In the end, I found the AKG 702s a little too analytical for my tastes. I may not have given them a fair shake, but after comparing to both the Beyer 880s and the Sennheiser 650, I found that I preferred both of the latter cans' sound signatures better. In the end, I just couldn't pass up the honey-like tone of the 650s and ended up exchanging the 702s for those.
Now I am still in the process of selecting an amp. I would like a tube amp, although I wouldn't mind something that brings out the high end of the 650s a tad more. (Nothing too much, I really am satisfied with the overall sound.)
After doing some research, I think I have narrowed it down to the following:
Little Dot Mark IV SE (although I'm not crazy about it being built and sold in China, I've read nothing but good experiences)
and as a dark horse, local hero
Woo Audio WA3 (or possibly the WA6 -- although that's a bit more than I'd like to spend. And I'm a little put off that Woo Audio doesn't do local area pick-up. Why must I pay for shipping within NYC?
Of those three, which matches the best with the Senn HD 650s.
As a reminder, I am running through an Arcam 72T CD player and, when functioning, a Music Hall MMF 5 turntable (with either a goldring or ortofon stylus).
One last question regarding the turntable -- if I am no longer running through my receiver (which actually has a built in phonostage), will I need to get a separate standalone phonostage, or will the headphone amp suffice? If I need a phonostage (which I suspect), what recs in the $300 range?