One look at the L1000 from Astell & Kern and you would know immediately why I requested one for review. This company, known for some of the best high end sound available in portables as well as beautiful designs must have had an itch to apply those skills to something a little larger. Skills applied, no doubt.
Features, other than that big, beautiful volume knob: a dual-dac arrangement supporting true balanced driving of headphones that support that, standard 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch headphone jacks as well, and the ability to drive a set of desktop speakers from the built-in amp (not a line-out for use with amplified speakers). Input is via a USB Micro connector.
The big, beautiful knob is about as glorious to use as it is to look at. Sound is detailed and musical (ie, not digital sounding) with excellent rhythm and pace and quiet, quiet backgrounds. I’m very much looking forward to finding out more of what this elegant, angled box can do!
I’ve got a variety of DAC/Headphone amps for comparison and will endeavor to get some headphone models to match. Review is coming up.