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Budget headphone amp for K702 for studio use

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I recently got my K702, and I am super happy about them.

The thing is that my audio interface (MR816X, a pretty awesome dac by itself) seems to struggle in powering them. I need to max volume levels to get decent listening volumes, which makes my headphones sound a bit distorted, with some added pressure to the sound. You can really hear it with vocal, which don't seem to translate well with this built in amp.

 

So I am looking for a semi-budget amp (let's say no more than 300 USD) to power up the K702, with as much as detail possible, and good transparency.

 

 

Any suggestions?

 

post #2 of 33

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/521680/fiio-e9-review Theres a few people in this thread that has AKG 702 and are using it with this fiio  E9. I suggest you give it a read. The Fio E9 is 129 and the E7 Dac is 80-90ish which slot on the top of it.

post #3 of 33

For around $100 get Fiio E9, for around $200 Matrix M-Stage, for around $300 Nuforce Icon HD, for around $600 get Burson HA 160!

post #4 of 33

omg OP, im in the same boat as you, except I have the HD650's.  My Cakewalk FA-66 is struggling to drive these bad boys, and I need an amp no more than $300! this is a coincidence! lol

 

So I need some answers. 

 

I actually heard good things about the Schiit Asgard for $245.00, solid state so you don't have to "tube roll"

But the RCA phono jack output on all these amps are killing me!, they don't have any good amps with quarter jacks or xlr in the back? lol

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

In regards of fiio e7 - I do not need it's dac capabilities, since my soundcard's dac is very high quality. Also, the possibility to connect it as a USB soundcard, is a nice to have, but unnecessary for my needs. 

 

I do need an amp with a decent analog input, or a dac/amp combo with a built in spdif input.

 

In regards of fiio E9 - It seems that the analog input connection (1/8 inch) is mainly intended for mobile players and similar. In order to connect in to my audio interface I will need to create a cable which converts TRS (1/4 balanced) into 1/4 TRS stereo connection. It doesn't seems like the right way to go, for pro-audio use.

 

 

Valiente,

I heard the burson ha-160 is on a league of it's own (and out of my price range).

How do the other amps (m-stage, icon HD, E9) compare in terms of SQ (with focus on transparency)?

 

 

If the E9 is on par with the others, and i could create a clean high level audio signal from my card to the E9, then it's a definite winner.

What do you think?

post #6 of 33

Currently, I drive my k701 with an Musical Paradise MP-301 and have been happy with it. Plenty of gain, good quality bass and all-around tube goodness. There's a new MkII version slated for March.

 

I've heard that these phones sound best with a solid state amp and have been looking for a good value SS amp myself. Here are two I'm considering, both of which have great reviews with the k701/2:

 

Lovely Cube. Like the Matrix-M, it's a Lehmann Black Cube clone. It's sold as a DIY kit, but can also be purchased finished from the manufacturer in the $200-$300 ballpark (depending on requested mods and shipping destination).

 

Purity Audio KICAS Caliente. Very positive reviews. Now $250Canadian plus shipping.

 

post #7 of 33

So far I've found the Elekit TU882 controls the highs of the K702 best - with a variation on the Friend or Foe mod (a thin piece of cloth towel rather than chamois), I'd never heard the K702s sound better. But this was only true with the stock GE tubes; replacing them with Western Electrics made the upper range painful all over again. It's a little above your $300 pricerange, but I recommend it if you can stretch your budget.

post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmacmo View Post

Currently, I drive my k701 with an Musical Paradise MP-301 and have been happy with it. Plenty of gain, good quality bass and all-around tube goodness. There's a new MkII version slated for March.

 

I've heard that these phones sound best with a solid state amp and have been looking for a good value SS amp myself. Here are two I'm considering, both of which have great reviews with the k701/2:

 

Lovely Cube. Like the Matrix-M, it's a Lehmann Black Cube clone. It's sold as a DIY kit, but can also be purchased finished from the manufacturer in the $200-$300 ballpark (depending on requested mods and shipping destination).

 

Purity Audio KICAS Caliente. Very positive reviews. Now $250Canadian plus shipping.

 



thanks for this! the kicas/caliente looks like a top contender for my budget!  its either this or the asgaard.  what do you think? 

post #9 of 33

Sheer Audio HA-006+, a Dynalo based amp. Gilmore Lite and others are Dynalo based too.

 

Many Audio GD products are also in your price range.

post #10 of 33
^^^ Would add lake people g100 and basically any "wire with gain" design. Many amps that are suggested in this thread are good with k702 but not neutral and I think that should be your priority.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex1 View Post

thanks for this! the kicas/caliente looks like a top contender for my budget!  its either this or the asgaard.  what do you think? 


I was interested in the Schiit Asgard, but this review cooled me to the idea. 

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmacmo View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex1 View Post

thanks for this! the kicas/caliente looks like a top contender for my budget!  its either this or the asgaard.  what do you think? 


I was interested in the Schiit Asgard, but this review cooled me to the idea. 



wow thanks for that link! i read the entire thing.  Hmm makes me a lil sad though, i had high hopes for the asgard for some reason.  Its still not out of the picture yet though since i've read they flow better with the senn's than other brands.  But just the fact that i haven't heard anything negative so far about the kicas yet -- unless you have another link up your sleeve lol XD - oh and not to forget the recent price drop.

 

 

  

yeahhhh i think i might roll with the KICKASS (is that how you pronouce it?  or is it Ky-kiss?)

post #13 of 33

I think that's how KICAS is pronounced :)

 

I don't have much opportunity to go to meets, so I have to rely on reviews when making my equipment decisions. The KICAS looks promising to me because its got good reviews specific to the k701 (which are notoriously finicky when it comes to amps) and I think the reviewers are generally very well respected around head-fi for their level opinions and critical ear. The Asgard may sound great, but the KICAS sounds like the no-lose choice.

 

Mind you, the Lovely Cube and Matrix-M are both still in the running for my next purchase.

 

Just my 2¢

post #14 of 33

hmm the lovely cube is appealing in regards to price, but the DIY part deters me easy. 

The matrix-m stage is also a good choice, but i have a built-in wearyness from products overseas.

 

I like the kicas because i think it is going to suit my needs better.  I have some hd650's that i will use as reference phones for mixing and a little mastering when i can't listen through my yamaha monitors.  I need them neutral, and from what i've read the kicas (not caliente) seems like a good fit.  Thanks again for letting me know about them.  Now If i can just wait for payday! 

post #15 of 33

Agreed about overseas products. The shipping charges for warranty repairs would be killer. And it's nice to patronize a North American manufacturer (and pair of fellow head-fiers). Please let us know how it works out!

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