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Red Wine Audio Signature 30 (K1000)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Dear Fellow Head-Fiers and K1000 junkies,

I've been lucky enough to get hold of a new pair of K1000s. I've been using my other pair up until now with a Ray Samuels Audio Raptor. Whilst I've really enjoyed the sound I was getting from this particular setup, I feel the K1000 truly deserves a dedicated amp, capable of getting the very best performance from these unique earspeakers.

After religiously studing all K1000 threads in the Amplifiaction forum, a few particular amps really seemed to grab my attention. In no particular order:

EAR V20... £3500 GBP (poop-load of $s) *Slighly* streching my budget! I know Wayne ("Wmcmanus") loves this setup and, correct me if I'm wrong, he puts it up there with an Orpheus setup (HE90/HEV90). Link

FirstWatt F1... ~ $2500?? More affordable, and comes very highly recomended by Srajan Ebaen at 6moons as his favorite amp for the K1000. I know here on Head-Fi "tmarshl" is in heaven with this combo. It seems highly desriable, as Nelson Pass amps (like the Aleph 3) seem to work incredibly well with regards to synergy. I do have a couple of issues reservations: i) Availability & Pricing. Not sure about either of these. ii) Using an F1 with K1000s would obviously require a preamp, adding to costs. Link

Dared VP-300b w/WE valves... Cost depends on where you are with this one. Here in the UK, the amp itself is £950. Drop in a matched pair of Western Electric 300b valves for £800 and you just spent £1750. I guess if you hunt around it can be had for less, I'm sure for you lucky guys in the US its much more affordable. I've never heard the K1000s with 300b valves, so it would be interesting to hear from others who have. Dared Link | WE Link

The thought of listening to some WE 300s again appeals greatly. The last time it was with Kevin Scott of Living Voice, who was demostrating a SME/Kondo/Living Voice setup well in excess of £250,000 . It was the greatest experience of my life, bar none. Kevin is the most incredible individual I've ever met. Read about him and his "thing" here. Immense!!!

Audio Valve RKV MII... ~$1200. The RKV & K1000 synergy is just about legendary. However it does not appeal, as I want to drive my K1000 the whole nine yards, from speaker posts on a non-headphone exclusive amp. I've been doing it the XLR -> 1/4" deal with my Raptor, I want to move on! Although the RKV keeps creeping back into my mind, as just so many people love this combo. Link

=====

So these were the amplifers I have narrowed down my quest to, until the Red Wine Audio Signature 30 appeared on 6moons! Did Srajan Ebaen love this battery powered, Tripath-powered, 30wpc amp or what? Read the review here. "This is one of the three best transistor amps I've heard yet". That really is quite a claim. But more importantly Srajan believes:

"For the now discontinued AKG K-1000 earspeakers, the Signature 30 shares the stage with the FirstWatt F1 current-source amp as an ideal partner. The latter's otherworldly control in this context is ultimately more resolved and accurate and would thus be the choice for a recording engineer. The 30 is warmer and slightly mellower to perfectly suit endless pleasure listening sessions."

I'm aware this is only one opinion, but Srajan has spent a lot of time with the K1000s with various amps. He seems to have been spot on with his recommendation of the FirstWatt F1, so lets hope he's right about this. It was an overwhelmingly positive review, the Sig. 30 being given the "Realsization Award". I stumbled across a thread at AudioCircle forums where some of the first owners of this amp are ecstatic with the performance they are hearing, straight out the box.

So, how much will this set me back? Answer: $1300 (roughly £700). All this is almost too good to be true! Lets say I'm definately contemplating a purchase.

I'm waiting to hear back from Vinnie (the genius himself!) at Red Wine Audio, regarding availability and his thoughts about using the Sig 30 at a dedicated K1000 amp. Also I'm thinking about getting in touch with Srajan Ebaen, as he only touched on the K1000s in his review.

I would love to hear some thoughts on this exciting development from K1000 owners.

Kind Regards,
James Hawkes
post #2 of 12
Good summary of options. I have both an F1 and Sig 30 on order. Watch my K1000 blog (in sig) for impressions.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore
Good summary of options. I have both an F1 and Sig 30 on order. Watch my K1000 blog (in sig) for impressions.
Wow! Both a F1 and Sig 30 on order. You lucky lucky boy!

