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AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic DT880:Burn-in is NOT a MYTH!!!

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
I just want to say NEVER in my life have I seen two headphones under go such a dramatic improvement in my life!
My AKG K701's have about 350 hours of burn-in, and my 880's have about 450 hours.
I haven't listened to them all that much until today, and I am shocked and very pleasantly surprised!
The AKG's were horrible until a few days ago, and have taken a DRAMATIC turn for the better as of today.
The Beyers have done the same.
The AKG's were horribly sibilant, harsh, lacking bass, congested, rolled off on top, and closed in.
The Beyers were excruciatingly bright, sibilant, thin, and had virtually no bass to speak of.
Today, to my amazement, the AKG's were exceptionally open, smooth, very spacious, clean, and have great even bass response!
They are still just a slight tad sterile, and very slightly light on bass, but I cannot complain anymore.
The Beyerdynamic 880's are now very smooth and extended in the highs, spacious [almost as spacious as the AKG's], very neutral in the mids, and have really good even bass response as well.
They are still [I]very slightly thin, and don't have quite the bass power of the Senns. or the 990's, but I am very impressed with them.
The Sennheisers did not really change that much with burn-in, but the AKG's and Beyers sure did!
My Heed CanAmp now has about 240 hours of burn-in and it is making pretty big strides as well.
Will these phones improve even more with more burn-in, or do you think they have maxed out?
Any other comments?
post #2 of 38
I was originally also a bit sceptical about burning in, but finally made the same experiences with my DT880. And my MS2 converted from a shrill listening fatigue bangbang monster to a polite & balanced allrounder.
post #3 of 38
Any of you now how much the dt990 changes after burn in? I have about 15h on mine and they are nice but VERY sibilant , I use very low volume, otherwise I gets listening fatigue.
post #4 of 38
I got my new K701's yesterday and immediately hooked them up to my old Pioneer receiver playing a radio station continuously. I won't even try to listen to them until 300 hours so I won't be disappointed!!
post #5 of 38
I felt the same on mine DT880 . They noticeable changed after about 200 hours , and of course in good direction
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
My 990's have about 200 hours on them and they have improved quite a bit.
I still like my 880's better. The 990's still have traces of sibilance, a recessed midrange, and a boomy bass, but they have improved about 50%.
Maybe more time will prove to be the answer?
Ratfarm, make sure you put atleast 300+ hours on the 701's, or you will be very disappointed with them. Trust me, they do change dramatically after 300 hours!
Also, MAKE SURE you have a good amp to power the 701's with, or you will be very disappointed as well. They need LOTS of power/current to drive them to anywhere near their full potential!
post #7 of 38
Please report back when you get your GS-1! That is exactly the amp I am considering with the K701's. I'm curious to see how they match up.
post #8 of 38
Of course burn-in is not a myth.

Anything that flexes.

Anything that moves, and has a bead of glue on it anywhere.

Anything that slides. No matter how smooth. Especially if lubricated.

Anything that pivots. No matter how sharp. Especially if lubricated.

Anything that goes through temperature cycles.

The performance of all of these things will change over the first interval of their use cycle.

How much the performance changes varies from implementation to implementation, but even the finest mechanical watches have run-in and wear characteristics over time, for example.

In headphones or microphones, the factory may have a break-in or 'de-stressing' process at the factory that gets the parts through their most noticible changes before they ever get to you.

Or not.

As a guy who owns a dozen mechanical watches, I think it's silly that people argue that balanced-armature piston drivers don't need break-in at all. break-in is just different for a moving piston than it is for a flexible diaphragm, and affects the sound differently.
post #9 of 38
If they change THAT much, why don't brand new headphones come pre-burnt in. Sorry if this is a stupid question.
post #10 of 38
Sometimes they do come pre-burnt in.

Sometimes the factory burn-in is only partial.

The pro audio market, fwiw, is used to the concept of burn-in, and so wouldn't generally be deeply offended by products that need it.
post #11 of 38
Originally Posted by troymadison View Post
If they change THAT much, why don't brand new headphones come pre-burnt in.
Because it's too expensive and because the "normal consumer" listening to his Bon Jovi CDs is propably incapable of resolving differences between brand new and burnt in. We tend to develop bat's ears in the course of time, so that what is stated to be a big difference by us is just foolish nerd stuff to the unexperienced lister.
post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yeah, but some people will argue up and down that burn-in is indeed a myth, especially on headphones, cables, solid state headphone amps, etc.
I have found differently in most cases, but not all.
Also, interconnects do sound significantly different.
I can easily hear the differences between my Blue Jean Cable LC-1's, Straight Wire Concertos, Lat IC200mk.2's, and Monster Cable M550i's when I switch them out between my CD player and my Heed CanAmp or Creek OBH-11SE.
The differences are much less audible on my main home stereo system, however.
Ratfarm, will do!
When I get the GS-1, I will burn it in and report how it compares to my Creek and Heed, and how well it matches up with my AKG's, Beyers, Grado SR-60's, and Sennheisers.
Do remember though that it might sound different in your system, with your ears, and to your tastes.
post #13 of 38
Hey Daltonlanny=]

I recently got the k701, and I'm hoping that they too go through the changes your phone did. It needs quite a bit more bass, more highs extension and sparkle, and a more neutral sounding midrange.

My dt880, on the other hand, sounded fantastic right out of the box. Not much changed about it, except for less harsh highs really. The bass was very much there, fun, and satisfying. The soundstage was large...everything just sounded fantastic! So far I'd say my dt880>>>k701, but I'm hoping that will change=]

Btw, what method of burn-in did you use, e.g. pink noise?

post #14 of 38
you clean your ears or something?
post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
Mainly pink noise at a slightly loud level on most days, with my CD player on repeat.
A few days later, will I play bass heavy modern pop/r&b [Cassie, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Cherish, PCD, Beyonce, Ciara, Ashanti, etc.], at slightly loud levels, recorded on a CD-R disc.
I put the CD player put on "Repeat All" on its menu for a day or two for the CD-R, then I will go back to the pink noise again.
Roughly speaking:
Pink noise = 80% of the time
Bass heavy modern music = 20% of the time
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