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Amping for AKG Q701 - Page 5

post #61 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

I was in an HD650 thread earlier when someone recommended $2000 worth of amp for them. Seriously, two grand for an amp for $400 cans? Geez. rolleyes.gif



Hahahaha, sound a bit much for a heaphone amp. I have used amps at that price to power a nightclub L3000.gif

 

post #62 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

@ obobskivich: Interesting stuff ....thanks. I was a psych major in college, so I always had an interest in this issue. I'm also VERY aware that even trained scientists are subject to these kinds of biases. It's damn hard to be free of them. The funny thing is, that when I upgraded a cable on the 702, I had no idea of the science (or lack of same) behind cables and transmission of audio signals, so I fully expected to hear an improvement. And guess what... when I first got the cable I said to myself, "wow, that's a nice warmth the cable is adding!"  But, being aware of all this bias stuff from my college days and outside reading, I did a lot of swapping back and forth and sure enough, with careful listening, the darn cables sounded the same. OK....don't want to open a can of worms, but it was my experience just as it happened. Others are free to believe what they want, obviously. As for amps, would you say the majority of ss amps are 'neutral'....not colored to any significant degree? I bought a second hand LD mkV ss amp because it was supposed to be 'neutral'. Recently a couple of people commented to me that it's a bright amp. Are some ss amps bright sounding....some dark....etc? Would an O2 be a better amp for the 70X than the mkV? I assumed both were basically 'wire with gain' amplifiers....no color....just gain. Anyone have any experience with those amps?

 



 


While not as obviously intentionally tonally changeable as tubes, and though SS amps are generally considered "neutral" its not a 100% truth.  For many reasons they can color the sound one way or another.  Just like DACs can, but not always to as great a degree.  Different designs, layouts, and components used will certainly have some measure of affect on sound either by design or by accidental distortion.  Cables just conduct the current from point A to point B.  To a (limited) point different cables can leak/absorb/reflect/resist the signal, but at lengths under 30ft this usually shouldn't be perceptible unless the cable is flawed.  However in the case of an amp where it's actually modifying (by design) the signal, not just transmitting it, there are many different alterations that can happen to voltage, current, output impedence (at the jack) etc that will have an effect on the tonality. 

 

post #63 of 398

Makes sense. I imagine a cheap budget amp can add significant 'color' because of cheap parts and poor design, but a ss amp that costs over $200 or $300 shouldn't be noticeably colored if it's designed to handle the impedance of your headphones....maybe even a good budget amp like the O2. A ss amp designed to work with headphones between 32 and 600ohms, should be a safe bet would you say? Or does 'current' or voltage swing come into play and 'color' the sound? The mkV amp sells for around $300 I think and the O2 can be bought pre built for well under $200
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


While not as obviously intentionally tonally changeable as tubes, and though SS amps are generally considered "neutral" its not a 100% truth.  For many reasons they can color the sound one way or another.  Just like DACs can, but not always to as great a degree.  Different designs, layouts, and components used will certainly have some measure of affect on sound either by design or by accidental distortion.  Cables just conduct the current from point A to point B.  To a (limited) point different cables can leak/absorb/reflect/resist the signal, but at lengths under 30ft this usually shouldn't be perceptible unless the cable is flawed.  However in the case of an amp where it's actually modifying (by design) the signal, not just transmitting it, there are many different alterations that can happen to voltage, current, output impedence (at the jack) etc that will have an effect on the tonality. 

 



 

post #64 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

Makes sense. I imagine a cheap budget amp can add significant 'color' because of cheap parts and poor design, but a ss amp that costs over $200 or $300 shouldn't be noticeably colored if it's designed to handle the impedance of your headphones....maybe even a good budget amp like the O2. A ss amp designed to work with headphones between 32 and 600ohms, should be a safe bet would you say? Or does 'current' or voltage swing come into play and 'color' the sound? The mkV amp sells for around $300 I think and the O2 can be bought pre built for well under $200
 



 


Keep in mind that a significant portion of the cabinet space in any amp (or any component rather) that is not run on batteries is dedicated to power conditioning and power filtering as well.   It's not going to do the work of an isolation transformer or a high-grade dedicated power conditioner, but the power coming from the wall is messy.  Very audibly messy.  And must be cleaned up by the hardware.  The power supplies (internal or external) are responsible for this task, and its performance in that regard can have an important impact on the sound. 

