AKG K1000 with Monarchy SM-70 Pro
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Orpheus

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hi. just thought i'd share my impression of a solid state amp for the AKG K1000: the Monarchy SM-70 Pro.

...at first i bought the non-pro version, but it had light humming problems. probably not a problem with speakers, but with headphones, it's really annoying... so it was exchanged for the Pro. i still had to lift the ground, but Mr. Poon of Monarchy insisted that since this amp's so well built, safety will not be compromised. so... with the ground lifeted, the amp is DEAD silent. no noise at all!

sound?--well, admittedly, it's a little harsh sounding on some recordings that are high-frequency heavy. ...like some dance or electronica records. a good tube amp with some roll-off of highs might be a little better suited to the k1000 for those musics. but.... now i tried listening to more natural type sounding records... like Tori Amos... and I have to say, these headphones are quite convincing!--sounds like speakers jammed up your ears... in a good way of course. the sound's very natural.

now, i can't tell if the amp was bright, or the headphones on those electronica recordings... but either way... after some longer listening periods, i'm getting used to the sound. and i think that the combo of the AKG K1000 + Monarchy SM-70 Pro is very good. very detailed and convincing. it definately doesn't sound as warm as the HD600 + MG Head... but it does sound very much like really good loudspeakers.
 
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wallijonn

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thanks for the comments. unfortunately i can't afford $800 for an amp right now, so i'm looking into a Crown DC60, Crown DC 150 or a Carver 1.5. Yamahas supposedly are too tight sounding. Probably after your tubes burn in it'll mellow out some. And of course there's tube rolling...

you'll find that you have to turn down the volume on some recordings because if it gets too high some recordings will sound harsh. the problem is that headphones are equalized to slope down the treble and the k1000's are unequalised - they'll play everything the way speakers would.
 
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Orpheus

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well, that's a good thing to me... i think these things make great monitoring devices!--i mean for mixing and stuff. they combine both the good attributes of headphones and loudspeakers. ...it's like getting a pair of Genelecs or Dynaudios for the price of your NS-10s.

but you know, you're right... sometimes it's a little bright, and i gave to turn it down so it doesn't hurt my ears. but again, on acoustic recordings, the sound is still very natural.

i'm listening to them now.... and Tori Amos is wailing (whining) in my head... in a strangely pleasurable way. heh he...
 
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Orpheus

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oh, and by the way... thought the amp does retail for $980, and probably is sold that high in some audiophile shops... you can buy it directly from Monarchy brand new for $680. they sell all their stuff at a 30% discount if you buy direct. dunno why... but they do. they also offer a 30 day money back guarantee... so you got nothing to lose.

and as a sloid-state amp, most reviewers say that it is has a warmer sound... though frequency response charts would suggest almost flat response all the way to 20khz.
 
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wallijonn

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O, you may want to speak to Greg Freeman. He uses a sub to complement the k1000's.

when i went over to his house i figured he would set up a nice little 1 foot cube subwoofer. the sucker was like 3 feet high by 4 feet wide by 2 feet deep!

he wants to make his own subwoofer - so that it's optimised for the k1000 (crossed over at about 50Hz - 70Hz @ 18db/octave). he wants it so that you can strap it behind your listening chair and be at about ear level.

remember - the cleaner the sound, the more you want to turn it up.


oh, btw, gerG wants to construct a listening room that is completely soundproof - just so that he can hear his music. bet you it will have a snaking hall - no doors directly leading out. and it will be padded with sound absorbing material.

acoustic guitars sound awesome on them babies don't they? when i first heard America's Complete Hits, after about 30 seconds I said to him, "looks like i'm going to have to find a different recording of this," because the flaws were sooo evident. if you listen to something like aha's "everything shines on t.v.," you'll really notice things like reverb and decay.

you lucky sob, i'm trying like mad to get my k1000's by picking them up - but the seller hasn't responded to my emails in two days. wonder if she's away for the holidays? i don't think i want to wait two weeks to get them.
 
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Orpheus

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heh he... yeah, Greg's cool. i exchanged some letters with him. he's really into his speakers, and apprently is quite knowledgeable about the art of speaker building too. sent him a copy of my music too--glad there's someone out there with taste! heh he.

but the concept of having a loudspeaker augment a headphone sounds counterproductive to me. the reason you want a headphone is to avoid the problems of loudspeakers. and if you listen to loudspeakers, you don't need headphones. i'd just feel stupid sitting there with headphones, and having a loudspeaker blasting me from behind. it's like when you're pumping the music when you don't like what your chick is screaming at you. you know what i mean?

yeah, i got subs here... if i gotta do it... i will. but not 'till you force me.


(but a sub just for the k1000?--that's pretty interesting. i might want to hear that just for the sake of it.)
 
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wallijonn

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well, with the k1000's when she screams at you, you'll be able to hear her.

and the sub will NOT be very loud. since it's so close all you ave to do is adjust for a comparable sound level. the closer it is, the less volume it needs. that's the reason why he's making a portable sub. believe me, listen to a few recordings with it and it'll be a permanent fixture.

just got a reeply from the seller. i'm hoping she's opentomorrow. that way i can drive for about 3 hours and pick them up myself. otherwise if i send the check tomorrow, it won't get there until tuesday, she'll ship them out wednesday, and i won't get them until the next monday. damn!
 
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