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AKG K340 and perfect amplifying solution - Page 2

post #16 of 41

I have not taken apart my 2 akg 340's to see if they are bass light or heavy, but both do sound somewhat different so I might have one of each. I have never been a big headphone enthusiast, then I got my first pair of akg 340's off of the goodwill site out of all places ( wonder who donated those ), they have their faults but are the best sounding headphones I have heard personally ( as I said, not a big enthusiast for a long time or anything ), beats the hell out of the Beats series of headphones ( pardon the pun ). I have been listening to them mostly connected to the headphone jack of my Onkyo TX-NR3007 home theater receiver ( which I cannot find any specs on the headphone amplification part of it ), and it sounds really good, but it clips quite a bit while playing at higher volumes and the amp gets pretty hot ( hotter than driving my sound system ). I have heard that these headphones sound great with tube amplification and have seen Darkvoice and Little Dot mentioned in the past but nothing of any newer amps like the Schiit series. If any of you out there have a variety of different amps that you've tried akg 340's with amp have recommendations for a good pairing I an interested in hearing your advice. :o2smile:

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by espidus View Post

I have not taken apart my 2 akg 340's to see if they are bass light or heavy, but both do sound somewhat different so I might have one of each. I have never been a big headphone enthusiast, then I got my first pair of akg 340's off of the goodwill site out of all places ( wonder who donated those ), they have their faults but are the best sounding headphones I have heard personally ( as I said, not a big enthusiast for a long time or anything ), beats the hell out of the Beats series of headphones ( pardon the pun ). I have been listening to them mostly connected to the headphone jack of my Onkyo TX-NR3007 home theater receiver ( which I cannot find any specs on the headphone amplification part of it ), and it sounds really good, but it clips quite a bit while playing at higher volumes and the amp gets pretty hot ( hotter than driving my sound system ). I have heard that these headphones sound great with tube amplification and have seen Darkvoice and Little Dot mentioned in the past but nothing of any newer amps like the Schiit series. If any of you out there have a variety of different amps that you've tried akg 340's with amp have recommendations for a good pairing I an interested in hearing your advice. o2smile.gif


I could have written almost the same post. (I even have an Onkyo receiver, a TX-NR507, no spec for the 'phone output in its manual, either.) I have gray-driver K340's, bass-heavy or -mid if there are 2 or 3 types, and I'd like to know about the same amps, specifically the DV 336SE, the LD mark 3, and the Schiit Asgard 2, plus maybe a Bravo something, but I want a neutral amp (not just a neutral K340-amp combination), avoiding a tubey warm coloration, and so am interested in solid state, too. My FiiO E09K drives the K340's plenty loud, but I understand that's not enough for the K340 to "express itself".
I plan on spending $100-200, eBay price, if I can get something significantly better than the E09K.
post #18 of 41
I got my K340's about a year ago. I surprisingly found the Grado RA1, DC version did quite a nice job. I recently acquired a Woo WA3 SET OTL tube amp and am liking the difference with my initial listens. On the flip side the Woo is also showing the OTL preference for a high impedance load. So far it has only done well sonically with these and mt Beyer Dynamic DT880 (250ohm). Plugging in any of my lower impedance phones collapses the soundstage and loses most of the sound quality. That said I am enjoying the two combos mentioned. rolleyes.gif
post #19 of 41
At the InnerFidelity site there is a review with a graph of K340 impedance vs. frequency:
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/two-vintage-akg-headphones-k240-sextett-and-k340-electrostatic-dynamic-page-2

It shows a 750-Ohm peak (!) at 10 kHz. Is this what makes the k340s so hard to drive?
I think it should affect only the treble. So why do people so often seem to hear a problem
with the bass? The K340's impedance below that peak is just a steady 350 Ohms or so.
Lots of cheap SS amps purport to drive that in the middle of their output load ranges.