 

In that sense you can get much higher performance for much less money from a battery powered device: batteries are always clean power within reason.  Unfortunately those usually don't have the voltage swing or current for many of the higher end phones discussed here.

 

Beyond that, impedance matching aside, voltage swing and current play a huge role in sound.   Not so much "color" in terms of signal frequencies but in terms of how they move the drivers in the headphones.  Noise floor (including from the volume pot) introduced with gain can affect perception of color. 

 

"Works between 32-300ohms" is sort of a useless specification.  Well of course it works between those impedances. All headphone amps WORK with pretty much any headphones.  But that says nothing about pairing.  An OTL tube amp may "work" with low impedence phones, but they're focused on high voltage swing, not high current, and thus are a bad match for them.  Conversely, a high current SS amp may or may not have a reliable voltage swing for 300, or worse, 600ohm headphones like HD650 or DT880.  It'll drive them, but it may not move the stiff drivers with as much control and precision as a higher voltage amp.  The result would be a more "veiled" or "muddy" sound with possibly a more closed soundstage/separation.  It may still sound good, but it's not driving the cans to their potential. 

 

That's why tubes are often recommended for those headphones.  It's not that there are no SS amps with a worthy voltage swing.  There are. But it's more model-dependent.

 

So in that example the audio frequency coming out of the amp may very well be completely neutral, but the way the drivers are handled, it will cause the headphone to "color" the sound.  And that doesn't factor in various designs and components.  Is it op-amp or discrete FET? Are the specific components in play very precise?  Just because it's SS doesn't mean the parts in use are of the greatest precision and don't allow for any slop, play, distortion, attenuation, etc.  It's never quite so simple as "it's SS, so it's perfect by design", parts still have specs and tolerances, as do circuit diagrams wink.gif

 

 

Edit: That's not to say that there aren't very excellent SS amps in the $200-300 range.   But that begins to explain why a $2000 Mark Levinson or Ray Samuels SS may sound different from an Asgard or a Micro Amp, etc.  (Not $2000 different, but different all the same.)


Edited by IEMCrazy - 3/13/12 at 8:50am
post #65 of 398

Cool! thanks for the explanation.  That clears up the distinction for me, between high current and high voltage swing in amps. So back on topic...the 70X ....either 'Q' or 'k'....should do well with a good ss amp since a ss amp will provide the current it needs, if I understand correctly. Don't know why people sometimes recommend tubes for them other than that they can 'warm up' the sound somewhat with their pleasing distortion.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


Keep in mind that a significant portion of the cabinet space in any amp (or any component rather) that is not run on batteries is dedicated to power conditioning and power filtering as well.   It's not going to do the work of an isolation transformer or a high-grade dedicated power conditioner, but the power coming from the wall is messy.  Very audibly messy.  And must be cleaned up by the hardware.  The power supplies (internal or external) are responsible for this task, and its performance in that regard can have an important impact on the sound. 

 

In that sense you can get much higher performance for much less money from a battery powered device: batteries are always clean power within reason.  Unfortunately those usually don't have the voltage swing or current for many of the higher end phones discussed here.

 

Beyond that, impedance matching aside, voltage swing and current play a huge role in sound.   Not so much "color" in terms of signal frequencies but in terms of how they move the drivers in the headphones.  Noise floor (including from the volume pot) introduced with gain can affect perception of color. 

 

"Works between 32-300ohms" is sort of a useless specification.  Well of course it works between those impedances. All headphone amps WORK with pretty much any headphones.  But that says nothing about pairing.  An OTL tube amp may "work" with low impedence phones, but they're focused on high voltage swing, not high current, and thus are a bad match for them.  Conversely, a high current SS amp may or may not have a reliable voltage swing for 300, or worse, 600ohm headphones like HD650 or DT880.  It'll drive them, but it may not move the stiff drivers with as much control and precision as a higher voltage amp.  The result would be a more "veiled" or "muddy" sound with possibly a more closed soundstage/separation.  It may still sound good, but it's not driving the cans to their potential. 

