Astell&Kern Announces Quad-DAC and Triple-Amped SP2000T DAP
Astell&Kern reveals its SP2000T quad-DAC digital audio player (DAP) that features triple amplifiers - including A&K's first tube amp mode.
Astell&Kern's SP2000T has been teased and seems to break away from the company's latest foray into mix and match DACs. For instance, last year's A&futura SE200 featured two brands of digital-to-analogue converters (DAC), which enables you to switch between them depending on your preferred sound profile. Then, more recently, there was the SE180 that sports a swappable DAC module, again giving you the choice of which DAC to use at any given moment. With the A&ultima SP2000T, however, you get a quad-DAC configuration that stays put.
The A&ultima SP2000T features four Sabre ES9068AS DAC chips with built-in MQA hardware rendering, each supporting up to 32-bit/384-kHz PCM and DSD1024 audio that promises “a more balanced, detailed sound signature.”
Furthermore, the SP2000T debuts the company's next-gen amplifier technology, simply named the Triple Amp System. Here you can plug your headphones into the SP2000T's 2.5mm, 3.5mm or 4.4mm sockets and then select between an op-amp mode brought over from the player's SP2000 stablemate, or a shiny and new tube-amp mode. This “nostalgic vacuum tube amp”, says Astell&Kern, adds a vintage feel to the portable player. Finally, you can mix the two via the equally novel hybrid-amp mode.
The SP2000T also boasts what Astell&Kern calls Replay Gain. What this new tech does is automatically adjust playback volume to ensure a consistent level between tracks. Additionally, the player is also kitted out with the manufacturer's Teraton Alpha sound technology. This, we're told, “effectively removes power noise and provides efficient power consumption and amplification right through to the audio output interface stage where the digital-to-analogue signal conversion takes place.”
In addition to the full HD (1920x1080-pixel) touchscreen that hands you playback control as well as displaying album artwork, there's dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with support for LDAC and apt-HD codecs.
Stay tuned for more information, including pricing, which will become available closer to the player's October launch. Just keep in mind that the A&ultima SP2000 costs £3,399.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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