DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward

DAP’s, Portable Rig And Driveline Specs Updated For Reviews, Going Forward…

The Updated Specs are in Bold below.

AK120 Portable Digital Audio Player and Amplifier Stack ©Christmachine 2017

 

VinylTransfer(Needledrop) / Reel To Reel Transfer/ HD TRAcks/ CD to FLAC/ALAC/ WAV/.mp3(320kbps) -> AK120 (No Mods) 24/192 Capable Portable Audio Reference Server (2 X Stock Wolfson WM8740 DAC’s [One For Each Channel]) w/ 3-ohm output impedance (64GB Onboard FLASH + 2 x 200GB San Disk Micro SDXC-10 Cards) -> ALO Audio SXC 22 mini to mini 3 Wire Silver Plated Copper -> ALO Audio International Headphone Amp w/ 24bit96kHz DAC w/ Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC Chip -> ALO Audio Green Line (balanced universal mini XLR) w/classic copper sends and silver-plated copper returns -> ALO Audio Green Line RSA 4 pin Balanced XLR -> Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G w/mini XLR Metal Reinforced Male Input Connects.

Additional DAP Source Players: Fiio X5 & The Pono Player (For Cross Reference Listening).

Additional Headphones Used: Sennheiser HD700, Audio Technica ATH M50 (OLD Model w/ Coil Chord), Sony MDRV6 (Studio Monitor w/ Coil Chord).

Note #1…I do not use IEM’s (In Ear Monitors) so one has to know whether or not their particular IEM’s match with the 3 Ohm Output Impedance of the AK120.

Note #2…You will notice that the AK120 was not modified (for lower output impedance) as I did with the AK100.  The reason I chose not to modify is because I wanted to use a stock AK120 player…so others could hear what I was hearing if they so choose.

 

Here Is a link to the Spec Sheet for the AK120 (PDF Opens New Tab).

http://www.soundfidelity.co.uk/media/downloads/products/AstellKern_AK120_Manual_English.pdf

 

Disclaimer:  As you know this site is not here to sell anyone anything, so I must disclose that the Pono Player was given to me, as I was an early stage beta tester.  I did not know I was going to be asked to be a beta tester nor did I know that we would be able to keep the player after testing was completed.  More on that another time…I will say that whatever you have read, the people behind Pono are well intentioned.  They created a damn good DAP…all criticisms aside, they really were and are (in the end) just trying to move Hirez forward.  This is a win for all.  The Pono Player will not be a main feature in reviews…I just wanted to let people know my source DAP’s for info.

 

As Far as the other DAP’s:

Some quick thoughts that might be helpful.  I never use the bundled software with the DAP units.  You want headaches…then use the software.  I simply use the DAP’s as default external drives, when plugged into the computer, just drag and drop my music files / folders into the onboard flash or memory cards.  I fill the memory cards by using the adaptor that comes with the cards and do the heavy transferring of music files via the memory card slot on the computer.

Another helpful hint, with the exception of the Pono Player which automatically scans my it’s memory at startup, I never ever ever scan my AK120 DAP…there is no need for me to do so.  I turn automatic scanning off on the AK120 and just remember where I put the files.  I just organize the folders in a way that makes it pretty simple to navigate.  On occasion it will take a minute or two to find something but it’s not a burden.

I don’t listen the way most people do…I do not use playlists, I tag my own files with mp3 Tag freeware, I listen to full albums (except for maybe electronic).  Every time I listen to an album I try to listen for something I never heard before, and every time…no matter how many listens, it presents itself.  I’m not trying to tell anyone how to listen to their music but I see people giving excellent DAP’s a bad review because the software was buggy, or they fill their memory cards with hundreds of GB of music while in the DAPs’ expansion slots.  Sometimes the GUI in the player itself is a little glitchy, but never miserable unless you’re expecting iPhone fast.