 

That's why tubes are often recommended for those headphones.  It's not that there are no SS amps with a worthy voltage swing.  There are. But it's more model-dependent.

 

So in that example the audio frequency coming out of the amp may very well be completely neutral, but the way the drivers are handled, it will cause the headphone to "color" the sound.  And that doesn't factor in various designs and components.  Is it op-amp or discrete FET? Are the specific components in play very precise?  Just because it's SS doesn't mean the parts in use are of the greatest precision and don't allow for any slop, play, distortion, attenuation, etc.  It's never quite so simple as "it's SS, so it's perfect by design", parts still have specs and tolerances, as do circuit diagrams wink.gif

 

 

Edit: That's not to say that there aren't very excellent SS amps in the $200-300 range.   But that begins to explain why a $2000 Mark Levinson or Ray Samuels SS may sound different from an Asgard or a Micro Amp, etc.  (Not $2000 different, but different all the same.)



 

post #66 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

Cool! thanks for the explanation.  That clears up the distinction for me, between high current and high voltage swing in amps. So back on topic...the 70X ....either 'Q' or 'k'....should do well with a good ss amp since a ss amp will provide the current it needs, if I understand correctly. Don't know why people sometimes recommend tubes for them other than that they can 'warm up' the sound somewhat with their pleasing distortion.
 



 


Rarely have I ever seen tubes recommended for AKG 70x.  You are correct that a good high current SS would do well with them.  In most cases that would be ideal over any OTL tube amp.   There are a few notable exceptions, namely Schiit's Valhalla which, according to the guy who designed it (and common wisdom) on paper, electrically, as an OTL tube amp the Valhalla should not pair well with the AKGs but somehow for unexplainable reasons, it actually does.  However it's also known that they still perform better on the Lyr amp which happens to be what I am running my K702s on (I actually bought the 702's specifically for that amp since I'd heard it's such a good pairing.  I bought the amp mostly for my HD650s which is also an excellent pairing.)

 

Lyr, as a hybrid is one of the big exceptions to the rule.  You get "tube sound" introduced through the voltage side, and the ability to change tubes to tweak the sound, but the current side is all SS and it is, in fact, designed for low impedance high current cans primarily (orthodynamics.)  That's why it's a "tube amp" that happens to work very well with the AKGs, it's both a tube and an SS amp with both high current and high voltage swing to go either way, though it's somewhat more SS in sound profile and is anything but warm with the stock tubes: it's very neutral with plenty of sparkle on the 702's.

 

Q and K drivers are either the exact same thing or slightly differently voiced versions of the same thing depending on who you ask.  AKG support says they're the same.  AKG marketing says they were "tuned by [Quincy] the master".  Some users say Q is warmer K is more analytical, some say they're all identical.  Flip a coin and choose the color and side you'd like the cord on... In either case the drivers are the same by spec and their power profiles are the same by spec.

 

In the $200-300 bracket, the previously mentioned Asgard and Micro Amp are two good options. While I imagine Lyr would have more detail and more soundstage available than Asgard, I've heard that they're very similar in sound profile.  I haven't tried an Asgard so take that as 3rd hand knowledge!  I have a Micro Amp around (the older generation of them) but I still have been too lazy to test my 702's with it since I don't use the PC listening station pretty much at all since I got my Squeezebox/Lyr setup.

 


Edited by IEMCrazy - 3/13/12 at 10:01am
post #67 of 398
A good hybrid can make Q701s sound very good, I like the pairing of the EF-5 with mine. In high gain this little Dot I+ does pretty well too, much better than I would have expected for a $130 amp. Not tried an OTL tube with the Qs, I'm getting a Valhalla before too long, but I can see where the low damping factor would cause issues.
post #68 of 398

There is not an ABX that supports expensive amps sounding "better" - they're usually imperceptibly equivalent to cheap amps. Based on that, I disagree with the whole "build quality" argument - you're taking things out of a black box and worrying about them, even though the end result tells us it's okay (in other words, if it meets your spec, who cares what's in the box - from a squatting gnome to a transistor, it doesn't matter).

