Another show, another new portable player from Astell&Kern. This
year’s month’s week’s newcomer is the AK300, the third model in the ‘3’ series that started with the flagship AK380 and was later augmented by the more affordable but non-native-DSD-ing AK320 (US$1795).
At US$795, the AK300 is more affordable still. Separating the AK300 from the AK320 is a single AKM4490 DAC, 64Gb of internal storage, a black finish and a thousand bucks.
One has to wonder just long the AK100 II and AK120 II will stick around given that the similarly-priced 3 series models’ asymmetrical form factor fits in with Astell&Kern’s ecosystem of amplifiers and dock add-ons (and the second generation models do not).
Which brings us to the big/ger A&K news arriving via the Fujiya Avic headphone festival in Tokyo. The AK Recorder – an screw-on device that turns the host device’s signal path on its head.
Input comes via a stereo mic that puts the ant in antennae – which bumps A&K into the pro audio space – or via mini-XLR input (cable supplied) or a single-ended 3.5mm mini-jack.
A live demo that wasn’t quite to be (a failed phono stage – it happens) showed just how the AK300 (or AK320 or AK380) can be used to digitise vinyl to DXD/DSD with no intervening PC required. The video shows the essence of the AK Recorder’s utility for the vinyl enthusiast:
Price? US$795. Neato!
Further information: Astell&Kern