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AKG K500 love? - Page 3

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

What a coincidence, I had decided to get these headphones as well. Then was outbid, eh.

Was that on ebay.de? The price became rather high at the end, 114 Euros. Probably worth it anyway.

post #32 of 45

It's about half of double what the other two very recently went for. The other guy wouldn't ship out of Germany, though, and the other pair had mysteriously nasty-looking pads. I bought a used HD 600 instead, so I'm out of the race for a K 500 for a moment.


Edited by vid - 7/16/13 at 4:00pm
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

It's about half of double what the other two very recently went for. The other guy wouldn't ship out of Germany, though, and the other pair had mysteriously nasty-looking pads. I bought a used HD 600 instead, so I'm out of the race for a K 500 for a moment.

 

Yes, those pads were completely destroyed. One can still buy new pads for k500/k501. I beleive they cost 9 Euros a piece at Thomann. 

 

Used HD600 are insanely expensive. Sennheiser in general seem to be more expensive on second hand market. I am very interested to hear your opinions about HD600. I have HD650 which is quite similar sounding headphone.

post #34 of 45

Sure.

 

Some older lower-end yet not-too-bad Senns are under the radar and go for relatively low prices, like the HD 530. A Norwegian guy auditioned them against the HD 650 and had almost wet his pants when he found no massive difference. But I suspect he may not have done a very thorough comparison; and he did find the HD 600 much better than either of those two, so maybe it was a poor example of a 650, too.


Edited by vid - 7/17/13 at 5:05am
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

Sure.

 

Some older lower-end yet not-too-bad Senns are under the radar and go for relatively low prices, like the HD 530. A Norwegian guy auditioned them against the HD 650 and had almost wet his pants when he found no massive difference. But I suspect he may not have done a very thorough comparison; and he did find the HD 600 much better than either of those two, so maybe it was a poor example of a 650, too.

Some people do prefer HD600 to HD650 because they sound a little leaner (the lower mids are not equally pronounced I guess and the treble extends a little bit more). I beleive that there still is quite a variation between different samples. I once auditioned HD650 and HD600 which sounded almost similar.

post #36 of 45
I owned a K500 bit long ago but let it go because I favored the sound of the K400 more. It was a great headphone though if you like large natural sound that keeps things uncolored. Great detail too and in many respects it was similar to my HD800. I just preferred the pretty sound of the K400 more and my K240DF was even more neutral sounding so I sold the K500.
post #37 of 45

Date? December 1996. In the 74 page HiFi Markt supplement of the German Audio magazine are hundreds of adverts. Ordered alphabetically from Aachen to Ulm, readers could quickly find their local shops with hot bargains.

 

Let's look at Köln, famous for the cathedral and the Photokina exhibition. Apparantly also nurturing a healthy HiFi community. One company is running three stores: HiFi Eins. Is it still around? No clue. The shops were at Severinstrasse 199, Glockengasse 6 and Breite Strasse 161-167. Haven't been to Köln since the 1988 Photokina so the development in the audio retail business is foreign to me.

 

But in December 1996 HiFi Eins had something special to offer the readers: The AKG K500 headphones. Previously at 379 DM, it was now a special at 199 DM. Don't know what that would translate into present day euros, but would guess at 70-80 euros - I'm sure some experienced German Head-Fiers could give a more exact figure.

 

Probably a handy sum in those days, and about equal or a little more than what it sells for second hand today. But then it was brand new, in a box. With manual.

 

So why did HiFi Eins offer this deal? Probably becuase of an unlucky head buyer, having stocked up with a lot of K500s. Because in the same issue of Audio, the brand new K501 is getting a star review focussing on the new variable thickness diaphragm (the first Varimotion driver). Described as a "true, musical magician", the K501 makes the K500 look like a steam engine. Price of the K501: 380 DM.

 

In retrospect, I believe the ones who bought the K500 made the real bargain. I listen to it much more than the K501 whose sound signature has been handed down to K601, 701, 702 and 712. Some love it, some... don't.

