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AKG K271?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a pair of full sized headphones with the best midrange I can possibly get for a budget limit of $150 max.

 

I've read a ton of threads on this subject and have found out that the akg k501 is probably the best lower priced headphone for good mids, but all of the those threads are old and the headphones themselves are discontinued and impossible to find. Nobody on these forums really recommends anything else except the k271's, so are they pretty much the best in this price-range? After reading alot about them I've found out that the k271's don't have much bass, which I'm okay with unless it's significantly less bass than the ad700's that I used to own. 

 

The sound sig that I like is first and foremost a good and forward midrange, at least some bass - not too much or too little, and with recessed/rolled off/softened/quieted highs. I really hated the highs on the ad700's and I hate sibilance.

 

The pair of headphones that I currently own are the Fischer FA-011's and am running them through a fiio e9 out of an asus xonar d1. The problem I have with those is that the midrange is nowhere near full enough, and they have sibilance/horribly fatiguing highs - which I hate. The bass on those is fine, but I'd accept less if the midrange was good; vocals and guitars are my favorite part of music and I only listen to rock/acoustic music.

 

One more thing, I hear that the grado/alessandro are good for rock, but they lack soundstage and have sharp highs. I'll be using these headphones multiplayer gaming too, so I'll need at least a decent or acceptable soundstage. 

 

Can someone please help me find something with this criteria?


Edited by TwitchBladE - 7/30/11 at 6:04pm
post #2 of 39
Thread Starter 

TL;DR 

 

I am looking for the best midrange on a mid-forward pair of headphones at a price limit of $150, and with an at least decent soundstage.

post #3 of 39

T50RP

 

It's all midrange, can be modded to be balanced

review here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/559233/review-fostex-t50rp-it-s-been-needing-a-review

 

The review is done stock, I still haven't updated for the modded review

 

But your idea of soundstage is wrong

 

Forward means the soundstage is close. Like a Grado, it has no soundstage so the soundstage is very forward.

 

EDIT: I read your main topic

 

T50RP are perfect for metal/acoustic for some apparent reason. They play Rock, Jazz, Acoustic and classical very well. Pop and others can be modded in later.

 

One problem is that they need a lot of power. But your E11 should far well to them.


Edited by BotByte - 7/29/11 at 4:20pm
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding BotByte.

 

I've heard and read about the fostex t50rp quite a few times on these forums and have never heard anyone mention that their midrange was anything special. I read your review and the comments, then tried to find as many threads related to the t50rp's midrange, and pretty much nobody ever has much to say about them. Could that possibly be because they're rare/not many people buy them or something? In several of the so called, "best midrange" threads, nobody ever mentions them let alone ranks them above the k271's. Have you ever compared them to k271's or any other mid-centric phones in this price range? You say that they're "all midrange", but I want to know if they have a good and forward midrange. Also, sorry, I'm not into modding.

 

A few other things: the k501's are known for have a very good/expansive soundstage, and yet people always say that they have a very forward midrange. Doesn't that disprove your whole idea about forward = no soundstage? Btw, I have an e9 not an e11 - although I'm pretty sure it was just a typo and e9 is what you actually meant to write.

 

 


Edited by TwitchBladE - 7/29/11 at 5:50pm
post #5 of 39

Oh, even better a E9

 

T50RP from the box, all you can hear are midrange. They aren't talked about much because most people can't understand why they are so good. It might be due to the orhto driver might not have the same effect on different people.

 

The modding is easy. You just slide the cups off, take out a couple screws and add a lot of blutak and some felt. There are long threads about the T50RP and the Thunderpants with details on modding. Nothing is hard to mod them

 

AKG are usually very airy and open with their soundstage. And no, soundstage cannot be forward and back but the soundstage itself can be in different places. Soundstage doesn't mean that everything is far away, but it means that everything is spaced out and in different locations. Mids are usually in the center for guitars, highs are off to side for vocals and higher tones and lows are in the rear for bass and drums.

