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Newb Question - Big $ Spent - Need Expert Advice for AK SP1000

  1. SoundBytes
    Hello Head-Fi Community,

    It's really great to be on the site, so many experts here. Ok, some of you will enjoy this at my expense, no worries.

    What I have:
    - the new Astell & Kern A&ultima SP1000 DAP
    - UE 10 Pro CIEMs
    - Unbalanced Double Helix OCC Silver IEM cable attached to the unbalanced port on the SP1000

    What I have coming in 2-5 weeks:
    - UE 18 Pro CIEMs (getting molds done by audiologist tomorrow morning)
    - Balanced Double Helix OCC Silver 18.8awg IEM cable attached to the balanced port on the SP1000

    Ok so here is my question / concern:

    I am getting highs and mids but the low end is lacking, no real bass/lows at all. The SP1000 is very flat and underwhelming compared to even the iPhone with a DAC. Clarity, highs and soundstage are amazing. I mean it sounds good but it seems like its missing something for $3,500. I am in no way a bass head either, but it does not seem balanced for the three ranges for different types of music.

    If I am plugged into the unbalanced port right now (I don't have anything else to plug into it until my new cable arrives) could this be the reason the unit isn't bursting with more presence, low end and umpf....?

    Astell & Kern told me today they will have an amp for the SP1000 but I don't think that is it, volume goes to 150 so I can make it loud. And don't get me wrong, separation is fantastic.

    I was told, the SP1000 is meant to be run balanced, the output power is more than double when it’s balanced.
    All A&K gear is underwhelming when single ended....

    Can any experts here chime in... (like that pun)


  2. Barra
    I bet the UE18 (big bass) and the balanced port (2x power) took care of your concerns quickly. If you want bigger bass, the PWAudio 1960 cable will add that quickly. My A18 > 1960 > SP1000 SS rocked my world with huge bass at RMAF last weekend. Now I have to get an SP1000.
  3. SoundBytes
    Hello Barra,

    Yes, the cable and SP1000 with my UE18+ Pro's and HD800's sound unbelievable. I really wanted to go last weekend, but being in FL it was a bit of a pain to get out there... thanks for the information and I can tell you that you won't go wrong with the SP1000.

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