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The AKG K701 - Friend or Foe - Mods that may help others - Page 4

post #46 of 133
Ok.. I tried several of the mods presented here and elsewhere. All work as described but for me alter the natural tonal balance way too much.ie at the sake of more bass give up air and transparency. So I figured the change needs to be more subtle and graduated. I realized that perhaps a porous paper-like diaphragm inserted below the foam might do the trick...

I cut out several rings out of Paper Towel roll..uhm yep you read right

I did this using a circle cutter..mine's called the NT Cutter..made in Japan cost $10..

The rings are the same size as the foam with the central hole slightly larger (3.0 cm) to reduce the breathyness that results in the mids as the air is pushed out by the driver and passes by the edge of the inner holes.

I found that three of these paper rings stacked under the original foam diaphragm work to balance the sound out..ie the bass becomes more prominent giving the mids roundness and weight without muffling them too much...

You can play around with the number of rings you stack either side to fine tune the sound to your tastes..u might find one ear hears less into the HF and therfeore requires one less paper on that side..

As for the material..any soft, perforated paper, tissue, or even medical type wound dressing might work..piercing the paper with more holes will make the mids/ highs more transparant.

Think of it like putting sand/lead shot into a speaker enclosure..more sand --> wetter punchier base, more focused mids, less air ..and contra; less sand --> more air, drier flabbier base and unfocused mids etc.

This is an inexpensive solution that requires minimal modding and can result in quite marked improvements in the SQ..try it
post #47 of 133
Thread Starter 
I will eventually put a few more pictures of the current mod that I have done to the AKG K701 that own. I have tried many materials and combinations of sorts and found that this current configuration of the mod that I have now and position of the foam piece drops most of the harsh overtones (mostly caused by the plastic portions of the enclosure) while reinforcing the lower, mid, and upper frequencies. The air and presence is there, however not as harsh or dry as when with the stock foam rings. Just for sake of argument, I do not have the material cut to mimic the foam rings. I originally did until I found the presence of sound stage to become to enclosed while that airy feeling went away completely. Plus I lost a bit of upper range and gained a bit of unwanted boomy bass.

That was a no no, so I cut out a 1/4 section of the ring forming a sort of three-quarter open ring and positioned so that the open end is toward the ear canal. The sound stage presence and dynamic representation returns without any of the harsh and dry overtones as when I first began this experiment. Now the headphones are in the settling phase, another 1000-hours will determine how much more tweeking will be needed to gain more presence without those horrible dry tones that were there previously when the headphone was new.

The last modification will be to recable the AKG K701 with Moon Audio's Black Dragon headphone cable. I was thinking the Silver Dragon, but decided not to go that way since this headphone is very detailed in the sonic character thus softening the signature with a copper conductor would be wise.

Hope this answer helps those who think I may have ruined my headphone. I don't that I did however there are those who have different hearing tastes. I am into Classical, Jazz, Fusion, and R&B. I do not use any form of EQ and I do have a fair number of portable and stationary headphone amps (mostly made by the Chinese).

take care everybody
post #48 of 133
I only have about 20 hours of burn in on my brand new K701's. I am going to do this tonight and see what happens!
post #49 of 133
It's a nice and easy mod, I'll give it a try!
yklee118 thanks for leting us know
post #50 of 133
Forget the K70* - I pulled the pads from my K601 and I cant wait to give this a shot. Even if it doesnt do anything for me, I cant see how I can lose out - will have them back together in under 30 seconds and nothing cut/mangled/whatever. Thanks for this.
post #51 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintalfonzo View Post
You must mostly listen to music that needs the numbing effect of the 650. For anything other than metal or badly recorded older rock music the K701 destroys the HD650. Of course we all have different ears, and I respect your opinion.
While I'm always happy to entertain any new ideas, I have to agree. I don't think the K701s were necessarily designed for really grating source material, like certain types of alt rock that are made out of crashing cymbals and car wrecks. If what you're listening to is already so bright you gotta wear shades, a more veiled presentation may be just what the doctor ordered - especially Dr. Boom Boom. But when you use the K701s to listen to classical, acoustic, vocal, classic (50s, 60s, 70s) rock and a host of other genres where natural instruments are showcased, the K701s have a great presentation, one where their sensitivity to HF detail makes them
audio manna.

In headphones, as in audio mechanics, there are different instruments for different jobs. K701s were never about the boom boom. They were always about the detail.
post #52 of 133
I just tried this mod on my K701s, it is indeed very interesting!

I tried the foam with the 1/4 opening like the one from the first post, which I didn't really like. It sounds very similar to the original foams-- slightly too harsh.

I then tried the foam cut into the same shape as the original, without opening, it sounds much better. The harshness is gone, bass is improved, however, at the cost of some soundstage. Sounds fairly close to my ES3X customs, except brighter.

Now I took the second set of foams and made the inner circle about 2mm wider in diameter, and it sounds slightly better- slightly bigger soundstage, but still controlling the harshness and retaining the bass. So far this one sounds the best to my ears.

I'm going to make another set with opening, except maybe 1/8 the size, and i'll report back on the results.
post #53 of 133
Thread Starter 
I have made one final modification that has not only opened up the soundstage presence, but made the overall sound signature very close to the Sennheiser HD650 with the Cardas Upgrade. No joke. In fact the bass blends in naturally with the mid-range and high frequencies without sounding harsh, thin, and bright. Something for everybody to think about and I will include pictures of the new mods when my new camera arrives.

Sit tight everybody as I will unveil the last mod that I have done to make all of this possible. It would be nice if anybody is in the area of Pasadena, Sierra Madre California so that listening to believe could be possible. The SQ is very close to the Sennheiser HD650.

