Do I Need a Separate Headphone Amp for AKG K701's?

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Distortions, May 12, 2010.

  1. Distortions

    Distortions Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I have been reading about the AKG K701's, but I am wondering if my Marantz PM7200 (95 watts/channel) integrated amplifier would be powerful enough for them? Thank you for your help.
     

     

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  2. clydeselsor

    clydeselsor Lunatic Member

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    It will be fine!
     
  3. Wazz

    Wazz Well-Known Member

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    Ohio
    Lot of people use a headphone amp probably just so they do not have to crank up the big gear. IN the past, the receivers and amps just used an attenuation network to drop the output from the main amp down to the milliwatt level for headphones. I suppose there is controversy about whether the big resistors in series with the phones and the amp working into an odd load can affect the sound negatively. But alot of components like CD players just have their own little low level amps included to drive the phones without all the complications. STill, I have found some built in HP amps in gear like tape decks and players have seemingly lowish outputs with less sensetive phones. I suppose if you want to experiment you could build an HP amp or one of the preassembled CMOY type minis from on ebay, etc. that are not very expensive. Some complain their 701s are not very sensetive and take alot of drive. For the volume levels I use, not headbanger, they seem sensetive enough.
     
  4. poppachubby

    poppachubby Boo Yaka! Boo Yaka! Subscriber

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    Personally, I would plug into the Marantz regularily for a week or so and see what I think of it's sound/output. Some amps can handle the load but have crumby sounding outputs. I have encountered hiss at higher volumes and unbalanced sound in general, usually on the bright side.

    I think a dedicated amp is almost always a good thing.

    Have a look at this page, I bought one of these a couple years back. It rarely needs to be recharged and is wonderfully built. Great price of course. It's not the end in fidelity but if you want an affordable option, quite good. I run AKG K240S...

    http://www.electric-avenues.com/
     
  5. markd51

    markd51 Nyuk Nyuk

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    Yesterday, I took my AKG-702 Phones into work, wanted to show my boss, and let him hear them as well.

    We have a bunch of pro audio euqipment that we use for our job, and when I tried these phones out, I just plugged into our simple DJ Mixer. They sounded pretty nice just through the mixer, and one commonly has the option of headphone level, EQ, gain, etc.

    This could possibly be a cheaper alternative for those needing-seeking something with more ommph? Just an idea? Mark
     
  6. Permanent Waves

    Permanent Waves Digital Man

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    I as well, it can't hurt and will only make the SQ better, even with easy to drive phones.

    At least that's my experience comparing and contrasting 2 external headphone amps to the internal amps on 5 different receivers and one integrated amp with a variety of cans.

    My 702's, in particular, really benefit from an external amp. And I never listen to cans at a volume higher than high medium; in fact one of the things good headphone amps do is enable headphones to sound better at lower volumes.

    For about $200 or less new or used you can find some great can amps. :music:
     

     

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  7. Wazz

    Wazz Well-Known Member

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    I am willing to consider that the AKGs are like hooking some really really good speakers to a given amp, that might reveal some shortcomings that you might not notice on lesser headphones. Details like soundstage, imaging, etc. that some 400$ speakers might gloss over but some 10,000$ speakers might make more evident. Therefore I suppose a power amp can drive them in most cases, but you might be hearing the amp instead of the phones. Since nearly all amps use a deal like a couple resistors per channel to attenuate the headphone output level then you could maybe change the resistor values if it seems to be too low at medium volume control settings. I would think most stereo amps create the least distortion somewhere above one watt output but well below full power output, so you could juggle resistor values in the headphone network to get your full volume in a sort of sweet spot in the amps range with a given set of phones and the variations of sensetivity and impedance that could be. They design the jacks(on amps with jacks) to work with anything that someone might have, between 8 ohms or 600 as a comprimise, I am sure. If you hooked phones directly to a power amp without the attenuation, you might hear hiss and hum and maybe crossover distortions in the background but if too attenuated, you could have the amp working closer to its max output and into the higher distortion specs.
     
  8. mrarroyo

    mrarroyo Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    This is a very personal thing and you should first listen to various amps to determine if YOU need one. If you have a headphone jack in your unit try it for a while to see if it is sufficient, or at least to have a frame of reference for when you do try a dedicated headphone amp. I found the Heed CanAmp to be an excellent pairing w/ the K701/2, be advised that if you later try other cans that there may be better alternatives like a Graham Slee Solo. See if there is a dealer close to you to try alternatives or go to Head Fi and read up a bit. Cheers.
     
  9. ehoove

    ehoove Old & New - Carpe Diem Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    I drive my K701's with a Little Dot 1+, and they sound much better than trough my other gear or the headphone section of my Bellari VP129.
    Regards,
    Jim
     
  10. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny Subscriber

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    291
    I'm not sure about what your headphone jack is like, but the headphone jack on my Marantz CD5003 does a pretty good job driving my K601. I'm sure I could buy a headphone amp to improve things, but I don't think the $$ spent would justify the improved experience.

    If you are happy with the performance, I'd smile, pat my wallet, and enjoy the music.
     
  11. FrankyF

    FrankyF Active Member

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    354
    Location:
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    The akg's are hard to drive and need a good amount of power...i have used them with two amps:

    X-CAN V8
    Burson HA160

    They are a perfect match for them.
     

     

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