Hi Head Folks,
I could use some good advice on a nice tube amp for my AKG K702's. I'd like to keep the price below around $800.
I am currently running the AKG K702 through a Matrix M-Stage, and although the sound is quite good, am looking for:
1) a little more bloom in the midrange (vocals particularly)
2) a little less grain in the treble (symbols particularly can come across a bit grainy or tizzy)
I think the bass is quite good through the M-Stage, and wouldn't want to lose any of that. I also want an amp that is very quiet as I don't like to hear much hum or hiss between tracks or during quiet passages.
I am using a very high quality tube DAC in the Lector Digicode 2.24. I am feeding the DAC directly from a pair of Sonos ZP80's serving full resolution FLAC files from a NAS drive (and some lower resolution internet music as well).
The types of music I mainly listen to are singer-songwriter, acoustic, folk, folk-rock, vocal, and some classical.
So it has led me down the tube amp road, and have so far compiled the following choices (as mentioned I'm trying to keep the price under around $800). Although I have the low impedance AKG's now, I'd like to be able to potentially use the amp on higher impedance cans like the Beyers. I'm not interested in the planars, as I've tried one and don't like the sound or the heavy weight.
Woo Audio WA6 - $770 with Sophia tube upgrade: the nice thing about Woo is that they are a U.S. company, and they are very close in proximity which could be a plus if the unit requires service. The WA6 also has a high/low impedance selector.
Ming-Da MC-84C07 - $414 or $524 with tube upgrade: sold through Pacific Valve in Chicago. Gorgeous looking. I like what I read about this amp, but it may not drive the 62 ohm AKG's very well; there have been reports of hum driving low impedances.
Doge 6210 - $599 - also sold through Pacific Valve. Has 3 way impedance selector, two headphone jacks, and crossfeed option, which I probably won't use. Generally good reviews.
Schiit Valhalla - $349 - made in U.S. OTL amp. Not sure how well this amp will power the low impedance AKG's.
Schiit Lyr - $449 - hybrid amp. Just released so not many reports about it yet. May be overkill power-wise.
Audiotailor Jade - $300 + shipping from China + tube upgrades. Division of Antique Sound Lab I believe. Inexpensive with generally positive reports. Uses inexpensive 6AS7G tube, which can be an advantage for tube rolling. Has high/low gain switch but no impedance selector. Interesting choice of two different sounding output options.
Elekit TU882 - $445 with minor assembly (no soldering). Not a pretty amp, but gets good reports for the money.
Any suggestions on these (or other options) will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
Edited by gridlock - 3/2/11 at 7:25am