K1000: a direct upgrade to the K601?
Sep 11, 2009 at 6:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Landis

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I love my K601s, but curiosity is an ever growing issue with me.

The love I have for my K601s is pushing me to the point where I want to buy a second pair just to have as a backup in case mine break down at some point or if they go out of production. My question is if the K1000s are comparable to the organic presentation of sound from the K601s.

From what I understand, the K701/K702s are similar but more artificial sounding and their sound stage reflects that as well. I find that the amount of bass on the K601s are just right, which I wouldn't want to risk giving up for the K701s. Of course the gap from $200 to $1000+ is a little steep for the jump from a K601 to a K1000, but it gives me an idea of what I might be looking at down the road if my curiosity gets the better of me.

Any insight on the matter would be greatly appreciated!
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 6:29 AM Post #2 of 17

Sherwood

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The K1000s are far more transparent than the K601. I'm not sure what you mean by "organic", though.

Do keep in mind, however, they really benefit from extremely powerful amps.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:12 AM Post #3 of 17

gevorg

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No, they're very unique headphones with no direct upgrade over anything.

Think small speakers very close to your ears. Not touching. Adjustable.
k1000smile.gif
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:19 AM Post #4 of 17

estreeter

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I dont think you are comparing apples with apples. K1000 are mentioned here in the same breath as Stax and other exotica - the 601 is back in the mid-fi pack. Nothing wrong with that, but they just arent in the same class.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:36 AM Post #5 of 17

Uncle Erik

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The K-601 is a good headphone - I finally got a chance to hear one and I liked it a lot. Almost enough to buy one, but I'm trying to cut back.
wink.gif


However, the K-1000 is a different beast altogether. The presentation is very close to speakers and have a much more open sound. I think the K-1000 has a more natural and neutral sound, but I didn't compare them directly.

That being said, even if the K-1000 is different, there's a very good chance you'll fall for them, too.
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Lots of people have. If you take that route, be prepared to spend money on a proper amp. There are a few specialized headphone amps that drive them, however, I'm particular to speaker amps with the K-1000. For me, the K-1000 has never sounded better than when driven by the Moth. The Moth uses the 2A3, a wonderful DHT run single-ended. While they're not easy to come by, you can find any number of speaker amps running the 2A3, 300B or other delicious DHT tubes. Yes, that can send your wallet into hiding, but it will make your ears quite happy.

Even though
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 8:27 AM Post #6 of 17

Landis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sherwood /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The K1000s are far more transparent than the K601. I'm not sure what you mean by "organic", though.

Do keep in mind, however, they really benefit from extremely powerful amps.



By organic, I mean true to life as opposed to artificial sounding. The K601s sound like speakers projecting melodic sex and since the K1000s are literally more like speakers, I'm hoping for more of the good stuff.

I understand the amp requirements, however, according to HiFlight and HeadphoneAddict, the Travagan's Red makes a decent K1000 backup and would benefit even more with a Travagan's Black PS unit. If I did aim for the K1000s, then chances are I would look into an amp upgrade a little down the road.

Estreeter; it doesn't matter to me if they're mentioned in the same breath as secret agent ninjas that can shoot lasers out of their eyes! I mean that less offensively and more sarcastic-bad-joke like. There's nothing that stops a high-end headphone sharing characteristics with a mid-range headphone!
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 8:28 AM Post #7 of 17

Comfy

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The K1000 is not a direct upgrade to the K601. It's an upgrade from any dynamic and shares more sonic similarities with electrostatic headphones. But it's also an extremely demanding piece of equipment.

The K1000 is like a Formula 1 car, while the K601 is like a production model luxury sedan.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 10:16 AM Post #8 of 17

estreeter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Landis /img/forum/go_quote.gif

Estreeter; it doesn't matter to me if they're mentioned in the same breath as secret agent ninjas that can shoot lasers out of their eyes! I mean that less offensively and more sarcastic-bad-joke like. There's nothing that stops a high-end headphone sharing characteristics with a mid-range headphone!



Take a breath, Landis - of all the people I have worked hard to deliberately provoke in the last 24 hours, you are NOT one of them. I own the K601, and I like them, but I dont try to compare them to the headphones in the next echelon : as others have said here, its just not a valid or worthwhile comparison, regardless of the fact that they were both made by the same company. Their differences will greatly outweigh their similarities.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM Post #9 of 17

Comfy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Landis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There's nothing that stops a high-end headphone sharing characteristics with a mid-range headphone!


Oh, they do share characteristics. Both have been manufactured by AKG, and both reproduce sound. Both have a headband and two drivers.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 3:06 PM Post #11 of 17

robm321

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pearljam5000 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's an upgrade over everytything.


QFT.

I think it would be worth the plunge if you like the 601 sound. Every headphone has a signature that can be lost by moving to a new headphone.

For example, the GS-1000 tends to not do well when comparing or A/B ing. There are more technically accurate phones, but the GS-1000 signature which brings the music to life more like speakers do can't be duplicated by moving to a more accurate phone. That's why many of us have more than one phone.

So, you may lose something in the upgrade, but overall the K-1000 is a monumental phone that I think is worth it... if you make the investment in upstream gear.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM Post #12 of 17

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Landis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I understand the amp requirements, however, according to HiFlight and HeadphoneAddict, the Travagan's Red makes a decent K1000 backup and would benefit even more with a Travagan's Black PS unit. If I did aim for the K1000s, then chances are I would look into an amp upgrade a little down the road.


I'd really look into a speaker amp for the K-1000. If you look at the manual, AKG clearly tells you to use a speaker amp with an output of 8W or better. I've always found the K-1000 to sound its best when run from a speaker amp. If you're trying to save money, there are plenty of inexpensive used power amps on Audiogon.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:17 PM Post #13 of 17

Shike

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Comfy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The K1000 is like a Formula 1 car, while the K601 is like a production model luxury sedan.


I'm going to have to disagree. The K601 is like an F1 and the K1000 is like an aerobatic airplane. Both can do some really cool stuff the other can't do
biggrin.gif
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:26 PM Post #14 of 17

greenhorn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd really look into a speaker amp for the K-1000. If you look at the manual, AKG clearly tells you to use a speaker amp with an output of 8W or better. I've always found the K-1000 to sound its best when run from a speaker amp. If you're trying to save money, there are plenty of inexpensive used power amps on Audiogon.


Exactly. A speaker amp (a Marantz from the '70s) makes the K1000 sing.

Or the SAC dedicated amp.
 

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