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Old 7th June 2011, 12:09 PM   #1
rho is offline rho  Belgium
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Peer, Belgium
Question AKG K601 amp problems

I have this K601 headphones for some time now, but I don't use them a lot.
The problem is that they sound really thin when used with my Rotel RC1070 pre-amp.
The specs of the amp suggest that these headphones shouldn't be any problem to drive, but the sound is awful. It's all mids, a lot of high and no bass.
There's no body in the sound whatsoever.

So, I just connected it to my laptop to listen to some artists on YouTube and I was very surprised that the sound wasn't bad at all. The mids and highs aren't as clear as with the Rotel, but there is body. The sound is much fuller, with more bass, more punch. (but much less resolution)

Is there something wrong with the match between my Rotel amp and the AKG K601 or does (on average) an headphones output from a laptop put out too much bass which compensates for e defect in the headphones? (I can imagine that there is an emphasis on the bass from the output of a laptop-soundcard)

Can anyone help?
Maybe you know an easy to build headphone amp that would work well with the K601, so I could try that out and hear what that does? (to check if it's the phones or the pre-amp)
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Old 7th June 2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Gothenburg
I read somewhere that the k601 sounds best with 120 ohms output impedance, the guy also claimed that even too low output impedance made the headphones sound really bad.

Maybe you could try and use a 120Ohm resistor in series just to try how it sounds?
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Old 7th June 2011, 01:31 PM   #3
rho is offline rho  Belgium
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Peer, Belgium
The specs state: Usable Headphone Impedance 8 - 2,000 Ohms

What kind of output impedance can I expect in this case?

Does anyone have the schematics for this pre-amp?

The 120 ohm resistor might be a good thing to try first.
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Old 10th June 2011, 05:26 PM   #4
rho is offline rho  Belgium
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Peer, Belgium
I still have a small Teac amp here and connected a CDplayer to test the headphones on that set-up.
Sounds great!!

So it's just the Rotel that doesn't drive these phones.
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Old 20th June 2011, 04:56 PM   #5
MrSlim is offline MrSlim  Canada
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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the K601's (and their sibling K701/2's ) are known to be hard to drive. They need an amp with decent current output to drive them properly to get the best sound out of them. The problem with most built in headphone amps is that they give you very vague specs on what they are able to drive, but nothing about current output at a certain impedance, etc..

The fact that the Teac sounds better means that the headphone amp they put in that unit has more "jam" behind it than the rotel.
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Old 21st June 2011, 06:13 AM   #6
rho is offline rho  Belgium
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Peer, Belgium
When My new speakers and TT are finished I'll have to go for an headphone amp then.
I'll start off with something simple but good and see how that works with the AKG.
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Old 1st July 2011, 09:46 AM   #7
oktyabr is offline oktyabr  United States
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Ocean Shores, WA.
Creek (Music Hall) OBH-11 here. Ran K701s on it for many hundreds of hours before going to a closed can. Not sure what they sell for in Belgium but since it's made in the UK you might have an easier time finding one than we do in the states.
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