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Any HD800 owners go back to AKG K701/2?

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 

I loved the hd800, but just could not deal with the brightness and sibilance in many recordings. Went and got akg k702.

The hd800 still has the edge in most areas but the akg k702 is close enough in it's characteristics to the hd800 to satisfy me...and without the sibilance and brightness.  Heck, it's $1000 plus cheaper. 

 

 

post #2 of 123

My relationship with the HD 800 was also a highly turbulent one. In the end I ended up selling them and now I´m in the process of trying out different headphones again. In my experience the HD 800 have a critical flaw that needs a suitable amp that has great synergy with its sound signature. It has to be a colored amp, that has smooth treble and warmth in the sound. 

 

Sometimes I think of rebuying the HD 800, but then I´ll definately need a different amplifier as well. By the way, I fully agree that the K701/702 is the closest you can get to the HD 800 in other headphones. They have many things in common. It´s a fantastic headphone for the price.

post #3 of 123

when i had my RSA B52, i compared my HD800 to the K701 (both balanced) and it was no comparison. the 800 was superior in every area i could think. i sold the K701 shortly thereafter. however, i now have a new amp - the BA - which is *perfect* for low impedance headphones and am very curious to hear the K701 again.

post #4 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post

I loved the hd800, but just could not deal with the brightness and sibilance in many recordings. Went and got akg k702.

The hd800 still has the edge in most areas but the akg k702 is close enough in it's characteristics to the hd800 to satisfy me...and without the sibilance and brightness.  Heck, it's $1000 plus cheaper. 

 

 



To much treble on the HD-800, and I like the sound stage better on the K-702.

post #5 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post

I loved the hd800, but just could not deal with the brightness and sibilance in many recordings. Went and got akg k702.

The hd800 still has the edge in most areas but the akg k702 is close enough in it's characteristics to the hd800 to satisfy me...and without the sibilance and brightness.  Heck, it's $1000 plus cheaper. 

 

 



I have yet to get a chance to listen to Sennheiser's HD 800.

 

A few months ago I was thinking of buying them and planning a trip to London (not far for me) to listen to some along with other similarly priced headphones.

 

However what I was reading about the AKG K 701/2s was very interesting here.

 

There were loads of complaints that the AKG K 701/2s were "analytical" etc. just like with the HD 800, so I thought that maybe these AKG's were rather good.

 

I know very well that unfortunately many people these days seem to actually want audio equipment to apply distortion and complain when they don't get it. So, if people are complaining that headphones or an amp or something is "analytical" then I become interested.

 

The funniest complaint I've seen about the AKG K 701/2s is that they "lack warmth". It is as if headphones should come with "warmth" and that if that distortion is missing then it is a matter for complaint.

 

Well I saw the AKG's at a good price and bought them, the K 702s. I am delighted with them, these really are superb hi fi. I can hear my CDs and audio files as they were recorded, which is what I want. I do not have ghastly warmth applied to them. The music doesn't have that tailored sound which unfortunately has become very popular.

 

The best hi fi is stuff that simply gets out of the way and lets your hear the music. This is the nature of the K 702s.

 

I still haven't had a chance to hear the Sennheiser HD800s. However I feel that the K 702s will do very well indeed as my main headphones for some time now.

 

post #6 of 123

I don't know about you guys, but when I demoed the HD800 against my K701, the AKGs were thoroughly trounced. HD800s have more extension in both directions, bass that is actually existent, a filled out soundstage, as wide as the K701s but without the hollowness, and more comfort to boot. Of course, this all comes at a cost...

post #7 of 123

HD800 has a fuller soundstage, very round and 3d-like. But because of its ability to pick music apart, some music sounds distant and detached. K70x has about the same soundstage length wise (left to right), but not much depth. The lack of depth makes the music a little compressed compared to the HD800, but at the same time creates a feeling of intimacy, especially when listening to certain vocals.

 

Other than this issue, I find the HD800 trounce K70x in every other way. Better extension on both ends, the full soundstage is quite unique and very enjoyable to listen to, the slight bass bump makes many genres tolerable as oppose to K70x's picky preferences. It's up to you to decide whether it's worth 5x the price though.

post #8 of 123

I quite liked my K701, but I wanted something more.  Got HD800 a month ago.  Really like it.  But I don't find it uncolored and neutral.  I find the K701 more neutral, better balanced through the upper registers, but too light in the bass for most popular, and electrified music.  K701 is very good for a lot of acoustical music: classical, jazz, etc.  If I was on a tight budget and only listened to what the K701 is good at, I would happily take the K701 over the overpriced HD800.  Having said that, and feeling comfortable enough financially for a big headphone splurge, I really like the HD800.  They are very likely going to send the K701 to someone else's head because they excel at the same things.  For some things I like the K701 better, but for most things the HD800 is better.

 

On sibilance, I never experienced it with the K701.  When the HD800 was young I did get some sibilance, particularly on some Diana Krall recordings.  But now that they are well burned in (somewhere north of 300 hours) I haven't noticed it.

post #9 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by sling5s View Post

I loved the hd800, but just could not deal with the brightness and sibilance in many recordings. Went and got akg k702.

The hd800 still has the edge in most areas but the akg k702 is close enough in it's characteristics to the hd800 to satisfy me...and without the sibilance and brightness.  Heck, it's $1000 plus cheaper. 

