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Cheap Amp to properly drive AKG K702 (<$400)

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

I just got a new AKG K702, out of my macbook air, it sounds quite bad, my in ears sound better than it, but I know that's because the AKG are a lot harder to drive. Knowing nothing about headphone amps myself, I am looking for a cheap (preferably <$300, might be able to push it to $400) amp that can properly drive the AKG K702, any experience with them and any recommendations?

Help appreciated!

post #2 of 30

Little dot mk series

 

NuForce Icon Amp

 

If your running out of laptop you probably want Dac and amp or amp/dac combo.

 

 

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIIIIIIIIIIIII View Post

Little dot mk series

 

NuForce Icon Amp

 

If your running out of laptop you probably want Dac and amp or amp/dac combo.

 

 


which models do your recommend? Have u had experience with how they sound?

I have two macs, not sure how the DACs are on them

 

post #4 of 30

Matrix M-stage. Hands down, the best budget amp for the K70X series.

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

Matrix M-stage. Hands down, the best budget amp for the K70X series.



I've read about them before here, they sound like a very good value, do you have them with K702 and how do they sound?

post #6 of 30

I sold mine (in retrospect, I shouldn't have), in preparation for going with a balanced set up for my primary rig ... but it is a very clean amp - I'm actually considering getting a new one for my secondary/bedroom set up (with the 702s). Solid performance, no added distortion (a problem in the lower end for these cans with some amps, especially OTL tube amps). 

 

They make a version now with a basic USB dac, or you could add a music streamer II or skeleton dac or something down the line if you want to clean up the signal further.

post #7 of 30

Sorry to jump into the thread, I'm in the same situation as OP.

 

What do you think about the E9 amp? I think I want to wait until the E17 comes out for the dac.

post #8 of 30

I don't like the E9, mostly just due to the output voltage. It ends up having a similar problem with many OTL tube amps of insufficient damping in the bass. It's not bad, but the M-stage is just a huge leap better.

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

n (a problem in the lower end for these cans with some amps, especially OTL tube amps). 

/quote]

I hate to see such a generalized statement because OTL amps will run the K series very nicely but you need to put some money into one. The budget amps are more indicative of the statement but listen to a Zana Deux or a Singlepower and you'd change your mind. IMO
post #10 of 30

Isnt' the Zana Deux a transformer coupled amp (i know at the very least it has a low impedence output which mitigates the problem I'm talking about)? Those usually work brilliantly with the 702... 

 

I like the sound from some of the inexpensive OTLs, but the electrical damping and high gain is not ideal. At this price point, there are no transformer coupled tube amps that I know of - which leaves you with good solid state designs as your only real option, IMO. Matrix M-stage/Lovely Cube, being very high on the list. Audio-GD NFB-12, Fun or NFB-5, Yulong D100 (at the upper ends)... The Wire for DIY, maybe the 02, though i am unsure of how much juice it has... 


Edited by liamstrain - 12/28/11 at 11:07am
post #11 of 30

Thanks for the help. It's just that the M-stage is really expensive and I also need to buy a dac for that. What dac would you recommend in combination with the m-stage?

post #12 of 30

as I said, the m-stage now has a new version with a basic USB dac in it. That sounds like it would be ideal for your needs. 

http://tamaudio.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=36&product_id=108

 

Alternately, the music streamer II is quite good. Bonus here - you open yourself up to different amps down the line. 

http://www.amazon.com/HRT-Music-Streamer-II-Resolution/dp/B0038O4UFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325100261&sr=8-1

 

post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

I googled Matrix M stage to see where to buy and the price on it, then stage v2 comes up, were u refering to v1 or v2? what's the difference?

post #14 of 30

As far as I know, the V1 and V2 refer to the opamps used in the amplification path (627APMOD). The one I linked at TamAudio above - is not really either (thought the amplification is probably a V1 signal).


Edited by liamstrain - 12/28/11 at 11:34am
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 

Actually nevemind that question, I just saw Matrix Cube for $20 more, is it a better amp compared to m stage?

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