The AK240 is a great-sounding player. It is an expensive player. Inner Fidelity's Tyll thinks it is revolutionary. Its price certainly is.
Well, it's ability to be used as a USB DAC sure is.
I meant its balanced output signal.
I meant its playback of hi-res audio formats.
Um, its use of 'Ultimate' in advertising copy?
Well, what about its revolutionary use of touch input?
I'll admit to being confused. Tyll is one of internet audiophile geekery's big daddies of truth and kludginess. He writes and listens for a living. I assumed he was up on what revolutionary meant...
Or, maybe his article is indicative of how blind we audiophiles are. We are slaves to the ridiculous. Ditto our best reviewers. We swallow insane advertising jargon, hook, line, and sinker.
Which has allowed the Astell & Kern brand to, with the use of a few ill-placed, hyperbolic, pre-school level advertising tricks, and the use of good metal machining, revive the mum-pants iRiver brand.
But revival is not revolution.
What I do appreciate about Astell & Kern is their advertising photography. They understand that any old professional photographer won't do. You need the right tool for the right job. And, for the most part, the photographer iRiver hired to do their images, is the right tool.
The angles at which recent AK players are shot are whack. Angles aside, Astell & Kern's efforts stand in stark contrast to the ridiculous photographic shortcuts taken by HiFiman, HiSound, Calyx, etc.
As a still-life audiophile photographer, I am thankful for Astell & Kern's efforts in reinvigorating a market full of shit photography.
But reinvigoration is not revolution.