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The AKG K701 - Friend or Foe - Mods that may help others - Page 5

post #61 of 133

I have a pair of K701 on their way and this thread interested me. I may give this a try just to compare the difference. Its a good non-invasive modification, that I can switch back anytime. I know this is an old thread but thanks for sharing. 

post #62 of 133

I just completed the mod and had some AB listening tests.


The new pads take away way too much of the frequency spectrum for my liking. The dampening is just too much and shrouds much of what the K701 in my mind does best. I will be making holes in my quarter donuts now and do some more listening. I also tried without the original foam pads and think it produces a hollow sound. A sort of reverb with distortion, like an empty barrel. Too much interference of all sorts I guess.

post #63 of 133

I was interested in the hole idea.

post #64 of 133

After punching 30-40 small holes in both pads the shroud lifted somewhat. The sound stage expanded a bit, but the dampening is still too much for my taste. The bass is slightly extended, but I am finding everything recessed. On the positive side of things, I am enjoying less sibilance and creamy higher mids and lower treble despite their less forward attitude. Transparency is not as great as with the original foam pads either.


I am now going to make some bigger holes, five in each.


I am listening to The Band of Horses: Infinite Arms, Monolake: Silence and iTAL tEK: Cyclical.

post #65 of 133

After making these 2 x 5  3.5 mm holes I am enjoying more transparency. Bass is still extended though just like before slightly muffled. These holes are a clear improvement. Switching back to the stock foam pads, I quickly realized how much sound stage, forwardness, transparency and brilliance of the timbre I was lacking even with the improved new synthetic pads. I think I can still improve the synthetic pads with even more holes in the right places. Maybe an array of 10 x 1 holes below the five 3.5 mm holes that sits exactly at the middle. So I made 2 x 10 1 mm holes.


For this I did AB testing with Nick Cave: No More Shall We Part. Its getting better. Still the dampening is more of a drawback than a gain IMHO. The space and openness of the lower treble is crushed under tighter control. With this particular album its a shame. The sibilance and slightly hot upper treble remains (probably the big holes letting everything through), which makes me think that it could be an idea to combine original foam padding with the synthetic material. If I had extra of the original foam, I cut it. So I am thinking that I will make another pair of synthetic pads that are basically more of a border, maybe 4 mm wide along the edge and then throw on the original on top of those.


I switched to some semi acoustic music. Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Jan Gabarek collaborating on a very fine album "Uncharted Land". The recording and production is magnificent and a much better source for comparison between the two kind of pads.


However with my tastes and specific appreciation in audio characteristics, I am going to be using these new pads for especially harsh types of electronic recordings, where I feel the advantages outweighs the drawbacks, such as the ones with very pronounced treble or "rough square bits that fly like needles", that can be very fatiguing very quickly. iTAL tEK was a lot more enjoyable and pleasant with the synthetics. The slightly deeper bass is very nice for lots of electronic music, so no doubt these pads are going back in for those listening sessions. For most other music, I find the trade offs too severe.


I will return with new "hollow" synthetic pads with original foams on top at some point.




post #66 of 133

Thanks for sharing your findings nakedhand.

post #67 of 133

Very interesting mod; the only thing I did (and slightly regretted doing once I did it) was completely remove the foam and the mesh covering on the ear pads so I could directly see the drivers. The phones became more detailed and brighter as well. 


However I just got the Blue Dragon cable that put some emphasis on the lower end so the sound is more detailed and has more body. Kind of like a hybrid HD600 and K701 :)

post #68 of 133

The cloth just dampened the sound a bit, adding some decay to notes and making it less harsh.  A similar effect to sticking cotton in your ears. 

post #69 of 133
Originally Posted by PointyFox View Post

The cloth just dampened the sound a bit, adding some decay to notes and making it less harsh.  A similar effect to sticking cotton in your ears. 

In my opinion it dampened the sound A LOT, though at a large cost in general SQ. Not getting any decay here either.


After making a ton of holes in the synthetic fabric, the drawbacks are fewer, while still dampening. More of a compact soundstage and less immediate and forward sound. But much less fatiguing and warm with extended bass.

post #70 of 133
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

dear YKL,


Thanks for this thread...  awaiting for your ultimate modified ring dampers to be revealed...

Edited by komebudu - 8/5/10 at 7:14am
post #71 of 133
Originally Posted by iunno View Post

What happened to this?


Hi YKL118,


You see...  we all already miss you so much... :P.  please send some nice photos from your new camera...:)


post #72 of 133

Sounds like a hoax, that ultimate pad mod.

post #73 of 133
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Sounds like a hoax, that ultimate pad mod.

This is not a hoax.  Any modification to the foam dampening ring will change the overall character of the headphone.  I will post the final revisions to the mod sometime either Sunday or Monday.  Until then


Everybody have a great weekend and next week.

post #74 of 133

I tried this and then I realized that the earpads seem to be thicker on one side and thinner on the other.  Which way do they face?!

post #75 of 133

I just took my foam rings out of my Koss pro4aas and put them in my k702s.  My k702s now sound exactly like they did before but with louder bass

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