NewsHead-Fi
August 2, 2020

Having fun with a multi-DAC A&K DAP at E1 Personal Audio

There are separate filter settings for the AKM and ESS DACs.
There are separate filter settings for the AKM and ESS DACs.

 

By Lam Seng Fatt

 

I dropped by E1 Personal Audio in Sungei Wang Plaza on Friday and was pleasantly surprised by a multi-DAC Astell & Kern DAP.

 

The Astell & Kern model was the A&futura SE200 (RM8,499) which has one AKM AK4499EQ and two ESS Sabre ES9068AS Digital-to-Analogue-Converter chips. There are two headphone jacks – one for the AKM and the other for the ESS Sabre output. It is marketed as the world’s first DAP with multi-DACs. Dual-DAC DAPs have been around in the market since A&K launched the Dual DAC AK120 player in 2013.

 

With the A&K A&futura SE200, it was a simple matter of unplugging the IEM from one jack and plugging it to the other jack to compare the sonic differences. I was quite surprised to find out that the AKM sounded better than the ESS – music from the AKM circuit sounded faster, more dynamic and clearer with a really punchy bass while from the ESS circuit, the sound was mellower and bit subdued.

 

 

The Astell & Kern flagship DAP the A&ultima SP2000 (left) and the multi-DAC SE200.
The Astell & Kern flagship DAP the A&ultima SP2000 (left) and the multi-DAC SE200.

 

 

From left: The Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, Solstice and Equinox IEMs.
From left: The Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, Solstice and Equinox IEMs.

 

I was using the Campfire Audio Equinox (RM7,239) solid-body custom-fit IEM featuring a single 10mm Full Range A.D.L.C. Diaphragm Dynamic Driver to test the A&K DAPs on demo which were the A&futura SE200, the new flagship A&ultima SP2000 (RM16,699) and the A&norma SR25 (RM3,499). The Campfire Audio IEMs on demo were the Equinox, the Andromeda 2020 (RM4,999)  and the Solstice which features five Balanced Armature Drivers + T.A.E.C. (RM7,239).

 

Today (Aug 2) is the last day of the Astell & Kern and Campfire Audio event at E1 Personal Audio in Sungei Wang Plaza.

 

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