New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Akg K400 - Page 4

post #46 of 350
I'll do that tonight. For now (I don't have the K500 here), I''d say that the K500 is more neutral, has a significantly wider soundstage, mids that are less forward and a leaner bass. I'll do a better job tonight!
post #47 of 350
As requested by Tiemen who is contemplating a K500 purchase (just do it! ), a short, quick and probably pretty bad comparison between the K400 and the K500. Before I start, I have to admit that I couldn’t find an adaptor plug for the K400, so I had the use another plug, which worked as long as I held the K400 plug at exactly the right position. I’m not sure whether this has influenced my judgment .

This is the music I used:

Vivaldi: Connecticut Early Music Festival Ensemble, The Four Seasons, Summer 3 presto
World's End Girlfriend Satan Veludo Children from The Lie Lay Land (2005)
Tord Gustavsen Trio Blessed Feet from Being There (2006)
Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass That Old Feeling from Again (1976)
Radiohead Karma Police from OK Computer (1997)

I listened through my computer, a digital stream from a good soundcard (I keep forgetting what it is) to a Zero DAC and then on to a Graham Slee Solo amp.

I was surprised by the sound of the K400. My first impression was that it was the fun-loving little brother/sister of the K500. It didn’t sound like AKG, but after a while I realized it did. Just a bit different, if that makes sense. Vivaldi sounded pretty good. The highs were maybe a bit harsh (just a bit), but the soundstage was OK and the K400 did well with the different layers in the music piece. Then on to the Tord Gustavsen Trio: here it did really well. The bass was lean, detailed and tight, I could hear everything the drummer was doing (and with lesser phones I normally can’t) and the piano sounded good. Now when we came to Ella Fitzgerald accompanied only by guitarist Joe Pass, I could tell that the K400 was made for this kind of music. The smaller soundstage worked in its favour, I could hear Ella singing right into my ears. The acoustic guitar sounded fantastically crisp and detailed. The next song, Radiohead’s Karma Police, almost made me want to dance (and that doesn’t happen very easily). I guess everybody is right when they say the K400 is musical. It is, very much so. And it is really forward, in particular the mids. The last song was by World’s End Girlfriend. This is incredibly complicated, layered music and the K400 did quite well, but this kind of music just needs a bit wider soundstage and a bit more instrument separation.

Now on to the K500, a phone I hold very dear. It’s a difference of day and night. It’s soundstage is wider, instrument separation better and it is more detailed. With Vivaldi al these characteristics made it sing: the soundstage and detail made the violins sound intimidating and daunting. The same goes for World’s End Girlfriend, it just does very well with complicated music that has much detail and multiple layers. For the jazz of the Tord Gustavsen Trio it’s a toss-up between the K400 and the K500. They both do very well, it depends on your mood I guess. The K400 is slightly more engaging, but the K500 gives more soundstage, detail and depth. With Ella Fitzgerald it is clear though that the K400 is more suited for this intimate music than the K500 (although the K500 also sings with this song). The K400 is just excellent here, while the K500 gets stuck at very good. Maybe there is a bit too much soundstage for it too be intimate and the guitar is definitely not as ‘crisp’. Finally Karma Police by Radiohead: it’s airy, spacey, soundstage is wonderful. Bass is excellent. Again, it depends on your mood whether you prefer the K400 or the K500. The K400 may be more engaging, but the K500 has more detail, soundstage and depth.

In conclusion: the K400 is a jewel of a phone, particularly good with music that you want to sound intimate. It engages and draws you into the music. The K500 is a completely different phone, overall more versatile, but there is for me at least also a large element of mood involved. I can imagine sometimes I’d like to hear a song with the K400 and other times with the K500. That’s it for tonight. Gotta finish some stuff. I’ll do a more thorough comparo in about two weeks time together with Agnostic and more AKG phones.
post #48 of 350
^
Thanks!
post #49 of 350
Wow, thanks, that was a beautifully comprehensive assessment. I was also very curious as to how these two would compare. I have been falling in love with my K500's as well (I just bought a second pair), but I guess the K400's wouldn't be an improvement for me with my listening habits (mostly classical). Still curious though.
post #50 of 350
No, I don't think they would be an improvement if you mainly listen to classical (unless you listen to a lot of solo performances, then they can be fun). The K500 is something else, isn't it. Maybe we should have a K500 appreciation thread, I don't think there is one.
post #51 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by REB View Post
No, I don't think they would be an improvement if you mainly listen to classical (unless you listen to a lot of solo performances, then they can be fun). The K500 is something else, isn't it. Maybe we should have a K500 appreciation thread, I don't think there is one.
That might be a good idea, the K500's seem to have received little attention, even in the early days of this forum. I listen a lot to solo performances too, but in those areas my SR-325i and DT-880 have their own special magic. The Beyerdynamics especially have a really remarkable way with dynamics, which can make them very exciting. But ahem..., I digress.

