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"Price DEFINITELY a factor" amp for AKG K1000

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
This is a thread to counter the "Price no factor amp for K-1000" thread.

Lets keep the budget at $300 and below.

I am currently on a quest to find a budget amplifier that is capable of doing the K1000s justice. I don't suspect that I will find a budget amp capable of hanging with say an Aleph 3, but you never know - stranger things have happened.

I'll get it started with some potential candidates:

Before anyone pipes in with regard to Tripath amplification, I already know that there is a potential to damage the K1000s when using a Tripath amp with them. Although this is true on paper, to my knowledge there hasn't been a single report yet of damage actually occuring as a result of using the K1000s with a Tripath amp.

If you are concerned, there apparently is an easy way to safely use a Tripath amp with the K1000s, by fooling the Tripath amp into thinking it is seeing an 8ohm or 4ohm load at the outputs. I will not go into details here as to how to do this, but it can (and has) been done with reports of good results.

I for one would like to get to the bottom of this debate once and for all, so I will be firing off an email to AKG asking them if it is ok to use Tripath amplification with the K1000s. If they say it is ok to do with no risk to the K1000s, then I will consider the issue closed. If they do say that it can or will damage the K1000s, then I will ask them to explain why, and I will take it from there.

So with all of that out of the way, I want to say to use Tripath amplification with your K1000s AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Tripath amps:

Sonic Impact T-amp. ~$40

This is the little guy that really got the T-amp craze going. It is probably the KSC-75 of the K1000 amplifier world. I have used this amp to drive my K1000s, and it does a decent job. On some recordings it can be a bit harsh in the higher frequencies, so my solution was to lower the high frequncy bands with an EQ. I haven't yet tried to mod this amp to fool it into seeing a 4 or 8ohm load yet, but I am looking forward to giving that a try in the very near future. I wasn't expecting very much for the $35 I spent on this amp, but I was actually pretty impressed with the results, especially considering the low cost. This amp even made 6 moons sit up and say 'whoa'. I have also tried it out with a pair of small nearfield speakers, and the sound quality it produced in that setting really blew my mind.






Super T-Amp. ~$140

This is the big brother to the T-Amp. It is geared more to the 'audiophile crowd', and it contains several upgardes when compared to the original T-Amp. I haven't heard this amp with the K1000s yet, but I suspect the results would probably be similar to the original T-Amp (someone please correct me if I am wrong). Again, this amp impressed '6 moons' which is saying something, since I am pretty confident that those guys know what they are talking about.





Trends Audio TA-10.1 ~$130

Take the Super T-Amp, hot rod and mod it to the nth degreee in order to get better sound stage, warmer sound, and more bass impact, and this is probably the result. You'd be hard pressed to find a bad review of this little wonder. This one really wowed the boys at 6 moons (as a matter of fact it won some sort of a 6 moons award). You could even use it as a straight power amp, that way you could pair it with a pre-amp of your choice.

Although I haven't yet heard this bad boy driving the K1000s, I have one on order and I am very much looking forward to hearing what it is capable of. I should receive it by the end of february. I have high hopes for this one.





Best Audio Mods Maestro. ~$180

Basically, this is a clone of the Red Wine Audio Clari-T amp. I haven't heard this one yet, but there have been positive reports of using the Calri-T amp with the K1000s. Since this is a clone of the Clari-T amp, logic tells me that it should be as equally as impressive as the Clari-T.





Big Joe v1.3. ~$230

Please note: According to Firestone Audio, this is NOT a Tripath amp. A few members here at Head-Fi have reported very positive results when pairing this lil' guy with their K1000s. Big Joe can also be used as a power amp, if one desires to use a pre-amp along with the Big Joe. v1.3 has a few upgardes to it's predecessors, one important one being an improved heat sink (see picture).

I have one of these on order, and expect to receive it within a week. I have really high hopes for this lil' guy, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what he can do wtih my K1000s.





Little Dot T_100 $299

This is the new kid on the block. This sucker has 4 source inputs, a tube pre-stage, remote control, and what appears to be an LED display! All for $299? Sounds to good to be true. Research has revealed that the T_100 has a few bugs that are being worked out, but here at Head-Fi, we all know that Little Dot is really good at providing great products at low prices. This one looks very, very promising. I am going to wait to hear what other's have to say about it before I give it a test drive. I will be keeping my eye on this one!




So does anyone else have any ideas? I know that some have reported success when using vintage amps/recievers to drive their K1000s. Perhaps we can compile a list here in this thread.

