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Old School Trio: AKG K701, Beyerdynamic DT880, Sennheiser HD650

post #1 of 169
Thread Starter 

Absolutely fantastic! Have a look:

 

http://www.headfonia.com/old-school-trio-akg-k701-beyer-dt880-sennheiser-hd650/

post #2 of 169
I have to disagree with the "old school" classification of the K-701. The reviewer should have gone with the K-501 for an accurate representation of the way AKG used to be. Either that or omitted it in favor of the RS-1, which used to be one of the most popular headphones around.

+1 to the review for describing the K-701 as "plasticky," and I agree that the HD-650 is the best of the bunch.

However, I disagree that the HD-650 is colored while the DT880 isn't. To me, the DT880 has a "smiley face" response, with boosted bass and treble. The HD-650 has neutral tonality, though a shade dark overall. It's like looking through a piece of glass. The HD-650 is a piece of glass with few distortions, but it is tinted a little dark. The DT880 might not have a tint, but you have distortions in the glass. Pleasing ones, though. The K-701's glass is distorted in a way that irritates and possibly gives you a headache if you spend enough time looking through it.
Edited by Uncle Erik - 11/27/10 at 5:57pm
post #3 of 169

I was going to say the same thing, none of them are really old school.  But it was a great article IMO.  I didn't agree with everything he said, but in general it was very well written and matched my impressions pretty well. 

post #4 of 169

I saw this article a few days ago. I predicted the conclusion even before I started reading. Mike at Headfonia is a known Senn-o-phile; I'm not surprised he didn't like the DT880. Its presentation would be 180 degrees from what he prefers. I also question his notion that the K701 isn't very popular anymore, as I see it mentioned dozens of times (usually at least somewhat positively) every time I visit Head-Fi. I still have yet to hear this one. I'll submit that it seems pretty polarizing between those who like it and those who don't (kind of like Grados that way).

 

I don't really hear a smiley curve on the DT880, as I don't find them very heavy in the bass. Treble, yes, and that seems to be beyerdynamic's thing. Is there any premium headphone they've ever made that isn't ramped up in the treble? Though I wouldn't say it truly colors the sound, it does definitely contribute to the "dryness" and bass control. The bass--well, sometimes I wish they had a bit more of it, and I'm not a basshead by any stretch. Something tells me the T1 would deliver here...I wonder how long until it's featured in one of these "old guard" articles.

post #5 of 169

I read it and agree with some of the K701 description with the plastic like sound of them, but even so I love them. Out of the whole bunch I prefer my DT880's. I absolutely can not stand the sound of the HD650 (no disrespect Uncle Erick) because to me it is too smooth and sounds a little too bassy for me tastes, though the mids are nice ;). Now if they had the HD600 instead f the HD650 it would be a different story and I prefer the HD600 to both the DT880 and K701.

post #6 of 169
Thread Starter 

Hmm, I didn't think the DT880 had too much of a smiley curve, but I guess I could be wrong. So far, I had only tried the 32ohm version for about a week off my MP3. But, I have a 600ohm coming on Tuesday ran off my Little Dot. I'll be testing it side by side with my DT990 so I'll see the differences for sure. Now, the DT990 on the other hand has an extreme smiley curve. Bass can be overwhelming at times as well as highs being too sharp. I've never really heard anything quite like it. To resolve, like I said, I'll be trying the DT880, as I believe it has a more tamed "smiley curve". The DT880 seems to have more of a "smirk" as the DT990 is comparable to a child getting chocolate cake...

post #7 of 169

For the record:

 

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID[]=723&graphID[]=703&graphID[]=853

 

Not that Head-Fi'ers take too much stock in measurements, particularly when they only come from one source. Skepticism is always welcome, and "hearing" charts is never a good idea. Nevertheless, they can be correlated to what one hears with reasonable accuracy, if the source is trustworthy. I think HeadRoom knows what it's doing so I trust its measurements. I've only heard the DT880, but I think what I hear matches its portion of the chart quite well.

 

The DT880 is flat as a pancake and lacks a lot of the oomph of the HD650; definitely not a lot of bass there. The treble, on the other hand, is quite prominent. Don't let the tight gradations from 4kHz to 10kHz fool you. The DT880 should have more treble energy than the K701, even if the graph makes them look really close. In some cases it's almost 5dB of difference.