I Have had the AK120 for 2 years now and I use it daily with no battery issues…recharge is  slow, just plug in at night and it’s ready to go the next morning.  I do not use the DAP’s continuously all day, I switch between the phone to DAP’s throughout the day and they just work.  A little clunky but sounds damn good enough to make up for any shortfalls.

Next Up Reviews…

 

 

If there’s anything I forgot I will add to the update section below this sentence.

Update: 

As of today 02/23/17 No Updates At This Time.
Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the (nutty) author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server – Social Media Icons Explained

Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server – Social Media Icons Explained ~

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Christmachine social media Icons Simplified…It is necessary to do two posts in quick succession before I start unloading all of the Christmachine Audio Reference Server Quality Standards Catalog recommended as best sources to seek out for your listening pleasure.

I will start with an explanation of the second post which will follow soon after (above) this one, just so you know why, as well as my reasoning for this approach.  The following post will be a rundown of the gear / rig(s) that I have been using for the last two years.  It is somewhat similar to an earlier post a few years back (which I will link to below) except for the different Digital Audio Players (DAP’s – More than one) and there updated specs, that have improved the sound quality without my taking a major hit in price to upgrade.  It’s not super cheap to be fair, but I would say within the price range for anyone who already spends money on gear and music already.

You could do with what gear you already have on hand, even go a whole different route and purchase gear within your price range as well as what sounds good to your ears.  You just have to know that your gear supports the formats you get (Easy: see your device specs), and that if you are going to listen to high bitrates that the doc / dacs (Digital To Analog Converter(s)) have to also be able to support and output the quality (# Bit Depth / kHz Sample Rate) of the audio files.

If the file formats are not supported then a little research is needed to convert and preserve the integrity of the files.  If the internal dac / dacs downsample the audio, it will still sound Very Good at say (16/44) but you will not be making use of the full range of sound afforded by the recordings.

If 16/44 is enough for you then you will have the highest quality 16/44 around, he heh!  Make it fun anyway and compare to your CD versions as well as any digital files such as .mp3’s or .mp4’s, notice any differences. Remember that listening tastes change over time,  according to your current perspective (mood/biases), and is greatly affected by ambient noise in your surroundings.  It does not have to be maniacal, whatever floats the boat, right–yeah!

So the next post will show you my reference / listening gear, so that you can get a general idea as to how I listen and made the decisions for this standardized “Christmachine: Audio Reference Server Catalog“.  The three key words to remember are “Reference”, “Standard”, and “catalog”.  These reviews are from “my” personal “reference catalog”.  Therefore it is my subjective opinion as to the “standard”.  It’s not rocket science.

The fun again, is comparing and contrasting different audio sources and training your ears and brain through a critical listening process that will mature over time.  You can learn this on your own, i.e. by say focusing on the individual instruments and differeing sound signatures, etc. inside and between various recordings of the same piece of music mastered for each specific medium and format.

Keep in mind that the recordings must be of the same sessions or you will then be getting into a whole other realm, known as artist interpretations.  These are quite common in Classical Music, for example, for different musicians, conductors, or composers interpreting a standard legacy piece (Say Mozart’s “Requiem” or Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” or Beethoven’s 9th Symphony) differently or according to how they believe it should be represented or played.  That’s another realm of exploration, but I digress.

You already own…right now, “your own” personal reference catalog and may not think of it that way.  These are just meant to be my personal recommendations, if you want to attempt to take the music to another level.  If you listen to one or two or three and disagree, happy where your at, then great.  You can always use this site (or not 😉  ) as a reference, and be solid in your opinion….”knowing” where you think I am wrong.

Here is the link I referred to above for reference to my previous rig…

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/show-off-the-portable-rig-and-driveline-specs/

 

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

Next I just want to take a moment to explain the social media icons, located in the upper right hand corner wedge on all the pages of this website.  There is a reason the icons visual logos do not correspond to the correct link and take you to another of my social media graveyards…heh.  For example the first icon that represents “Linked In” will take you to my twitter page…the reason being that I do not put those icons there to redirect you somewhere else to mess with you.  I do it because, having the right icon for each link just means more traffic and I am not doing this for clicks.  This is a archive website, no frills, not trying to break the net.

