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Modded AKG 701's

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I had a pair of AKG 701's modded by Moon-Audio. Drew set them up with a Black Dragon Cable...bypassing the headband trace AKG uses...He brought a wire to each driver as AKG should have. I was concerned about the weight of the cable making the cans seem heavy...but they seem more comfortable now then they did stock. AND more importantly...They sound INCREDIBLE! I had tried a few cable mods of my own but they never sounded this good. They now have the clarity I wanted along with the natural weight I expected. Sound stage is great...extension...bass is tight and deep...overall a wonderful upgrade and complement to my Sennheiser HD600's with Zu Cable.

I'm using a Denon 2900 as a source with a Singlepower MPX3, blackgates, Silver P2P wiring, Supra Transformer, Tungsol VT231 input, Sylvania 6SN7W outputs, MIT S2 IC's and Harmonic Tech Fantasy PC's.

If you have a pair of 701's and just want to take them to the next level...I can unconditionally recommend this upgrade...Drew is a pleasure to deal with and does beautiful work...
post #2 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnoldhasmail
I had a pair of AKG 701's modded by Moon-Audio. Drew set them up with a Black Dragon Cable...bypassing the headband trace AKG uses...He brought a wire to each driver as AKG should have. I was concerned about the weight of the cable making the cans seem heavy...but they seem more comfortable now then they did stock. AND more importantly...They sound INCREDIBLE! I had tried a few cable mods of my own but they never sounded this good. They now have the clarity I wanted along with the natural weight I expected. Sound stage is great...extension...bass is tight and deep...overall a wonderful upgrade and complement to my Sennheiser HD600's with Zu Cable.

I'm using a Denon 2900 as a source with a Singlepower MPX3, blackgates, Silver P2P wiring, Supra Transformer, Tungsol VT231 input, Sylvania 6SN7W outputs, MIT S2 IC's and Harmonic Tech Fantasy PC's.

If you have a pair of 701's and just want to take them to the next level...I can unconditionally recommend this upgrade...Drew is a pleasure to deal with and does beautiful work...

What do you say to people that are skeptical about recabling in regards to cost vs. benefits?

Skeptics who own 701's...like me.
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
That's a personal issue...imo

I love music and try to produce realism...the nuances. Cost is almost secondary...as long as my wallet can take it. I believe that the tweaks very often separate the ordinary from the extraordinary...

It's worth the money, for me.
post #4 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnoldhasmail
That's a personal issue...imo

I love music and try to produce realism...the nuances. Cost is almost secondary...as long as my wallet can take it. I believe that the tweaks very often separate the ordinary from the extraordinary...

It's worth the money, for me.

See...where I'm coming from is this: I haven't really detected anything withe 701's that I feel needs "improvement"...yet.

In any event...I was hoping to get as much specific information and before/after impressions as possible.

Hopefully some others who have tried this will chime in.

If you do a search, you'll see that there have been two previous "recabling 701" threads that never seem to get much follow through.
post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnoldhasmail
I had a pair of AKG 701's modded by Moon-Audio. Drew set them up with a Black Dragon Cable...bypassing the headband trace AKG uses...He brought a wire to each driver as AKG should have. I was concerned about the weight of the cable making the cans seem heavy...but they seem more comfortable now then they did stock. AND more importantly...They sound INCREDIBLE! I had tried a few cable mods of my own but they never sounded this good. They now have the clarity I wanted along with the natural weight I expected. Sound stage is great...extension...bass is tight and deep...overall a wonderful upgrade and complement to my Sennheiser HD600's with Zu Cable.

I'm using a Denon 2900 as a source with a Singlepower MPX3, blackgates, Silver P2P wiring, Supra Transformer, Tungsol VT231 input, Sylvania 6SN7W outputs, MIT S2 IC's and Harmonic Tech Fantasy PC's.

If you have a pair of 701's and just want to take them to the next level...I can unconditionally recommend this upgrade...Drew is a pleasure to deal with and does beautiful work...
how much was the cost? I think I hear 650 worshipers shaking in their Senns.
post #6 of 46
Arnold-

Thanks for your report and your impressions.