And is the 10 kHz impedance peak a reason for tube amps to work better with K340s?
I've noticed when I can find specs for an amp that tube amps' current rises with increasing
phones' impedance, while solid state amps' power falls with it.
post #20 of 41

Hiya. I just got mine (bass light) and am using it with an O2. That drives fine, but it's not ideal in the treble so I'm looking into a tube amp. What are your recent experiences with it?

post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESL-1 View Post

I got my K340's about a year ago. I surprisingly found the Grado RA1, DC version did quite a nice job. I recently acquired a Woo WA3 SET OTL tube amp and am liking the difference with my initial listens. On the flip side the Woo is also showing the OTL preference for a high impedance load. So far it has only done well sonically with these and mt Beyer Dynamic DT880 (250ohm). Plugging in any of my lower impedance phones collapses the soundstage and loses most of the sound quality. That said I am enjoying the two combos mentioned. rolleyes.gif

Hello friend, 

I see you have a "woo audio 3", you can tell me about him?, I also have some AKG K340 (bass heavy), a sennheiser hd 650, you've tried your wooaudio3?  your cable is terminated in a balanced or single ended?.

What you mean when you talk about OTL?. 

What would be the difference between a Wooaudio 3 and Wooaudio 6?. 

Greetings and thank you and sorry for my bad english.

post #22 of 41
Hi, I only recentLy got the Woo WA3 in trade. It is an OTL design in that it does not have an output transformer. The majority of tube amp designs do utilize an output transformer which allows them to mate well with different value load impedances. Simply put, an OTL designed tube amp needs to be hooked up to a high impedance load to work and sound it's best (generally 250 to 600 ohms is a good range for them). The AKG K340 @ 400 ohms works very well with the WA3.

I am pretty sure the WA6 does have an output transformer as one of the differences.

smily_headphones1.gif
post #23 of 41
I have not tried the Sennheiser HD 650v(or Hd 600 or HD580) with the WA3 since I don't have access to a pair right now. A totally different design, an original vintage series of Sennheiser HD414 does work well (within their limits) with the Woo, they are 2000 ohm impedance.

rolleyes.gif
Edited by ESL-1 - 3/3/14 at 10:09pm
post #24 of 41
I'm the original owner of my K340. I've had it for about 22 years. I'm pretty sure I have the bass heavy version. About 3 years ago I sent it to Headphile for modification. Before the mod, it sounded very good but I hated the stock coiled cable. I had Larry at Headphile put his best all copper cable, the Black Top, and it's now a dual entry cable. He also did some other modifications that you can read about on the Headphile site. After the modification, it sounded more dynamic and the soundstage (side to side and depth) and imaging improved. This headphone is a beast to power. I've owned many amps including: Eddie Current Zana Deux SE, RSA DarkStar, Cavalli Liquid Fire, RSA Raptor, Luxman SQ-N100, SPL Phonitor and the Grace M901. Most recently, I bought the Audio GD Master 9 and it is by far the best (better than the OTL Zana Deux SE and the OTL RSA Raptor). The Master 9 is one of the most powerful headphone amps available and it controls the beast better than anything I've tried in 22 years of ownership. Bass is deep and tight and the soundstage is very wide and deep. Highs are smooth and not bright at all. Just a great match overall.
post #25 of 41
Has anyone tried Darkvoice for K340?
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM324 View Post

I'm the original owner of my K340. I've had it for about 22 years. I'm pretty sure I have the bass heavy version. About 3 years ago I sent it to Headphile for modification. Before the mod, it sounded very good but I hated the stock coiled cable. I had Larry at Headphile put his best all copper cable, the Black Top, and it's now a dual entry cable. He also did some other modifications that you can read about on the Headphile site. After the modification, it sounded more dynamic and the soundstage (side to side and depth) and imaging improved. This headphone is a beast to power. I've owned many amps including: Eddie Current Zana Deux SE, RSA DarkStar, Cavalli Liquid Fire, RSA Raptor, Luxman SQ-N100, SPL Phonitor and the Grace M901. Most recently, I bought the Audio GD Master 9 and it is by far the best (better than the OTL Zana Deux SE and the OTL RSA Raptor). The Master 9 is one of the most powerful headphone amps available and it controls the beast better than anything I've tried in 22 years of ownership. Bass is deep and tight and the soundstage is very wide and deep. Highs are smooth and not bright at all. Just a great match overall.

