Astell&Kern unleashes A&ultima SP3000 Gold DAP

South Korean company Astell&Kern has just launched the A&ultima SP3000 Gold, a limited-edition digital audio player which, as its name suggests, is plated with 24K gold.

A&K explains: “Gold has a beautiful lustre, resistance to rust and excellent electrical conductivity, so it is used not only in jewellery, but also as a component for semiconductors and high-end audio. When building the SP3000 Gold, we used a wet process for pure gold plating rather than simply a surface treatment. To fully highlight the SUS 904L material and gold plating, nickel plating was first applied, followed by the 24K gold plating. It’s finished with an AF coating to harden the surface and prevent fingerprints.”

A&K claims the SP3000 is the world’s first digital audio player with independent Dual Audio Circuitry – a complete separation of balanced and unbalanced output, which the company says allows for the purest possible sonic reproduction. It’s also the first to use the new flagship AK4499EX DAC chip from Asahi Kasei, used in HEXA – Audio Circuitry structure that separates digital and analogue signal processing.

Other features include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6125 Octa-Core processor and support for high-resolution aptX HD and LDAC wireless streaming. A&K says the SP3000 can play just about anything, with support for all key formats (including MQA, Native DSD512) and streaming-service connectivity. It’s Roon Ready, too. ReplayGain technology keeps listening at the volume level of the user’s choice.

Astell&Kern’s Teraton Alpha technology has been further refined for the SP3000 and it boasts a watch-style crown control joining a new 5.46in full high-definition display and a new-generation on-screen interface. It comes with a premium leather case and wooden packaging exclusive to this edition.

Available to buy now for £4,400, you can find out more about the A&ultima SP3000 Gold here.