I'm looking for something that's just straight up critical. I rock a K701, so I'm half way there. I would use it more for referencing than pleasure, so no worries about fatigue. I've heard people say the Benchmark DAC1 amp does its job "too well," especially with a 701. That's the type of thing I'm looking for. Something a sound engineer would use. Unfortunately Benchmark discontinued their H1 standalone headphone amp. People call the GS-1 "transparent." But most people also like that amp, which makes me wary. If anyone's familiar with the history of Yamaha's NS10 studio monitor, I'm looking for the equivalent headphone amp. (The NS10 is a speaker that to most ears sounds quite terrible, but is in reality an uncompromisingly honest speaker.)
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- Headphone Impedance
What if I want a super cold headphone amp?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Like to see that you appreciate honest nature of akg k701 and think that is the only way to go with akg 701/2. Lake people or violectric amplification is very good choice and you should check into danfield audio PM2.
the gs-1 is a dynalo design, i believe. and is discontinued.
but, it has a reputation of being neutral.
Sheer Audio makes a dynalo called the ha-006+.
"wire with gain", so they say.
The Lehmann Black Cube Linear.
German precision, without a soul. Often described as the closest to a straight wire that neither adds nor subtracts from the signal. People around here really despise this amp for its transparency, detail and transient speed coupled with zero emotion. I couple it to my K701 with a Bryston BDA-1 DAC (a reference studio dac) and I find it ruthlessly revealing (I personally love the combination). Also a great amp for evaluating all my headphones and their outright technical capability.
Culmination are drawings of amps on lake people site, they dont have a single picture ! ?
Edited by loopfreak - 5/19/10 at 3:44pm
I was after the same thing with my latest setup. I wanted to keep it simple and clinical. The 701/Benchmark combo, I feel, has given me the truth...warts and all.
I enjoy it tremendously for listening "into" a recording. Highly recommended.
You may want to consider a Grace amp which is used in the music industry for analysis of playback. Personally, I use my vintage Marantz solid state for a colder presentation at times but only with speakers because with headphones, cold amps can be more ear fatiguing. I also find Headroom amps to be on the cold side IMO but in a good way.
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