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Finally realized K1000 is what I really want and need

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Almost 6 years ago I considered about buying K1000 but the combined cost of the K1000+SAC amp was just too much for me at the time. In the end I bought K501. Of course at that time there was no head-fi and I did not know K1000 can also be driven by other amps.
Although K501 and my stereo speakers are really decent performers, there is still something missing in my hi-fi system. I love listening to speakers, because they have natural soundstage and plenty of bass. However my busy lifestyle leaves me with little time to listen to entire pieces of music in front of speakers. I am a classical lover but constantly listening to 40 min concerti or symphonies takes a lot of leisure. Often I listen to music while I use computer at my desk or read. In those cases my head is not in the sweetspot of the speakers, and therfore not getting the best sound. I have thought about getting small speaker systems on my desk, but the comb filtering effect of the desk is another issue, and integration with subwoofer can also become tricky.
Headphone listening is also a great option, especially when I live in apartments with thin walls. But for me headphones always sound too close-in. The soundstage is not very natural, and having the sound directly emanating to the ear makes me feel more like a stero microphone at the concert rather than a listener. Also my jaws don't like being clamped for too long. On the other hand, the details and transparency of headphones are very much to my liking.
My wish is to have at home the resolved sound of headphones presented with the opneness of stereo speakers, and in a soudstage that always follows my head while I am at the desk or doing something else. A bit too much to ask for, isn't it? But this would be the best way to maximize the enjoyment of my ever-growing music collection in my lifestyle.

A week ago I received my K1000. It has only 50 hours on it so let me just say so far I am pretty happy with its sound although it still seems to be evolving. But I quickly realized K1000 is what I really need and want. Although it is not really lightweight, its clamping mechanism works well with my head. While I am typing this post, I can enjoy the envoloping sound of John Coltrane's trio. I can focus on the music at any point when I want to listen carefully, but I can also focus on something else and still follow the music closely in the background. K1000 is an one-of-a-kind product that provides a unique solution for my listening needs. I am very glad I finally got it. Although the K1000 sytem is not without its compromises, for me its usability greatly outshines its limitations. I honestly can't think of any other speaker or headphone I would rather listen to when I am alone in my room. Sure, I would like experience those Sonus Faber or Wilson speakers as well as HE90, SR-007 or R10, but for my daily listening I can't picture them replacing K1000.
I have thank all those head-fiers who reported the great synergy between Sonic Impact T-amp and K1000. After hearing how good the T-amp is on my speaker setup, I no longer felt being held back from buying K1000 because of amplification. After I got K1000 I actually think my Jolida hybrid amp collecting dust at the corner seems to drive K1000 even better. But my K1000 is not fully broken in, so it is too early to say which amp is more suitable.
post #2 of 40
Congratulations.
Finally some dreams come true.
post #3 of 40
Congratulations on finally finding the cure for upgraditis. After years of that dreaded (and rather expensive) disease, I purchased the K1000 close to 2 years ago, and have only bought one headphone since....the ER6i for portable use. Unfortunately, I think I may be having a relapse as I've been reading about the new Grado 325i and MS2 fat boy.......this place really is hazardous for your wallet. Enjoy those K1000s!
post #4 of 40
Welcome to Team K1000. The Best (IMHO) headphones period.

Just because you’ve found “the” headphone does not mean that it’s an end to upgradeitis. Better amps, better sources, better cables, it can go on forever.
post #5 of 40
That's great you have found this unique gem. The Sonic Impact though..... no comment
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have read people driving K1000 using SET tubes, push-pull tubes (rare), class A transistors, OP-AMP+voltage buffer IC and class-T audio IC. Has anybody tried driving K1000 with a MOSFET power IC? I am saking because my hybrid integrated amp uses 12AX7 and MOSFET IC.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
That's great you have found this unique gem. The Sonic Impact though..... no comment
In opposition to its nature, could you still elaborate on the "no comment" part? I'd be very interested to know how much a "better" amp can improve the AKG's performance. What did you no like about the SI amp?
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saint.panda
In opposition to its nature, could you still elaborate on the "no comment" part? I'd be very interested to know how much a "better" amp can improve the AKG's performance. What did you no like about the SI amp?
Well the Sonic impact works and is not offensive with the K1000. That is important but It sounds rather flat to me which isn't what is characteristic of K1000. I think a good amp should strengthen the strengths of a headphone.
post #9 of 40
Ferbose,

