I compared an ASL AQ-1005DT amp (costing over $1,600) with a pair of ASL Wave monoblock amps (costing about $240 a pair) for driving an AKG K1000 headphone. I used a Stefan AudioArt k1000 cable with the AS-1005DT amp, and the stock AKG K1000 cable with the Wave amps. I equipped the AQ-1005DT amp with substantially upgraded tubes, while the tubes in the Wave amps were the ones shipped with them. I used a Marantz SA8260 SACD player as the source, and I output the program signal of the SA8260 through an ASL TIDT passive preamp. Additional volume control for the Wave amps was provided by passing the signal from the TIDT preamp through a Creek OBH-10 Remote Volume Control. As for interconnects, I used the following cables between the units: Dimarizio M-Path 3 ft. Interconnect Cables between the SA8260 SACD player and the TIDT preamp, and between this preamp and the AQ-1005DT amp. And I used Radio Shack shielded audio cables with gold RCA plugs between the TIDT preamp and the OBH-10 volume control, and between this volume control and the Wave amps. As for the music that I used in this comparison, I used the following CDs: Buena Vista Social Club; Beethoven Piano Sonatas; and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major. The results of my listening tests were that I could hear absolutely no difference between these amplifiers. Therefore, my conclusion is that the inexpensive Wave amplifiers equal the performance of the very expensive AQ-1005DT amplifier for driving an AKG K1000 headphone. And, that the expensive Dimarzio interconnects, and Stefan AudioArt K1000 cable, provide no advantage when compared to the stock cable of the K1000 headphone, and the Radio Shack interconnects. Also, that the expensive ASL TIDT passive preamp offers no advantage over the Creek OBH-10 Remote Volume Control. So, according to my tests, head-fi members can save lots of money on amps and cables when using a K1000 headphone.
post #1 of 109
12/1/02 at 3:35am