I've found the K701's to be a little "thicker" than realistic, and lacking the lively realism of the K501. With the laws of physics in place in a live performance, all acoustic music rolls off in the bass. Even huge pipe organs do - they're designed to. All instruments grow in power and gain fundamental as the pitch ascends due to the relative scale of the instrument body, string thickness, etc. To me, the stock K701's try too hard to bloom the midbass in an unnatural way - not quite as much as the HD650, and in a little different range. Soooo - I found that an easy mod to the K701's was to swap pads with the K501. The 701's "thin out" just a bit in a natural way, and come alive in the upper mids just a bit, to me at least.
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by phergus_25
how much was the cost? I think I hear 650 worshipers shaking in their Senns.
I had asked Drew for a quote on this same job a month or so ago. You're looking at probably a couple of hundred bucks or so if you shipped in a pair of 701's to him to get it done, give or take.

If you to Moon Audio, I think he already has the prices listed if you buy the 701's plus the cabling direct from him. Starting around $550 I think?
post #8 of 46
Moon does sell them with BD installed now but I have to say this set looks like a better job. The BD equipped AKG 701 from Moon are single sided, which is cool, but not sealed at the headphone like yours. I'd be concerned that the lack of seal would one alter the sound, and two not stand up to the good old foot on cable then stand up test
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by phergus_25
I think I hear 650 worshipers shaking in their Senns.
They should be shaking already. I prefer the K701 with stock cable to the 650

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So $550, orrr you could add a couple hundred and get one of the best headphones ever made, the K1000
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude
Moon does sell them with BD installed now but I have to say this set looks like a better job. The BD equipped AKG 701 from Moon are single sided, which is cool, but not sealed at the headphone like yours. I'd be concerned that the lack of seal would one alter the sound, and two not stand up to the good old foot on cable then stand up test
Definitely looks good, but I would think/hope people could get the same quality work done no matter what.
post #11 of 46
Look at the photo Arnold attached. Then look here:

http://gon5.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1148314471.jpg

On Arnold's the connection at the headphone is sealed. On the 'normal' Black Dragon equipped 701, second pic, the cable goes into the headphone unsealed and as far as I can tell not braced. Meaning a good tug on Arnold's pair is harmless while the default ones the cable could very well come right off.

My other pet peeve about Drew's cables is the Dragon logo shrink wrap. The piece under it is cut perfect, glued and shrunk air tight... but the logo wrap is almost always cut ragged, not to length and just cheap looking. I know he does both of them so why is one perfect like the rest of the cable and one quick and dirty? And why two to begin with, Cardas uses one wrap and its just as sturdy as when I bought it. Ya I'm done, good vent session back to myself

Do look damn sweet though
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude
Moon does sell them with BD installed now but I have to say this set looks like a better job. The BD equipped AKG 701 from Moon are single sided, which is cool, but not sealed at the headphone like yours. I'd be concerned that the lack of seal would one alter the sound, and two not stand up to the good old foot on cable then stand up test
are we sure that all the cable is actually replaced? indise the headband included?
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321
They should be shaking already. I prefer the K701 with stock cable to the 650

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So $550, orrr you could add a couple hundred and get one of the best headphones ever made, the K1000

I actually enjoyed the 701s and most others better than the K1000, with the K1000 strings were AMAZING, however putting them far out for an amazing souind stage really kills some of the bass. I think for the money I wouldent get K1000s as a main can, sure I wouldent.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by phergus_25
I actually enjoyed the 701s and most others better than the K1000, with the K1000 strings were AMAZING, however putting them far out for an amazing souind stage really kills some of the bass. I think for the money I wouldent get K1000s as a main can, sure I wouldent.
Yeah, ipods don't do the K1000 justice.

Too much toe out makes them sound bad, you should try them closer to your ear if you get to hear them again.
post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321
Yeah, ipods don't do the K1000 justice.

Too much toe out makes them sound bad, you should try them closer to your ear if you get to hear them again.
haha, naw it was on Mikes big setup, it was amped correctly, [im a slight bass head, the audio technicas that were present put a big smile on my face], but they are amazing, im not arguing that, but deff not for all around listining IMO.
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