AKM factory fire

This is a disaster: https://www.prosoundnetwork.com/business/akm-factory-fire-shakes-up-pro-audio-industry

If you’re planning to buy a new DAC, do now because they’re going to be very hard to come by soon.


Yikes thats terrible :frowning:

Wow. That’s no good. At all.

yeah… it is going to put a lot of DACs and mic makers in a tough position… I think we might see some price increases due to supply and demand coming soon =(

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Yep, if they’re running a just-in-time operation or haven’t already secured a supply of chips, they’re going to be in deep deep trouble. I worry about Schiit …


Time for Schiit to explore ESS? If they can make a no frills ESS dac that sounds like the Matrix Sabre X Pro (only NOT made from a solid block of milled aluminum and fancy LCD display, all of which drive the price way up) and with unison USB thrown in, well… I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

Despite my adoration of Schiit’s multibit sound, the Sabre X Pro is my second favorite sounding DAC.


I’m resisting a semi-panic dac purchase.

Have to hope my lonely dac doesn’t give up before supplies return to normal.




That would involve immediately voiding the warranty by firing up the Dremel to remove certain brand lettering.


That’s sad about the factory. They probably have a good insurance.

But if there is something I learned really well with the pandemic was to avoid panic purchases: hand sanitizers, masks, food, toilet paper, mechanical ventilators, even computers (lockdown, remember?). This soap opera still continues though, with vaccines being the next target.

We’ll probably be fine with our existing gear, or to be open exploring alternatives.



Yes, staying calm is important and supply will return.

There’s also something to be said for planning ahead.

We all do the best we can in these times.

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I have something akin to that. It’s called a “Prozor Digital to Analog Converter.” It is capable of 24/192 and has toslink and coax inputs for whatever transport I need (no USB though). It’s fine. I have my old portable Sony Discman optical out attached to the toslink input, then outputting to another dirt-cheap device. That is a tube headphone amp/pre-amp made by ChiFi wizards FX-Audio.

I still want some Schiit before it’s gone, though…

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The key sentence is at the end of the story (as linked above):

“There’s a rumor that AKM will pivot their IC masks to independent fab houses,” La Grou noted hopefully, “so perhaps we’ll see some AKM devices before the main plant is again operational.”

While I’m no expert, the chips may be quickly/instantly(?) moved to another production line. We shall see.

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I have this one too. As a matter of fact this is the only DAC I can A/B against my other ones and I can actually hear a difference. :smile:

Of course I was not happy with that – even for a $10 product. So I ended up paying “double the price” and getting the FiiO D03K. Same form factor. The latter though, I can’t tell a difference against my Modi 3, for instance. :hear_no_evil:

I don’ have more premium DACs to date, so this does not bother me. Except the PROZOR one.


No one died. Chips can be replaced. Hopefully they wont be out for long.


Are AKM chips that dominant or special – compared not only to other chips or design approaches that use other concepts (R2R, FPGA, etc.)?

Not sure exactly. They seem to be a leading manufacturer. Appear to be more prominent than the TI/BB stuff and maybe even ESS chips, at least from casual exposure to spec sheets.

There’s probably some technical differences between them that may make them more favoured over others but IMO it just comes down to sound preference re R2R, FPGA, and of course expense.

Implementation issue means you just cant drop any old chip in as a replacement unless you rework your circuit.


Find a dac released in the last few years that has an ESS or Burr Brown DA in it NOT named Benchmark, Matrix, or iFi. :slight_smile:


I was kind of thinking that myself, that maybe they were that prominent a supplier. Makes this a pretty big deal for the audio industry.

I read at SBAF that Schiit is good for maybe 6 months but afterwards who knows? Keeps the Modi alive for longer.


This is a major bummer so far AKM DACS and Burr Brown have been my favorite… :frowning: