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First AKG K701 impressions.

post #1 of 431
Thread Starter 
That's very cool i received my K701 from Dr Jan Meier this morning. It took only 2 days, very good service, thank you again Jan.

Let me go straight to the most important thing. No, to my ears and in my setup they are not HD-650 killer. They sound very very nice, very neutral, they are great headphones but so far they are not as transparent and the soundstage is not as wide as with HD-650. The comparison remind me how the 650 is close to very good speaker setup in fact. The K701's soundstage, while very precise, stay between the ears. With the 650 i got 1 to 2 inch more extension left and right.

About transparency the 650 brings me closer to the original sound, the window is wide open. With the K701 the glass is crystal clear, but the window is still closed.
They are not visceral like HD-650. With the 650 you can feel the air hitting the mic with some voices, the K701 can't do that. They are very clean and neutral but too much polite to my ears.

The bass is very good with K701, highly articulate, but it don't go as deep as the HD-650 and again with an amazing transparency and punch down to the lowest octave (with the 650)

I don't think burnin' will change things a lot, these are strong characters.

For an honest comparison i put back the stock cable on the HD-650, and surprisingly they still sound very clean and transparent...I must be crazy to spend all that money on replacement cable! ha ha ha

I will wait one week and try to post more impressions, but i feel that i'll send them back to Meier Audio next week.

They are very good phones, you can be very happy with only K701, but IMO they lack the last bit of refinement HD-650 have. The 650 are still a tad more neutral to my ears too.
post #2 of 431
Quote:
I don't think burnin' will change things a lot, these are strong characters.
Don't come up with a thread saying "omgwtfbbq burn in sure helps a lot!" within a week. >_>
post #3 of 431
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikoma
Don't come up with a thread saying "omgwtfbbq burn in sure helps a lot!" within a week. >_>
Nah...don't worry, since more than 2 decades i 'demo-ed' more gears than the average audiophile will do in a life-time. It's only on audio internet forum that you read "please wait 300 hours".

When a gear is new you get 95% of it's possibility. There will be a little gain in transparency and frequency extention, but the soundstage won't get wider with burnin'...
post #4 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
When a gear is new you get 95% of it's possibility.
While I do believe in burn in, I also agree with your statement. However, I also think you should cleanse your ear palate, so to speak, before assessing a headphone whose signature is so different from your standard.
post #5 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
They are not visceral like HD-650
Wow the word visceral and HD-650 in the same sentence....somebody mark that on the calendar please...
post #6 of 431
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg
While I do believe in burn in, I also agree with your statement. However, I also think you should cleanse your ear palate, so to speak, before assessing a headphone whose signature is so different from your standard.
But you know in fact they are both very close. the sonic signature is very neutral. Actually HD-650 got a little more of everything respect to the K701.
If i never had the 650 i could be very happy with the AKG. When i switch back to the 650, the music grabs me in way that makes my heart pumping faster LOL.

About the soundstage, the completely open grills you have with the 650 make for that amazing and wide soundstage. Don't forget this come from HE90.
The K701 is less open, design-wise. (and soundwise)

Usually when i got a new piece of gear it grabs me from the start or it's not better than what i had before.

I have 2 headphones jack on the Manley, so i will let the phones playing and make a final decision after 100 hours or something.
post #7 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg
While I do believe in burn in, I also agree with your statement. However, I also think you should cleanse your ear palate, so to speak, before assessing a headphone whose signature is so different from your standard.
This is an excellent point. Not to stray too far OT, but what do you think is a good way to do this? Ear sorbet?
post #8 of 431
Mastergill,


thanks for the (already) enlighting (first) impressions!
post #9 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
Nah...don't worry, since more than 2 decades i 'demo-ed' more gears than the average audiophile will do in a life-time. It's only on audio internet forum that you read "please wait 300 hours".

When a gear is new you get 95% of it's possibility. There will be a little gain in transparency and frequency extention, but the soundstage won't get wider with burnin'...
With my K501 the soundstage was what improved the most from burn-in, it got wider even after 300 hours! It was a HUGE difference.

Both my pairs of K1000 didn't improve the soundstage much from burn-in. But it was still barely noticeable after 200-300 hours.
post #10 of 431
Thread Starter 
Yeah, maybe it can improve but i think because of the design they are a little more 'closed' than HD-650 and thus you can feel they are slightly more forward than 650 (there's more reflection toward the ears). That gives a good clarity in the midrange. After more listening comparison i suspect also a little emphasis of the upper mids. There's maybe a little bump around 2.5 to 4 or 5 KHz. Does anybody has a link to a frequency response graph by HeadRoom or others?

Still these K701s are very good, they made a very nice job. But honestly i don't think the Sennheiser engineers have to be worried about this competitor. But kudos for the AKG dudes anyway, nice improvement since K240M and DF

I would be ready to pack them and send them back, but i'll wait and try a little more...just for my credibility's sake...
post #11 of 431
I don't know if you understand German. In the HiFi Forum most K 701 owners think it reaches its top performance not before 300 hours and sounds fairly mediocre up till then, compared to other high-end dynamic headphones. Some even claim it needs 500 hours, especially for developing the bass. So I really think you're not patient enough. I for one will give mine much more time after its arrival (expected for the next week).

It's true that most likely it will not radically change its characteristic, but that's not necessarily the point. As I see it, there are many ways of how a good headphone reproduction can sound as long as it's a really good implementation of the corresponding characteristic. So it's absolutely possible that you might like a K 701 in full blossom, with all its individual qualities, even though it may not sound too similar to the HD 650, your (and my) now reference -- which certainly is no slouch either.
.
post #12 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
Does anybody has a link to a frequency response graph by HeadRoom or others?
http://www.headphone.com/headphonege...20FR%20Avg.pdf

Speaking about optimal volume for these cans (in another thread) I wonder what volume Headroom uses to make the measurements, if they use 3 volumes levels (maybe 70dB, 80dB, 90dB with pink noise) and then average those measurements to get these graphs, or whether they just choose some specific volume level they simply consider appropriate.
post #13 of 431
Thread Starter 
I believe in burn in Jazz, but i think i know the 'amount' of difference you can have when a gear is fully burned in.

When i got the HD-650 it took me 30 minutes to get grabbed by the amazing low coloration. I posted first impression too, and more than 2 years latter i can still stand behind these impressions.

So wait and see, but not 300 or 500 hours. 100 should be enough. Or this is still an AKG 'sound' and i really dig the Sennheiser sonic signature?

Edit: Thank you for the link, rsaavedra. Wow, the 'boost' is much lower than i though, but there's a little peak at 8KHz...anyway it's just a graph...but the HD-650 seems flatter to my ears.
post #14 of 431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastergill
100 should be enough.
Why wait 100 hours then if you already know it will not be enough to your liking anyway? People have downright warned that 100 hours are not enough and to wait at least 300 hours, and you think they're wrong?
.
post #15 of 431
Thread Starter 
To see if something really change in a good direction. It's a gradual process. They won't magically and suddenly change at 300 hours!
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