Astell & Kern A&futura SE200 review

August 24, 2020 § Leave a comment

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‘It even sounds better than the SP1000M. Comparing the two, we find the SE200 prevails over the decent SP1000M in almost all sonic aspects – clarity, dynamics, rhythmic fluidity and insight. It’s bolder-sounding and more tonally neutral than some of its siblings, with Astell & Kern trading some of its typical richness for a faster, more articulate listen.

Whether we play Elvis Costello or Ludovico Einaudi, Mac Miller or Andrew Bird, the SE200 delivers the music faithfully. It captures its fine details and dynamic fluctuations and conveys it all on a crystal clear canvas that is as engaging as it is informative.

The ESS DAC-fed output offers a fuller, warmer listen – preferable for lush, orchestral music perhaps – but it sacrifices the spaciousness, clarity and those last couple of layers of subtlety in comparison. In fact, it’s closer to the SP1000M in character and calibre – it’s good, but just not as good as the AKM.”

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