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Review: K701 vs 2006 DT880 - Page 4

post #46 of 96
Wow, it's hard for me to imagine the idea of a can that's MORE detailed than the 701's? Am I reading that right?


Nothing meant against the author of this thread whatsoever, but I must say this:

Threads like these really amaze me sometimes. Here's why:

You have ONE person with a SPECIFIC set of personal, subjective tastes and SPECIFIC equipment under SPECIFIC conditions posting a well written OPINION piece, and yet I easily see several people prepared to base their ENTIRE purchasing and selling decisions on THAT alone?

Are people really THAT easily persuaded, controlled, and manipulated?

If that's truly the case, then maybe I should think about starting some kind of small Internet cult, at that rate.

If I could get a few "followers" to regularly Pay Pal me some money every month... hey, you never know.
post #47 of 96
Chinese have a saying, "There's always a higher mountain to scale".

Why should it be so hard to believe there are cans with more detail than the 701? Just take a look at the MS Pro, K501 (on some music), Stax (various models), 325i/MS2i, not the mention the Beyer DT880/990.

I do hope the author of this thread has the opportunity to listen to these various cans before making the purchase decision, hopefully with good source equipment, but not everyone has that luxury.
post #48 of 96
To my ears, my older '04/05 880 has more "apparent" detail due to its frequency shift, but I think the 701 is comparable or even better in overall detail, especially in the bass where it conveys rythmn better. With the 06, the increased smoothess in the treble really helps it remove the harshness that the 05 seems to go out of its way to reveal and exaggerate.

From my brief listen, the 06's are a worthy upgrade even if you have the 05, but to me, picking between the 06 880 and 701 is difficult. I'd be almost be tempted to pick the 880 because of its carrying case, better headband, and customizable ordering, all of which add up to be a compelling buy. But I still think the 701 is a better balanced headphone and a better all-rounder for more types of music.
post #49 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmk
Chinese have a saying, "There's always a higher mountain to scale".

Why should it be so hard to believe there are cans with more detail than the 701? Just take a look at the MS Pro, K501 (on some music), Stax (various models), 325i/MS2i, not the mention the Beyer DT880/990.

I do hope the author of this thread has the opportunity to listen to these various cans before making the purchase decision, hopefully with good source equipment, but not everyone has that luxury.
It's not that it's hard to believe that there are cans with more detail but there is a limit to the amount of detail one wants to hear (no one wants to hear the guys foot shuffling or his clothes rustling).

By the way, I thought the saying was "A heaven beyond heaven, a man beyond man" Does your name stand for Cheung Mo Kei?
post #50 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr
NAD T533 > Ixos IC > Little Dot Micro+ > DT880 | K701

I've stopped counting the hours of burn-in on both headphones, sorry. The K701 now has over 500 hours on it, and the DT880 over 200 hours. The Little Dot Micro+ has over 300 hours on it.
I am considering a Little Dot Micro+ (with a K501) for a semi-portable setup... how do you like the K701 and the LDM+? I assume there is enough power but how is the "synergy" (even compared to other portable amps under $100). Thanks!
post #51 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Grey
It's not that it's hard to believe that there are cans with more detail but there is a limit to the amount of detail one wants to hear (no one wants to hear the guys foot shuffling or his clothes rustling).
Actually, that's *exactly* what I like listening for in my music. It makes the music more human to me. I like to hear chairs creak, noses inhale, mouths exhale, and even the paper unwrapping on a cough drop being held by some allergy-afflicted guy in Row 27.
post #52 of 96
Yes, more "liveness," you mean, because, face it, no recording is perfect
post #53 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Grey
It's not that it's hard to believe that there are cans with more detail but there is a limit to the amount of detail one wants to hear (no one wants to hear the guys foot shuffling or his clothes rustling).

