Full Details of Astell & Kern’s SP2000T Digital Audio Player
Teased a couple of weeks ago, full details of Astell & Kern's SP2000T hi-res DAP has gone official.
Astell & Kern's A&ultima SP2000T digital audio player (DAP) has been officially announced, which means we have all the details and confirmed prices.
Thanks to the teaser, we already know that the SP2000T becomes the portable audio brand's first hi-res music player that features a quad DAC and triple amp system. This design sees an OP-amp (operational amp) employed as expected. In addition, however, you can bring in a tube amp to give tracks the warmth and character associated with an analogue amp at the flick of a switch. Want the best of both worlds? A&K has got you covered; by selecting the Hybrid Amp mode, you're promised tube warmth with hi-res clarity.
People familiar with vacuum tubes will know that, aside from generating heat, the other issue is the internal microphonic vibrations they can generate, which can impact sound quality. Astell & Kern says that it has mitigated the latter problem by designing a modular structure that is physically separate from the printed circuit board. Here flexible silicone covers fix the portable-friendly dual-triode KORG Nutubes in place and so minimising mechanical vibrations. Also, the company states that the amp 'floats' in the air using magnetic forces to reduce internal noise. Further steps to eliminate electromagnetic interference includes applying highly conductive, hyper-pure silver plating on the existing shield cans for extra defence.
While the SP2000T sports four DAC chips, they are all ESS ES9068AS - so no clever mixing and matching as offered by last year's SE200. What you do get is built-in MQA 8x rendering, as well as support for up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM, 96k SPDIF and DSD1024 files.
Additionally, there's a choice of three different-sized headphone ports - 2.5mm, 3.5mm, or 4.4mm - while Replay Gain tech means the portable player automatically adjusts the volume between tracks to keep it consistent.
Also onboard is A&K's Teraton Alpha Sound Solution, as enjoyed by the A&futura SE180 player. This clever technology boasts of making audio playback sound as close to the original recording as possible by removing power noise and providing efficient power consumption and amplification throughout the audio output stage where the digital-to-analogue signal conversion occurs.
Rounding off the SP2000T's specs are a 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display, dual-band wi-fi support, and 256GB of storage that can be augmented up to 1TB via microSD card. Thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, there's also 24-bit aptX HD and LDAC codec support, while AK File Drop aids wireless file transfers between the player and your smartphone via Bluetooth using the new BT Sink function.
The Astell & Kern A&ultima SP2000T costs US$2,399 | €2,299 and launches in October 2021.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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