Korean high-end audio equipment manufacturer, Astell&Kern, renowned for its premium Digital Audio Players (DAPs), has unveiled the A&ultima SP3000 Gold, a limited edition digital audio player coated with 24K gold.
This limited edition release builds upon the success of the original A&ultima SP3000, which has received praise for its distinctive design and exceptional sound quality. The A&ultima SP3000 Gold takes sophistication to a new level, being the world's first DAP crafted from the most precious of metals.
Astell&Kern's meticulous craftsmanship is evident in the construction of the A&ultima SP3000 Gold. The device features a wet process for pure gold plating, a departure from surface treatments, ensuring the gold layer is not just for aesthetics but also provides resistance to rust.
To accentuate the SUS 904L material and gold plating, nickel plating is applied first, followed by the 24K gold plating. An AF coating is then added to harden the surface and prevent fingerprints, maintaining the device's luxurious appearance.
Under the golden exterior lies cutting-edge audio technology. The SP3000 is the first digital audio player to incorporate independent Dual Audio Circuitry, separating balanced and unbalanced outputs to achieve exceptional sonic reproduction.
Astell&Kern also introduces the new flagship AK4499EX DAC chip from Asahi Kasei, employed in an innovative HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure that segregates digital and analog signal processing.
The device boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6125 Octa-Core processor, supporting high-resolution aptX-HD and LDAC Bluetooth streaming. It accommodates various digital audio file formats, including MQA and Native DSD 512, and is Roon Ready. The addition of ReplayGain technology ensures a steady volume level during playback.
Astell&Kern's TERATON ALPHA technology, refined for the SP3000, aims to reproduce audio playback as close to the original recorded sound as possible. This technology combines power noise removal, efficient power management, and steady amplification, elevating the listening experience.
The SP3000 retains the signature Astell&Kern design with a watch-style crown control, a 5.46-inch high-definition display, and a new-generation on-screen interface. Navigating through music, including popular streaming services, is reportedly easier than ever.
The limited edition A&ultima SP3000 Gold comes bundled with a premium leather case and wooden packaging, adding to the exclusivity of this release. It is available now in limited quantities at a price of $4,400. For those preferring other finishes, the A&ultima SP3000 in black, silver, and copper remains available for $3,699 at Amazon.