Can I ask for a "list" of amps in the $200-$300 range?
Nov 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

2enty3

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More specifically, I'm just looking to weigh as many options for a new amp as possible. Of course I'm not asking anyone here to list every amp in the world in that range, but hopefully a brief list with reputable/popular amps. Tube or SS is no difference to me, since I will most likely end up researching any and all amps that are suggested to me anyways.
 
To be even more specific, I've got a NFB-12 that I am using as both a DAC and an amp. There are no problems with the amp portion, I am simply looking for an amp out of curiosity. Seeing how I can change/improve the sound on my headphones. This setup will also solely be used with my pair of K701's. I plan to have my future setup looking like this:
 
PC->NFB-12 DAC->*AMP*->AKG K701
 
Now doing a bit of searching on forums, with the somewhat hard to use search feature, I have so far only come across the Matrix M-stage, which happily sits within my budget. However, I feel it is a bad idea to buy the M-stage without finding other competitors first. Kind of like buying the first car that happens to run and is in your budget. Hence, I come to you guys.
 
Nov 15, 2012 at 11:54 PM Post #2 of 7

dscythe

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matrix m-stage apparently has good synergy with them, i plan on getting the m-stage and a pair of k702's when i get the cash. Theres also a massdrop on it right now, so it can be had for cheap if we get enough people:
http://massdrop.com/matrix-headphone-amp
 
I cant make a list myself but ive also read good things for the schiit asgard, same price range, also apparently good with the k701s. Not a huge amount of info but i hope it helps 
smily_headphones1.gif

 
Nov 16, 2012 at 8:15 AM Post #4 of 7

MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
The AMP of the NFB12 is very capable and frankly more poewrful than most other units you'll be looking at in this price range. The K701 is relatively low impedance and it's sensitivity is weird, so it takes some amplification, but not much, to be dynamic at your listening volume. The NFB12 supplies it ridiculous amounts of power. All you're going to do, amp-wise, is change synergy and get a different combination of house signatures together. I would not look at more solid state amps really, you have one, maybe explore hybrid tubes and tubes.
 
Consider these:
 
Little Dot I+. It outputs tons of power to lower impedance ratings, the higher up MK series are not better for low impedance, they're worse for low impedance, so the I+ is the one to go with for this particular headphone. It's a hybrid tube, but still tubey. You might like it with the K701 to add some warmth.
 
Schiit Lyr. Try and get one used at the top end of your budget. It's a hybrid tube amp. Very transparent and pretty warm, and very powerful, it will handle every headphone except electrostats. Think of the LDI+ above, but on steroids squared.
 
MUSE. It's a DIY (though they build it for you) inexpensive tube amp, for cheap, usually $50~60. Nothing crazy good, but it's something to play with if you want to explore tubes without dropping a few hundred dollars.
 
Very best,
 
Nov 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM Post #5 of 7

2enty3

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Quote:
Schiit Asgard perhaps?

I was thinking about that, however is it seems to have mixed reviews...
 
Headfonia preferred the sound of the asgard compared to the valhalla and lyr, whereas many on head-fi seem to prefer the lyr for it's similar yet refined sound signature.
 
So far I seem to have ruled out the Valhalla, which has been described as being of a colder nature, something I'm not looking for.
 
Quote:
Heya,
 
The AMP of the NFB12 is very capable and frankly more poewrful than most other units you'll be looking at in this price range. The K701 is relatively low impedance and it's sensitivity is weird, so it takes some amplification, but not much, to be dynamic at your listening volume. The NFB12 supplies it ridiculous amounts of power. All you're going to do, amp-wise, is change synergy and get a different combination of house signatures together. I would not look at more solid state amps really, you have one, maybe explore hybrid tubes and tubes.
 
Consider these:
 
Little Dot I+. It outputs tons of power to lower impedance ratings, the higher up MK series are not better for low impedance, they're worse for low impedance, so the I+ is the one to go with for this particular headphone. It's a hybrid tube, but still tubey. You might like it with the K701 to add some warmth.
 
Schiit Lyr. Try and get one used at the top end of your budget. It's a hybrid tube amp. Very transparent and pretty warm, and very powerful, it will handle every headphone except electrostats. Think of the LDI+ above, but on steroids squared.
 
MUSE. It's a DIY (though they build it for you) inexpensive tube amp, for cheap, usually $50~60. Nothing crazy good, but it's something to play with if you want to explore tubes without dropping a few hundred dollars.
 
Very best,

 

Well no way, I always thought my NFB was standard. I didn't know where the norm stood for amplification, considering this is my first and only desktop amp. And I do understand that the NFB-12 is more than capable of driving my headphones, but like you said, I am interested in playing around with the different sounds the amp could produce.
 
The Lyr does see mto be my best bet, however it is incredibly pricey, even used.
 
Nov 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM Post #7 of 7

chrislangley4253

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Gotta toss in the ODAC and O2.

I picked my O2 over the Matrix M-Stage. But, that's just me. I didn't think one was better than the other, I couldn't tell a difference. So, I sold the big bulky one that has no published measurements and that I could get more money for.
 

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