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AKG K1000: Tube or Solid State? - Page 4

post #46 of 65
I've owned my K1000s for about three years. When I first got them I had a T-Amp. It sounded so good that I realized that I had really struck gold. Being a DIYer I started down the upgrade/modify/build path. I first rebuilt my T-Amp in a new case with some better parts and drove it with batteries. I then replaced the board with an Italian one(forgot the name.) Next I built an 80w per channel Hypex class D amp. With each new amp I gained. The K1000s just keep sounding better with each improvement in front of them.

After using the Hypex for a while I also got a SinglePower Extreme. It's sound was much more of what I wanted, better midrange and tonality. It was not as detailed but it was more involving. This made me wonder what a higher quality and higher power tube amp might bring to the game. I eventually bought a Tektron integrated amp which allows me to use 45's, 2A3's, 300B's and also the unique Sophia Princess 206 output tube. I thought that the higher power tubes would be the best sounding but so far the RCA 2A3's have sounded the best to me, at least better than the 206's. I have yet to try a 300B in the amp but it is on my short list. Here is a 6Moons review of the amp if you are interested. Pretty unique...

6moons audio reviews: Tektron Tube Gear

My front end is a newly acquired MHDT Havana DAC with some v-caps. It replaced my Paradisea. The Havana with the 2A3's is the best headphone sound that I have experienced. It is really amazing how these headphones scale up. I have no idea what their limit must be...

Best,

Paul
post #47 of 65
Some amps I have spent quality time with;

PS Audio GCC250: First amp I tried when I got the earspeakers. It did just enough to show me the K1Ks potential. In the end though it was too warm and the imaging very muddled. Did okay with speakers though.

EAR HP4: Excellent headphone amp but not enough brass to power the K1Ks.

Jadis Orchestra Reference: Showed that extra power (53w) can do wonders for the K1Ks. Ultimately the KT90 tubes were a bit too fatiguing for this application. The upper mids and treble were especially hard. You can roll out the KT90s in favour of EL34s but I never got around to trying this out.

Isis 3030 monoblocks: KT88 tubed custom amp (25W) loosely based on the venerable Leak TL12s, some of the best playback I have heard on the K1Ks but these do duty on my speaker rig.

Redwine Audio Signature 70 monoblocks: Excellent but impractical. Just the right warmth to make the K1Ks shine. Liked this enough to want to spend more than the half hour or so I had with their sibling 30.2 which offered a similar house sound in more practical form.

Almarro A318B: Very easy to fall in love with this amp (18w) it did so many things right. This one needs to be sourced carefully though, bright sources need not apply.

Air Tight ATM-300: My current amp. Yes, 300B SET does seem to impart a special magic to the K1Ks. Particularly in the mids and treble where the WE 300Bs impart a silkiness that melts you into the music. Bass while adequate and well articulated is not the best I have heard from the K1Ks.

Mactone MA-300B: On loan to me for a few weeks. 4 x 300Bs in a push pull arrangement putting out just over 23W. I am only in week one of the loan term but I am already having thoughts of offloading the Air Tight and cancelling my HD800 pre order.

After the Mactone I will probably get to spend some time with a Ayon Audio Spark II to try another 6C33C flavour apart from the already auditioned Almarro A318B.

On the way I have tried quite a few others, mostly integrateds from consumer brands like NAD and Rotel but unfortunately I never spent enough time with the amps to form a proper impression.
post #48 of 65
[QUOTE=Afrikane;5525741]
Almarro A318B: Very easy to fall in love with this amp (18w) it did so many things right. This one needs to be sourced carefully though, bright sources need not apply. [QUOTE]

Heard the Almarro A318A has slightly recessed highs....maybe that will be a better match!
post #49 of 65
Nice read Afrikane. Some serious gear there.

Surely there are others that have done a lot of experimentation in regards to amplification of these finicky phones. Lets hear about it.
post #50 of 65
Great post Afrikane - you probably tried more amps than anyone. I am having lots of fun with the Spectral DMC-15 and DMA-50 combination. I was thinking of a small classic ARC amp next, perhaps a D-76. Have you ever heard ARC equipment driving them?
post #51 of 65
I've heard the K1000s with a few really nice amps, including foo_me's Zanden. One of the best combos I've ever heard was the Zana Deux as a preamp to a First Watt F1. Before I sold the K1000s, I was using a SP Extreme Platinum into the F1. That came really close, so I guess I'll say a combo of tube/ss.
post #52 of 65
Over the weekend I compared my self-designed and built type 45 SET amp versus an Audio Note Kit 1 300B SET. The 45 was nice, however the Kit 1 was more engaging and involving sounding through my K1000s. The only negative was I heard a bit more sibilants.
post #53 of 65
For a while I have used an old Rega Brio integrated for my K1000. It was a big improvement over the Firestone Big Joe Poweramp I used before that.

However I have now switched to a Acoustic Masterpiece AM-201 integrated tubeamp. The AM-201 is a budget Air Tight and have really added some much needed bass to the K1000.
post #54 of 65
This guy went for the Class D, SS, T amp...
LL
post #55 of 65
Haha, quite an angle on the earpieces though.
post #56 of 65
Resurrecting an old thread . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by randerson3024 View Post
I was thinking of a small classic ARC amp next, perhaps a D-76. Have you ever heard ARC equipment driving them?
I am currently using an Audio Research VS55 to drive the K1000s. I've never heard them sound better. I have a RWA Sig 30, a Portal Panache, and a number of other amps here too. The AR VS55 beats them all hands down. It's not even close.
post #57 of 65
I wonder how a Classic 30 sounds powering them...
post #58 of 65
Good question. I bet both the Classic 30 and Classic 60 are awesome with the KKs. IMHO, the Classic series of amps from ARC are some of the best kit they ever made. I really think the classic ARC house sound in general is a perfect match for the KKs in every way.

My MV55 has shockingly good bass - very extended, very tight, and very punchy. In terms of bass quality alone, I have yet to hear a better amp on my KKs.
post #59 of 65

Great synergy with the Little Dot MK6, which was designed around the K1000.

post #60 of 65

Agreed. I heard K1000 on my LD MKVI and a B22. I preferred the MKVI, but only slightly. Both amps did extremely well with the ear speakers.

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