 

For me the K500 is the real deal, together with the more mid-centered K400.

 

I have now discovered that there are three distinctly different versions of the K500, referring to drivers and sound, and will present them more closely in the near future. I welcome all of you who have your own opinion of the K500.

 

 

 

And, like the ad says, "Hold tight to your chair, beacuse the K500 is in every respect a winner."

post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post
 

I have now discovered that there are three distinctly different versions of the K500, referring to drivers and sound, and will present them more closely in the near future. I welcome all of you who have your own opinion of the K500.

 

 

 

And, like the ad says, "Hold tight to your chair, beacuse the K500 is in every respect a winner."

Nice ad! :-)

I bought my K-500 which I use to the present day in 1994. 

 

Now, I'm interested in the three different versions of the K-500. How do I keep them apart, and what are the differences? I'm curious! :-)

post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by cip22 View Post
 

Nice ad! :-)

I bought my K-500 which I use to the present day in 1994. 

 

Now, I'm interested in the three different versions of the K-500. How do I keep them apart, and what are the differences? I'm curious! :-)

 

 

Basically there are three different drivers. The first one, it is believed, had a matte diaphragm and 12 openings at the back of the driver (dampened with white fibre paper). All metal plug and adapter, and somewhat thicker cable. Here's the driver, lots of white under the diaphragm:

 

 

 

The second, and most common version (and in my mind the best, although I haven't experimented much with version No 3), had a matte diaphragm but only 2 + 2 holes at the back of the driver. All metal plug and adapter. Here's a pic:

 

 

 

As you notice on the photo above, there are two types of ridges combined in the first and second version: short ridges at the rim, longer ones at the centre (and I don't want to complicate things, but the K400 had different types of ridges on their drivers as well).

 

The third version had 2 + 2 holes at the back of the driver, but a clear diaphragm with a simplified ridge pattern: only long, single ones. The cable was the same as on the late K400 and the following K401 and K501: partly black plastic plug with metal adapter and slightly thinner cord. Here's a pic of the relatively rare K500 clear diaphragm driver:

 

 


My first advice is to get a fresh pair of pads (see post http://www.head-fi.org/t/562787/akg-k500-love/15#post_8349972 in this thread), it will tighten up the sound and improve bass quality. More importantly, it will show huch much the pads affect the sound.

 

Also, there is a piece of damping foam in the centre hole at the back of the driver, and this material often falls into pieces. Cut a new one from open cell foam and replace (you open the cup by removing the type sign and undo a screw). This foam affects bass tightness/airiness:

 

 

 

If you feel that the sound is still a bit bright and undefined, do the tape mod (or use blutak) as described in the post mentioned above. It's very easy and leaves room for adjustment of brightness/warmness balance.

 

I'm sure the later AKGs with varimotion (two-layer) diaphragms may be technically better - K401, 501 601 and 701 in different incarnations - but I have a bunch of different headphones from AKG, Yamaha, Sennheiser, Beyer, Stax etc and for the last six months I listen mostly to the modded K500 in my OTL set-up. Why? Beacause I'm there, right in front of the music.

post #40 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post

 

The third version had 2 + 2 holes at the back of the driver, but a clear diaphragm with a simplified ridge pattern: only long, single ones. The cable was the same as on the late K400 and the following K401 and K501: partly black plastic plug with metal adapter and slightly thinner cord. 

 

[snip]

 

I'm sure the later AKGs with varimotion (two-layer) diaphragms may be technically better - K401, 501 601 and 701 in different incarnations - but I have a bunch of different headphones from AKG, Yamaha, Sennheiser, Beyer, Stax etc and for the last six months I listen mostly to the modded K500 in my OTL set-up. Why? Beacause I'm there, right in front of the music.

 

Thank you for this phantastic post! Very interesting. 

 

By looking at the to the diaphragm, I obviously have the version 3 - transparent diaphragm with simpler ridge pattern. But interestingly, I have an all metal plug & adapter. 

