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New K601 impressions

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Ok, I just received my K601 today which I bought used from another head-fi member. These are my first pair of AKG headphones and I have been eager to become acquainted with their sound. The headphones are said to have around 150 hours on them so they might have some more burn-in to go until they achieve their full potential. The first thing I noticed was that true to their reputation AKG does have a large soundstage. They have a laid-back sound that is non-fatiguing and very natural. However I feel they have some large issues which are putting me off. First off I noticed that most music sounds anemic and lacking weight. Second they lack detail, especially with faster genres like rock or music with a high level of complexity. And third the k601 is lacking in the lower frequency spectrum resulting in an unbalanced sound. I have been doing comparisons against my HD600 which beat the K601 in every aspect except sound stage. These are my initial impressions which may change over the course of the next few weeks. I am curious if re-wiring the K601 would help bring out details and the added weight I am looking for.

Update: I spent more time to today between the K601 and HD600 and I have changed my views a bit. First I will address the issue of detail which I noted before as being lacking and unresolved. I believe after a few days of burning/acclimation I have found that I more detail and resolution has been flushed out of hiding. Texture and spacing is also becoming more apparent. I also noted that the K601 came across as anemic and lacking weight. While this still holds to be true to a degree, I would like to rephrase the K601 as being light and nimble - delicate. Sound comes across as uniform and unstressed. In contrast the HD600 is much richer. The sound is powerful, bold and strong. This can be good or bad depending on the music and your mood. I feel the there is competition between the instruments for your attention. Where the K601 is soft and sweet letting you shift your focus, the HD600 commands your attention. Both are very good cans make no mistake. These are my brief impressions thus far. If I notice any major advancements I will post an update.
post #2 of 48
What are you using to power them? The K601 are pretty hungry in my experience.
post #3 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
What are you using to power them? The K601 are pretty hungry in my experience.
I'm using a NAD C 325BEE integrated amp.
post #4 of 48
We've had a borrowed K601 at one of our german meets some months ago which nobody liked either, no matter what they were driven with. No wonder that they aren't very popular.
post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
I did some more critical listening and have drawn a new conclusion about the K601. They seem to elicit the sense that what you are listening to is all there was and all there will ever be.
post #6 of 48
Really interested in your impressions of the K601 in comparison with the HD600 as you listen to them more.
post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickchen View Post
We've had a borrowed K601 at one of our german meets some months ago which nobody liked either, no matter what they were driven with. No wonder that they aren't very popular.
Actually they've become a lot more popular here over the last year or so. One of the problems is that in the US the K601 seems to have a price close to that of the K701, so new members asking which headphone they should get just brush over them.
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdogzthmn View Post
I did some more critical listening and have drawn a new conclusion about the K601. They seem to elicit the sense that what you are listening to is all there was and all there will ever be.
This.

And that's exactly what they do. They are extremely flat phones and are ace in reproduction. If you don't end up liking the sound then it's another story entirely.
post #9 of 48
Poor AKGs. Just as if they failed to read anything on headphone design before they started producing these. I believe it is a perfect piece of equipment for those that use sophisticated equalizers to shape K601 frequency curve to their liking.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb09 View Post
Actually they've become a lot more popular here over the last year or so. One of the problems is that in the US the K601 seems to have a price close to that of the K701, so new members asking which headphone they should get just brush over them.
They are quite cheap in germany, but nevertheless they are dominated by the K701 and the K271 crowd 40:1.
post #11 of 48
Well perhaps I'm the only one happy with it as it is then. I find if I put musical material into it, that's what comes out. I guess it fits my bill of disliking sloppy bass, hidden mid range, and scratchy metallic high end, even if there are headphones out there that do those things better.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb09 View Post
Well perhaps I'm the only one happy with it as it is then. I find if I put musical material into it, that's what comes out. I guess it fits my bill of disliking sloppy bass, hidden mid range, and scratchy metallic high end, even if there are headphones out there that do those things better.
Nope, not alone. I still like the K601 more than anything I've tried for relaxing and natural sound reproduction. Don't think I'll be letting them go anytime soon.
post #13 of 48
I definitely still prefer the K601 to the K701 . . . more comfortable and extremely accurate. Saying you hate the K601 is like saying you hate the music you listen to IMO.

Just for reference:



You'll find similar great results in all headroom measurements just as a guideline. Especially noteworthy is the 50hz square wave response which is the tightest (which is unfortunately interpreted as "no impact" by many).
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulb09 View Post
I guess it fits my bill of disliking sloppy bass, hidden mid range, and scratchy metallic high end, even if there are headphones out there that do those things better.
I work principally in the same department (Team Alessandro & AKG, and I have some issues with the Beyer bass), but that K601 I listened to had some metallic mids colorations that reminded me of the infamous SA5000.

Maybe it's again about quality spreads with better and worse exemplars. I compared 3 K701s, 4 MS1s and 2 MS PROs side by side, and there were remarkable sound differences. And the chief developer of the HD800 told us on occasion of a factory tour that every HP is to be regarded as a kind of musical instrument, small variations were unavoidable.
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
I will be doing some more impression soon now that I have a nice new source to listen with. I will say that I am becoming more favorable to the K601.
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