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AKG K1000 Amplifier (Airtight, WA5 & Millett 307A)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ive spend hours reading about this subject and when I finally thought I had the answer, I was back to square one. Its pretty safe to say that the Zanden is the best one out there but quite expensive.

So the following amps Im intrested in:

1st choice -Woo Audio 5 (Supposed to be a great versatile amp, great looking but not the best for the K1000, it will cost me 6000$USD+ though because I want the upgrades, the shipping to europe is 600$ and there will be import/custom fees on top of that)

2nd choice - Airtight 300B (Not sure how this compares to the Zanden/Woo5/TTVJ but I bet its inbetween the Zanden and the Woo5, going to cost about the same or less than the WA5)

3rd choice -TTVJ Millett 307A (Sounds better than the WA5 but drier? pretty versatile aswell and also balanced option, going to cost slightly bit more than the WA5/Airtight)


Theres also the Moth s2a3, while Ive heared its pretty good im not intrested in it.

So if anyone has any experience at all with the above three amps (Airtight, WA5, Millett 307A) and the K1000, please feel free to give your impressions or any relevations you may have had recently here.
post #2 of 15
I have no experience with the above amps, but FWIW, my K1000 amp search ended with the Redwine Audio Signature 30.2!
post #3 of 15
Guess I've heard many of the amps you mentioned, but none of them side by side.
I don't believe in telling you what's better when I haven't done that since there would be so many variables in source, cable, power, etc.

But I can say that in terms of performance:
1) Air Tight, Woo5 : Takes the k1000s to its potential. Full sound, bass, detail without sounding too aggressive or harsh.
2) TTVJ : Performed well. Did not engage me like the above 2. Did not spend as much time with the 307a as the above 2.
3) Moth : Not sure as I only tried the Moth 300b and thought it was comparable to perhaps the 307a. I have not listened to the S2a3.

For a pure k1000 only consideration, I'd probably go after the Air Tight as it looks so awesome to me and really enjoyed the sound when I auditioned it.
But buyer beware, then you'll also want a better source, cables, power, etc.
However, if you also need a great headphone amp, the woo5 would be a no-brainer.

Good luck...driven and sourced correctly, I think it's very hard (unless ur a basshead) to find anything wrong with the k1000 sound.
post #4 of 15
I've only listened to the Moth (and recommend it highly), but are you looking to only power the K-1000 or do you want to power the K-1000 and other headphones?

If you just want to power the K-1000, I'd recommend going straight for a speaker amp. My personal preference is to run the K-1000 off directly heated triodes. I'd pick one of any number of 2A3 powered amps; that tube is a favorite and works magic with the K-1000.
post #5 of 15
Hi Arman, my experience was with Air Tight and Millet 307a, and for the K1000 I prefer the Air Tight, with WE 300B and NOS tubes (RCA and Mullard as rectifier), very important is also the IC cable...

I only read something about the Zanden but is too expensive for my tastes...

Air Tight/K1000 surely one of the best setup I had !

The Millet are very good too, but I'd prefer it for other cans as Grado for example...

I hope this help!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFlight View Post
I have no experience with the above amps, but FWIW, my K1000 amp search ended with the Redwine Audio Signature 30.2!
Didnt you know, in head-fi theres no such thing as "ended"


Quote:
Originally Posted by foo_me
For a pure k1000 only consideration, I'd probably go after the Air Tight as it looks so awesome to me and really enjoyed the sound when I auditioned it.
But buyer beware, then you'll also want a better source, cables, power, etc.
However, if you also need a great headphone amp, the woo5 would be a no-brainer.

Good luck...driven and sourced correctly, I think it's very hard (unless ur a basshead) to find anything wrong with the k1000 sound.
Believe it or not, Im driving the K1000 now from an external USB soundcard with a mini adapter and I like the sound so much, it has very big potential. I prefer it over anything I have heard (O2, HE60, Jade, 404LE, ED9, DX1000, HD650).

