Amp for an AKG K501
May 13, 2008 at 5:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17


New Head-Fier
May 3, 2008
Been researching headphones and just forked out £103 on a K501, and now the search for an amp begins. Can I have some recommendations please? I've no idea what sort of price range I'm looking at to get the most out of my headphones. Am I looking at over £100 here?

I'm a bit lost, I've only just checked out wikipedia and discovered what DAC meant

Its to be used with a creative x-fi music card.

May 13, 2008 at 5:27 PM Post #2 of 17
I have the Meier Corda Opera and love it with my K501. This was my choice over the Ray Samuels HR-2.

According to Mr Arroyo the Grahm Slee Solo has wonderful synergy with the K501 as well.

You probably already know this particular phone needs a good amp to bring out its best.
May 13, 2008 at 6:41 PM Post #5 of 17
Would you consider building an amp? The AKG K-501 needs a good push to sound its best. A set of valves is preferable, as well. The best way to get a quality amp on a budget is to build one. It isn't as difficult as some make it out to be - anyone can do it and the DIY Forum has all the information and advice you could need.
May 14, 2008 at 12:58 AM Post #8 of 17

Originally Posted by ledzepploid /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the suggestions but those are all rather expensive, and some several times more than my headphones cost. I was looking for something around £100 max.

I loved what the Green Solo did with the AKG K501! However if you want to keep the cost under 100 BP's then I would suggest:

1. Used O1 Amp/Dac or its replacement the Octavart. Fantastic unit which can be bought as an Amp/Dac or simply as an Amp.
2. Used Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 and later do the PinkFloyd Mods
3. Used Little Dot Micro Tube

The fact that you are in GB should make getting a V2 the likely candidate. This because it would be easier to get it service by soemone like PinkFloyd.
May 14, 2008 at 3:26 PM Post #10 of 17
i'll try it again later tonight but i still think yarland p100 is very good with akgs. at least from k301, 400, 501 and 601. better than my darkvoice 337 and headfive. mostly importantly to the poster. i did get the amp plus ge tubes for under a hundred pounds. not sure if you can get it elsewhere. 700 hk dollors for the amp and 500 for the signal tubes.
May 17, 2008 at 1:41 PM Post #12 of 17
Ta for the recommendations. Got my k501's today. They sound great to me un amped (though im no audiophile), but on one classical guitar songs I had on it had problems with some small parts of it. I guess that's where the amp comes in?

I tried them out with a film as well, whilst watching Das Boot I was particularly impressed with the sound of the water gushing into the submarine.

Have I heard little of what the k501 can do though?

I have had a look at some of the recommendations thus far:

Yarland P100 - £220
far too expensive for me.
perreaux sxh1 - £200 on ebay
01 amp/dac = this one?. Not sure how much it is but I cant find any on the net for sale.
Musical Fidelity X-Can V2 - Are a lot closer to my budget, they all tend to sell for around £110-120.
Little Dot Micro Tube - Also viable at around £130 from China.
The little dot Mk 2 tends to go for around £100. Would prefer an amp without those things sat on top though (what are they?). I would only end up knocking them off my desk and breaking them.

Since I use my headphones solely on my pc through my x-fi music card, isn't there one particularly for use with pc's? What do you all think of this usb one?
May 18, 2008 at 3:18 AM Post #14 of 17

Originally Posted by ledzepploid /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The little dot Mk 2 tends to go for around £100. Would prefer an amp without those things sat on top though (what are they?). I would only end up knocking them off my desk and breaking them.

Those things on top are the tubes. They're not 'sitting' so much as they're plugged into sockets.
May 20, 2008 at 1:39 AM Post #15 of 17

Originally Posted by mrarroyo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
ledzepploid if you want an amp/dac look into the Octavart (previously the O1 amp/dac). There are quite a few satisfied users here, so do a search.

I auditioned the amp only, and it was very exciting. An amp with a friendly price that gave oomph to the K501's. Besides the plentiful bass, there was a hint of ease that only shows up in the likes of the beta22. Highly recommended in the solid state category

I would think about looking for a used darkvoice 336. I find that this amp (as well as other variations such as the singlepower extreme) give the 501's a much needed injection of body, liquidity, and smoothness. The midrange is already fantastic and tacking on some low end control and sweetness with the 6SN7 & 6080/6AS7G type amps makes for a very complete listening experience.

I personally used nos jan chatham 6080 and nos westinghouse 6SN7's with the 501 because they give the best control in the bass and add body without detracting at all.

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