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AKG K702 Amp that doesnt put the headphones to shame.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by onylink, Nov 27, 2011.
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  1. OnyLink
    I decided I am going to buy the AKG K702  shortly (probably cyber monday) however, from what I have read, the K702's require A LOT of power in order to do the headphones justice. I am looking for usb dac/amp. In order to serve the headphones justice what kinda usb dac/amp should I get?
    Note: Im not exactly sure HOW much power is needed. I know that e7/e9 combo is a popular combo for many headphones but would there be a better alternative choice? I also don't wanna spend the 400$ on the nuforce icon HDP.
     
  2. Saintly
    The E7/E9 drives them fine, IME.  Their amping requirements is overblown around here, I think.
     
     
  3. Zombie_X Contributor
    I have to disagree. The E9 amp is greatly overhyped for what it is and IMO sucks for amping anything above 32Ohms. I have a K701 on hand and it does a pretty terrible job with it. Everything sounds squashed and the soundstage is much smaller.
     
     
     
  4. tdockweiler

     
    Quote:


    WOW...I don't know what to say here. This is 100% opposite of my impression. IMO the E9 is actually quite bad for driving any small portable headphones. I think there's been lots of reviews that confirm this (The NWAVguy(?) website is one of them I believe). So bad that I just refuse to use most with them. Some Audio Technica stuff sounds good at least. What's especially bad is the people who say the E9 can't drive a 600 ohm headphone. That's nonsense. Not saying you should buy the E9 for one or that it gets my approval.
     
    I'm not a huge fan of the E9 and rarely use it. It's very good for the price. What do you expect for $100 or so? For the K702/K701 it was a massive upgrade over my Asgard (for the K702 ONLY!!). No kidding. But yes, the Asgard (version I had) was a very poor match for the K702. Supposedly it's been improved. No, the Asgard isn't better than the E9, but the E9 was a better match for AKG stuff.
     
    Biggest part I don't agree with is that I think it makes almost all of my headphones have an artificially huge soundstage. It actually makes my Q701 have less fuller mids and I don't like it as much. If this means, the E9 is less colored then so be it..BTW how the heck can an amp make a headphone's soundstage seem much larger? Isn't that considered coloring the sound a bit? I don't want to change amps and make it larger than it's supposed to be.
     
    BTW both jacks offer a slightly different sound to me. The 1/4" jack has the larger soundstage and the sound is much brighter. The smaller jack adds a bit of warmth and the soundstage seems smaller. Sounds a tad less clear. Maybe this is the jack which gave you the impression of a squashed sound with a smaller soundstage?
     
    Seriously, you're not comparing your $500+ amps to the E9 right? [​IMG]
     
    Not a fan of the E7 as a dac at all and I hated it with the E9.
     
    If there's an amp for $100 that's easily purchased in the USA and sounds great with the K702, please let us know.
     
  5. tdockweiler


    Quote:

    The E9 is enough to drive it just fine, but IMO the K702 deserves something even better. I'd suggest spending a bit more if you can. I've heard the Matrix M-Stage is a good match. I love it out of my Headroom Micro Amp, which drives it with ease. K702 is really easy to drive compared to the K601, K501 and K400. Best advice is to try many amps out with the K702 and find the one that sounds the best. I must have tried several amps before finding one that made it sound the best. M-Stage is supposed to be a warm sounding amp, so that may be a good match for it.
     
    Could have sworn I just saw the M-Stage new on sale (imported) for $199. Pretty amazing deal, but I haven't heard it yet. I prefer to buy made in the USA amps.
     
     
  6. Gwarmi
     
    Actually planning on seeing and auditioning for myself in a week or two the real limitations of the E9.
     
    Proper sit down audition with everything from a Shure 940, AKG Q701, HD600/650, LCD-2 and some
    big Beyers DT880/990 to finally see where it performs and where it falls over.
     
    Fiio don't do a great job of releasing detailed technical specs, we've all heard one along our travels but
    it would be good to sit down for an afternoon and give it the full, thorough run down.
     
    Way I see it, it's pretty important information for any Head-Fier considering this little amp that for
    the time being ~ stands alone in that price range, it deserves some credit.
     
  7. KyungMin
    I think the K701 sound great on my Audio-gd Sparrow..
     
  8. Saintly


    Quote:

    In terms of power, I'd say the Fiio E9 is pretty up there.  I never have the knob above 9 o'clock with my T1.
     