 

Now, I need to tell you that Dynamic drivers mostly cover Highs and Lows. Ortho on the other end need to actually work to cover the highs and lows more. Of course, each driver is different.

 

I just threw out what I know have the most Mids from my experience. I have three major cans: HD598 for highs, T50RP for mids and V6 for lows.

 

 

To be warned, I find AKG to be very neutral sounding headphones, so a select amount of people like them outside of recording studios.

 

Here, if you don't want to read my review, this one is shorter:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/fostex-t50rp-closed-ear-stereo-headphones/reviews/3900

post #6 of 39

I have a pair of K271's and have demo'd the T50RP's at a music store (so take with a grain of salt), and honestly, I heard a lot of potential in the T50's. They're very middy, moreso than the K271. They're both forward in the midrange, but they both have some deficiencies. There is an upper midrange spike in the T50's, but the K271's have some awkward recessions in the lower mids, which makes male vocals sound off imo. The T50RP has the capability to be technically better with mods, but I like the K271's because they just sound coherent. They aren't the best at anything, but I never feel like I have to concentrate on details of it. Sure, they sound a bit thin, but I can EQ some body in if I really feel like I want more oomph. 

 

@Botbyte I think you're confusing forward sound with forward midrange. A forward sound is generally a high-energy sound with typically small (but not always) soundstage. Forward mids means, to put it simply, accentuated.

post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

I have a pair of K271's and have demo'd the T50RP's at a music store (so take with a grain of salt), and honestly, I heard a lot of potential in the T50's. They're very middy, moreso than the K271. They're both forward in the midrange, but they both have some deficiencies. There is an upper midrange spike in the T50's, but the K271's have some awkward recessions in the lower mids, which makes male vocals sound off imo. The T50RP has the capability to be technically better with mods, but I like the K271's because they just sound coherent. They aren't the best at anything, but I never feel like I have to concentrate on details of it. Sure, they sound a bit thin, but I can EQ some body in if I really feel like I want more oomph. 

 

@Botbyte I think you're confusing forward sound with forward midrange. A forward sound is generally a high-energy sound with typically small (but not always) soundstage. Forward mids means, to put it simply, accentuated.

No it seems you were more clear about explaining it. I'm trying to explain that soundstage doesn't mean that the sound is away from you but also close. There is forward mids when you believe that the sound is closer, meaning forward and focused on mids. I just explained it as the mids are situated as a guitar in the center because I can't think of any song that had mids on the side or rear.

 

When you first listen to the T50RP, they sound muddy and really sharp with the mids. But after a while you get used to them. That's why I say lock the rest of you cans away so that you get used to the T50RP.  With some felt that sharpness can be changed. Different pads add soundstage while the mids stay forward, the bass if int he background and the highs are out.

 

I did a lot of research to find a Mid heavy can and I was between a few, including a AKG and I picked the T50RP
 

 

post #8 of 39
going vintage akg is way to go or some beyerdynamic dt48's if all you care for is midrange. the akg 240 sextetts,DF's and 500 has some of best i heard personally. i never heard the beyers yet myself personally(i really want to tho) but they are one of the most highly regarded studio gem and well kept secret among head-fi and since they are ''studio'' headphones and not ''audiophile'' headphones they tend to get pass up a lot for their ''true to the source'' presentation. lot of ortho's are highly regarded as well but the only ortho i heard is the t50rp and yamaha hp-1 and while they are amazing and very special on their own for what they do i still think nothing comes close to my sextetts lp and especially my 240df's if you want transparency and accurate midrange. in my opinion of course.
post #9 of 39
I would have recommended the DT48 (if you can find one, mine have the best mids I'd heard in a moderately priced headphone), but the OP wants some bass, and they don't really put out much bass for most. They respond to EQ, but even still, they're not very comfy...
post #10 of 39
true. the DF's are pretty frequent tho and so is the sextetts. might not like the df's without a powerful amp tho so you can bring out those deep lows and they don't have that impact presence like modern studio headphones unless the recording(like lot of trance) has it. if want more bass the sextetts lp can be spotted easy and often it seems nowadays. they give more of bass impact presence compared to the df but maintains the wonderful midrange. i say my sextetts lp and df's are pretty much on par with each other in most areas. just df's are clearer and cleaner sounding a bit more.

