DAP talk (formerly best DAPs 2015)

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by zerodeefex, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    Lol yeah my least favorite part of this hobby is waiting for new gear in the mail. I ordered a Cayin N6ii in the mail last Sunday and it shipped from Jersey on Monday and was in my hands on the west coast of Vancouver Island by Friday...I was quite impressed. AK stuff is notoriously expensive but a lot of people stand by it so I dunno. They 2.5mm input originated with them so they're either being stubborn or looking after their user base. Not sure why they couldn't put a 2.5 and a 4.4 connection on the KANN. In any case I hope to hear it some day.
     
  2. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    I'll double check with my rep at Astell&Kern, but I'm fairly certain I'm authorized for North America. Happy to hook you up.
     
  3. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    So after looking for Kann Cube everywhere in Canada I found it today, thanks @Rockwell, right here in Toronto, 20 mi drive away from my house.

    I spend maybe two hours with it and the first impressions are how heavy it is, and how easy it is to turn a new device into your very own music player. Firmware upgrade from the A&K download was easy.
    I pulled an SD card from my old DX80 and 3 mins after sticking it to the Cube the 200GB card was scanned and ready to go. Installation of Qobuz from .apk took five minutes. Internal storage has maybe five folders, you know right away what is where and what to do with it.
    I spent late night yesterday soldering a very crude A&K 5 pin to 4 pin XLR female adapter, so the first headphones I tried was HD800S.

    Seriously I feel I will have to listen a lot longer to find out what is missing on Kann Cube comparing to my main system with BHA-1. It is different for sure, and novelty in sound is exciting. I am planning to really give it a good spin with HEK v2 and HD800S in the next couple of days. If more people get into it maybe it should have its own thread.
    EDIT: 15 minutes with TR-X00 (balanced) was a lovely time
    Yes, you can see immediately that 2.5 mm may be a problem with a heavy adapter, but cannot do much about it.
     
  4. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    How are you liking it so far? I considered getting the cube but resisted due to 2.5mm and from pics I've seen it looks quite big. Is it portable in the traditional sense or is it better described as "transportable" a la the Sony DMP-Z1?
     
  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I did not have enough time yet to do critical listening, takes notes etc.. That need to wait until the weekend but so far I am happy that I bought Kann Cube.
    Initial impressions on interface, ease of use, features etc..
    • It is not a portable device, it is lighter than Jotunheim but not much :). And it is big: 5.5x3.5x1.5 inch of machined aluminum shows 0.55 Kg on a scale.
    • The first, very chaotic, sound impressions:
      • SE 846 with a black nozzle are not exactly known for precision and good instrument separation. On Kann Cube the instrument separation and sound is much improved comparing to DP-X1 or Jotunheim.
      • TR-X00 got a bit closer to "open" without loosing their great bass extension. I am on ZMF Eikon pads and Dekoni attenuators.
    • it probably will not be any surprise to the folks familiar with A&K stuff but this is my first A&K:
      • Interface is very simple and intuitive. It is android based but everything that is not related to the player functionality is removed.
      • Everything is low key and efficient. The device will let you see just a few folders and the the purpose of each one is obvious and self explanatory.
    • Local library: Cube accepts cards created on Win 8, LG V 30 ThinQ, DP-X1. The library was quickly scanned ,very few gaps in album art if any. Tagging in some cases is more accurate than on Roon core. Scrolling is very fast,
    • Connectivity: easy and bug free. The Cube is immediately recognized by Win 8.1.
      Wireless is reliable, BT pairing and connection stability is very good. Senn PXC 550 is a bitch to pair with anything, on Cube it showed on the list of devices and accepted pairing right away.
    • Streaming: Tidal and Deezer are preinstalled as services, it took just few minutes to install Qobuz apk. No issues playing 24/196 files.
    • Amplifier: Mid gain at 50% is enough for HEKv2 and HD880S in balanced node. I do not have my 600 Ohm headphones with me but I think High gain could push anything.
    • AKConnect is again very simple to setup: you download the server to PC and define you the library folder. It can be local or a network drive. In less than 5 mins the Cube was streaming from my WD NAS.
    • 2.5 mm: I plugged in my DIY 4 pin XLR to 2.5 A&K adapter and clearly it is NOT a reliable solution. Two heavy Neutrik connectors cannot be hanging from a tiny 2.5 mm plug. But Kann Cube is not a mobile or portable device. This is a small size desktop setup.
    • Volume control:
      • if you change the gain level, or plug in new headphone, the device will automatically lower the volume.
      • Volume knob feels like a stepped attenuator
    EDIT: after more listening hours with SE846 I found out that Kann Cube does not have such a black background as I thought. I cannot hear it with any other IEMs or headphones but with SE846 there is noticeable, although very low background , noise level. My next most sensitive is IEM is MD+, and I hear nothing.
    I do not have Andromedas but if this is your IEM my advice is listen before you buy.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  6. netforce

