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Amping for AKG Q701 - Page 15

post #211 of 406

Yeah, I read the same thing several times....that the 70X likes solid state....and high impedance cans like tubes. There's plenty of good cheap ss amps that should drive them fine though. don't know about the hybrids. I think the hybrid amps may have higher output impedance than most ss amps.....the O2 has less than 1ohm output impedance AFAIK. According to navguy on the O2 website, low impedance cans need an amp with low output impedance.....less than 1/8 the value of the phone's impedance. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KBloodWine View Post

The info I got was from a friend who was told by someone else, that headphones like the Q701 like lots of current (solid state), but tubes are good at voltage?

I found some of those LD I+ tubes on eBay (are they hybrids?),

I'm holding off just to see what other ideas come in.
 

 



 

post #212 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post


Yes, the Q701 sounds excellent with tubes, not sure where that guy gets his info from.
I know for a fact the Q701 sounds great with my LD I+ ($140), EF-5 ($400), and SLI-80 (a lot more than that). I think the Little Dot is the bang for buck champ in the sub-$300 hybrid category. Not seen anything that really beats it in that price range. However, I've not listened to the Indeed G3, but it looks like one of the Chinese kit tube amps similar to the Muse. Personally, I think you may be disappointed with one of those.


Big +1 for the Q701 with tubes.  I use mine with my La Figaro 336C.    It's really not very versatile, that combo doesn't do very good for Rock, the bass isn't punchy enough for me, everything is a bit too soft, but it's great for acoustic stuff like some older jazz.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KBloodWine View Post

The info I got was from a friend who was told by someone else, that headphones like the Q701 like lots of current (solid state), but tubes are good at voltage?

I found some of those LD I+ tubes on eBay (are they hybrids?),

I'm holding off just to see what other ideas come in.

 


This thing about "Solid State is great at current, tubes are great at Voltage" is a bit of a myth.

A lot of head tube amps use output transformers, with a good output transformer a tube amp can drive low impedance 'phones.

I have always found that a good tube amp can work with a variety of speakers.  The same should go for 'phones too. 

A friend of mine uses a Decware Taboo with his LCD-2 'phones which need way more power than a Q701.  He raves about the Taboo/LCD-2 combo.

 

Likewise, to get my DT880 600 ohm 'phones really punching I drive it with a Soild State amp.  A high impedance phone like that will take a bit more voltage and a bit less current, so if tubes are good at voltage then a tube amp would be best?   No, I use a Solid State amp to get a real punchy sound out of my DT880s.

Likewise either 'phone does certain things well with my tube amp, and certain things well with my Solid State amps.


 

 

post #213 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

Yeah, I read the same thing several times....that the 70X likes solid state....and high impedance cans like tubes. There's plenty of good cheap ss amps that should drive them fine though. don't know about the hybrids. I think the hybrid amps may have higher output impedance than most ss amps.....the O2 has less than 1ohm output impedance AFAIK. According to navguy on the O2 website, low impedance cans need an amp with low output impedance.....less than 1/8 the value of the phone's impedance. 

 



Some guys seem to like tubes to smooth out the treble in Q701s.   Really depends on what you are trying to do.   Since I swing both ways (Solid State and Tubes I mean!), I like having both varieties of headphone amp. YMMV.

If a hybrid amp has a Solid State output stage, then it can have an ultra low output impedance like any other Solid State amp.

 

I agree with the NWAVGuy.....1/8 or better if you want accuracy.   Using my tube amp adds a fair amount of colouration to any 'phone, but more so with low impedance 'phones.

 

BTW, no offence intended to anyone who really "swings both ways" or one way or the other!

 

post #214 of 406

As I understand it, the 1+ is a hybrid, using opamps to generate much of the current. It is not an OTL (output transformer-less) tube amp (e.g. Bottlehead Crack), which are not usually as good a match for the 701.

post #215 of 406
That is correct. As a hybrid it fits more with the SS crowd in terms of capability. The tubes are in the preamp section for flavor.
post #216 of 406

Many hybrid amps use tubes for voltage gain instead of opamps.  Some hybrids use opamps for voltage gain.  Designs vary and, therefore, sound qualities also differ greatly.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

As I understand it, the 1+ is a hybrid, using opamps to generate much of the current.