i still would suggest any vintage/discontinued akg over any newer ones. if not the older 240 models the k340,400,500,501 are good choice to look at.
post #11 of 39

The k271S is a great headphone... It is obviously bass-lite which is probably why few people bring it up. It really does have a wonderful midrange. A good amp will let this headphone open up. I honestly can't tell you what others do better, though I am sure there are several near it's pricerange, I just haven't heard them, I suppose. I know the k271 is not for everyone, but the people that have it, and liked it enough to keep it, they seem to feel as I do, that it can sound pretty good, even with genres that bass-heavy headphones seem to be the preference. I like them with electronic music, for example. Sometimes the midrange gets lost in some headphones, I guess, but not the k271. The sound is not always *forward*, it just seems to present the midrange with respect.

 

The price is a little odd, because I think there are probably "better" headphones. I guess I just have a soft spot for the AKGs. The k240S(studio) sounds a bit warmer, and perhaps seems a bit easier to drive, but it's greater quantity of lower-midbass can overpower some of the audioband where the k271 seems to shine. It can be said if you like the one you might(not a sure thing!) like the other, though they are certainly different enough.

 

Keep in mind that the vintage AKG models sound pretty different (in many ways they can sound better) from the k271S and the k240S (these say S for "studio" in their model names, but the vintage AKGs won't have the S). I think the k271 is probably the more interesting of the not-so-vintage AKGs, though.


Edited by yashu - 7/30/11 at 4:09am
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

I've read about the dt48 and all of it's different models and they sound nice, but they're all too expensive and I hear they have very little soundstage. The vintage akg's are all too hard to find, and also too hard to amp from what I hear. Also, I've read that the k240S doesn't have as good of a midrange or soundstage as the k271, but has more bass. Is that true? 

 

About the t50rp, botbyte, you said that the midrange at first sounds muddy and really sharp, and that I should just learn to like them? Like I said before, I'm kind of not into modding, and I want my pair to last a long time. Btw everyone, I guess I didn't really mention this before, but I'm kind of looking for more euphonic or pleasing mids, rather than just accurate mids. Judging by what you said botbyte, the t50rp don't sound pleasing at all.

post #13 of 39

What type of midrange would you prefer, the rich/mellow kind of presentation or something more articulate and straightforward? If it's the former the Sextett would probably be your best bet for a headphone in your price range that meets your criteria. If it's the latter I'm having trouble thinking of much I've heard for under $150 except maybe a used K40*/K50* that would be suitable. The K240DF mentioned before does has a very clear midrange but I wouldn't describe them as recessed in the treble and they won't mask sibilance either (though the AD700 is still more fatiguing for me personally). I don't think I've heard a decent headphone with less bass emphasis than the AD700 so I wouldn't worry about that part too much. I cannot comment on the K271 or the T50RP unfortunately.


Edited by CFabian - 7/30/11 at 7:22pm
post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help anyway. Even if the heaphones your recommend aren't relevant to my situation, it's still nice to know. 

 

I don't have the time, money, or amping capability to get a sextett or other discontinued akg. I was justing wondering what would have the best, I guess, in your terms, rich/mellow mids for that amount of money.

post #15 of 39

Why not just grab the k271 and give it a whirl? Perhaps order one from a place that allows returns. It sounds like you wanted to try it, and maybe we talked you into more confusion on the issue than you would have liked...

 

I would say the mids can be pretty darn euphonic. I like them the most when plugged into my NAD c160 preamp's headphone jack. I have used them with a Grace ref. headphone amp too, and most headphones sound harsh with this amp, but the k271 sounds pretty good. I have MHDT DACs and tubed output stages, so I can only comment on these hybrid tube/ss setups.

 

It's not for everyone, but since deep bass is not your goal, and a pleasurable, but not always accurate midrange is what you were looking for. I know it handles vocals well, I do know that.

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