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AudioValve RKV II - Does Anyone Still Own One?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Just curious if anyone 'round here still owns this amp and, if you do, how you feel about its sound signature, along with its strengths and weaknesses. Or, if you don't own one, but have heard it in the past, please post your opinions of that, too.

I ask this because I asked for a "warm" sounding tube amp recommendation a few months ago, and this amp's name came up a few times. Since then, I've kept an eye out for one and finally one came up for sale in these parts. (Yeah, the one with the missing two feet).

My curiosity got the best of me and, as it shows up so infrequently in the sale forum, ended up pulling the trigger on the "two-legged" version of the amp, commonly known as the "Mark II -2."

I've searched for information on it, but there is very little written 'bout it in this forum. So, as the unit probably won't be here for another week or so, I thought I'd seek your opinions on this amplifier.

If you have any insight (good, bad, indifferent), please share.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 37
I used it with a K1000. It sounded pretty good after swapping the opamp with a opa637 (or 627, can't remember anymore). However, the new opamp also caused clipping. It was frustrating that I had to compromise either way, so I sold it. I also had a W5000 at the time, and it was not a good match for it (too much noise) or any other low-imp headphones unless you have the impedencer. Unfortunately, I have not heard it with HD600, which is supposed to be a good matchh.

It is definitely warm sounding though.
post #3 of 37
I had RKV MKII for about 18 months, first with HD650 then bought the Impedenser to pair with K1000.
Never swap the OP but changed the tubes to Mullard, sound became more "live" after that, detail improved a bit too. As far as I can tell, it's one of the best match with HD650, it does have the warm sound you asked.
I've seen a few on the sale forum, actually, I bought my first one on eBay, second one on Head-Fi, brand new Impedenser from a NYC dealer.
Sold them after I got SLI-80.
post #4 of 37
I used to own the RKV mkII as well. Definitely an amp I miss from time to time. Mine sounded terrific with both the K1000's and the HD6x0's. But the best synergy I discovered was with the Audio-Technica woody headphones. Many of the A-T's tend to have a very clean, almost lean signature, that goes very well with the RKV's lush sound (although I hear op-amps and tubes can change this somewhat). I should note that I had the Impedanizer. Like someone noted above, low impedance phones really need the Impedanizer.
post #5 of 37
is it nessary to change the OPA?and roll the tubes??
post #6 of 37
Lovely amp with the K1000 but to be honest it hisses too much even for the HD650. I am guessing I need the Impedanizer. Anyone want to sell me one? :P

The one thing I am extremely impressed with the Audiovalve is its powerful sound. Having a warm lush sound that also feels powerful is a great feeling when you just want to enjoy the music. I have to say Kelly's review has everything spot on: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/aud...-review-13794/
post #7 of 37
I still eager for this amp, which seems it is one of the legends of high-ended headphone amp.
post #8 of 37
You should definitely be eager for the amp! I guess my previous message came out a lot different to what I meant.

I find this amp to be very similar to the DX1000 in a lot of aspect: whilst not being the most accurate/neutral amp, it is targeted to make music fun! The authoritative bass, the lush midrange all contributed to this feeling. It does have a higher frequency roll off on the HD650 but that is nicely countered if you use the K1000 instead. I find myself spending about 30% of my listening time on this amp (the rest on the GS-1).

I hope this correct the impression given by my previous comment.
post #9 of 37
i love mine which i bought new with impedancer. the speed picked up a bit with silver ic's. then i took out the british tubes & put in german tubes & it was a whole new amp but the silver ic's had to go. it is dead quiet. it is my dedicated k1000 amp but it sounds good with everything.
post #10 of 37
Hi Stevieo,

What do you mean by Silver IC? Also, I am interested in finding out what type of German tubes you have bought.

As you can tell on my previous message, the audiovalve would be perfect for me if the hissing is eliminated!
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevieo View Post
i love mine which i bought new with impedancer. the speed picked up a bit with silver ic's. then i took out the british tubes & put in german tubes & it was a whole new amp but the silver ic's had to go. it is dead quiet. it is my dedicated k1000 amp but it sounds good with everything.
Hey Stevieo,

I love mine too, although I sold it to a local headfier long long time ago including the impedancer for 650 dollars. I sure miss it from time to time
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
I feel the RKV II is a jewel of an amp. It just creates music; sweet, sweet music. It absolutely makes the K501's sing like almost no other (ZD might, might be a tad better). The RKV allows the 501 to soundstage, yet adds an immense lower end oomph, striking a spectacular balance.

I've since picked up the Eddie Current EC/DC which seems to work well, allowing me to use lower impedence cans without the background noise.

I had a hard time finding tubes for this amp for the longest, but found a seller online who had, literally, 70 or 80 of the 805 tube so I purchased eight; enough to last a good, long while.

Of all the headamps I've recently owned (LD II+, GCHA, Canamp, Raptor, MPX3, EC/01, and ZD) there's only one that I prefer over this amp. And as for its looks, I think it might be tops. Well, maybe it's a toss-up between this and the Deuce.

For a pure, relaxing musical experience, this amp is really hard to beat.

'Dwebe
post #13 of 37

I once had one,yet lost in on the way to a HiFi meeting. 

still hoping to find another one and looking for it.

post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 

Lo and behold, the RKV driving the 501's on my head right now.  And, yes, they still sound spectacular!

post #15 of 37

I still have mine as well as the Inpedancer...

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