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Amp for AKG K701 - Page 4

post #46 of 53

I have been a proponent of a tube somewhere in the circuit to give the 701s some character. Using an SS amp with a digital source is just too much sharpness for my tastes without EQ. Of course this is only my opinion and should be taken that way.

 

SS amps are cheaper per watt of power but when you are trying to get a little warmth out of the 701, the tube amps will do a better job. The tube amps cost more per watt because of the power supply needed. The 701s will not sound like a Denon or Senn because they are made for recording/mixing. Tubes will bring some warmth to that presentation at a cost. Budget tube amps will cut cost in the power supply. One option would be to use a tube output DAC or CDp into the SS amp. Another is a hybrid amp. This allows the efficiency of solid state with the warmth from a tube source. Yes it is distortion but all amps do. Tube amp distortion is more pleasant to the ear than SS amps.

 

Having to max out the volume to get the 701 to sing is undersized.

post #47 of 53

I don't find the Caliente to be cold or gritty at all for a solid state amp, and if you are actually hearing distortion either your source files were poorly recorded (not uncommon these days) or something is wrong with your gear.

 

I've been a guitar player for 20 years, for a while I was a gigging player with a lot of serious gear - I know very well what you mean by distortion in tubes vs. solid state because I was a Mesa Boogie guy all the way.  Solid state distortion I generally found to be to gritty and harsh. 

 

But I do not want to hear audible distortion introduced into the music I hear whether it comes from a tube or a solid state rig, I want natural and clean reproduction, as much as possible.  If the sound signature goes beyond the "warmth" characteristic that tubes will naturally provide, which is desirable for some music and with certain headphones, and starts to actually overdrive/distort, that's not a good thing. 

 

Again, in a guitar amp that's an entirely different story.  I loved my Boogie's distortion like no other sound... 

post #48 of 53

I also use the Little Dot I+ with my K702's. I think it's a great match. Here's a link to my detailed impressions on it if you care to read it...I had a Canamp and sold it because I was actually happier with the Little Dot I+

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/519657/akg-k702-with-little-dot-i-with-tube-opamp-rolling-quick-and-dirty-impressions#post_7032618

post #49 of 53

I'm with Happy Camper and dxanex on the K701 and hybrid pairing.

It's the best sound that I have gotten out of my K702's. Warm, lush and precise.

BTW, my hybrid is a MSSH. (Starving Student amp).

I'm using a Audinst HUD-MX1 as my DAC with FLAC / Foobar in my PC.

 

I also have the M-Stage amp. Paired with the K702's there is plenty of power,

this combo yields a very precise analytical sound, tight punchy bass and piercing highs.

The treble can become fatiguing though during long listening sessions. (>1 hour)

post #50 of 53

If you want to consider going hybrid then the Shanling PH300 is an excellent match. It outputs in excess of 2000 mW at the K701's impedance. And it can be had for as little as USD 270 on eBay including free shipping making it one of the best values in conjunction with the K701.

post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

I'm with Happy Camper and dxanex on the K701 and hybrid pairing.

It's the best sound that I have gotten out of my K702's. Warm, lush and precise.

BTW, my hybrid is a MSSH. (Starving Student amp).

I'm using a Audinst HUD-MX1 as my DAC with FLAC / Foobar in my PC.

 

I also have the M-Stage amp. Paired with the K702's there is plenty of power,

this combo yields a very precise analytical sound, tight punchy bass and piercing highs.

The treble can become fatiguing though during long listening sessions. (>1 hour)


I actually find the M-Stage to roll the highs off just a tad bit, making the highs of the AKG smoother.  I do agree that the pairing keeps the K701s analytical and precise sound, however, it adds a bit of weight to the sound, making the headphones come alive.

post #52 of 53

Possibly due to different DACs?

 

I do agree with the added weight to the sound,

the bass is actually quite meaty without being bloated.

Punchy bass is a hard trait to coax out of the K70X.

An amp with sufficient headroom such as the M-Stage or Burson can do it.

post #53 of 53


Yeah, didn't even think about that.  That is probably it.  I've heard that the D4 is also supposed to lean towards darker/warmer side of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

Possibly due to different DACs?

 

I do agree with the added weight to the sound,

the bass is actually quite meaty without being bloated.

Punchy bass is a hard trait to coax out of the K70X.

An amp with sufficient headroom such as the M-Stage or Burson can do it.

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