Astell & Kern – A & Ultima SP3000
Luxury meets innovation, A & ultima SP3000
Astell&Kern has set the standard for perfect sound using the latest innovative technology with the A&ultima series. The A&ultima SP3000 is the newest flagship product that is the essence of everything learned and engineered over the last 10+ years of digital music processing.
A&ultima SP3000 is the world’s first DAP with independent Dual Audio Circuitry and the latest DAC with HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure and uses all audio technologies and the best materials that let you feel the overwhelming impact of sound and music.
Experience perfection firsthand with the true next-generation flagship, A&ultima SP3000, the pinnacle of audio players.
- World’s first use of Stainless Steel 904L for DAP body material
- World’s first DAP with complete separation of digital and analog signal processing (Using the latest Flagship DAC chip AKM4499EX from Asahi Kasei)
- Stunning Audio Performance with Independent Dual Audio Circuitry
- Equipped with High-Performance Qualcomm Snapdragon 6125 Octa-Core CPU
- New Experience in the Graphic User Interface
- Support for aptX-HD and LDAC
Material Innovations – World’s First Use of Stainless Steel 904L for DAP Body Material
To achieve the goal of the A&ultima series, which is ‘to provide the best value that no one can imitate while using the most innovative and uncompromising design and craftsmanship, the SP3000 uses 904L stainless steel material that has never been attempted before in a portable audio player. Using this material has expanded its value from just a digital device to the realm of a luxury good.
904L stainless steel is harder and more difficult to process than general stainless steel requiring significantly more time and effort. However, due to its excellent durability and corrosion resistance, it has a characteristic that does not lose its beauty, and is why it is used in expensive luxury watches where perfection in all materials and parts must be pursued with an irreplaceable and wonderful luster.
Experience the uncompromising beauty and luxury of the SP3000 produced by Astell&Kern’s experienced craftsmanship.
TERATON ALPHA – The Essence of A&K Audio Technologies Merged Into the SP3000
In order to develop the ultimate audio player that has never been experienced before, not only do we use the latest DAC and technology available, but we use the innovative audio technology of TERATON ALPHA, AK’s Ultimate Sound Solution, which has been refined for the SP3000.
TERATON ALPHA, engineered through endless research, is Astell&Kern’s unique technology that has been designed to produce audio playback that is close to the original sound through effective power noise removal, efficient power management and unwavering amplification, and a fully converted audio output interface.
The HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure and independent dual audio circuit, implemented for the first time in the SP3000, are paired together with TERATON ALPHA’s sound solution to create the purest original sound.
First Use of AKM’s Latest Flagship DAC – Complete Separation of Digital and Analog Signals
The SP3000 is a flagship product with the latest technology and uncompromising design. Astell&Kern worked with AKM from the initial development stage to develop the DAC and circuit structure.
As a result of the collaboration, the world’s first four AK4499EX DACs, AKM’s latest flagship, were applied to the SP3000, and the innovative HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure in which two AK4191EQs that process digital signals are applied separately, complete the amazing sound that can only be found from Astell&Kern.
Most digital players process digital and analog signals together inside the DAC. However, the SP3000’s advanced HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure reduces the noise of the digital signal input through the AK4191EQ, a separate digital delta-sigma modulator, and the AK4499EX DAC is then designed to process the analog signals separately.
By applying this unique design, digital and analog signal processing that is physically separated has been achieved for the first time in a digital audio player, and the overwhelming SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) is maximized, making it possible to experience an incredible level of sound that has never been experienced before.
Silver Plated Shield Can
A shield can is applied to prevent various noise and electromagnetic interference from affecting the audio block.
The SP3000 takes it a step further to achieve excellent audio performance and perfect shielding by applying highly conductive, high-purity silver on the existing shield can, and physically separating digital and analog signals.
Stunning Audio Performance with Independent Dual Audio Circuits
In order to create a truly innovative DAP, not just a great DAP, we tried to overcome the limitations of sound by envisioning an independent dual audio circuit that has never been attempted by anyone with a HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure with unbalanced and balanced outputs.
Almost all other DAPs, including Astell&Kern, use an internal DAC for both unbalanced and balanced outputs. Since the signal from the DAC is divided into unbalanced and balanced and then delivered to the AMP, an Audio Switch is essential. However, when using a switch, there is a limit to the range that can receive the signal sent by the DAC, so most DAPs reduce the signal size first, and then when the signal is transmitted back to the amplifier, it is necessary to restore the original signal size. This causes a limitation in improving the audio performance.
To overcome the limitations, our engineers designed a HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure using two AK4191EQs and four AK4499EXs, creating an innovative unbalanced and balanced independent dual audio circuit design. As a result, the SP3000 achieves an SNR of 130dB, the best of any DAP available. You can feel the clean, pure delicacy of sound with the SP3000 that you cannot experience in any other DAP.
Drive Your Music, Latest Snapdragon Octa-Core CPU for the Newest Flagship Device
A&ultima SP3000 is equipped with a Snapdragon 6125 Octa-core processor, so you can enjoy the overwhelming sound, faster system response, and a redesigned generation user interface that moves comfortably and smoothly.
