Driving K501's: PIMETA+TREAD, Little Dot 2, or something else?
Feb 27, 2006 at 9:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

Adol

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2004
Posts
31
Likes
0
Right now, my main audio rig consists of a pair of AKG K501 headphones, an Audigy 2 Value, and a CMoy-type amplifier. The K501's are lovely; they have better stereo positioning than my old MDR-V6's, they have brilliant midrange and treble, and I honestly find their light but well-controlled bass quite nice. Contrary to popular opinion, I've never found the Audigy 2 to be terribly lacking compared to the AV-710, either.

The CMoy amplifier seems to be the weak link in this system. It doesn't have a real case, since I can't handle a drill to save my life, and it doesn't seem to have enough power to drive the K501's nicely. At low volume, they sound great, but upon being drive to higher levels, dynamics seem to vanish and sound imaging and overall quality seem to become blurry and muddy. Plus, the Panasonic pot tends to buzz from time to time, which drives me nuts.

I'd love to buy a Corda Aria or some other bit of industrial and electrical art, but I can't really afford to pay $450+ for an amp; if I had that much cash laying around, I would have bought K701's instead!
smily_headphones1.gif


I'm a bit torn between building a PIMETA and TREAD-based system or buying a Little Dot 2 amplifier, partially because I'm not entirely sure of the main differences between the two devices, and partially because I've never actually listened to a tube amplifier before. A PIMETA+TREAD configuration is cheaper than the Little Dot, op-amps don't burn out, and I'm a bit more confident in its ability to drive the inefficient AKG's well. On the other hand, the Little Dot 2 seems like it might offer better sound quality than even a higher-end PIMETA configuration.

Of course, if a Little Dot Micro or PA2v2, or even a high-end CMoy configuration will do the trick cheaper than the PIMETA or Little Dot 2, I'm always happy to save money.

To clump everything together, what's the best amp for K501 headphones that costs less than $150?
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 2:19 PM Post #2 of 3

hciman77

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Posts
2,890
Likes
12
I use a Portable Pimeta (AD8620 opamp) with my 501s and it is a very nice combination, I also use a MisterX M3 amp which is a bit pricier but does a wonderful job.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 10:30 PM Post #3 of 3

fewtch

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Posts
9,559
Likes
31
When I first tried my JMT Pimeta with K501s, I was like "meh..." but when I replaced the AD8620/10 opamps with OPA627 I was very impressed with the synergy between the amp and K501.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top