A tube amp was probably the way to go for the K701, but I didn't want to get into that. I can be obsessive so I figured it was better to not even start down the tube rolling road so to speak. It's not that the K701 is a bad listen, it just became more clear to me after upgrading the desktop system that their sonic signature was a poor match for my tastes.
As for the G2A I've already got my pair and I'm pretty impressed so far. I once thought to myself if Koss would take the KSC75 and pull the bloat out of the bass, restore the scooped out mids, and improve the detail and resolution in the highs they'd have the ultimate portable headhones. Yuin basically took that thought out of my head and made a pair of headphones from it.
They almost go a bit too far in the midrange, to the point were they border on nasal sounding with certain material, but for the most part the balance is good.
I wasn't expecting too much when I plugged them into the VHP2, but when you said they don't respond strongly to amplification maybe you didn't throw a big enough amp at them.
The VHP2 really wakes them up, more than I thought it would. The biggest improvement is at the bottom end. The bass picks up considerably more weight and authority, and gains even more speed and precision. Detail resolution in the highs improves a bit as well. The highs sound a tiny bit disconnected from the rest of the spectrum, but this could be taken as good as well as bad since it improves the perceived soundstage width. Not disconnected in terms of speed, they just always seem to occupy their own space in the headstage in a way that doesn't seem completely natural to me. Without an amp they do sound a bit heavy on the top end. Not overbearing but the treble is dominant. The VHP2 balances them out nicely with the added low end presence. There is little to no sibilance and they sound well controlled at the high end. The overall synergy with the VHP2 is excellent I must say, probably better than with any other headphone I own.
The only thing they fall down on in my opinion is piano. It feels to me like they are trying too hard to achieve the necessary weight and attack of the hammer strike and are not suceeding. The results just don't sound right, like the impact has a hollow-ness to it. I also perceive some resonanace from the enclosure that seems to make the decay of piano notes a little muddy. Aside from piano I didn't note anything else they seemed to have trouble with. They do both male and female vocals well, with separation and texture resolution the KSC75 couldn't dream of reproducing. Considering the improvement in overall performance I think they are just as good a value as the Koss are. If the G1A has a sweeter midrange that doesn't sound as nasal and a more relaxed high end then I plan to buy a pair of them as well to use exclusively with my VHP2.