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The AKG K701 - Friend or Foe - Mods that may help others - Page 6

post #76 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by PelPix View Post

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?!


thicker part should be behind the ears

post #77 of 133

The more way things change, the more they remain the same.

 

Some time ago, under a previous ID, I posted these mod results re: the K701. There's a chance that some might find this information useful:

 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/215072/akg-k701-mods-slicing-up-the-pads

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/207902/akg-k701-mods-part-two

 
I urge you to read my posts, which involved cutting large sheets of the same kind of material used for the K701. Like some, I felt the need to explore the options for expanding its tonal range. My result: there's a continuum of sound for the K701; without pads, the sound was antiseptic and clear. With different sized foam inserts, or holes punched into the inserts, the sound ranged from somewhat muffled to increasingly clear. However, I did finally conclude that the K701 pretty much got the balance right on their headphones. 
 
I believe that part one of the mod results contain info on the kind of material you need to replicate my results.
post #78 of 133


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochan View Post

Sounds like a hoax, that ultimate pad mod.



I don't want to make anyone mad, but that's the feeling I began to get after reading through this entire thread. Don't get me wrong: I don't think the TS is intending to deceive anyone, and I believe that people are sincere in describing the improvements they've experienced with this mod, but I know from my own personal experience that hearing is extremely subjective and we often hear what we want or expect to hear ...

 

When some of you talk about doing an A/B with this mod, do you mean you have two pairs of cans, one modded and one not, and you quickly slip them off and on while listening to the same piece of music? Because if not, it means you listen to the unmodded version, then take them off, apply the mod, and put them back on again ... seems to me that would take too long to do a true A/B because your memory of the exact specifics of what you heard will degrade very quickly ... Even if you had two pairs, one modded and one not, it still takes time to take one set off and put another on (much easier to A/B speakers in a shop where you can instantly compare one set to another with just the push of a button). You could mod either the left or the right ear piece and pull the other one away from your head, but that presents its own problems (I know because I've tried it with a different pair of cans).

 

But I want to believe. I want to believe because I myself just picked up a pair of K702s and am finding the sound very harsh and brittle (have not "broken them in" and don't have a very good amp so take that for what it is worth). So I'll try this mod too. I just wish I had a less subjective way to appraise the improvements, if any.


Edited by blinkstar - 10/5/10 at 12:45am
post #79 of 133
Thread Starter 

I apologize for not posting pics of the final mod of 2010 in regards to the foam pad replacements.  This mod actually retains many of the original characters of the K701 without the harsh, bright, and brittle overtones associated with the over sonic character of the headphone.  Bass is deep, tight, and with little or no boom to it.  The treble is still clear and airy without any of the original sibilance that it had with the original foam donut damper pads.  The sound stage is rather expansive but that said, I have over 1000-hours with my AKG K701 since it is my primary headphone for traveling.  It is quite comfy and very smooth sounding.  Clean and clear like the DT990/600-ohm but with some of the bass punch of my now sold Sennheiser HD650 with Cardas upgrade.

 

Sounds like a hoax, I assure everybody here that it isn't.  With work and all I haven't had the time to take pictures so I will make time this week to show the mod that I have done that manages to make this headphone a long listening experience like my Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic does.  The Ultrasone Edition-9s and the Audio Technica ATH-W5000 doesn't even compare to what I have manage to achieve with the K701.  The Edition-9 is a great headphone, however now I keep it for the rare nature of it.  The HE/HEV90 from Sennheiser is my ultimate headphone setup, however the AKG K701 and Beyerdynamic DT990/600 Reference are my main stay headphones. 

 

I will post the final images of the mod this week.  Everybody have a great week.

post #80 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkstar View Post

 

But I want to believe. I want to believe because I myself just picked up a pair of K702s and am finding the sound very harsh and brittle (have not "broken them in" and don't have a very good amp so take that for what it is worth). So I'll try this mod too. I just wish I had a less subjective way to appraise the improvements, if any.


Hi blinkstar

 

To be honest as I write I haven't read the thread, but I am just commenting on this para of yours.

 

To get the best out of the AKG K702s you need a good amplifier. Without a good amplifier they really aren't going to sound good.

 

The good news is that with a good amplifier the AKG K702s will deliver astonishing quality.

 

I use the AKG K702s with my Sugden Headmaster which is truly a superb amplifier, I also use them with my Pro-ject HeadBox II amp which is a budget amp. The difference in quality between these amps is very large indeed.

 

Personally I think that good class A solid state amplifiers (like the Sugden Headmaster) will work superbly with the K702s but they need to be reasonably powerful.

 

I have seen many times people suggest that an amplifier that "warms things up" should be used but I think this is absolutely not the case.

 

Amplifiers should not "warm things up" they just aren't doing their job. There is nothing cold about the K702s when used with a good amplifier and if the amplifier is "warming thing up" all it is doing is undermining what you can get with the K702s which is superb transparency, a transparency that makes you feel like you really are at the recording.