 

Headphones do make this somewhat difference because they (as a genre) have a huge range of nominal impedances, but the majority of amplifiers have such a low output impedance it does not matter one bit. Things like OTL tube amps (these are those exotics I was talking about) may push that bar, and that can cause some FR deviation; no different than putting a resistor in series with the load - you attenuate the entire signal and slightly shift the FR based on the driver's impedance FR (and this is a uniform shift within the overall system FR, meaning you won't even know it's happening unless you measure for it or test against another amplifier in a level-matched manner). Regarding damping, electrical damping is largely a construction of over-zealous advertising people. It does very little for any system (what I mean here is, no matter how high the concocted value for your amplifier is, the overall system DF is tied to your load, not your amp, and it's always going to be a low value). Mechanical damping is what matters, and that's done at the factory or not at all. Finally, a "low damping factor" (this means overall system DF; this requires an amplifier with a high output impedance) isn't even a "bad" thing - for single amplifier/single driver systems it can actually be a more appropriate solution to achieve a balanced FR, simply because it usually means a slight boost to the bass frequencies. This is of course design dependent, and aside from Beyerdynamic (and then only with the DT48) I've never seen a manufacturer specify any preference or requirement in this respect. The 120 ohm output impedance spec is not a concoction of insanity though. There was a thread not too long ago about damping factor and headphones, give it a read (it's only five pages): http://www.head-fi.org/t/597394/using-receiver-to-drive-headphones-other-questions

 

Regarding the voltage/current drive question - higher impedance loads "see" more voltage and less current for the same apparent power (put this in reverse for low impedance loads); it's highly load dependent, and it doesn't mean you need to preference any one kind of topology over another. Tubes are not somehow better suited for this, they aren't worse suited for it either (again, my only gripe with tubes is that they must be replaced). It's not like any high impedance headphones demand an absurd amount of power either; most of them are fairly sensitive. So the 30 or 50 or 80 mW that a lot of amplifiers can give you into 500 or 600 ohms is still more than enough to cleave your head off. I've heard the statement "loudness doesn't matter, it's sound quality" - well until there's a quantified measure of "sound quality" that kind of reasoning doesn't make any logical sense. And again, the 120 ohm output impedance spec is not there for no reason; if the IEC weren't ignored, and things were done in a standard and logical manner, this would be absolutely a non-issue. 

 

Power "cleanliness" is a marketing discussion as far as I'm concerned - it's a great way to spend thousands of dollars to fix something that isn't broken, but it doesn't mean squat for sound quality. Isolation transformers and conditioners aren't really "separating" the equipment from the grid (they legally can't), and even if they were, wall power (at least in the US) is incredibly stable. Again, while a fancy all Class A amplifier may require some ridiculously heavy and expensive power supply, and it may look nice on the shelf, if you can't pick them apart in an ABX none of that matters (and just because it measures ever-so-slightly better to a scope, doesn't mean it's audible - our ears really suck at picking out minutia). 

 

Basically my same argument will apply to noise floor, especially since the noise floor on most SS amplifiers is lower than that of the recording - who cares what happens 80 or 90 or 120 dB below the line; we have enough trouble hearing what's going on at 40 or 30 dB below the line.

 

Speaking strictly about amplifiers, there is no "coloration" (as in tone adjustment) - it has to be brought in externally or through clipping distortion. The FR shifts from impedance mismatches are potentially an "answer" here, but they're not something you'll notice in daily use of a single amplifier, and they're going to be VERY minor (you can do the same thing with an EQ, applied in a DSP, without changing the noise floor or attenuating the entire signal). And yes, before you ask, I consider it "weird" to own a half-dozen amplifiers and switch between them; pick something that suits your application and be finished with it. A lot of newer receiver/processor devices (that have DSPs in them) will usually attempt to reach a target curve or apply some other post-processing; you can measure this and hear it just the same. This is rare for headphones (the Smyth and Asus/Creative soundcards are basically the only examples I've got). I suspect that moving forwards, we will see more and more DSP devices making their way into the market (not just for headphones, for everything), and then you've got all sorts of tone adjustments and variation available. For example, I'm sure there's plug-ins for iPhones to accomplish this kind of thing, I'm just unfamiliar with them.

