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Unleashing the AKG-702

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

I have owned the AKG-702s for over a year powered by the onboard sound of a Dell Precision 390 workstation.  While they sound pretty good already, I have a good ear for quality would like to unleash the true potential of the 702s.  Despite being a music-aholic I know nothing about electrical engineering concepts.  Thus I was completely lost when I went about searching for what to get.

 

At the moment, I have a Sound Blaster Audigy sound card that could potentially provide the signal from my PC which contains my music collection (lots 320 mp3 and FLAC files).  What would you guys recommend I get to optimize my setup for a reasonable price? (350-400).  I have read information about DACs and amps but could not really come to a consensus about what combo of the two I need or if I even need to purchase both. 

 

Any help would be much appreciated!


Edited by Eternalmetal - 9/11/10 at 5:04pm
post #2 of 41

HEEDAUDIO CanAmp has a great synergy with K702 and with other highend HPs( HD800 to name one)

i myself  am considering buying them

 

currently my Maverick audio D1 does good job with K702 ..but pairs poorly with other HPs i've tried it with

 

so my i'd recommend you to add another 50 to you budget and get the CanAmp

post #3 of 41

I went with the nuforce uDAC into a Millett Hybrid MiniMAX, but I haven't even put it all together yet.  

post #4 of 41

the udac though great with K702(synergy wise)  cant supply enough power to the power hungry K702...so one might find them having less volume.

 

Udac is recommended when the budget for amp is around $100

post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies, but I have a few things I need to clarify first.  A uDAC is a device that plugs into your USB port and eliminates the need to use the soundcard by providing the DAC signal, right?  What is the difference between the DAC units and a uDAC?  Would I still be able to use my PC with a regular DAC, and if so what would I need to hook up? 

 

I am also assuming that it would be recommended to purchase an amplifier along with the DAC to be able to power the inefficient AKGs.  So I *could* get the CanAmp but I would also need to get a DAC (like the NuForce uDAC) to hook it up to my PC, correct?

 

post #6 of 41

Hi

 

I'm really new with computer audio although I've been using hi fi since the 70s.

 

You need two things a DAC and an amp.

 

These could be separate units in boxes or they could be in a sound card.

 

If the DAC is a separate unit then it could be connected by USB, or by a digital connection to sound card in the computer.

 

One thing you might look at is:

 

Asus Xonar Essence STX

 

This is a sound card and it does have a headphone amplifier built in.

 

I have no experience of it whatsoever, but I think there are many here who do know about this card.

 

It might be that you could use this card with a separate amplifier for your AKGs. I have no idea how good the built in headphone amplifier is.

 

post #7 of 41

a line-out jack is enough for any amp(...like the CanAmp) .... any desktop has a "line-out" that has unamplified analog audio signal to be amplified by the amplifier.

you dont need to buy udac specifically for line-out.... that being said using udac's line out could prove better because it may have less noise in it( still 100 for just lineout in $600 setup is just insane).

Use your motherboard's line-out and get the canamp that should do the trick.

post #8 of 41

 

The environment inside the computer is a noisy one, and not conducive to clean high quality sound. Get an outboard dac and an amp that can put out a decent amount of current for the AKG's. There are some nice combo dac/amps that also fit into your price range. I use a Mac so my preference would not work for you.  

post #9 of 41

A suggestion before you shoot for an amp and DAC; just toy with the EQ a bit (if you haven’t already).

 

The 702s straight out of a computer can sound pretty decent if you simply tame the treble and up the bass a little. Then you will know if you need a DAC and Amp... or just an AMP... or nothing.

 

If you use iTunes, you can try a basic setting in the EQ that I find pretty versatile (mind you I’m on a Mac so I can’t guaranty this will sound any good to you, but it doesn’t cost a thing to try it) :

 

preamp(gain) + 2 dB

32  +4 dB

64  +2 dB

125  flat

250  -4 dB

500  -4 dB

1k  -4 dB

2k  -3 dB

4k  -2 dB

8k  -6 dB

16k  -5 dB

 

I find that this setting works fine with most of what I listen to. So I just need an amp for conveniences sake (I use a speaker integrated amp for that). So you can toy around and see if you can harness some satisfaction out of you 702s straight out of the computer or if you really need an outboard DAC + Amp.

post #10 of 41
I'd look at the nuforce Icon HDP. It had both a dac and amp built into an attractive beginner package. I have read many good things about the amp although I have never personally heard it myself.
post #11 of 41

My setups:

 

When I want to "unleash" the 702's:

 

Audinst HUD-MX1 DAC > M-Stage Rev2 amp > K702

 

or when I'm in a "tooby" mood, I switch to my maxxed LD MKIII. 

 

Less raw power than the M-Stage,

but can still drive the AKG's to a SPL of 110dB.

post #12 of 41

just copy pasting what I wrote in another thread.

 

"just my 2 cents regarding the HDP: I have owned the HDP for a short few days and will be getting a replacement and am awaiting that. But I'd just like to put it out there that the HDP wouldn't be the best pairing with the 701s. It sounds fine obviously, but I have the M-Stage and that works better with the 702s that I have. The 701/2 sounds a little shrill on the HDP IMHO. I preferred my D10 out to M-Stage over the HDP on its own."

post #13 of 41

I hear good things about the HeadRoom Micro Amp for $350.

post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

Hi

 

I'm really new with computer audio although I've been using hi fi since the 70s.

 

You need two things a DAC and an amp.

 

These could be separate units in boxes or they could be in a sound card.

 

If the DAC is a separate unit then it could be connected by USB, or by a digital connection to sound card in the computer.

 

One thing you might look at is:

 

Asus Xonar Essence STX

 

This is a sound card and it does have a headphone amplifier built in.

 

I have no experience of it whatsoever, but I think there are many here who do know about this card.

 

It might be that you could use this card with a separate amplifier for your AKGs. I have no idea how good the built in headphone amplifier is.

 

I am using The AKG 702s with the Xonar STX, I find it Doing a great job powering them with HIgh Gain 64-300 setting. I orginal had a Auzentech Bravura, but its HP amp had isues with powering them. Tho for me STX doesnt and it much better then what it was doing thru the bravura.  He could use the Xonar STX as a DAC in the future which I twill do if I feel I need a external Amp in the future but I feel I dont right now. I not hearing any type of noise in audio from using a internal sound card. I just know I'm Enjoying it much more thru my STX then I ever did thru my Auzentech Bravuras HP amp.


Edited by genclaymore - 9/22/10 at 3:38am
post #15 of 41

If I remember correctly, your Audigy soundcard should come with a SPDIF port. You might want to take that into consideration when looking for a DAC. Whether USB or SPDIF is a better medium from computer to external DAC is another question though.

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