 

Today I have been listening to a new CD set I bought of the Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting Moscow Symphony Orchestra doing all seven symphonies of Jean Sibelius. These recordings have just become available on CD for the first time. They were made in the late 60s and 70s.

 

To be honest I have been close to tears listening to this music. The sense that I have got a privileged seat in the house (probably one reserved for a Communist Party apparatchik) to hear in such quality these superb performances is amazing.

 

So, please get a good transparent amplifier to use with these headphones!

 

When you read "not enough bass" or "too cold" ignore it, it is absolute nonsense.

post #81 of 133

Hi P a t r i c k -

 

Yes, that seems to be the consensus around here--you need a good amp to really get something out of the 702s, and I don't have a good amp nor funds to procure one right at the moment, so I'm kind of out of luck there ...

 

Do either you or yklee think I would get any benefit out of trying this mod, given that I don't have a decent amp?

 

post #82 of 133

Well I am not very au fait with the mod because I haven't tried it smily_headphones1.gif

 

In fact I'm not 100% sure what it is because I've just scanned the thing.

 

For me the problem the mod is intended to cure doesn't really exist.

 

The bass on the AKG K702s is superb imho.

 

The treble will be "too much" with a lesser amplifier.

 

What I think happens is that the lesser amplifier is painting with larger brush strokes and so these will more easily exacerbate any tendency in the K702s to misbehave.

 

As the amplification gets better the brush strokes get finer and so the tendency for the headphones to misbehave decreases very greatly.

 

The marvellous thing about the treble on the K702s is that it is so good with timbre, I would hate to interfere with it and lose that. The K702s reveal the very intricate relationships between the treble instruments in an orchestra.

 

I know you are saying that a good amp is out of reach, but I think you might want to look at the second-hand market. There you can get quality for very low prices if you do a bit of research. If you see anything good, but you aren't very sure what it is, you can always ask here for advice and I'm sure someone will know about it.

 

With respect to the mod, in truth I cannot advise.

post #83 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

Well I am not very au fait with the mod because I haven't tried it smily_headphones1.gif

 

In fact I'm not 100% sure what it is because I've just scanned the thing.

 

For me the problem the mod is intended to cure doesn't really exist.

 

The bass on the AKG K702s is superb imho.

 

The treble will be "too much" with a lesser amplifier.

 

What I think happens is that the lesser amplifier is painting with larger brush strokes and so these will more easily exacerbate any tendency in the K702s to misbehave.

 

As the amplification gets better the brush strokes get finer and so the tendency for the headphones to misbehave decreases very greatly.

 

The marvellous thing about the treble on the K702s is that it is so good with timbre, I would hate to interfere with it and lose that. The K702s reveal the very intricate relationships between the treble instruments in an orchestra.

 

I know you are saying that a good amp is out of reach, but I think you might want to look at the second-hand market. There you can get quality for very low prices if you do a bit of research. If you see anything good, but you aren't very sure what it is, you can always ask here for advice and I'm sure someone will know about it.

 

With respect to the mod, in truth I cannot advise.

If a person has not tried something and uses his/her experience to cite that this untried method will not help is not open to any new experience. 

 

I have a wide array of headphone amps that I use to test the modification that I have applied.  The Larocco Audio Diablo, Little Dot MKV, LDMKVI, and my new portable tube amp by C&C XO-TU.  Even the Little Dot Micro Tube was used when conducting a full A/B comparison with the original foam damper rings and with the mod rings that I have applied.  I have the K701 and not the K702 (K702 has a removable cable which allows for easy replacement such as upgrading to a better cable - I am using the stock cable installed on the K701). 

 

After 1200-hours of use (+/- 150-hours) I easily say that before the modification, the treble is overly bright and brittle.  Accurate but fatiguing over time.  Bass is tight, deep, but unfortunately lighter than one would prefer and this is even after 1200-hours of use.  The sound stage is rather expansive, while the subtle nuances are further detailed as the frequencies continue to climb in the upper registers.  Using "Famous Blue Raincoat" by Jennifier Warnes I have been able to hear the subtle deep overtones of the double bass, the sweetness of the alto saxophone, and her full bodied voice.  Unfortunately though all of this is augmented by the harshness when the upper sound of the sax is presented.  This phenomenon is presented is various quantities throughout my entire headphone amp collection.  For Little Dot, I am using Western Electric tubes while the two Micro Tube amps that I have are using some of my old stock Sovtec tubes.  Comfort wise the AKG K701 is excellent, however though this comfort is augmented by the harsh mid-to-high frequencies that is typical with a analytical Reference Class headphone.