So below this paragraph I will post all the links in the order that they are represented in the corresponding icons.  If you want to click on these links to check them out, then you can just ignore the social media icons.  Most of the links are graveyards (save for a few), as I said earlier, but they will be used heavily once I get this website really full of fresh content and reviews.

Another thing there are some other links that readers have been going to via search engines thinking that they are mine. A few are not, and that is why I am explaining and posting all the links here.  For example…there is more than one Christmachine Youtube account…so now you will be able to see the right one, same for FB, and a few others.

Also there are a few links that I use daily, so I added them to the icons and are not my pages, but use them for reference for say Discogs and Wiki Languages and Omniglot.  Some of them like Discogs are there because I reference then a lot in regards to this website, and obviously you can use them too, for cross reference and search.  The Dynamic Range Database is in there as well…again, pertinent to this website.  So here they are for our reference.  All the links below are hot but open in a new tab, so be aware of that if you are on mobile. Stay well!

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/christ_machine

 

Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealChristMachine

 

Scoop.IT:

http://www.scoop.it/u/christmachineandicelandicgurlagenda

 

Omniglot:

http://www.omniglot.com

 

DR – Dynamic Range Database:

http://dr.loudness-war.info

 

Tumblr:

http://christmachine.tumblr.com

 

Christmachine Google Image Search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=christmachine&hl=en&biw=1221&bih=680&site=webhp&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiU3-KV–PRAhWTdSYKHW-uCFwQsAQIIA#imgrc=_

 

Mixcloud:

https://www.mixcloud.com/ChristMachine/favorites/

 

Christmachine WordPress.com:

https://christmachine.wordpress.com

 

Christmachine RSS Feed:

(You must have a RSS Reader Installed / Or Shared Links On Mac)

feed://www.christmachine.com/feed/

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/public/Lincoln-Dottir-Christmachine

 

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/christ_machine/

 

Discogs:

https://www.discogs.com

 

Soundcloud:

https://soundcloud.com/christmachine/following

 

Wikipedia Languages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wikipedias

 

Google+:

https://plus.google.com/116278604902632351342

 

Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/christmachine/

 

There you have it…Current Rig post up next! And then…  😉 🙂 😉

 

Photo Courtesy Of Doc Keyaza!

 

 

Thanks For Reading & All Your Endless Support!

Love You Lots! Stay Well, Be Kind & Bless.

 

Tak Tak, Bless!

Grazie, Ciao!

Obrigadx, Tchau! Adeus!

Gracias, Adios!

Danke, Tchuss!

Merci, Au revoir!

Dank je…Bedankt, Alstublieft!

Merci Vilmal, Adeau!

Gracies, Adieu!

Gracies, Adeu!

 

CM ☕

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the (nutty) author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

Copyright © 2017 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

 

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine ☕

The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

 

The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

****NOTE ~ None of the 1960’s US Capitol Rainbow Pressings or The 1983 US Capitol Rainbow Re-Issues make the cut. The 1983’s are close but not acceptable.

 You will not find underground compilation lists like this anywhere else on the worldwide web. Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server Exclusive!