Ok your turn, please feel free to share.
post #2 of 89
I am also looking for some budget amp for my K1 and Trends Aduio TA10.1 or Firestone looks like the winner to me.
Please let us know when you actually have and tried them out.

thanks in advance
post #3 of 89
For Tripath amps you could also get a Charlize from Yeo or order one of the boards from 41hz if you don't mind a little DIY.
post #4 of 89
Nice writeup. That covers everything I was looking at for a budget K1000 amp and a few more.

I have yet to receive my new tubes for my Chinese Ebay amp, mentioned in this thread http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=220613 but I'll post my results with the k1000's when I do. This would provide a budget tubed uption for the k1000's and is supposedly a Sophia clone IIRC.

For reference, my vintage NAD amp is driving them pretty well anyway (see sig for model).
post #5 of 89

Cool Thread

I look forward to impressions about these cheap little wonders.
post #6 of 89
there is also talk of an x-empower class T amp from av123. Here is a recent thread where it is compared to the TA-10 among others...
post #7 of 89
What about the nOrh SE9? It pushes the envelope a bit (I see the price is now $450), but IMHO these cans need TUBES!!

http://www.norh.com/products/se9/index.html
post #8 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom View Post
What about the nOrh SE9? It pushes the envelope a bit (I see the price is now $450), but IMHO these cans need TUBES!!

http://www.norh.com/products/se9/index.html
I agree that warming up the K1000s a little bit would definately make them sing. That is why I am enjoying the Aleph 3 - it is the closest I have heard a solid state amp come to sounding like a tube amp.

But since the Aleph 3 isn't exactly a 'budget' amp, I digress...

The Audio Trends and Big Joe are appealing since they can be used as a straight power amp, which will allow one to use a tube pre-amp. This idea intigues me for sure. I will have to see how the Big Joe and the TA-10 sound out of the box, then maybe I'll go from there. It is nice to know that they are both capable of being switched to a straight power amp though - nice little feature.

Also, the T_100 is intriguing since it uses a tube pre-stage. Very interesting hybrid amp idea.

If I enjoy the Big Joe as much as I think I will, I may look into the Firestone Tube Head, which is a really cool looking little tube pre-amp. to pair up with Joe.

We shall see how everything works out, I can't wait to play with my new toys. They certainly have some big shoes to fill, since I am used to the Aleph 3, but it will be interesting to see how they stack up against that behemoth. One thing is for sure, there is no way these little guys are going to run as hot as the Aleph 3, and I am pretty certain they are going to weigh a lot less...

post #9 of 89
Anyone know how much a DIY Firstwatt F1 or F2 clone costs?
post #10 of 89
The Monarchy SM-70 can at times be found on Audiogon for a decent price.
post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by daggerlee View Post
Anyone know how much a DIY Firstwatt F1 or F2 clone costs?
Parts are about $8-900 depending on what kind of case you can find for it.
post #12 of 89
I was trying to buy a Norh SE9 before I got my Aleph 30. The manufacturer never replied to my emails so I wasn't able to order
post #13 of 89
while the Tripath amps have world-class sound quality, especially the ones with better quality components, it does have some background noise. whereas, the UcD will have a completely black background and doesn't need the "8-ohm mod" that the Tripath needs.

the Alephs are not that expensive if you make them yourself, pick the right components, and already have the tools and some heatsinks lying around. and of course there is also the Dynamight.
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
while the Tripath amps have world-class sound quality, especially the ones with better quality components, it does have some background noise. whereas, the UcD will have a completely black background and doesn't need the "8-ohm mod" that the Tripath needs.

the Alephs are not that expensive if you make them yourself, pick the right components, and already have the tools and some heatsinks lying around. and of course there is also the Dynamight.
The Dynamight doesn't sound as good as the Aleph when amping the K1000s; I know this because I've tried it.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by daggerlee View Post
Anyone know how much a DIY Firstwatt F1 or F2 clone costs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321 View Post
Parts are about $8-900 depending on what kind of case you can find for it.
See my thread here http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=221290.

Currently AU$110 for heatsinsk, AU$70 for transformer and $AU295 for most parts shipped to aus, plus AU$50 for stripboard. That comes to AU$525, or USD$410. Posting parts from USA to aus cost $23usd, so you get that saving... but the favoured heatsinsk are here in australia, so you'd have to pay more to get them posted to USA. Plus it's uncased, so i'll need to pay for 2 rcas, 2 binding posts, a power switch, and aluminium to case it in, plus screws etc. But for the listed USD$410 I have a f2 which is currently running and sounding nice, plus I bought lots of extra parts incase i explode some, so it could be done for cheaper
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