Wow... Audio Valve RKV mk II
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

insomniac

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So I picked up an Audio Valve RKV mk II here after reading about how fantastic it sounds with the K1000. In that regard, I was not disappointed. The RKV has the juice and touch of warmth that really lets the K1000 shine. But in all my obsessing over the RKV-K1000 combo, I didn't really give much thought to trying the RKV with other headphones.

I finally got around to it and plugged in a new pair of K701. I thought the pairing sounded fantastic. But the K701 was basically just out of the box and didn't have the extensive burn-in that most seem to recommend for it. So on deck was the ATH-W11JPN, a headphone I've always preferred with tubes. The pairing was... WOW! Just fantastic. The RKV (using with the Impedanizer) adds just the right amount of warmth, letting the W11JPN sparkle but taking the edge off the occasional sharpness I've experienced with the W11JPN. The resulting sound is bright yet sweet. The closest comparison I can come up with is that the RKV's make the W11JPN sound like the HP2's. Strange, I know. The music through this combo has energy and sparkle yet never creeps into harshness or sibilance, common tradeoffs for headphones that have energy and sparkle. The mids are bright and upfront but very sweet and smooth. I'm just so impressed right now with the pairing. Always cool to discover a new synergistic setup. This is defiinitely one.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #2 of 9

Old Pa

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Something some of us have been enjoying for some time now. Has made some people rethink their sources. You Know Dr. Becker is a Head-Fi member and visits occasionally? I'm sure he will be glad to hear your kind words. The RKV is a good long term amp.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:27 AM Post #3 of 9

shplorgh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by insomniac
The RKV (using with the Impedanizer) adds just the right amount of warmth, letting the W11JPN sparkle but taking the edge off the occasional sharpness I've experienced with the W11JPN.


Odd, I've had the W11JPN on loan for a week now, and even with my fairly bright amp I've never heard any edge or sharpness on them. Maybe that's just in comparison with the W10LTD though.. (help me, I'm turning into overlunge!
tongue.gif
)
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:34 AM Post #4 of 9

insomniac

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Quote:

Originally Posted by hungrych
Odd, I've had the W11JPN on loan for a week now, and even with my fairly bright amp I've never heard any edge or sharpness on them. Maybe that's just in comparison with the W10LTD though.. (help me, I'm turning into overlunge!
tongue.gif
)



Overall, I wouldn't call the W11JPN a sibilant or harsh headphones at all. But with solid state amps, I've noticed a bit of treble tizz on certain notes on certain recordings. I hope the review wasn't taken to mean I was previously dissatisfied with the W11JPN.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:26 PM Post #8 of 9

Nik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by insomniac
So I picked up an Audio Valve RKV mk II here after reading about how fantastic it sounds with the K1000. In that regard, I was not disappointed. The RKV has the juice and touch of warmth that really lets the K1000 shine. But in all my obsessing over the RKV-K1000 combo, I didn't really give much thought to trying the RKV with other headphones.

I finally got around to it and plugged in a new pair of K701. I thought the pairing sounded fantastic. But the K701 was basically just out of the box and didn't have the extensive burn-in that most seem to recommend for it. So on deck was the ATH-W11JPN, a headphone I've always preferred with tubes. The pairing was... WOW! Just fantastic. The RKV (using with the Impedanizer) adds just the right amount of warmth, letting the W11JPN sparkle but taking the edge off the occasional sharpness I've experienced with the W11JPN. The resulting sound is bright yet sweet. The closest comparison I can come up with is that the RKV's make the W11JPN sound like the HP2's. Strange, I know. The music through this combo has energy and sparkle yet never creeps into harshness or sibilance, common tradeoffs for headphones that have energy and sparkle. The mids are bright and upfront but very sweet and smooth. I'm just so impressed right now with the pairing. Always cool to discover a new synergistic setup. This is defiinitely one.



So the best combo is? (with K1000, K701 or W11JPN ?).

Best!
Nicola
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 7:31 PM Post #9 of 9

insomniac

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nik
So the best combo is? (with K1000, K701 or W11JPN ?).

Best!
Nicola



That's a hard question to answer. In terms of sheer musical satisfaction, I would choose the combo with the W11JPN. But I think that has more to do with my preference for traditional cans over the K1000. But it's the best I've heard with the K1000's, slightly besting the PrimaLuna Prologue One. I'm going to hold off judgment on the K701 since it's basically just out of the box.
 

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