Astell&Kern’s A&ultima SP2000T packs a next gen triple amp system
Astell&Kern, the global leader in premium portable high-resolution audio devices, introduces its newest member of its A&ultima series, the SP2000T. Building on the class-leading sound of the A&ultima SP2000, this latest player is the first to feature a Quad-DAC, a Replay Gain function and a new Triple Amp System allowing music fans to switch between the different sonic characteristics of a normal OP-AMP (operational amp) mode, a vacuum TUBE AMP and a HYBRID AMP mode that combines the tube amp’s warm analog performance and Op-Amp’s high-resolution clarity.
Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T new audio design and feature innovations include:
- Triple Amp System takes portable music listening to a new acoustic level.
- Vacuum tube amplifier compatible with 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm output jacks.
- Equipped with an ESS ES9068AS QUAD-DAC for balanced and ultra-detailed sound.
- New TERATON ALPHA Sound Solution technology.
- Replay Gain function uniformly adjusts volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz.
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi Support for improved wireless connection.
- Internal mechanical design to minimise noise.
NEXT GENERATION AMPLIFIER TECHNOLOGY
Boasting the most advanced amp technology of any portable player, SP2000T owners can toggle between three-amp modes to find the optimal sound to suit the music they are listening to. Based on the set-up from the original SP2000, the OP-AMP configuration offers ultra-clarity and a dynamic playback. Switch to the TUBE AMP mode and the uniquely warm and musical audio associated with vacuum tube amplifiers will be revealed.
To realise the sonic flavour of a vacuum tube amp, the SP2000T is equipped with the portable-friendly dual-triode KORG Nutube. Featuring an anode grid filament structure that operates the same as a triode vacuum tube, this smaller component, consumes far less power, yet delivers the same audio with rich overtones. The Nutube also offers a reliable continuous playback time of approximately 30,000 hours with support for the player’s onboard 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone output jacks.
BEST OF BOTH AMP WORLDS
The culmination of Astell&Kern’s rich amp design heritage and expertise, the new innovative HYBRID MODE brings together the distinctive sonic DNA of the detailed OP-AMP and expressive TUBE AMP modes, while providing five options with different mix ratios of each amp’s sound characteristics to best serve the music being played.
SPECIAL INTERNAL DESIGN
To overcome internal microphonic resonances generated by the vacuum tubes that can seriously impact sound quality, Astell&Kern’s audio engineers painstakingly designed a clever modular structure physically separate from the PCB (Printed Circuit Board). Firstly, the vacuum tubes are fixed with flexible silicone covers to minimize any mechanical vibration, while the design uses magnetic forces to float the amp in the air to reduce internal noise.
Further steps are taken to eliminate electromagnetic interference caused when internal components are in operation by applying highly conductive, hyper-pure silver plating on the existing shield cans for extra defence against these sound performance-effecting disturbances.
QUAD-DAC FOR SUPERIOR SOUND
The SP2000T comes equipped with four ES9068AS DACs, with two DACs per channel dedicated for decoding. The result is a more detailed and balanced sound with great depth and spatial realism.
This latest model is also the first to feature Replay Gain functionality that automatically and uniformly adjusts volume playback from sound sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz so playlists can be enjoyed throughout without reaching for the volume.
INTRODUCING TERATON ALPHA SOUND SOLUTION TECHNOLOGY
Following on from the A&futura SE180 player, the SP2000T is the second model to adopt Astell&Kern’s patented TERATON ALPHA Sound Solution. The result of extensive research and development, it is designed to deliver audio playback close to the original sound. The onboard DAC is not the only factor that determines the quality of sound from a DAP: Power, noise, signal conversion, circuit structure all effect the sound signature. Only when each and every one of these elements are optimised, can a player produce sound as close as the music artist and producer intended.
TERATON ALPHA technology, 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 (DAC) takes place – audio technology Astell&Kern has consistently developed and perfected over the years.
FULL HD DISPLAY
Album artwork pops from the screen with the A&ultima SP2000T boasting a full HD display. This 5-inch touchscreen packs a 1920×1080 pixel resolution, 16.7 million colours and 441 PPI, resulting in a clean and sharp user-interface design.
Alongside with improved dual-band Wi-Fi support, the SP2000T features AK File Drop for easier wireless file transfers. Users can wirelessly transfer files through a PC, smartphone, or FTP program located on the same network to make music management even more convenient.
The new BT Sink function connects the A&ultima SP2000T to an external device, such as a smartphone, via Bluetooth, enabling music to be played back in high-quality on the Astell&Kern player.
Elsewhere A&ultima SP2000T boasts Bluetooth® 5.0, providing greater range and a more stable wireless connection to headphones and, along with support for 24-bit aptX™ HD and LDAC codecs, offers the best possible wireless sound quality.
The A&ultima SP2000T harbours 256GB on-board memory that can be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD card slot, meaning users can carry thousands of hi-res albums with them at all times.
The Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T is priced £1,999 / $2,399 / €2,299 and will be available from October from www.astellkern.co.uk and local independent dealers.
Body Colour: Onyx Black
Body Material: Aluminum
Display: 5.0-inch touchscreen, FHD 1920 x 1080 pixels
Supported Audio Formats: WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF
PCM: 8kHz ~ 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits per Sample)
DSD Native: DSD64(1bit 2.8MHz), Stereo / DSD128(1bit 5.6MHz), Stereo / DSD256(1bit 11.2MHz), DSD512(1bit, 22.4MHz) Stereo
Output Level: Unbalanced 3Vrms │ Balanced 6Vrms (Condition No Load)
DAC: ESS ES9068AS x4 (Quad-DAC)
Vacuum Tube: KORG Nutube 6P1
Decoding: Support up to 32bit / 384kHz Bit to Bit playback
Input: USB Type-C input (for charging & PC & MAC)
Unbalanced Out (3.5mm), Optical Out (3.5mm)
Balanced Out (2.5mm, only 4-pole supported / 4.4m, only 5-pole supported)
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth®: V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™ HD, LDAC)
Dimensions: 3.07″ (78.1mm)[W] x 5.55″ (141.1mm)[H] x 0.68″ (17.5mm)[D]
Weight: about 10.89oz (309g)
Feature Enhancements: Firmware upgrade supported (OTA)
±0.024dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.038dB (Condition: 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
±0.027dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced / ±0.052dB (Condition: 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced
121dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
123dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
-137dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
-142dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0003% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced
0.0003% @ 1kHz, Balanced
0.0004% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1), Unbalanced
0.0003% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1), Balanced
Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (1ohm)
Balanced Out 2.5mm (1.5ohm), 4.4mm (1.5ohm)
Clock Jitter: 25ps (Typ)
Reference Clock Jitter: 70ps
*Audio specifications will be based on Operational (OP) AMP.
Built-in Memory: 256GB [NAND]
External Memory: microSD x1 (Max. 1TB)
Capacity: 4,200mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
Charge Time: About 3.5hours (9V / 1.67A Fast Charging) | 5hours (5V 2A General Charging)
Playback Time: About 9hours (Standard: FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Unbalanced, Vol.50, LCD Off, LED On, OP AMP Mode)
Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7