 

To the question about finding sensitivity ratings - they should be published by the manufacturer, but if they aren't, or if you don't trust the manufacturer, see if InnerFidelity has tested the pair of cans you're looking at, as Tyll is good about putting up his measured sensitivity at 1k/90 dB. The M-Stage should have more than enough power to kill your ears with the Q/K701 or the DT990-600. Remember, 1 mW/ch or less for 90 dB; 90 dB is loud enough to cause hearing damage with enough exposure. 

 

 

 


Edited by obobskivich - 3/13/12 at 3:11pm
post #69 of 398

Just wondering if I'm understanding you correctly. From what you wrote I gather that a midrange ss amp like the mkV, or even a $150 amp like the O2, would sound 'neutral'....free of color... with the 70X. But some tube amps could be a poor match....other than hybrids.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

There is not an ABX that supports expensive amps sounding "better" - they're usually imperceptibly equivalent to cheap amps. I disagree with the whole "build quality" argument - you're taking things out of a black box and worrying about them, even though the end result tells us it's okay (in other words, if it meets your spec, who cares what's in the box - from a squatting gnome to a transistor, it doesn't matter). It's all a fantasy. Headphones make this somewhat difference because they (as a genre) have a huge range of nominal impedances, but the majority of amplifiers have such a low output impedance it does not matter one bit. Tube amps (these are those exotics I was talking about) may push that bar, and that can cause some FR deviation; no different than putting a resistor in series with the load - you attenuate the entire signal and slightly shift the FR based on the driver's impedance FR (and this is a uniform shift within the overall system FR, meaning you won't even know it's happening unless you measure for it or test against another amplifier in a level-matched manner). Regarding the whole argument about damping; electrical damping is largely a construction of over-zealous advertising people. It does very little for any system. Mechanical damping is what matters, and that's done at the factory or not at all. Finally, a "low damping factor" isn't even a "bad" thing - for single amplifier/single driver systems it can actually be a more appropriate solution to achieve a balanced FR, simply because it usually means a slight boost to the bass frequencies. The 120 ohm output impedance spec is not a concoction of insanity. Regarding the voltage question - higher impedance loads "see" more voltage and less current for the same apparent power (put this in reverse for low impedance loads); there are many amplifiers that are able to do this, and it isn't like you can magically spec an amp that does 5000A at 1V and still gets you a .05 mW output, or 5000V at 1A and gets you a .05 mW output; it's load dependant. If the amplifier can provide power into the load, without clipping, it's providing enough power - no need to unbox it (and remember; nominal values are always bandied around as an "absolute" when in reality they tell us very little about overall system FR - impedance, impulse response, etc all vary with frequency). Power "cleanliness" is a nonsense discussion as far as I'm concerned - it's a great way to spend thousands of dollars to fix something that isn't broken, but it doesn't mean squat for sound quality. Also don't buy into the whole "toroidal is better" hype - they aren't, they just cost more. My bottom line is that basically you don't need to even consider the internal topology or any of that stuff, if you know that system-wide it's going to be transparent; like I said, it doesn't matter what's in the box at that point.

 

Speaking strictly about amplifiers, there is no "coloration" - it has to be brought in externally or through clipping distortion. A lot of newer receiver/processor devices (that have DSPs in them) will usually attempt to reach a target curve or apply some other post-processing; you can measure this and hear it just the same. This is rare for headphones (the Smyth and Asus/Creative soundcards are basically the only examples I've got). I suspect that moving forwards, we will see more and more DSP devices making their way into the market (not just for headphones, for everything), and then you've got all sorts of tone adjustments and variation available. 

 

To the question about finding sensitivity ratings - they should be published by the manufacturer, but if they aren't, or if you don't trust the manufacturer, see if InnerFidelity has tested the pair of cans you're looking at, as Tyll is good about putting up his measured sensitivity at 1k/90 dB. The M-Stage should have more than enough power to kill your ears with the Q/K701 or the DT990-600. Remember, 1 mW/ch or less for 90 dB; 90 dB is loud enough to cause hearing damage with enough exposure. 