I would love to hear you thoughts contrasting these two amps with K1000s. I'll be sure to keep an eye on your excellent and informative thread.

Anybody else got a Red Wine Signature heading their way?

Kind Regards.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhawkes
Anybody else got a Red Wine Signature heading their way?
I have a PM from a member who has one on order. Hopefully he will see this thread and deside to out himself.
post #5 of 12
If you want to go a more affordable route, a used Aleph 3 is the way to go. They appear pretty regularly on Audigon for aroun $900. There are two for sale on Audiogon as I type this.
post #6 of 12
Here is yet another example of a very happy Aleph 3/K1000 Head-Fi member:

Click me.

Aleph 3 /K1000 is a very nice and affordable (comparatively speaking) Headphone rig.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
For those who may be interested, I got a reponse from Vinnie at Red Wine Audio.

The current lead time for a Signature 30 is 5 weeks, after receiving payment. He is apparently flooded at the moment with orders, no surprises there! With regards to K1000 performance, he has tried the combination and believes it sounds great.

That's about it! I'm in the process of getting in touch with Srajan Ebaen for more thoughts on K1000 & Sig 30.

Kind Regards.
post #8 of 12
I would add most vintage tube amps I am going to try the K1000 with 2 fisher tube amps, the Moth 2a3, ASL 300b and a Krell 400xi should have a report next week.

I am hoping the Fishers do the job as they are 350-700 dollars restored
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmilhan
Aleph 3 /K1000 is a very nice and affordable (comparatively speaking) Headphone rig.
I have not yet heard the Sig 30 nor any of the Pass amps. But I have a hunch that the Sig 30 may turn out to be a great value:

1.) Excellent ratings from Srajan at 6moons for driving k1000s
2.) You are not forced to buy a linestage (preamp) to drive amp from CDP or other line souce
3.) Reportedly does an excellent job of driving speakers, so it can perform double duty in 2ch rig

Also according to Vinnie, he thought that it should work driving conventional phones like HD 650s, as long as the cable was reterminated to support balanced outs (i.e. bare wire terminations).
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhawkes
So these were the amplifers I have narrowed down my quest to, until the Red Wine Audio Signature 30 appeared on 6moons!
As the Red Wine Audio Signature 30 has a Tripath chip, a former tip of Norbert Lehmann might be usesfull.

Quote:
Hi,

I have to add some thoughts about using any Tripath amp with the K1000:

All Tripath applications show an output filter usually designed for 4 Ohms loudspeakers. If you use this application with an 8 Ohms loudspeaker the ripple in the frequency response will be around 0.5 dB which is rather unproblematic.

If the amplifier is measured with _open_ outputs the peak at 20kHz reaches a value of around 30dB(!) which would be more than unacceptable. Nevertheless I assume that with the 120 Ohms of the K1000 (factor 30 compared to the filter's calculated load) you will have a treble peak of several dB which is more than just a nice coloration.

To use an AKG K1000 with such a Tripath based amp one should shunt the amp's outputs with 8 Ohm resistors to avoid the high frequency peak.

The same resistor will also reduce the energy in the 100kHz - 1MHz band where the switching frequency is wandering dependent on the power drawn from the amp but this is another effect.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhawkes
Wow! Both a F1 and Sig 30 on order. You lucky lucky boy!

I would love to hear you thoughts contrasting these two amps with K1000s. I'll be sure to keep an eye on your excellent and informative thread.

Anybody else got a Red Wine Signature heading their way?

Kind Regards.
I own a FirstWatt F1 and I have a RedWine Audio Signature 30 on order, along with a pair of Omega Revolution speakers. Yes, I want to have a dedicated headphone amp, and another amp dedicated to a non-crossover speaker system.

Should be an interesting session of mix and match. But according to Sjaran, I will probably stay with the F1 to drive my K1000s. Well see!!
post #12 of 12

Here we are years later, and I am still listening to the K1000s with my First Watt F1, and I am still extremely happy with the combination.

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