I got my AD700 four years ago for about $80 from a 3rd party seller on Amazon. And I had a bad customer service experience, it took a month to actually get the headphone I ordered because apparently their inventory system thought the A700 was the same headphone. Now I'd rather spend a bit more and get the right product directly from Amazon. If competitive gaming surround/tactical is your absolute priority, then the AD700 or AD700x is your answer.
For me, my first AKG was an upgrade (Q701) in warmth and immersion (music sounded more lively and got me more involved!) with almost no drawbacks, it took me a few months to realize that the frontal soundstage imaging depth was a bit shorter than with the AD700 until I bought a nice tube amp. I kept both headphones for quite a few months, trying to decide between the quality difference and value, but in the end the Q701 won out because it was the headphone I wanted to listen to.
The Sony MDR-MA900 was the first headphone I'd heard that joined in the AD700 and Q701's (and K712's) rarified echelon of having very good and noticeable soundstage. It was very good at creating a space, but ultimately I felt it wasn't enough of a bargain (for me, bought my Q701 used HEY-OOh!) and it was the same comparison again where the K712 sounded more lively and begged to be used. I probably would've sold my K712 by now, except that with the Q701, K712, and MA900 all available at once, the Q seemed to have a touch less mids than I was looking for... but by itself I would never have noticed. Recent reviews of the K612 have me very interested from a value and balanced-yet-lively point of view, but knowing myself, I would probably end up owning 3 different yet very similar AKG models
Edited by Evshrug - 11/29/13 at 9:27pm