 

 



 

post #70 of 398


A hybrid is basically an SS amp using a tube as a "SET follower" or "tube buffer" - it becomes a current source for the opamp/FET drivers. This can influence the gain structure, and supposedly aid some sources (I've seen this design more commonly put into instrument amps to deal with dramatic level mismatches, but when you've got a line level signal it's not hard to anticipate it), but beyond that I don't see the point. They're neat though. What I'm saying is that there is no "low end, midrange, and high end" - there are amplifiers, and most all of them will meet your performance requirements for most all common loads. Some of them cost more because there's people who like to pay $10, and then there's people who like to pay $100. 

 

"Coloration" is an odd term because it has no definite meaning - there's distortion, which can result from clipping or grounding problems (both rare with headphones), and then there's FR deviation which I explained above (and provided a link to a thread that we kind of "did this" in). In both cases it will very quickly go from "inaudible" to "unlistenable" - there's no reason to worry that because you've spent somewhat less, you're "missing potential" or something. Remember that price doesn't tell us anything. 

 

A tube amp should not be a "poor match" by virtue of being a tube amp (because that doesn't tell us anything about how it performs either) - if it's some wacko "exotic" that has no protection at all and can pump a mountain of DC into your headphones while it turns on (and often this will be argued as "needed" because protection relays "degrade the sound" - most scopes can't even "see" that "problem"), then yeah it will be a poor match (for all headphones). If it's properly put together and competently designed, it's properly put together and competently designed. It doesn't matter if it uses The Power of Clean, Dilithium Crystals, or a crystal-meth powered hamster on a spinning wheel to get it done. Look at McIntosh as an example of this: both their solid state AND their tube amps will power most any speakers ever made, have very low distortion values, are very reliable, etc etc. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post

Just wondering if I'm understanding you correctly. From what you wrote I gather that a midrange ss amp like the mkV, or even a $150 amp like the O2, would sound 'neutral'....free of color... with the 70X. But some tube amps could be a poor match....other than hybrids.
 



 



 


Edited by obobskivich - 3/13/12 at 3:20pm
post #71 of 398

Yes, by 'color' I meant FR deviation. A couple of people commented that the LD mkV was a bright amp....which means lacking in lows or excess highs. I thought that was kind of odd for a ss amp that was designed to be basically a 'wire with gain' type amp. Does it make sense that a decent ss amp would 'color' the signal....cut or boost highs or lows, etc? I know it's a bit off topic, though it does apply at leasst somewhat to the topic of amping the 701, since you wouldn't want to add brightness to an already bright headphone. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

"Coloration" is an odd term because it has no definite meaning - there's distortion, which can result from clipping or grounding problems (both rare with headphones), and then there's FR deviation which I explained above (and provided a link to a thread that we kind of "did this" in). In both cases it will very quickly go from "inaudible" to "unlistenable" - there's no reason to worry that because you've spent somewhat less, you're "missing potential" or something. Remember that price doesn't tell us anything. 

 

A tube amp should not be a "poor match" by virtue of being a tube amp (because that doesn't tell us anything about how it performs either) - if it's some wacko "exotic" that has no protection at all and can pump a mountain of DC into your headphones while it turns on (and often this will be argued as "needed" because protection relays "degrade the sound" - most scopes can't even "see" that "problem"), then yeah it will be a poor match (for all headphones). If it's properly put together and competently designed, it's properly put together and competently designed. It doesn't matter if it uses The Power of Clean, Dilithium Crystals, or a crystal-meth powered hamster on a spinning wheel to get it done. Look at McIntosh as an example of this: both their solid state AND their tube amps will power most any speakers ever made, have very low distortion values, are very reliable, etc etc. 