Like this one (from AKG K-500 appreciation thread):

 

 

Maybe diaphragm color and plug material are unrelated or mostly unrelated? 

 

»Why? Beacause I'm there, right in front of the music.« Couldn't express it better! :-)

post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by cip22 View Post
 

 

Thank you for this phantastic post! Very interesting. 

 

By looking at the to the diaphragm, I obviously have the version 3 - transparent diaphragm with simpler ridge pattern. But interestingly, I have an all metal plug & adapter. 

Like this one (from AKG K-500 appreciation thread):

 

 

Maybe diaphragm color and plug material are unrelated or mostly unrelated? 

 

»Why? Beacause I'm there, right in front of the music.« Couldn't express it better! :-)

 

Well, the driver differences are the deciding factors, the cord and plug are just an implication of when they were made. The K401 and K501 have the plastic/metal plug and adapter, so that's the change brought on later (but apparently also in the last assemblies of the K500).

 

Make sure you hav a good look at the diaphragm, photos can be deceptive. Ideally the driver should be taken out of the cup to make sure. But regardless of this, you have the option of trying modifications that may improve sound quality. And the clear plastic third version driver may be simplified, but not simpler, so to speak. And as I said I haven't experimented with this - only have one pair.

 

Here's a comparison of the plugs:

 

 

 

And a page of the K400/500 introduction brochure, probably from 1990:

 

post #42 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post
 

 

 

Basically there are three different drivers. The first one, it is believed, had a matte diaphragm and 12 openings at the back of the driver (dampened with white fibre paper). All metal plug and adapter, and somewhat thicker cable. Here's the driver, lots of white under the diaphragm:

 

 

 

 

I just noticed something strange, but my K400 EP's driver looks identical to the one above:

Here's a picture of it:

 

 

The back of it has the more open "vent" with foam over it too. This one seems darker than my LP, but not really dark of course.

 

Wonder if some K500's used K400 drivers?

post #43 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

I just noticed something strange, but my K400 EP's driver looks identical to the one above:

Here's a picture of it:

 

 

The back of it has the more open "vent" with foam over it too. This one seems darker than my LP, but not really dark of course.

 

Wonder if some K500's used K400 drivers?

 

I don't think so. I received a K-400 as a birthday present, but I 'upgraded' (with their consent ;-)) to the K-500.

And the overall architecture was more or less the same, while the sound was very different - to my ears the K-500 had almost 'double resolution' so to speak.

I can hardly imagine that this is possible with the same drivers, given the strong overall similarities in the construction. 

post #44 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post
 

Make sure you hav a good look at the diaphragm, photos can be deceptive. Ideally the driver should be taken out of the cup to make sure. But regardless of this, you have the option of trying modifications that may improve sound quality. 

 

I'm absolutely shure, i've got the transparent ones. So it's version 3.

And if these cans originally appeared as early as 1990, that makes sense, I bought mine only in 1994. 

I might try the tape mod, although I'm (still, almost 20 years later) very delighted with these headphones. Bought the black K-601 earpads a year ago - I liked the old ones better soundwise, but they ware already 'disappearing' slowly... ;-)


Edited by cip22 - 11/25/13 at 1:42pm
post #45 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

I just noticed something strange, but my K400 EP's driver looks identical to the one above:

Here's a picture of it:

 

 

The back of it has the more open "vent" with foam over it too. This one seems darker than my LP, but not really dark of course.

 

Wonder if some K500's used K400 drivers?

 

If possible, show us a photo of the foam at the back of the driver. I've had 6-7 of the K400 and K500 each, and have never seen any foam in them, except the small centre hole.

 

About drivers, that's a tricky one. If I remember correctly all K400 used the same diaphragm as far as I've seen, but with 2/12 back hole versions. The ridge pattern of the K500, however, seems to have been inherited by the K401 (have to double-check this). Which begs the question: was it the same driver as the K500, or a varimotion modified one?


Edited by MDR30 - 11/26/13 at 3:27am
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