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audio technica ad900 v k701

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Recently sold my k701s as I just couldnt get on with them, too much sibilance, not enough drive and as exciting as watching paint dry. I actually prefer my aging and far cheaper Beyerdynamic dt 311s (which considering their age and cost are remarkably musical.) The k701s did demonstrate though that I'm missing out on a lot detail and refinement with the dt311s so I am still on the hunt for a set of cans that are reasonably neutral, but have the ability to involve me in the music. I've been reading up about the Audio Technica AD 900s and they seem to be what I'm looking for, similar transparency to the AKGs but with a bit more drive and a slightly more rounded midband and top end.

Apologies to K701 fans, this was just my experience with them, I really wanted to like them, I burnt them in (250 hrs plus) tried different amps etc but they just didnt do it for me.

My current system is: Musical Fidelity Xray CD player, Naim Headline 2 with NAPSC power supply, Beyerdynamic dt311 headphones. Grado sr 60 headphones (my beyers sound better than the Grados too, Grados bass is mushy and top end strident by comparison)

So, anyone think the the ATs will be more up my street?

many thanks

Shaun
post #2 of 15
I might get mashed for it, but my 780s seem to bring out a lot of detail in good recordings. They're also pretty "fun" or "exciting" to listen to, I guess one could say.
post #3 of 15
Imo the AD900 are fantastic for classical and not suited for much else which is why I'm selling mine (don't listen to much classical). They have huge sounstage, lots of detail, are very fast and airy for a dynamic can but are lacking in bass and slightly harsh in the midrange on vocals (though that may be lack of burn in). I can't compare to the K701 because I haven't heard it.
post #4 of 15
Agreed. Overall, the K701 is a better, more detailed phone, but its sound sig is quite different from the AD900 and I can imagine liking the AD900 and not liking the K701. Bass is a bit lacking at times, but this is made up for the incredible soundstage (different from the AKG soundstage), speed and imaging. Detail is almost as impressive as AKG's top models. For classical they are great. And they are very easy to drive, something you can't accuse the K701 of.
post #5 of 15
You don’t mention of what kind of music you listen to (did I miss it?) so it’s harder to make recommendations. I listen to classical music so I value a refined and reticent bass that doesn’t pollute the midrange and a sparkling treble but I still want to have fun. The AD900 sells for around $270 plus shipping so lets call it $300. That means you have several excellent choices which include the Grado SR325i. It has lots of Grado sparkle and slam (some say too much) and it doesn’t need an amp to sound very good. The Beyerdynamic DT880 is an airy phone that’s light on its feet with a refined bass but it needs a powerful amp to bring out its best. The Sennheiser HD600 is an excellent choice except for that infernal Sennheiser clamp. Cheaper choices are the Audio Technica AD700 and Alessandro MS1. The Ad700 is a very special phone that (may) lack the augmented bass and ungraded housing of the AD900 but since I don't own the AD900 I'm not sure about this. I’d try the AD700 before the AD900 because you can get them from Amazon for $106 with free shipping and have 30 days to return them if you don’t like them. The Alessandro MS1 for $99 including WW shipping may be the best value in phones under $500. It's a refined Grado with most of the fun and it's easily driven by my iPod Shuffle. The only thing the MS1 lacks is "enhanced" bass. I have all of these phones and wouldn’t recommend any of them if I didn’t like them. My favorite phone is only available used so I’m reluctant to recommend it. It’s the AKG K501 with K701 pads. Whenever I compare the K501 to my K701 (which is as dull and lifeless as you describe it) or any of my other phones, it’s my one phone that does everything right so I reach for it first most of the time. It’s extremely comfortable, responds well to good amplification and, IMO has just the right amount of bass for classical music. So you face the best kind of dilemma because you have too many excellent choices to choose from.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonicLemming View Post
I might get mashed for it, but my 780s seem to bring out a lot of detail in good recordings. They're also pretty "fun" or "exciting" to listen to, I guess one could say.
Tell me about it

This is also coming from a former K701 owner.

