Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › AKG 501 Boomy Bass
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AKG 501 Boomy Bass

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I purchased these a couple of months ago and burned them in good and well, or so I thought. I was considering a switch in headphone amp from tubed (MPX 3) to solid state (just an old Sansui integrated with headphone out as a standby) and of all the cans I own, these had absolutely the worst bass sound. Sounded kind of cardboardy for a lack of better description.

So...I decided to burn them in further; treated them roughly with volume way louder than comfortable for me and increased the bass boost on the bass dial and let 'er rip for about a week or so. Afterwards (back on the MPX 3), I could not believe how damn good they sounded. I listened to Stanley Clarke's "East River Drive" and I was floored. The 501's reminded me of my Dunlavy SC-IV in sound signature.

Needless to say, I was very impressed.

The next morning, I decided to listen to Earl Klugh's new solo guitar recording before the games came on. Thought this recording would sound good with the Grado 225's so I put them on and started to enjoy the relaxing sounds of solo acoustic guitar on an early Sunday morning. After a half dozen tracks, I wondered how the 501s would sound with this recording so I swapped out the headphones.

The recording sounded fantastic, with an exception of boomy bass on certain notes. I've never experienced this with headphones before and thought it odd so I swapped out the 501s with 225s, RS-1s, 701s and 990 Pros and not a single one of them gave me this boomy bass.

I couldn't figure it out so back on the burner amp it went for some more rough treatment. It's been cooking now for two days. I figure I'll give it a few more days and try it again. Hopefully, the boominess will be gone.

Just curious, has anyone else had this happen to them?

Ciao,

AD
post #2 of 14
Hmm, I got a lot of bass from my first pair of K501s, but it never was so much that I'd call it boomy. We'll see when I get my second pair.
post #3 of 14
Okay, now I've read everything.

You don't really mean boomy, do you? As in, large quantities of flabby bass? My K501 has the tightest and least bass of all the headphones I own. It's still enough bass for me, but no way would I call it boomy. Hm, maybe I should try a bit of aggressive burn-in. I don't know if it would work now, though, having hundreds of hours on it already.
post #4 of 14
Did you overburn them?

AKG K501 are suppose to be one the leanest bass headphones, famous for bottoming out sooner than most other headphones of its class. I have that some people managed to get more bass out of them by blasting some THX tracks through them.
post #5 of 14
When I had both at the same time, I got much more + better bass from the K501 than a stock W5000 by a longshot. It's not a boomy bass monster, but the pair I had was anything but lean. All the posts on here kept trying to convince me it was impossible I was hearing the bass I was, but it was still there everytime I put them on.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
When I had both at the same time, I got much more + better bass from the K501 than a stock W5000 by a longshot. It's not a boomy bass monster, but the pair I had was anything but lean. All the posts on here kept trying to convince me it was impossible I was hearing the bass I was, but it was still there everytime I put them on.
So does that mean your K501 had an abnormal amount of bass compared to others or that the W5000 has no bass?

Hm, I never really got burn-in. Perhaps the K501 drivers really need a kick in the pants every once in a while to keep their bass strong? But that just sounds wrong to me, for some reason.
post #7 of 14
There were different versions of the K501 with slightly different physical construction, like the K340, although AKG denies it.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedxing View Post
Did you overburn them?

AKG K501 are suppose to be one the leanest bass headphones, famous for bottoming out sooner than most other headphones of its class. I have that some people managed to get more bass out of them by blasting some THX tracks through them.
I wouldn't be surprised if there is such a thing as over burn. Maybe on the edge of blowing out the capsule/driver. I would take the pads off and inspect the driver just to see. I would equate burn-in at higher volume to accelerated aging.

I was browsing through the pink noise thread and heard a few claim that it sucked away the bass...maybe you could try that. And limit your burn-in levels to just above listening levels.

...but yeah, boomy bass and k501s is an oxymoron.
post #9 of 14
the lean, controlled bass is why i like my non fatiguing akg501
post #10 of 14
i'd like to think the K501s sound sig is very similar to the D66s -- except way better.

that being said, when listening w/ the K501s i have noticed more bass presence than usual in some songs while non-existant in others (which do have a considerable amount of bass) -- just lucky i guess.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by feh1325 View Post
the lean, controlled bass is why i like my non fatiguing akg501
The rolled off treble is also a large factor in why the K501s aren't as fatiguing as some phones, as least for me.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

By "boomy" I mean...

Kind of like when a large speaker overpowers a room at certain frequencies and that particular note comes at you louder than others.

I know that the 501s aren't blown and yes, I agree that they do have a very tight and controlled bass. It's just for whatever reason one note in particular sounds boomy. The recording that brought this out is an close-mic'd acoustic guitar with nylon strings.

I'll see how it sounds later tonight just to check things out.

Ciao
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by megawzrd View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if there is such a thing as over burn.
Yeah I would definitely be careful before trying to burn in something this way. When you burn in, you should only turn the volume to a little bit higher than you would normally listen at, not too much. It's like the Tylenol concept - taking more than the recommended dosage isn't going to help the effect, you just have a higher chance of ruining your liver. So don't burn your phones in with volumes too loud, either - louder isn't always better.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post
Kind of like when a large speaker overpowers a room at certain frequencies and that particular note comes at you louder than others.

I know that the 501s aren't blown and yes, I agree that they do have a very tight and controlled bass. It's just for whatever reason one note in particular sounds boomy. The recording that brought this out is an close-mic'd acoustic guitar with nylon strings.

I'll see how it sounds later tonight just to check things out.

Ciao
Hmm, it sounds to me like just a characteristic of acoustic guitar. I get the same effect when listening to stuff like Andy McKee and other acoustic guitar soloists. I'm just surprised that you haven't heard the same kind of boominess on your other phones, especially the DT990.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › AKG 501 Boomy Bass