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My K1000 journey (a blog) - Page 6

post #76 of 156
Thread Starter 

Upgraded 830 arrived today

The 'P' upgrade adds a second power supply board. And one thing experienced headfiers likely already know, power supply is everything, right?

post #77 of 156
Thread Starter 
I got a few hours in on the 'P' upgrade. Going a couple weeks without the unit makes it hard to do a detailed comparison or review (can I really trust my sonic memory?). Here are my first impressions:

- Definitely greater weight and authority in the low-end
- Smoother mids and highs - without loss of detail
- More organic (rounded) feel to piano & female vocals
- Some shift in balance toward the mids and bass (might just be smoother highs?)

This upgrade is not like moving from HD 650s to K1000s. It's more along the lines of taking my HD 650s from Moon BDv2 to Zu Mobius (or maybe Equinox which I have not heard?) The differences are subtle but real.

On deck: Removing the PCB from K1000s
post #78 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canman
Interested to hear how that will be, but in my experience K1000 needs a lot of current to sound its best.
As a new owner of the K1000 I'll 2nd that. Will also be interesting to see if removing the circuit board makes a difference, though I don't think I want to go there with mine.
post #79 of 156
Thread Starter 
-
post #80 of 156
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd S
As a new owner of the K1000 I'll 2nd that. Will also be interesting to see if removing the circuit board makes a difference, though I don't think I want to go there with mine.
Check out post #74 above. I don't think that K1000s were designed to be run balanced (because of the PCB). As noted in post #74 and a few others, there are a few aberrations in sound that previously I've attributed to K1000s increased detail, standing waves, etc. Now I'm not sure. I'm hoping removal of the PCB might make a meaningful improvement (like getting the wheels aligned and tires balanced on your sports car).

My ***plan*** is to remove the PCB, then reinstall stock cable. If all goes well (and my phones survive surgery), next step will be the Nordost cable.

gotta run -- late for work!!!
post #81 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore
Check out post #74 above. I don't think that K1000s were designed to be run balanced (because of the PCB). As noted in post #74 and a few others, there are a few aberrations in sound that previously I've attributed to K1000s increased detail, standing waves, etc. Now I'm not sure. I'm hoping removal of the PCB might make a meaningful improvement (like getting the wheels aligned and tires balanced on your sports car).

My ***plan*** is to remove the PCB, then reinstall stock cable. If all goes well (and my phones survive surgery), next step will be the Nordost cable.

gotta run -- late for work!!!
I understood the theory as to why. I just meant I was not willing to take that leap of removing the PCB.... at least not at this point.
post #82 of 156
Thread Starter 

I love the 'P'

I had a chance to run my newly upgraded 830 through its paces today. I love what I'm hearing. Several times I got so lost in the music that I was absolutely startled when the recording engineer dropped a new and dynamic solo performer right smack in the center of my soundstage.

I also like Ayre's myrtle wood blocks. Added post to cover this tweak... http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=185476

Operation K1000 -- removing the PCP -- could be as soon as tomorrow.
post #83 of 156
i am impressed with wadia's customer service
glad you are enjoying it kent
post #84 of 156
Thread Starter 

This is it...

Big thanks to Patrick82, who has gone above & beyond!

Not only did he loan me a few meters of his Nordost Valkyrja, he's also answered numerous questions via PM.

Over the past week or so I’ve spent considerable time reviewing K1000 DIY related posts, and lining up the proper tools. Just so you don't all think I'm totally crazy, I was into basic electronics as a kid, so I've done my share of soldering (yeah, like 35 years ago!).

The plan:
1.) Build the balanced XLR adaptor (for the Wadia) as a warm-up exercise
2.) Remove the PCB, then reinstall AKG's stock cable (this will allow me to isolate changes attributable to the PCB vs. Valkyrja)
3.) Replace stock cable with Nordost
4.) [When the dust settles] Try balanced K1000s directly from the Wadia

My wife is out of town for most of the week, so I plan to get through 1-3 before the week is over.

post #85 of 156
beautiful cable. does the frey look like that?
post #86 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS
beautiful cable. does the frey look like that?
Yes, Frey is the same except it has thinner conductors which gives less bass. It's cheaper though.

Edit: Much MUCH cheaper.
post #87 of 156
a LOT cheaper !!
post #88 of 156
Thread Starter 

Hitting the wall...

After several months of nothing but progress, this week did not bear fruit.

Here are a few of my observations. I’ll try to post more details when I have the time.

1. Wadia directly driving K1000s: As predicted by others, K1000s need a dedicated 2ch amp to really shine. Soundstage was much constricted compared to the Ayre. Not recommended if you’re looking for top performance.

2. K1000s less the PCB: Several headfiers like this tweak, so success must depend on your system. In my case it made things literally unlistenable. Again, some of this may be tied to my configuration. I will post more details at a later date.

3. Valkyrja: I only tried the Valkyrja without the PCB (see number 2 above). I also tried the stock cable without the PCB, with similar results. Bottom line: My strategy for testing the Valkyrja turned out to be a bust.

4. Why not try Valkyrja with the PCB?: Turns out that K1000s are easier to get apart then the are to put back together. After trying the PCB-less Valkyrja and stock cord, I had hit my limit for messing with mods.

5. Wadia 'P' upgrade: Now that I’ve spent more time with the upgrade, I’m pretty convinced the 2nd power supply board is adding a lot more resolution. Hopefully at some point in the future I can put my Wadia side-by-side with an 860 or one of the top Meridians to see how it does.

EDIT: (I forgot...) 6. K1000s in balanced: Earlier I had concluded the combination of balanced + PCB might be causing some of the aberrations I occasionally hear. Removing the PCB board did not help, which came as a surprise. So what causes the aberrations? Grills? More resolution than I'm use to?
post #89 of 156
Damn!

I have been following this thread very closely, and I am just as disappointed as you are. ;( Ashame you didn't have the energy or desire left to try the Valkyrja cable with the PCB.

It appears you did the mods yourself, is that correct? I would be terrified to try those mods myself after some of the horror stories I have heard regarding K1000 DIY mods.

As a K1000 fanatic myself, I really appreciate all the work (and documentation) you have done.

Keep up the good work!
post #90 of 156
Ditto on the above. Your blog has been extremely informative on K1000 mods. Disappointed though I am for your efforts, I have to say I am glad that my PCB does not need removing. I've done a few soldering jobs, and let's just say my hands are not all that steady; if you look closely, my carpet (thick, God bless it) has a bit of a chunk missing near the bookcase, because of my soldering iron clumsiness. At any rate, good luck with further K1000 modding (or lack thereof), and keep the useful info coming! Oh, and I fully agree with you on the balanced outs from source. I tried it with my Zhaolu, and it did not work out all that well. I may try it again with the K701, which I have reterminated to 4-pin XLR, but we shall see. As to the balanced issue, single ended is working out quite well for me; I'm considering going dual-mono for amping, since my power amp is not all that expensive, but balanced just seems like far too much trouble.
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