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AKG K3003 High End 3 Way System Headphone - Page 56

post #826 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

^^  Excellent post!

The EX1000 is the only IEM I've sold that I've been tempted to re-buy several times. That stopped when I finally found a truly comfortable full-sized headphone in the form of the HD800 that allowed for long listening sessions AND provided exceptional SQ. I do practically all my music listening (be it IEMs or headphones) at home.

To this day I've yet to hear a more refined and capable bass like the one found on the EX1000s. The K3003's bass comes very, very close, and often appears to match it, but on closer examination with certain tracks/albums, the EX1000's bass seems to edge it out by a small margin.

I find your concept of "hyper realism" quite interesting and I think I can see where you're coming from, although we may hear things a little differently.

The EX1000s, to these ears, were absolutely incredible with well recorded and/or mastered material, of which I have plenty. For not such good recordings/masters—mostly "loudness wars" recordings being not only loud but often seriously lacking dynamics—the W4s and my customs (ES3X) were better/more suitable, more forgiving. The EX1000s on the latter material could easily become problematic, particularly at louder volumes. I also sometimes preferred the W4/ES3X on some solo violin / strings works where I felt that note weight, in particular, (and sometimes timbre, too) sounded more convincing on the Westones, IEMs where mostly the midrange, and the lower midrange, in particular, was more satisfying / lifelike.

The K3003s bridged that gap, allowing me to enjoy both good and poorly recorded/mastered material, though specially shining with the former. The K3003s on poorly mastered material seem to reach a point where they might begin to 'hurt'/'offend' my ears but never quite get to that point, allowing me to turn up the volume if I want to (though I tend not to)  — this is the exact same case with the HD800s.

I'm someone who craves a solid mid-range, and for the first time, with the K3003s, I was hearing the sort of midrange I regard as close to accurate (along with the HD800s) as I've heard — not as forward, though still very enjoyable, as the ES3X's or W4's, nor, at times, slightly thin (lower midrange, in particular) as the EX1000's.

My very first K3003 listening session went on for hours on end because my ears could simply not believe that whatever I threw at this IEM, they responded with aplomb — I very quickly realised the reference filter was the clear choice for me. I had just spent £1,000—absolutely unthinkable for me to spend that kind of money on an IEM!—and had serious reservations about having spent so much (fortunately, the place I got my set from offered a full refund [with no restocking fees] if not happy with the product (no questions asked — UK law, I guess).

We seem to view the FI-BA-SS similarly, a very dear phone to me, but ultimately the K3003s provide a cleaner, more convincing, more Hi-Fi sound to these ears. BUT, I'm still not sure I want to sell my FI-BA-SS even though I do know they'll be getting very, very little ear-time in the future.

Thanks mate. We do seem to share some opinions on the 3003, EX1000 and FIBASS, which is reassuring, as age is not forgiving with our ears :D

 

The difference in rendering poorly master or super loud recordings between 1000 and 3003 lies, I think, in the nature of DDs and BAs respectively. On the Sonys, because they hit harder, it can sound more disturbing, while on the AKGs, although they reveal even more flaws in those recordings, they don't shout them at you. That's why I say they sound "refined". It's very interesting.

post #827 of 1934
awesome posts tumburu and music. being an ex1000 owner who's interested in the k3003, your comparisons are really helpful. still want to hear it for myself before I pull the trigger tho. smily_headphones1.gif
post #828 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tumburu View Post

IMO the only "problem" these IEMs have is what I call "hyper realism", that hi end ba based phones can provide. It's not a natural sound, they exaggerate detail while somehow reducing the dynamics.

 

I think we may be on the same wavelength in that regard. smile_phones.gif

 

Though I must say, the 3003 have actually very good dynamics at low volume, they're probably my favorite phones for nighttime / in bed listening.

Trying to get to grips with some audio jargon would you agree that "very good dynamics at low volume" could be written as: "Very good ability to portray various sound pressure levels (high and low) in the music when listening at low volume"? if so, I do agree with you, and if not please elaborate! Thanks!

Since james444 hasn't replied to this post, could someone else please try to verify or object to whether my interpretation of what "very good dynamics at low volume" means? I don't quite understand the meaning of "dynamic" as explained here ("Dynamic - The suggestion of energy and wide dynamic. Related to perceived speed as well as contrasts in volume both large and small."), so any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

post #829 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

Since james444 hasn't replied to this post, could someone else please try to verify or object to whether my interpretation of what "very good dynamics at low volume" means? I don't quite understand the meaning of "dynamic" as explained here ("Dynamic - The suggestion of energy and wide dynamic. Related to perceived speed as well as contrasts in volume both large and small."), so any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

Well, your interpretation was dead-on, so I didn't feel there was a need to elaborate. smile_phones.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Ok sorry for the delay, I'll spare you further excuses and just post my interim findings.

 

I've still had only about 15 hours with the K3003 though, so take this with a grain of salt. As I've said before, there isn't a night and day difference in sound quality between the K3003, FI-BA-SS and UERM overall, but with low volume listening things become more distinct and the K3003 rise above the others. Why is that? Well, on the one hand because their dynamic bass driver delivers the best texture and on the other hand because the AKGs have extremely good dynamics, even when played rather quietly. The FADs need a little more volume to come alive and the UERMs stay rather bland and unenthusiastic until about mid volume.