By the way, I thought the saying was "A heaven beyond heaven, a man beyond man" Does your name stand for Cheung Mo Kei?
Well, not exactly the shuffling of feet, rather things like his breathing as he plays the instrument, or the conductor jumping just before a fortissimo, or Glenn Gould humming in the background when performing Bach's Goldberg variations. All these little details add authenticity to the performance. There are others which are more important, like the brushing of the bow across the violins strings, or being able to pick up the pizzicato as the players pluck their strings (Mozart Violin Concerto #5) and hear the body of their instruments.

Sorry, you got the wrong guy.
post #54 of 96

In many ways in agreement with Asr

It's too late for long notes, but a few preliminaries before I pass out -- must take a nap before work. Forgive any bizarre spellings or word dropouts (yawwnnn...)

Before this first session comparing the 701 and 880 2005 Edition for myself, I read Asr's detailed review with interest, but reserved judgment as to what I thought about his impressions. Now hours later it seems that I am largely in agreement -- of course with my own take on it based on different gear and different ear/brain equipment.

I just setup some gear a friend lent me and spent a little time with 701s with about 300 hrs, and my 880 "2005 Edition" with about 400 hrs by now.

Volex power cords > Music Fidelity X-Ray CD transport (Redbook) > River Cable DigiFlex Gold PLUS BR .5m digital coax > Muse DAC > Kimber Kable Hero .5m ICs > Rudistor RP6-DQ hybrid amp > DT880 2005 Edition & K701. Cables probably need more burn in, but they've got more than enough resolution to hear very fine differences in the phones.

Recordings: Diana Krall "Girl In The Other Room", Oskar's Motet Choir "Cantate Domino" (great pipe organ, brass choir, vocal choir, huge church), Norbert Kraft "Complete Music For Solo Guitar"; Leonard Bernstein/London Symphony Orchestra "Candide", Bizet/Orch. & Chorus of Toulouse, Angela Georghiu "Carmen Highlights".

After having heard the 701s lately via iPod 4G into Hornet & Portaphile PV2^2-LT1210 and feeling it sounded very nice with the Hornet (loved it with Ray's HR-2) -- I was shocked that with this much more sophisticated setup I liked the DT880 2005 much better. I'll have to listen more and get some sleep before I try to describe the 701s peculiarities, but it is peculiar and much less controlled, detailed and less extended up and down, as compared to the 880s.

I really expected, after hearing huge bass and big sound from from 701s out of the Hornet, that the 880s would sound thinner and bass shy. That was not the case.

The 701s sounded somewhat bass-bloated relative to the 880s deeper, tighter, better defined bass. The 880s only portrayed big deep bass as needed, whereas the 701s (in some ways like the Senn650) give an overall warm, mid-upper bass bloom much of the time. Further, at the top end of the spectrum the 701s simply missed (rolled off?) lots of upper harmonics and fine details that make up timbral accuracy, texture and ambient/spatial cues. The 701s seemed to have an echo-y character with some "overhang" much of the time.

On the Diana Krall pieces, the 701 seemed to make her voice more nasal, and again the bass and piano were too fat and poorly defined.

The 880s seemed to be the more extended, spacious, controlled, natural, and for me much more enjoyable musical experience. It gave the feeling of more air around performers, definite separation and unique character to choral voices, fine subtleties such as the organ pipes "breathing", etc. etc.

There's a lot more to this -- and I need to experiment with more of the array of cables my friend left for me to play with, as well as burn in the cables more and listen more before I write more.

I think this gives some idea of how my experience comparing these 2 phones has begun.
post #55 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whorehay
I am considering a Little Dot Micro+ (with a K501) for a semi-portable setup... how do you like the K701 and the LDM+? I assume there is enough power but how is the "synergy" (even compared to other portable amps under $100). Thanks!
I haven't extensively heard any other amps apart from the two I own, so I can't say how much synergy it has compared to other amps, and synergy is subjective as well (since it depends on what kind of sound you prefer). The LDM+ does do a decent job of powering the K701 though, to my relatively untrained ears there's no perceptible "falling out" of any frequencies. The bass cleans up very nicely (I'd guess better amps would let more bass loose, as the LDM+ tends to hold back flabby bass). Extension and clarity on the highs is also excellent to my ears, as there's quite a large difference when swapping between the K701 and DT880 - if I can hear their differences with the LDM+, it's gotta be doing a great job. In terms of synergy for detail though, I'd give the LDM+/DT880 combo the edge.
post #56 of 96
Quote:
Actually, that's *exactly* what I like listening for in my music. It makes the music more human to me. I like to hear chairs creak, noses inhale, mouths exhale, and even the paper unwrapping on a cough drop being held by some allergy-afflicted guy in Row 27.
LMAO!