Well, very informative review, holy God!, I just start with a USB mstage, I think I have not heard this model in depth, will be my benchmark for amplifiers, please! post some pictures of your Modded AKG K340, I see that posses first class headphones, as well as amplifiers, in that range would place the AKG K340?, I mean, better than the hd 650?, under the HD 800?, far away from the stax? I hope you understand me, and the sound changes a lot of Stock, to after the Mod? 

Thanks and regards!

post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

Has anyone tried Darkvoice for K340?

I have the same doubt friend!!

post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by owatito View Post

Well, very informative review, holy God!, I just start with a USB mstage, I think I have not heard this model in depth, will be my benchmark for amplifiers, please! post some pictures of your Modded AKG K340, I see that posses first class headphones, as well as amplifiers, in that range would place the AKG K340?, I mean, better than the hd 650?, under the HD 800?, far away from the stax? I hope you understand me, and the sound changes a lot of Stock, to after the Mod? 
Thanks and regards!
I have owned a number of K340s, bass -light & -heavy (based on listening to them, rather than the driver colour -which do indeed vary from model to model-). I modded all my K340s (with the exception of one which still had perfect-shaped cable), being dual-entry cable, internal silver wiring, cotton mod and cloth grille. I have come across some I consider 'tired-sounding' and also some which are simply 'vibrant-sounding'. If you think yours is the former, the mods improve the sound quite a bit but IMO you're better off hunting down a 'vibrant-sounding' pair. The mods will not magically transform a tired-sounding pair; it will still sound quite that way.

As others have mentioned, there probably is no headamp out there that can truly drive these effortlessly given their unusual design. I drive mine with a Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear, which does a good job. Certainly no shortage of power and dynamics. I'm sure there are other amps that will grab these by the balls and wring a lot of musical juice from them even better but I'm happy with mine.

The K340s sound 'funny' at first listen and it is certainly far from neutral but it has a way of bringing out the emotion in music no other cans do as well (with the exception of the HD650). These two cans are personally my favourite. I have only recently acquired the HD800 which are truly nice-sounding. Does it evoke emotion as well as those two? I will find out as I dig into my old favourites over time.

Hope that helps a little bit.

Cheers!

p.s. Some pics of my modded K340s.



post #29 of 41

Zorander:

 

Thank you very much for the pictures and information, this is very useful, it's funny, I've noticed that these headphones require "warm", I mean, they start to sound a lot better after about 30-45 minutes of music playing, with these comes to complete the challenge of philiphs, reaching "silver ears" almost no problems, not so with the HD 650, which I think the add a little coloration to the music.

 

I wonder what amp you are using for hd 650?, The truth is that it's a little overwhelming the amount of audio products sold overthere, however they have an opinion of transistors and tubes? and what do you think is the best for the above models?

 

Again, thank you very much, greetings from Mexico.

post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorander View Post

The K340s sound 'funny' at first listen and it is certainly far from neutral but it has a way of bringing out the emotion in music no other cans do as well (with the exception of the HD650). These two cans are personally my favourite. I have only recently acquired the HD800 which are truly nice-sounding. Does it evoke emotion as well as those two? I will find out as I dig into my old favourites over time.

 

Very good description. It's so good for solo piano, really 3D-like.

 

Mine is all stock (bass light or neutral, not sure what versions there are).

 

The fit isn't quite right. I think I need to put some sort of pad under the headband to make it level to my ears. Has anyone had a similar problem?

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