The New iRiver/Astell & Kern AK100: A High-End DAP
May 19, 2014 at 8:02 AM Post #8,416 of 9,162

AlterSack

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Well , let's see how major this firmware update really is.

As you guys mentioned previously, there won't be much more focus once the II's get into stores.
As I said in the AK100 & AK120 II thread, I am not a fan of the design AND the price. The reason I stick with the old AK100 is both its SQ and form factor, other than that is just to make things looks even more nice.

I almost totally agree with You here - the one nice thing about the new 100&120s is that they both will be able to stream music just like the 240. This way cou can use it at home with a NAS and practically have "unlimited" storage. Apart from that I personally think that I prefer the from factor of the old AK100/120 over the new size.  (the new AK100 is almost double the lentgh of my old one)
Of course they also claim that the SQ has improved.  We will have to wait and see till the first comparisons come up.
 
With respect to pricing: When I told the (local) sales rep guys that iriver's price policy sucks they just shrugged  their shoulders and said that the production line of the 240 is constantly sold out because there are many people out there who just ask "for the best" and don't care if "the best" costs 1.000, 2.000  Euros or more.
So - if this development goes on in the market there might come a time when apple comes back to this market to sell "premier products".
 
Anyway - the next weeks/months might be a good time to acquire some used RWA 100 or 120 for reasonable prices ...
 
May 19, 2014 at 9:20 AM Post #8,417 of 9,162

esmBOS

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I'm personally not a fan of these new designs (nor their pricetags...) and I'll be holding on to my RWAK100 for a loooong time 
redface.gif
 Will be interesting to se what the next/last firmware update has in store for us!
 
May 19, 2014 at 7:11 PM Post #8,418 of 9,162

hemtmaker

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I'm personally not a fan of these new designs (nor their pricetags...) and I'll be holding on to my RWAK100 for a loooong time :xf_eek:  Will be interesting to se what the next/last firmware update has in store for us!

+1..... The design really puts me off
 
May 19, 2014 at 11:51 PM Post #8,420 of 9,162

AbsoluteZero

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Weird shapes is the new trend :wink:
 
May 20, 2014 at 12:02 AM Post #8,421 of 9,162

Levanter

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I think the design will grow on you as time goes by. Initially I thought the 240 looked hideous. But now I'm starting to appreciate the unique design.
 
May 24, 2014 at 10:06 AM Post #8,425 of 9,162

AbsoluteZero

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  Can AK100 II play SACD files? I have several SACD files at 2.8 Mz.


Do you mean DSD files?
 
If so, then big chance the soon-to-come new version will support it since the MkII is already supporting DSD files.
 
May 24, 2014 at 10:14 AM Post #8,426 of 9,162

Levanter

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Do you mean DSD files?
 
If so, then big chance the soon-to-come new version will support it since the MkII is already supporting DSD files.

 
DSD is already supported, but its downsampled to PCM so it doesn't really make any difference to me
 
May 25, 2014 at 10:04 PM Post #8,428 of 9,162

kimvictor

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I thought I might post this impression before I forget that I owned a RWAK100.
After selling my RWAK, I bought an ipod nano 7th gen. Here's my short little comparison. Take it light heartedly.
 
Size/Form:
Both have superb build quality. Apple is known for legendary build quality, but I feel like AK100 is just as, if not better built. However, size difference is huge. Nano is tiny. I mean tiny. I think nano+pico slim(or a small amp) is smaller then a AK100. I like both designs a lot. In terms of UI, nano wins easily. Music sorting is a bit different(nano require iTunes), but both are nice. Nano is also faster when copying music on to the flash memory.
 
Feature:
AK100 is an audiophile DAP. It has digital in/out, a powerful and respectable hp out, and even a USB DAC feature.
Nano is a slim DAP. It has Nike+, radio, and few fancy feature(not so audio related). It does have built in EQ, but it's no where near as good as AK100's EQ.
 
Playback:
AK100 supports full 24/192 flac playback. And yes. I actually do have music at that quality. About 20% of my library is 24bit.
Nano(or itunes) does actually support upto 24/48 playback, but I'm almost certain that it is down sampled to 16bit. Also, 24bit isn't the best choice as it's only 16gb.
 
So, the most important part. Sound.(PS, I had the RWAK100)
RWAK easily beats the nano. Better and much more solid bass, natural and wide sound, very delicate and detailed.
Nano is a flat and solid sounding DAP. It doesn't have ridiculous 22ohm OI like the original AK100. It lacks power when compared to RWAK. I used to have few Sansa DAPs(Fuze and Clip Zip). I think these are a slight step up from Sansa, but is still behind RWAK.
 
So my conclusion? I'm happy with the nano. It's so much more light and practical when compared to AK100. Also, it's like 1/5 of the price. I honestly don't think audiophile DAPs are that worthy of their price. Yes. They sound sweet, but it's not too practical.
 
If you were wondering, I used UERM, SE846, MDR7550, and IM03 to reach this conclusion. I'm an IEM guy that doesn't require too much power from DAPs.
 

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