Quote:
funny, funny!-- Short Round
post #57 of 96
Thread Starter 
Minor update:

I finally sat down and gave the DT880 with Millett Hybrid an extended non-critical listening session (the amp hasn't been used very much since I got it some weeks ago). I didn't have time to listen to the K701 too for comparison, sorry. Another day perhaps.

Equipment chain:
Onkyo CS-V720 > Radio Shack 18AWG RCA/RCA IC > Millett Hybrid w/ RCA 12FK6 tubes > DT880

Burn-in:
- Unknown amount of hours on the Millett Hybrid. Bought it used though, so it's probably well burned-in.
- DT880 is approaching 300 hours.
- Ok so the RCA/RCA IC is low-quality. I didn't have a spare so I pulled the one I'm using with my TV and DVD player. Much better cables are coming in on Friday.

Zero 7 - When It Falls (multiple tracks)

"Warm Sound"

The bass notes get a lot more emphasis, so much that it reminded me of my former K271S which had an AWESOME bass impact once they were burned in. I didn't listen to this track much (it's not one of my favorites), so moving on...

"Home"

The lower bass rhythm gets extra power here too. It reminds me so much of my K271S it's just freaky. The female vocal receives more detail than I've heard before, enough that I can almost hear the "microphone breath" (I suspect I'd fully hear it with a better source). The presentation is so rich, warm, and FULL. When all the instruments kick in at 3 minutes, the layers create a wash that's just a glory to behold. Warm, warm, warm, as expected - the DT880 responds to the tube amping incredibly well. Anyone who complains about the mids being recessed on the DT880 needs to hear it with a tube amp.

"Somersault"

The presentation on Sia Furler's voice is like she's singing right into your ears - up close, intimate. You can almost hear her vocal chords straining when she starts crooning later on. The strings in the background are very distinct, kinda separate from the main mix, but very much there, with the presentation sounding as if they're surrounding the other instruments.

"Look Up"

REALLY kicking bass on the main bass line that would overtake the rest of the frequencies on lesser headphones, but the DT880 balances it out - giving no less impact of course, but the upper frequencies definitely have a "come out to play" presentation. The strings are lush and have some of the upper-harmonics that strings are known for (which I hadn't really heard from this track before). The guitar action that interplays with the bass is quick and detailed. The harmonica-lead is very upfront.

"In Time"

I kinda stopped paying critical attention with this song, instead relaxing more to it. The female voice just caught up with me and entranced me with its sultriness.

Conclusion:

For me the change with even a Millett Hybrid was astounding. I had no idea the DT880 could change personalities as much as it did. Kinda bright and thin sounding with my solid-state amps (even with Zero 7), then it got all warm, thick, and mellowy with the Millett - just like my K271S. Made me miss 'em.

And for anyone concerned that the DT880 has no bass, well this amp proves them wrong!!!
post #58 of 96
Has anyone compared the DT880 and K701s to the W1000? That would be a great comparison for soundstage right there.

Quote:
Subjectively, I'd reckon the 880 is like row 8 in a concert hall, while the 701 is like a row 15. Both have valid musical presentations, depending on your musical preference. I suppose on large orchestral works, the 701 will work much better in providing the scale of the orchestra.
cmk, how would you rate the HD600 for soundstage would that be like row 5?
post #59 of 96
This thread always manages to make me concerned that I should have gotten the DT880 instead of my K701s
post #60 of 96
My Millet Hybrid will be ready soon. Can't wait to hear how it sounds with the 880s, especcially after reading the above review.
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