 

Using the same testing method, I applied the final mod (pictures - I know I need to post pictures - too lazy at this time - typing is easier) the sound stage is more expansive (beyond the headphone natural reach), excellent channel separation (verified by several headphone enthusiasts who do not originally did not like the K701 until they listened to mine), the airy sound is still retained, no harsh overtones presented, while the bass is not subdued by the brittle and bright treble.  The bass frequencies heard feel deeper than with the original foam ring dampers.  Not at all boomy, but the presence is more pronounce than before the modification.  After letting some of the other headphone audiophiles listen to the before and after mod, they now are revisiting the AKG K701/K702 to see if such a mod will benefit them or not.

 

I will know in a few days.

 

Word of the wise, If one isn't open for something new and objective, then one can't say that they shouldn't or wouldn't advise.  Not trying is one thing, but I am fully aware of the amp requirements to drive the K701. 

 

Everybody have a great week and Great Scary Halloween Weekend.
 

post #84 of 133
Thread Starter 

Just for reference to "p a t r i c k".

 

I still own two identical Sennheiser Orpheus (HEV/HE90 - one still in the box as a spare and the other my home reference listening unit) headphones and amps so I have a very good idea where you are coming from.  I initially didn't want to modify my AKG K701, however I could not stand listening to such bright, brittle, and overly sibilant mid-to-treble frequencies.  This is with my first headphone amp which was made by the defunct Audio Alchemy DAC to X-Cans.  Even when switching over to a more powerful (current+voltage) Little Dot MKVI, the brittle and bright was still there to a higher degree.  After the burn in not so much but since most of my listening is done outside of my home, then I needed a long-term listening solution.  Unless the idea is to not use these outside of the home, then I would say that is not a compromise but a defeat.

 

All and all, If the world were perfect, I will turn the Orpheus into a portable rig.  The world isn't perfect so I will have to choose the mod over your advice to not advise to mod.

 

No Offense I hope.

 

Have a Scary Halloween weekend and take care everybody.

post #85 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by yklee118 View Post



If a person has not tried something and uses his/her experience to cite that this untried method will not help is not open to any new experience. 



But I haven't cited that the untried method will not help.

 

Why don't you read my post?

 

Someone who doesn't read a post and simply replies to an imagined version is not open to any new experience smily_headphones1.gif

post #86 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by yklee118 View Post

Word of the wise, If one isn't open for something new and objective, then one can't say that they shouldn't or wouldn't advise.  Not trying is one thing, but I am fully aware of the amp requirements to drive the K701. 

 



To repeat, I didn't write about the modification. I don't know anything about it, as I said. All I was saying really is that with a good amplifier I have found that the "problem" the modification is designed to solve goes away.

post #87 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by yklee118 View Post

I apologize for not posting pics of the final mod of 2010 in regards to the foam pad replacements. 



Why not at least tell us what the final mod is? You've obviously had enough time to type that much.

 

 

Quote:

I will post the final images of the mod this week.  Everybody have a great week.

 

You keep on saying that any time someone asks about that, and you still haven't even so much as hinted to what your final mod is.

post #88 of 133
Thread Starter 

The end of the week is approaching and I will post first thing Friday Morning PST.  I am currently in Laguna Niguel and will soon be back in Hamburg Germany.  Images of the final mod and its effects.  I have done the full A/B and have concluded that the mod give the mixture of both worlds without really sacrificing the overall quality of the AKG K701.  Post images Friday and a description of placement will be included.

 

post #89 of 133
Thread Starter 

To Patrick.

 

I did read your post in detail and what I am saying is that I have exhausted almost all methods in trying different amps to gain the sound stage of the first pair I listened to before purchasing the K701.  I even used the same setup as my friend's system that had the sound quality that you were describing with your headphones.  After the burn-in though, the sound stage, the dynamics, and the smooth transitions were present however the sibilant nature of the K701 was present as well.  It was the same with my friend's K701, but he stated that this was normal. 

 

When I purchased the K701 at the time, I was coming from the Sennheiser HD650 so the warmth and heavy bass was something that I was accustomed to hence I was not willing to fully accept the bright and brittle nature of the K701.  The mod was created to cut back the sibilant nature of the K701, but the original method that I employed cut out the sibilance but also cut out many of the natural details that defined AKG from Sennheiser.  Through trial and error I was able to fully live with the K701 with the final mod.  Bass is strong, deep and tight while the mid-range to treble equally as smooth and full.  It had some of the character of the Sennheiser I was accustomed to.  One could say bias toward Sennheiser however after living with the AKG K701, I managed to make final mods to the overall character to the point that the sound stage and dynamics were restore to fullest.  Non of the bright, brittle, and sibilant character was present but the airy character and warmth became more pronounce as time went on.  Now after 1200-hours of listening, the K701 is one of more livable headphones as opposed to the others in my collection.

 

Friday I will post images of the final mod.  Please everybody be patient.

 

Have a Great Week

post #90 of 133

yklee118, did you coat the  pads in marshmallow cream? I bet that's what it is...

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