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 ☕

Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas…

Neil Young On Pono Music / Videos From This Weeks 2015 CES In Las Vegas… I will update this page with any new videos or articles that are released ASAP!

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Video #1 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

This first video is only available off site…it is a Pro Shot and embedding is not allowed. So here’s the link below photo :

IgubWzKEAOlzhttp://www.cesweb.org/News/CES-TV/Video-Detail?vID=UKXkJRAGXSCY&dID=DliGIusJiD1C&sID=OhYr3WpdgEMj

 

Video #2 Neil Young On Pono At 2015 CES

Enjoy and Bless Bless!

Thanks for your support.

 

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

The New “ABOUT” Page…In Constant Evolution ~ Charmserver Mission:

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Mission Statement:

This is an educational website only…providing knowledge to those seeking information and artistic criticism in their journey for a more thorough understanding of contemporary media technology and guerrilla journalism.

  • To help others to navigate the tedious, and sometimes difficult to understand world of Analog to Digital / Digital to Digital Recordings and Transfers or “Rips”.
  • It’s all about the “Art Of Mastering” and “Source Material”. As you know the sound is only as good as it’s source, thus “Garbage in Garbage Out”.
  • As of today we have a large “Reference Quality Recordings” catalog (Flat Analog Transfers to Digital) sourced from Vinyl Rips from around the world. Our goal is to pressure the Rec*ording industry to move toward creating a “Reference Quality Digital Recordings Catalog” (Direct Flat Transfers from Original Analog Master Tapes to Digital).  There are a few movements that are positively affecting change toward this goal, but the quality of Hi-Res Digital transfers  is still extremely selective and spotty.
  • What is considered the “Best” of any recording is subjective…for example someone may love an official Hi-Res Digital Recording and that is fine, they might find the clarity and detail from such a recording is “The Best they have ever heard”. Whereas another trained ear who has heard many available recordings in different resolutions and formats of the recording in question might find it sterile, clinical, cold and lacking  in many ways, as well as the sound being “different” from what the artists in the studio originally intended for the listener to hear. Re-masters and Re-mixes “usually” are not a good thing as people have been led to believe.
  • It should be stressed that every recording must be taken and analyzed on it’s own merit. Each release must be scrutinized on it’s own, without any bias that has been realized from any other recording. This sounds simple and obvious, but in critical listening, each individual album must be approached in this manner.
  • Lineage / Provenance of a recording should be the industry standard and it is not. Why are they hiding this information, we think it to be a combination of lack of care as well as the desire to keep the purchasing public in the dark so that they can continue to resell, over and over “Improved Quality Recordings”. This, not providing Lineage / Provenance of a recording is unacceptable.
  • The main goal of this site over all others is to provide content from all genres of music with no prejudice toward another. Good music is good music, and opening peoples minds to new sounds is extremely relevant here. This obviously does not mean “forced to listen”…this site will cover music you will like and not like. If you do not like something don’t listen and move on to something you do like. It’s sad that some people just give up if they are into Electronic Music and I post something that is Pop or Metal. I don’t mean to pick on Electronic music it is an example, Metal Heads or any other genres fans can give up if I post Jazz or Leftfield. Live a little! ;)

 

Thanks for reading…you may want to check the “About” page on occasion, as I have said it is constantly evolving.

 

Again thank you for all your support…let’s enjoy the music!

Cheers and 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

 

3 Posts Today…1.Beyond EDM Post Special (40 Tracks) ~ 2. Today’s Favorite Videos #19 ~ 3. How Vinyl Master Plates Are Made (2 x Videos) – A Little Bit For Everyone… [N.S.F.W. ~ 3 Mega Video Post Special]

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

3 Posts Today…1.Beyond EDM Post Special (40 Tracks) ~ 2. Today’s Favorite Videos #19 ~ 3. How Vinyl Master Plates Are Made (2 x Videos) – A Little Bit For Everyone[N.S.F.W. ~ 3 Mega Video Post Special]

 

Reviews for individual albums or sets will be posted HERE (The Main “DAY” Page) but 3755fdaily Videos & Playlists will be posted in the Playlist “Night” Feed Blog. Again you can access it from the “Playlist “Night” Feed” button in the header menu below the “HOME” button. Or you can get there using the links below.

