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Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio Player

Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio Player
  • Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio Player
  • Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio P
  • Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio P
  • Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio P

Astell & Kern AK500N - The Ultimate High-Res MQS Network Audio Player

£8,999.00
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Free Delivery via Supersaver 2 - 4 working days
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Hi-Fi News
Date Added: Wednesday 04 March, 2015
Don’t let the looks put you off, as the sound from this innovative unit is nothing short of remarkable, with excellent slam and weight allied to very fine detail and serious, sustained musical involvement.

Description


Freedom to Select the Sound

The AK500N is the first desktop network audio product from Astell & Kern that truly combines advanced digital technology with analog sound. The AK500N is the culmination of the experience and know-how accumulated from work on the AK series including the AK240.

One-click CD-ripping and perfect noise isolation through battery-only operation. PCM to DSD conversion faithful to the original sound and excellent compatibility with a wide range of devices. Easy DLNA-based networking and high-reliability SSD.

For the AK500N, no detail was overlooked from planning to development to delivery of sound that is true to the original source.

Perfect Extractor

How are you enjoying your precious CD collection?
Are you still listening to your music one CD at a time?

Import your CD collection into the AK500N with the one click.

By taking highly-optimized ripping engine, the AK500N provides users with flawless CD rips through enhanced jitter and error correction support. The highest sound quality is captured with enhanced jitter correction and excellent CD track error detection and correction.

Two speeds (Normal / Fast) are available for CD-ripping, and the tracks can be saved in either WAV or FLAC.

In addition, Album art and music data are automatically imported from Gracenote’s latest music DB, and is the most recognized and accurate source of music DB in the world. In addition the touch keypad allows the user to enter the CD title, artist, genre, year of release information.

AK500 CD Ripping Screen

Pure Sound

A common factor in devices operating in AC power is that the AC power supply is a point of entry for unwanted external noise and exit for device noise. These are the main causes of sound quality degradation.

The AK500N does not allow even 1% of external noise.

Although the AK500N is a desktop audio device, it was designed to use a built-in battery for noise isolation. The AK500N physically blocks noise generated in the AC power supply to prevent sound degradation at all levels. Music playback on the AK500N is achieved with battery-only operation, creating a truly Pure Sound.

The SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply) employed in the AK500N is an outstanding device with a Level 5 efficiency rating. The noise-sensitive power ripple noise* is below 50mVp-p at full load (5A).

The AK500N delivers sound quality closest to the original recording through perfect noise isolation and battery-only operation.

* Ripple Noise : Unwanted "ripples" of direct current (DC) voltage in the alternating current (AC) peaks resulting from the incomplete conversion of AC to DC.

PCM to DSD

The AK500N features a dedicated DSD chipset for DSD playback and converts PCM file to DSD64 data through audio engine of Astell&Kern. The AK500N converts high-resolution 32 bit/384 kHz WAV PCM and 24 bit/352 kHz FLAC PCM file to DSD64 data without any down-sampling. In addition, real time PCM file to DSD64 data playback is available.

Go one step further to original sound with this feature by converting, without any distortion, the unique audio information contained within the sound source.

Comparison of noise level PCM and DSD

Unlike PCM, the noise curve changes gradually without abrupt spikes in noise levels toward higher frequencies with DSD. This means that DSD is less vulnerable to noise intrusion in the higher frequencies compared to PCM.

AK500 DSD graph

Comparison of sample rate PCM and DSD

PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation), the common digital recording method for analog signals, divides the y-axis of a sine wave into 65,000 (16-bit) to 16.7 million (24-bit) units of resolution and the x-axis into 44,000 (44.1 kHz) to 384,000 (384 kHz) units for the sample rate before converting into a digital signal. Instead, DSD (Direct-Stream Digital) only divides the y-axis of a sine wave into a single-bit (0 and 1) resolution while dividing the x-axis into 2.8 million (2.8 MHz) to 5.6 million (5.6 MHz) units. DSD's oversampled signal reduces noise and distortion into mere single bits of data for audio reproduction that’s closest to the original sound.

AK500 PCM vs DSD

4 BAY SSD

The AK500N features multi-level cell (MLC) SSD rather than a triple-level cell (TLC) SSD for increased durability and reliability. The vibration noise generated by conventional HDDs has been eliminated completely. Save and load large amounts of data even faster than traditional HDDs through the superior speed and stability of SSDs.

The AK500N will come with a 1TB SSD installed as standard.

AK500 SSD internal view

Powerful Connections

The AK500N supports a wide range of inputs and outputs. Connect various high-end products through the AK500N's digital inputs and outputs (AES/EBU, Coaxial, Optical, BNC).

In addition, the analog output supports both Fixed and Variable signals for a direct connection to a powered amplifier. A simple but high-level premium system configuration is possible through the AK500N's flexible digital and analog connections. For user convenience, the inputs and outputs are expressed in easy-to-read graphics on the touch-screen menu.

AK500 Connections Diagram

Advanced Network

The network capability of the AK500N is another attractive feature that cannot be overlooked.

The AK500N connects to PCs as well as NAS servers through its DLNA implementation using LAN, Wi-Fi and is easily controlled with an app on smartphones and tablets. Music on your PC or NAS can be freely streamed and played back without the hassle of having to turn on your PC and connecting a cable and it can output the sound in conjunction with the network speaker. The AK500N can be easily kept up-to-date with OTA (Over-the-Air) firmware updates.

AK500 Network Capabilities Diagram

Features

  • The Ultimate MQS Network Audio Player
  • PCM to DSD conversion faithful to the original sound
  • One-click CD-ripping
  • Easy DLNA-based networking and high-reliability SSD

Please note we do not hold stock of this item, it will be ordered in on request and can take 1 - 2 weeks to arrive.

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