In anticipation of your mini-meet, I would also be really curious how the K501 and K500 would compare. There have been some really tentative comparitive reports about these two in the past, but nothing conclusive.
post #52 of 350
I'm trying to get a feel for the K501 now. One thing I noticed is that it needs the K701 pads even more than the K500 to boost the bass. I don't always use the K701 pads on the K500, but the bass of the K501 is even leaner than that of the K500.
post #53 of 350
That's funny, I would have thought that the K501s would be the ones with more bass. (Based on what people have said in the past.)

I've tried the K701 pads with K500 and I was shocked to hear what an enormous difference simply changing the pads makes. Everything gets firmed up and there's so much more bass. But you trade in an awful lot of that large headstage and excellent separation and even detail and in the end those are the aspects that make the K500 so special to me. So I've returned to the original pads.
post #54 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drosera View Post
That's funny, I would have thought that the K501s would be the ones with more bass. (Based on what people have said in the past.)

I've tried the K701 pads with K500 and I was shocked to hear what an enormous difference simply changing the pads makes. Everything gets firmed up and there's so much more bass. But you trade in an awful lot of that large headstage and excellent separation and even detail and in the end those are the aspects that make the K500 so special to me. So I've returned to the original pads.
If I understood it correctly, there is a bass heavy edition of the K501, and a bass light one.
As there are different versions of the K400 as well (early and later editions).
post #55 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post
If I understood it correctly, there is a bass hevay edition of the K501, and a bass light one.
As there are different versions of the K400 as well (early and later editions).
Yes, that's why I probably thought that the K501's on the whole were not lacking in bass. Since a bass-heavy version (the later version, I believe) implies that the non-bass-heavy version already has a 'normal' amount of bass. But based on REB's comments we could speak about a version with normal bass and a version which is bass-light. Unless REB's version is already the bass-heavy version... Oh dear.
Well, YMMV, of course.
post #56 of 350
I think I have the bass-light version. With the K500 I never need more bass. Sometimes I want it, but it is always sufficient. I am not too sure about the K501 in that respect. At times, the bass isn't sufficient. As for what edition I have of all three of them, I don't know.

As for the pads: it's a huge difference! Add to that that the pads for the K501 and the K400 are different from the K501 and you can see I'll be busy for a while figuring out how to maximize my aural pleasure.
post #57 of 350
Aren't headphones fun!

I guess that, concerning the bass, there is both quantity and quality. And the proportions and amounts of these may very between the phones.

I'd love to hear more of your impressions as this vintage AKG listening experience progresses.
post #58 of 350
Here's my comparison of the K400, K500, K501, and K601. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/k40...-601-a-255524/

My basic conclusion is that which ever headphone had the K501 pads was the one that came out a loser in a head to head comparison.
post #59 of 350
Oh, that's something I missed, actually. I thought the K500 and K501 pads were the same (they look the same in pictures).

Do you happen to know if the K500 pads can still be ordered from AKG?
post #60 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drosera View Post
Oh, that's something I missed, actually. I thought the K500 and K501 pads were the same (they look the same in pictures).

Do you happen to know if the K500 pads can still be ordered from AKG?
I tried ordering K240 and K500 pads last year and got a call 8 month later asking if I still wanted them. I'd long since given up.

The foam in mine were different. ("were" because I sold the K501) The K500 pads are also very worn and compress very easily. They conform much better to my head. In appearance, they look closer to the K601 pads than the K501 pads.

From what I've read, the K701 pads are something else all together. They're thicker in the back and so angle the drivers which can make a huge difference in how sound is perceived.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)