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Tube Amp Recommendations for AKG K701/702 - Page 2

post #16 of 26
IT's quite surprising that none of you questioned the grid's set up. The dac he brought cost at least 5 grand If i stand correct. Not to mention the PC and IC it required A long with another grand that needed from his music server. I was shocked that some one who own such a high end dac dosen't have a decent headphone amp. I assume you have a nice speakers rig that means you should have a very good pre-amp to use to drive your head-phone...., and it also implies that, in normal, you would also have a dedicated, well treated listening room. Now that makes me wonder why would you need headphone or music server at all( since you listen at ur media room, although listen to flac and some internet mp3 seems dose not fit ur speaker set up). . If you don't have such a treated media room it would be big waste lol.

I mean no offense, i'm just very very curious about your set up since you've given such little budget to your amp comparing to your DAC. I guess your IC and PC would cost another grand.

If i were you I would split the cost of the dac and add them more fairly to the amp and headphones. Since everything in the signal trend matters. Let's see 5 grand dac + 800 Amp +300 phones and let's just say you have some mediocre tweaks you should have about 7k to spent. get great SS dac like the PS perfect wave( Wyred dac-2 if you like neutral sound) , Leben 300Xs( EC balance act if you prefer balanced) and better head phone like LCD-2 or HD800 ( not big fan of T1 ) . That's a lot better sound and bang for the buck at least that's my opinion( this is pretty much my set up ). The leben 300xs hybrid is one of the best headphone amp and it's also a full featured pre-amp( i don't think it has power amp in it, correct me if i'm wrong) .

About the K701/2 It's a great phone for it's price but I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to the HD800( LCD-2, W5000) not just because the bass. The hd800 itself is also on the side of bass shy. It's true K702 has great sound-stage however, i found its soundstage unreasonably wide, and not much depth in it. It's also dry on many systems, at least on mine. It also offer a rather lean sound and very very analytical, not really musical or fun, which made itself a bit boring. It dose provide a lot of detail but forced. It's not as transparent and effortless as a well amped HD800, and way far behind than LCD-2. I would say the K701 is in same league as the HD600/650 but maybe better bang for the buck, although the HD650 has very large scale on amp, very large.
Just my $0.02. lol
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

 

I thought the 6SE with the K701 had MUCH better bass response. More impactful without a doubt. Whether or not it was credit to a different sound signature or because of the much better power supply, I don't know. I would get the 6SE for it's versatility with different tubes and different headphones. Personally though, I don't like to deal with tubes anymore. I would rather just get a solid state and a good equalizer which is essentially what I'm doing with my rig right now. Tube rolling is a hassle for me and all tubes smear the details a bit. I just prefer the ease of a linear phase equalizer if I wanted to change the sound and I don't hear distortion from them.


I can't agree more, I got wa22( borrowed, mine is on the way) but wanna score a Leben, it's all because the tube rolling. I can't find a killer combo for WA22 to pair with LCD-2 and HD800, it's very devastated to have the curiosity and obsession of finding the better combo, this shit just never ends lol Hopefully the tube rolling the on the hibrid is easier lol. Although what would happen if these cans, lcd-2 and hd800 go from balanced to SE....
Edited by BrucYSN - 4/5/11 at 12:56am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post

IT's quite surprising that none of you questioned the grid's set up. The dac he brought cost at least 5 grand If i stand correct. Not to mention the PC and IC it required A long with another grand that needed from his music server. I was shocked that some one who own such a high end dac dosen't have a decent headphone amp. I assume you have a nice speakers rig that means you should have a very good pre-amp to use to drive your head-phone...., and it also implies that, in normal, you would also have a dedicated, well treated listening room. Now that makes me wonder why would you need headphone or music server at all( since you listen at ur media room, although listen to flac and some internet mp3 seems dose not fit ur speaker set up). . If you don't have such a treated media room it would be big waste lol.

I mean no offense, i'm just very very curious about your set up since you've given such little budget to your amp comparing to your DAC. I guess your IC and PC would cost another grand.

If i were you I would split the cost of the dac and add them more fairly to the amp and headphones. Since everything in the signal trend matters. Let's see 5 grand dac + 800 Amp +300 phones and let's just say you have some mediocre tweaks you should have about 7k to spent. get great SS dac like the PS perfect wave( Wyred dac-2 if you like neutral sound) , Leben 300Xs( EC balance act if you prefer balanced) and better head phone like LCD-2 or HD800 ( not big fan of T1 ) . That's a lot better sound and bang for the buck at least that's my opinion( this is pretty much my set up ). The leben 300xs hybrid is one of the best headphone amp and it's also a full featured pre-amp( i don't think it has power amp in it, correct me if i'm wrong) .

About the K701/2 It's a great phone for it's price but I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to the HD800( LCD-2, W5000) not just because the bass. The hd800 itself is also on the side of bass shy. It's true K702 has great sound-stage however, i found its soundstage unreasonably wide, and not much depth in it. It's also dry on many systems, at least on mine. It also offer a rather lean sound and very very analytical, not really musical or fun, which made itself a bit boring. It dose provide a lot of detail but forced. It's not as transparent and effortless as a well amped HD800, and way far behind than LCD-2. I would say the K701 is in same league as the HD600/650 but maybe better bang for the buck, although the HD650 has very large scale on amp, very large.
Just my $0.02. lol


I don't know the OP's equipment but for $7000 you could buy arguably the best headphone system on Head-fi, a Stax Omega 2 and Blue Hawaii brand new... Which really no dynamic nor orthodynamic comes close to IMO
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post

I can't agree more, I got wa22( borrowed, mine is on the way) but wanna score a Leben, it's all because the tube rolling. I can't find a killer combo for WA22 to pair with LCD-2 and HD800, it's very devastated to have the curiosity and obsession of finding the better combo, this shit just never ends lol Hopefully the tube rolling the on the hibrid is easier lol. Although what would happen if these cans, lcd-2 and hd800 go from balanced to SE....


