I think I might hit up Woo too, summer jobs are awesome finally off bottom Top Ramen and I got $ left over from car upgrades for eargasmic inducing headphone purchases. IM RICH BI, nevermind I just hit buy button IM BROKE AGAIN!!!!
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AKG 701 or Shure 940 for clear headphone for vocals, classical and acoustic? - Page 3post #31 of 447/30/11 at 12:45pm
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #32 of 447/30/11 at 12:52pmThread Starter
So I think I finally found a flaw. Well, I already mentioned it, but I wanted to discuss it more. As mentioned in my first impression, the build quality, the cups have a spring or something in there that make them snap back to position when rotated away from listening position. When I first held the headphone, they moved and moved back, I was like "What was that?" I kind of liked it. I thought, "Nice!" But now that I've used them a while, I realized that while that seems neat, it's a potential flaw because over time, if that spring wears out, it won't snap back maybe in 5 years or something (who knows, guessing there) from wear and tear. And that made me immediately wonder: will it affect sound? I seriously doubt it will. But I think I'd rather not have that spring in there so that the build is a solid system with no potential rattling moving parts. A spring under tension that wears out is a loose piece of metal. Now, I might be completely blowing this out of proportion. But I'm actually trying to find physical and noticeable flaws at this point because so far, the headphone has presented me with none. I even think the price is justified. I wish it was cheaper of course, but I think at the $200 mark, this headphone would storm the market with proper advertising. As it is, it seems relatively unknown, untalked about. It's younger siblings get talked about more. But I certainly think this headphone needs more attention. We all know about the AKG 701. The Shure 940 seems to be slipping through the cracks.
One of these days I'd like to get the AKG 701, or borrow it even, just so I can do a direct comparison to satisfy my curiosity.
Currently listening to Diana Krall, "Pick Yourself Up." Such a gorgeous sound.
Amplifying. I've definitely noticed the difference between my Matrix Cube and my Little Dot MK III with these headphones in vocals, acoustic and jazz. With these headphones, to maintain the clarity and crispness, I like the Matrix more than my Little Dot. The Tube adds some nice warm and interesting sound stage, but it also adds that echo-tubey-sound to things and that effects quiet acoustic sessions in a way that I feel isn't as good for the sound. But this is exactly why I have two amps, solid state and tube. These headphones sound great on both, but my preference for crisp and clear definitely goes to the solid state for vocals and acoustic so far. A lot of jazz already has an echo to the voice recording due to how they recorded it. Adding a bloom or echo to it with a tube amp seems to take it a bit away from where I want it to be.
So that said, I think the Shure 940 pairs best with a Solid State amplifier when being amplified.
Edited by MalVeauX - 7/30/11 at 12:55pmpost #33 of 447/30/11 at 1:18pmThread Starter
Just an update on the isolation. That's why I got these over the AKG 701's. I wanted isolation for public use, and home use, but mostly for the versatility to take them with me in the jeep, to school, to work, on a plane, in the same room with other people, etc, without sharing what I'm listening to or hearing others noise as much while I'm monitoring/listening.
Here's a video example which I think really gives you an idea of isolation. I recorded it at 8 inches from the headset at high volume playback, higher than my normal listening level (so ... higher than moderate high? I listen at high volumes anyways). I think I can say with confidence that it's fine for everything except perhaps sitting right next to someone in a quiet library or on an airplane. I'm going to test it next Friday when I take a flight from Miami to Gainesville, so I'll see if I bother my flight neighbor and will report back after I ask them, "Did you hear my music and did it bother you?" We'll see if they're honest or not, hehe.
You may need headphones to really get the idea of the volume difference in isolation.
And no, it's not the most scientific method. Deal with it.
Very best,post #34 of 447/30/11 at 1:18pmpost #35 of 447/30/11 at 1:53pmThread Starter
Information on clarity and detail.
Currently listening to my albums from Ludovico Einaudi (Una Matina) and Keith Jarret (The Koln Concert).
