Amp for AKG K701
Oct 2, 2010 at 8:02 PM Post #31 of 53

Jibbie

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I've researched an amp for my K701 for a long time now, and the consensus has consistently been that the Matrix M-Stage is one of the best budget SS amps available.  If you stretch your budget a bit, you can afford one.  They are usually around the 250 - 270 price range on ebay.  I'm ordering mine soon, and will post impressions.  Search for the Matrix M-Stage review thread, and you'll find plenty of people who swear by this amp.
 
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM Post #32 of 53

mitchb

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The little Dot Mk V might be interesting to try. I had one of these once and I had a pair of 701's but not at the same time. My instinct tells me this might work.
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 9:11 PM Post #33 of 53

Jibbie

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I would be very curious to see how the LD MKV does with the K701.  The was the other amp I was seriously considering against the K701
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 10:00 PM Post #34 of 53

meltdown100

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Found the perfect thread - I just bought a used pair of K701s.  I've spent some hours scouring opinions in here to figure out which amp I should buy or build to make them really shine.  These seem to be considered good choices for pairing with the K701:  The Purity Audio KICAS (or Caliente), the X-Can V8, the CTH (diy), and the M3 (diy), Shanling PH-100.
 
I can't decide - but I can recommend for the DIYer who needs a DAC, that the AMB y1y2 sounds awesome and didn't cost that much to build (around $200 I think).  I'm actually tempted to build either the CTH or M3 next, especially since they're supposed to be good with the K701s.  They are both supposed to be killer amps with a lot of headphones actually, especially the M3 which is selling used in the forum for around $400.
 
I know kind of made a weird choice in the K701s because I'm a rock/blues/metalhead, what I've noticed on my current rig is that they sound awesome when the recording is good, and sound pretty awful on bad recordings, they are not forgiving.  But I know without the right amp I haven't even really heard these yet.
 
Oct 3, 2010 at 6:06 AM Post #35 of 53

Vezor

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I'm afraid The Matrix M-Stage does not have enough power to please the 701's.
But when it's that cheap, i will seriously consider it.
 
meltdown100, I am actually building a DAC, the Opus.
I will use it togheter with the amp I'm getting.
 
Oct 3, 2010 at 6:50 AM Post #36 of 53

BournePerfect

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Quote:
I'm afraid The Matrix M-Stage does not have enough power to please the 701's.
But when it's that cheap, i will seriously consider it.
 
meltdown100, I am actually building a DAC, the Opus.
I will use it togheter with the amp I'm getting.

I'm sorry but that seriously flies in the face of about a thousand people on this forum who claim just the opposite based on first hand experience. Care to clarify?

 
 
Oct 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM Post #37 of 53

Vezor

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Quote:
I'm sorry but that seriously flies in the face of about a thousand people on this forum who claim just the opposite based on first hand experience. Care to clarify?

 


I'm sorry, I meant that i am worried that that amp does not have enough power, I didnt mean that I know it couldnt drive 701. Well, in that case, I might just go for the M-stage...
 
Oct 3, 2010 at 6:33 PM Post #38 of 53

Jibbie

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The Matrix M-Stage pushes 400mw at 60ohms, which is right around where the k701 sits.  400mw is definitely enough to drive the AKGs with authority.
 
Oct 3, 2010 at 7:45 PM Post #39 of 53

rogueassasin312

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I was going to purchase the canamp but now my decision is siding with the matrix. It costs less and some reviews are saying that it sounds better aswell. Yay for savings!!
 
Oct 6, 2010 at 7:56 AM Post #40 of 53

drez

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to throw another spanner in the works, in retrospect, the Burson did not really make the k701 any warmer - it just refined the sound a bit, reducing sibilance and improving bass impact slightly.  I reckon the Burson is actually a bit of a risk - if you find you don't like how it matches the k701 you don't really have anywhere to go as it uses discrete opamps.  With a tube amp you can always roll tubes to adjust the sound.
 
Oct 6, 2010 at 8:09 AM Post #41 of 53

meltdown100

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I just picked up a Purity Audio K.I.C.A.S. / Caliente amp.  Solid state, very well reviewed overall and I've seen a few reviews indicating it pairs great with the K701.  Fairly inexpensive at $300 Canadian, but I was able to get one used from another head-fier.  I'll post impressions on how it sounds with the K701s after I get it, hopefully by Friday or so.
 
Oct 6, 2010 at 10:19 AM Post #42 of 53

Vezor

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Interestning Drez, I am looking for something that increases the bass more than slightly. So you wouldn't recommend the Burson for me?
 
I'm looking forward to reading the impressions meltdown, I just checked out the amp, loooks interstning : )
 
Oct 7, 2010 at 9:58 AM Post #43 of 53

drez

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Now you have the k701 I reckon definitely audition as many amps as possible.  its much better than losing money if you have to sell the equipment later.  

If you can't audition the Burson you'll never know if its better or worse than, say, the Heed Canamp, and you'll never know if it brings about the changes in the sound you are looking for.
 
A good tube amp on the other hand can be tube rolled which i reckon reduces the risk slightly, but might cost more than a good SS.

Also keep an eye on the second hand section of head-fi: theres heaps of amps and sources on there.
 
Oct 9, 2010 at 2:19 AM Post #44 of 53

meltdown100

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My K.I.C.A.S / Caliente arrived today, I've spent the past few hours listening to it.  I wish I could offer more a comparative evaluation but other than a cheap Bravo hybrid amp that I got on ebay I haven't tried anything else yet with the K701.
 
In short, I find the detailed reviews by some of the other forum members (Skylab) to be right on the money when they describe the sound.  It sounds great, very clean and balanced.  Bass is stellar with the K701s, I mean really stellar delivery, tight, deep - but never boomy or overpowering.  The mids and highs are also outstanding, very rich and detailed, well-presented.  I listened to a variety of (better recording quality) stuff, all in ALAC from my PC (Foobar), piped into a Gamma2 DAC via optical, and then in to the K.I.C.A.S.  My impression is that I could probably spend hours listening to this without fatigue, it is so clean and natural sounding.
 
My only observation, which could be considered negative, was that I was almost able to put the volume at 100% without it getting unbearably loud.  While it certainly drives the K701s well, it doesn't seem to have a lot of juice to spare.  This has been commented on in previous threads, and was specifically observed when paired with K701s.  It was sufficiently loud enough for me, though, and stayed smooth all the way up to full volume, but this did surprise me and is worth mentioning.  I think it is just loud enough, but for some, additional room to go on the volume knob might be desired.
 
I am very, very happy with this amp.  I feel that it was a bargain for the price, too.  I'd highly recommend it.     
 
Nov 3, 2010 at 12:56 PM Post #45 of 53

thk3421

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I recently listened to my k701s on a WA3+ and although it was an improvement over my Total Airhead, it didn't change the bass levels so much that I wouldn't actually prefer a different headphone altogether.
 

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