 

post #72 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post



A hybrid is basically an SS amp using a tube as a "SET follower" or "tube buffer" - it becomes a current source for the opamp/FET drivers. This can influence the gain structure, and supposedly aid some sources (I've seen this design more commonly put into instrument amps to deal with dramatic level mismatches, but when you've got a line level signal it's not hard to anticipate it), but beyond that I don't see the point. They're neat though. What I'm saying is that there is no "low end, midrange, and high end" - there are amplifiers, and most all of them will meet your performance requirements for most all common loads. Some of them cost more because there's people who like to pay $10, and then there's people who like to pay $100. 

"Coloration" is an odd term because it has no definite meaning - there's distortion, which can result from clipping or grounding problems (both rare with headphones), and then there's FR deviation which I explained above (and provided a link to a thread that we kind of "did this" in). In both cases it will very quickly go from "inaudible" to "unlistenable" - there's no reason to worry that because you've spent somewhat less, you're "missing potential" or something. Remember that price doesn't tell us anything. 

A tube amp should not be a "poor match" by virtue of being a tube amp (because that doesn't tell us anything about how it performs either) - if it's some wacko "exotic" that has no protection at all and can pump a mountain of DC into your headphones while it turns on (and often this will be argued as "needed" because protection relays "degrade the sound" - most scopes can't even "see" that "problem"), then yeah it will be a poor match (for all headphones). If it's properly put together and competently designed, it's properly put together and competently designed. It doesn't matter if it uses The Power of Clean, Dilithium Crystals, or a crystal-meth powered hamster on a spinning wheel to get it done. Look at McIntosh as an example of this: both their solid state AND their tube amps will power most any speakers ever made, have very low distortion values, are very reliable, etc etc. 



You're saying that tube rollers are deluded? I've heard a difference, is that placebo?
post #73 of 398

Sorry to interrupt in the conversation but someone please tell me very discretely, will the Schiit Asgard sufficiently amplify the K701 in terms of just being "neutral". As stated in this thread ss being more suitable for the 70x's. I really don't care about "adding depth in soundstage" or the amp being a "bright" pairing or any of that nonsense. I would just like to know if the Asgard would be suitable in terms of listening or in other terms "will I get enough out of 'em" with the 70x's. I hope someone might be able to pick up what i'm trying to say cause even i'm confused now tongue.gif

And yes I'm fully aware the O2 and other budget amps would be able to drive them just fine but for my own personal preferences, i'd like to know if the Asgard would drive them without any problems.

 

My preferences based on the Asgard being made in the US, having a 15 day home trial backed with a 5year warranty and just looking pretty damn sexy (well at least I think soredface.gif)

post #74 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFiguy View Post

Sorry to interrupt in the conversation but someone please tell me very discretely, will the Schiit Asgard sufficiently amplify the K701 in terms of just being "neutral". As stated in this thread ss being more suitable for the 70x's. I really don't care about "adding depth in soundstage" or the amp being a "bright" pairing or any of that nonsense. I would just like to know if the Asgard would be suitable in terms of listening or in other terms "will I get enough out of 'em" with the 70x's. I hope someone might be able to pick up what i'm trying to say cause even i'm confused now tongue.gif

Welcome to the club! there's so much conflicting stuff written about amps for the 70X that anyone would get confused, except perhaps an electronics engineer!! Just a suggestion, but did you try a search of the amp forum? There's probably at least one long thread on that amp in the amp forum.
 

 

post #75 of 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFiguy View Post

Sorry to interrupt in the conversation but someone please tell me very discretely, will the Schiit Asgard sufficiently amplify the K701 in terms of just being "neutral". As stated in this thread ss being more suitable for the 70x's. I really don't care about "adding depth in soundstage" or the amp being a "bright" pairing or any of that nonsense. I would just like to know if the Asgard would be suitable in terms of listening or in other terms "will I get enough out of 'em" with the 70x's. I hope someone might be able to pick up what i'm trying to say cause even i'm confused now tongue.gif


And yes I'm fully aware the O2 and other budget amps would be able to drive them just fine but for my own personal preferences, i'd like to know if the Asgard would drive them without any problems.

My preferences based on the Asgard being made in the US, having a 15 day home trial backed with a 5year warranty and just looking pretty damn sexy (well at least I think so:o )

Yes, the Asgard is a suitable amp and will drive them properly.
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