===============================================
The Best Of “The Beatles” Catalog Pressings…[Post Special]

2
The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing)Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

**The Beatles – With The Beatles (1963) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

3The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963) (Original UK Mono Pressing) FnlMstr Vinyl Rip >  Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)(Original UK Tube Cut) 2011 UltMstr Vinyl Rip  4Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964/1982 Reissue) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 16Bit/44kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964) (Japanese Toshiba BC-13 Box Set Pressing) [RAW] Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

1The Beatles – Die Beatles (1964) (Original German Hör zu Pressing)  Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\
Comment From BZ: It is much heralded amongst Beatles [Collectors] people[sic] for being a version of that first LP that has not been subjected to any processing or equalization. In effect, it is advertised as the “truest” and “purest” vinyl represntation of the initial 14 Beatle songs ever offered in long play form. It has been sourced from a beautiful copy of
the original LP. [Ed Note: Different copy…same quality and pressing]
http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=244569

5

 

The Beatles – Beatles For Sale (1964) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

6

 

 

The Beatles – Help! (1965) (Japanese Toshiba BC-13 Box Set Pressing) [RAW] Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/192kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Help! (1965/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) 2012 FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\
7
The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

8

The Beatles – Revolver (1966/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

Another Great Source:

**The Beatles – Revolver (1966) (Original UK Mono Pressing) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

UPDATE FOR SGT. PEPPER’S MEGA THREAD ~ SAME PRESSING, SAME SOURCE, HIGHER RESOLUTION:

 

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/the-beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-the-ultimate-review-my-process-vinyls-vs-digitals-w-mono-and-stereo-love-miley-cyrus-eat-your/

 

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/the-beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band-the-ultimate-review-my-process-vinyls-vs-digitals-w-mono-and-stereo-love-miley-cyrus-eat-your-lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds-fing-h/
#1ST PLACE : THREEWAY Tie for The Best Of The Best\9

Depending on your preference for either stereo better or mono, these two[Three] (UPDATE NEW RIP) are #1

#2 in Mono Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) [VINYL] (UK Mono Original) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz Lossless FLAC\ UK Parlophone Mono PMC 7027 (Original Issue)

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing -1 Matrix) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/48kHz ALAC .MP4 [Hi-Rez]

UPDATE SAME PRESSING, SAME SOURCE, HIGHER RESOLUTION:
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) (Original UK Tube Cut Pressing -1 Matrix) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

#2ND PLACE : THREEWAY Tie for The Best Of The Best10

Depending on your preference for either stereo better or mono, these two[Three] (UPDATE NEW RIP) are #2

#1 in Mono Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper(1967/1982 Reissue) (Japan Red Wax Mono) 2011 UltMstr Vinyl Rip  Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

#5 in Stereo Vinyl Section ~ The Beatles – Sgt. P’s L H C B (1967) (UHQR)  FnlMstr FMV-NC Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Update:
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967/1982) (Japanese Red Wax Mono) 2014 Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

11

 

 

The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour (1967/1971) (Original German Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

12

 

The Beatles – The White Album (1968)(UK White Vinyl Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – The White Album (1968) (UK White Vinyl Pressing) FnlMstr (NC) Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

 

14

 

 

The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969) (Original UK Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

 

 

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969) (japanese Red Wax Mono) DESS Buster 2010 15Vinyl Rip  > Transferred to 16Bit/44kHz Lossless Flac\ AKA The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (Japanese Red Wax Mono) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 16Bit/44.1kHz

Another Great Source:

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969) (2012 EU Remaster) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/96kHz [Hi-Rez]

Another Great Source/ Honorable Mention:16

The Beatles – Yellow Submarine Songtrack (1999) Vinyl Rip > transferred to 24Bit/96kHz [Hi-Rez] Remixed & Re-Mastered & This is the Black Vinyl version not the Yellow Vinyl…Yellow is noisy and this black is quiet. Also this pressing is very “Clinical” Sounding but it may have the best Sounding Sgt. Peppers version anywhere IMO. I noticed there was so much more detail to this track and after a spectral analysis there was a lot more “cool” data to the file and I checked it against every version of Sgt. Peppers I have and I was right. Vinyl purists tend to detest this version because it does not contain the Original
Mixes.\

 

 

17

 

 

The Beatles – Let It Be (1970) (Original UK Pressing) Ans2TheMstr Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]\

 

 

18

 

 

 