    A problem with the E9 is that it clips with the HRT MS II since its input can't handle the 2.25V of the MS II.
     
  9. tdockweiler


    Quote:

    Rarely had any harder to drive headphones sound awful with the E9. Maybe the K240 Sextett, but I hate that headphone anyway.
    I actually felt my HD-650 sounded better with the E9 than the Asgard, yet I prefer the HD-600 with the Asgard by far! Of course the HD-650 on the Micro Amp beat both.
    You'd think that my Asgard would be perfect with both HD-600 and HD-650! One thing I noticed about the E9 is that it's a very clear sounding amp. Might give the Asgard some competition there.
     
    One funny thing I also noticed is that I don't think the E9 is as neutral as everyone says. Some say it makes the mids of many headphones sound slightly more forward, but I don't know if I agree with that.
    Compared to the Asgard it does sound that may, but I don't think my Asgard drove the K702 well enough. I bet the signature of the E9 is closer to the E5 (which I like).
     
    To me it seems like when I connect any headphone to the E9 they're brighter than they normally are with any other amp. Adding the E7 was like a double whammy. Wonder why?
     
    I just think for those that don't have $200+ to spend on an amp, the E9 isn't bad. I think the E9 would be quite nice for the HD-600 and HD-650. Even more so than the K702!
     
    What's funny is that I actually bought the E9 for the old K702 I had. Made me love the headphone, but in the end I even upgraded to something even better that made even more improvements.
     
    One of these days I want to try that M-Stage to compare to my Micro Amp. Could have sworn they both had similar chips, but maybe not. Finding a headphone that seems to sound great with both Sennheiser AND AKG stuff is a bit difficult.
     
     
     
     
  10. Gwarmi


    Quote:


    Yeh it'll be interesting to spend 3 to 4 hours really getting down to the nitty gritty ~ keen to see how it handles
    a HD800 actually!
     
    Pity I won't have a Matrix M-Stage on hand, it would be good to get really detailed on their actual real world
    performance as those two amps hold the cards in the entry level amp camp.
     
  11. Gwarmi


    Quote:


    Maybe I'm biased but anyone who's heard them extensively will tell you it's a pretty nice match for either ~ Violectric [​IMG]
     
  12. tdockweiler


    Quote:


    Thanks for pointing that out! I haven't tried my HRT MS II with the E9 yet and I guess that's a good thing. Seems like a perfect match with my Micro Amp though.
    This combo might not be so good with the HD-650, but I'll have to try it.
     
    Strangely enough my Q701 sounds pretty good with my portable Airhead amp. Not suggested, but gets the job done. Somehow it seems like I remember that my old K701 gave me much more trouble with that amp.
    Back in the day when I was clueless I drove a K701 with a portable amp [​IMG] Wasn't too bad actually.
     
     
     
  13. chicolom

     
    Quote:


    I saw that NwAVguys blog as well.  He talks about the output impedance and basically says the E9 should suck with low ohm headphones and do better with higher ohm ones.
     

     
    Quote:


    I think you mean the 1/4" jack?  1/8" is the smaller one, and it has an added resistor thats supposed to shift the whole  frequency response down (warm it up).  The 1/8" jack is also 43 ohm output impedance, which is way high, and basically makes it hard to ever recommend using that jack over the 1/4" @ 10 ohms output impedance. 
     
    Both the Headfonia review of the E9 and the NwAVguy talks about the differences between the two jacks.
     
     
    I personally stick with the 1/4" jack with my Q701s.  Soundstage is definitely larger with E10 DAC to --> E9, than with my E10 alone.  I also noticed a little less mids, and more highs.  Again headfonia says the E10 alone is warm and has pretty full mids, so maybe the E9 is just removing that coloration?...
     
  14. vdub
    If you don't want to break the bank and want some have some fun rolling opamps, try Firestone Audio a try. I've used a Cute Beyond with the OPA627 for awhile with my K701's. Warmth and soundstage is retained and actually gives a little better midrange punch too.
     
  15. chicolom
    Speaking of the Matrix m-stage.  There is actually a new version of it out that includes a USB DAC!
     
    So that might be a good all-in-one box for the K702.
     
    http://tamaudio.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=36&product_id=108
    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&twu=1&u=http://www.matrix-digi.com/cpshow.asp%3Fpid%3D32&usg=ALkJrhg3hZA3itePh94b8MqDZ-bS1FRCzA
     
     
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