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Which Amp for K701 under $1000? - Page 3

post #31 of 37
"Ok, but all things being equal, wouldn't a good SS amp be more cold, accurate, and detailed and a good tube amp be more warm, natural, and less resolving?"

A generalization. I've had my amp sound lush and I've had it accurate. Tube rolling tweaks the character of a good amp. The fun is finding the sound that dials into your satisfaction. You can find different headphones that do different things better but the 70x can be a nice headphone when built with a system tweaked to it.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post
A generalization. I've had my amp sound lush and I've had it accurate. Tube rolling tweaks the character of a good amp. The fun is finding the sound that dials into your satisfaction. You can find different headphones that do different things better but the 70x can be a nice headphone when built with a system tweaked to it.
Well can't argue with that, and I agree (with what little experience I have with cans and amps). My EF-1's SS changes with the 3 different tubes I've tried in it for one thing. And I don't think it's a bad match with the 701's, I just wonder if I can get better (for not too much more $$$).

Thanks for the info/clarification guys, it's good to learn!
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJnK View Post
But I'll be honest, I do still crave a slightly warmer sound with just a bit deeper bass, without losing the soundstage and detail that I have become so fond of with the K701.
i've not heard the DacMagic, but i would also consider auditioning DACs that are considered to be warm. if you believe in cables as tone controls, re-cabling could be another option.

since building a y2 and B22 i decided to give the K702 a punt. i owned the K701 for a year and was never totally satisfied with the BM DAC1/M3/Bijou combo. so far, with a 100 hrs, i'm very excited about the K702. bass with nuts, colorful tone/timbre, and trebles that don't poke holes in your ear drums.
post #34 of 37
Using the K701 I loosely compared the Darkvoice 336i and M^3 a while back. I don't think the 336i is a particularly good example of a lush, full tube sound, so the review shouldn't be interpreted to be a general comparison of tube vs. solid state. In my experience the 336i is so clearly intended to drive the HD6x0 that connecting anything dissimilar is almost pointless.

I've since settled on the Cayin HA-1A as my favorite amp for the K701. By a wide margin, I preferred it over other amps I've owned or borrowed, including the two above, as well as the Heed CanAmp (never understood the fad over this one), SuperMacro IV, Eddie Current EC/SS, and HA-02. In meet conditions, I think it bested the Yarland P-100 and Darkvoice 332. I also had the opportunity to borrow a HeadRoom Balanced Desktop and balanced K701, and to my ears the Cayin was more authoritative and musical--correcting all the flaws I had heard up to that point. There are no doubt better amps out there, but the HA-1A seems especially well suited to AKGs. At used prices, I think it'd be difficult to do better. Weighed against the other amps I have experience with, I'd say it certainly is its MSRP in sound quality.

I finally set up a room dedicated to speakers, yoga, and exorbitant plant life, where there is no desktop computer fan noise, so the K70x is back at the top of my hit list.
post #35 of 37
Sounds like a nice setup.
post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
So I just sent out a bunch of emails and made a lot of calls. Pretty exciting. I called Benchmark and asked them what they thought of the Peachtrees and did the same when I called Peachtree. I sent Woo Audio a message asking them their personal favorite when pairing with the K701. I emailed AKG asking them their enigineers' preferred amps. I'll post the replies if they come and are beyond obvious.

Benchmark says they don't know much about the Peachtree, but see it more as an entry level item in comparison to their stuff based on the specs and the features, which I guess I could've concluded on my own.

Peachtree respects the Benchmark, and considered it when building their design. They wanted to beat it in versatility and price. They also said they used the K701 as a reference while building the Nova headphone amp (as well as higher end Grados). Benchmark seems to dig Senns the most, seeing as they actually sell them on their website.

I decided to go with a Benchmark PRE. Although I was considering the Peachtree in a pretty big way (with a better head amp on the side), it leaves little room for upgrades. If I get the Bench and later upgrade other components, I can see myself still using the Benchmark as my DAC. The Peachtree, on the other hand, is all or nothing. It's just too big and well-rounded to use for any of its single purposes. Plus I'm more into the studio/pro-audio/DJ end of the spectrum and love that Benchmark, a company that specializes in pro-audio, is respected in the audiophile community. But getting the Benchmark, I have less need for an external amp. (When I started this thread, I was set on the Peachtree, with an external amp.)

Depending on what kind of message I get back from Woo Audio, I'll probably go with one of their items as a future tube amp to use out of the Bench (when the funds are finally there!). That is unless AKG comes back with a really specific response. The GS-1, on the other hand, I probably will never get seeing as the Benchmark will probably suffice as a SS amp for me. And the Heed, although tempting, is probably not much better than the Benchmark amp, going by the specs, features, and reviews. The Cayin doubles as a pre-amp and I'm more interested in a just-headphone-amp (at least if I'm coming out of the Bench). And the Mapletrees: personally, I have to like the visual design and they are too flat for me. Kind of a stupid reason, but I like my pre-amps wide and my headphone amps narrow. But more than an aesthetic decision, this has to do with the amount of rearranging I'd have to do in my room. (I don't have much horizontal space, making wide devices inconvenient! And stacking seems like something I'd get in trouble for...)

I appreciate all the posts. I learned a lot and have a much larger mind-catalog of amps now!
post #37 of 37
Again, I find the Benchmark to provide an engaging listen with the 701. It's lack of sound signature allows me to easily appreciate the differences between different headphones as well.

Let us know your thoughts when you get your PRE.

Bill
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