 

post #217 of 406
FYI...
I finally tried out the q701's with the headphone output of my onkyo 886 preamp. It did sound better overall than my computers asus xonar dg but I had to set the volume to max to get loud volume. I am looking forward to trying the LD I+. I hope it gives me extra power and resolution. So far I am not impressed with q701s. Keep in mind I am not a fan of headphones compared to speakers. I am trying to get into headphones to have an alternative when speakers aren't an option. No kids yet but my wife is getting sick of the 2 am pink Floyd sessions. Btw, the sacd of wish you were here is incredible!!!!
post #218 of 406
Quote:
Originally Posted by beekermartin View Post
FYI...
I finally tried out the q701's with the headphone output of my onkyo 886 preamp. It did sound better overall than my computers asus xonar dg but I had to set the volume to max to get loud volume. I am looking forward to trying the LD I+. I hope it gives me extra power and resolution. So far I am not impressed with q701s. Keep in mind I am not a fan of headphones compared to speakers. I am trying to get into headphones to have an alternative when speakers aren't an option. No kids yet but my wife is getting sick of the 2 am pink Floyd sessions. Btw, the sacd of wish you were here is incredible!!!!

What gain setting on the Xonar DG did you use with the Q701?

How could anyone ever get sick of a 2AM Pink Floyd session.
 

 

 

post #219 of 406

I tried all three gain settings.  The lowest, was well, too low.  Mid, 32-64ohm, is decent but volume has to be set at close to max and there is some slight distortion in the high frequencies every once and awhile.  Over 64ohm setting has way to much distortion and is basically unusable with the Q701s.  My HD280s also have some distortion at the over 64ohm setting but it nowhere near as bad as it is with the Q701s. 

 

I never get tired of the drunk 2 am listening sessions.  My wife, who is rather understanding, feels otherwise, sometimes.  Keep in mind that I listen at reference level or higher.  My favorite nights is when she is 10 feet away screaming at me and I can't hear her at all.  She doesn't find it as funny as I do.  LOL

 

That is why I am seriously trying headphones for the first time.  Compromise is a part of a marriage.  So they say. 

post #220 of 406

I'm was very happy with my Apogee Duet (1st version)+ Woo Audio 6SE+ 702s.

 

I wanted some very accurate headphones with no coloring - especially when listening to acoustic music, jazz, drums/cymbals. Acix recommended 701/702s, which led me to looking for an amp, and after reading the forum I ended up with Woo 6Se, a great amp, that costs much more than my headphones. 

 

 

 Reading different reviews on Head Fi makes me think I need to spend money on headphones that cost as much money as my amp. I was convinced that I needed to "upgrade" to Denon D7000, or LCD2 - even though I had never listened to them. 

 

 

This thread makes me think maybe the weak link in my chain is my source, not my headphones...or maybe there is no weak link, and I should be done buying more gear eek.gif

 

 

By the way I own the m50s, and they are too bassy for me as well, no where near the league of the AKGs.

 

 

post #221 of 406

I just received my Litte Dot i+ this evening.  It is stock, as far as I know, and I assume the gain is in the stock "low" setting.  I am going to pull it apart tomorrow and verify that.  Anyway, I connected it to my Oppo BDP-80 and AKG Q701s.  I only listened for a few minutes.  It does sound very good.  The only thing that took me by suprise is that I have to turn the volume up past halfway to get decent volume.  In fact I was able to turn it all the way up and it was loud but not extremely loud.  Does that sound about right for the LD i+ and the 701's? 

 

I am going to check on the gain setting tomorrow.  If it is on low I will try the high setting to see if that helps with the volume.  Don't get me wrong.  It is loud enough at the highest setting but I didn't think I would be able to listen with it set that high without it being painful.   

post #222 of 406

 It is possible the Oppo has a low output level, which would affect the total gain.

post #223 of 406
Yeah, directly from the Oppo may be part of the issue, also you'll need more gain. I have mine on High.
post #224 of 406

I am going to try the high gain setting tonight.  I am running directly from the Oppo.  I haven't checked the settings in the Oppo yet either.  I imagine there isn't any setting in the Oppo that would change the gain but I will double check. 

 

I have an Onkyo 886 preamp that I was hoping to connect directly the the LD.  I tried the tape monitor output of the 886 and I got nothing.  I have the Oppo, HD-XA2 HD DVD player and cable box all connected to the 886 via HDMI.  I was hoping to run a set of RCAs from the 886 to the LD so I could listen to all sources without having to switch cables.  I am assuming the 886 will not downconvert from HDMI to analog.  It appears I would have to run RCAs from all sources to the 886 in order for that to work. 

post #225 of 406

 

 

Quote:
I tried the tape monitor output of the 886 and I got nothing.

 

 

Sometimes monitor outs require a combination of settings on the panel to output. Sometimes it's as easy as a monitor switch, sometimes it's more esoteric. 

 

Since it is a pre-amp, why not just split the regular output (or use the zone 2 or 3 out, if you are not using it)? 


Edited by liamstrain - 4/3/12 at 10:30am
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