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Grado and AKG K601 / K701, *and* [added] Beyer DT880/250's

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

OK, I am at a loss.  :-)  I am still pretty new here.  I started up the Grado ladder, auditioning the SR60i and SR80i at a dealer.  Bought the 80's.  Had them for a week and loved them, moved up to the SR125i's.  Had those for a year.  Love them.  Moved up to the SR225i's a few weeks ago.  Love them. 

 

I use the 225's with the comfies.  I don't like the comfort or brightness of the bowls.  In spite of washing them and yes, wearing them correctly more forward on my  ears, still don't like the bowls.  I have G-cushions and the flats from TTVJ on the way right now though.  But I *really* like what I hear with the 225's and the comfies.

 

Tried the SR325is's.  Too bright IMO even with comfies.  Trying the Alessandro MS2i's right now.  I kinda like these.  (Also with comfies.)  Still haven't decided between these and the 225i's for the long term.  The MS2i's are a bit mellower than the SR325is's.  (And I am looking for HF2's too ...)

 

 

OK, so I read a lot here, and I figure to "branch out" a bit, I need to try some AKGs and Beyers just as a check on the competition for the Grados that I have tried.

 

 

I just got a used pair of K701's, so burn in isn't an issue, listened to them last night, and I'm thinking, woah, and people think Grado's are bright?  I really don't like these.  Grado has better bass (more punch, and more impact), and the K701's are just too bright IMO.  There seems to me to be a kind of tilt to the freq spectrum.  Not enough bass, pretty fine mids, and then too much treble.  I think, more treble than with Grado.  

 

I also have K601's, and while they aren't as bright as the 701's, so I like them in that regard, their treble is kind of mushy and indistinct, and could use a bit more detail and resolution IMO.

 

I still have the K501's on my radar, and I have a set of K240DFs here that I can't properly drive yet.  (And I have the 240 Mk II's in the back of my mind too.)

 

So I'm really surprised I didn't like the K701's.  I love the comfort, and build quality, but their sound quality just doesn't do it for me.  Am I missing something here?


Edited by Kevin Brown - 9/23/10 at 10:35am
post #2 of 49

What amp are you using with the K701s?

post #3 of 49
As much burn as they might have had, there is another component in the chain which is yet to be burned in, your brain. Give yourself some time to adjust to the k701 sound signature. For me it took maybe 3 or 4 days.
post #4 of 49

Because Grado smack all sound in your face, while K701 make everything spacious, yes that's really different.

 

I love my woody MS1i (which is warmer than normal MS1i), and yet I love my K701.

 

It's just about how you adjust your ears for what equipment you're using.

 

And also, K701 is a bit picky to amping, so with the wrong amp, K701 can sounds bad indeed, not like Grado which is much easier to amp.

 

note: before I made purchasing on K701, I already A/Bing with MS2i, I found that MS2i is produce sibilant more.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 

Amp: straight out of a PC, and with the Total Bithead.

 

But ... even straight out of a PC, I am not running out of juice.  I am about 75% on the volume bar (from the icon on the lower right of the screen), and then 75% on the volume from Windows Media Player.  So I don't see where more power is going to change much of what I'm hearing.

 

But I am looking at the Aune mini USB DAC/amp.

 

Yes, there is brain burn in too.  To be honest, that might be one reason why I like the 225i's with the comfies (because I burned my brain in with the 125's), but ... that *is* what I like though.

 

OK, I can give the K701's more time, and then make sure to try them with the Aune before I give up on them entirely.

post #6 of 49

Even if you can make a headphone playing so loud, that doesn't always means you already give them proper amping. Yes, you have enough voltage to move (swing) the drivers, but not for current which is affect to sound quality. (refinement, detail, etc)

 

From what I know K701 need a lot of current to really shinning. (and just like any other low impedance cans, like your grado of course)


Edited by TheMiddleSky - 9/23/10 at 12:22pm
post #7 of 49

k501/601/701's are very amp demanding/dependent headphones. grados not so much.

post #8 of 49

I'm not the most knowledgeable person on amps but here is my understanding at least. Sufficient volume does not always mean that a can is well driven. Volume is really only a very small portion of what an amp does. Most cans can be driven to sufficient volume from a DAP or computer but will not sound nearly as good as a well driven can.