 

Low volume listening: K3003 > FI-BA-SS > UERM

post #830 of 1934

Any owners of the AK3003 who also owns/owned the Heir 4.Ai? That 4Ai is a beast with the neutrality, accuracy, lushness and details. Would be interested in comparisons between the AK3003 and the 4.Ai too.

post #831 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by up late View Post

awesome posts tumburu and music. being an ex1000 owner who's interested in the k3003, your comparisons are really helpful. still want to hear it for myself before I pull the trigger tho. smily_headphones1.gif

 

Any where near Boston? Wanna try mine?

post #832 of 1934
thanks for the offer bro but I'd have to buy an air ticket. wink.gif
post #833 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

Since james444 hasn't replied to this post, could someone else please try to verify or object to whether my interpretation of what "very good dynamics at low volume" means? I don't quite understand the meaning of "dynamic" as explained here ("Dynamic - The suggestion of energy and wide dynamic. Related to perceived speed as well as contrasts in volume both large and small."), so any help with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

The better performance at low volumes of the K3003 is indeed due to what I explained above as their characteristic to lightly "compress" the sound. The result is that even at low volume the soft sounds are still heard. This is not, if we want to be 100% objective, an accurate dynamic response, since the dynamic range is slightly reduced, but it can turn into a more enjoyable listening experience if listening to low levels is your thing.

post #834 of 1934

I just had a listening session of the 3003 at Jaben in Shanghai. Great ergonomics, build and fit for sure. These babies sound awesome out of the DX100. Great space, separation and dynamics. Great tone and timbre. Tight bass. Something sounded weird somewhere ON SOME TRACKS but I could not pinpoint it. Maybe the mids being too separated from the rest ? Anyways there are great sounding iems and I could sport that immediately. I still slightly prefer my 1plus2 as they have a "bigger" sound but they fight more or less in the same arena I would say.

post #835 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimouille View Post

I just had a listening session of the 3003 at Jaben in Shanghai. Great ergonomics, build and fit for sure. These babies sound awesome out of the DX100. Great space, separation and dynamics. Great tone and timbre. Tight bass. Something sounded weird somewhere ON SOME TRACKS but I could not pinpoint it. Maybe the mids being too separated from the rest ? Anyways there are great sounding iems and I could sport that immediately. I still slightly prefer my 1plus2 as they have a "bigger" sound but they fight more or less in the same arena I would say.

 

Ah, but you do realise the problem lies with some of those (awful!) tracks you were feeding the K3003s, don't you?  ;)

…only joking!

post #836 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_4321 View Post

 

Ah, but you do realise the problem lies with some of those (awful!) tracks you were feeding the K3003s, don't you?  ;)

…only joking!


You know, it is possible :) That is why I did not point anything, because I could not find default. I do not really need another top tier universal now (when will I ever ;) ) otherwise I would have bought them.

post #837 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

Yes!

So it's OK if I say I think it's flawed? biggrin.gif

Personally I have no problem with that, as long as you don't mind being flayed! evil_smiley.gif

 

Seriously though; as long as posts and reviews don’t pitch and pretend that there exists a general consensus (supported by clinical facts proven by charts) that the K3003 is “characterized by a fundamental weakness or imperfection”, i.e. “flawed” (source: “Oxford Dictionary of English”), it is perfectly alright with me!

 

I appreciate personal opinions (also those that differ from my own, which are often more interesting) as long as it is clear that they are personal and preferably presented with a grain of humbleness.

 

When I see words such as “flawed” or “serious fail” I associate those words with the feeling that the most notable characteristic of the item (whatever it is) is its weakness, i.e. that the weakness will be apparent to the majority of people. I don’t think that is the case when we speak about the K3003!? Of course, I could be wrong, so therefore I would find it interesting if as many as possible having heard the K3003 would take the following poll! Please leave your vote once only! Note, I'm not even remotely dead serious about this!popcorn.gif

 

As I have already written; I have no hidden agenda. All I want is that the K3003 is being given a fair chance so that those looking for, what I think is, an outstanding high-end reference universal IEM, don’t miss out on it. I do find the K3003 to be my most enjoyable headphone and I do want to grant others this amazing experience. I almost missed it myself because I had been given the impression its SQ was severely impaired by incoherency.

 

Other than this, I don’t think I have much else to add…

post #838 of 1934

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

When I see words such as “flawed” or “serious fail” I associate those words with the feeling that the most notable characteristic of the item (whatever it is) is its weakness, i.e. that the weakness will be apparent to the majority of people. I don’t think that is the case when we speak about the K3003!? Of course, I could be wrong, so therefore I would find it interesting if as many as possible having heard the K3003 would take the following poll! Please leave your vote once only! 

 

 

Agree !!!
 
I accidentally voted TRUE for the answer and quickly recognized that the poll can be manipulated so I voted another FALSE for it :p
 
Sorry for messing up the poll.
post #839 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightwalker View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

When I see words such as “flawed” or “serious fail” I associate those words with the feeling that the most notable characteristic of the item (whatever it is) is its weakness, i.e. that the weakness will be apparent to the majority of people. I don’t think that is the case when we speak about the K3003!? Of course, I could be wrong, so therefore I would find it interesting if as many as possible having heard the K3003 would take the following poll! Please leave your vote once only! 

 

 

Agree !!!
 
I accidentally voted TRUE for the answer and quickly recognized that the poll can be manipulated so I voted another FALSE for it :p
 
Sorry for messing up the poll.

Uh-oh eek.gif, we're way behind those thinking the K3003 is a "serious fail"/"flawed". Since you know how to manipulate the poll (anyone else, no?) can you vote a few more times (or at least once "true + false = no vote") to even the score!? I'd appreciate it! Thanks! wink.gif

post #840 of 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post

Uh-oh eek.gif, we're way behind those thinking the K3003 is a "serious fail"/"flawed". Since you know how to manipulate the poll (anyone else, no?) can you vote a few more times (or at least once "true + false = no vote") to even the score!? I'd appreciate it! Thanks! wink.gif


You've been caught!


Edited by Kunlun - 4/11/13 at 5:41am
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