ATH-AD2000-owners: which amp to take?
Mar 26, 2006 at 4:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

leonid05

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Hi all,

this is my first post here, hope I`m posting it at the correct place.

I need advice for the Audio-Technica AD2000, which I tend to use with the headphone-output of my stereo-amp.
I made my decision towards the AD2000 due to the excellent reviews and opinions that I`ve read here, they aren`t easy to get here in Europe, and I`m still waiting for them.
Thanks to all the owners for their reviews and opinions on this headphone!

Think about getting me a headphone amp as well, which seems to be a bit difficult, since as far as I`ve read here, the AD2000 works fine with almost anything.

Due to certainly positive synergy effects I`d prefer to take an AT-amp as well, but unfortunately the only ones available here seem to be the DHA3000 and the HA20. The first one is way to expensive (don`t need a DAC anyway), the second is probably not good enough to improve the AD2000`s performance over the output of a usual stereo-amp?
Then there would be the new HA5000, but I have zero informations about how to get it and it`s price.

So I´d be pretty happy about any suggestions by you folks of which amp would work fine with the AD2000.
My music is mostly pop, rock, electronics, bassists, and all kind of anything.

Thank you all in advance!

smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 5:24 PM Post #3 of 40

leonid05

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Welcome to head-fi, leonid05, and sorry about your wallet.
Apropos wallet, what's your budget?



Hi!

No need to be sorry about my wallet (not sure what you mean?).

About the budget:
Not really limited, only by "reason" (if you get the drill).

I`d consider a headphone-amp more expensive than i.g. 700 Euro (about 800$) somehow "insane", but then again, the AD2000 isn`t exactly cheap either, and I think "improvement" for this beauty has more priority for me than the price.

To make it short: I`m not sure about the budget.

The HA20 is about 150 Euro here, and if that would be a nice amp, it would be fine for me as well...
wink.gif
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 8:17 PM Post #4 of 40

nsuttitinagul

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I'm on a somewhat tight budget, so I run the AD2000 out of the Meier Corda Aria, off its built-in DAC. It sounds great, cleaning up my source, filling out the bass nicely, and giving punch and depth to almost everything that comes out. Plus, the crossfeed is simply fantastic with the AD2000's already incredible sense of space and air.

That's my personal recommendation, but doubtless there are others. Given the headphone is by nature a tad bright, it really depends on what character you want out of the headphone. It may be possible with a warmer setup with greater bass emphasis to push the AD2000s darker, but I never felt that they were harsh with anything to begin with.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 12:06 AM Post #5 of 40

cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leonid05
Hi!
No need to be sorry about my wallet (not sure what you mean?).



It's the traditional greeting for newcomers here, and it's also tradition that no one takes this warning seriously until it's too late.
very_evil_smiley.gif

Back to the topic.
You didn't get many answers to your question yet.The ATH-AD 2000 is extremely rare here, there are more members around owning an $10000 Orpheus system.
I did listen through an AD 2000 for a few hours recently, so my experience is limited.Amps at my disposal were a Grado RA-1 (~ 500 Euros), Lehmann BCL (~ 700 Euros), a Corda Aria (~ 425 Euros) and a Rudistor RP 31 (discontinued, about 580 Euros when it was new).All the brands are easily available in Europe.
The Grado was clearly inferior, all the others were good, more or less, but discernibly different.

The Aria was o.k., but a bit grainy in the treble.The AD-2000s are relatively treble heavy, at least compared to the european contenders like the Senn HD 650s or AKG K701s.Nothing wrong with it as long as the treble is smooth, and that's where the Aria failed.A bit, and compared to the other amps.The Aria isn't a bad amp at all.The bass was well defined and punchy though, and the Corda does provide a built-in crossfeed effect in case you are a fan of crossfeed.

The Lehmann did provide a smoother treble, but the bass seemed a bit lame.
A tiny bit, not much.The Lehmann is generally a very good and versatile amp.

My favorite was the Rudistor.Nice bass and a smooooth treble.Maybe too smooth for someone with different tastes, some like the treble more agressive.At first listen I even thought the treble might be rolled off, but after some critical listening I realized that it's all there, but no grain at all.
I just looked at the Rudistor website, the newer NX 01 (475 Euros) seems to be a very similar amp built into another case.The RP 31 came built into the same enclosure as the NX 02.

Here are some links :
Rudistor, Meier-Audio (Corda), Lehmann Black Cube Linear.

Generally in your quest for a matching amp you should look for an amp capable of driving low Z cans like your AT well, and that means lots of current.Most tube amps won't do the trick, and even some solid state amps are better suited for high impedance cans.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 5:21 AM Post #6 of 40

leonid05

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Thanks for the great replies and suggestions!
(Sorry that I didn`t get the introduction joke, my bad...).

You`ve got it perfectly right:
Since the AD2000 is already slightly "bright", I don`t need an amp who supports exactly that.
If in doubt, I`d prefer an amp which gives a slight addition of bass to the source, or at least has it`s strengths in bass-control. Is that what Rudistor would be good for?

Not so sure that the ATs need lots of current, according to what I`ve read here they are amp-uncritical, even working fine with ipods and such stuff (not my cup of tea), and the AT-amps aren`t power monsters either.
Am I confusing something?

I`ll think about some of the suggested amps, but still think about the AT-HA20 as well.
You know, synergies and stuff...

Thanks so far, further suggestions much appreciated!

smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 5:29 AM Post #7 of 40

socrates63

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You may want to PM Elephas (if he doesn't reply to this thread) to see what he thinks of the AD2000 + Lehmann BCL combo as he owns both. I believe he also recently purchased an AT amp.

