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K1000 vs R10 ... - Page 2

post #16 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg
I listen to a K1000, driven by a good 300B tube amp. (ASL AQ-1005DT)... While the K1000 is really a fine headphone, it is no match for the R10...
Mike, I think the point of this thread from Nik's perspective and mine (at least, and maybe others), is that with the "right" amp behind the K1000's, they can do things that no other headphones can. Not the R10's, not the HE90's, and not anything else that I've ever heard. The problem is that the "right" amp is hard to find for the K1000's and it could be that as good as your ASL amp is for many other heapdhones, it's not the right match for the K1000's which are very power hungry and fussy. I wouldn't have ever believed this myself, and would have made the same sort of statement that you did (above) about the K1000's not being a match for the R10's in terms of refinement, etc., until I heard the K1000's with the EAR V20. It seems that Nik (who has owned the K1000's previously and tried them with several different amps) has finally found the "right" one in his Leben.
post #17 of 198
There was a time, a couple of years past, that an ASL AQ-1005DT amp. was considered to be a very fine amp. for driving a K1000. Despite ASL possibly being a bit out of vogue today, I doubt that there's another amp. that'll obtain better performance from this headphone. IMHO, any limitation is due to the K1000, and not the amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawlowski6132
So which is it, a good 300b amp or an ASL?

My point is, it's not always the case that the phones are the weakest link.
post #18 of 198
Wayne - The AQ-1005DT is a power amp. that's intended to drive speakers, and not headphones. It therefore has much more than enough power to drive the K1000. Although I haven't used the amp. to which you refer, I would be amazed if there were any further improvement in K1000 performance from its use. Although I agree, and have acknowledged, that the K1000 has at least one advantage over the R10 (i.e., a wider soundstage), I'm certain that it is no match for the R10 (especially when driven by an SDS) in most other areas that matter. BTW, I've been listening to my K1000 nightly for about 2 years. I think that we'll just have to agree to disagree about this, although I'm glad that Nik is delighted by his latest headphone conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus
Mike, I think the point of this thread from Nik's perspective and mine (at least, and maybe others), is that with the "right" amp behind the K1000's, they can do things that no other headphones can. Not the R10's, not the HE90's, and not anything else that I've ever heard. The problem is that the "right" amp is hard to find for the K1000's and it could be that as good as your ASL amp is for many other heapdhones, it's not the right match for the K1000's which are very power hungry and fussy. I wouldn't have ever believed this myself, and would have made the same sort of statement that you did (above) about the K1000's not being a match for the R10's in terms of refinement, etc., until I heard the K1000's with the EAR V20. It seems that Nik (who has owned the K1000's previously and tried them with several different amps) has finally found the "right" one in his Leben.
post #19 of 198
I am surprised Edwood hasn't commented. He owns an R10 and K1000's.

Ed - where are you???
post #20 of 198
Nik how about the bass? That is one of the main problems of the K-1000, I don't know, but I don't think it is nowhere similar to the R-10 regarding that dpt...
post #21 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg
Despite ASL possibly being a bit out of vogue today, I doubt that there's another amp. that'll obtain better performance from this headphone.
There are definitely amps that will give a better performance with the K1000's, and there is no doubt about it.

Quote:
IMHO, any limitation is due to the K1000, and not the amp.
I guess it's a matter of semantics, really. I mean, it's not at all logical to be spending big money to drive a pair of headphones. Nik's Leben amp comes in at $6k and my EAR V20 retails for over $5k (although I got a great deal on it in the used market). So, for sake of argument, if it takes this kind of an investment to get the full performance out of the K1000's, then I can see where you would say that the K1000's are the limiting factor because this type of investment is unjustified to all but the craziest of the crazy. So in economic terms, the K1000's are the limiting factor because they don't scale well with comparably priced amps. But in technical terms, the K1000's are not the limiting factor at all. They are capable of truly remarkable things.