Note: If you look under a specific name in the categories to the right….for example say “John Lennon” and see what is archived under that name, you should always check the band members’ full band name as well…i.e “The Beatles”. The reason is that at first when I made the two websites, I just used band names. In the last 2 months I began to add individual band members names. So If you look under “John Lennon” there may be a lot more Posts about him, obviously under “The Beatles”. This can be done for all individual band members and their bands at both the “Day” and “Night” “Pages”, as there may be different content at each. Search function also works well…but you must search at both the “Day” and “Night” Pages separately. I know it’s a little confusing but if you search around you’ll find everything we have here. 😉

Post #1. Beyond EDM Post Special (46 Tracks)

Christmachine [* EDM ELECTRONIC *] Audio Reference Music Server Playlist #138875a ~ 46 Of My Favorite Dance Tracks Played Last Night In 4 Hour Set…[ Beyond EDM Post Special ] Link Below A Direct Portal To “Night Page” Side of this Site… 

http://playlists.christmachine.com/playlist/christmachine-edm-electronic-audio-reference-music-server-playlist-13-40-of-my-favorite-dance-tracks-played-last-night-in-4-hour-set-beyond-edm-post-special/

 

2765gCRP

 

Post #2. Today’s Favorite Videos #19
Todays Favorite Videos #19 + 2014 Beatles Mono Vinyl Set Unboxing…[Video-Direct Links Via Embeds] ~NSFW~ Link Below A Direct Portal To “Night Page” Side of this Site…

http://playlists.christmachine.com/youtube/todays-favorite-videos-19-2014-beatles-mono-vinyl-set-unboxing-video-direct-links-via-embeds-nsfw/

 

 

76843s

 

Post #3. How Vinyl Master Plates Are Made (2 x Videos) [Video Post Special] Link Below A Direct Portal To “Night Page” Side of this Site…

http://playlists.christmachine.com/youtube/how-vinyl-record-masters-are-made-2-x-videos-video-post-special/

 

 

3486gAlso: DMancuso~ DJ&AudiophileVideo Updated and second video added as well @ link below:

http://www.christmachine.com/uncategorized/if-youre-into-music-the-next-23-minutes-and-30-seconds-could-be-the-most-important-in-your-life-david-mancuso-on-sound-tech-structure-mood-and-acoustics-video/

 

 

Thanks As Always For Your Support.

Enjoy, more interesting articles to come!

Cheers and 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

Is It Not A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats. Here Is Why It Is Essential That We Do!

 

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

Is It Not A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats.

Here Is Why It Is Essential That We Do!

 

I have a lot of other things I have been itching to address, but when I saw someone post this question, “Is it a contradiction to support vinyl and digital formats?”, it Immediately BpUGB3qIEAA70Zo.jpg large.jpgCRPcaught my attention. The reason being that when I first read it, my mind was in a clusterfuck, as I already do support both simultaneously. The thing is, as I began to think about it more, I could understand why someone who may be new to Hi-Res Audio (HRA) may struggle with this reconciliation. It is a common theme that many think the move to Hi-Res Digital Audio, and it seems logical, is meant to free us from need to use vinyl as a source of High Quality Audio. That may be true, but thinking that we are there would be a big mistake.

As we know Hi-res Audio is becoming a widely recognized format, but aside all the controversy and looking at the facts. It is essential that we entertain both formats for several reasons…

1. It is because of Vinyl and High Quality Vinyl Rips (as well as advances in technology), that we now have the growing demand for Hi-Rez music that we have today.

2. In many cases, High Quality Vinyl rips Still, are the nearest representation to the Original Analog Studio Master Tapes, that is, obviously when the Vinyl is sourced from the Original Master Tape. When an All Analog Signal Chain was used in the Transfer to Cut the Original Vinyl Masters and thus is from what the Vinyl is “Properly” Pressed. In the case of Digital Hi-Res it is Optimal for a Direct Analog To Digital Conversion from the Original BnB20largeAnalog Studio Master Tapes to the digital domain. Even with Hi-Rez being offered for purchase at online stores, it is still hit or miss as to the lineage of the new digital recordings.

