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AKG K701 help

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hello, this is my second post and I've been reading these forums for a few days and I'm in the market to buy new headphones and soundcard and whatever I need to make them sound nice. I have HD-555s and I listen to my PC as my source and onboard. I've been looking into the AKG k701s and possibly a Zero or Compass amp, my budget is 700-1000 dollars, I know I'm new but I think I'm ready for a better setup for my music. Question I do have though is what is a good decent soundcard? 100-200 bucks? I looked at ASUS Xonar D1 looks decent, but I'm no expert with soundcards. Also any more recommendations for a decent amp for the K701s would be great of help!!
post #2 of 56
Here you go, http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/akg...-combo-436132/ http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/k702-studio-393139/
post #3 of 56
you should forget about sound cards and get an external DAC, the noisy environment inside a computer is really not suitable for audio conversion, so no matter how good the sound card is, the "sound" is not going to be great
post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesyu View Post
you should forget about sound cards and get an external DAC, the noisy environment inside a computer is really not suitable for audio conversion, so no matter how good the sound card is, the "sound" is not going to be great

Some of the sound cards are external as the dac's.
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlesyu View Post
you should forget about sound cards and get an external DAC, the noisy environment inside a computer is really not suitable for audio conversion, so no matter how good the sound card is, the "sound" is not going to be great
I don't hear any of the noise you speak of coming from my Essence STX. I'm not gonna claim that is it better than an external DAC costing twice as much, but it still sounds great and all I hear is pitch black when nothing is playing.
post #6 of 56
Thread Starter 
My PC isn't the greatest thing in the world a few years old, but I just use it for music and that's practically it. What is the difference from DACs and Soundcards? or can you use both at the sametime? cause I don't want to spend money on both ends for each.
post #7 of 56
From what i understand, you can use a DAC instead of a soundcard and vice versa. I don't believe you can use both at the same time. So if you got a compass, you can use the usb dac and skip out on the sound card.

For amp combinations: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/var...01-2-a-434774/
post #8 of 56
Used 701/2 + Heed Canamp + Remainder on DAC= Done.
post #9 of 56
I use the mytek stereo 96 DAC fed from an ESI Juli@ soundcard..

amazing sound.

MYTEK DIGITAL USA
post #10 of 56
As you see I highly recommend the Essence ST for the K701. I have own the Heed Canamp and really there is no comparison. I doubt the Essence ST plus Heed combo would work well then it would have to much bass but I wish I still had mine so I could test

K701 on the Heed Canamp have a huge soundstage but it´s thin. The upper treble doesn´t integrate with the lower treble and there is no real weight to the voices if you watch movies or such. But on the Essence ST I am struggling to find weaknesses. Very close to my preferences.

Also don´t listen to the you must get an external DAC. I wonder how many of these have tried other then cheap onboard audio or el cheapo soundblaster PCI cards which aren´t even shielded . I have tried several external DACs and none of them are better really. And I get no background noise on my Elite Pro, X-meridian, Essence ST etc compared to running my external DACs.

Surely some have better synergies with some other headphones but you can switch opamps on the Essence which you can´t for example on an Elite Pro. If you are listening on a computer you will have to pay way more to get an external DAC at the same level I suspect. And then you don´t get an amp to go with it. Maybe they have longer life span I don´t know... You can see by the size of the capacitors that the Essence surely use quality parts anyway.

Benefit of external DACs is mainly portability. If you get a PS 3 you can use it with that without having the computer running or being worried about ev induced lag. You can move it a long easier to another computer, cd player etc.
But generally you don´t get features like pro logic 2, dolby headphone, sound fields etc without paying multum...
post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hm, you guys make a hard bargain on this site! I tell you! But besides that I think I'll be looking a little more before I make my decision final you know? but from what you all have said I think it has helped me a little more to understand, but please post more suggestions it would be great help.
post #12 of 56

Question on the Essense ST

Hi,
From what I heard, the XONAR Essense ST is an Asus sound card, right? How do you drive the K701 off the XONAR? Is the headphone out of the XONAR strong enough to make the K701 sing? (considering the fact that unless the K701 is fed with a power grid, it is known to sound thin and lifeless. )

Fortunately my Ultra Micro drives the AKG really well and I am happy... but an Essense ST?

Or you take the RCA outputs from the Essense and feed them to a headphone amplifier?

Or take the digital OUT --> external DAC, which IMHO eliminates the very purpose of the Essense.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ taka View Post
Hello, this is my second post and I've been reading these forums for a few days and I'm in the market to buy new headphones and soundcard and whatever I need to make them sound nice. I have HD-555s and I listen to my PC as my source and onboard. I've been looking into the AKG k701s and possibly a Zero or Compass amp, my budget is 700-1000 dollars, I know I'm new but I think I'm ready for a better setup for my music. Question I do have though is what is a good decent soundcard? 100-200 bucks? I looked at ASUS Xonar D1 looks decent, but I'm no expert with soundcards. Also any more recommendations for a decent amp for the K701s would be great of help!!
Since you are looking at either the zero or compass maybe you skip the soundcard and use the usb connection.
post #14 of 56
Buzz.... So how are you guys driving the K701 from the Essense?

Which headphone amp?
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ taka View Post
My PC isn't the greatest thing in the world a few years old, but I just use it for music and that's practically it. What is the difference from DACs and Soundcards? or can you use both at the sametime? cause I don't want to spend money on both ends for each.
Both DAC and soundcard convert digital signal to analog signal(the soundcard usually will do some amplification to the analog signal before spiting it out, but I doubt that the amp inside the soundcard is powerful enough to drive the K701.) The real difference between them is really doing the conversion internally or externally.

My early-days computing experience told me internal soundcards are bad, they are not design for hi-fi purpose and the environment inside the PC is not suitable for analog signals, so I've avoided as much as possible.

However, many years have passed since then, the Asus you are considering is a newer card, so maybe my prejudice does not apply.

As for recommendation, I am using the Nuforce Icon as a DAC. It does have a headphone output but I can tell you it will not drive the K701 to its greatest potential so you will need an amp. One thing to notice is the Icon can only handle 16bit 44.1/48 kHZ files. If you want to listen to anything higher than that, you need to look some place else.

P.S. You have a large budget, so you will have a lot of options, shop around carefully
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