    netforce MOT: Headphones.com

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    Got in our demo Kann Cube recently, been a little slammed so only had a chance so far to load in some music and charge it up plus some exploration in the UI. But the thing is massive but at least not as heavy as the Sony WM1Z. AK gave us a recommendation to give it some time to burn in so I will probably just get it set to cycle through the music I put on it for like a week.

    With how big and how many the Kann Cube has, the case does seem to be necessary to go with it. The case launches officially on July 15th and was little pricey.

    Still weird how AK still has not gone to 4.4mm, they have the space on the unit. One would think AK is allergic to 4.4mm or something. 2.5mm seems to be only on the AK players now.

    Original Kann feels little flimsy compared to the Kann Cube and the UI on the Kann most certainly feels dated now.

    Got a request from one of my eccentric customers if I could listen to both the stainless steel and copper SP2000 and tell him how I felt between the two. He wants to get three SP2000, either two steel and one copper depending on how I like them. So a short 40 journey to the AK office is probably going to happen for me soon~
     
  7. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    [​IMG]

    I've been enjoying the Cayin N6ii with Solaris- the two compliment each other beautifully.
     
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  8. Yerim

    Yerim Rando

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    Have you updated to the new firmware? If so how do you find it compared to the stock one?
     
  9. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    Some great new features...runs fine...I haven't noticed any change in sound presentation like some were saying.
     
  10. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    MITER Case for Astell&Kern Kann Cube costs $58 on Amazon and seems to be more than sufficient. That's what I will order when I get to the States this year.

    Your customer may need my wife's services more than yours. She is a psychologist.
     
  11. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Facebook Friend

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    My second day with the Astell&Kern SR15 and boy oh boy does it sound lovely. My only experience with portables till yesterday was FiiO A3 and E12A Mont Blanc attached to my iPhone. I had no complaints, to be honest, but decided to buy a DAP. A great decision if I do say so myself. What a difference in sound quality.
     
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  12. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    Enjoying Ibasso DX 220 and month old CA Andromedas at my beach house. Best quality sounds I have ever heard at the beach. Using Amp 8. Left Amp 9 home like a dummy. Norne SX cable really kicks Andromeda up a notch.
     
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  13. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Nothing like good tunes at the beach! Enjoy
     
  14. toranku

    toranku Rando

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    DTR1 has a really great sound. Transients clear as day and a tight bass to boot.
     
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  15. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    News for Sony fans and anyone planning on purchasing the ZX300.

    Looks like Sony is coming out with 2 new DAPs this year. NW-A100 and NW-ZX500 which are going to be successors to the NW-A55 and the ZX300 respectively. Both devices seem to have WiFi, but there is no word confirming if the devices would support streaming. Looks like there is no flagship DAP from Sony this year.

    https://tinhte.vn/threads/sony-nw-a...an-moi-duoc-he-lo-truoc-them-ifa2019.2995950/
     
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  16. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Someone is getting back into the Android game. Mark my words.
     
  17. netforce

    netforce MOT: Headphones.com

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    Sony is heading out to RMAF next month and got the Tokyo show in October I believe. So might make an announcement for new daps.
     
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  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Great ... just when I'd resigned myself to being satisfied with the ZX300 being WiFi-less, this comes along. I swear they're doing it on purpose! :mad:
     
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  19. 8man

    8man Acquaintance

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    Has anyone gotten their hands on the new FiiO M5? I know it may not be high end stuff, but I've been following the thread on it, it seems like a great choice when you don't want a brick in your pocket. Apparently the official release had been pushed towards earlier this month and it's out now.
     
  20. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    I have one here. I played with it for an hour and listened to it for a few mins. Sound quality is only on the level as my iPhone headphone dongle. UI is smooth enough. Just not on the level of your smartphone. But the touch screen is quite responsive. So far I have identified one quirk, which is, the headphone port is located right next to the volume rocker buttons. So when a headphone is plugged in, it can be a little challenging to access the volume rocker buttons.
     
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