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AKG K701 + Asus Xonar Essence ST + what amp?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I currently have a pair of K701 which I run straight from the HP-output on my Xonar Essence ST and for the most part it sounds amazing, but sometimes I feel that the sound is a bit too bright and also lacking a bit of bass impact. Of course this could also partly be because the headphones haven't been "broken in" yet.


What I would like is a little more warm/soft sound and a bit more bass impact, but without loosing any of the soundstage, detail or clarity.


Also I can't help feeling that there's more potential there and that the amp on the Xonar doesn't really do the K701 justice.


So I'm looking for an amp that will make the K701 shine :)

From what I've read here in the forums Heed CanAmp and Matrix M-stage seem to be really good options. Would like some input on those as well as other recommendations. I would also like tips on good places to buy them online(I live in sweden btw). I don't wan't to spend more than around 350-400$ though, preferably less :).


I was also thinking about a new DAC, but what I understand the DAC on the Xonar-card is suppose to be pretty good, so this shouldn't really be necessary to replace, should it?

Edited by GamerOne - 10/26/11 at 7:03am
post #2 of 7

Look for amplifiers with a lower output impedance. This will help both damping (and hence bass) and the frequency response.

post #3 of 7

Have you install the "Unified Xonar Drivers", they might help your sound.


You can always upgrade the op-amps (Operational Amplifier) chips on the Essence ST.

You have three swappable op-amps on the Essence ST.

You would need two op-amps, one for each I/V socket, which are for the headphones.

(the single buffer op-amp is for the RCA output).


This thread should help.


post #4 of 7

I think you should upgrade your source firstly. DAC is better for you.

post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by picaqiu View Post

I think you should upgrade your source firstly. DAC is better for you.

The Asus Xonar Essence ST/STX DAC is very hard to beat... unless you're happy spending $1000+ on a DAC alone, and still be hard pressed to find that it matches the specifics of the Texas Instruments DAC on the Asus. Don't knock sound cards just because they're held internally in a PC- the Xonar has good isolation and a separate analog stage in an EM shield. It can put out up to 1 watt @ 32 ohm when pushed, but its definitely not its sweet spot.


If power is an issue, an external amp is what you'd be looking for- not an external DAC.

post #6 of 7

another option is to use a mixing console like Yamaha MG10/2 as the phone amplifier.

I use this in combination with a keyboard and the AKG. Sounds super! And you can fine tune the tonal balance to your own satisfaction.

post #7 of 7

I found this old amp , could work properly with AKG 701 and asus st?





* Power Output: 400 Watt PMPO
* Woofer: 12 Watt RMS (THD 10%)
* Satellite: 7.5 Watt x 2 RMS (THD 10%)
* Frequency Response: Woofer: 40Hz-120Hz,
* Satellite: 120Hz-20KHz
* Sensitivity Input: Input 1: 300mV
* Input 2:570mV
* Distortion: 0.3% at 1W 1KHz
* S/N Ratio: more than 65dB
* Separation: more than 40dB
* Driver Unit: Woofer Driver: 4" magnetically shielded, Satellite Driver: 2.5" V6 magnetically shielded
* Audio Input Socket: Input 1:3.5mm stereo plug, Input 2: RCA plug
* Audio Output Socket: RCA socket
* Power Source: AC230V-50Hz
* Product Size: (L x W x H), Amplifier: 185 x 72 x 200mm, Woofer Speaker: 210 x 190 x 195mm, Satellite Speaker:100 x 100 x 128mm

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