Im still debating wether I want to use other phones with it. The Airtight and WA5 are definitely high up my list. What music do you mainly listen to and could you pinpoint the small differences in sound from both the WA5 & Air Tight for me?
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
I've only listened to the Moth (and recommend it highly), but are you looking to only power the K-1000 or do you want to power the K-1000 and other headphones?

If you just want to power the K-1000, I'd recommend going straight for a speaker amp. My personal preference is to run the K-1000 off directly heated triodes. I'd pick one of any number of 2A3 powered amps; that tube is a favorite and works magic with the K-1000.
The Moth is so rare, but just yesterday one went on Agon (Serial #1) for ~2800$. While it was well within my budget, I didnt want to spend that amount of money on something that is eleven years old. Maybe a newer one will pop up soon, but does it matter which version it is?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nik
Air Tight/K1000 surely one of the best setup I had !

The Millet are very good too, but I'd prefer it for other cans as Grado for example...

I hope this help
You have probably done most listening with the Air Tight and 307A, so why do you prefer the Air Tight over the Millett's sound? Could you describe the sound differences and what kind of music do you listen to?

Thanks Nik


As of now Im trying to make a deal with a former owner of a Zanden, will see how it works out.
post #7 of 15
I do not think you could go too wrong with any of the choices listed. All are fabulous amps. If considering the K1000, and the K1000 ONLY, I agree with Uncle Eric and would consider a very high quality, low powered single-ended triode speaker amp.

However, tastes change and headphones come-and-go. If spending that sum of money on an amp, I would want it to be versatile enough to power any dynamic headphone I currently had, or may have in the future. I would want it to be able to power balanced as well as single ended headphones, and be good with low or high impedance. These were my thoughts when I went amp shopping and considered SinglePower (glad I didn't go down that route), Woo Audio (the Woo 5 is a damn sexy beast), Ray Samuals (had and sold the B-52), HeadRoom, and numerous others. The only one that truely fit the bill and sounded great with ANY headphone I threw at it, even the K1000's, was the TTVJ 307A.

I am horrible with equipment and have absolutely no emotional attachments with it. If something better comes along, I will easily part ways with what I have and go a different direction. I have never felt that way about the 307A as it does everything I need it to do and does it very well. Is it the absolute best amp with any specific headphone? Hard to say as there are specific synergistic amp/headphone matches that may sound wonderful. But if you want to buy one amp, and one amp only to do it all, then I would highly consider the 307A.
post #8 of 15
Had an opportunity to pair my K1K with a Gryphon Tabu (dual mono 80W solid state) and the bass that came out of it was unbelievable! My friends, who didn't think much of the K1Ks before this (they hadn't heard it before, just what they've read), fell head over heels and went it search to purchase one each. They were playing some rock music, the name of the group of which escapes me right now.

Nonetheless, I still preferred it paired with my Air Tight. The emotion that flows though it is unbeatable as yet for me. The mids were sweet and vocals just sounded magical. Though, the bass was lighter than with the Tabu, but for me, it was more than enough.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by aRRR View Post
Didnt you know, in head-fi theres no such thing as "ended"




Believe it or not, Im driving the K1000 now from an external USB soundcard with a mini adapter and I like the sound so much, it has very big potential. I prefer it over anything I have heard (O2, HE60, Jade, 404LE, ED9, DX1000, HD650).

Im still debating wether I want to use other phones with it. The Airtight and WA5 are definitely high up my list. What music do you mainly listen to and could you pinpoint the small differences in sound from both the WA5 & Air Tight for me?
Thanks!



The Moth is so rare, but just yesterday one went on Agon (Serial #1) for ~2800$. While it was well within my budget, I didnt want to spend that amount of money on something that is eleven years old. Maybe a newer one will pop up soon, but does it matter which version it is?




You have probably done most listening with the Air Tight and 307A, so why do you prefer the Air Tight over the Millett's sound? Could you describe the sound differences and what kind of music do you listen to?

Thanks Nik


As of now Im trying to make a deal with a former owner of a Zanden, will see how it works out.
I prefer the Air Tight because (IMO) the best 300B for the K1000 was the WE (even the new one), I have tested many 300b tubes, even the fabolous AVVT mesh, but the WE was simply THE 300b for the K1000.

