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Astell&Kern celebrates success with gold-plated anniversary model

Astell&Kern A&ultima SP3000 24K Gold Limited Edition: The already extreme top model has been launched with 24 carat gold plating. A copper version is also available.

written by / 2024-03-09 - 8:00 am
Astell&Kern celebrates success with gold-plated anniversary model

Astell&Kern’s top model in portable music players, the A&ultima SP3000 is well above the SP2000T, which this journalist nearly went crazy over. The price was already high there, and even higher on the SP3000. The 24-carat version, on the other hand, is in a league of its own with a price tag of over €5,000!

The standard version of the portable player has received rave reviews and we have no doubt that it sounds fantastic. And to celebrate its success, they’re now launching an extra lavish version covered in humanity’s most precious metal – gold.

astell-kern-sp3000-gold-front
(Photo: Astell&Kern)

A&K SP3000 24K Gold has gold on steel

The housing is made of high-quality 904L steel, the same material used in the original SP3000. But for this special model, a layer of 24 carat pure gold has been added. This creates a visual experience that reflects the player’s exclusive performance and uncompromising sound quality.

Gold has several unique properties that make it suitable for high-end audio equipment. It’s shiny and lustrous, yes, but it’s also corrosion-resistant and has excellent electrical conductivity. Not that the latter matters much considering all the gold in this case is on the outside. And because pure 24K gold is so soft, it also presents major challenges in production.

astell-kern-sp3000 24K Gold back
(Photo: Astell&Kern)

The process

To create the perfect surface, Astell&Kern used an advanced wet process that deposits the gold in a 0.5 micrometre thin layer with a tolerance margin of only 20 percent (not much when the layer is so thin to begin with). Underneath the gold is a layer of nickel for extra durability and lustre. Finally, a special anti-fingerprint coating is applied to protect the delicate surface.

According to Astell&Kern, the aim of the player is to push the boundaries of what is possible to achieve with a portable music player, visually, tactilely and, most importantly, sonically.

The SP3000 Gold comes with exclusive accessories such as a leather case and a wooden box specially designed for the anniversary model.

astell-kern-sp3000-copper
The copper version has a slightly more humble look. But only slightly. (Photo: Astell&Kern)

Copper version

If you think €5,000 is too expensive or gold is too flamboyant, there is also a copper version, the SP3000 Copper Limited Edition. With a surface of 99.98 per cent copper. It costs the same as the standard black and silver colours, but is already on its way to being sold out.

More info: astellkern.com

astell-kern-sp3000-all colors
Four colours in total: Black, silver, copper and gold. (Photo: Astell&Kern)

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