K701: Which better, the Aria or the PRII?
Mar 28, 2006 at 5:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

spinali

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Here are three highly regarded amps, both roughly the same price, both said to work well with the AKG-K701.

The Corda Aria has been documented time and again as being an exceptional match. On the other hand, at least one post gives high marks to the Pocket Reference II, and its variable bass gain is a nice plus when it comes to sculpting the sound. For that matter, the Woo Audio III (a tube amp) looks really attractive. I want to stay in this price range, if possible.

So, which is better? Or are they all about equal? Any anecdotal info?

Thanks - I'm near a purchase on this one....

basshead.gif
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 6:59 AM Post #2 of 12

sxr71

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spinali
Here are three highly regarded amps, both roughly the same price, both said to work well with the AKG-K701.

The Corda Aria has been documented time and again as being an exceptional match. On the other hand, at least one post gives high marks to the Pocket Reference II, and its variable bass gain is a nice plus when it comes to sculpting the sound. For that matter, the Woo Audio III (a tube amp) looks really attractive. I want to stay in this price range, if possible.

So, which is better? Or are they all about equal? Any anecdotal info?

Thanks - I'm near a purchase on this one....

basshead.gif




I haven't heard the Aria myself but I hear it is an excellent amp for the money especially.

I have heard the PR-II as I do from time to time as I own it. I think it is a very good amp and it is better IMHO than the Xin Supermini 3 which is my basis for comparison. Many people with more experience with headphone amps will say that it is the best portable they have heard and some comments even indicate that it rivals some good home amps.

I will tell you that the bass contour has been very useful to me, but not really on the K701. When I first got the K701, I couldn't believe it as they literally sounded to me as though the did not have any bass at all. In fact my non-audiophile friend who listened them told me this a week later and asked to listen to my Grados. I told him to try the k701s again, with only 15-20 hours of use they now had some real bass. In fact enough bass to my ears that I don't use the bass contour knob at all with the k701s because IMHO the phones don't need it.

However if you have a pair of ER-4Ss, I will say that bass contour on this amp is like a Godsend for those phones. They transform the ER-4S into a different beast altogther, the sound is far from the thin business-like sound that most people associate with the ER-4S. The sound becomes punchy and impactful while keeping that unreal ER-4S speed and definition. I really don't think anything can replicate the pairing of the PR-II with the ER-4S, it really must be heard.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:13 PM Post #3 of 12

spinali

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The two amps are rarely mentioned in the same breath, though they seem to be natural rivals. From my research:

The PRII:
- Portable
- Bass contour feature useful for some tracks, though the amp is said by some to have a "warm" sound
- Superb build and looks

The Meier:
- Varous output possibilities
- Noted synergy with the K701
- Stunning design

It is, in short, a toss-up. I could purchase a PRII and opt for a return if necessary, but only if all my other research options are closed.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:35 PM Post #4 of 12

Alu

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I'm also very interested in this. However I thought that the ARIA was long sold out since it was limited. I guess I was wrong wasn't I?

Anyways, time for more input on amps to use with 701.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 8:51 PM Post #5 of 12

sxr71

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alu
I'm also very interested in this. However I thought that the ARIA was long sold out since it was limited. I guess I was wrong wasn't I?

Anyways, time for more input on amps to use with 701.
smily_headphones1.gif





I think it was the introductory price that was limited. The amp should still be available.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 7:29 PM Post #7 of 12

Iostream

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I have not heard the PRII but I was looking at the Woo and the Aria when I purchased my K701s. My original thread is Here . As a result of that thread I got the Aria and couldn't be happier, it is an excellent piece of equipment, both sonically and aesthetically. I certainly do not feel that I am missing anything with this setup, and find myself listening constantly.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 9:33 PM Post #8 of 12

Alu

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iostream
I have not heard the PRII but I was looking at the Woo and the Aria when I purchased my K701s. My original thread is Here . As a result of that thread I got the Aria and couldn't be happier, it is an excellent piece of equipment, both sonically and aesthetically. I certainly do not feel that I am missing anything with this setup, and find myself listening constantly.


I feel pretty stupid not to have used the search function, and I'm well aware that I should.
tongue.gif

Anyhow, thanks a lot for this reference to your thread, and your own comment of course. This surely makes me confident about ordering an ARIA amp. I'm still e-mailing with Dr. Meier, who's also trying to make me consider some other headphones.
 
Mar 29, 2006 at 10:29 PM Post #9 of 12

Iostream

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alu
I'm still e-mailing with Dr. Meier, who's also trying to make me consider some other headphones.


I have to say I have been very happy with the K701s and they are pretty much the only headphones I use for music these days... Very well broken in. I am sure there are others out there which also match well with the Aria, it is a great amp. I have never heard the Beyer. but have heard a couple of Senn models and Sony on the Aria now. and while I prefer the AKG, I cannot say I disliked the others. Whatever you end up with, happy listening.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 5:33 AM Post #10 of 12

lexnasa

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I can highly recommend the PRII. With AD8620, I wouldn't describe it's sound as warm, rather neutral. Synergy with the K701s is perfect. I'm a little mystified by the references to "no bass" with these cans, as even straight out of the box they were only a little less than my HD650s.
 
Mar 30, 2006 at 6:12 AM Post #11 of 12

sxr71

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lexnasa
I can highly recommend the PRII. With AD8620, I wouldn't describe it's sound as warm, rather neutral. Synergy with the K701s is perfect. I'm a little mystified by the references to "no bass" with these cans, as even straight out of the box they were only a little less than my HD650s.



I don't know mine were seriously anemic out of the box, and not just to me but also a non-audiophile friend. Right now they have what I would say is quite a lot of bass. I've seen a few posts that concur with this development of bass in the K701s over time.

I'd say right now they have more bass than I could want.
 

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