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Inexpensive warm amp for K-550??

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, thread title says it all. The K-550 are fantastic but with the majority of source material they just highlight how cold, harsh and flat the mixes are. Well, nothing you can do about the flat but the cold harshness can surely be battled.

So I want an amp that ads a nice warm touch, maybe simply rolls off the highs naturally but does not compromise the great soundstage too much. Ah heck, I even take that if the price is right. Power is not really a topic since the K-550 drive so easily.

 

Open to both SolidState and Tube. smily_headphones1.gif

post #2 of 13

Little Dot 1+ hybrid?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hmmm, sounds interesting.

post #4 of 13

 The Martix M-stage is a warm SS amp, should sound good with those.

post #5 of 13

I really like my current O2/ODAC combo with the K550. Even as someone who loves the type of signature of the SR-007, LCD-2, SE530, etc (all often known as warmer than neutral headphones with laid back highs), I never find the particular combo too bright. It's just right IMO.

 

If you need a really warm amp though, I can recommend an M3 with the OPA627 opamps. You can find an M3 used at reasonable prices these days (though the budget was never stated here so I have no clue on what the standard of inexpensive here is).

post #6 of 13

What about the C421 w/ A227? Or if you can afford the National could be stellar choice.

post #7 of 13

Admittedly, the only amp I have experience with is the Project Sunrise II tube amp. I love it, but those with more experience with other amps seem to love it more:

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/601207/project-sunrise-ii-kit-review

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxSpirit View Post

Well, thread title says it all. The K-550 are fantastic but with the majority of source material they just highlight how cold, harsh and flat the mixes are. Well, nothing you can do about the flat but the cold harshness can surely be battled.

So I want an amp that ads a nice warm touch, maybe simply rolls off the highs naturally but does not compromise the great sound stage too much. Ah heck, I even take that if the price is right. Power is not really a topic since the K-550 drive so easily.

 

Open to both SolidState and Tube. smily_headphones1.gif

What source(s) are you going to be plugging the K550 and headphone amplifier into?

A PC desktop or laptop or MAC or other?

post #9 of 13

If you using a PC/Laptop/Mac you might wanna consider this

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.
Source is a Xonar DX. From the looks I will get an I+. Also pondered an O2 but I need something against the shred in modern recordings. Maybe later.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxSpirit View Post

Thanks for the replies.
Source is a Xonar DX. From the looks I will get an I+. Also pondered an O2 but I need something against the shred in modern recordings. Maybe later.

The Xonar DX is a good sound card, but does not come with a headphone amplifier and it's line-out/headphone jack has a high impedance :(

So getting an external headphone amplifier with a low impedance should improve the audio quality of the AKG K550.

The PAV2V is the cheapest ($70) ac powered head amp that I know of that has a low impedance.

(I believe it has a low impedance)

The Schiit Magni or O2 head amps would be good choices.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, now I am torn :-\
post #13 of 13

I'm using my K550 with a microStreamer and the PA2V2, and the amp realy improves the sound to me. It feels like the mS is unable to drive the K550 properly, while the PA2V2 has enough power, making the phones more musical, adding some PRaT and body to the music. 

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