Listening to piano albums is pretty interesting and detail oriented headphones really shine in my opinion. Apart from hearing the music, you hear all the mechanical going-on's of the piano itself and the movements and human aspects of the artist. You can hear them breath sometimes, their foot slide off the pedal in a way that is noticeable. The sound of the hammers on the strings in the piano sometimes not being perfect from a key stroke that was too hard. You can just hear the mechanical workings of the piano to add sustain when it is pressed or when it's suddenly released, you can hear the piano's mechanism doing that in a really nice recording that isn't just strictly the music. I really like details like that because it makes you feel more like you're having a private live concert.
Anyhow, the Shure 940's are brilliant for piano. The extension is haunting. Highs roll off very well, mids fill the stage and the bass gives it substance. I really like the closed headphone for this because it helps to increase detail capture with minimal leak from surrounding sound. At high volume, the mids/trebles do not pierce or become too bright. The 940 handles highs like a champion at high volume, but is still very present at low volume. I put piano listening often right next to acoustic because I tend to listen to quiet intimate sessions, more so than ensembles. Piano can be played like an ensemble, or more like a single instrument.
I found an album that really lets you experience the detail and extension and sound stage of the Shure 940. Keith Jarrett, Koln Concert. It's a live recording with an audience, but not the type that sounds like it's recorded from the back. It's recorded from the stage. It's amazing quality. But you get to hear all the creeks of chairs, the floor, the mechanism of the piano, the audience, breath sounds, people saying little things or whispering, an occasional cough or something. Sometimes Keith hums with his playing and you can hear it. You get the idea. This kind of detail is amazing. And the Shure 940 renders it beautifully. Plus the piano concert by Keith Jarret is brilliant and energetic.
Highly recommended if you like piano, jazz, contemporary stuff with the live detail recorded instead of a more studio production approach.
Again, I like to use the metaphor, "I can hear the smoke in the bar."
Very best,post #36 of 447/30/11 at 2:14pmpost #37 of 447/30/11 at 2:23pmThread StarterQuote:
Soundstage is great. I was impressed listening to some Ani Difranco because they don't center her voice in the channels in each track. Sometimes, she's off center so you hear her slightly off more to a side, very slightly, and her guitar off another way or centered. It gives you a bit of a more interesting and life like feel when listening. The headphone renders it beautifully. Currently listening to Keith Jarret in a live concert. It's very spacious, stage allows for distant sounds, and lots of extension. I don't feel like the sound is just centered in my head. Things sound like they're here, there, over there, close, far, etc. Granted, it completely depends on the recording. When I listen to acoustic and jazz, the sound stage is great, I hear good separation and there is spacing, it's not just a singular sound in the center. But when I listen to some electronic music just to compare, it's centered sound, unless they specifically do channel play. It doesn't sound like a wide open stage, it sounds mechanical and electronic (which is good, it's just a differential I use when comparing sound stages to something that is meant to have a wide stage, like live, acoustic, vocals, etc). I have some fun recordings that came with my Ultrasone 900 Pros that involve a lot positioning recordings, like fireworks, being at the beach and sitting in the surf, people clapping, some musics and choir, etc. The Shure 940's sound stage allows for great separation and width. These drivers are not angled, they're flat and direct, yet they still have great stage without trying to do something technical to produce more effect.
The song I listed by Norah Jones in my initial impressions list, Young Blood is amazing. The sound stage is very wide. There's a lot of instrument separation. I hear her voice centered, the bass/drum centered. But the electric and bass guitar are separated and not equally centered, and there's some fancy work with some synth/bells/keyboard stuff mixed in that travels around in the stage actively. It's a beautiful render with very separated instruments, no congestion, and you feel like they're around you playing towards you from a crescent shape.
Edited by MalVeauX - 7/30/11 at 2:28pmpost #38 of 448/1/11 at 5:45pmpost #39 of 448/7/11 at 9:53pm
Thanks for the great review! I've been looking for a good headphones for these genres in the 200-300 price point.
