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Upgrading a classic Canamp - K701 combo. Recommendations?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey there,

 

Been on vacations (with lots of free time to burn), and one of the things it came to my mind was what could be a good next step if I decide to upgrade my HP audio rig.

Actually using a Xonar D2 as DAC - really like how the Burr Brown opamps convert 0´s and 1´s to golden sweet sound - connected to a Heed Canamp V1.

I listen to music with K701 and K271, maybe playing some games here and there too.

The Heed is a good value, entry level amp and proved to be a magical match for the AKG´s, but it seems to be the weakest link in my audio chain.

I can´t pull the trigger for a new amp right now, but wonder what could be a nice upgrade in the near future, with a budget of +/- 550€ to burn on solid state amplification.

Graham´s Solo, Gilmore Lite, M3, Concerto...? What do you think?

 

Cheers

post #2 of 15

Heed is not really a limiting factor in your system. This amplifier can scale up very well with higher end sources and so can the headphones.

 

I don't think any of this can be said about your soundcard, however.


Edited by audiofil - 11/12/10 at 2:48am
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I know there are newer and better sound cards than the D2 (at least in SNR numbers), but I´m not sure if it´s the limiting factor. Note I don´t need upsampling, 7.1 and/or other bells and whistles, only care about SQ. Also, replacing the Xonar with an external DAC looking for a significant improvement can suppose scaling to 3 or 4X the price level of the card.

post #4 of 15

There are many affordable DACs that should sound significantly better than Xonar D2. Worth trying a few before spending 500 euro on another amplifier.

 

Quote:
 Note I don´t need upsampling, 7.1 and/or other bells and whistles, only care about SQ

 

I understand what you're trying to say but I'm not so sure you understand what you've just wrote.

To get good sound quality you need quite a few bells and whistles in a DAC design. Clever over/upsampling (by powerful DSP), discrete analog stages biased in class A, hefty PSU and high quality components are the standard recipe for most (if not all)  high end DACs today.

Do not interpret them through the skewed view of soundcards.

 

 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

What I wanted to say is that I´m happy with the possibilities of the Xonar D2. In fact, it can handle 24-96/192, (to produce my own tunes or for working in a few mixes...) but I don´t wanna start a technical discussion or going to deep about upsampling, oversampling, etc.

I still think the Canamp can be upgraded, there are so many amazing amps I´d like to test.

However, it´d be interesting to listen a few affordable DAC´s to see if the change is worth it. Can you recommend one in particular?

post #6 of 15

This isn't really an answer to your question but have you thought of trying another headphone? Might give you something new to toy with.

 

[Previously owned K701 and Canamp]

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yes, I´ve thought of that...

And it´s one of the reasons to move from the Canamp to a more versatile amp, that could also drive well the AKG´s.


Edited by moonshake - 11/12/10 at 6:55am
post #8 of 15

Since you have tasted K701 with a SS amp wouldn't it be nice to try a Tube amp for once? wink.gif

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah! Of course. But I´d like to get the most of these cans with a solid SS amp as my main HP rig. By the way, I´ve tried some recabled K701 witn an X-Can V8 & PSU with really nice results.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

There´s a well known long long thread about the Canamp. I can´t belibe no one upgraded from that amp to a better one...

C´mon! cool.gif

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshake View Post

Yeah! Of course. But I´d like to get the most of these cans with a solid SS amp as my main HP rig. By the way, I´ve tried some recabled K701 witn an X-Can V8 & PSU with really nice results.



That's my setup and I love it. It really brought my K701 alive. I hope to change the stock tube for a NOS one soon wink.gif

 

Maybe a HeadAmp GS-1 as an SS amp? I've read this amp being mentioned a few times with K701 confused.gif


Edited by cky8 - 11/13/10 at 12:11pm
post #12 of 15

The Glite and M3 are pretty much equivalent as has been previously stated.  The GS-1 has a little more power and gives it some depth, a GS-X is just overkill for 701s.  I'd tend to agree that upgrading your source would give you the most benefit from what you've settled on so far.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Although I decide to upgrade the source to higher end, it´d be no sense to keep my actual amp.

About the DAC... what do you suggest:

Changing the D2 for another SC (like STX, ST or others) or going optical to an external DAC (gamma2, etc.) ?

This smells like 600€ or more for at least 20% improvement biggrin.gif

 

 

post #14 of 15

I would recommend an M3 (similar to what I'm selling), but particularly one with a bass boost ( not what I'm selling =/  ).

 

Back when I had a heed canamp, I very much liked the pairing of the k701 with it, didn't like it as much with the glite //  however, my both my DAC and amp were constantly changing~ so I can't pin it exactly on the amp.

 

Paired with an m3 w/ bass boost, I enjoyed the k701's, and really enjoyed the w5000.  I liked both headphones with amps without bass boost too (They stayed with me through a # of headphone, dac, amp changes), just found the bass boost option to be a very enjoyable bonus later on.

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the feedback

 

LostOne.TR : Did you notice a real improvement going from the Canamp to the M3?  Do you think is worth it to sell the Heed to buy an M3?

 

cky8 : Oh yeah... I´d love to try a GS1

 

itsborken : I trully love the Canamp, but always thought the Heed was a colored, slow amp (also kinda poor shielded, far from being a black deep silent amp). Don´t know if it´s worth it to spend big money on an expensive DAC.

 


Edited by moonshake - 11/15/10 at 5:45am
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