3. Because of point Number 2, we can use these superior pieces of vinyl, as well as the their High Quality Vinyl Rips, to Compare against Current and Further Digital Hi-Res Releases as well as Re-Issues of Vinyl. This comparison is relevant  whether the Vinyl Re-Issues or Hi-Res Digital is a Straight Flat Transfer from the Original Master Tapes, or they have been Remixed and or Remastered and then subsequently Transferred and then Pressed to Vinyl or Converted to Digital. Then a High Quality Vinyl Rip to Digital by a seasoned ripper may be up for consideration as a Hi-Res “Reference Recording” amongst the community. This means that it must have the Characteristic Sound Signature audio enthusiasts look for in excellent recordings. When a Vinyl Rip has these characteristics and there is a consensus, it can be considered to have the nearest representation of what the artist intended us to hear, as well as nearest available source to what the artists heard in the studio.

4. Just because an artist is an amazing or legendary musician, in most cases, does not automatically make them an excellent producer or mastering engineer. As a matter of fact they usually are not, even if they think they are. I am not going to name names so as not to unnecessarily offend anyone. The reason I can come to this conclusion is because of years of listening with a trained ear to the “Right” Reference Recordings. Obviously you come to your own conclusions about which I spout, but what I do know for sure is that this 900x900skill does not come from a few months or even years of listening, because it is dependent on “What Recordings” you are listening to and knowing “What Sound Signatures” and “Set Ups” hold weight. How can anyone come to a complete decision if they have not experienced it for themselves? These Vinyl Rips are available for anyone to search for and find, however their acquisition is unconventional and time consuming, but the rewards are immense.  Having the ability to “Cross Reference” from a number of Sources in your listening tests is Essential to coming to an “Educated Conclusion”.

5. The recording industry does not make this easy for us, as a matter of fact they would rather we remain confused so as to continue to buy sub par recordings. I am confident and hopeful with the coming Pono releases from the Pono Music Store, overseen by legendary producer Bruce Botnik, will streamline and perfect the process of lineage and quality of transfers to the Hi-Res (HRA) Digital Domain. Those of us who know the difference remain vigilant.

6. I implore CD and Digital Mastering Engineers to check their work against High Quality Vinyl Rips from Seasoned Vinyl Rippers, that have perfected the Art of Vinyl Transfers over years of tweaking set ups and searching every corner of the globe for the Finest Vinyl Pressings Available. In the private communities their rips have evolved exponentially before our eyes and ears, and over time have held up against and withstood intense criticism and discussion from the most trained and particular listeners in the world. In fact 6547Aalthough I consider myself to have a very good set of “trained ears”, they are eclipsed by the ears of even more seasoned veterans from nations again around the world. These vinyl rippers have all the experience and techniques to rival the best known and revered audio and mastering engineers.

7. To underscore the strength of High Quality Vinyl Rips…I am not going to name names but I do have knowledge that there have been recordings (especially re-issues) from famous artists that have been released to the public with the Understanding that they were Sourced From High Quality Vinyl Rips. Further murking the waters, there have been Artists (living or dead) who had No Knowledge that this was done by Their Mastering Engineers or Labels because the Particular Vinyl Rip was Better than the Source that had been given them by the Artist or Label in the studio.

There are also cases where the Mastering Engineer was given Vinyl Ripped Sourced Tape or Digital Recordings, and Low Level Audio Mastering Engineers as well as their Labels had no knowledge that they were using said Vinyl Ripped Sourced Masters for Re-Issues and either Willfully or Unknowingly Distorted Lineage on Packaging For Sale. There are many cases where the Packaging and Print on a vinyl pressing or piece of vinyl either confuses the purchaser into thinking that they were buying a pressing sourced from the “Original Analog Master Tapes” when they in fact had not.  The details on this 6745underhandedness is again murky and short on details but it is known to have occurred. Please do not ask because I cannot comment further on this…I can promise you that someday someone will write the book.

7. Again to underscore the strength of High Quality Vinyl Rips…There have been Specific Releases by Artists who have Requested to use a Particular Vinyl Rippers High-Quality vinyl transfers for their vinyl pressings and CD releases without the Vinyl Purchasing Public having knowledge. This however, in comparison to point number 6 is a good thing. It seems counter intuitive that certain releases would be sourced from a High Quality Vinyl Rips, but the Consumer are inadvertently getting Quality Sound Because of a Vinyl Ripper. Both points number 6 & 7 have had this result happen quietly for a number of reasons, usually because of Lost or Damaged Original Master Tapes to Unlabeled Masters Without Known Lineage, and a High Quality Vinyl Rip just Sounds Better than what they have available. This practice is not widespread but it is known to have occurred. Again someday someone will write the book. Remember the first rule of fightclub is…and the second rule of fightclub is….