I use my HR-2 with the AD2000, and I'm happy with the sound. I'm not anywhere near cosmo's or Elephas' level at describing what I hear so I won't try. I just prefer the AD2000 with the HR-2 than my Woo 3 tube amp.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 6:25 AM Post #9 of 40

cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EdipisReks
if you aren't averse to tubes, i would suggest a Singlepower PPX3 Slam. the PPX3 Slam is about the same price as the Black Cube Linear.


I guess you don't know much about Europe.
The Singlepower amp might cost about the same in the U.S., but don't forget the shipping costs and last but not least the socialist gang a.k.a. state.Those thugs do demand another 20 - 35 % (dependant on where in Europe you live).
In the end it doesn't matter.I bet the Singlepower amps are not ROHS compliant, and that means no way to import them legally into the EU after June 2006.
Besides of that a Singlepower amp might be good.I did have the opportunity to audition several PPX and MPX amps in the past, and they were definitely capable of driving low Z cans well.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 6:46 AM Post #10 of 40

cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by leonid05
Not so sure that the ATs need lots of current, according to what I`ve read here they are amp-uncritical, even working fine with ipods and such stuff (not my cup of tea), and the AT-amps aren`t power monsters either.
Am I confusing something?



My verbiage was a bit confusing.It's not a question of power.Low impedance/high sensitivity headphones can be driven to ear bleeding levels by any amp, but we are talking about sound quality and not volume here.
Generally speaking and simplified low impedance cans do need more amperage and less voltage for the same wattage than high impedance cans, and they need the amperage fast.Therefor there are amps better suited for high Z cans and amps better suited for low Z cans, and there are truly versatile amps.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 3:42 PM Post #11 of 40

leonid05

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Quote:

Originally Posted by socrates63
You may want to PM Elephas (if he doesn't reply to this thread) to see what he thinks of the AD2000 + Lehmann BCL combo as he owns both. I believe he also recently purchased an AT amp.


That`s what I did, hope he replies.
By using the search function a few days ago I`ve read some reports by him, very interesting.
Seems like he owns the HA5000 as well (what a beauty!), but he seems to think that the AD2000 doesn`t take profit from it the way the W5000 does.

Wonder if he owns the HA20 as well?


@ cosmopragma:
Thanks for the clarification.
I`ll check out the Rudistor that you suggested.

smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 3:48 PM Post #12 of 40

leonid05

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EdipisReks
if you aren't averse to tubes, i would suggest a Singlepower PPX3 Slam. the PPX3 Slam is about the same price as the Black Cube Linear.


Thanks for the suggestion!
I`m far from being averse to tubes.

Actually, I`m somehow interested in this beauty:
http://www.china-highend-hifi.com/prod0112341223.htm

Unfortunately I have no idea how it sounds/performs...

smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 7:30 PM Post #13 of 40

Elephas

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I think the AD2000 sounds good with most amplifiers I've tried it with. Portable amps such as the Hornet and SuperMacro-3v3 do well. I've also had good results with a Lehmann Black Cube Linear, as well as store demos of the CEC HD53R and Sugden Headmaster.

I agree the AD2000 is slightly bright. It does well with the Lehmann BCL, a smooth-sounding SS amp, and doesn't become sibilant. With the Corda Aria, the AD2000 sounds more energetic and punchier. Its bass seemed stronger with the Corda Aria than either the Lehmann BCL or Corda HA2 MkII SE, based on a brief A-B-C comparison.

The AD2000 isn't as difficult to match as the W5000 or W2002, and can achieve excellent results with most amps. Based on my limited experience, the AD2000 sounds best when paired with the AT-HA5000. It retains its forward-sound, but soundstage widens and it becomes even more airy-sounding. Tonality shifts slightly, and the sound of instruments become more natural-sounding. This was surprising to me the first time I tried it with the HA5000, and I was puzzled by the different sound of instrument tones. After listening for a while, I realized that this was the way the instruments and the AD2000 was supposed to sound, and not the way I was used to before with the Lehmann BCL.

Yes, I don't think the AD2000 improves as much as the W5000 does with the HA5000, but that is because the W5000 improves by a very significant amount.
 
Mar 27, 2006 at 8:10 PM Post #14 of 40

leonid05

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Hi Elephas,

Thanks for the great reply!

I`m a bit surprised to read how good the AD2000 sounds with the HA5000.
Talking about synergies...

May I add another question?

From what I`ve read here, people tend to slightly disagree about the bass qualities of the AD2000, for some it`s excellent, for others it`s a bit shy.
(I seem to remember you belonging rather to the first group).

Anyway, for me it seems to be a quite good idea to look for an amp that somehow "supports" the bass, at least a little bit. And since the W5000 isn`t exactly a strong bass performer either (at least according to what I`ve read)- would you say that the HA5000 is somehow "supporting" the bass to improve the W5000`s performance?

And: If the HA5000 doesn`t do so, which amp would you know who does?
(Do you have experiences with tube amps/AD2000?)

Ahh, sorry, that were three additional questions...
biggrin.gif


Thanks a lot!

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Mar 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM Post #15 of 40

socrates63

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma
Generally speaking and simplified low impedance cans do need more amperage and less voltage for the same wattage than high impedance cans, and they need the amperage fast.Therefor there are amps better suited for high Z cans and amps better suited for low Z cans, and there are truly versatile amps.


Can you list some recommendations for the three amp categories you cited? I'm particularly interested in Singlepower PPX/MPX3 and GS-1. Do you know which categories the HR-2 and Woo 3 fit in?
 

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