Not one to rest on its laurels, it’s been a busy year for Astell&Kern product launches. The South Korean brand isn’t done just yet, introducing the newest member of its A&ultima series in the SP2000T.
The SP2000T builds on the A&ultima SP2000 (£1,999 / $2,399 / €2,299), features the same angular build quality as other A&K products and is the first player to feature a Quad-DAC, Replay Gain function and new Triple Amp System.
This Triple Amp System allows users to switch between the sonic characteristics of a high resolution clarity and dynamism of OP-amp (operational amp) mode, a warm-sounding vacuum Tube amp and a Hybrid amp mode for a sound that suits their tastes.
To facilitate the vacuum tube amp’s presentation, the SP2000T is equipped with the dual-triode KORG Nutube. This features an anode grid filament structure that operates similarly as a triode vacuum tube; consuming less power while delivering the same audio with rich overtones.
The Nutube offers continuous playback time of approximately 30,000 hours and supports the SP2000T’s onboard 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone output jacks.
The SP2000T isn’t lacking for DACs either. It comes equipped with four ES9068AS DACs, with two DACs per channel dedicated for decoding. A&K claim the result is a sound that’s more detailed and balanced, with greater depth and spatial realism.
Other features include the Replay Gain functionality that can automatically and uniformly adjust volume playback from audio sources up to 24-bit/192 kHz, so you don’t need to reach for the volume knob to keep changing the levels.
After the A&futura SE180, the SP2000T is the second player to feature Astell&Kern’s patented Teraton Alpha Sound Solution. Like it functions on the SE180, it aims to reproduce audio close to the original sound, optimising power, noise, signal conversion and sound signature to produce this effect.
The BT Sink function allows A&ultima SP2000T to connect to a smartphone or other external device via Bluetooth, so music can be played back in higher quality on the SP2000T. There’s also the AK File Drop transfer feature for wirelessly transferring files through a PC, smartphone or FTP program located on the same network.
Storage is 256GB, but if that isn’t enough the A&ultima SP2000T’s memory and can be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD slot. Battery life is around 9 hours with FLAC files played at 50% volume.
Priced at £1,999 / $2,399 / €2,299, the Astell&Kern A&ultima SP2000T portable music player will go on sale in October from the Astell & Kern site and local independent dealers.