 

What is really important about an amp is control. The power an amp gives headphones allowes the movement of the drivers to begin and stop quickly and accurately. This will increase the detail, imaging, soundstage, and usually control over other frequencies (tighter bass, etc). For what it is worth I've read the K701 really scales up with proper amping but whether or not the sound sig is to your liking is a different matter.


Edited by NapalmK - 9/23/10 at 12:16pm
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmK View Post

 For what it is worth I've read the K701 really scales up with proper amping but whether or not the sound sig is to your liking is a different matter.


Agree with it, sure! 

post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Brown View Post

 

I still have the K501's on my radar, and I have a set of K240DFs here that I can't properly drive yet.  (And I have the 240 Mk II's in the back of my mind too.)


I don't think these headphones would suit you or your system, at all. They're both demanding on amplifiers and bass-light in absolute terms.

 

As a side note: you could/should try to optimize your software, by using a music player which support either ASIO, WASAPI or Kernel Streaming output. Foobar is one of the most popular.

Also I'd avoid software volume control as it decreases digital precision and bit accuracy.

post #11 of 49

Just received my pair of K702's and have been listening to them out of my SOHA II amp.They sound great there is no sibliance or an overly bright sound. There is also sufficient bass not as much as my HD650's or my Westone 3's, but there is definitely enough bass. These phones really don't match up with pop music though, but classical and acoustic even some rock/metal music sound great on them much better than my HD650's.

 

Out of curiosity though I wondered what they sounded like unamped, so I plugged them into my J3. They sound exactly as you described, the ear rape was unbelievable, I couldn't even finish a song with them on. I mean I thought they would sound bad, but not this bad. The HD650's didn't suffer too badly from underamping, but the K702's definitely need to be amped otherwise they are unbearable.

 

I've also tried one Grado, my friends Alessandro MS1 stock I found them to be more high end biased then the K702's.

post #12 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofil View Post


 

As a side note: you could/should try to optimize your software, by using a music player which support either ASIO, WASAPI or Kernel Streaming output. Foobar is one of the most popular.

Also I'd avoid software volume control as it decreases digital precision and bit accuracy.

 

I don't think any software changes are going to magically change the amount of bass and brightness that I hear.  But yeah, I need to look into what you suggest.  :-)

 

I'll report back after I get the Aune.  Seems to be capable of driving 600 ohms headphones, so the 601 and 701 should be no problem.

post #13 of 49

Hunt down a K240 Sextett, especially an early (EP) or middle production (MP) model (the late have the least bass, and from my experiences it was only a bit more mid-bass than the K601 has) and give it a try. Though I haven't heard a Grado to compare, the late production (LP) one I had was certainly more up-front than the K601, and whilst the treble had more sparkle, it didn't really seem much brighter in comparison. Other dub them the "Grado'd AKG", so perhaps they will get the cross between the sounds you like.

post #14 of 49
Thread Starter 

I think the K240DF's are similar to the Sextett model?  But supposedly they shouldn't be very "Grado-like" in that their rep is for neutral, accurate sound.

 

Yes, I love the Grado sound (for the most part), but I also want an "alternative" that is more accurate and neutral.  Hence: AKG!

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 

OK, I got the Aune mini USB DAC/headphone amp.

 

My opinion hasn't really changed.  Yes, both the K701 and K601 have more bass with the Aune, but I still don't like the sound quality out of either.  Still seems like not enough bass and too much treble vs the Grado's.  (Remember, I like the 225i's with comfies.)

 

I do acknowledge that the 701's might have a little more detail and resolution to their highs, but they are simply too seemingly boosted to me.  I still like the K601's more in that regard because their highs definitely are more mellow than the K701's.

 

Also, my other "go to" headphone is the AD900, and I prefer that one to the AKGs too.  More balance with the AD900's as well.

 

I guess I just don't like a bright presentation with headphones.  I like headphones based on their similar sound signature to my home theater speaker setup, which is definitely on the warm and laid back side as well, and not forward and bright.

 

Different cans for different ears.  Enlightening comparison though !!

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