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Should I replace my AKG 701s or treat them to a proper amp?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Looking for a bit of advice here.  I really like the sound of the 701 but all I currently have to drive them with is a Fiio E7.  I'm eyeing the Schiit Lyr but am wondering if I should spend the same money on a better can to match with the Fiio or sell everything and purchase a completely different combo.  I am a detail guy and I love my treble, bass is nice but it must be accurate or I'd rather not have it at all. 

post #2 of 8
The AKGs are picky about their amps but they do scale well so unless you're looking for a total change in sound, I would say keep the 701s and upgrade the amp. In most cases, the source & hps is about 90-95% of what you should expect. Amps, DACs, cables, etc wouldn't change them that much, just improve upon.
post #3 of 8

x2... keep the cans and upgrade the amp.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  Any other recommendations other than the Lyr in the sub $500 category?

post #5 of 8

A good tube hybrid or solid state is your safest bet.  Melos SHA-1 used falls into that category, a great amp for low-Z cans.  As far as solid state circuits go, I generally prefer circuits with 3 OP-amp channels (L/R/GND) and dedicated current buffer.  So circuits like the PPA, M^3, or even a Pimeta run at higher voltages are your best bet... for starters.  Stay away from the over-priced single OP-amp designs like the RA-1 (for example).


As far as tube circuits go... OTL amps are hit or miss, more misses than hits.  The K701 needs current and voltage reserves to effective drive them, so that effectively rules out most OTL designs.  Transformer coupled amps are another ball game, where these cans are at their sweetest.  The problem there is that none exist under $500, unless you are willing to pursue a DIY output transformer solution.  That was my K701 fix.  Got a DV337 used for a very good price with some great sounding tung-sol tubes, and DIY'd an output transformer coupler for the amp.   The entire package was around $600.

post #6 of 8
If you like the k701.sound signature then keep it. There is an xcan v8 in the fs forums that is reasonably priced, I used to own one and it sounded really good with the k701's that I had. No association to seller.
post #7 of 8

I'm wondering a similar case too, and is a iBasso D10/12 powerful enough for these cans? The K701s sound under-utilised when I've tried them with an e11.

post #8 of 8

the x can v8  is excellent.  I suggest staying with a hybrid.  I have tried them with two different hybrids and was happy.  was not happy with the solid state amp I tried them with.  sounded a bit thin.  perhaps just the luck of the draw with the 3 amps that I sampled, but who knows. 

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