Featuring a high-performance CPU and improved 8GB of DDR4 memory, which is twice the amount commonly used, the more powerful system is stable with fast and fluid movement.
The CPU, memory, and wireless communication parts are configured as one module, with the digital circuit parts arranged in the same area creating a single system on a chip (SoC). This maximizes the efficiency of the overall circuit configuration by providing more audio-only circuit space as well as reducing heat and noise from digital circuits.
- 11nm process
- Qualcomm® Adreno™ 610 GPU
- Qualcomm® Kryo™ 260 CPU (Octa-core)
- 8GB DDR4
Heighten Your Music – New Experience in the Graphic User Interface
With the newly developed UX/UI, the SP3000 is focused on the process and experience of listening to music, and we wanted to become a ‘Player for music so that one can feel this process.
The new theme is designed with a focus on the experience of rediscovering songs that you have forgotten; you can quickly browse through music categories with simple gestures. A convenient search feature along with album art has been added so that you can enjoy a digital display of CD album covers of your music collection. It is designed to give you not only the pleasure of listening to music but also to create fun when operating the device.
In addition, the Crimson theme, one of the main features of the new generation UI, is designed so that you can feel the appearance of the SP3000 on the screen. The graphics are simple and unintrusive, focusing on usability and intuitiveness. Three key concepts, Edge, Simple, and Dark Mode, were used to improve usability and increase clarity with a style unique to AK. The black and red theme colors are chosen to reduce eye fatigue, maximize battery usage and reduce heat generation.
Real-Time Information Confirmed by Light
Inside the A&ultima’s beautiful volume wheel are LED lights shaped like a majestic musical sound swirling through the unit. You can check the bit depth information of the currently playing song or the set AMP mode through the LED light that spreads intensely from the inside of the SP3000.
* LED light can be turned on/off in the user settings and changes based on sound source information and the AMP mode selected.
16bit – red / 24bit – green / 32bit – blue / DSD – purple
Premium Goat Leather Case
The SP3000 comes with a French goatskin leather case to protect and highlight the beauty of the 904L stainless steel body.
The case is made by ALRAN, located in Tarn in southern France, a historical tannery that was established in 1903 and has been manufacturing leather for over 100 years. It is one of the world’s leading tanneries, well-known for its natural leather manufacturing technology since the 1980s. ALRAN is recognized as the best goatskin manufacturer and supplies other leading luxury brands such as H and L.
The leather case included with the SP3000 is developed with ALRAN Tannery’s unique Hand-Boarding technology. This is a technology that processes the leather by rubbing it in various directions using wooden planks, so you can feel the texture of the surface. This process is unique compared to how other goatskin cases are produced.
A & Ultima SP3000 Design Concept – “Wrapped in Light”
The interpretation of light and shadow shown in the SP3000 is expressed as “wrapped in the light” whereas the previous SP1000 and SP2000 expressed light as spreading and scattering. The concept of the SP3000 depicts how light gathers and wraps around the wheel.
This symbolizes that the SP3000 is the all-consuming culmination of all the technologies and capabilities that Astell&Kern has accumulated over the years. The polished stainless-steel body shines every moment, and the beautifully shimmering LED light and sharply machined ceramic panel further emphasize the luxury.
The SP3000, which was created through thoughtful design and processing, offers the ultimate beauty that matches the ultimate sound.
A & Ultima SP3000 Specification
|Stainless Steel 904L
|Full HD 5.46” 1080×1920 Touch Display
|Supported Audio Formats
|WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF, MQA
|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), Stereo / DSD512(1bit 22.4MHz), Stereo
Balanced 6.3Vrms (Condition No Load)
|AKM AK4191 x2(Dual Modulator) & AK4499EX x4 (Dual + Dual DAC)
|Support up to 32bit/768kHz Bit-to-Bit Playback
|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)
|802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz)
|V5.0 (A2DP, AVRCP, Qualcomm® aptX™HD, LDAC)
|3.24” (82.4mm)[W] x 5.48” (139.4mm)[H] x 0.72” (18.3mm)[D]
|About 17.39oz (493g)
|Firmware upgrade supported (OTA: Over-The-Air)
|A & Ultima SP3000 Audio Specifications
|±0.017dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Unbalanced /
|±0.021dB (Condition : 20Hz~20kHz) Balanced
|±0.022dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Unbalanced /
|±0.031dB (Condition : 20Hz~70kHz) Balanced
|126dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 130dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
|-136dB @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / -145dB @ 1kHz, Balanced
|0.0006% @ 1kHz, Unbalanced / 0.0004% @ 1kHz, Balanced
|0.0007%, 800Hz 10kHz (4:1), Unbalanced / Balanced
|3.5mm(0.7ohm), 2.5mm(1.7ohm), 4.4mm(1.6ohm)
|Reference Clock Jitter
|200 Femto Seconds
|microSD x1 (Max. 1TB)
|5,050mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
|about 3.5hours (QC3.0 Charging)
|about 10 hours (Standard: FLAC, 16bit, 44.1kHz, Vol.80, LCD Off, Low Gain)
|Windows 10,11 (32/64bit) MAC OS X 10.7