When Music Becomes More ThanJust Sound
Copper, as an alloy with tin, nickel, or zinc, is used as a raw material for wind instruments, which form the central part of an orchestra. These wind instruments transmit deep and heavy sounds through tubes of copper alloys.
Sound with a sense of depth
Sound with a sense of weight
Sound with a greater balance
In addition, copper is the second most electrically conductive1 metal after silver. With superior electrical conductivity and shielding performance than typical metals, the AK380 Copper is able to deliver a different sound signature than the existing duralumin-based AK380.
* The copper used in the AK380 Copper boasts a 99.9% pure elemental property.
AK380 Copper is finished in a two-step process using a 5-axis milling machine, and approximately four hours of processing time is required per unit.
Due to the highly-ductile nature of copper, the shavings tend to curl inwards rather than out when creating thread lines, causing the ends of milling tools to become damaged or broken. Because of this finicky nature of copper, the material requires more hands-on labor by an operator compared to other materials such as aluminum.
Uncoated raw copper quickly oxidizes from exposure to outside elements, which makes mass production very difficult to manage.
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 5.6MHz natively, without conversion or compression.
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 for calculating 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, ±0.1 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.
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 computer and 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.
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.