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Astell&Kern A&ultima SP3000T

Astell&Kern A&ultima SP3000T

Dual RAYTHEON JAN6418 MIL-SPEC Vintage Vacuum Tubes
Our TRIPLE AMP SYSTEM allows listeners to select the right tones for their music
Three levels of voltage with Tube Current option
Stainless steel with 99.9% pure silver plating


HK$23,880.00
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Description


True Analog Sound with Real Vacuum Tube

The original vacuum tube is known for its warm sound, attributed to its distinctive rich harmonics, which have cemented its status as a cherished component of Hi-Fi audio. However, its impracticality in terms of miniaturization, primarily due to power control and footprint issues, presented a formidable obstacle, rendering it unsuitable for use in portable audio players.
In Astell&Kern's unyielding quest for innovation, we refused to settle for conventional sound and design, and instead worked to bridge the gap between stationary and portable audio by infusing the essence of analog sound into our devices.
These efforts eventually culminated in the pairing of the SP3000T with the RAYTHEON JAN6418 Miniature vacuum Tube. The RAYTHEON JAN6418 is a mini vacuum tube popular among audiophiles. Designed to meet military specifications and traditionally used in military communication equipment, it quickly garnered recognition for its distinctively warm and soft sound, leading to its integration into regular audio devices.

Minimizing Microphonic Noise

The integration of vacuum tubes into compact, portable devices presents a formidable technical hurdle — maintaining low noise levels while delivering unparalleled resolution and robust output.
With the SP3000T, we've tackled this challenge head-on with a custom-made solution designed to minimize microphonic noise. Our team devoted extensive time to refining the structural integrity of the vacuum tubes, ensuring minimal noise even in the event of minor shocks or vibrations.

1. Independent modular, flexible PCB design engineered separately from the main PCB
2. Silicone module case designed to absorb primary shocks from the vacuum tube
3. Silicone tubing perfectly tailored to the vacuum tube leads to reduce shock transmission along the leads
4. Silicone dampers around the vacuum tube suspend the tube in the air from both ends

* Microphonic Noise might be audible when bumping against the player itself or knocking it against a table.

Seamless Fusion of Real Tube and OP AMP

Harnessing the power of Astell&Kern's unique TERATON ALPHA technology, the A&ultima SP3000T achieves seamless harmony between the rich, authentic analog sound of a real tube and the dynamic clarity of an OP AMP.
The SP3000T offers three distinct modes to cater to your audio preferences: TUBE AMP Mode, which delivers the natural warmth of a vacuum tube amplifier;
OP AMP Mode, which is renowned for Astell&Kern's crystal-clear resolution and expansive soundstage;
and Hybrid AMP Mode, which expertly blends the richness of analog with high-resolution clarity.

OP AMP Mode — Unparalleled High Resolution and Dynamics

Immerse yourself in high-resolution audio that faithfully reproduces the original sound without distortion, offering a newfound sense of space and unparalleled clarity and dynamics. OP AMP Mode represents the pinnacle of high-quality sound, a hallmark of all Astell&Kern products.

Enjoy exceptionally low noise interference and high resolution thanks to Astell&Kern's TERATON ALPHA technology and uncover unexplored nuances in your music across any genre.

TUBE AMP Mode — The Authentic Essence of Analog Sound

Nothing compares to the warm texture and distinctive sense of space delivered by a Tube Amp — qualities that remain unmatched by even the most advanced digital amplifiers. Renowned for their ability to convey the raw emotion of music, the timeless appeal of vacuum tube amplifiers has captivated audiophiles since their inception.

The SP3000T's TUBE AMP Mode allows you to enjoy the smooth and inviting analog sound unique to real vacuum tube technology, complemented by groundbreakingly low noise levels.

Astell&Kern's Cutting-Edge Amp Technology — Hybrid AMP Mode

Departing from the traditional Vacuum Tube AMP and OP AMP modes, the SP3000T features a groundbreaking HYBRID AMP Mode — a new concept in audio technology that puts tone control at your fingertips. HYBRID AMP Mode seamlessly blends the best of analog warmth and high-resolution output to create a unique tonal experience. With five adjustable levels, users can tailor the sound to their preferences and the unique characteristics of each song, ensuring an optimal listening experience every time.

Tube Current option for premium analog sound

After testing the operational range of the vacuum tube, we developed an internal plate voltage control system, which can be adjusted in three stages and directly affects the amplification rate of the vacuum tube amplifier, resulting in nuanced changes in sound texture.
Experience the subtle shifts in density and spatial presence in your headphones or earphones as you fine-tune the current of the vacuum tube amplifier.

Achieving Complete Separation of Digital and Analog Signals

Building upon the design principles of the popular A&ultima SP3000, the SP3000T has undergone enhancements that have garnered widespread acclaim for exceptional sound quality.

Achieving remarkably low noise levels within the compact confines of the SP3000T's circuitry, which includes various resistance elements, components and vacuum tubes, posed a challenge beyond the capabilities of conventional design approaches.
To solve this issue, the SP3000T boasts two of AKM's latest flagship AK4499EX DACs as well as a separate audio circuit design featuring the AK4191EQ, which is applied independently to the left and right channels responsible for processing digital signals.

