Amp recommendation for AKG K1000's headphones?

I recently gave into temptation & picked up a pair of AKG K1000's. I've wanted a pair for ages & with their retirement there was no time like the present. Now comes the interesting part of finding an amp that pairs well with them :)

But before making the leap into uncharted territory [for me] I was curious what amps might be worth an audition? To level-set -- ideally this will become a dedicated headphone rig, so the scope of this decision doesn't need to account for synergy with my existing front-end gear.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.
Pop on over to and do a search. Plenty of info there, and recommendations can come by the dozen. Everything frm TriPath Sonic Impact T-amps to tube amps, DIY amps, etc etc etc.

I have personally owned an Audio Valve RKV Mk II with the K-1000's and it was a very musical and powerful synergistic match.

Lots of luck, they are a fine set of "earspeakers"
Give us a budget. I have used several amps. I liked the Audiovalve RKV at that price point, but eventually sold if for the Cary 300 SEI integrated, which is awesome.
Chams_uk --

Thanks for the feedback as well as the link to I'll certainly take a look into the Audio Valve RKV.

Thanks again - Bish
Swampwalker --

Thanks for the reply. Budget wise I'm pretty open, but to frame things a bit my max would be around 5000 USD. Granted this is a bit steap for a headphone rig but any less expensive alternatives are most appreciated. With young kids at home the evening listening is cut rather short -- so hopefully this will offset that a bit.

Thanks - Bish
Any quality 10-25W/ch tube amp will likely fit well. Pick your favorite flavor. I use a Coincident SIP-300.

Congratulations! To me, the best headphones (more like earspeakers) out there.

I use an ASL AQ1001DT with NOS black plate tubes and get good results. The tubes tend to add texture and eliminate some of the siblence that these headphones tend to have. But I've heard many good results with solid state as well.

Headfi has already discussed this in several threads. There are too many amps to recommend one.
Jb1094 - I auditioned the Coincident 300B-based MP's some time ago, however entirely forgot they produced the SIP. The MP was a very solid unit & at the time was rather reasonable priced. Thanks for the tip.

Take care - Bish
Robm321 -- Thanks as well. I'm perusing the posts on Headfi as we speak :)

Cheers - Bish
Right now listening to my k1ks driven by the Cary 300 sei. Eddie from Ohio on the AA Prima. Nice tight bass, plenty of detail, lucious vocals, good hf extension. 3 inputs and its an integrated of course. Can also use it w/headphone jack for Senns if you have them, too. Highly recommended at its used price of around $2k. I also had good luck with a Cary 2a3 integrated, but its bigger size and much higher heat output (4 power tubes and dual tube rectifiers) it didn't work as well in my office.
Let us know what you decide, or what you think.

Good luck!
Swapwalker -

Fortunately size/weight is somewhat less critical -- so I do have a bit of flexibility. Thanks again for the tip.
Robm321 -

Will do.

I've located someone in town that has the Cary 300 SEI. I figure this will provide some point of reference for a 300B based rig.

I'm also trying to track down an ASL to compare with the Cary. The ASL Layla 845DT is an interesting alternative to other 300B based offerings. If nothing else it certainly challenges my position that aesthetics aren't a consideration (as pictured w/the tube cage on). :)

Yes, tube amps sound great and I second the Cary 300SEI. If you prefer SS, the McCormack Micro Integrated Headphone amps (particularly with Steve McCormack's ungrades like Rev A) sounded very good. Tho' I have not tried the Channel Islands Headphone amplififier, reviews suggest they might be worth a listen ( Happy searching!
Thanks again for everyone's assistance. I've listened to the 300 SEI & the results were most impressive. I'm still perusing the market a bit -- however without question the Cary is one of, if not the finest, integrated tube amplifier I've ever auditioned.

I third the Cary 300SEI.
I am using the Cary 300SEI with WE300B too, but also I like the KR Antare which use had about 15w pre side. This gives more authority in the bass and also has higher extention in the upper range. I am going to try the Grace M902 as they said it should be able to drive the K1000. It will be good for use in the office.
I think the Cary 300SEI is good all around period. It's wonderful for speakers as well.

I haven't tried it, but I think the best synergy from what I've been reading on headfi is the First Watt F1 because of the current it supplies?

I've heard the Grace doesn't really power them well.
lfd mistral le with meridian 566.24. Glorious sound!
I listen to my AKG K1000's with monoblock Fi 300B amps.
I am interested in buying the Cary SEI integrated and AKG K1000 headphones. Does anyone have a good store recomendation and price for the AKG 1000 since they are now being discontinued? Has anyone tried different 300B tubes with this combo - especially the Western Electric and Sophia? I have read that the WE have the best mids but soft bass and rolled highs. The Sophia is just a tad less in the mids but magnificent in the bass and highs for an SEI. Also, has anyone experiemented with any headphone cords like Blue Moon and Cardas? Finally, has anyone compared and listened extensively to the K1000 and K701s? Any comments?

I am trying to find an old SEI with gold face plate - let me know if you have any leads. Thanks
I use an EAR 859 with my AKG K1000s. I don't use them often enough though. While the separation between the binding posts is too wide (requires either jumpers or splitting the cable a bit...), I love the amp dearly. Despite its 13.5 watts, and the "headroom" offered by tube amps, I find the amp a trifle weak for true headbanging music. I can therefore heartily recommend either the 861, which gets an extra 1.5 watts (and the preamp section is by-passable), OR... the EAR 861 which has basically the same Enhanced Triode Mode circuit, with twice the power but without the preamp section.

Another I would love to try is the Pass Aleph Os...
re: "Finally, has anyone compared and listened extensively to the K1000 and K701s? Any comments?"

no comparison. the k1000's are in a league nearly of their own. but it's like apples to oranges in presentation as the k1000's aren't against your ear.

that said, the 701's are great for the money.

THAT said, if $ is not an object, the Grado GS1000 blows away the 701's in every way possible. they ARE in the same league as the k1000's, but again, it's apples and oranges.
I used the cary 300sei WE 300b for a couple of years with my AKG1000'S....great sound it was the best I'd ever heard from a headphone.

Now I'm using the Cary 805c monoblocks. With the akg1000's hooked up to the 4 ohm speaker posts.

The akg 1000's are incredible with the 805's.IMHO in another league vs. 300sei.

The akg1000's are the only headphones out there that allow me to hook directly into the best source equipment.Without degrading the sound by using a headphone amp/preamp....the akg 1000's are truly earspeakers.
Try one of the new Singlepower Audio Extreme amps that have just come out. There are lots of opions of it with the K1000 on I have owned two amps from them (SDS and SDS-XLR) and they were both much better than any of the other high end headphone amps I had auditioned or owned. Try googleing Singlepower Supra or MPX3 or PPX3 and read some of the reviews of his other amps. The website is not very up to date but the owner Mikhal is very easy to work with if you give him a call.
If your looking for something that will also power speakers. I used the Unison for a while with the K1000 with good results. I also hear the First watt amps are very good with the K1000.
I own the Pass Labs Aleph 3, and it's the best I've heard within $6500. I've only heard so many amps, though; off the top of my head, a couple of McIntosh's newer tube integrateds in that price range, NAD's Master Series integrated, and Ayre's current model.
Burson Audio HA-160
I run my AKG K1000 headphones with a Woo Audio WA5 headphone amp. Great combination.
I really loved the Audiovalve RKV when I used to own K-1000s. They really meshed strengths to create some awesome synergy.

I had a buddy that used to use CJ Premier 12 monos for his K-1000s, but I never heard that particular setup of his... Man, that guy had everything worth having in the headphone world including TWO PAIRS of HE90s!!!