Did you match the K1000 to a sub, yet? I've been thinking of making a push-pull sub using two 12" drivers with a 12 DB passive cross over at 60 Hz.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallijonn
Ferbose,

Did you match the K1000 to a sub, yet? I've been thinking of making a push-pull sub using two 12" drivers with a 12 DB passive cross over at 60 Hz.
I have not really experimented with subs yet.
My two Athena P2s ($375 each) are hi-end subs but I will give them a shot anyway.
They have 50-150 dB adjustable crossover.
Good thing that my DAC1 has multiple preamp outs so I hook subs to it.
I will definitely try using frequency sweep signals to determine the appropriate sub setting.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
Well the Sonic impact works and is not offensive with the K1000. That is important but It sounds rather flat to me which isn't what is characteristic of K1000. I think a good amp should strengthen the strengths of a headphone.
Was your sonic impact stock?
I have wondered how many people here are using stock SI's to drive their 1000's, and how many of the SI's are modded. I plan to get an SI, but I will mod it when I get time.

Randy
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by randytsuch
Was your sonic impact stock?
I have wondered how many people here are using stock SI's to drive their 1000's, and how many of the SI's are modded. I plan to get an SI, but I will mod it when I get time.
It wasn't mine but Hirsch's I believe.

Personally for me, I'd skip the T-amp and get the Teac tripath setup since it has more power output.
post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
It wasn't mine but Hirsch's I believe.

Personally for me, I'd skip the T-amp and get the Teac tripath setup since it has more power output.
I recall reading multiples times that Teac Tripath amp sounds too bright and harsh with K1000.
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferbose
I recall reading multiples times that Teac Tripath amp sounds too bright and harsh with K1000.
You also don't need the power. From everything I have read, the SI has plenty of power to drive the 1000's. People seem to think there is a synergy between the SI and the 1000's. If anybody ever gets them back in stock, I plan to find out.

Randy
post #15 of 40

Some Thoughts Regarding the K1000:

As much as I enjoy the K1000/T-amp combo I fear the AKG headphone has dragged me into a quest which I did not wish to embark upon – I feel the K1000 almost NEEDS tubes. While the T-amp has better synergy with the K1000 than any other SS amp I’ve heard, it’s still not achieving what I’ve heard with the RKV. The T-amp is already maxed-out with Taylor’s upgrades and a linear PSU; the K1000’s extension cable had been upgraded the midrange has seen a slight improvement. I’m frustrated and sad. I love the tight, extremely detailed bass (I think only the R10 and Qualia best the K1000 in this regard) and unbelievable soundstage. In fact, since my balanced HD650/Zu Mobius-XLR and DAC1 I forgot about the benefits of crossfeed with my (now departed) Corda HA-2. After listening to the K1000 for so long it is very difficult to listen without crossfeed, even with the balanced HD650 – I may have to buy a Blockhead for this very reason! The K1000 has forced me to recognize this weakness of other traditional headphones. D@mn.

Here are my issues with the K1000/T-amp combo:

The treble is fatiguing on poor recordings (of which I own plenty); it is so unbearable that without the HD650 here these albums would be un-listenable. I have never had a fatiguing headphone experience until I used the K1000.

The midrange is simply not as warm or romantic as the HD650. While it is my favorite among all AKG ‘phones (K501, 240S, K271 and even K340) and also Beyer ‘phones (DT531, DT770-80, DT931 and even DT880) it still is not as beautiful or captivating as the HD650 (which itself cannot touch the HE90).

I don’t know where to move next. Should I bite the bullet and buy an RKV? Will the RKV really improve matters that much or will the K1000 still retain the characteristics I cannot live with? Should I just sell the K1000 because I am simply describing its character? While the detail (especially that ungodly subterranean bass detail) and that natural soundstage are stunning, the weaknesses of the headphones compared to my beloved German/Irish HD650 make the Austrian cans seem like an investment that’s not breaking even. I don’t wish to spend $1000+ on an amp for this headphone, because that money could be spent on my dream setup (HE60+KGSS). If I sold the K1000, the Stefan AA Equinox cable, the SI T-amp and linear PSU I could be closer to the HE60 than ever before (if one ever appears on the market, that is). To those who have heard the K1000 and HE60 in their own systems (Hirsch and Lan I am talking to you! ), what is your advice? I love the K1000’s character but its temperamental nature and expensive taste in amplification renders me nonplussed. Maybe I’m simply a Sennheiser wh@re? I can already hear the siren song of the HE60 luring me into its grasp…
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