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$30 Sonic Impact T-Amp for K1000's

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Lately there has been some buzz about the Sonic Impact T-Amp both here on Head-Fi, and in the outside world. Seemed like one of those too good to be true things, but with online availability for $27.99 at ThinkGeek, I couldn't resist.

My intended use wasn't for speakers, though. No, since I have some old pcdp's and a RatShack 13.8V regulated power supply kicking around in the ol' parts bin, it seemed a natural to team this baby up with my AKG K1000's. Here's what the assembled collection looks like:


Only been listening for about 30 minutes, but things are working out quite well, thank you very much. Sound is clean and clear out of a perfectly black background. No distortion (haven't cranked it beyond 50%), and the detail and soundstage that the K1000's are famous for are all there. Tremendous air and spaciousness, not a trace of sibilance so far, and plenty of bass (within the limits of the K1000).

Lots more music to listen to, but early returns are favorable. Really quite incredible when I stop to think about it. This thing looks cheap, feels cheap, is cheap, but sounds terrific.

Dying to have other adventurous K1000 owners give it a try - just think about it - use 8 AA batteries and bring along a pcdp, iPod, or the like, and you are good to go.
post #2 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by agile_one
Dying to have other adventurous K1000 owners give it a try - just think about it - use 8 AA batteries and bring along a pcdp, iPod, or the like, and you are good to go.
I would LOVE to see pictures of people wearing their K1000 portably...
post #3 of 97
Sounds like the making of an outstanding travelling rig, especially those overnight business trips.
post #4 of 97
What amp were you using for the K1000s before? Can you compare? If this is any good, I might have to snatch up a pair of K1000s...
post #5 of 97
Some people are afraid this would be too bright. How is the brightness compared to what you've used before?
post #6 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lan
Some people are afraid this would be too bright. How is the brightness compared to what you've used before?
Good question, lan, and something I was concerned with also. Thus my mention of "no sibilance yet".

It's still too early to tell, and to be fair, I will need to do some a-b tests vs my normal K1000 power source, the speaker outs of my Acurus A200 power amp. That's for another evening, but so far, I have been very pleasantly surprised.

Every so often tonight I'd find myself thinking, "this is a little thin", but just about then, a kick drum note will boom in, or a good bassline from a standup bass will get laid down, and I have to revise my opinion.

There is no question about the detail and soundstage, though, they are for real.
post #7 of 97
I've posted this question before with K1000 and Sonic Impact as a portable rig. Everyone who replied said digital amps have serious problems driving high ohms (compared to speakers' 4-8 Ohms) and the sound will be too bright. Come to think of it, I don't believe any of the responders actually had actually heard K1000 with Sonic Impact!

But now I might have to pick up the Sonic Impact for my second portable Rig.

BTW, that's not stock K1000 cable I see in the picture, is it? If so, the little "thinness" can instantly be vanquished with some wire upgrade IMO.
post #8 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
... Snip ...
BTW, that's not stock K1000 cable I see in the picture, is it? If so, the little "thinness" can instantly be vanquished with some wire upgrade IMO.
Yes, that is just the stock K1K cable. I also have a Stefan Audio Arts cable, but didn't want to remove the banana plugs from that to use with the T-Amp.

Did I mention it was cheap? Only accepts bare wire for output. It would be easy to rip the guts out, then put into another case with proper I/O (RCA instead of mini stereo for input, and XLR for the K1000 output).

Go for it, Jon L - you only have $30 to lose.
post #9 of 97
Hi there. Nice review. Now, if someone tries this amp with Grado cans I'll be a very happy man. Any volunteers?
post #10 of 97
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onix
Hi there. Nice review. Now, if someone tries this amp with Grado cans I'll be a very happy man. Any volunteers?
Onix ... not sure how that would work out, as the T-Amp is intended for speakers, not headphones. The outputs are spring loaded bare wire terminals like the kind used on low end stereo receivers. This is fine for K1000's, as they are designed to be driven by a power amplifier.

I suppose at $30 it's worth a try, since the Grados are only 32 ohms. One would need to be gentle with the volume knob, though, as there is up to 15 watts of juice there, and Grados probably max out at 1/10th or less of that.
post #11 of 97
*insert bad memories of plugging in sony buds into a 100 watt fender bassman amp*

Yeah, you don't want to do that. 15 watts may not get you the flaming pile of plastic that it got me, but it can't be healthy for your grados.
post #12 of 97
Hi agile one,
Thnx for the brief review! Keep us posted with new findings of k1k/sonic impact combo! I'm wandering if SI is safe for headphones like k501/hd580 which are juice hungry?
post #13 of 97
Gene, I assume I could use this with my ipod line out and a pair of 6 ohm satellite speakers for an office rig. What do you think? I used to use a powerwave but I gave that to my son for his computer set up.
post #14 of 97
the t-amp was sensational for awhile, and now i think it's on the verge of being generally accepted as a landmark in the price/performance ratio. i mean, this really "changes things" big time. don't worry though, someone will soon figure out how to do $500 worth of mods to this little plastic box and the "sorry about your wallet" welcome will keep on keepin on

i have the t-amp sitting lonely on my desk right now. bought it from ecost.com ($20 + shipping). i'll be recieving my axiom m3ti speakers in a couple days, and i'll be sure to post my impressions.

idealy, a 4-ohm impendance speaker with high efficiancy (90db or more) would be exactly right. however, i've heard very very good reaviews with 8 ohm speakers as well. my axioms are 8ohm 93db efficient so we'll just have to wait and see
post #15 of 97
5 bucks says there'll be a t-amp dedicated website within a month (mods, mods and more mods)
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