You can also consider that the Air Tight could be use with a pre (you can add a Air Tight too)...

The Millet is, IMO, the more versatile amplifier, no one cans sound bad on it... but if you whant to have the max from your K1000, I think you can't find nothing better tha the Air Tight with the right tubes !!!

About the sound I can tell you this, the Air Tight is equipped with Tamura OT, that are very detailed and full range, paired with the WE 300B the sound keep a warm but not muffled sound, the little bloom med-bass of the WE, is very well for the sound of K1000, so you can arrive to a very equilibrated sound with that marvelous openess that only the K1000 can produce.

The Millet is also very detailed and full range sound, but you can't do so mutch in tuberolling... and, IMO the OT are not Tamuras... You must turn up the volume knob a lot for a right sound out of the K1000, not the same with the Air Tight. You can also regulate the feedback on the Air Tight, this is also a very nice thing...

Best!
Nik
post #10 of 15
Of the amps being considered by the op, I have heard the Zanden only, and it is, indeed, wonderful with k1000s. The only other tube amp I've heard was the Cary CAD 300SEI, which was very good, but not close to the Zanden. Many have reported excellent results with pure Class A solid state amps such as Nelson Pass' First Watt or Aleph series, and I have heard and liked them very much with the k1000. For myself, I wanted the convenience of solid state, and since I already had and loved an Accuphase DP77 sacd player, went with an Accuphase A-20 Class A power amp. I have never regretted the choice - k1000 bass response is amazing with this amp, and the overall presentation just sings. If you are seriously auditioning amps for k1000, I hope you have an opportunity to listen with a high end Class A solid state amp before deciding.

You don't mention your source, but you must know that it will bring a lot to the party as well, particularly with the quickness and accuracy of the k1000.
post #11 of 15
I too went with the RWA Signature 30.2 for my K1000. Currently there are a couple in Audiogon under $900 or you could consider the Fisher KX-100 in the For Sale Forum.

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f42/fs...mp-too-464452/
post #12 of 15
For the true head-phile the K1000 represents one of the poorest value propositions - by and large only the top end stuff will get it singing as it should; as far as I know only the Woo WA5 and TTVJ could be considered as proper K1000 drivers that can also play well with normal headphones. With that in mind you had better be very sure you want to build a dedicated K1000 system.

Although I have paired the K1000s with many many amps the only one your list that I have experience with is the Air Tight. Min and Nik have already covered it adequately, it is a very fine amp for K1K duty and I doubt any K1000 owner will be less than impressed by it. I have only heard one amp that I would consider a shade better and that is a Mactone MA-300B, it is a push-pull 300B amp that conventional wisdom says should not do the job well but it does. The Mactone gives the same 300B magic but with better bass. Of the less dear amps I have tried the Almarro A318B impressed me the most; this one you should audition though, a fellow headfier and friend of mine also tried the pairing and was less enamoured of it than I. In between those the already mentioned Redwine is also very good.

Good luck on your quest.
post #13 of 15
the best combo i heard was the k1000/moth at the san jose meet few years ago. my former k1000 was paired with the sig30 and i was very happy with that setup, but as many have mentioned, my tastes changed and i did not like the one-show pony that the sig30 is (and no, i don't have speakers to drive with them).

the quest for a k1000 amp really is one of the best journeys in headphone-dom. immensely daunting, yet hugely educational and ultimately satisfying.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kugino View Post
the best combo i heard was the k1000/moth at the san jose meet few years ago. my former k1000 was paired with the sig30 and i was very happy with that setup, but as many have mentioned, my tastes changed and i did not like the one-show pony that the sig30 is (and no, i don't have speakers to drive with them).

the quest for a k1000 amp really is one of the best journeys in headphone-dom. immensely daunting, yet hugely educational and ultimately satisfying.
Damn straight it is, well said
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
I wouldnt mind better bass with the Mactone MA-300b. There is one on audiogon for sale right now 3500$, seems like quite a good catch to me but it sucks not being able to audition.
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