while the Astell & Kern 120 (see Part I) allows to play up to 24bit/192 kHZ files the A&K 240 plays native DSD.
The question is: Does it sound better when playing DSD files with 1bit/ 5.6 MHz? Everyone is telling me `yes it does`. I like experiencing by myself rather than learning from the glossy magazines. I remember last timeI saw an article about a digital unit telling ìt does everything with everyone`, learning in the end the gear can only be used with computers and portables providing an USB output.
The sound from the 24bit/192KHZ files on the A&K 240 is a bit softer and rounder than on the A&K 120, maybe because iRiver is now using different Dacs, two Cirrus Logic CS4398 Dual Dacs. When the TEAC HA-P50 headphone amplifier/Dac was connected i had the same impression than with the 24bit/192 KHZ files from the A&K 120, the music got softer and more pleasant still offering a very good resolution.
With the DSD files you don`t need an additional headphone amplifier/Dac. I hear a full range and convincing musical reproduction of the master tape sound which is really stunning. The 240 is such a perfect little machine that my experiments with digital portables seems coming to an end – which means maybe no Part III…