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Astell&Kern

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The evolution of a masterpiece, AK380

  • 32-bit 384 kHz
    Bit-to-bit Playback
  • Native DSD
  • Parametic EQ
  • 200fs VCXO
    Reference Clock
  • AK Connect
  • Metal Touch
    Sensor
    Home button
  • Metal Body
    (Duralumin)
  • External AMP

Evolved to Serve Pro-Audio

Astell&Kern has stayed on the course, offering the truest and most natural sound possible.
The new AK380 offers the most authentic sound from any digital music format with enhanced features that are sought-after by Pro-Audio.

32bit 384kHz Bit to Bit Playback, Native DSD (up to 11.2 MHz) Playback, Parametric EQ with 20bands 0.01dB,
200 Femto Seconds VCXO Reference Clock, Scalable Amp, DNLA based AK Connect App, Metal Touch Sensor Home Button

Every bit of the AK380 was designed for Pro-Audio in mind.

The sound that Pro-Audio people have been looking for starts with the AK380.

32-bit 384kHz bit-to-bit Playback

All of the AK380’s circuit design including the digital-analog converter (DAC) are ready for 32-bit processing to handle 32-bit music natively.

Other products have traditionally used sample rate converter (SRC) method down sampling for playback.
However, the AK380 is capable of playing back 32-bit, 384 kHz original sound without any down sampling.

The result is the AK380 plays up to 32-bit, 384 kHz, any 24-bit music files, or double layer DSD 11.2MHz natively, without conversion or compression.

32-bit bit-to-bit
Playback by
the AK380
32-bit MQS
32-bit
Delivery
CPU
32-bit
Delivery
32-bit
DAC
 
 
32-bit Playback
by
Other Products
32-bit MQS
32-bit
Delivery
CPU
Down
sampling
24-bit
DAC
 
 

PEQ (Parametric EQ)

A parametric equalizer (PEQ*1) was implemented in the AK380 to deliver detailed adjustment of the original sound, and an audio digital signal processor (DSP) was added to aid in this process.

This frees up CPU cycles previously needed forcalculating graphic equalizers (GEQ), allowing more detailed and accurate calculations via the dedicated DSP.

The audio DSP expands the existing 10-band, ±0.5 dB graphic equalizer (GEQ*2) to 20-band, ±0.01 dB to more precisely adjust the frequency and gain (dB) as well as more accurately specifying the frequency range via Q value adjustments.

* The PEQ supports up to 8 kHz - 192 kHz (8/16/24-bit) formats, but DSD and 32-bit audio are not supported.

The AK380’s
PEQ Playback
Using Audio DSP
PCM Sound
Source
Up to 24bit,
192kHz
CPU
 
Audio DSP
Freq./dB Value
Processing
 
32-bit
DAC
 
 
The other Products
GEQ Playback
Using Audio DSP
PCM Sound
Source
PCM
Delivery
CPU
Freq./dB Value
Processing
 
24-bit
DAC
 
 
AK380 20-band PEQ and AK240 10-band GEQ Frequency Values
20-Band PEQ 10-Band GEQ
30Hz
45Hz
60Hz
90Hz
120Hz
180Hz
250Hz
380Hz
500Hz
750Hz
1kHz
1.5kHz
2kHz
3kHz
4kHz
6kHz
8kHz
12kHz
14kHz
18kHz
30Hz
60Hz
120Hz
250Hz
500Hz
1kHz
2kHz
4kHz
8kHz
16kHz

What is Parametric Equalization (PEQ*1)?

Parametric equalization refers to the ability to increase or decrease the volume within the Q value range.
A Q value is a frequency range relative to a selected frequency. The frequency range decreases when the Q value increases and vice versa.

Selected Frequency

Existing EQ value of the
Selected Frequency

Q value setting

Increase the Q value of the
Selected Frequency

Q value setting

Decrease the Q value of the
Selective Frequency

What is Graphic Equalization (GEQ*2)?

