Just bought Astell & kern ak120. Any suggestions for stereo amp and speaker set up?
Do you not already have this equipment at home?
Primarily in the house the AK120 is a USB DAC but with bonus optical connection in / out. So to make full use of the top end dual DAC it should really be placed between a high end CD player / transport, a PC / MAC, a high res streamer, a high end amp and high end speakers.
What I would immediately suggest would cost £3,000 - £4,000 easily, and you just spent £1,100.
I'd be more interested to understand how the AK120 sounds as a portable DA player and what (if any) headphones you are using?
LOUNGE - Cyrus CD Transport, Cyrus Stream X2, Cyrus 8xpdQX with PSX-R in pre-amp config, dual Cyrus Mono X in bi-wire configuration with dual PSX-R / VdH The Wave interconnects, PMC Twenty 22 and matching stands.
MY DEN - Mac Mini with Audirvana Plus, Audiolab 8200CD, Audiolab 8200A, Pathos Aurium / Sennheiser HD800, Monitor Audio GX50 / GS stands
SURROUND - Marantz BD5004 / NR1601, Monitor Audio RX centre / RX2 front / B&W 685 rear / Velodyne mini BVE
Having only recently purchased the AK120 I haven't updated any equipment to get the most out of it.
Current set up: running ak120 into onkyo txsr605 av receiver using toslink optical lead. Fronts: jam lab tantal 505s, centre: mission 77c, rears: mission 77ds, sub woofer: jarmo esub.
Currently using £25 Beyerdynamic in ear headphones (not sure which ones)
As a portable DA player it's awesome with lossless 16 or 24 bit files.
in a nutshell, system needs a major overhaul. Any suggestions?
For my thoughts, the whole point of using the AK120 is to decode high resolution digital music using the dual DAC.
The post DAC output signal should then remain in the analogue state, so you shoudn't really be using the optical out to connect to an AV receiver.
In short, it is a portable DAP in the main, a pass through external DAC.
I also have a preference for keeping AV and stereo systems separate. So I'd keep your AV as-is; so look to get a new stereo set up.
There could be some issue that the analogue out (headphone socket) might not be switchable to fixed line out, so the volume control on the AK120 might be driving a variable line out. So contradicting myself, you may indeed need to use the optical out and see if a digital amp like the new PM6005 is any use. Also see the TEAC 501 digital amp.
Get down to your local hi-fi retailer with your AK120, explain what you want to do, what you can afford to spend and see where it goes. Failing that, look at the What hi-fi best buys or 5 star reviews. I trust them (mostly)
Better still, wait for What Hi-fi to test the AK120.
Thanks. Really useful comments.
To the OP I would suggest there is not much point in starting the same thread in two parts of this forum.
Origin Live Aurora Gold+Illustrious Mk2 arm+Zyx R100-02/Stello CDT200+Stello DA220 dac/Tom Evans Groove Anniversary phono amp/Tom Evans Vibe preamp/Linear A power amp/Acoustic Zen Adagios/Chord cables/Oppo 105EU.
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