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Wartex's foray into pro-audio: Just bought AKG 701 headphones

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|DRC| Wartex

Wednesday, September 5 2007, 21:42:33 #40362     Wartex's foray into pro-audio: Just bought AKG 701 headphones

Well, they haven't been burned in (just got them today) yet, but my $50 Koss UR30 was long overdue for replacement. You can read the review here http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-application/audiophiles/the-extreme-high-end/akg-k-701.php

According to people from head-fi.org forums it even raped Sennheiser HD650...

It doesn't swallow high frequencies like cheap headphones and bass drums don't cause sags in highs as well. Unfortunately, I can now hear all the compression artifacts on anything encoded below ~200 kbps. Old 128k mp3s sound like outright shit. Portable mp3 player can't drive the speakers so I'll have to get a headphone amp. Computer seems to drive them ok at 80% of volume. Normally with shitty phones at these volumes I will hear ear-piercing midrange. Wife was impressed as well. I don't have to use my Winamp Enhancer DSP any more to compensate for bad speakers. Sounds are very articulate and there is no "afterring" with sharp sounds, i.e. when sound stops, headphone driver stops too. Cheap headphones have that "blur" when reproducing cymbals, instead of "ch" they sound like "tsss". I don't have a decent sound card, I was bidding on LynxTWO but gave up after $550.


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|DRC| Death

Thursday, September 6 2007, 08:34:37 #40363     

20 quid. They're better than yours ROFL
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|DRC| Iceman

Saturday, September 8 2007, 18:50:59 #40371     

It's about time you bought some good headphones Very happy

The AKG 701's are great cans without a doubt. Especially for the price, but headphone.com still favor the HD650's Wink ....of course they are also $100 more expensive to, but performance wise the 701's are the best bang for the buck Smile

Just took this off their site:

"The best known reference-level can is the Sennheiser HD650. This headphone is simply exquisite; while some justifiably complain the presentation is perhaps slightly too 'laid-back', we also think these cans do a very good job getting superb musical detail and clear resolution without ever becoming grainy or harsh in any way. The bass response of the HD650s is nicely warm and expansively rich-sounding. This is a favorite headphone for many classical music and modern jazz fans. Its sibling HD600 model is also another superb headphone -- a smidgeon more lively and maybe just a teeny bit grainy-sounding compared to the HD650."
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|DRC| Wartex

Sunday, September 9 2007, 02:34:33 #40372     


For me the K701 is more detailed, upfront, and in your face than the HD600 (defoamed or not) with or w/o the Silver Dragon cable ever was. The K701 involves you much more with the music and makes me want to tap my feet.

For me the K701 seems to do better (than HD650) in complex song (many instruments) and song with electric guitar.

Granted, I only heard them for a while at the NY meet, however I agree that they have a more forward presentation than the senns.

Short version
- The K701 definitely has large soundstage, IMHO, much larger than HD650.
- The K701s' bass is not as much as HD650's bass but it's not lacking either, I think they have the right amount of bass (deep, punchy, and controlled).
- The K701s' has better timing on bass department compare to HD650.
- The K701 is more detail than HD650.
- The K701 is brigther than HD650.
- The HD650s definitely have punchier bass than K701s' bass

I read a lot of reviews, I had a chance to get either one for $300 (and HD600 went for $150 or so) and settled on AKG (paid $250 + 29.99 shipping, brand new in box). Pretty much in every review HD650 seem to have bias in bass, where K701 are more linear across all frequencies, HD650 has foam which everyone seems to rip out since it muffles and dampens the sound, and headband assembly reminds me of cheesy $29.99 Sony I bought at a drug store (in fact Sony's headband is tougher). AKG's headband screms quality. Sennheiser's "hang" on your temple ( http://www1.u-netsurf.ne.jp/~y_kawai/headphone/img/hd650_600_01.jpg ) while AKG's sit around your ears because of clever design of self-adjusting headband.
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|DRC| Wartex

Sunday, September 9 2007, 02:35:20 #40373     

PS: I'll probably get 650 just to compare, and then you can buy them from me Smile
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|DRC| Iceman

Sunday, September 9 2007, 11:44:14 #40374     

Oh I have no doubt that they sound great, but there are other factors to keep in mind as well. The HD650's don't preform to their full potential as they come in the box. The beauty about the HD650's is that you can alter the bass by buying wooden headphone covers, and upgrade the cord. From reviews that I have read everyone seems to agree that they don't even come close to operating to their full potential stock, and they "HAVE" to have an amplifier to show their potiental. Out of the box they are great sounding (after burnt in) but if you want to hear what they really have to offer you need to make a few changes, and then the sound is suppose to be second to none Smile

The downsides to the HD650 is that they are heavy, and with addons such as wooden ear covers, they are even heavier, and no doubt somewhat combersum. Parts are customizable, so you can change them to be how ever you like, and/or to alter the sound how you like.

Consider them like being the Rolls-Royce of headphones. You can drive a Mercedes, or a BMW, and each car has their ups and downs, but they are both really great and well made cars. You might beat the Rolls-Royce on the stripe dragging, or be able to take corners better, but its still a Rolls-Royce.

Before you compare to other headphones, I would first update the cables, and get some woodies for them, and an amp is a must. After they are burnt in..........consider yourself listening to a Rolls-Royce purr. Smile
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|DRC| Wartex

Sunday, September 9 2007, 19:46:38 #40376     

The reviews I posted are from people who compared these with high-end amps. The rolls-royce of headphones is Stax electrostatic and Grado RS1/GS1, not Sennheiser, this is known fact. AKG don't perform to their full potential either, and there is cord upgrade as well. Stock AKG cord is a lot better than sennheirser's and is marginally worse than Cardas or Zu upgrades. There is a driver hack for AKG (resoldering coil) that allows it to compete with Grado RS1 (and totally blow HD650 away).

Senn is lacking in high frequencies because of coil design hence the bias in bass, and putting wooden enclosures will change the soundstage but not fix the biased bass.

This is from a head-fi post by a guy who mods and fixes expensive headphones:


I am an audiophile for 35 years and do extreme modifications on headphones for personal use (that you cannot get done by outside vendors). I have had the 650 with the cardas cable and I have the AKG K701.

All acoustic and most other instruments require a combination of frequencies to properly capture the texture of their resulting sound. It is a combination of frequencies that defines a sound and gives it life and texture. Some high frequencies are needed to even define bass notes. The 650 driver simply cannot properly reproduce the high frequencies. Hence the sound will always tend to be on the dry dark side and thereby not properly color the various textures needed to paint a proper musical picture.

HD650 is a great headphone but it stops where AKG starts. You can look at charts on headphone.com and see that Hd650 lacks where AKG K701 excels.

PS: there is Grado RS1 on ebay now, with buy-it-now for $650 and $35 shipping. I'm thinking about it... Still looking for a good amp, can't decide between XM4, C&C XO and C&C Box+...
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