To OP: You seem to want an exciting headphone. You should check out the Denon D2000 or one of the Ultrasones. There are lots of big threads going on on these things.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys, I'm more confused than ever now LOL.

Anybody got any more opinions on the Audio Technicas?
post #8 of 15

Thought I'll contribute to this discussion although I have little experience with full size cans. I have an AD900 and I think they're very transparent but risks of sounding a bit thin for some. The soundstage is very big but I find the instrument placement a bit vague due to the large size. The 4kHz peak will make some recordings sound harsh at the treble region and the the headphones do sound grainy at times. I have a feeling that there are better headphones at its price range but I can't be bothered to swap headphones right now.

 

Consider the Fostex T50RP. It's still one of the best headphones I ever had a chance to listen to. Although it doesn't have that big soundstage as the K701 or AD900, it's very balanced and far less grainy (better "darkness" or contrast).

 

Also consider the Panasonic RP-HTF890. They're not popular in Head-Fi for some reason but according to a few thrifty members, they can match and even beat the AD700 with similar sonic characteristics (big soundstage and all) and still cost under $100. Won't hurt buying them at that price.

 

EDIT: wait I just realized that the last post was in 2008! lol


Edited by tuahogary - 9/16/11 at 5:38am
post #9 of 15

I think the presentation of the AD900 is similar to the K701, I wouldn't group them together either since the 701 is actually an older flagship level headphone that has actually been discounted over the years to compete with it's more popular counterparts. To some people they're every bit as good...

 

If you didn't like the overly analytical and dry nature of the 701, the 880 gives you a little more weight with the same overall tonal balance. Someone who is deciding between AD900's and 701's will have a good experience with 880's I feel. The 900 is similar to the 701 with a very spacious almost too distant for some soundstage. It's HUGE! Again soundstage is another way to have fun with headphones. Theres all kinds of ways like bass, warm mids, bright treble, and for some people, absolute accuracy is fun for them.

 

The DT-880 should be a crowd pleaser if you're looking for the analytical side of headphones but with a little more "fun" than the 701 I feel.

 

Another way out is just Grado hehe. Comfort and soundstage are lacking compared to the other options, but as you adjust and the headphones break in, you're in for a good time... buy into a higher end model and you'll see a lot of that top-end sparkle recede and you'll get cleaner treble. The midrange muddyness is some of that treble sparkle extending into the lower ranges as well.

 

post #10 of 15

I completely disagree with you as the audio technica ath-ad900 won the 2011 select best headphones award.your comments on the ad900 doesn't mean anything.i woild suggest borrow some ears

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by phileguy View Post

I completely disagree with you as the audio technica ath-ad900 won the 2011 select best headphones award.your comments on the ad900 doesn't mean anything.i woild suggest borrow some ears

 

My forum skillz > yours. Nice thread necro.

 

I still stand behind what I said.

post #12 of 15

I can't believe that every one is saying the AD900's are not a "fun pair of headphones. My guess is that these people do not listen to trance, ambient, or any electronic music. I only have the AD700's and I can say that they are a THRILL to listen to if you appreciate ambient, trance, triphop, classical, new age or anything that has a large sound stage and isn't intended for "rocking out" to. Do I have to mention movies and games? The soundstage is so large that its like being in a movie theater.

post #13 of 15

SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET first necro on this forum.... I probably shouldnt have deleted the attempt to help OP


Edited by linglingjr - 9/14/12 at 8:49pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post

SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET first necro on this forum.... I probably shouldnt have deleted the attempt to help OP

Did you prefer the ad900 or k701, or were you going to suggest something else?

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by namaiki View Post

Did you prefer the ad900 or k701, or were you going to suggest something else?

I had Q701s with a solid state amp (like the OP) the k70x sound extremely bright with out a tube amp. I switched to HD600s because they sounded a lot more flat with my set up.  You will miss all that detail though, I kind of took it for granted when I had them

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