Unlike most digital players, which typically process digital and analog signals within the DAC, the SP3000T utilizes a unique audio circuit configuration. This setup involves reducing the noise of the input digital signal through the AK4191EQ, which acts as a separate digital delta-sigma modulator. In this unique design, only analog signals are processed within the DAC AK4499EX, ensuring that digital and analog signals are processed separately.

We've also improved sound separation by adopting a new design that completely segregates the OP AMP and TUBE AMP signals. This refinement also maximizes the DAC's performance, resulting in enhanced depth and richness in the lower frequency range.

99.9% Pure Silver Plating

While crafting the SP3000T, we spent a long time searching for a material that seamlessly blends high-resolution digital sound with the rich analog warmth of a vacuum tube. After rigorous research, Astell&Kern proudly emerged as a pioneer in selecting and applying material featuring 99.9% pure silver plating.

Silver boasts superior electrical conductivity compared to copper and gold, making it a popular choice for premium semiconductors and high-end audio components.
The body of the SP3000T is coated in 99.9% pure silver plating atop 316L stainless steel, which is renowned for its exceptional corrosion resistance.
Since silver can tarnish over time due to exposure to air, we've taken extra steps to increase its longevity, such as adding a special multi-layer coating to prevent sulfurization, to enhance durability and prevent exposure with air.

VU Meter GUI for complete musical immersion

The SP3000T marks a milestone for Astell&Kern as the first device to feature a VU Meter GUI, elevating your listening experience by providing a visual representation of sound levels as you indulge in your favorite music.
The VU Meter, an iconic piece of audio equipment with a long-standing history, displays voltage levels of voice signals to aid volume measurement and adjustment.
Beyond its utilitarian function, the VU Meter's unique design and retro charm help to enhance the immersive music-listening experience.
Conveniently accessible via the bottom navigation bar, the VU Meter on the SP3000T allows you to monitor sound levels while viewing album art or streaming via our Open App Service.
Immerse yourself in the rich analog sound and emotional depth of the SP3000T's vacuum tube through the captivating interface of the VU Meter.

High-End Shrunken Calfskin Case

The SP3000T comes with a deluxe case crafted from shrunken calf leather sourced from Perlinger in Germany and Alcantara in Italy, ensuring a level of style and quality that matches the quality of the device. The shrunken method used to craft the leather results in natural wrinkles, creating an irregular, yet distinctive texture that enhances its luxurious appearance. Unlike regular embossing techniques, this process preserves the leather's natural texture and minimizes discoloration, ensuring the color remains vibrant even after prolonged use.


The case of the SP3000T is fashioned from exquisite leather crafted by the Perlinger tannery in Germany.
With a heritage spanning five generations since its inception in 1864, Perlinger stands as the last bastion of calf leather manufacturing in Germany.
Renowned for its unparalleled quality, Perlinger's shrunken calf is regarded as the finest in the industry, making it highly sought after by prestigious luxury brands such as H.


SPECIFICATION

Body Colour

Silver

Body Material

Body Material Stainless Steel with Pure Silver Plating

Display

5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 Full HD touch screen

Supported Audio Formats

WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA

CPU

Octa-Core

Sample rate:

• PCM: 8kHz ~ 768kHz (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 3.3Vrms │ Balanced 6.3Vrms (Condition No Load)

Storage Capacity

Built-in Memory: 256GB [NAND]
External Memory: microSD x1 (Max. 1TB)

Vacuum Tube

RAYTHEON JAN6418 Mil-spec x2

Decoding

Support up to 32bit / 768kHz Bit to Bit playback

Input

USB Type-C input (for charging & PC & MAC)

Outputs

• 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, LHDC)

Dimensions

3.33" (84.7mm)[W] x 5.57" (141.5mm)[H] x 0.70" (18mm)[D]

Weight

about 17oz (483g)

Feature Enhancements

Firmware upgrade supported (OTA)

Battery

Capacity 5,050mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
Charge Time about 3.5hours (QC3.0 Charging)
Playback Time about 10hours (Standard : FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Unbalanced, Vol.50, LCD Off, LED On, OP AMP Mode)

Supported OS

Windows 7, 8, 10 (32/64bit), MAC OS X 10.7

Audio Specifications

DAC

AKM AK4191 x2 (Dual Modulator) & AKM AK4499EX x2 (Dual DAC)

Frequency Response

• ±0.005dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.003dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
• ±0.006dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced │ ±0.024dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced

Signal to Noise Ratio

120dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 124dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

Crosstalk

-136dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ -145dB @ 1kHz, Balanced

THD+N

0.0005% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced │ 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Balanced

IMD SMPTE

0.0007% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Unbalanced │ 0.0007% 800Hz 10kHz (4:1) Balanced

Output Impedance:

Unbalanced Out 3.5mm (1.5ohm) │ Balanced Out 2.5mm (1.5ohm), 4.4mm(1.4ohm)

Clock Source

25ps (Typ), 200ps Ref

In Box

Accessories

Genuine Leather Case, Screen Protector, Type-C Cable


Customer Reviews


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