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Amp Suggestion! For AKG K702 + ATH M50

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased a pair of AKG K702 for 155$. Now i'm looking for a good starter amp to make these headphones worth listening to. My budget is around 100 dollars atm, but i'll upgrade later.

 

I narrowed down to a few choices from reading atm, but feel free to suggest others.

 

1. Buy Schitt Magni now + then buy the Schitt Modi later if needed. (Is there a huge improvement)

 

2. Buy a Fiio E17 now + then buy a Fiio e09k later if needed. So i can use the E17 for my M50 as a good amp as well on the move. 

 

3. Buy a Fiio E12 now, since i heard really good reviews on it. And i'll use that for both the AKG at home, and as a portable for my m50s.

 

4. I heard great things about the O2 + Odac combo. But they're like 278 dollars, and is that really worth it?

 

Also wanted to mention my sources are my PC and my Iphone


Edited by opponentmule2 - 8/23/13 at 7:25pm
post #2 of 14

The O2 is the best (very neutral and powerful) headphone amp for the dollars spent.  The only cans I have found that it will not drive are a handful and orthos (and of course electrostats).  It's only drawbacks is that it has only 1/8" input and headphone out--both on the front panel.

 

I have no eperience with its related DAC.

post #3 of 14
I have the O2 and ODAC, and they are great. However, I've read enough about the Magni/Modi to know that they seem to be equivalent in class, based on the comparisons made by people that have heard both.

The AKG's will like being amped. I'd be tempted to get the E12 if you want portability, then get a Modi later on for when using your computer with the E12. If you don't think you'd carry the E12 around with the iPhone, get the Magni.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hmm, that's a very tempting deal.

I was wondering whats the sound difference between the e12 and either the magni or the o2

I would like the amp to be able to run my m50 as well

Also is the e17 and e09k combo just completely inferior in sound to these?
post #5 of 14

Heya,

 

The Magni at $99 is easily the better deal when looking for an amp. The O2 and Magni are virtually the same. But the Magni is nicer frankly (who wants 1/8th on the FRONT of the box, ugh). I say this as an O2 owner. It's a nice amp, but it's power supply and phone jacks are all on the front which is atrocious if you ask me.

 

The E12 is a very powerful portable amplifier. Don't bother unless you are focusing on being portable.

 

The M50 doesn't need an amp, at all. Don't waste your time thinking about amping it. Focus on your K702, which does benefit from good amplification.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very much for the suggestions. 

 

I read some reviews that the M50 will only benefit slightly from amping. However, having the option to amp it is still nice?

 

I'm wondering what's the sound quality difference between the E12 and let's say the Magni/o2

 

Also, will i really need that Modi? Or would the Magni would just be enough for the moment to drive the K702? 

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by opponentmule2 View Post

Thank you all very much for the suggestions. 

 

I read some reviews that the M50 will only benefit slightly from amping. However, having the option to amp it is still nice?

 

I'm wondering what's the sound quality difference between the E12 and let's say the Magni/o2

 

Also, will i really need that Modi? Or would the Magni would just be enough for the moment to drive the K702? 

 

Heya,

 

Adding amplification to a headphone that doesn't need it doesn't always give you better quality, sometimes it just adds noise floor and hiss. That said, none of these amps are going to be too noisy with the M50. I'm simply making a point since everyone seems to think every headphone needs an amp and it's simply not true at all. Especially at the entry point of something like the M50 of all things. Anyhow, soap-box rant over.

 

Sound quality of the E12 versus the Magni/O2 is minimal difference. You will hear coloration differences, but very minor. This is not quality difference, this is simply difference due to different product. They are all excellent and have great quality amplification output. I would suggest you focus on their features to distinguish which will suit your needs best.

 

You don't need the Modi unless you just want it. It's a DAC. It doesn't drive anything. It just gives a signal to an amplifier to be amplified. If you already have a decent DAC, you have no need to upgrade it right now. Don't even worry about DAC's if you already have something decent anyways, you'll get more quality increase by simply getting better recorded music.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

I've the onboard audio from an Asrock  Z87 Extreme 3 Motherboard, so the DAC should not be too amazing. 

 

Can i use the E12 as a desktop amp as well? I was thinking of maybe pairing it with a Modi. If the sound quality difference is very minimal, then i think the portablity of the amp will be a nice added bonus. 

 

Thanks again for helping 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am also wondering if the Fiio E10 will produce similar sound as the Magni/O2/E12?

It's only cost like 1/2 as much as them. So i would want to save if the sound difference is very minimal. 

post #10 of 14
If you want to get a combined dac/amp, probably want to look at the FiiO E17. It's a little bit less than the E12. Here's a review in which it gets compared to the E10 down in the SQ section: http://www.head-fi.org/t/587912/fiio-e17-alpen-first-impression-final-thought
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks. It seens like the E10 just won't produce as high level sound as the rest of the items.

 

Also, from most of the reviews i read, the E12/Magni/O2 seen to be a notch above the E17 in terms of sound. 

 

I guess i should get a E12 if it can serve as Desktop amp paired with a Modi later. Can anyone confirm if the E12 works well with the Modi, also can it serve as a desktop amp?

post #12 of 14
No worries smily_headphones1.gif The E12 will plug up to the Modi. That's all you have to worry about regarding if it "works well with the Modi." That's what a standalone DAC is for. It's job is to convert digital audio to analog so that the audio can be amplified. You can even plug the Modi up to external powered desktop speakers or to a home theater receiver. smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok so from what i understand.

 

I'll plug the Desktop USB into my Modi, then plug the Modi into my E12 for the best sound?

Also, will i be able to directly plug the desktop into my E12? I might not get the Modi due to money issues for a little bit. It's a future upgrade :)

post #14 of 14
Yes. You can plug the E12 directly to your computer. The K702s are considered some of the more difficult to drive headphones, so you should notice an improvement. Then adding the Modi will give you better detail and clarity.

FiiO also makes an LOD to connect their amps to older iPhones (not iPhone 5). I believe this is the one: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-L9-L-Shaped-Cable-iPhone/dp/B004QVNNI0/ I'm not an Apple person, though, so double check. An LOD bypasses the internal headphone amp in the iPhone or iPod so that you don't double amp the sound, increasing SQ.
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