to enable DLNA.
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  8. JasonNYC
    Sorry @Progisus I was working with MQA and we have a draft together that is specific to AK devices. With all the shows the past few months, I haven't finished it. Planning on getting it done in the next week or two.
    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
  9. Progisus
    Perfect. I hope my reply’s have been fairly accurate. As a PLC programmer I know making O+M manuals can be frustrating, especially with new projects requiring attention.
  10. Hifi2jungle
    Are there any updates planned for ak connect with qobuz support?
  11. beholdclarity
    It's review time!

    Boy, oh boy. Is this thing giving me wet pants.


    Where to start? My experience so far is limited to the Chord Mojo, FiiO BTR3 and the Fiio Q5 as portable sources or DAC/AMP respectively. I have made the switch to a dedicated DAP after a brief but conclusive listening session with the A&futura SE100 in a store nearby.

    The A&Ultima comes in an incredibly nice wooden box which is where I intend to keep it stored when not in use. I have chosen the Sp1000Cu, the copper plated version which is quite substantially heavier than the SE100, at a pretty similar size. UI, usability and speed are identical to the SE100 in my opinion. Read this as: Fast and smooth enough. Coming from an iPhone 7, the difference is there but I consider the UI of the current A&K series as pleasing in all regards. Everything is neat and organised and the DAP just works. Good job!

    I am using the A&Ultima with the Campfire Audio Andromeda and Solaris on both SE and Balanced Output. I am happy to report that SE has no hiss that is noticeable to me, even with these highly sensitive IEM. It's pitch black!
    The balanced output has not left me wanting in the hiss section as well, although there is an ever so slight hiss detectable if you focus. Still, I consider this TOTL worthy and better than almost anything I have tried.

    Since I exclusively use sensitive IEM, I'm going to focus on their performance with this DAP. Please take note, that output impedance of a source (in this case 2 Ohm) may make a greater impact than the sound signature of the DAP. So take my impressions with a few grains of salt and consider if they can be applied to your gear as well.

    The first thing that strikes me as different between the SE100 and the SP1000Cu is the sound signature. Even though the SP1000 has a higher OI than the SE100 -according to specification-, the SE100 is brighter but has more bass impact. The SP1000 seems relaxed and smooth, one might say balanced or neutral in all aspects.
    At first I was thinking: Does it not extend as high or as low as the SE100? But then I realised No, that's not the case. Actually, extension is amazing. In all directions! The soundstage that I was presented with was enormous with details flying around in every direction when the track called for it. The lows were in fact a lot more tamed than with the Fiio Q5 for example but it felt as though a veil was lifted from the Solaris. All the details became apparent. In the mids. And in the lows. In the extreme highs of some less than ideal tracks (where some sources gave me a shrieking experience) there was no shrieking but a tiny bit of sparkle was gone in the process. Don't read this wrong, the detail is still there but it's not crashing or piercingly sharp.

    Where the SE100 is analytical and can drive you nuts with sharp notes the SP1000 is gentle even at high volume without sacrificing impact, emotion, soundstage, imaging, separation or clarity. In fact, all these attributes are increased compared to anything I have listened to in the past.

    Honestly, words fail me here. I was under the impression that clarity, detail and extension invariably come with increased sibilance and fatigue with monitors that are prone to it (especially Andromeda) but somehow the SP1000 manages to do it without that. End game.
    junix, denis1976, Progisus and 3 others like this.
  12. Uncle Monty
    Does the SP1000 have an optical out through the 3.5mm jack? The AK380 does and I feed my MScaler from that - sounds fantastic and Rob acts recommends optical for the MScaler as it cuts out any electrical noise.
  13. rbalcom
    The SP1000 does support optical out. The SP1000M does not and I am not sure about the SP2000.
  14. Samuel777
    This morning my sp1000 proposed me an update of tidal application i have installed manually few weeks ago. I
    I entered my Google play store account information in the sp1000 and it's started to download the application.
    May be I missed something by here, but I thought we could not update the application installed manually in the sp1000. But finally when I checked, looks like it was not updated. Dos anyone experiences that?
  15. FidelityCastro
    If I remember correctly, the unit will prompt you to update the pre-installed version, which I guess you can do on the device as normal. Doing this will act as a reminder to also update the manual store version, which may require updating externally / downloading the newer version from the AK store (like the first install).
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