Amen.

 

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ok, let me describe my setup.  I've been a music lover (and recording engineer at one point) for over 40 years, and have experimented with quite a lot of home audio equipment, including stereo and multichannel, digital and analog, etc.  A few months ago, due to a recent addition to the family :), I decided to look for a good headphone setup.

 

Due to the many years of fiddling, I have a bunch of equipment laying around that I have not gotten around to selling; the Lector DAC was in that group; I recently simplified my stereo setup and had been using the DAC in my Tact 2.2XP preamp, but that unit developed a problem and had to be sent back to Tact for repair.  I substituted the Lector DAC, and am controlling volume with the digital sources as I currently have no preamp in the system.  By the way, I purchased the Lector unit used, and payed less than half of what you mentioned.

 

The sound of this current setup is so good (with no preamp), that I may not put the Tact unit back after it is repaired.  I also have the Lector DAC feeding the Woo amp for headphone duty.  The Lector is being fed by dual Sonos ZP80 boxes over the Sonosnet wireless network, and that is being fed from either uncompressed FLAC files stored on a NAS drive, or from music served via Rhapsody, LiveFM, or Pandora.

 

I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money on a headphone setup, and wanted to see what was available for the money.  Besides my current setup, I also tried a Matrix M-Stage amp, and the HiFiMAN HE-5LE cans.  I personally like the k702 much more than the 5LE, as to my ears, the k702 is better balanced top to bottom (with the only caveat that the 5LE reproduces the 20-40Hz octave more cleanly).  I think the M-Stage is quite good and a terrific value, although I do find the WA6 a bit airier and smoother, which is nice considering the music I typically enjoy (mainly singer-songwriter, folk, folk-rock, and acoustic).  I have not tried other pricier phones like the HD800, LCD2, HE-6, etc yet, but am really enjoying the k702 (and I find it quite comfortable).

 

I believe that expensive cables are snake-oil; maybe some people with golden ears can detect subtle differences if listening very acutely, but I think that the claims made about huge differences from cables are purely psycho-acoustic / wishful thinking.  I've tried some fairly expensive cables, and have only heard a very slight difference on one occasion, that I wouldn't ever notice in normal listening.  I also strongly believe in the law of diminishing returns with equipment in general; although I have not tried the Leben amp you mentioned, wonder if I would really be able to hear any difference to what I have, and if so, would it be 'better'.  Even differences between the M-Stage and WA6 are relatively small, and would need to listen acutely to discern any differences.

 

Hope this answers some of the questions...


Edited by gridlock - 4/5/11 at 1:08pm
post #21 of 26
l


[/quote]

I don't know the OP's equipment but for $7000 you could buy arguably the best headphone system on Head-fi, a Stax Omega 2 and Blue Hawaii brand new... Which really no dynamic nor orthodynamic comes close to IMO[/quote]

lol i almost forgot about them ! my bad I just sticked my head with dynamics lol, I admit the Omega 2 is one of the best system are there, it's just I wanna experience different headphones lol unil i'm able to appreciate all of them than go for the ultimate, besides the dynamic setup can be a bridge to the speakers system. That's why i often forgot about the electronics lol
post #22 of 26
WOW less than half of the price? I wonder when can i get my hands on one of them, never heard a hybrid dac before lol
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post

WOW less than half of the price? I wonder when can i get my hands on one of them, never heard a hybrid dac before lol

 

If you are referring to the Lector DAC, it's not a hybrid, its output is purely tube based.
 

 

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by gridlock View Post

 

If you are referring to the Lector DAC, it's not a hybrid, its output is purely tube based.
 

 


hmmm interesting, guess I could get stand alone tube stage to try it out lol


As of the Omega2 I don't think it would be THAT MUCH better than a good dynamic set up especially since LCD-2 and Omega2 share such similar sound signature. although it is better.

In detail I found this review very helpful, Although I never got chance to a/b them.

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/519332/my-comparison-review-of-stax-omega-2-mk2-lcd-2-hd650-and-m50
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucYSN View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by gridlock View Post

 

If you are referring to the Lector DAC, it's not a hybrid, its output is purely tube based.
 

 




hmmm interesting, guess I could get stand alone tube stage to try it out lol


As of the Omega2 I don't think it would be THAT MUCH better than a good dynamic set up especially since LCD-2 and Omega2 share such similar sound signature. although it is better.

In detail I found this review very helpful, Although I never got chance to a/b them.

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/519332/my-comparison-review-of-stax-omega-2-mk2-lcd-2-hd650-and-m50
 

Well headphones are headphones of course. How much better can one headphone be over another headphone is totally subjective. However, after I heard all those headphones that I listed in my profile, I felt I shouldn't waste any more money and time on dynamics or orthodynamics. After hearing what the Stax Omega 2 can do on the Blue Hawaii, I knew I had to get the O2. If my upcoming DIY KGSS doesn't do the O2s enough justice, I'm willing to wait to get a Blue Hawaii eventually. I've sold practically all my dynamic equipment in the process, keeping only my Audio Technica W11R. That should give an idea of how much better I think the Omega 2 is than the LCD 2.

 

post #26 of 26
That's a wonderful review ! I like the idea of linking the youtube in the review. It should be promoted so that people would know what are you talking about.

On the other hand, I wonder how you compare the W5k among other W series especially the W1000X
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