Now with all those points made I hope to address point number 1 sufficiently. To properly describe the movement it seems necessary that I make a long story short in reverse. Again, it is because of Vinyl and High Quality Vinyl Rips that we now have the emergence of demand for “Quality Controlled” Hi-Res Audio (HRA). In some ways it was inadvertent by default, and in others a direct result of deliberate actions from the Vinyl Rippers in the Audio Enthusiast Community. This has been reported and discussed at length in previous articles and forums around the web. All the information is out there for your research…I 2709swas able to find it all through search engines, and it is therefore available for you with some dedication. We must make a distinction that there is Good Quality Hi-Res and Poor Quality Hi-Res.

Over the last decade as the music industry was in turmoil, and “The Loudness Wars” took over the stage front and center, savvy music enthusiasts found that they could extract the music from vinyl and render a superior sound signature than the music industry was releasing on CD, .mp3 digital, or on a significant portion of vinyl re-issues. As a matter of fact it was often highly superior, although this phenomenon was not universal, as a piece of vinyl and it’s resulting rip, logically is only as good as it’s original source. The idea that “You can’t polish a turd”, comes into play in this realm. In those cases where the vinyl is as close as possible to the original analog source studio tapes, after a decade of tweaking their setups, rigorous testing of rips that hold up in large listening communities, and finding the best quality vinyl pressings in the world has become in some respects an “Objective Pseudo-Science” in the last few years. Try and wrap your head around that, don’t think too hard as your head might explode. When you find yourself amongst that precipice, it is a truly astonishing event. I must reiterate that all these events are a result of a desire for quality that was not available, so it goes that Quality Hi-Res vinyl rips were born.

Fast forward to recent months…

So the industry was unable to control this underground viral movement, with the collapse 73423dof the music industry and as nature abhors a vacuum, there was not much choice left for them to come on board. That is not to say that the record industry came aboard easily. It has also been said that there are two factions in the music industry, one which fights to do quality control of released recordings Vs. the business or money side of the industry. In the end it’s sadly all about money over art, and as a result of the recent growing demand for Portable Hi-Res Audio Players (DAP’s) already on the market, as well as the opening of Hi-Res Audio online vendors such as HD Tracks and others, made it critical that the music industry take notice.

The final piece of the puzzle, was the insistence of the Legendary Musician Neil Young and his new Pono Player (To be released in October), the Coming Pono Music Store, as well as it’s streamlined Ecosystem…which finally shifted the tide in our favor. It took all these factors to finally bring the music industry to the table. It was only a matter of time as well, after convincing  the recording industry to see the advantage of a new revenue stream, before they folded.

There has been a lot of Hi-Res Audio that has been officially released over the last few years and what we music junkies have found is that there is still many cases where the best known sourced vinyl still beats out the official Hi-Res Audio releases. So as a result of the desire for the highest quality audio, which can only be sourced from vinyl, it still 8453ndremains an important tool in our arsenal.

So all of the aforementioned still, for the most part, holds true. It is because we can use High Quality Vinyl Rips as a source of “reference recordings”, that keeps the bar yet raised very high. There is still a lot of change that needs to come from the artists and music industry before we can say that we have an adequate amount of “Reference Recordings” in Hi-Res Digital Format. This is the goal which Pono Music and it’s “Quality Control Ecosystem” will attempt to meet and I believe they can do it. Some have said that a lot of the music that the Pono Music Store will have access to will in many cases consist of what the Artists and Music Industry has already made available for Hi-Res purchase. A lot will depend on the many famous artists stumping for Pono and the influence they have with their labels. Again I prefer to remain optimistic.

To finish we must ask ourselves have we answered the original question, “Is It A Contradiction To Simultaneously Support Vinyl And Hi-Rez Digital Formats?”. In answering, amongst the current surge in vinyl collections and nostalgia for a physical item as well as it’s strength as a indispensable format for comparison, we must remember one thing, that while we for a time gave up on vinyl, just know that vinyl never gave up on us. Again my process my review.

 

Cheers and 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