Too bad now I'm dying to know how the K701/2 compare to the 940. But regardless, I'll have to pick up a pair someday. Hopefully soonpost #40 of 448/8/11 at 5:30amThread StarterQuote:
Me too. I'm half tempted to just buy some K701's as well. Saw some used ones. Might do it. I shouldn't. But I might. I'd love to just borrow someone's K701's for a week or something. Don't know anyone though. Some trusting soul on here could always send them to me, I'll pay shipping both ways with insurance. But we'll see if that happens.
Edit: And I just bought the AKG701's. So I'll end up comparing and reviewing them side by side.
Edited by MalVeauX - 8/8/11 at 3:25pmpost #41 of 448/8/11 at 5:32pmAhh. I was just reading through the thread about to offer to let you borrow my K701 but it looks like you beat me to the punch. I'm interested in seeing your thoughts because I'm considering the 940.
Btw, if you can cancel your order somehow, the offer is still on the table.
Edited by Questhate - 8/8/11 at 5:33pmpost #42 of 448/8/11 at 5:37pmThread StarterQuote:Originally Posted by Questhate
Ahh. I was just reading through the thread about to offer to let you borrow my K701 but it looks like you beat me to the punch. I'm interested in seeing your thoughts because I'm considering the 940.
Btw, if you can cancel your order somehow, the offer is still on the table.
Doh! Well, I actually bought two headphones in a combo deal. I plan on testing/reviewing and then selling them (unless they simply suit me). The K701 was one of them. The other is a lower end Audio Technica that I usually hate hearing about, but figured I should thoroughly test. I appreciate your offer, funny it comes up the day I buy the K701's anyhow, haha. Regardless, if I don't like them, they're going to be sold at a good price so someone got them off loaded, I tested, and someone will inherit them for an even lower price. Win-win-win I guess. The headphones already shipped today and will be here Thursday or so.
My impression from reading about the K701 is that it will have a superior sound stage, but will be a more inorganic sound, slightly hallow, and simply extremely analytical and bass lite. I'll be directly comparison the Sennheiser HD580, Shure SRH940 and the AKG K701 with every genre of music except hip hop, rap & country basically.
Edited by MalVeauX - 8/8/11 at 5:38pmpost #43 of 448/8/11 at 5:54pmYes I actually saw this thread while on my lunch break earlier but didn't reply because I was browsing on my phone. Now that I've come back I see you edited your post and pulled the trigger afterall.
The reputation you've gathered is pretty spot on, except I don't find them quite as hollow as most people. Compared to your HD580 perhaps but the mids are fuller than some of the hyperbole on them let on. They do have a deliciously sparkly treble, imo, and the soundstage is quite impressive. They sound great with acoustic stuff but they definitely don't have the genre bandwidth for me to recommend to others as their only headphone.
Just be sure to give them time to burn in. Looking forward to your impressions.post #44 of 448/8/11 at 5:57pmQuote:Originally Posted by tdockweiler
For many of us, the HD-598 is an upgrade from the HD-580/600 and even the HD-650. Most people say the HD-650 is "technically" better. I sold my HD-650 because I felt the HD-598 sounded better after I recabled it.I don't know how close the 580 is to the HD-600, but to me the HD-598 is less muffled sounding and more detailed than the HD-600 with it's stock cable. I would say the HD-598 is brighter and less veiled than the HD-600 for sure. You really can't beat the HD-598 for female vocals. Vocals on the K702 with any amp are a joke compared to the HD-598. The K601 though is much better in this area. The K701 on any amp I've tried makes vocals sound a bit distant at times. OK, not that bad, but not up-front like they are on the HD-598. The HD-598 defininitely has forward mids. It's sound is addicting. I'm not saying buy it, but give it a try if you can ever listen to them.
I loved vocals on the SRH-840, so if the SRH-940 is any better, that'd be worth checking into.
I also prefer the K601 to the K702 and it's a lot cheaper and more comfortable. It's harder to drive though and has a little less treble, but the mids sound much more forward compared to the K701/K702.
So i'll say it again.. for those that love female vocals (especially Asian pop), the HD-598 is one of the best I've heard under $250 I've heard for this that's open.
Another lover of HD598 I totally agree with you lol, it's just i've had my hd650 for so long, really attached to it : )
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