Graphic equalization divides the audible frequency register into several registers and increases or decreases the level of each register with a volume slider to adjust the respective frequency’s characteristics.
The switches of the volume slider are connected like a graph to visually determine the frequency characteristics, hence the name "graphic equalizer."

AK240 GEQ
AK380 PEQ

Frequency

Gain (-5.0 ~ +5.0) 0.01dB

Q (0.1 ~ 4.0) 0.1dB

Equipped With a Femto Clock to
Deliver True Original Sound

Astell&Kern implemented a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator (VCXO) high-precision clock with a reference jitter value of 200 femto seconds*3. Femto clocks are commonly used in high-end audio systems, and the clock is measured in high-precision femtosecond units(one quadrillionth of a second).

What is VCXO?

A VCXO, or a voltage-controlled crystal oscillator, is a type of crystal oscillation device that creates oscillation frequencies.
External environmental stimuli, which in this case mean voltage inputs, influence the frequency value. Adjustments to the voltage input tunes a precise frequency value.

What is Jitter?

Jitter refers to the undesired deviation in time that occurs in a periodic signal. In this case, jitter is the error that occurs in the reference clock required to perform the sampling in digital audio equipment.

By utilizing a femto clock, the AK380 is able to create a more accurate frequency value and make fine jitter corrections. As a result, the AK380 faithfully reproduces analog sound closer than ever to the original source when transmitting a digital signal as an analog signal.

1fs (Femto Second)*3

1 1

1015 1,000 trillion

==sec.

1ps (Pico Second)

1 1

1012 1 trillion

==sec.

1ns (Nano Second)

11

109 1 Billion

==sec.

AK380 Clock Jitter
Original Clock Jitter Embedded
Clocks the AK380
Clock Jitter
Original Clock Jitter Embedded
Clocks
AK Connect App

Astell&Kern has further enhanced DLNA functionality via the AK Connect app.
Wireless networking DLNA (version 1.0) connects to a NAS or PC, and is easily controlled with a smartphone or tablet through AK Connect. Source files on a PC or NAS can be freely transferred and streamed without the hassle of turning on the physically connecting with a cable.

If on the same access point (AP) network, music files on a PC or NAS can be played back via DLNA.

AK500N / SP1000 / AK380 / AK320 / AK300
/ KANN / AK240 / AK120 / AK100 / AK70

DMP

Streaming & Download

DMS

AK380

Phone / Tablet

DMC Streaming DMS
(DMR)
DMS Streaming DMC
(DMR)

Network Player

Streaming DMR DMS
(DMC)
Streaming DMR
Streaming DMR

DMC(DMR)

Streaming & Download

DMS

PC / NAS

DMP (Digital Media Player)
Finds a list of content on a media server for selection and playback.
DMS (Digital Media Server = Network Server)
Actually stores the media content to be shared. When connected to a network, the DMS transmits/ distributes the media content for other devices to stream or download.
DMC (Digital Media Controller)
Finds a list of content on a media server and establishes a connection to a playback-capable device (renderer). By default, a DMC establishes a connection between a media server and media renderer and controls content playback-related operations.
DMR (Digital Media Renderer = Network Player)
Connects to a media server via media controller for content playback.

The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps Download

The AK Connect and AK Connect HD apps are available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

[Phone] AK Connect

[Tablet] AK Connect HD

Pressure-sensitive Metal Capacitive Touch

The AK380 is the first Astell&Kern product to utilize a metal capacitive touch interface.
The pressure-sensitive Metal Touch home button responds to fine pressure changes so users operate the device with just a light touch on the metallic pad.

More Expandable Options

The AK380 offers great expandable options through its micro USB connection and balanced out ports on the bottom of the unit.

The AK380’s functionality is expandable by connecting to a variety of devices.
You can increase the output and connect to a greater variety of high-impedance professional headphones through the upcoming AK380 Amp. The AK380 Cradle features balanced output in addition to USB data transfer and charging capabilities, and the AK380 CD-ROM drive rips audio CDs directly to the AK380.

The AK380's First Accessory

AMP

The AK380's Bedrock

Cradle

Perfect Extractor

CD-RIPPER