 

 



I have yet to get a chance to listen to Sennheiser's HD 800.

 

A few months ago I was thinking of buying them and planning a trip to London (not far for me) to listen to some along with other similarly priced headphones.

 

However what I was reading about the AKG K 701/2s was very interesting here.

 

There were loads of complaints that the AKG K 701/2s were "analytical" etc. just like with the HD 800, so I thought that maybe these AKG's were rather good.

 

I know very well that unfortunately many people these days seem to actually want audio equipment to apply distortion and complain when they don't get it. So, if people are complaining that headphones or an amp or something is "analytical" then I become interested.

 

The funniest complaint I've seen about the AKG K 701/2s is that they "lack warmth". It is as if headphones should come with "warmth" and that if that distortion is missing then it is a matter for complaint.

 

Well I saw the AKG's at a good price and bought them, the K 702s. I am delighted with them, these really are superb hi fi. I can hear my CDs and audio files as they were recorded, which is what I want. I do not have ghastly warmth applied to them. The music doesn't have that tailored sound which unfortunately has become very popular.

 

The best hi fi is stuff that simply gets out of the way and lets your hear the music. This is the nature of the K 702s.

 

I still haven't had a chance to hear the Sennheiser HD800s. However I feel that the K 702s will do very well indeed as my main headphones for some time now.

So you are saying that any headphone that is warmer than the K702 is "applying distortion"?  Here's some to consider:

 

Audeze LCD-2

Grado HP1000

Stax Omega 1 and 2

 

All of those headphones are more accurate and have less distortion than the K701...

post #10 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post



So you are saying that any headphone that is warmer than the K702 is "applying distortion"?



Well it is pretty obvious I didn't say that, isn't it.

 

Why don't you read my post?

post #11 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post

The funniest complaint I've seen about the AKG K 701/2s is that they "lack warmth". It is as if headphones should come with "warmth" and that if that distortion is missing then it is a matter for complaint.

 

post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post


I have yet to get a chance to listen to Sennheiser's HD 800.

 


The funniest complaint I've seen about the AKG K 701/2s is that they "lack warmth". It is as if headphones should come with "warmth" and that if that distortion is missing then it is a matter for complaint.

 

Well I saw the AKG's at a good price and bought them, the K 702s. I am delighted with them, these really are superb hi fi. I can hear my CDs and audio files as they were recorded, which is what I want. I do not have ghastly warmth applied to them.

 

 


You know the K701s don't sound warm is because they have an extremely over emphasized lower treble and upper mids. They are colored in that fashion.

post #13 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post

To much treble on the HD-800, and I like the sound stage better on the K-702.


Really?  Mr. K702 himself?  No kidding....

post #14 of 123

Let's turn the smoothing off...

freq.png

and see the distortions.

dist.png

post #15 of 123

wind016 writes:

You know the K701s don't sound warm is because they have an extremely over emphasized lower treble and upper mids. They are colored in that fashion.

But the real world doesn't sound warm :)

You seem to think we live in a perpetual warm sonic environment. So replay equipment is always to sound warm and if it doesn't it is at fault.

This is why I'm saying that it is odd when people complain that audio equipment is "lacking warmth". As if warmth were some necessary inclusion.

I'm not claiming the K 701/2s have a flat frequency response but over-emphasised lower treble and upper mids aren't going to have a cooling effect.

The "warmth" effect comes primarily from even-order harmonic distortion.

I love going to hear music played live. I am very lucky in that I live with great access to a truly wonderful music hall. In fact I chose the house I now live in partially on the basis that it is so easy for me to get to the hall from my house.

This is the Royal Festival Hall in London. In about 2000 it had a massive sonic make-over such that it is now possibly the finest acoustic environment in the world, certainly amongst the finest if not the finest.

People who bizarrely believe that music is alway served warm might get quite a shock if they go to the Royal Festival Hall and listen to some good music played there.

Those naughty musicians in the orchestra don't alway play in warm tones. It is a shocker, I know, maybe they should be reprimanded?

The brass section can play those high notes so sharply! They don't seem to realise that they should be producing a kind of warm fuzz type of a sound.

For those who wish to be offended by the sound of music and how it often isn't warm I suggest to you the Royal Festival Hall and a good performance perhaps of one of the many masterpieces from the classical repertoire.

Royal Festival Hall.

I think that the people who want all this warmth applied don't realise that they are missing out on something, and that something is the marvellous ways in which good musicians can play in a way that is warm, or cold or with many other temperatures in between. Ironically the soup of the applied warmth in their audio equipment will mean they never hear the warmth when it is played by the musicians.

It is hard for me to think of a music genre that doesn't make use of the idea of temperature in sound, even though it is an inherently abstract connection it is one that we relate to.

Terrific jazz musicians can play continuously with this idea of warm and cold.

Today I listen mostly to classical music and here as with jazz and other forms the idea of temperature is often used within the overall sonic structure. In fact with impressionism, the music I listen to the most, there is often very sophisticated sonic sculpture, if you like, using all of the available sonic tones, textures, timbres and temperatures. (I've just hit on a piece of alliteration).

It is unfortunate that today people are spending sometimes quite a lot of money on audio equipment that has not a hope in hell (warm place) of showing them this aspect of this marvellous music.

 

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