And as I mentioned, this is all "for sake of argument" because I'm not suggesting that it really does take such an expensive amp to draw out all of the K1000's virtues. Many people are happy using the Sonic T Impact digital amp (the exact name escapes me, but you know what I'm referring to). The trouble is that it is extremely difficult with the K1000's (more so than any other heapdhones that I know of) to get that last 5% or 10% to transform the listening experience into something that just reaches out, grabs you, and won't let go. But when that happens, the experience is magical.

EDIT: mikeg, please see my post below. I hadn't seen your earlier reply before posting this message.
post #22 of 198
I've only used three amps with K1000. Among them was the ASL AQ1002 (previous version of this one), which was not a good match for K1000 at all. I much prefered K1000 straight out of DAC1's internal amp. I let a local audiophile demo the AQ1002 with his secondary KEF speaker setup. He was quite happy to buy it afterwards.

The moral is that a good speaker amp may not neccessarily be a good K1000 amp
post #23 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg
Wayne - The AQ-1005DT is a power amp. that's intended to drive speakers, and not headphones. It therefore has much more than enough power to drive the K1000.
Gotcha!

Quote:
BTW, I've been listening to my K1000 nightly for about 2 years. I think that we'll just have to agree to disagree about this...
Agreed! (And no offense intended, of course, but you know that).

Quote:
...although I'm glad that Nik is delighted by his latest headphone conclusion.
post #24 of 198
As I reported in a previous thread, Guru and I compared the performance of the K1000, when driven by my ASL amp, and by a T-amp. We could hardly hear any difference in peformance of this headphone when driven by these vastly differently priced amps. As I recall, the T-amp cost about $30, while the AQ-1005DT costs more than $1K. The K1000 sounded great when driven by either of these amps. Because of this lack of difference between using my >$1K and ultra-cheap amps, I concluded that much more expensive amps will obtain no further performance magic from the K1000. As for the claim that amazing improvements result when driving the K1000 with $5K-$10K amps, I retain my doubt regarding this claim, for now. Damn, I think that I'm really coming off as a rather humourless codger. Sorry.
post #25 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by some1x
I much prefered K1000 straight out of DAC1's internal amp.
Are you referring to the headphone amp or the XLR? I find the XLR to give the HD650 a WIDER soundstage than the K1000 driven from a normal speaker amp. Of course, the 650's staging is limited in depth and lacks the precise imaging of the K1000 by comparison.

How do you find the RVK with the K1000?

P.S. very eager to hear the K1000 out of the XLR.
post #26 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg
As for the claim that amazing improvements result when driving the K1000 with $5K-$10K amps, I retain my doubt regarding this claim, for now. Damn, I think that I'm really coming off as a rather humourless codger. Sorry.
It's really not the price tag as such, but more of a compatibility issue. As you know, I'm not technically inclined, so I can't tell you precisely what the K1000's need to really shine, but I'm now hearing it for myself and they have moved up (in my estimation) for a nice, novel, but less than extraordinary headphone (maybe in my top 10 headphones, but maybe not) to being pretty much my #1 "go to" headphone rig when I really want to get completely drenched in sonic bliss and melt away in music. At least for the past couple of months, I've been reaching for the K1000/V20 setup more so than the HE90/HEV90 or Angstrom/R10. But maybe that's just me. We all have different preferences.
post #27 of 198
I prefer the K1000 to the R10, if that means anything.

-Matt
post #28 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook
Are you referring to the headphone amp or the XLR? I find the XLR to give the HD650 a WIDER soundstage than the K1000 driven from a normal speaker amp. Of course, the 650's staging is limited in depth and lacks the precise imaging of the K1000 by comparison.

How do you find the RVK with the K1000?

P.S. very eager to hear the K1000 out of the XLR.
Straight out of the jacks in the DAC1 front panel. I can only supply some fragmented thoughts about RKV and DAC1. I listen to mostly orchestra music and string quartets.