 

In other words, the Headfonia article is pretty accurately backed up by this chart. Personal preference, of course, plays a role, and none of these three response curves is bad. They're all just different.

 

BTW, I considered including the DT990, but there were already too many lines as it was. It does have more treble and quite a lot more bass than anything on the above chart.


Edited by Argyris - 11/27/10 at 9:20pm
post #8 of 169


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

 the K-701 as "plasticky," and I agree that the HD-650 is the best of the bunch.
 

 

I have to disagree with you, the K701 needs a nice SS amp, even with the headfive they sounds great. The 650 are very muted hps, for me the 650's represent some bad audiofiles fantasy, no sub, no treble, and the mids are in the other room. I'll take almost any other hps over the 650's : )


 


Edited by Acix - 12/1/10 at 1:31pm
post #9 of 169


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

the DT880 has a "smiley face" response, with boosted bass and treble. The HD-650 has neutral tonality,


+1 on the DT880 has a "smiley face" response, with boosted bass and treble. The 650's has neutral tonality...well, this most funny statement in a very long time : )))

post #10 of 169

The K701/K702's really don't get much love. I really don't get it either, but my exposure to higher end headphones has been pretty limited.

 

Still, I heard the K702's, and the HD600's (recabled with some ALO cable), and felt the K702's were in a different league entirely. I just can't get past the veil of Sennheisers. the K702's were so much more enjoyable on just about every level. Maybe a little less bass, but that's about it.

post #11 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kukuk View Post

The K701/K702's really don't get much love. I really don't get it either, but my exposure to higher end headphones has been pretty limited.

 

Still, I heard the K702's, and the HD600's (recabled with some ALO cable), and felt the K702's were in a different league entirely. I just can't get past the veil of Sennheisers. the K702's were so much more enjoyable on just about every level. Maybe a little less bass, but that's about it.


Same here, but Erik continue to push his agenda with the "plasticky," issue. He had is 701's and blow they away with his powerful tube amp, if the K701 don't fit his tube amp so they are not good. The 501's are 120ohm and this why they are so great with his tube amp.

 

Erik as Exotic dude, can try the K-702 and compare them to his HD-800, and of course not on quiet volume... he just need to try out some high end studio systems DAC and hps amps like the Phonitor /Auditor, even the Luxman hps amps will be a great combo with the K702.


Edited by Acix - 11/28/10 at 2:45am
post #12 of 169

Well, I hate the K702 and love the HD650, but what does that mean? We could go on with those sorts of posts all day. No one opinion is any more valid than another.

 

A great article though.

post #13 of 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Well, I hate the K702 and love the HD650, but what does that mean? We could go on with those sorts of posts all day. No one opinion is any more valid than another.

 

A great article though.



While that's definitely true, I just don't see why the K701's are held in such low regard. Maybe it's just my imagination, or the people who dislike them are more vocal than the people that do like them. I just don't get it.

post #14 of 169

I can tell you why I dislike them, for what it's worth.

 

Waaaaay too bright.

 

Metallic colouration.

 

No foundation to the music.

 

Frankly, they never came close to pleasing me in any area even after dozens of hours of burn-in. I found them so "wrong" sounding I couldn't take them seriously as a high end can. I wouldn't know what to do with them if you gave me a pair.

 

Well, you asked..sort of...   evil_smiley.gif


Edited by pp312 - 11/28/10 at 5:00am
post #15 of 169

Well, I'm not very experienced in this "audiophilia" business, but I've heard all of them. The HD650 were a little too bassy and "dark" for my taste; DT880's treble was too much and right in the middle of everything was the K702 - perfect. Of course, it depends what kind of music you listen to. For classical, string/acoustic and film score - they are a very good match.

 About the "plasticky" thing - no, they are just revealing and precise. If the recording is bad - they sound bad; if they are not amped good - they sound lifeless; if the volume is too low - they sound thin.

As time passes (and other HP go through my hands) I'm really starting to appreciate them more and more.

 PS. Kukuk, I also think that "some" people feel "compeled" to express their opinion on EVERY thread the magic words "K701/702" are mentioned. No offence but it's somewhat irritating.

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