The Beatles – Hey Jude (1970) (Original UK Pressing) FnlMstr FMV-NC Vinyl Rip > Transferred to 24Bit/96kHz Lossless Flac [HI-RES]

 

 

There are High Hopes That Pono Music Store Versions in the future (I doubt they’ll get anymore than the Digital 24Bits already released and they don’t make it on to this list) or The coming Mono Vinyl Box Set! (Don’t Hold your breath it took a few decades to get the 2009 digital remasters…the Mono’s were the best of the bunch and that is not saying much.) Sozzz 🙁

 

Mirror: The Portal To The Back end Side Of This Site:

 http://playlists.christmachine.com/a-intro/christmachine-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-11-the-best-of-the-beatles-catalog-pressings-mirror-post-special/

 

Next Up  ~ Led Zeppelin Catalog!

======================================

End\

 

I hope this gives you some reference information. I will be updating it over time as the music continues to evolve. Thank you all for you questions, comments, and words of wisdom.

 

So there you have it…thanks for reading and your massive support.

Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

My Audio Reference Music Server … In Depth…

900x900px-LL-f7323f1c_tumblr_leqkevyKjJ1qzmy30o1_500_large

The fair light, favorite time of the day

In the first post for this website I explained what we would be doing here, and having read some of the posts you know that. Some of it will be free form and miscellaneous but the enjoyment for all of us over time will be heightened with a large archive of data and information about music as it continues to evolve.  Right now we are in the first building infrastructure phase, and the reason I say that  is because if you click on some of the categories on the right side of the pages…some of them will have very few links to pieces or may at this point have only been mentioned in an article. These are the types of Bands and artists that I will do future reviews of their catalogs, however this list will continue to grow in many unexpected directions. As the lists get longer, in due time all of the categories, especially the artists and terminology will have plenty of content, reviews & videos etc.

Some of the reviews that will be done will be mega-posts on one particular landmark album where I review say 20 or more versions in every format imaginable. Some bands that have small catalogs to this point, all of it may be covered in one single post but I will update the post as information and releases change. It all depends as you can see, and I  am constantly gathering ideas, excited for a lot of things to cover over time.

 

IMG_5575edit

“The Audio Reference Music Server”

 

What do I mean when I say “Audio Reference Music Server…In Depth“? Well it has to do a lot with my portable Hi-Rez DAP (See Here: http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/show-off-the-portable-rig-and-driveline-specs/ ) as well as my collection of sources. Obviously like a lot of you I keep a lot of my music not on my computer but in a safe place because, well there’s so much of it. Plus I keep every version of an album that I like for future comparison, testing, and listening. As I’ve said if before if I want to try a different sound signature such as “clinical” over “warm” or “Bright” over “Flat”. I also keep different versions such as mono, stereo, quad, as well as many other categories for “Mood Listening“. Ultimately though what happens when these albums are listened side by side (ABX’d) I have an initial judgement. If it is something I want to listen to or get to know more I put it on my DAP.

tumblr_mllsdv0WFq1qg39ewo1_500

Click for some low end thump!

Over time as I get used to the different releases…I often find a better source and it replaces the one that is on my player. Usually I will have them both on there for a little while so I can be sure and then I delete one. I’m pretty intense about it, for example there are days where I will only listen to one particular album (All Versions) for a full day. That means no other music to get in the way of judgement, track by track on every release with a trained ear for the full day. For example “Sgt. Peppers”  or “Dark Side of the Moon” each for one or more days. I hear new detail every time I listen…some may call this obsessive but I am fascinated and driven by it. This is not all the time though, I usually mix it up but I look forward to those “extreme days of dedication” when I can.