Just off from work so I may be a little incoherent with my sentence phrase structure. Once I fully compose myself, I should be able to speak and type intelligently.

Everybody have a great week.
post #54 of 133
Eek! You've changed the K701 into a HD650! (Squeals of disbelief in Head-Fi Land.)

I love these kinds of experiments. I tried out all sorts of variants of pads (I ran through a sheet of the material), but I've always found myself preferring the stock sound.
post #55 of 133
Thread Starter 
Eek in a good or bad way. The overall sonic character such as the clean/clear treble and mid-range still exists. The bass is much more present than with the original mod that I have done. This new and final modification has given me the ability to listen to music with headphone to the level of sheer enjoyment. The Sennheiser HD650 is listening bliss followed very closely by my newly modified AKG K701 with the stock cable. It took quite a bit of experimentation, however the center hole must not by blocked by any foam piece otherwise the treble extension will cease to exist.

Suffice enough to say what I have done is further bring out the bass and its extension to the level close to the Sennheiser HD650 without sounding boomy. One would characterize the bass to blend perfectly with the rest of the frequency range that the AKG K701 has. I will post images of the mod in due time so please everybody be patient. Keep an open mind please as AKG did spend a great deal of time (despite being owned by Harmon International) in developing this headphone and the drivers.

Have a great week.
post #56 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinali View Post
Eek! You've changed the K701 into a HD650! (Squeals of disbelief in Head-Fi Land.)

I love these kinds of experiments. I tried out all sorts of variants of pads (I ran through a sheet of the material), but I've always found myself preferring the stock sound.
Why would you bring the qualities of the 701 down to a 650 for reference?

I still have my chamois rings that I try but it just sounds better left alone. I miss the crispness of the note with the regular pad. Guess I have gotten used to it.
post #57 of 133
post #58 of 133
Thread Starter 
Here is one final report before I post the pictures with my new camera. The final modification that I have made to the rings has not change the overall nature of the AKG K701. Think of it as an enhancement. Before the modification and with nearly six-hundred hours of listening, the sound-stage is airy, dynamic with a lack in low-end bass response while still providing a good low-mid-to-high end punch. Unfortunately the sonic quality of plastic provides a rather harsh listening experience. The reason for this is (after many weeks of testing) the foam ring damper. Open cell foam acts a way to tune certain resonance frequencies and add to the velour type earcups, the bass is being absorbed while the treble frequencies are emphasized through the center cut out of the ring damper.

This combination creates the unwanted harsh treble frequencies that many listeners and owner complained about. Changing the cable only equates to a small percentage of the overall listening experience. If the air between the ear to the speaker is changed in a certain fashion, then the quality of the audio will change as well. So when people say that changing the cable will make the audio better, then it is stuff that dreams are made of. I am using the stock cable for my modifications because of the flexibility I have when using my portable listening rig.

The final mod that I have made to the damper ring has brought the life, dynamics, and soundstage presence back in the fuller sounding sense. I say this after using my HEV90 as a point of reference. The Sennheiser Orpheus is the ultimate reference class headphone, unfortunately I can't take it wherever I go, hence I have the AKG K701 and the Sennheiser HD650. Before the mod, the AKG K701 warmth was virtually non-existent and after the final mod, Warmth, fullness, and everything else originally associated with the AKG is brought out with optimum strength.

So before the haters of the K701 come out to say what full of crap this is, have an open presence of mind and consider what a headphone is truly suppose to represent when reproducing the audio recording. Most headphones have emphasis as some point, however with this mod, I am able to harness many of the attributes that this headphone was truly suppose to represent during playback.

Everybody have a Great Week
post #59 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by yklee118 View Post

Here is one final report before I post the pictures with my new camera. The final modification that I have made to the rings has not change the overall nature of the AKG K701. Think of it as an enhancement. Before the modification and with nearly six-hundred hours of listening, the sound-stage is airy, dynamic with a lack in low-end bass response while still providing a good low-mid-to-high end punch. Unfortunately the sonic quality of plastic provides a rather harsh listening experience. The reason for this is (after many weeks of testing) the foam ring damper. Open cell foam acts a way to tune certain resonance frequencies and add to the velour type earcups, the bass is being absorbed while the treble frequencies are emphasized through the center cut out of the ring damper.

This combination creates the unwanted harsh treble frequencies that many listeners and owner complained about. Changing the cable only equates to a small percentage of the overall listening experience. If the air between the ear to the speaker is changed in a certain fashion, then the quality of the audio will change as well. So when people say that changing the cable will make the audio better, then it is stuff that dreams are made of. I am using the stock cable for my modifications because of the flexibility I have when using my portable listening rig.

The final mod that I have made to the damper ring has brought the life, dynamics, and soundstage presence back in the fuller sounding sense. I say this after using my HEV90 as a point of reference. The Sennheiser Orpheus is the ultimate reference class headphone, unfortunately I can't take it wherever I go, hence I have the AKG K701 and the Sennheiser HD650. Before the mod, the AKG K701 warmth was virtually non-existent and after the final mod, Warmth, fullness, and everything else originally associated with the AKG is brought out with optimum strength.

So before the haters of the K701 come out to say what full of crap this is, have an open presence of mind and consider what a headphone is truly suppose to represent when reproducing the audio recording. Most headphones have emphasis as some point, however with this mod, I am able to harness many of the attributes that this headphone was truly suppose to represent during playback.

Everybody have a Great Week

What happened to this?
 

post #60 of 133

I am doing this mod now! Thanks for sharing your findings. This sounds exciting. Will report back with my impressions later.

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