I prefer the RKV to DAC1, but in some aspects, something in between the two would be better. DAC1 + K1000 isn't bright or harsh, especially after hardwiring Blue Dragon. DAC1 sounds cleaner and purer. RKV is a bit thick sounding and the highs can be just a bit hazy. RKV lends more body to the sound. Orchestras sound more like ensembles of instruments and less like recordings. To draw an analogy, DAC1 creates the image of a row of speakers, one for each instrumental section, and a couple placed farther back for horns and the timpani. The RKV does something closer to a real orchestra. RKV produces more distinct layerings (with respect to the depth).

Also, RKV has more headroom and sounds more dynamic than DAC1. With the DAC1, I need the volume at near max (actually, before hardwiring Blue Dragon, the volume was around 2-oclock. I think the Blue Dragon attenuates the volume a bit). K1000 already has great dynamics on DAC1, but it gets better. In terms of prat, both the DAC1 and RKV are good enough to get me air-conducting (is that a term?) to the final movement of Beethoven's 7th This has much to do with my love for the 7th.

Here's to hoping an opamp swap will make RKV sound more neutral for K1000.
ps. Let me know if anything needs to be clarified.
post #29 of 198
I have read warnings from experienced head-fiers that K1000 is not a lazy person's headphone.
To get the most out of it, one has to try very hard at system matching, and cater to one's own ears.
There is much wisdom in the advice.

It seems that people's opinions ALWAYS vary widely on the proper amp to drive K1000, and there are actually tons of choices out there, from hi-power headphone amps to low(or not so low)-power integrated and power amps.
I personally did not like what I heard out of DAC1 and T-amp with K1000. T-amp was too sibilant and DAC1 was underpowered and sibilant.
The only solid state amp that did not sound bright driving K1000 for me was Grace m902 (surprisingly powerful, too).
Generally I prefer K1000 with tube amps. I have listened to Cayin HA-1A, Almarro 205, Jolida 102B, Sophia Electric Baby Clone and RSA Raptor. In the five, I invariably prefer single-ended amps over the push-pull amps, but that is just my experience. Almarro was the best for its lush sound and it is not prohibitively expensive either.

Although I listen to K1000 almost daily, I hardly know what it actually sounds like. For the last few months I have been listeing exclusively to K1000 with four minimonitors and two subs. Doubling ambience and bass extension for K1000 is just irresistable for me. I know this sounds toally stupid, but read my continuing research into the topic and it may make sense. The result is a concert hall sound (in terms of timbre, not soundstage) that's closer to the real thing than any speaker or headphone system I have heard, however expensive.
post #30 of 198
Thread Starter 
The K1000 do not has any bass problem, but they sound as the amp sound. I repeat, I have listened for many days with the Leben (my actual integrated amp) and I did not found any surprise with the K 1000's sound untill I have changed the tubes, the stock Sovteck for the NOS RCA 6L6GC Black Plate, I never experienced a so big improvment in tuberolling. With these tubes the K 1000 is supeiror to the R10 (IMO), but I can declare a sort of "obiective valuation", I could prefer the R10, someone can for his personal tastes... but I think the K 1000 well drived is a superior performances headphones.
The K 1000 plugged in the headphones output of the same Leben amp I have, do not sound any good, just to understand... with any volume.
(Sorry, but I do not think any T-Amp or similar can drive properly the K 1000, I do not think that tubes like 300B can full drive the K 1000. I think they like tubes, bigs tubes and many tubes !).

Has the K 1000 the same med qualyti of the R10? YES!
Has the K 1000 the same soundstage of the Omega II? YES (and better)
Has the K 1000 the same details of a Qualia 010? YES (or very near)
Has the K 1000 the same transparence of the electrostatics? YES! (for those I have tried).
Has the K 1000 a good price for performances? YES (the more convenient price).

All in my personal setup and in my personal opinion.

I paid this second pair of R10 A LOT more than the K 1000, I do not have any intention to destroi the R10's image, but I write what I really think. The R10 is still a FANTASTIC cans, without any doubt...

Best!
Nicola
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