With all that comparing and dedicated listening I am constantly weeding out the fluff between different formats, resolutions, and pressings and focusing in on the best. As the contenders list gets shorter and their merit as to why I consider them to stand out from the pack makes itself known, I watch the cream rise to the top. So I have been doing this for a few years and I now look at my portable DAP as “The Reference” for me / where I set the bar as the best until I am proven wrong with my own ears. It’s science, as we know a theory is constantly tested until shown to be inaccurate and while it continues to stand up to rigorous testing It becomes law. My DAP is no different, so after many years of doing  this on different devices…I have finally come up with a large portable library that is the best, my subjective opinion of course as you have your best, and this is what makes up “The Audio Reference Music Server.” (in depth).

Thanks for reading and again for all your support.

Bless Bless

Braindamage Inc.

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

Show off the Portable Rig and Driveline Specs…

IMG_5564

Astel And Kern AK100 -Self Mod., ALO Audio International HP Amp, ALO Audio Green line cable.

IMG_5566

Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G [Balanced XLR] Headphones

VinylTransfer(Needledrop) / Reel To Reel Transfer/ HD TRAcks/ CD to FLAC/ALAC/ WAV/.mp3(320kbps) -> AK100 Self Mod 24/192 Capable Audio Reference Server (Stock WM8740 DAC) w/ 22Ohm Output Stage Bypass, hard-wired from output stage FET’sdirect to pins of HP output jack via Cardas copper litz solid core wire @ > 1-ohm of impedance (32GB Onboard FLASH + 2 x 128GB San Disk Micro SDXC-10 Cards) -> ALO Audio SXC 22 mini to mini 3 Wire Silver Plated Copper -> ALO Audio International Headphone Amp w/ 24bit96kHz DAC w/ Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC Chip  -> ALO Audio Green Line (balanced universal mini XLR) w/classic copper sends and silver-plated copper returns -> ALO Audio Green Line RSA 4 pin Balanced XLR -> Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G w/mini XLR Metal Reinforced Male Input Connects.

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This is an Open Source Friendly Site

I’ve had this rig for more than a year now and I have not even had to use a “hard reset” even once…not one hiccup, just drag and drop files (Hi-rez or 16Bit/44.1kHz) on to the SD cards either directly via USB to player or put the Sandisk SDXC cards into the included adapter for computer card readers and dump many GB of data  very quickly. For a few months I even used manipulated code firmware for the AK100, which was hacked by this kind developer from Russia on one of the forums because it added a gapless feature, better GUI (General User Interface), and more volume via the internal amp (it even sounded clearer)…this guy did it months sooner than Astel & Kern.

Now the official AK100 firmware has all of these features. Again another glaring example where the “underground” / “open source” movement forces a large company to get there act together and put out the options for the player that they want. That is not a dig at Astel and Kern as it sounds, I think they were releasing updates slowly to make sure there were not major problems on a large scale with their code. Astel & Kern is a great DAP maker, expensive but great. With all that said I would not advise anyone to instal unofficial firmware if they do not know what they are doing because you could brick your unit. This actually happened to some AK100 users on Head-fi and they could have had their warranties voided by Astel and Kern but A & K were nice enough to fix the units for free…now that’s customer service.

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The Famous Wolfson WM8740 DAC Chip.

One last thing these and other DAP units are known to not be noobie user friendly in the sense that you have to have a little technical know how to get everything up and running (for ex. different formatting of the memory cards and “Hard and Soft Resets”) and if you hit a snag go social to fix a hangup. This is what the “Pono Ecosystem” is trying to eliminate a more seamless user experience and a tight GUI. Further if your a coming from the Apple Ecosystem these units are not as playlist friendly as the Ipod / Iphone / android/ Windows and Itunes and this is a deal-breaker for many…just like “gapless” is essential to me if you listen to albums like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” or any album with no breaks between songs. Some of the other players that one can consider in this category that work well but all have their ups and downs are models like the X3/X5 from Fiio, the Ibasso DX series, and the HiFiMan HM-901. Finally be aware that if you have power hungry or high impedance “cans”  you may need to strap a small headphone amp to your portable player in order to fully power the headphones correctly. Happy listening!tagdits

Respect!

CM

 

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